"On a last-minute visit for Republican John Raese's Senate campaign, Sarah Palin said Democratic Gov. Joe Manchin is a "nice guy" who's better off sticking with his current gig.
"Again and again, the American people are forced to confront the fact that its ruling class is not on its side." Angelo Codevilla, The Lost Decade
“If the Democrats continue to stand firmly for immigrant rights, the issue will define immigrants’ voting loyalties for a generation. If we are successful, a gigantic block of progressive votes will enter the electorate over the next 15 years—a block that could be decisive in the battle for the future.”"...
Creamer is also a former lobbyist for George Soros Open Society Institute.
Ms. Martin, a software manager by training and part-time blogger,
As her family's fortunes crumbled, Congress—including Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), for whose campaign Ms. Martin had volunteered—voted for President George Bush's bill to bail out the big Wall Street banks.
Ms. Martin was enraged. "It wasn't because the government didn't bail my husband's business out," she says. "Sometimes it stinks when your business goes bad. But it's part of our system.… The government doesn't need to come in and hold a business up and keep it from failing."
In the span of a few weeks in February and March 2009, the two women met on a conference call and helped found the first major national organization
Within months, they became two of the central figures in the most dynamic force in American politics this year.
Ms. Kremer, 39, currently chairs the political action committee known as the Tea Party Express. It has raised millions of dollars for upstart candidates and engineered the campaign that threatens Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Ms. Martin, 40, is national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, an umbrella group claiming affiliation with nearly 3,000 local groups around the U.S. Leaving her young son and daughter at home, she is on a 30-city tour, revving up activists for the victory she is counting on next Tuesday.
Powered predominantly by middle-aged, middle-class Americans with limited political experience, the tea-party movement burst out of economic upheaval and the sense among some conservatives that
It is a braid of many strands of discontent and passion, ranging from opposition to illegal immigration and a national sales tax to support for gun rights. A vocal faction questioning Mr. Obama's legal eligibility to be president provided another source of grassroots fuel.
Today, just two years after a sweeping Democratic victory, the tea-party movement is poised to redraw the landscape again. Nurtured by online networking, it helped disparate activists across the nation link up and push aside high-profile Republican leaders in multiple states this year. Next Tuesday, the movement is expected to topple dozens of Democrats, perhaps Mr. Reid himself.
In the tea party's short life, its leaders have been tested by surprise successes and shattered alliances. They've wrestled with embarrassing revelations about some early leaders that drew charges of racism and xenophobia. Ms. Martin and Ms. Kremer, once friendly, are now embittered toward each other.
Many conservatives felt Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign had never fully exploited the Internet to raise money and unite disparate activists. The Obama team had proven deft at harnessing technology.
The Democrats' success annoyed Michael Patrick Leahy, a Nashville technology consultant. In late November, he set up a list of
"I found there were a lot of conservatives on Twitter, and they were lonesome and competitive," he says. "We got up to 1,500 within weeks." Among them was Eric Odom, who had compiled a large list of activists through a group working to lift the offshore-drilling ban.
In Washington Township, N.J., Stacy Mott, a stay-at-home mother with a toddler and twin babies, had grown disgusted with both parties. A final straw came when, on Dec. 16,
"That really inflamed conservatives," she says. The salt in the wound: Mr. Obama's election. "My biggest concern was knowing that they were going to have control of both houses…and shove as much stuff through as they could," Ms. Mott says.
"It appeared that he was going to continue to bail out the banks, the auto industry,
Ms. Mott decided to start a blog for conservative women, Smart Girl Politics, and launched a social-networking site by the same name. That drew in Ms. Kremer and Ms. Martin from Atlanta, who still didn't know one another.
In Seattle, Keli Carender, a 20-something teacher and improv comedian, was also angry at Mr. Bush's "I've abandoned" moment. She felt Mr. Obama's stimulus would be a historic boondoggle. She tried calling the offices of her two U.S. senators, both Democrats, to complain, but says their voicemail boxes were full.
"You wake up and realize you have no voice. It's a sinking feeling."
Ms. Carender blogged, too, but decided to do more: She staged a protest. She promoted it on a local talk-radio show and emailed conservative blogger and sometime Fox news consultant
On Feb. 17, Ms. Carender was shocked to see 120 people show up at a local park. Tea-party lore credits her event as the first protest of the movement.
By mid-winter 2009, thousands of conservatives, agitated by the bailouts and the stimulus bill then in Congress, were linking up online, mostly commiserating. Those ties, though, provided
On Feb. 19, Rick Santelli, a 54-year-old CNBC commentator covering financial markets, was broadcasting live from the Chicago Board of Trade. He had doubts about the government's response to the economic meltdown. The day before, the Obama administration had unveiled
Mr. Santelli grew agitated on air.
"This is America!" he yelled. "How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills?"
Behind him, traders cheered. "We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July," Mr. Santelli shouted.
Critics have said the outburst must have been planned. Mr. Santelli says his monologue was spontaneous. The only "hook to the tea party" in his mind, he says, was that
The rant went viral. The Smart Girl Politics group, which then had around 400 active members, lit up. Ms. Mott says: "Half our members were emailing 'What can we do?'
In Georgia, Ms. Martin heard a snippet of the rant while driving between two houses she was cleaning. "We had just lost our house," she recalls, in bankruptcy proceedings.
Ms. Martin said she and her husband realized they could no longer afford their home, and didn't try to keep it. "We decided it would be better to just start over." It was maddening, she says, to imagine the government encouraging others not to take responsibility for buying houses they couldn't afford.
Mr. Leahy of the #tcot group twittered a phone number for a conference call to discuss the rant. On Feb. 20, more than 20 activists dialed in, including Ms. Martin and Ms. Kremer from Georgia and Ms. Carender in Seattle.
The group decided July 4 was too long to wait. So it set out to organize simultaneous rallies in cities nationwide—in less than a week. That set off a frenzy.
With a clumsy motto—"Repeal the Pork or Retire"—and frantic calls, the activists threw themselves into full-time organizing. They fielded queries from dozens, then hundreds, of people, often on basic matters like obtaining march permits.
"I was like a therapist at the time," says Ms. Kremer.
On Feb. 27, about 50 events took place across the country. Most drew scores or low hundreds of participants. Ms. Carender, at the same Seattle park where she'd held her first event, drew a bigger crowd of 300.
The tea-party conference calls began looking ahead to April 15—federal tax-filing day. The group at first hoped to stage events in at least 40 cities that day. "We lost track at 830" cities and towns, Mr. Leahy said later.
The effort ran on a shoestring. There was no mechanism for taking contributions, no offices or bookkeeping system. Facebook pages became the central directory.
Scores, and then hundreds, of local groups began forming around the country,
But while people like Ms. Kremer and Ms. Martin—who were still unpaid volunteers at that point—have become the face of the tea party, the movement's success was also being supported by wealthy interests. They included Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, groups born from a conservative think tank formed in the 1980s by members of the Koch family, who run oil-and-gas conglomerate Koch Industries Inc.
while standing in her kitchen one day in April, her husband blurted out a suggested name: Tea Party Patriots.
The next month, Ms. Martin, Ms. Kremer and another activist, Mark Meckler, a Grass Valley, Calif., Internet marketer and attorney,
Media attention grew. Fox News personality Glenn Beck, less than three months into his new show on the network, began touting April 15's planned rallies. He launched his own initiative, the 9/12 Project. Ms. Malkin, the blogger, promoted the events, as did Fox's Sean Hannity. (Fox, like The Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp.)
The publicity helped spread the word. On April 15, hundreds of thousands of people—no one can provide a specific number with certainty—gathered in city halls, at post offices, at town squares, parks, and along busy streets.
In Richmond, Va., Colleen Owens, a 48-year-old stay-at-home mother, joined a throng. Aside from voting Republican, she had never been politically active.
"After Bush, I thought, 'Things will get better. We'll be out of these wars,'" she says. Instead, "we were basically heading down a cliff." Few of her friends and neighbors shared the anxiety, she says.
The movement's success, in just a few weeks' time, was stunning. In a tacit acknowledgment, the White House held its own event on April 15, promoting tax cuts the administration had pushed through."...(I don't recall any tax cuts, do recall hearing something labeled as such which wasn't really a tax cut, will check. ed.) (continuing, Wall St. Journal): "Republican Party leaders praised the rallies,
Tea Party organizers weren't sure either. "We never said we were going to build some vast network," says Mr. Meckler. "We were just people who didn't really know what we were doing."
Meanwhile, a new initiative was brewing on the West Coast. Sal Russo, a Republican consultant who advised Ronald Reagan in the 1960s and 1970s, sensed the movement's potential after witnessing the rally in Sacramento, Calif. "There were 400 or 500 people there," he says. "We were flabbergasted."
Frustrated with John McCain's lackluster presidential run, Mr. Russo in 2008 had set up a political action committee,
Instead, he and a colleague, Joe Wierzbicki, recast it as a tea-party-themed group. He organized a cross-country bus tour—a favorite tactic—to spread the word.
Early on, Tea Party Express and Tea Party Patriots began taking different paths, reflecting the first serious split in the movement.
"Our local coordinators told us they didn't want us to endorse candidates," says Ms. Martin of the Patriots group. "They were tired of people coming in and telling them what to do." Mr. Leahy, the founder, dropped out.
The emerging debate was colored by White House plans to pass health-care legislation. Many tea-party activists saw that plan as a massive, costly extension of federal power into Americans' private lives.
In June, FreedomWorks, the libertarian group, put out a "Healthcare Freedom Action Kit" including, among other things, talking points on how to "keep socialized medicine out of the budget" and a 300-word sample letter to the editor.
Around that time, as Democrats staged "town hall" meetings, an activist affiliated with Tea Party Patriots circulated a memo coaching people to disrupt the events. "Rock-the-boat," the memo said. "Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge" the representative. "The goal is to rattle him.""...
Tea Party Express was preparing its first bus tour, and had invited Tea Party Patriots to join. Mr. Meckler and Ms. Martin were reluctant: Their group, the Patriots, had decided not to endorse or fund specific candidates, so they worried that participating might violate their followers' wishes, and their nonpartisan tax status.
Ultimately, she rode on the tour. There she began to find her voice in front of crowds, and liked it.
The tour ended in Washington, D.C., at a rally organized by Glenn Beck's 9/12 Project that attracted at least 75,000 people. Ms. Kremer came back "a changed person," she says. "I didn't need to stand in the shadows of Jenny Beth Martin and Mark Meckler" she says. "I felt good about myself."
The movement's fame brought attention and drew unwanted messages from some members. Just before the Express tour, a prominent Florida physician and tea-party activist named David McKalip forwarded a doctored image of Mr.Obama as a tribal witch doctor with a bone through his nose to a Google listserve associated with the movement. Critics seized on the episode as evidence of racist tendencies in the tea party.
Dr. McKalip apologized publicly. (In an email to The Wall Street Journal, he said he didn't create the image and "forwarded it in the middle of the night without thinking.") But the incident became a wedge among activists. Ms. Kremer sent an email in defense of Dr. McKalip. "David, we all support you fully and are here for you," she wrote. "I can assure you of one thing and that is we will protect our own. We all have your back, my friend!"
Other Tea Party Patriots were outraged. "The rest of us flipped out. We saw this as racism plain and simple," said Mr. Meckler.
Ms. Kremer balked. "I cried about it and prayed about it and got back on the phone and said, 'Hell no, I'm not stepping down, I started this," she later recalled saying.
"I'm not a racist, and if they tear us down one by one then they'll get rid of us."
But relations quickly deteriorated. At one meeting, Ms. Kremer indicated she had hired her own lawyers and might try to claim ownership of the group's intellectual property, according to an affidavit from Ms. Martin. A few weeks later, she was voted off the board.
In countersuits filed in a suburban Atlanta county court, Mr. Kremer and Tea Party Patriots are now fighting out who owns what.
Ms. Kremer immediately shifted her allegiances to Tea Party Express.
One of her first moves: urging it to back a little-known Republican who had taken on—against all odds—Massachusetts Attorney Gen. Martha Coakley for the Senate seat left vacant by Edward M. Kennedy's death.
Mr. Brown's public vow to be the 41st vote in the U.S. Senate against Mr. Obama's proposed health-care overhaul energized tea-party support. Tea Party Express began generating money for Mr. Brown (about $350,000) and attention among activists all over the country.
"There was all of a sudden, this unbelievable flurry of Internet traffic about, 'Hey, what if we could take Kennedy's seat?'" said William Temple, a 60-year-old pastor south of Savannah, Ga., and vice president of the Golden Isles Tea Party there.
On election night, Mr. Brown defeated Ms. Coakley handily. Tea party activists had undoubtedly been a key factor in the election—
the first significant victory for a movement starting to feel its power."
via Free Republic
10/30/10, RedState.com poster Colawman: "Former Democratic United States Attorney for Colorado, Henry Solano came out swinging in defense of Ken Buck.
“During my five-year tenure, historic accomplishments were achieved with Buck as a supervisor. He was instrumental in the success of the office and that of the staff attorneys involved, including opening fully staffed offices in Durango and Grand Junction and establishing an appellate division.”
Solano goes on to address the Golyansky case which has been the source of numerous attack ads against Ken Buck. The case was first used by Jane Norton to attack Ken Buck in her unsuccessful primary campaign. Michael Bennet and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee continue to use the case in an attempt to undermine what now appears to be an enviable and highly successful career at the US Attorney’s office.
“Between my leaving and Strickland becoming U.S. attorney, the Columbine tragedy occurred.
The Justice Department has strongly denied the allegations in the report, which follows the commission's year-long investigation into the Obama administration's handling of the 2008 incident. The Bush administration had filed the lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party members, but the Justice Department under the Obama administration dismissed most of the case.
The commission needs five members present to meet quorum.
"This has been a procedural and partisan farce from the beginning,'' Yaki said in an impromptu news conference. "It's not my responsibility to make a quorum for this kangaroo court ... they want to score political points against the Obama Justice Department.''
failing to turn over key documents and instructing witnesses not to testify.
"The degree of stonewalling that the Justice Department has engaged in is unprecedented in the 53-year history of the commission,'' said commissioner Todd F. Gaziano, a senior fellow in legal studies at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The accusations illustrate the partisan nature of the debate over the New Black Panther Party case, which triggered outrage from conservatives and congressional Republicans, two internal Justice Department inquiries and the civil rights commission investigation.
has eight members -- four presidential appointees and four appointed by Congress.
Justice officials have said the case's dismissal was based on a legal analysis and insufficient evidence. They have denied stonewalling the commission's investigation, saying they provided more than 4,000 pages of documents.
In the Philadelphia incident, two New Black Panther Party members were videotaped standing outside a polling place on Election Day in 2008 wearing paramilitary uniforms. One carried a nightstick. Although no voters had complained,"...
(continuing, Washington Post): "the Bush administration sued the the men, the national party and its chairman.
After President Obama took office, the Justice Department dismissed the charges against three defendants and obtained a narrowed injunction against the fourth,
The commission's draft report said the department's "repeated attempts to obscure" the involvement of political appointees in the dismissal "raise questions about what the Department is trying to hide. ''
The commission's findings are based mostly on the testimony of two Justice Department attorneys involved in the case, as well as media reports, including a recent article in The Washington Post. That article said the case tapped into deep divisions within the Justice Department
Obama made the remarks after Stewart suggested the president’s legislative agenda had been “timid.”...
even more expansive government-driven transformation
“When the Civil Rights Act passed, there were still a bunch of folks down South who couldn't vote," said Obama.
But the point was that we had created a structure, we had put a framework in place that allowed us then to continue to make progress.""
10/28/10, "DOCTORS' ORGANIZATION ENDORSES (ANNA) LITTLE FOR CONGRESS," posted on MoreMonmouthMusings.net
"Attached is a Nevada Election Task Force complaint filed late today in Nevada by Babette Rutherford, a Nevada voter.
Specifically, the complaint notes that union officials are busing in union workers, leading them to the polls,
The complaint is highly detailed and filled with eye witness accounts of union officials
Not that she's expected to. She's running for Congress in the Jersey Shore's Sixth Congressional District, which went for Mr. Obama over Mr. McCain 60% to 38%. She's the Republican mayor of Highlands, population 5,000 up against
A Monmouth University poll has her down seven points. On the bright side, numbers guru
Ms. Little takes it in stride. She says she's not looking at Obama's numbers. "I'm looking
The polls came like waves this week. Independents breaking hard for the GOP, those making under $50,000 going Republican, the party has a 20% lead among college graduates. Gallup says 2010 is looking better than the year of the last great sweep,
RealClearPolitics has 222 House seats going to the Republicans, 175 to Democrats, and 38 toss-ups, of which 36 are currently held by the Democrats..
However there have been incidents reported county-wide by the poll watchers the “judges” have been telling the voters to vote “Democratic” and in many cases have actually pulled the levers for them on the voting machines. You can see here one of the incident reports filed. Notice the circled words “illegal assistance to a voter, told voter who to vote for.” And here is another incident report: “illegal discussion in presence of voters, unauthorized person in the polling station.” And look at the name at the bottom: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Here is Lee on video, again, illegally at a polling station:"...
"You can also see the PDF file of illegal, suspect and multiple registrations by the same person reported to the Harris County Tax office. These registrations were done by Houston Votes, one of the Soros-funded groups that is ironically suing Ms. Engelbrecht. The Houston Votes Project Director Sean Caddle just happens to be a former SEIU employee and even admits on camera there are “problems” with voter registrations. If this stuff doesn’t make your blood boil, wait until I tell you what else has been happening.
Not only are the judges illegally assisting voters, the Dems have made a concerted effort to harass, intimidate and physically and verbally abuse many of the poll watchers. Many have returned to the office in tears. Ms. Engelbrecht tells me Houston PD was called in two separate incidents, in two separate polling stations because of assault on poll watchers. One poll watcher was even physically dragged out of the polling station, verbally abused and then shoved back inside the polling station. In another incident a voter demanded one of the poll watchers “leave” or he was going to call the constable.
There is a report of a member of the clergy and one extremely aggressive news reporter demanding the personal information of poll watchers, and it was handed over to them by one of the judges. So now not only are the poll watchers harassed, abused and intimidated many of them now have their personal and what is supposed to be confidential information, including addresses and phone numbers released.
What is more extremely outrageous and egregious is most of these poll watchers are “soccer moms” and senior citizens. Yep, I can really imagine these kind of poll watchers “intimidating” the Dems and voters as one of their lawsuits claim. Ms. Engelbrecht tells me she and everyone else were not prepared and never expected this onslaught on them and her organization....
I will again be addressing the voter fraud perpetrated by the Dems and the poll watcher intimidation rampantly taking place in Harris County (Houston). The following information was given to me via a second phone conversation with Catherine Engelbrecht and one of her attorneys. Ms. Engelbrecht and her King Street Patriots/True The Vote organization are being sued by the Texas Democratic Party and the Soros-funded group Houston Votes and are also facing ethics charges from Texans for Public Justice for merely doing their patriotic and civic duty, i.e. maintaining the integrity of this election. Because I did not want to be influenced by any second-hand information while writing this diary I have not visited any blogs or news articles. Everything related in this diary is first-hand from Ms. Engelbrecht. Please see my two previous posts on this subject for background."...Posted by LadyImpactOhio on RedState.com
the tongue-lashing he gave several Supreme Court justices seated before him at his 2010 State of the Union message.
Presidential reputation matters, and this attack will be seen as a mistake. It was an unsettling departure from the widely admired persona Mr. Obama built across the 2008 campaign and a
No surprise that a Rhode Island gubernatorial candidate felt free this week to tell the president publicly to "shove" his endorsement.
That said, Citizens United has become the Democratic left's Roe v. Wade, the case that drove them screaming into the streets. After the decision, the air filled with wails about selling out "our democracy" to a corporate America that would lock up elections unto eternity for the Republican party.
Insofar as we now see in the current election that the biggest spenders roaring through the Citizens United floodgates are the public unions, the Obama-Pelosi tantrums seem overwrought, even phony.
It also turns out that "our democracy" wasn't seized by the Fortune 500 but instead by the Everyman 50,000. As one small-business contributor told The Wall Street Journal: "If the Democrats are going to put me out of business, I'm going to put them out of business first." In about 20 words, that's your election.
Remember card check? Before ObamaCare sucked all the oxygen out of American politics, the Employee Free Choice Act, or card check, was Barack Obama's other big campaign promise to his base. It died in 2009, after Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Arlen Specter turned against the idea of eliminating secret ballots for union organizing campaigns. The White House told its supporters in organized labor that it was moving on to health care.
In retrospect, it is hard to overstate what a loss this was both for big labor and for the congressional Democrats who on Tuesday will ride Mr. Obama's magnificent health-care Titanic over the falls.
The purpose of card check was to expand union membership in the U.S. The SEIU's then-president, Andy Stern, saw it adding 1.5 million new union members annually. In turn, that would have added hundreds of millions of dollars to the unions' political campaign war chests, creating a powerful political jackhammer to elect legislators, governors and judges. It didn't happen. But Citizens United did happen. If you were a Democratic fund-raiser, you'd be raging too.
Even if the weak economy had slowed organizing before November 2010, card check was a bet on long-term financing for the political activity of the unions, which give more than 95% of their money to Democrats.
Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi got a health-care law, but it split labor;
What they and their party of pols needed was card check and its political money, the "mother's milk of politics." Instead, they got Citizens United, which leveled the playing field.
Little wonder that the president gave the back of his hand to the justices sitting in front of him.
This Tuesday the electorate answers in kind."
via Free Republic
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