Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Distrust in media hits record high

Fifty-seven percent of Americans do not trust the news media to accurately and fairly report the news, a new high according to a Gallup poll out Wednesday. The percentage of Americans who distrust the media has been steadily climbing since the mid 1990s, when distrusts in the news media rated hovered around 45 percent. Now, only 43 percent have a “fair amount” or a “great deal” of trust in the media, the lowest point since Gallup began rating. Perhaps one of the leading factors for American distrust in the media is the high percentage who believe that reporting tilts too far in one ideological direction or the other. Forty-eight percent believe the media is too liberal while only 15 percent of find that it tilts too conservative. Just 33 percent believe coverage is “just about right.”...more

71% of Republicans Are Tea Party Supporters

The tea party has emerged as a potent force in American politics and a center of gravity within the Republican Party, with a large majority of Republicans showing an affinity for the movement that has repeatedly bucked the GOP leadership this year, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found. In the survey, 71% of Republicans described themselves as tea-party supporters, saying they had a favorable image of the movement or hoped tea- party candidates would do well in the Nov. 2 elections. Already, the tea-party movement has helped to oust a number of incumbents and candidates backed by party leaders in this year's GOP primaries amid complaints that they lacked commitment to small-government principles. The poll findings suggest that the rising influence of the movement, with its push to cut spending and oppose the Democratic agenda, will drive the GOP to become more conservative and less willing to seek common ground on policy...more

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ACORN Is Very Much Alive; Funding Ban Dies This Week

As I reported yesterday, federal investigators are recommending that government funding for ACORN's still operating housing affiliate be cut off immediately. In a recently completed probe, the inspector general for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found that ACORN Housing (now renamed Affordable Housing Centers of America) appeared to have committed massive fraud against the taxpayers of the United States. Investigators must have felt it was necessary to urge the funding cutoff because the federal government's prohibition on funding ACORN isn't a permanent ban. It exists at the whim of lawmakers and (because it was attached to annual appropriations bills) runs out at the end of this month. There is no indication currently that the federal ban on funding ACORN, whose last day in effect is Sept. 30, will be extended. As of writing (Tuesday morning) spokesmen for the House and Senate appropriations committees told me they had no idea if the funding prohibition was going to be extended...more

Tapping Sam: At 288, Adams’s Ideas Are Still Brewing

Samuel Adams’s political genius understood that to remain free, he and his fellow colonists had to band together around an issue (seemingly trivial–Tea), and build a philosophical common understanding about where and how that freedom had to be defended. He was the first to understand the connection between taxation and core human liberties, and framed the issue in a way that allowed an American consciousness to emerge that was strong enough to fight the most powerful empire in the world. Samuel Adams had three qualities that are reflected in the Tea Partiers of the twenty-first century. He recognized the early signs of tyranny, he took responsibility for the fight that would come, and he believed in the capability and the willingness of his fellow colonists to reach that same understanding. We are all familiar with that culminating act of civil disobedience, the Boston Tea Party, but the consolidation of foment into the Sons of Liberty and the hundreds of impassioned letters he penned to all parts of the colonies urging, pleading, reasoning, and cajoling others to join the fight that allowed the first thoughts of “independence” to ever be considered with any seriousness...more

CBS show CSI jumps in on Tea Party smearing

The Sept. 23 season premiere plot of CBS’s hit drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” involved guest star Justin Bieber attending “right-wing” political events before being targeted as a suspect in bombings of a Las Vegas Police Department funeral. Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times wrote on Sept. 24 that Bieber played a “domestic terrorist with Tea Party leanings.” Even though the episode made no direct reference to the Tea Party, the “right-wing” protest depicted resembled a Tea Party protest, at least according to some viewers who have commented on, a conservative blog. BigHollywood and BigGovernment publisher Andrew Breitbart said the show’s producers are undoubtedly using the program as a propaganda mechanism and he finds it particularly disturbing that an episode like this popped up so close to the upcoming midterm elections. “This is predictable behavior from Hollywood,” Breitbart told The Daily Caller in a phone interview. “Over the past year and a half, the Democratic Party, left-wing media and, now, Hollywood, have done anything they can to portray the Tea Party movement as a violent Timothy McVeigh-esque or as a racist movement.”

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Disgrace of the Ruling Class

We now have confirmation that Barack Obama truly loves poor people. Because he is creating so many of them.
Check out Pete Ferrara's article at The American Spectator for a rundown on Obamanomics and recent political events.

Why Statists Are Attacking the Tea Party

The upside to the Tea Party movement — the one that has the welfare-warfare crowd so consternated — is that its members are not behaving as the good, little citizen-automatons that epitomize the statist crowd. The Tea Partiers are asking questions and they’re challenging the establishment paradigm, a real no-no in the eyes of welfare-warfare statists. There are two primary issues that are common to Tea Partiers: first, concern over out-of-control federal spending and debt, and, second, the U.S. Constitution. Those two issues are what have statists, both on the welfare side and the warfare side, extremely concerned, causing them to increasingly go on the attack against the “extremism” of the Tea Partiers. Why are the statists engaging in such a preemptive attack? After all, it’s not as if these two issues — federal spending and debt and the U.S. Constitution — are really all that controversial in and of themselves. It’s because the statists know that if an increasing number of Americans are thinking — and especially about these two particular issues — they might well come up with the right answers, and it’s those answers that absolutely scare the statists to death...more

Tea Party divided over immigration

Tea Party activists who are debating whether to embrace “family values” issues in a year when the economy could make or break the Democrats and sweep their candidates to power are also divided over another hot-button issue — immigration. One leading Tea Party group has decided to work closely with Roy Beck’s Numbers USA, a well-known “restrictionist” lobby that wants to see immigration, both legal and illegal, reduced.  Together these groups are opposing passage of the DREAM Act, the stand-alone legislation that immigration reform advocates have rallied around as the prospects for passing a broader immigration bill have faded. However, two other key Tea Party groups, including FreedomWorks, whose co-founder, former House majority leader Dick Armey, supports expanded immigration, say they’ll stay out of the fight over the DREAM Act. Ideologically, support for immigration is thoroughly consistent with the Tea Party’s enthusiastic endorsement of the unfettered free market.  In fact, for years, libertarian, pro-free enterprise groups like the CATO Institute have joined business groups and immigration advocates in calling for less government regulation of immigration — a position that critics call an “open borders” policy. But many Tea Party activists believe that restoring the “rule of law” — and regaining control of the country’s borders — is also fundamental to the American ideal of freedom.  They don’t necessarily oppose rising immigration, especially legal immigration, but they are hostile to “amnesties” for illegal aliensthat appear to reward “lawbreakers.”...

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Founding Fathers Versus the Tea Party

The Tea Party movement has further sought to spruce up its historical bona fides by laying claim to the United States Constitution. Many Tea Party members subscribe to a literal reading of the national charter as a way of bolstering their opposition to deficit spending, bank bailouts and President Obama’s health care plan. A Tea Party manifesto, called the Contract From America, even contains a rigid provision stipulating that all legislation passed by Congress should specify the precise clause in the Constitution giving Congress the power to pass such a law — an idea touted Thursday by the House Republican leadership. But any movement that regularly summons the ghosts of the founders as a like-minded group of theorists ends up promoting an uncomfortably one-sided reading of history. The truth is that the disputatious founders — who were revolutionaries, not choir boys — seldom agreed about anything. Never has the country produced a more brilliantly argumentative, individualistic or opinionated group of politicians. Far from being a soft-spoken epoch of genteel sages, the founding period was noisy and clamorous, rife with vitriolic polemics and partisan backbiting. Instead of bequeathing to posterity a set of universally shared opinions, engraved in marble, the founders shaped a series of fiercely fought debates that reverberate down to the present day. Right along with the rest of America, the Tea Party has inherited these open-ended feuds, which are profoundly embedded in our political culture...more

Friday, September 24, 2010

As Public Sees GOP Moving Right, More Say It Shares Their Values, View of Government, According to Gallup Data

At the same time the public perceives the Republican Party becoming more conservative, more Americans are saying the party reflects their values and their attitude about the role of government, according to newly released Gallup polling data.Democrats, meanwhile, have lost ground on these measures. In a USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,021 American adults conducted Aug. 27-30, respondents were asked whether they believed the Republican Party had “become more conservative, or not” since Barack Obama took office as president. In the same poll, respondents were also asked how well each of the two major parties “represent your values” and “represent your attitude about the role of government.” Fifty-four percent of Americans told Gallup they believed the GOP had indeed become more conservative since Obama took office, while only 40 percent said they did not believe the Republicans had become more conservative. At the same time, the Republicans did better than the Democrats on the percentage of Americans who said the party represents their attitude about the role of government and their values. Fifty-two percent told Gallup the Republican Party represented their attitude about the role of government either “very well” or “moderately well,” while only 44 percent said the Democratic Party represented their attitude about the role of government either “very well” or “moderately well.”...more

ObamaCare at Six Months

As President Obama spent Wednesday celebrating the six-month anniversary of the national health care law, his crowning legislative achievement remained deeply unpopular. Despite repeated claims by proponents of the law that Americans would begin to warm up to it once it was enacted, more than 49 percent of the public currently opposes the law, according to an average of polls compiled by, compared with just 41 percent who favor it. Those numbers are virtually identical to where they stood when Obama signed the legislation in March. The months since passage of ObamaCare have been marked by the evaporation of one promise after another. Contrary to the rhetoric employed by Democrats when they were ramming the unpopular measure through Congress, further evidence has confirmed that the law will increase costs, raise premiums, and cause Americans to lose their current coverage -- even if they like it. Yet this is no time for opponents of the law to become complacent. ObamaCare boosters are already laying the groundwork to use the failures of the law to advocate a further expansion of the government’s role in health care...more

Witch’s Brew for the Tea Party

Tea Party favorite, Senator Jim DeMint said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that if the GOP takes control in November but betrays conservatives again-as DeMint points out, his party certainly did during the Bush years-then “the Republican Party’s dead.” DeMint is not only correct, but under his leadership it’s not hard to imagine a Senator O’Donnell, or possibly a Senator Angle, generally voting for the same Tea Party principles that first brought them to the dance. DeMint knows well how the game is played on Capitol Hill and reliably plays it toward Tea Party ends. But there is a difference between cultural conservatives like O’Donnell, Angle and on some level, even DeMint, and more libertarian leaning candidates like Rand Paul, who possess a deeper and more comprehensive constitutional philosophy, due in no small part to his upbringing. To the extent that the otherwise solidly fiscally conservative DeMint disagrees with this libertarian wing of the Tea Party, that extra-constitutional statist measures are OK so long as they reflect the values of cultural conservatives-the federal drug war, federal anti-gay marriage legislation, an increased police state, funding trillion dollar undeclared wars-that this ideological disconnect in the Tea Party might endure is the greater fear raised when we are reminded of O’Donnell’s fundamentalist background, via her talk about “witchcraft,” or even masturbation being “adultery.” No conservative should really care about O’Donnell’s views on such subjects-only to the extent that her worldview could possibly, one day, undermine or negate the larger limited government aims of the Tea Party. escribing the Tea Party’s goals in both the short and long term, The American Conservative’s Daniel McCarthy writes, what’s “important in the long run is that a.) the GOP leadership be purged, and b.) conservatives realize that there’s a difference between being conservative and being crazy.” O’Donnell and similar Tea Party candidates have been of great value in this purging, despite occasionally exhibiting behavior that even their champions might consider “crazy.” So long as these candidates are perceived as more reliably conservative than crazy, they will likely continue to do well. To the extent that they might actually be crazy, time will tell-and the Tea Party will continue to brew...more

Is The Tea Party Just a Big Scam?

Is the tea party one the most successful scams in American political history? Before you dismiss the question, note that word “successful.” Judge the tea party purely on the grounds of effectiveness and you have to admire how a very small group has shaken American political life and seized the microphone offered by the media, including the so-called liberal media. But it’s equally important to recognize that the tea party constitutes a sliver of opinion on the extreme end of politics receiving attention out of all proportion with its numbers. Yes, there is a lot of discontent in America. But that discontent is better represented by the moderate voters who expressed quiet disillusionment to President Obama at the CNBC town hall meeting on Monday than by tea party ideologues who proclaim the unconstitutionality of the New Deal and everything since. The tea party drowns out such voices because it has money—some of it from un-populist corporate sources, as Jane Mayer documented last month in The New Yorker—and has used modest numbers strategically in small states to magnify its impact...more

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Year's Conservative Insurgency

We hear so much about the counterinsurgency strategy Gen. David Petraeus has pursued in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have lost track of another insurgency that's being fought here between conservatives and the Republican establishment. Conservatives will win this battle. The only question is whether we will win it in time to reform the Republican Party and defeat Obama two years from now. In some ways it's like 1976, when conservatives fell short of nominating Ronald Reagan. Then, as my friend and editor Wlady Pleszczynski reminds me, conservatives were less organized and most Americans were still thinking in the terms of 1972, when the "Silent Majority" had to choose between the counter-cultural McGoverniks and Richard Nixon, who to the media was -- if not the devil himself --at least the devil's first cousin. But it is like 1976 in the fact that Barack Obama is as much a counter-cultural force as were Obama's pal Bill Ayers, Jane Fonda, and the others who were the faces of angry liberalism in their day. As a new Rasmussen poll shows, "conservative" is still the most positive political label, "liberal" the least popular and "Tea Party candidate" the most influential...more

GOP Men Need to Grow Up

Most people watching Karl Rove's initial reaction to Christine O'Donnell's unexpected win in Delaware for the Republican Senate nomination could have easily compared him to a toddler having quite the temper tantrum. Men who are supposed leaders of the national GOP have been diminished to screaming 2-year-olds who didn't get their way when their so-called mainstream candidates lost races all across the country. It's at the point of being largely entertaining to watch these grown men, from former presidential advisers to current U.S. senators, just melt when they don't get their way. These are supposed to be men, the rugged gun-toting leaders of the Republican Party who fight for small government and low taxes. Oh wait, that would be leaders of the tea party movement, led in part by gun-toting Sarah Palin. These men haven't the slightest idea how to set a good example, even when they lose badly. Mike Castle, O'Donnell's opponent in the primary, still has not publicly offered her congratulations or pledged his support. Rather, he's taking calls from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Isn't Castle a Republican? Why were the president and vice president consoling him? Castle is acting like a defeated dog licking his wounds -- after all, he did get beaten by a conservative, a conservative woman. Ouch...more

Election 2010: Alaska Senate

Republican Joe Miller attracts 42% of the vote in the first Rasmussen Reports poll of the Alaska Senate race since GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski announced her write-in campaign to try to keep her job. The telephone survey of Likely Voters in Alaska shows Murkowski picking up 27% of the vote and Democrat Scott McAdams earning 25%. One percent (1%) say they’d prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. This race now moves from Leans GOP to Solid GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings...more

Health Care Reform's First Victims

The first provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take effect Thursday, and casualties are already piling up. This week's include children who'll have to go without health insurance. The earliest victim of ObamaCare was nHealth, a Virginia-based insurer that specializes in health savings accounts. It announced in June that "considerable uncertainties" created by the new law would force it to close its doors by year-end. The customers and 50 employees of the once-promising startup will have their lives turned inside out by this decision. Now, starting Thursday, any health insurance company offering child-only plans has to accept kids — anyone under 19 — with pre-existing conditions. This mandate has the potential to bankrupt insurers, and big carriers WellPoint, Cigna and CoventryOne, Humana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, and Golden Rule have reacted by announcing they'll no longer sell new child-only policies. Some will stop writing the policies at the national level while others will leave markets only in certain states. But it won't stop there. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger told the Hill newspaper that she guarantees "it's happening probably in every state." Not every insurer will quit the market. But those staying will operate in a less-competitive environment, which will hurt consumers...more

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jim Scarantino Departs New Mexico Watchdog

I am moving onto other adventures. My wife and I have decided to seize an opportunity to enter early “aspirement”–the intentionally direct opposite of “retirement.” We have the coming year nearly booked: a month in Italy that begins by paying respects at the WWI battlefields where my grandfather–then only 16 years old–fought in the trenches; a month on the East Coast visiting family and big cities; I am singing with Opera Southwest in its October performances of Rossini’s “The Italian Girl in Algiers” and hopefully next March in “La Traviata”; lots and lots of hiking and backpacking, with the full length of the Continental Divide Trail as a goal; a couple weeks in Cuba with a friend posted to Havana by the State Department; and more activities than I can fit into this post. New Mexico Watchdog will now be in the very able hands of Rob Nikolewski, whom I have come quickly to respect as a hard-driving, meticulous, impartial and inquisitive reporter of the highest standards. The Rio Grande Foundation will soon be looking to hire someone to take over my duties for the investigative reports that put us on the state and national journalistic maps. I have been honored to work with the Rio Grande Foundation since 2008 bringing to light stories about tax dollars misused and government run amok...more

Tea Party Group Announces $1 Million Donation

A tea party group announced a $1 million donation from an anonymous donor Tuesday, a shot of cash to be spent before the election by a movement that has relied on grassroots outreach to fiscally conservative voters. The nonprofit Tea Party Patriots said it had received the donation from a single contributor who wants it divided up and given to local coordinators by Oct. 4. The group's spokesman told reporters that recipients of the money must spend it by Nov. 2, but they are barred from using it for ads or fliers that mention a specific candidate. Organizers said the donor wished to remain anonymous...more

NUGENT: Tea Party time is now

The Republican Party will make another strategic political blunder by not openly embracing the Tea Party and its candidates. What the GOP pundits, elites and establishment had better realize real quick is that Republicans need the Tea Party more than the Tea Party needs Republicans. Americans are not just frustrated with liberal Fedzillacrats who are addicted to all things big-government, like waste, unaccountability and enslavement. Americans who still cherish our Founding Fathers' vision also are disgusted with Republicans who purposefully strayed from their core values of limited government, responsible spending and lower taxes. Conservatives, the historic base of the GOP, watched in despair over the past 20 years or so as Republicans turned away from them and treated them as political pariahs, excess baggage and people to be shunned. Big, ugly, dumb mistake...more

'Tea party' movement faces challenge of having no single leader, goal

Even as it gains momentum and attracts substantial donations following a string of primary-election wins, the "tea party" movement is facing the challenges of a grass-roots organization that has no central leadership or single goal. On Tuesday, word spread that Tea Party Nation had canceled for lack of interest the convention it planned to hold in Las Vegas next month. Some tea party activists have frowned upon the Tennessee-based group, which was accused of profiteering when it charged $500 for admission to its first convention, in Nashville, in the spring. The tea party movement, a loose confederation of conservative activists who began organizing shortly after President Obama took office, is best known for its protests in Washington and elsewhere against what its members view as out-of-control spending. But the organization also includes national groups that have staged some of the demonstrations, donated money to political campaigns and organized other events...more

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Joe Arpaio: Sheriff's star rises with 'tea party,' illegal immigration fight

At a "tea party" rally near the US-Mexican border this summer to showcase Arizona's tough immigration law and its advocates, Sheriff Joe Arpaio was introduced as someone who "will not back down, no matter which way they write it, no matter which way they say it." He got a rock star welcome. Both revered and reviled for his dogged pursuit of illegal immigrants in the Phoenix area, the veteran lawman from Maricopa County has long been a lightning rod in the American immigration debate. But since the passage of SB 1070, the controversial Arizona immigration law that is now in legal limbo, Sheriff Arpaio and his efforts have been infused with a new resonance nationwide. He has emerged as a key figure in the debate over whether states have the right to enforce federal immigration laws. To admirers, Arpaio is a Goliath in the fight against illegal immigration...more

Monday, September 20, 2010

US comics cause stir with Tea Party jibes

Just four days before US voters go to the polls in the midterm elections on November 2, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, two of the country’s most popular comedians, will stage a “Restore Sanity to America” rally in Washington ironically modelled on recent Tea Party gatherings. Given the Democratic party’s inability so far to puncture the rise of a movement that polls say could sweep Republicans back to office six weeks from now, the comic rally may generate more than just laughter. Then again, it could be just another branding opportunity for two of the most lucrative comic shows in history. But one possibility worrying Democrats is that the rally will simply inflame Tea Party protesters further given that the Comedy Central network’s nightly audiences are dominated by educated liberals. Mr Colbert, who plays the persona of a rightwing talk show host, captured both sides of the double-edged sword when the rally was announced last week...more

Obama Aides Weigh Bid to Tie the G.O.P. to the Tea Party

President Obama’s political advisers, looking for ways to help Democrats and alter the course of the midterm elections in the final weeks, are considering a range of ideas, including national advertisements, to cast the Republican Party as all but taken over by Tea Party extremists, people involved in the discussion said. White House and Congressional Democratic strategists are trying to energize dispirited Democratic voters over the coming six weeks, in hopes of limiting the party’s losses and keeping control of the House and Senate. The strategists see openings to exploit after a string of Tea Party successes split Republicans in a number of states, culminating last week with developments that scrambled Senate races in Delaware and Alaska. “We need to get out the message that it’s now really dangerous to re-empower the Republican Party,” said one Democratic strategist who has spoken with White House advisers but requested anonymity to discuss private strategy talks. Democrats are divided. The party’s House and Senate campaign committees are resistant, not wanting to do anything that smacks of nationalizing the midterm elections when high unemployment and the drop in Mr. Obama’s popularity have made the climate so hostile to Democrats...more

Sunday, September 19, 2010

G.O.P. Insider Fuels Tea Party and Suspicion

In the days leading up to the Delaware primary, Sal Russo hosted a radio fund-raiser, organized a political rally and pressed the case with reporters that Christine O’Donnell was the Tea Party’s choice for the United States Senate. He also set off what he calls a “money bomb,” pouring at least $250,000 into television and other advertisements promoting the little-known candidate. With Ms. O’Donnell’s upset victory in the Republican primary on Tuesday, Mr. Russo, the chief strategist behind an upstart group called the Tea Party Express, had racked up another win. But in becoming one of the movement’s most successful players by helping Tea Party favorites oust incumbents or trounce rivals in four states, Mr. Russo is also fast becoming among the most divisive. Unlike many of the newly energized outsiders who have embraced Tea Party ideals, Mr. Russo, 63, is a longtime Republican operative who got his start as an aide to Ronald Reagan and later raised money and managed media strategy for a string of other politicians, including former Gov. George E. Pataki of New York. His history and spending practices have prompted some former employees and other Tea Party activists to question whether he is committed to, or merely exploiting, their cause...more

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tea Party's Rise Gives Business Pause

Business leaders and lobbyists are increasingly worried that the election of tea party-backed Republican candidates to Congress might threaten their priorities next year, fearing that these candidates' anti-spending fervor and opposition to special tax breaks would jeopardize prized programs. Business leaders clearly prefer a Republican-controlled Congress to a Democratic one, judging from their statements, endorsements and campaign contributions. They cite low taxes, less regulation and certainty in the business environment as among their top priorities in Washington, and many see Republicans as more responsive on these topics. But amid that support, some executives and lobbyists say they are growing spooked by the populist rhetoric they are hearing from some tea-party Republicans. Some candidates have said they want to take aim at a $30 billion annual package of tax breaks for a range of businesses—among them Wall Street firms, the timber industry, fast-food restaurants and the owners of NASCAR racetracks. Also in the line of fire are programs that many businesses have backed or at least quietly accepted as crisis measures, including the stimulus bill, the Wall Street and auto-industry rescues, the now-expired "cash-for-clunkers" car trade-in initiative and the temporary homebuyer's tax credit...more

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peggy Noonan: Why It's Time for the Tea Party

This fact marks our political age: The pendulum is swinging faster and in shorter arcs than it ever has in our lifetimes. Few foresaw the earthquake of 2008 in 2006. No board-certified political professional predicted, on Election Day 2008, what happened in 2009-10 (New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts) and has been happening, and will happen, since then. It all moves so quickly now, it all turns on a dime. But at this moment we are witnessing a shift that will likely have some enduring political impact. Another way of saying that: The past few years, a lot of people in politics have wondered about the possibility of a third party. Would it be possible to organize one? While they were wondering, a virtual third party was being born. And nobody organized it. Here is Jonathan Rauch in National Journal on the Tea Party's innovative, broad-based network: "In the expansive dominion of the Tea Party Patriots, which extends to thousands of local groups and literally countless activists," there is no chain of command, no hierarchy. Individuals "move the movement." Popular issues gain traction and are emphasized, unpopular ones die. "In American politics, radical decentralization has never been tried on such a large scale."...more

Viguerie in victory statement says Tea Party "poised to take over" GOP

Jubilation is spreading across the ranks of the Tea Party movement as the smoke clears from Tuesday's amazing barrage at the Republican Establishments in Delaware, New York, and New Hampshire. Long-time New Right leader Richard A. Viguerie, whose direct mail firm has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for conservative causes since the 1970s, said the Tea Party movement is "poised to take over" the GOP." He has been a major mover in the Tea Party movement with his web site. "Establishment Republicans have no idea how livid Americans are with them," Viguerie said. “Republican leaders are in a panic because they have lost control of the Republican Party. Grassroots constitutional conservatives are inside the Citadel, and are poised to take over." Viguerie pointed to the O'Donnell win, as well as New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino's defeat of former Rep. Rick Lazio and New Hampshire Senate candidate Ovide Lamontage's razor thin loss to former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, as the latest evidence that “all across the country -- in the Northeast, the South, the West -- Americans feel betrayed by Republican politicians. Last night’s election results show that the grassroots anger is directed at more than just the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Democrats."...more

Sen. DeMint relishes role as kingmaker

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) helped create the anti-Washington wave that has damaged his party’s chances of retaking the Senate this fall, and his GOP colleagues aren’t happy about it. While no one will confront DeMint directly about his role, Republican aides warn that the first-term senator could be punished if his involvement in GOP primaries is seen as a factor in Democrats retaining control of the upper chamber. “If on Nov. 3 there are two or three seats in Democratic control that otherwise would have been Republican victories, then that anger will come back up to the surface and there will be consequences,” said one aide, declining to cite specific punishments DeMint might face. Anger toward DeMint boiled over after the GOP establishment learned that Christine O’Donnell, a controversial conservative backed by DeMint, upset the party’s favored candidate, Rep. Mike Castle, in Delaware’s Republican Senate primary. DeMint’s critics acknowledge that he has become a force to be reckoned with in Republican politics. “The feeling is definitely that DeMint is not helping,” said a Senate Republican aide. “Were people angry last night and this morning? Yes. Does DeMint have a lot to answer for? Absolutely. But the general consensus is ‘Let’s move forward.’...

The rest of the article from The Hill is about DeMint, but these first few paragraphs give you a window into how the Senate Republicans and their staff think. It's all about the majority, i.e. power.

In his piece Don’t Repeat the Mistakes of the Past Ben Domenech writes:

Conservatives should not tolerate the likes of Mike Castle because of the simple fact that a 51 member Senate with Mike Castle is a Senate where Mike Castle is the most important vote in the room. As Specter and others before him, that Senator will set the terms of policy debates, determining in advance what can succeed and fail. Those who advance the argument that a majority with Castle is better than being in the minority tend to place priorities on Senate committee chairmanships and staff ratios and lobbyist cash… a list which pales in comparison to the power they would wield as the broker for both sides. Again and again I saw this play out during my time as a Senate staffer, and anyone who tells you contrary is incredibly naive about the way legislative decisions are made. As a friend of mine in the business of campaigns and elections has said, electing moderates simply to secure a majority for Republicans is a self-defeating proposition. We’ve seen this play out time and again. Career politicians abhor principle, and adore power and fecklessness. Their presence in Washington provides constant aid and comfort to the Left. They dilute the brand, confuse voters and sell out conservatives just at the moment they are needed most...

Ben's got it right.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

'Tea party' win in Del. is message to the GOP

"Tea party" activists have been saying all along that their movement is about something more than winning elections. And as the bloody Republican primary season reaches an end, they have proved they really mean it. Their parting shot at the Republican establishment was their loudest. In defeating the GOP's strong prospect for picking up a Senate seat in Delaware - thereby dampening its chances of regaining a Senate majority - the tea party has delivered a clear message to the Republican establishment: You are not in charge. "This is about changing the system," Christine O'Donnell, the tea party pick, said Tuesday night as she celebrated her stunning primary victory over Rep. Michael N. Castle. Her upset was the biggest in a string of tea party wins this season over establishment-backed candidates in Alaska, Colorado, Kentucky, New York and Utah...more

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One nation under revolt

The Tea Party movement has become one of the most powerful and extraordinary movements in recent American political history. It is as popular as both the Democratic and Republican parties. It is potentially strong enough to elect senators, governors and congressmen. It may even be strong enough to elect the next president of the United States -- time will tell. But the Tea Party movement has been one of the most derided and minimized and, frankly, most disrespected movements in American history. Yet, despite being systematically ignored, belittled, marginalized, and ostracized by political, academic, and media elites, the Tea Party movement has grown stronger and stronger...more

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gangster Government Stifles Criticism of Obamacare

"There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases." That sounds like a stern headmistress dressing down some sophomores who have been misbehaving. But it's actually from a letter sent Thursday from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans -- the chief lobbyist for private health insurance companies. Sebelius objects to claims by health insurers that they are raising premiums because of increased costs imposed by the Obamacare law passed by Congress last March. As Time magazine's Karen Pickert points out, Sebelius ignores the fact that individual insurance plans cover different types of populations. So that government and "some" industry and academic experts think the new law will justify increases averaging 1 percent or 2 percent, they could justify much larger increases for certain plans. Or as Ignagni, the recipient of the letter, says, "It's a basic law of economics that additional benefits incur additional costs." But Sebelius has "zero tolerance" for that kind of thing. She promises to issue regulations to require "state or federal review of all potentially unreasonable rate increases" (which would presumably mean all rate increases). And there's a threat. "We will also keep track of insurers with a record of unjustified rate increases: those plans may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014."...more

More are willing to admit they support the Tea Party

The anti-tax Tea Party is gaining traction as 41 percent of likely voters support the movement publicly, up from 34 percent in August. The uptick comes as lawmakers prepare to debate the fate of Bush-era tax cuts. Friday's poll results could potentially make it more difficult for Republicans to support President Obama's plan to continue the tax breaks benefiting the middle-class while allowing the ones for the wealthy to expire on schedule at the end of the year. Sources said there is growing concern among Republicans that supporting any tax increase might provoke opposition from the Tea Party and hurt their reelection bids. "We are staring to see an interesting trend emerging from the [poll]," said Vik Rubenfeld, who oversaw the survey. "The number of Tea Party supporters who are willing to endorse the movement publicly has jumped seven points in one month, steadily rising from 34 to 41 percent. Meanwhile, overall support for the Tea Party remains stable among likely voters."...more

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coast to coast, tea partiers promote their cause

Originally billed as a chance to reflect on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a series of raucous tea party rallies around the country on Sunday ended up focusing almost entirely on an event still to come — the Nov. 2 election. "We are your everyday, average, churchgoing families, we represent the majority of people in this nation, and we're ready to take back our government," said Pam Pinkston of Fair Oaks, Calif., one of about 4,000 people to attend Sacramento's "United to the Finish" gathering. Thousands of tea party activists also turned up at rallies in Washington, D.C., and St. Louis to spread their message of smaller government and focus their political movement on the pivotal congressional elections in November. Several thousand people marched along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Washington Monument to the Capitol, many carrying signs reading "Congress You're Fired" and "Let Failures Fail and "Impeach Obama."...more

Glenn Beck: Tea Party Pooper?

It's starting to look like a big tea party rally planned for the National Mall on Saturday—the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks—could be a major bust. If so, a surprising culprit may be to blame for the flop: Glenn Beck, who essentially launched a movement and then bailed on it when it really counted. Since late last year, activists affiliated with Beck's 9.12 Project have been furiously promoting and fundraising for the event, dubbed the "March on DC." Organizers initially made it sound as though millions of activists were prepared to descend on the Mall in an outpouring of anti-government outrage. Now, though, it seems like the event could draw fewer than 2,000 people. What's Beck's role in the potential bust? Here's the back story...more

Tea Partiers Blame Mother Nature And Glenn Beck For Diminished 9/12 Crowd

As we await the start of the speaking portion of today's tea party program here in DC, the 9/12 crowd has swelled from the small group gathered at the Washington Monument this morning. But even with the addition of new tea partiers, the crowd remains significantly smaller than all the other nationally-promoted, FreedomWorks-backed DC events I can remember. The question of the day, then, is why? The tea partiers on the ground who I spoke to today blame two powerful figures: Mother Nature and Glenn Beck. The weather remains dreary -- though at least it's dry now -- and folks marching to the Capitol this morning said the gray skies kept some tea partiers at home. But they also blamed Beck, whose August 28 rally at the Lincoln Memorial stole almost all the the thunder from today's poltical rally. One local college student I walked with for a few blocks said Beck's rally did more than just suck all the air away from today's event -- it also turned some off to the movement itself with its weird Beck-centric religiosity...more

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tea Party Express labels FEC complaint ’smear campaign’

The Tea Party Express fired back Friday after the Delaware Republican Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against the group, alleging illegal coordination with the Senate campaign of Christine O'Donnell. O'Donnell is challenging Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) in the state's GOP Senate primary set for Tuesday. "These are desperate and baseless charges," the group said in a statement. "The Tea Party Express makes all its own decisions regarding the candidates it supports and the campaign activities in which we engage. Tea Party Express has never campaigned for a candidate at that candidate's request, suggestion or direction — whether it is Christine O'Donnell or any other candidate." The Tea Party Express has been running radio and TV ads supporting O'Donnell and the complaint alleges the group has coordinated with the O'Donnell campaign on its paid communications in violation of federal election law...more

Friday, September 10, 2010

Liberals desperate to connect Tea Party with domestic terrorism

Tea Party leaders say a series of reports by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attempting to connect the Tea Party movement with domestic terrorists in the militia movement shows how desperate the left has become trying to stop the political juggernaut. The group says individuals such as Glenn Beck, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann — all regulars at major Tea Party gatherings — have given widespread visibility for ideas espoused by the militia movement, or the “Patriot movement” as SPLC calls it. “The ‘tea parties’ and similar groups that have sprung up in recent months cannot fairly be considered extremist groups, but they are shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism,” Mark Potok, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, wrote in a piece titled “Rage On The Right: The Year In Hate And Extremism” from the group’s Spring 2010 edition of its Intelligence Report. SPLC also sees a connection between the “paranoid” antigovernment ideas espoused by extremist militias, racist skinheads, and the ideas espoused by prominent Tea Partiers...more

Free-Market Activist to Take on Big Business at D.C. Tea Party Rally

Washington, D.C. - Speaking to the "March on D.C." tea party at the U.S. Capitol on September 12, Free Enterprise Project Director Dr. Tom Borelli will take some of America's largest corporate leaders to task for colluding with the Obama White House on a "cap-and-trade" climate policy that would devastate the nation's already ailing economy.

"Cap-and-trade is a central part of Obama's war on fossil fuels," said Borelli. "Obama has partnered with his big business allies including GE, Duke Energy and Johnson and Johnson to advance his global warming policy. Obama may push for a cap-and-trade bill to be passed during the lame duck session of Congress even though this policy is unpopular with Americans and it will harm the economy through high energy prices. The partnership between big government and big businesses threatens our liberty."

The rally portion of the March on D.C., organized by FreedomWorks, is scheduled to start at 2:00 PM eastern on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The Free Enterprise Project is a program of the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Borelli has taken on some of America's biggest business leaders -- including the heads of General Electric, Caterpillar, Duke Energy, Johnson and Johnson and PG&E -- because of their support of a cap-and-trade energy policy.

Most recently, a joint ad campaign undertaken by the National Center for Public Policy Research and FreedomWorks was credited with helping force heavy-equipment manufacturer Deere and Company to withdraw from the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of businesses and radical environmental groups lobbying for cap-and-trade regulations.

The Free Enterprise Project is also calling on the public to sign a petition calling on GE CEO Jeff Immelt to resign due to his lobbying for economically risky Obama Administration initiatives and simultaneously running the MSNBC news network. The petition can be found at

"Tea party activists are just as mad at corporate America as they are with politicians who are selling out their freedom," said Borelli. "Tea partiers want CEOs to be held accountable for trying to make a buck at the cost of people's liberty and economic futures."

For interviews with Dr. Borelli, please contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan conservative, free-market think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, and receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporations. It can be visited online at


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Special Report: The Tea Party goes to school

But the conservative upstart is determined to shed its amateur status. To that end, members are literally going to school. They are taking part in training sessions, some of which are underwritten by established conservative groups like American Majority, the Leadership Institute and Americans for Prosperity. Indeed, an up-close look at the Tea Party in 15 states over a three-month period during this summer's political primaries showed a group striving to make the transition from unruly protesters to effective activists. Their near term goal is to gain a foothold at the most basic levels of government -- from city councils to state assemblies. If they succeed, say political analysts, they could be a significant factor well beyond the November 2 midterm elections and could help shape the 2012 presidential race...more

Some Supporters Fret as GOP Readies Agenda

Just weeks before House Republican leaders are set to announce the contents of a proposed governing agenda if they retake the majority, some GOP politicians and grasstops activists are growing nervous about those plans. House GOP leaders scheduled the rollout for these guiding principles -- similar to former Speaker Newt Gingrich's 1994 "Contract With America" -- late in the campaign cycle, in part to avoid internal struggles and criticism from Democrats just when on the cusp of a potential return to power. But both the substance of what the GOP leaders will unveil later this month and the method for collecting the ideas that will comprise the list has some of their own worried, including candidates and conservative activists...more

Real Radicals Running Wild In Washington

While the administration of Barack Obama attempts to portray the Tea Party as a "fringe" movement that doesn't share America's "mainstream" values, it is working concurrently to erase many of these values from our society. Lurking beneath the unconstitutional mandates of "ObamaCare," the reckless deficit spending and the draconian new regulations and taxes being imposed on our free-market economy, Obama and his radical allies are moving in numerous, more subtle ways to erase America's identity. Take the U.S. Department of Justice Web site, which according to the American Spectator recently shed its red, white and blue banner in favor of a stark gold and black theme. Of course it's not the colors that are necessarily worth noting, it's the new quotation that's featured prominently on nearly every page of the web site: "The common law is the will of mankind, issuing from the life of the people." Justice Department employees informed the Spectator that this quote originated from a globalist manifesto published by C. Wilfred Jenks, a former labor leader and key proponent of "international law."...more

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Both Parties Say Tea Party Hands Them November Wins

Republican Senators on Sunday predicted widespread victories for their party in November, but Democratic Party operatives said they could keep their hold on Congress thanks to the same group of voters earning GOP praise: the tea party movement. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) speculated that his party will do “very well” in November but said its members must come up with a “Contract With America” — a reference to the GOP document crafted during the 1994 elections — that details what they will do if they become the majority. Both McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who appeared separately on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” praised the tea party movement and said its members bring energy to the GOP that could translate to wins in November. “Tea partiers are a great addition,” McCain said. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine conceded that “the polls are challenging right now” for his party, but he said it stands to benefit from the GOP candidates who are “far out of the mainstream,” namely from the tea party movement. “We’re going to win some surprising races because of who the other guys put up,” Kaine said on “Fox News Sunday.”...more

McCain wants a "Contract With America" and Graham praises the Tea Party? Somebody please slap me awake.

NM and The US Dept. of Education's "Race to the Top"

The US Dept. of Education awarded $3.4 billion to nine states and the District of Columbia in this competition. Winners received at least 440 points out of 500. New Mexico scored 305 points.

Noted about NM’s application:
1. strengths in student assessment;
2. skepticism regarding the reform plan and stakeholder commitment; and
3. lack of an action plan (who, how, what, when) with a detailed budget.

Highlights of NM’s application include:
Zero out of 28 points on “using evaluations to inform key decisions”;
Zero out of 15 in “ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals in high poverty schools”;
Zero out of 14 in “improving the effectiveness of teacher and principal preparation programs”; and
40 points out of 40 for ensuring successful high-performing charter schools.
* Information compiled by the Legislative Finance Committee.

It is my hope that candidates will be sincere and focused in addressing educational issues. Likewise, as voters we must be discerning and not allow the rhetoric to distract us from what needs to be accomplished for our sons and daughters. Perhaps, it is time we hold elected officials accountable for results and not merely socially promote them. I urge you to carefully consider the devastating effect these poor outcomes are having on our students and our community.

You may remember Governor Johnson pushed to change the independently elected State Board of Education to a Secretary of Education structure. Under this organization, the governor would appoint the Cabinet Secretary, and we would finally have accountability! The Legislature never allowed the Johnson Administration to move in this direction.

Governor Richardson promised educational reforms and results; just give him the tools to be successful. The Legislature agreed to send this change to the voters for their consideration. He also pressed the voters to change our State Constitution to take more money from our Severance Tax Permanent Fund to invest in education. The electorate, knowing the importance of a quality education, granted both of these initiatives.

We are now at the end of Governor Richardson’s second term. New Mexico’s 40+% dropout rate has worsened during his term of office, and there are plenty of reasons (excuses) for the failure of our students. The US Department of Education’s Race to the Top under President Obama provides some unbiased perspective.

As we celebrate Labor Day, let us commit to fully preparing our students for the work force with quality education!

Received from Lee Rawson

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FreedomWorks fights back against NAACP’s accusations of Tea Party ‘racism’

Dick Armey’s conservative organization FreedomWorks is readying for the launch of a comprehensive political program aimed at debunking the NAACP’s race-charged attacks on the Tea Party movement. FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe said the organization will roll out Diverse Tea, a platform and advertising campaign that will showcase diversity in the Tea Party movement, sometime this week or early next week. “The idea is to create a platform for African-American Tea Party leaders, Hispanic Tea Party leaders and Jewish Tea Party leaders to get out there and talk about why they’re involved and why these issues matter so much to them,” Kibbe said. Kibbe said the NAACP is trying to change the conversation from the “failed policies of the stimulus and they don’t want to talk about unemployment and they sure as heck don’t want to talk about a government takeover of health care.”...more

Sunday, September 5, 2010

NAACP, Left-Leaning Media Groups Form Tea Party Tracking Site

A new website sponsored by the NAACP and left-leaning media operations is seeking videographers and bloggers who will search out "racism" and "extremism" among Tea Partiers. will feature tweets, interviews with people at rallies, blog entries and a picture of a t-shirt they say someone spotted at a rally that reads "Blacks own slaves in Mauitania, Sudan, Niger & Haiti." The site, sponsored by the NAACP, Think Progress, New Left Media and Media Matters for America, will monitor "racism and other forms of extremism within the Tea Party movement. We call on the Tea Party to repudiate extremists among their ranks and join in civil dialogue with all Americans."...more

Saturday, September 4, 2010

More on the Koch brothers

Koch Industries Funding Fight Against Climate Change Law The Yes on 23 Committee, a.k.a. the California Jobs Initiative, a.k.a. the November ballot initiative Proposition 23 which would suspend AB32, California’s climate change law, became $2 million richer yesterday. The funding came through $1 million donation from Flint Hills Resources, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, and another $1 million by another oil refiner, Tesoro, reports the Sacramento Bee...

The New Yorker on David and Charles Koch The idea that the campaign is "covert" is echoed in the text of the article, which says, "In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular." Ms. Mayer also uses an anonymous quote to try to prove her point: "The Republican campaign consultant said of the family's political activities, 'To call them under the radar is an understatement. They are underground!'" But there's nothing covert or stealthy or underground about it, as evidenced by the fact that Ms. Mayer is able to write about it in her article. The details are readily available on Web sites, federal election records available on the Internet, and in tax returns that are posted on Web sites...

Nick Gillespie at Reason ...the story is a masterpiece not of the tightly researched and argued journalism for which The New Yorker is revered, but of sly innuendo and revelations as lame as they are breathless. Exactly how are the Koch brothers under the radar or underground? They show up every year in the Forbes super-rich lists. Charles Koch wrote a best-selling business book a year or two ago and makes no secret of his belief in free markets and limited government. David Koch ran for vice president of these United States on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980 (where he helped Ed Clark pull over 900,000 votes, by far the highest total gained by the LP). Both are known for a wide range of philanthropic giving, whether to arts and medical outfits or think tanks or political action groups...

The Kochs Should Come Out of the Closet This month, though, you got it from both barrels of what Andrew Breitbart likes to call the Democrat-Media Complex. On Aug. 9, President Obama spoke at a fundraiser in Texas and warned Democrats of "groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity" with shadowy funding sources and the power to distort elections. "You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation," said Obama. "You don't know if it's a big oil company, or a big bank." Just two weeks later, The New Yorker published a 10,000 word profile of David and Charles Koch, the billionaires who have poured profits from their oil, chemical, and manufacturing companies into a network of libertarian think tanks and activist groups—such as, for example, Americans for Prosperity.

New York media should read Koch's book It's an appealing idea to liberals that the owners of a privately held company in red-state Kansas, pursuing their anti-tax, anti-regulation agenda, are cynically manipulating the yahoos who believe President Obama is a Muslim and that death panels will do away with Granny. The truth seems more complicated and the Kochs' agenda more transparent. Koch funding of Americans for Prosperity and other advocacy groups may well have provided a catalyst for the tea party movement, but the voter anger is quite genuine. If you want to understand the Kochs' agenda, read Charles Koch's 2007 book, "The Science of Success." He makes the strong case that companies, nations and individuals thrive where free markets flourish. Koch Industries has grown into one of the world's largest private companies pursuing his market-based management philosophy...

Left's double standard on Kochs and Soros Mayer did write a 2004 article on Soros, but she implies throughout that his political giving is motivated by a desire to make the world a better place rather than out of economic self-interest. Mayer uncritically quotes a Soros spokesman saying "none of his contributions are in the service of his own economic interests." She notes that the campaign-finance regulations Soros backed also empowered the 527 organizations he was funding, but she calls this "an unintended consequence" of "reform." Rich buys the Soros line, writing: "like many liberals -- selflessly or foolishly, depending on your point of view -- [Soros] supports causes that are unrelated to his business interests and that, if anything, raise his taxes."...more

Liberal Billionaires Good, Conservative Billionaires Evil Liberals love their billionaires, a very long and sometimes radical list that includes Barack Obama's special favorites Warren Buffet and George Soros. Nor is there any fear that Michelle Obama, Queen of Aragon, will seriously attack the diabetes factory called Coca Cola, one of Buffet's largest equity positions, during her crusade against childhood obesity. The special case of George Soros, Nazi collaborator, destroyer of British sterling, funder of countless nefarious leftist causes and one of the most frequent visitors to the White House has been described in detail elsewhere. For liberals there is a special place in hell for conservative billionaires who support free market economic think tanks and causes...more

Friday, September 3, 2010

Toxic Tea for the GOP?

For some strange reason, Michael Gerson, former speech writer for President George W. Bush, used his space as an editorial writer for the Washington Post to send a warning to "the GOP." I used the quotes there because he's clearly not talking about the grassroots conservatives that make up the base, heart, and soul of the party. Perhaps he is talking to the stuffy insiders that are more concerned about simply gaining and holding onto power rather than those who actually advance the Republican/conservative agenda. The premise of this op-ed is simple: "Tea Party populism is just as clearly incompatible with some conservative and Republican beliefs." This statement is completely and utterly false. His op-ed is built off of three ridiculous "questions" that he then matches to particular candidates in order to make his point. Starting with Social Security and Medicare, Gerson basically states that it's better to be a big government conservative than to stand up and demand that these programs be reformed or eliminated. Big government conservatism is what got us into this mess of Democrat control. When grassroots activists work hard to get Republicans in office and then they don't act like Republicans, then something has to give. The elections of 2006 and 2008 were the result. And Gerson thinks that's the way to go? More spending and more government?...more

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Federal spending rises a record 16%

Federal domestic spending increased a record 16 percent, to $3.2 trillion, in 2009, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday, largely because of a boost in aid to the unemployed and the huge economic stimulus package enacted to rescue the sinking economy. The rise in spending was the largest since the Census Bureau began compiling the data in 1983. The Washington region was among the biggest beneficiaries of the government's spending. Overall, the largest chunk of federal spending - about 46 percent of the $3.2 trillion - went to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, entitlement programs that are projected to swell as the population ages. Pay for federal employees accounted for nearly $300 billion of the spending and nearly half of that went to the defense payroll...more

The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation...more

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gay marriage-backing billionaire David Koch comes to Tea Party

Mr Koch, 70, has emerged as one of the principal financial backers of the conservative Tea Party movement that is shaking up US politics ahead of November's mid-term elections. His political foundation, Americans for Prosperity, has played a major role organising national rallies against Barack Obama's tax policies. Mr Koch has publicly opposed the Democratic President's healthcare reforms, climate change proposals and attempts to regulate financial markets. Although insisting to New York magazine last week he had "never been to a Tea Party event" - and distancing himself from the movement's racist fringe - he expressed sympathy for the grassroots anti-Washington rebellion that has shaken politicians from both main parties. "(The Tea Party) demonstrates a powerful visceral hostility in the body politic against the massive increase in government power, the massive efforts to socialise this country, which goes against the conservative grain of the average American," he said...more