Archive for the ‘Tea party’ Category

Hoffa declares war on GOP, tea party

September 5, 2011

Today, Jimmy Hoffa (Jr) declared war on the tea party and Congressional Republicans. Warming up a crowd for an Obama Labor Day speech, Hoffa said: “President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let’s take these [SOBs] out and take America back to where America we belong.”

“We gotta keep an eye on the battle that we face, a war on workers, and you see it everywhere in the tea party,” he told an enthusiastic crowd of union supporters. “And, there’s only one way to win that war, the one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know, what, they got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner…. We’re going to win that war.”

Noticeably absent from Obama’s speech was any mention of civility or an urging for “no labels.”


Daily Fix, April 15

April 15, 2011

There are a number of rallies around the nation today, on our nation’s traditional “Tax Day”. In fact, most of the Presidential hopefuls will be attending Tax Day rallies. In clear contrast to the last couple of years with TEA party rallies around the state, there is only ONE rally in Utah, down in St. George.

*One of the most prominent rallies will be at the statehouse in Concord, N.H., the first-in-the-nation primary state. It’s sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a major Tea Party organizer, and will feature multiple contenders for the GOP presidential nomination. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and businessman Herman Cain are scheduled to address the crowd. All four have formed presidential exploratory committees. Pawlenty will also be at the “Greater Boston Tea Party Tax Rally”, Ron Paul will be in a different locale in New Hampshire, Sarah Palin will be in Wisconsin, and the Donald will be addressing a Tea Party rally in Florida. The Hill

*Meanwhile, Mitt Romney will be in Orlando, where he penned a new op-ed praising the Tea Party for kicking off a “popular movement to scale back government and reduce the tax burden that has been stifling our economy.” Politico

*Only one Utah rally will be held, down in St George. It will be at the Vernon Worthen Park starting at 5 pm. Speakers include former Congressional candidate Morgan Philpot and prospective Congressional candidate Carl Wimmer. The Spectrum

Daily Fix, April 11

April 11, 2011

The federal government did not shut down on Friday, the BIG budget battle is still ahead and Pignanelli and Webb wonder if the tea party influence is waning in Utah.

*Since all of you were undoubtedly on the edge of your seats late Friday night waiting to see if all non-essential government services would grind to a halt, you already know that a deal was reached. $38.5 billion in cuts in exchange for dropping the policy riders that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and put restrictions on the EPA and Obamacare. Politico

*Much bigger battles loom as the debt ceiling will be reached in May and the Ryan 2012 budget is on the table. During last week’s impasse, Boehner’s political cred went up, but it remains to be seen if GOP unity will remain intact when dealing with the GOP’s budget plan. The Hill

*Obama is now trying to get ahead of the budget battles by hinting at entitlement reforms – and tax increases. Republicans are skeptical, saying that they’ve had to bring the president “kicking and screaming” to the table to cut spending. Politico // WaPo

*Many tea party activists are unhappy at the compromise, wanting the cuts to go much deeper. Congressman Jason Chaffetz joined 69 of his colleagues in voting against the deal, saying it did not go far enough. “We have to be more aggressive in tackling our debt. At least we are talking about cuts, but these are not nearly big enough.” (Remember, the cuts aren’t even 1% of the proposed budget.) SL Trib // CBS

*Speaking of the tea party, Pignanelli and Webb wonder if their influence has peaked. Webb, a long-time Republican says “It is a sign of political naivete to attack someone you agree with 90 percent of the time. Some on the far right would burn down the house because they don’t like the paint in the bathroom.” Pignanelli, a Democrat, says he is both amused and vindicated. DNews

Don’t touch my junk!

November 22, 2010

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

The current situation with the TSA is a perfect example of what happens when we trade liberty for supposed security. Toss in some bizarre notion of political correctness that prevents us from targeting suspicious passengers and we end up with a government agency that supervises taking (and storing) naked pictures and groping would-be fliers.

Perhaps we’ve been losing individual liberties since the adoption of the US Constitution 200-plus years ago.  James Madison proclaimed in 1788: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” Bit by bit, we have lost our freedoms because we we are complacent, apathetic – or – shudder – we actually give up our liberties voluntarily.

A bit over 9 years ago, some people bent on the destruction of America, flew some planes into some buildings. We were shocked! Horrified! Outraged! And the majority of us rushed to give away our liberties for a chance at what we thought was more safety, more security under the guise of the Patriot Act. We have lost oh-so-much under that act. We can be spied on in our own homes. We can have tracking devices placed on our cars without warrants. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that the FBI has illegally collected thousands of U.S. telephone call records. We’ve also lost the right to “habeus corpus” – the right to be protected from unlawful search and seizure, as guaranteed in our 4th amendment.

Today, the TSA takes the violation of the 4th amendment to a whole new level. In fact, a former assistant TSA administrator admitsNobody likes having their 4th Amendment violated going through a security line, but the truth of the matter is, we’re gonna have to.”

John Tyner headed to the airport earlier this month.  He opted out of the TSA porn machine and was led to the “pat down” area.  He describes his experience:

After setting my things on a table, he turned to me and began to explain that he was going to do a “standard” pat down. (I thought to myself, “great, not one of those gropings like I’ve been reading about”.) After he described, the pat down, I realized that he intended to touch my groin. After he finished his description but before he started the pat down, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.”

Charles Krauthammer wrote recently in the Washington Post about  Tyner’s quip:

Not quite the 18th-century elegance of “Don’t Tread on Me,” but the age of Twitter has a different cadence from the age of the musket. What the modern battle cry lacks in archaic charm, it makes up for in full-body syllabic punch.

Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter.

Tyner’s not the only one whose junk is getting touched.  We have 8 year-olds being strip-searched in line, a 5 year-old disabled child forced to remove his leg braces, a breast cancer survivor forced to remove her prosthetic, and a bladder cancer patient who had his urostomy bag knocked off during the TSA groping, soaking him in urine.  We have a pilot traveling with his 18 year-old daughter who overheard a TSA agent on his headset sayingheads up, got a cutie for you,” and 2 other pilots suing Homeland Security for wanting to “touch their junk.”  In fact, one of those pilots, Michael Roberts, has described the scanners as machines who can “see whether a man is circumcised or a woman is menstruating. They can see everything.” Oh, and TSA workers know it.  Just ask Rolando Negrin.  He’s the TSA worker who went ballistic after his co-workers started mocking him for – well – the size of his junk.

Federal dollars and legislative posturing

November 16, 2010

Tomorrow, the Utah legislature will convene a special session for the purpose of voting on whether to take $101 million from the federal government.  Let’s be clear.  They will take the money.  But before they do, we’ll hear more talk about how the money is bad.  More talk about overreach by the federal government.  More about the usurpation of states’ rights.  But they will take it.

Why? Because the federal government has “barbed” the deal.  If the state decides NOT to take the money, the federal government can – and undoubtedly will – give the money directly to individual school districts. The legislature can have some control over where the money goes or they can have no control. The legislature is also very tightly bound by where they can spend the money. It can’t go for brick and mortar – it must go for personnel. So, for those states who couldn’t – or wouldn’t – balance their budget, it’s a reward for bad behavior. A bailout for irresponsibility. It punishes those responsible states who have balanced their budgets by giving them one-time money for on-going needs. They’ll also take it because more legislators want it than oppose it.

So – the special session will convene, the speeches in opposition will be given, enough people will vote no to prove their point – and the majority will vote to take the money. The biggest drawback? The lashing that will come from the far right for every legislator not “pure” enough to vote no.

Teaparty scores huge win

November 15, 2010

For weeks (months?) we’ve heard how the Tea Party movement is not a serious player on the political field. We first heard how they would have no influence over elections, that they (we) were “astroturf” and not worth listening to. We then heard how they/we would only elect ineffectual representatives who would be stuck in a corner not able to get anything done. Since the election, we’ve heard how those Tea Party Reps and Senators would butt heads with the DC establishment and ultimately, the establishment would win. Wrong, wrong and can I just say – wrong.

Not only did the Tea Party score huge wins on election day and have elected Representatives and Senators who are hitting the ground running, but today, Senator Mitch McConnell, the poster boy for the establishment GOP, announced he is supporting an earmark ban in the 112th conference. McConnell, a huge fan of the earmarking process, was actively campaigning against a ban as recently as last week. He was unable to hold up against the onslaught of public outcry and pressure from the conservative wing of his party.

He released a statement today that read in part:

I have thought about these things long and hard over the past few weeks. I’ve talked with my members. I’ve listened to them. Above all, I have listened to my constituents. And what I’ve concluded is that on the issue of congressional earmarks, as the leader of my party in the Senate, I have to lead first by example. Nearly every day that the Senate’s been in session for the past two years, I have come down to this spot and said that Democrats are ignoring the wishes of the American people. When it comes to earmarks, I won’t be guilty of the same thing.

Make no mistake. I know the good that has come from the projects I have helped support throughout my state. I don’t apologize for them. But there is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and the out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight. And unless people like me show the American people that we’re willing to follow through on small or even symbolic things, we risk losing them on our broader efforts to cut spending and rein in government.

That’s why today I am announcing that I will join the Republican Leadership in the House in support of a moratorium on earmarks in the 112th Congress.

It’s slow in coming and his statement still smacks of “if only you were smart enough to understand”, but the fact remains that a true grassroots movement of We the People has forced the Minority Leader of the Senate to change his position. Tea Party: 1 Establishment: 0

Obama’s a tad out of touch

September 21, 2010

Obama’s poll numbers are in the tank, he insists we all take our bitter Obamacare pill with a smile and seems to think if says often enough that 95% of Americans won’t see a tax increase, we’ll forget the cigarette tax, the tanning tax and – oh yeah – the death tax. (That last one is pretty certain to affect about 100% of us.) He has former supporters saying they are tired of defending him and supposed White House insiders saying he’s losing it.

Well known (former) supporter, General Colin Powell said this week that Obama is out of touch. “The American people feel that too many programs have come down. There are so many rocks in our knapsack now that we’re having trouble carrying it.”

Further, “He has lost some of the ability to connect that he had during the campaign,” Powell said. “And it is not just me picking on the president.” he points out. “It’s reflected in the polling.”

Then, you have Obama addressing the Congressional Black Caucus and calling them the “conscience of Congress.” (That would be the Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel group who postulated that the ethics violations against those two were in fact evidence of racism.) He then blamed the nation’s economic problems on George W Bush.

Now, advisors are recommending that the Democrats and the White House in particular go after tea party members. “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. That seems particularly unwise to me.

Finally, you have the president addressing the Hispanic Caucus last week. He quoted from the Declaration of Independence but stopped mid-quote, looked at the teleprompter and apparently decided on the spot to leave out the line “by our Creator when speaking of being endowed with certain inalienable rights. I wonder who he thinks those rights come from? The government?

Bring on November 2!

Tea Party Power

September 15, 2010

The last big primary day is finally behind us and with just seven weeks to the general election, the power of the Tea Party movement has been felt far and wide. Yesterday’s elections were no exception.

In Delaware, a decidedly blue state, conservative Christine O’Donnell won the GOP nomination for US Senate. Like Joe Miller in Alaska, she was thought to have little to no chance against the “establishment” candidate. In fact, like in Alaska, the powers-that-be fought against her. The NRSC ran telephone ads against her the last week of the primary and now that she won has indicated they will not be supporting her financially or otherwise. The GOP chairman from Delaware said she “couldn’t be elected dogcatcher.” Karl Rove was distinctly ungracious in his comments about her to Sean Hannity, saying “This is not a race we’re going to be able to win.” Congressman Mike Castle, her primary opponent, had won 16 elections before last night. In fact, he had never lost a race. He was heavily favored to defeat the Democrat, Chris Coons running for Joe Biden’s former seat. Coons is now predicted to win.

But here’s the deal. None of the so-called experts thought Scott Brown could win in Massachusetts. They didn’t think Lisa Murkowski was at risk and they did not think Bob Bennett would come in third at the state GOP convention. They were wrong.

The Tea Party movement has flexed its muscle and delivered some knock-out punches. The old guard had better take notice. We won’t win every election, but we will win enough to make a big difference this cycle. It will continue through the next cycle and beyond. We can’t “change the culture” of DC without changing the culture of America and that is what this political movement is doing. Those who insist on doing the same old things the same old way are being shown the door all over this country, from city councils to state legislatures to the US Senate.

Welcome to the brave new world.

Alaskan Earthquake, redux

September 1, 2010

Last week I posted about Joe Miller taking the lead over Senator Lisa Murkowski in Alaska’s Senate race.  They ended election night with about a 1600 vote spread, with 25,000 absentee ballots outstanding.

Last night, after  2/3 of those ballots were counted, the spread remained about the same and Senator Murkowski officially conceded the race.  “It’s been a long week,” Murkowski told reporters at her campaign headquarters in Anchorage. “I don’t see a scenario where we could win.”  Although conceding, she joined a number of other candidates across the country by not endorsing the winner.

Chalk this one up to another Tea Party win.  The Tea Party Express dropped more than a half a million dollars for TV and radio ads, the Palins were actively campaigning – and fundraising – for Miller.  He overcame a 30-point deficit in about 6 weeks – virtually unheard of.  His message is a familiar one to Utahns – fiscal restraint in the form of weaning his state off of federal dollars, address and reform entitlements like social security and Medicare, return states’ rights usurped by the federal government, repeal Obamacare, cut the Department of Education and insistence on serious earmark reform.

In addition to the tea party/Palin influence, Murkowski made mistakes as well.  The Washington Post believes Murkowski seriously underestimated Miller and – in their words: “Murkowski refused the advice of national party strategists to go negative and sat on nearly $2 million in campaign cash that could have been used to attack Miller.”  Murkowski demurred, insisting that “campaigns in Alaska aren’t run that way.”

Unfortunately, she – and a number of other candidates – found out differently this year.  Chicago-style politics, now at an election near you!  (And a huge plug for the book “The Blueprint” about the so-called Colorado model.  Read it, internalize it, ’cause that’s how campaigns are won now.)

Earthquake in Alaska

August 25, 2010

Last week, almost no one knew the name of Senator Lisa Murkowski’s challenger for the GOP nomination in Alaska – and no one really cared.  This morning they all do – it’s Joe Miller. – and it looks like he will be the next Senator from Alaska. Less than a week ago, national pundits were saying that a Murkowski loss was “extremely unlikely”.

Miller – with little notice – announced his candidacy in April.  Todd Palin held a fundraiser for him in May and Sarah Palin endorsed him the beginning of June.  The Tea Party Express jumped on board, but polling did not show much of a chance for Joe – 62% Murkowski, 30% Miller in July.

Results this morning show how quickly politics can change.  Miller leads Murkowski 51% to 49%, with 2000 votes separating the two and 98% of the precincts counted.  Absentee ballots are still outstanding.  It looks like the relentless efforts by Miller, the Palin’s and the Tea Party Express will pay off in a big way for the conservative movement – at least in Alaska.

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