Arlen Specter, the Newest New New Deal Democrat

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As the world now knows, Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) has switched his political affiliations to those which are more suited to his likings.

Specter's switch was more than likely not so philosophically driven as it is motivated by plain old political survival. As one of three Republican Senators who voted in support of the bailout, Specter has received a lot of harsh criticism from those on the right.This has even brought up the consideration within the RNC hierarchy to withhold money from his campaign for 2010.

Specter was also facing a very difficult challenge from former Congressmen, Pat Toomey, in Pennsylvania’s upcoming 2010 Republican Primary.

From Rasmussen Reports,

Incumbent Senator Arlen Specter trails former Congressman Pat Toomey by 21 points in an early look at Pennsylvania’s 2010 Republican Primary. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Republican voters statewide say they’d vote for Toomey while just 30% would support Specter.


Reading the handwriting on the wall, as far as the Republicans are concerned, is not very difficult, most are glad he is gone. However, the reaction amongst the left is a little more blurry.

From the Democratic National Committee.

Earlier today Senator Arlen Specter left the Republican Party and he is now a Democrat.

A Republican for 43 years, Senator Specter has chosen to leave a party that he says has moved far to the right and join Senate Democrats as they work with President Obama to turn our country and our economy around.

Senator Specter courageously supported the President's economic recovery package -- setting politics aside to create solutions to America's problems.


Not exactly the warmest reception one would expect from your newest benefactors.

Also there is the linking of Specter to the bailouts, which will either haunt him politically or make the twilight of his career shine. Your take on that outcome just depends on your point of view concerning the bailouts.

(H/T to memeorandum)

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Porter Goss and the Politicization of National Security

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I just came across a WAPO op-ed written by Porter Goss, former chairman of the of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and director of the CIA, on the politics of national security and the now infamous "torture memos." Good read which was written by somebody who was there.

Here is the beginnings of Mr. Goss's piece.

Washington Post-Since leaving my post as CIA director almost three years ago, I have remained largely silent on the public stage. I am speaking out now because I feel our government has crossed the red line between properly protecting our national security and trying to gain partisan political advantage. We can't have a secret intelligence service if we keep giving away all the secrets. Americans have to decide now. read more...
I really don't have much to say on the topic, due to abject disgust, other than what is happening in the halls of our nation's capital is painfully obvious. Our national security is being sacrificed at the altar of political opportunity to appease the rhetoricians. This will get worse before it gets better.

For some insightful commentary as well as more informative links on this topic please feel free to visit Jason over at The Western Experience.

(H/T to memeorandum)

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The Fourth American Republic

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As pointed out on the Riehl World View the idea of the Fourth Republic of America is generating much interest these days. Especially with the election of the hyper-partisan bunch we have in control of the Hill.

Riehl makes an excellent observation about the growth of governance and movements, there is always the intellectual and the organic.

This brings me to an article in the American Magazine which I read, coincidentally, earlier this week, The Coming of the Fourth American Republic.

James DeLong, the author, makes an compelling case that the "special interest state," which we have lived in the the throes of for 70+ years, is living on borrowed time. Due to a some interruptions by historical intervention it was pulled out of the morgue before the burial could begin.

If it is in a state of demise, the questions still remains, "What will replace it?"

Like most developments in history there are a few forces which enact their influence over situations. People, attitudes, awareness, day-to-day events, reason, and courses of action. All of these have their roots in either the intellectual, organic, or both. Nevertheless, our own influence or sphere of control is directly proportionate to our understanding of history and how we reason these past events. This, whether you want to believe it or not, is the basis of purist conservatism.

Take for instance the Great Depression and what eventually corrected this horrific economic downturn. The New Deal did nothing more than stabilize, to a small degree, that rapid decline. In fact, in 1938 we faced another recession within a depression because of the failed policies of the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations.

When the intellect failed, society provided an organic answer to the problem, World War II. Rather than massive government spending on social programs it was the commitment by the government to the war effort and manufacturing that actually corrected the economy, GNP estimates were as high a 40% at the time. All to often when life has to make the correction for you it is usually costly and painful. Subsequently, we have chosen to gloss over these facts and are traveling down an almost identical path. Mark Twain once said, "History doesn't repeat itself-at best it sometimes rhymes."

After the organic there is the intellectual. How you interpret the events of the past and their application to the future is the job of reasoned thought. Looking at recent political events offers a prism into our current situation. Much of the country was swept up by the media's Bush Bashing. Some rightfully earned but most nothing more than propaganda. This opened up the door for societies' realization that something in American government had to change. Barack Obama and his cohorts sought to seize upon that realization and market their campaign to fit, they came charging in promising to herald in a new era of governance and leadership. Unfortunately, all we have received is a lawyer in charge, once again.

Over fifty million of my fellow Americans chose not to fully use their cognitive resources and recognize this was coming. While they understood the need for change from Washington's status quo, they failed to further investigate into the messenger of that change. However, most of their intentions were noble and I do not fault them for that.

Finally, this brings me to my next point concerning political orators and philosophers which have made cameo appearances on this site. Gentlemen such as Russell Kirk, Edmund Burke, Du Tocqueville, Cicero, St. Thomas Aquinas, Locke, etc. All of these men were concerned with the organic development of society and culture and realized that the lessons of the past could guide us, not dictate us, to our futures. They used these lessons, combined with reason, to chart a course for future generations to follow to success. It's a shame we aren't listening.

While I cannot predict the path this country will take with any certainty I do know its future rests solely in our own hands. Even though these decisions can be frightening it is also very exciting.

There is no greater reward than to watch history unfold right in front of your eyes and becoming part of it. Thereupon, the path we choose should be taken on with the same zeal as those who forged our Republic. If we do it right we could be on the brink of true hope and change, not the kind one lawyer with a Messianic complex has offered up.

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Global Warming and Energy Debate Continues: Newt Gingrich drops the empirical data bomb on Waxman and Gore

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Asked to speak at the behest of Republicans at a House subcommittee on global warming and energy, Newt Gingrich educates the subcommittee with his rationale on the subjects. Rep. Henry Waxman of California wasn't too happy about it either.

Here is a video sequence of the hearings.

First in the video lineup is Rep. John Dingell (D-MI.) questioning former Vice President Gore on the benefits of a carbon tax versus cap-and-trade. Dingell reminds us that the latter is a tax, and a "great big one," which could have potentially disastrous consequences no matter how you serve it up.



Next, is former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, taking Gore to task on the facts which he presented concerning global warming. His premise is open the floor to scientific debate on solutions which are far more lucid, something environmentalists such as Gore and Waxman are vehemently against.

The question remains, why are they so frightened of another school of thought which is emerging within research communities, that anthropomorphic global warming may be incorrect?



In this segment, Waxman seems more interested in parliamentary rules for speaking, only as they apply to Gingrich, rather than hearing an opinion which conflicts with his own. Gingrich does a fantastic job of cornering Waxman and obviously gets under his thin skin.



Today's hearings are exemplary of the far-left's intentions for refusing to hear another side of the anthropomorphic global warming debate. The almost cult like zealotry they display and their discounting of scientific data offering a differing opinion is astounding.

Consequently, this must leave a rationally minded person to consider, "What are Progressives so afraid of losing if their claims are refuted?" The answer is simple, "Money and power."

(Videos courtesy of Breitbart.tv, Dingell and Albert, Gingrich v. Gore, Gingrich v. Waxman)

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I'm Officially a Right Wing Extremist With a Pedigree

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Since I fit about 70-80% DHS profile for a right wing terrorist, minus the racism, religious zealotry, and other assorted kookiness, I was starting to get concerned that I was just in a state of denial about it. So I started looking for a way to confirm it and Reason magazine has so thoughtfully provided a quiz to determine if you fit the bill.

Needless to say, I not only fit the bill, I earned a pedigree.


Click on image to enlarge.

I wonder if this means I will be getting a visit from federal agents soon? Lol.



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Earth Day and Global Warming: Even the Antarctic is divided.

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In celebration of Earth Day, and coincidentally Vladimer Lenin's birthday, here is some interesting information on the polar icecaps in Antarctica.

From News.com.au,

East Antarctica is four times the size of west Antarctica and parts of it are cooling. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research report prepared for last week's meeting of Antarctic Treaty nations in Washington noted the South Pole had shown "significant cooling in recent decades".

Australian Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison said sea ice losses in west Antarctica over the past 30 years had been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of east Antarctica.

"Sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally," Dr Allison said.

The melting of sea ice - fast ice and pack ice - does not cause sea levels to rise because the ice is in the water. Sea levels may rise with losses from freshwater ice sheets on the polar caps. In Antarctica, these losses are in the form of icebergs calved from ice shelves formed by glacial movements on the mainland.

Last week, federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said experts predicted sea level rises of up to 6m from Antarctic melting by 2100, but the worst case scenario foreshadowed by the SCAR report was a 1.25m rise.

Mr Garrett insisted global warming was causing ice losses throughout Antarctica. "I don't think there's any doubt it is contributing to what we've seen both on the Wilkins shelf and more generally in Antarctica," he said.

Dr Allison said there was not any evidence of significant change in the mass of ice shelves in east Antarctica nor any indication that its ice cap was melting. "The only significant calvings in Antarctica have been in the west," he said. And he cautioned that calvings of the magnitude seen recently in west Antarctica might not be unusual.
Obviously something is going on with our environment, it is changing. Some regions will become hotter and some regions will become cooler. Is anthropomorphic global warming the culprit? Probably not. But why get in the way of big government when there is so much money to be made?


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Chris Simcox, Giving McCain Hell in 2010?

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Larrey Anderson, a blogger and former Idaho state Senator, makes an interesting supposition in his piece on the American Thinker. While recognizing the obvious need for a new generation of political leader with in the GOP he also makes the proposal of drawing them from the recent boom of conservative activists. (i.e. Tea Party organizers)

Here is Mr. Anderson's idea in his own words.

What the tea parties did, in real political terms, was teach a whole new set of potential candidates that organizing and becoming actively involved in on the ground politics is a lot of work ... but it is NOT rocket science.

If a person can organize an event and get thousands of people to show up, that same person can easily collect the few hundred signatures on a petition necessary to get on the ballot to run for office. (The number of signatures varies from state to state and from office to office; but it is never more than a couple of thousand signatures. Usually it is around one to five hundred, in some states even less.)
Not too long after reading this I received an email from Jason, one of our contributors here at PACT, mentioning an interesting situation developing in Arizona for Senator John McCain.

From Ben Smith's Blog,

Chris Simcox, the founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and a prominent figure in the movement to clamp down on illegal immigration, will be announcing tomorrow at an event on the Mexican border that he's resigned from the group to run in the 2010 Senate primary.
Although not from the Tea Party movement, Simcox, is what you might call a first generation conservative activist. He was primarily concerned with the illegal immigration problem that Arizona is facing. This led to him forming the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps almost seven years ago. Simcox will obviously be challenging McCain for his Senate seat in Arizona in the upcoming elections.

Whether or not he can seriously run against McCain is another story alltogether.

Despite this, Simcox is the first right leaning activist, that I personally have come across, announcing that they are making a serious run for political office in 2010. However, I am left to wonder if he will be the last.

If you are interested in information on Simcox's campaign please visit his website.

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Obama, Bush Lawyers, Prosecution, and Pontius Pilate

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According to the New York Times, President Obama has opted to remain open to the potential prosecution of Bush DOJ officials who had laid the legal groundwork for the usage of enhanced interrogation techniques against Al-Qaeda operatives.

Even while continually reiterating "we should be looking forward and not backward," Obama has shifted his position by opening the door for Congress to "investigate" lawyers and policy makers through a bipartisan commission and deferring his legal opinion to the AG, Eric Holder.

The President has remained steadfast in his proclamation that CIA interrogators and independent contractors, acting under the legal authority granted to them by the Bush administration, shall not face prosecution. Nevertheless this obvious shift in position, concerning Bush DOJ officials, is highly evident of caving to political pressures from the far-left.

The possible prosecution of CIA employees and contractors who participated in the enhanced interrogation program is at least on the mind of one powerful left-wing organization.

From the ACLU,

"We have to look back before we can move forward as a nation. When crimes have been committed, the American legal system demands accountability. President Obama's assertion that there should not be prosecutions of government officials who may have committed crimes before a thorough investigation has been carried out is simply untenable. Enforcing the nation's laws should not be a political decision. These memos provide yet more incontrovertible evidence that Bush administration officials at the highest level of government authorized and gave legal blessings to acts of torture that violate domestic and international law," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "There can be no more excuses for putting off criminal investigations of officials who authorized torture, lawyers who justified it and interrogators who broke the law. No one is above the law, and the law must be equally enforced. Accountability is necessary for any functioning democracy and for restoring America's reputation at home and abroad."


Will Obama cave to left wing organizations on a witch hunt and eventually turn on CIA operatives? Generally speaking, the possibility does seem to exist.

Even if he does not choose to travel this path, this situation is inevitably going to have devastating consequences for our Hum-Int pool. It shouldn't be difficult to imagine that most people employed by the agency, or any of its counterparts, probably will not want to remain working in an environment where you are viewed as a criminal and not a person engaged in the protection of their country. I cannot say I really would blame them for walking away.

Pontius Pilate

Obama has demonstrated the uncanny ability to seemingly satisfy the insatiable appetite of the far-left for the destruction of anything Bush while keeping a way out for himself and his agenda.

It's not difficult to see that most of this about revenge on the former President and his officials for their eight years of elusively out maneuvering progressive attempts at impeachment or prosecution for supposed war crimes.

By releasing these memos, an unprecedented act in itself, and leaving the decision for prosecution up to the DOJ or investigation up to Congress, Obama has relinquished himself of any responsibility for making a judgment. Effectively, "washing his hands of their blood," figuratively of course, and remaining above the fray. (Please note, this comparison is not meant in anyway to paint Bush or any of those in his administration as Jesus figures.)

The President has once again demonstrated why he won the election so handedly. As long as there is an ever present evil Bush shadow Obama is able to return to his Messianic visage.

True political genius at work.

Final Note: One last thought which occurred to me after completion of this post. This week also begins the highly contentious budgetary debate as Congress returns to session. We all know how much hoopla this generated the last time it came up. The memos being presented in such a timely manner does offer another political distraction for the general public, especially in the wake of the Tea Parties. Feint move by the administration? Mmmmm, could be.

Related Articles: Hot of the presses and brought to you by memeorandum, from CNSNEWS.

CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style Attack on Los Angeles

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Tea Partying v. Tea Bagging

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In the interest of picking up some of the slack on our weekly juvenile antics, something occurred to me about the Left's continual attempt at describing Tea Party attendees as "Tea-Baggers."

If you already know the definition of someone who teabags versus someone getting teabagged, then you can follow my line of thinking. If you don't know the definition then you may need to go to the Urban Dictionary to understand.

Using a little logic, the demonstrators are the teabaggers, therefore they are the ones doing the teabagging. This only leaves the question, "Who is getting teabagged?" Well, that would be the administration and all those supporting them (i.e. the Far-Left and the O2 deprived).

With this in mind, I would rather be the teabagger than the teabagee. Interesting the Left are the ones with male sexual organs on their foreheads but somehow in their warped logic the Tea Party goers are the people being insulted.
Oh, those on the Far-Left are so clever, aren't they?

Man, we got 2010 in the teabag, lol.

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Obama to loan $100 billion of your money to IMF.

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In one day, Obama proposes $100 million is spending cuts while promising to fulfill his commitment to loan the International Monetary Fund $100 billion.

His campaign motto for 2012 should be altered to, "Hope you have some change in your pocket."

From Reuters. (H/T to Don Surber)

Reuters-President Barack Obama on Monday proposed a $100 billion U.S. loan to the International Monetary Fund to boost the IMF's resources and urged a bigger stake in the IMF for emerging powers.

In a letter to U.S. congressional leaders, Obama said the U.S. funding "does not represent a budgetary expenditure or any increase in the deficit since it effectively represents an exchange of assets."

The $100 billion is part of commitments made by Group of 20 countries at a London summit on April 2, which agreed to triple IMF resources to a total of $750 billion to help the IMF respond to crises in emerging market economies as a result of the global financial crisis and economic downturn. read more...


Well, there goes all of that "massive" $100 million in fiscal sanity that was being proposed.

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$100 million budget cuts in a $3.5 trillion world of spending.

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After a couple of days of well deserved rest, I figured jumping back into the blogging fray with a shot of ridicule across the Obama administration's bow on their budget cuts would be appropriate.

This ridiculous attempt at "fiscal responsibility" is far more insulting to a person's intelligence than any GOP budget proposal could ever hope to be. Here are some very keen observations on what cutting $100 million from government waste is equivalent to.

From Greg Mankiw's Blog,

Just to be clear: $100 million represents .003 percent of $3.5 trillion.

To put those numbers in perspective, imagine that the head of a household with annual spending of $100,000 called everyone in the family together to deal with a $34,000 budget shortfall. How much would he or she announce that spending had be cut? By $3 over the course of the year--approximately the cost of one latte at Starbucks. The other $33,997? We can put that on the family credit card and worry about it next year.



From CQ Politics,

And it’s only a downpayment: In his weekly address this weekend, Obama said the next step will be to announce “the elimination of dozens of government programs shown to be wasteful or ineffective.”

So $100 million is a pretty big chunk of federal spending that would be reined in, right? Actually, no. Not compared to the $3.7 trillion Obama proposed spending in the fiscal 2010 budget. If you want to put it in perspective, Obama asked the department and agency heads to cut the equivalent of about 1/37,000th of his budget plans.

Or, if you want to use the Senate and House budget resolutions instead — which trimmed Obama’s spending plans back to about $3.5 trillion — you could say that he’s trying to cut about 1/35,000th of the budget.

But it might be more fair to compare the spending cuts to the size of the annual deficits, since that’s what Obama is trying to get under control. In fiscal 2010, the deficit would be about $1.4 trillion under Obama’s policies, according to the Congressional Budget Office (the deficits would gradually get smaller in later years). So in that sense, the Obama administration would be cutting about 1/14,000th of the deficit for next year.


It seems fairly apparent that the administration is tired of hiding their disdain for the intelligence of the people of this country. At least with this they are finally being honest that they think we are stupid.

(H/T to memeorandum)


Related Articles
: For a really comical take on the current state of affairs within our country and some truthfully zany solutions please read comedian, Robert Reich's article in TPM. Be careful not to bust a gut laughing.


Where Government Spending Should be Trimmed -- And Why It's Necessary to Fast-Track Universal Health Care


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CNN Reporter Susan Roesgen getting punked at the Chicago Tea Party

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CNN reporter Susan Roesgen attends a Tea Party in Chicago and neither her nor her attitude are to well received by demonstrators.

Being originally from New Orleans I am quite familiar with Susan Roesgen. She was previously employed at NBC affiliate WDSU-6 and ABC affiliate WGNO-26 where she displayed a certain degree of professionalism in her reporting. Conversely, since she has become employed by CNN, she has evidently lost her journalistic integrity.

Here is Roesgen "interviewing," a protester at one the Tea Parties taking place in Chicago.



Roesgen posed an interesting question to this gentlemen, "Why are you protesting against paying taxes when you are about to get a $400 tax cut from the Obama administration."

Does Miss Roesgen mean this tax cut? From Fox News, Senate Democrats to Scrap Obama's Tax Rebate. The very same ones which will probably sunset in a year or two? Not to mention how they effect the issue of paying for his ridiculous spending proposals. These tax cuts and rebates will only exacerbate the problem with the national debt if the government's insane fiscal policies are allowed to continue.

All of this raises two considerations about Roesgen. She is either woefully ignorant of the daily news or she is conveniently glossing over these little nuggets of information for political purposes.

The next topic is the broader context of the Tea Parties, their real purposes, and how they are being portrayed by the media. Most MSM and Left leaning organizations are treating these demonstrations as Right Wing sponsored movements simply against taxation and the President. Nothing could be further from the truth.

These protests have little to do with the current amount of taxation being levied against Americans or Obama personally. They are demonstrations against the reckless spending and continual bailout mentality of the federal government as a whole. On the tax issue, the question being raised at the Tea Parties is, "How are we [The American People] going to pay for all of this spending?" Obviously tax payrolls, at some point, are going to have to be raised on the majority of the working classes in order to generate enough revenue for the government to keep functioning at Obama's proposed levels. This is the problem most people attending the Tea Parties are concerned with.

What about the media bias in favor of the Obama administration and any agenda attached to it? By news organizations engendering the ideas that these protests are simply about taxation, in its current form, the participants are insane right wing extremists who merely despise the President, or these movements are being sponsored by Right leaning organizations for political gain they can create a schism between the original message and people who might have otherwise listened.

The next part of this particular equation is Obama's supposed popularity and it being brought into play. Let's first assume that most polls are correct and he sits at a fairly strong 60-65% approval rating. If these demonstrations are portrayed as ad homenim attacks, perpetrated by the Right or Right Wing organizations, it can energize current Obama supporters and reaffirm support from voters who might have been on the fence because of his handling of the economy and the budget.

Looking at polling data that was presented during the stimulus and budgetary debates you can see why the White House and left leaning organizations might be concerned about Obama losing ground. According to Gallup, from February to March the percentage of most Americans was that the economy was going to get worse sat at about 75-80%. (Please note, though, present data from Gallup shows confidence is starting to grow in our economic future.) For the sustainability of his Presidency, it's imperative that Obama be perceived by the public as their economic savior. Tea Parties highlight the possibility that he may not be what he was billed as.

Through the implication that GOP, with assistance from Fox News, is using these protests as a political platform against the President the Left can generate new and more excitable talking points of "dirty politics" or "conservatives are insane." Further assisting them in their attempts of decimating Republican hopes for a victory in 2010.

While the Tea Parties are a very interesting phenomena, being that conservatives are not prone to demonstrating, the underlying political currents being stirred and the fear
they have generated on the Left is intriguing. More than likely, as time goes on, the political strategies being executed by the Far-Left and how they hope to accomplish victory in the 2010 elections will become more clear. I am sure what we are seeing right now is just the tip of the political iceberg.

Update
:

Micehlle Malkin has an interesting post up which covers Roesgen's bias, CNN beclowns itself

(Tip o'the lid to memeorandum)


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Ten Myths on Tax Policy.

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In honor of the 15th being the official day that the "Tax man cometh and the tax man taketh away," here is a post from the Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog, "Ten Myths About Tax Policy."

Some myths you might agree with, some you might not.

10 Myths in Tax Policy

1. You aren't legally required to pay the federal income tax (for whatever reason, such as 16th Amendment was never ratified)

Researchers and activists sometimes make claims like this, but it should be treated as an academic argument and not advice for taxpayers. The federal income tax is here and it is collected; not paying it means fines, penalties, and often jail time. We at the Tax Foundation work for a tax system that is simple and transparent, and doesn't inhibit our economy with excessive burdens. But we're not there yet. If someone tries to convince you that there's no obligation to pay income taxes, it's too good to be true.

2. Cigarette smokers cost the government money and thereby should have to pay high taxes on cigarettes

Some have argued that since cigarette smoking leads to certain health costs that governments are in some cases responsible for (Medicaid and Medicare), that cigarette smokers should have to pay for this. Seems reasonable, right? What those same people won't tell you is that because smokers tend to have an earlier life expectancy than non-smokers, smokers actually save the government money relative to non-smokers, ceteris paribus. This is largely because the federal government has two huge programs that are age-based: Social Security and Medicare.

3. Taxing businesses allows us to lower taxes on people

It may sound nice to "shift" the tax burden from individual taxes like the personal income tax to businesses through say the corporate income tax. But all taxes are eventually paid by people, because after all, consumers, owners of the businesses and workers are people.

4. The FairTax would solve all the problems in federal tax policy

A debate over tax reform is one that we need to have, and that's helped by having various tax reform ideas with enthusiastic proponents. It is important to remember, however, that any tax reform plan will face political controversy and have short-term transition issues and these will have to be thought through carefully. The FairTax, for instance, would keep in place federal excise taxes and unconstitutionally tax government spending, suffer from evasion problems, and face the same political pressure that have made income and sales taxes full of deductions and exemptions. Like other consumption taxes, however, the FairTax has some economic advantages over income taxes. Regardless, whether we have a graduated income tax, flat tax, or national sales tax at the federal level, there are still many contentious and important tax issues at the state and local levels.

5. A carbon tax to fight climate change would definitely lower our standard of living

It is true that a carbon tax would likely lower GDP and income, as we measure it. However, if global warming is truly a problem that a carbon tax can help solve, such a Pigouvian tax would actually increase economic well-being, broadly defined. The problem is that environmental quality isn't counted in measures like GDP that we often associate with well-being.

6. Raising the top two income tax rates would not affect small businesses much

It is true that raising the top 2 income tax rates wouldn't affect a high number of small businesses. However, the small businesses that would be affected by such a tax hike make up such a significant amount of the small business income that raising the top 2 rates would indeed hit a large chunk of small business activity. (Now, personally, I don't really care much for this small business argument. In my view, the tax treatment of $1 of business income shouldn't depend upon the size of the business unit.)

7. The Bush tax cuts raised revenue

Many will often point to the fact that after the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, federal tax revenues increased. The problem with this correlation proving causation argument is that we must answer the question, "what would have happened if the tax cuts had not passed?" Merely because two things occur at one time doesn't prove that X caused Y. In order to truly estimate what the impact was of the tax cuts on revenues, we must hold everything else constant. Most serious studies of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts showed that the tax cuts cost the Treasury revenue compared to what would have otherwise happened. There was some dynamic effect, but it's not anywhere close to the case that the tax cuts paid for themselves.

8. Massachusetts is a high tax state (i.e. Taxachusetts)

Massachusetts used to have a high state and local tax burden. But ever since Prop. 2 1/2, Massachusetts's state and local tax burden has fallen rather dramatically. The state ranks in the middle of the pack when it comes to state and local taxes as a percentage of income.

9. Raising revenues via cigarettes, alcohol and other such taxes as well as lotteries is okay because those are voluntary taxes

Here's what this statement is actually saying: because a certain economic activity is voluntary, then the tax that is required as part of that economic activity is voluntary. By that same argument, your income tax is voluntary because you choose to work. The reality is that no tax is voluntary. It is just the economic activity that requires a tax be paid when it is conducted (such as consumption, labor, investment) is voluntary.

10. The rich don't pay taxes, or, the rich pay all the taxes.

There is a perception among some that the rich can easily evade taxes. Unfortunately for the rich, that is not the case. Significant amounts of money are paid to Treasury from those in top 1, 5, and 10 percent of the income spectrum, especially individual income taxes. On the other hand, the rich do not pay all the taxes. While the top 1 percent of tax returns pay around 40 percent of the individual income tax, every other federal tax (except estate) is significantly less progressive than the individual income tax.


Being an avid supporter of the Tobacco industry, Marb Lights being my poison of choice, I really like Myth #2. By dying earlier than most, I save you guys on having to dole out SSI and Medicaid bennies to me.

Just doing my civic and patriotic duty.

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Charlie Johnson's take on the Department of Homeland Security Report

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Ole Charlie Johnson, of Little Green Footballs fame, is at it again. He is currently decrying the right wing blogoshpere as "hyperventilating" over the alleged Department of Homeland Security report on extremists and tying it to conservatives.

Johnson may be correct when he assesses,

First, this DHS assessment was begun more than a year ago, before Barack Obama was even nominated. It has absolutely nothing to do with “tea parties,” and it was not done at the behest of the Obama administration.
Still, my personal concern with the DHS report is not that it might be used by the federal government to paint anyone as an extremist except those deserving of the moniker. It is its intrinsic propaganda value to the bottom-feeders on the Far-Left which I find disturbing. If Chuck is to blind to see that, then I don't know what to tell him.

Here are a few examples of the latest disinformation from the carcass scavenging, so-called, Progressives.

Think Regress-DHS Report: After Obama’s Election, Right-Wing Extremists ‘May Be Gaining New Recruits’ & Fox host wonders if Obama administration will send ‘spies’ to tea parties.

Crooks and Liars-Conservatives indict themselves with shrieking over DHS report on right-wing terrorism

This is becoming truly pitiful.

(H/T to memeorandum)

Related Articles:

Washington Times
-Federal agency warns of radicals on right

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Governor Rick Perry supporting Texas State's Rights

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The MSM finally picked up the story of states issuing resolutions concerning their sovereignty and federal intrusion. Most of the attention was brought about by Governor Rick Perry (R-TX.) offering his support on behalf of Rep. Brandon Creighton and sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50.

Here is the video of Governor Perry announcing his support.



While, I applaud the Governor for attracting attention to this very interesting issue, his state was not the first. Although it would have been appropriate for Texas, due to historical nature and attitude, to lead the pack, they are in line behind a host of other states which have already offered similar legislation, Update on States' Reaffirming Their Rights and Sovereignty.

This has actually been going on since about June or July of 2008 with Oklahoma being the first. The total number of states issuing resolutions like this one, last time I checked into it, was at about 30 and increasing.

For updates and continuing coverage on 10th Amendment goings on, may I suggest the Tenth Amendment Center.

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Small Blog Roundup: April14th, 2009

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Just some mid-day reading amongst an otherwise uneventful day at the grind. Guess all things considered, it's nice to be chained to a grind when so many people are being released against their wills. I do digress though. On to the Small Blog Round Up.

1) Left Coast Rebel gives us a little history lesson and credit to John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, for his opposition to the Global Warming scam.

2) T.C. Shores of In a Hand Basket, reminds us that maybe there aren't too many differences between Barry H. and George B. after all. Change? Maybe not.

3) Right is Right is pretty sick about Obama and his noids taking credit for the SEAL whacking of three bad guys. Funny part is the author has a pic on her profile of Kathleen Parker. Could it be the infamous one? If it is, she won't like me too much, lol.

4) I Care About America had to remind me that the "Inmates are running the asylum," up on the Hill.

5) Debbie of Debbie's Choice has made the choice that she likes ole Bill O'Reilly. That makes two of us.

6) The lovely ladies at Conservative Women Unite are keeping a running tally of the Obama broken promise list. So far they are up to 511.

7) The rant today at My Daily Rant is, I guess Obama thinks that Americans are too stupid to think for ourselves!

8) We Won't Take Anymore has a hilarious You Tube video posted where Sesame Street meets Bernie Madoff.

9) Right Wing Political News, counts up the ways they hate the how Obama is running the country. Tell us how you really feel, lol.

10) DaBlade over at Chattering Teeth uncovers the real power in Washington calling the shots, the Obama family's new dog, Bo. And here I thought it was an autonomous Teleprompter who has a penchant for blogging.

Hope you enjoyed today's row-day-oh styled roundup. So many little blogs, so little time.
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Edmund Burke and a Progressive went to a Tea Party.

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"He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper." -Sir Edmund Burke

It was a comment I read on Frank Strategies, refuting accusations that the Tea Party demonstrations are being formed by corporate lobbyists, that got me thinking about Sir Edmund Burke.

I’ve been working in politics professionally for 15 years, and I can attest that this is undoubtedly an organic grassroots movement unlike anything else I’ve ever seen on the Right.


Burke was an 18th century Irish Orator and Parliamentarian who is credited with opening the door of thought for modern day conservatism. Burke's defining moment was in his writing, "Reflections," later to be titled, "Reflections on the French Revolution." While there is much more to Burke, it was with this single book in which he epitomized his philosophical brand.

Burke was a believer in "organic reform" versus "abstract principles."

However, Burke did not oppose reform per se. He believed in organic reform and organic growth: that is, natural evolution. He had no time for drastic revolution. He opposed rapid, uncontrolled change, as was happening in France, particularly since the demolition of the Ancient Regime was in the hands of amateurs who had little or no political expertise.
America, it now seems, is in a similar, but far less violent, situation as the French after their "hope and change" was enacted.

In his Second Speech on Concilliation with America Burke wrote,

"Deny them (The Colonists) this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond which originally made and must still preserve the unity of the empire. Do not entertain so weak an imagination as that your registers and your bonds, your affidavits and your sufferances, your cockets and your clearances, are what form the great securities of your commerce.

Do not dream that your letters of office and your instructions and your suspending clauses are the things that hold together the great contexture of the mysterious whole. These things do not make your government.

Dead instruments, passive tools as they are, it is the spirit of the English communion that gives all their life and efficacy to them. It is the spirit of the English Constitution, which, infused through the mighty mass, pervades, feeds, unites, invigorates, vivifies every part of the empire, even down to the minutest member."


As Burke so poignantly expresses, it is not the legislative processes or policies which make for good governance, it is the people. Their community and spirit are what drives the engine of this country and gives it its life. By potentially denying them their freedom, whether it be socially or economically, the very fabric and meaning of the Union could be dissolved.

Some are starting to recognize the attempted creation of an expansive government burdened by debt and economic controls, which are both extrinsic and incongruous to with which they are familiar. Potentially entering dangerous territory from where there could be no return.

Even more disturbing is the speed at which the "Hope and Change Revolution" is morphing.

Government, cannot systematically solve all problems and social ills that infect our society and culture, contrary to what we are being led to believe. Nevertheless, there is a basic need for its existence. An existence which should be be taken seriously by those governing and those being governed, for the sake of future generations.

From Reflections on the French Revolution.

Society is indeed a contract. Subordinate contracts for objects of mere occasional interest may be dissolved at pleasure — but the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern, to be taken up for a little temporary interest, and to be dissolved by the fancy of the parties. It is to be looked on with other reverence; because it is not a partnership in things subservient only to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are to be born.


This wisdom shows us that the practice of responsibility by our government and citizenry is far more important than our agendas.

From Burke's speech on the Independence of Parliament (1780)

Corrupt influence, which is itself the perennial spring of all prodigality, and of all disorder; which loads us, more than millions of debt; which takes away vigor from our arms, wisdom from our councils, and every shadow of authority and credit from the most venerable parts of our constitution.


The Tea Parties, or even the Left's variations, are a natural counter-revolutionary movement in response to this attempt at an agenda driven revolution of thought. With people starting to stand in peaceful opposition, it is only natural that attempts of discrediting their intentions, character assassination, or painting them in the light of extremism are being made by politically dominant.

There is so much more to Burke than I could ever hope to post here, he, like many other conservative thinkers, is a blog unto his own. His thoughts and philosophies have greatly influenced my own personal brand of conservatism. I can only hope that within this fervor of populism some might find solace and wisdom in Burke's words. Becoming inspired to lead a new generation of thought, that is more suited to our country and needs.

(H/T memeorandum)

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Captain Richard Phillips freed by US Navy SEALS

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Reports on the the exact details of Captain Richard Phillips being freed are a tad sketchy right now. However, he is unharmed and was released from his pirate captors by US Navy SEALS.

Initial reports indicate that while one of the pirates was on board the Bainbridge attempting to negotiate with officials, SEAL snipers fatally shot the three other pirates still occupying the lifeboat.

Evidently, talks for Captain Phillips' release, between Somali clan leaders and American officials, had broken down late Saturday night.

Breitbart-"The negotiations between the elders and American officials have broken down. The reason is American officials wanted to arrest the pirates in Puntland and elders refused the arrest of the pirates," said the commissioner, Abdi Aziz Aw Yusuf. He said he organized initial contacts between the elders and the Americans."
This along with the pirates drifting closer inland to Somalia more than likely prompted the Navy's response.

Breitbart-The fisherman, Abdi Sheikh Muse, said that could be an indication the lifeboat may be near to shore.

The U.S. Navy had assumed the pirates would try to get their hostage to shore, where they can hide him on Somalia's lawless soil and be in a stronger position to negotiate a ransom.

Three U.S. warships were within easy reach of the lifeboat on Saturday. The pirates had threatened to kill Phillips if attacked.
Captain Phillips underwent a medical exam while onboard the Bainbridge and is reported to be in good health.

NY Post-Phillips, 53, of Underhill, Vermont, was not hurt in several minutes of gunfire and the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet said he was resting comfortably on a U.S. warship after receiving a medical exam."I'm just the byline. The real heroes are the Navy, the Seals, those who have brought me home," Phillips said by phone to Maersk Line Limited President and CEO John Reinhart, the company head told reporters.
Not a bad Easter gift for Captain Phillips' wife Andrea.

Related Articles:

MSNBC-Obama twice approved force to rescue hostage (Somebody, may owe the President an apology, lol.)

Fox News-Navy Made Split-Second Decision to Open Fire in Captain Rescue

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Death of Free Speech in the Western World.

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Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, wrote an interesting op-ed in the Washington Post concerning the death of free speech in the western world. The catalyst for this were concerns about the use of, so-called, offensive language against religious orthodoxy.

Turley cites several examples from the Middle East and Europe where drastic punishments have been levied against offenders for degradation of religious doctrines, such as Islam.

Keeping in mind our own First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
These two rights appear in the same amendment for a reason. They are inextricably linked to each other and their purity depends that they be defended equally. No one of any reasonable mind should advocate nor tolerate speech which insights violence or prejudice against any particular group of people, based on denomination or religious belief. However, limiting the rights of dissenters to speak freely about what they interpret from a religion sets just as dangerous a precedent.

The laws of some political systems are purely based on or are heavily influenced by their culture's religious orthodoxy. By limiting the ability to speak out against a religion you might also limit the ability of the people to speak out against the government. Thereby ensuring the rise of a tyrannical and oppressive government.

This is not to say that this is case in the United States, quite the contrary. The Constitutional framers were wise enough to realize the needs of both of these rights to demand equal protection under the law. Although, if this balance is not maintained with a certain degree of earnestness there could come a time where they no longer exist. The result would be a country you wouldn't even recognize, let alone want to be part of.

(H/T memeorandum)

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Small Blog Roundup: Sunday, April 12th

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So often, smaller blogs go unnoticed while providing some worthwhile commentary on current events and news. I figured why not do a round up of sorts and get their content some well deserved credit. All we can probably provide is a hit and a half, but it's a start.

With that in mind there is not better place to start with than some friends. There is no particular order the posts have been put in, this is just how I came upon them.

1) A frequent read of mine is the Western Experience, written by Jason, one of contributors here at PACT. In his latest post, Jason asks a very suitable question,
How are these pirates becoming so successful?

2) C-Gen of the New Conservative Generation, explores the little reported undercurrents of political rebellion that the Obama administration is facing.

3) The Obama Nation of Common Sense blog, takes Dianne Sawyer to task over her agenda driven piece concerning gun laws.

4) M, Conservative Operative, has a little advice for President Obama, while traveling around the world and bad mouthing the United States on the taxpayer's dime.

5) Shannon Bell over a the Admonition, like Jason, wonders why four guys in a dingy are holding the United States hostage and Shannon is a little sick of pirates.

6) Rob Verdi of the 46, explores how the policies of the administration might just be driving the best and brightest of the financial communities out the industry.

7) Nauta's Sapientia and Dave C over at Point of a Gun, have found a picture of a teleprompter message offering a little advice to the Central Planner and Chief.

8) On the cusp of not being a smaller blog any longer, the well rounded Pundit & Pundette, link up to a Victor Davis Hanson article which gives some timely advice on how to deal with pirates. Pundette, try giving Pundit some glory once in awhile.

9) The Klikster of all things Right, better known as Right Klik, has found a couple of funny videos. One with Nancy Pelosi and a chicken (Don't ask) and the other showing what would happen is someone hacked Obama's telelprompter.

10) With April 15th right around the corner the Classical Liberal has some advice on how to prepare your taxes and what might happen if you don't file, courtesy of Reason Magazine. Thanks for reminding us CL.

If I have forgotten anyone don't fret that one hit we might provide will be coming soon. It wasn't personal, just the order of the read this morning.

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Failure of Liberal Tea Party in DC

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I wasn't aware but the Lefties were trying to start a little anti-capitalista Tea Party action of their own, sponsored by the New Way Forward. Well, let's just say that the word "bust" is very appropriate. Oh yeah, did I mention Jane Hamsher was there?

You might remember Jane. She is the Proggie blogger, over at FDL, who was whining about not getting paid by Progressive activist organizations for running their content. I guess she was at the "demonstration" pan-handling payments for services rendered. Talk about karmatic debt in action.

Anyways, here is a video provided by Frank Strategies of the "protest."



From Instapundit, picture of the Pittsburgh Tea Party. Which according to Jane, is financed by Fox News.




Well Jane, if you wouldn't be so vocal about expecting payments, maybe Fox would slide you a little under the table, lol. Big difference in movements eh?

The failure of the Left's protest speaks for itself. But what I am wondering about, is why Hamsher is getting so careless that she is showing up on vids, providing herself as cannon fodder for conservative bloggers. Especially in an obviously embarrassing situation like the one above.

Well, in the interest of saying something nice versus nothing at all, "She has a cute smile under pressure?"

That statement isn't going to go over well, at all. :)

Update: Seems those evil Wingnuts are getting under the epidermis of the not so thick-skinned Proglodytes. Here is the Idiocracy at its worse.

Their strategy, it seems, is spamming Frank Strategies with comments. Yeah, that will show him and those evil Tea-Baggers.

I just can't help myself, this is too damn comical to be taken seriously. But I think this is enough writing about this woman making an ass of herself, consistently.

(Tip o'the lid to the almighty memeorandum)

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Four Somali Pirates, a Dingy, a Dummy, and a Five Paragraph Order (SMEAC)

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(SMEAC) Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration, Command/Signal. Better known as the five paragraph order used primarily by Marine, Army and some Naval ground forces for mission planning. What the SMEAC for engaging the Somali pirates might look like if Obama wrote it.



Situation:

  • A) Enemy forces: (SALUTE)
  1. Size-Four Somali pirates
  2. Activity-Holding one American hostage
  3. Location- Twenty foot dingy in the Indian Ocean, no fuel, eight days of supplies.
  4. Unit- Somali Pirate's Union
  5. Time-48 hours and counting
  6. Equipment-Not much

  • B) Friendly Forces-
  1. USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25/CGN-25) Armaments include: 2 Terrier SAM launchers (80 Missiles), 2 × 3"/50, ASROC (8 Missiles), 6 × 12.75" torpedo tubes, 8 Harpoon SSM.
  2. Parked approximately one mile away from pirate dingy out of fear of pissing the pirates off.
  3. USS Boxer (LHD-4 Wasp Class Amphibious Assault Ship)Armaments include:Sea Sparrow missile system and Phalanx CIWS Aircraft Carried: up to 42 aircraft Troops: 2,070 sea-going Marines.
  4. Present location somewhere off coast of Somalia, but not too close. They might get overrun by pirates, too. Then I would really be up a creek without a paddle come 2012.
  5. I really need to do something about all these weapons. Maybe severe gun control laws or defense cuts.


Mission: Who, what, where, when, and most importantly, why?

  1. Who-No units assigned, government doesn't have the balls to employ useful military force. Using FBI hostage negotiators instead. (They are less offensive and have to play nice.)
  2. What-Twenty four hour old FBI handbook on how to deal with Somali pirates. Written by David Axelrod and Rahmbo.
  3. Where-Hiding under desk in the Oval Office and having nightterrors about Captain Jack Sparrow.
  4. When-Hopefully never.
  5. Why-Fear of provoking super-power state of Somalia and repeating Bill Clinton debacle.


Execution:

  • Commander's Intent: To negotiate with moderate pirates in hopes of returning American hostage without use of military force. Who needs the military when I have an army of lawyers at my disposal. Plus, this will maintain my...er...America's popularity with the Europeans and show our adversaries that I am a really nice guy. (The French did what? The French?!?!?)
  • Concept of the Operations: Run! Where is John Podesta when I need him?!?!?

Administration/Logistics:

  • Only applies if I were going to do something.


Command/Signal:

  • What is this new and strange word you speak of? Command? Reverend Wright told me I wouldn't have to make any decisions except when it comes to spending other people's money and I am good at that.


Before any military or ex-military grunts jump all over me for butchering the sacred five paragraph order, remember I used it for humor purposes. Freaking grunts can be so damn critical in their thinking! You know who you are.

Related Articles:

Captain Richard Phillips freed by US Navy SEALS

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The Tea Party Revolution Reponse

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I just received an email from Mike over at The Tea Party and Revolution site thanking us for our critique, I hate that word, of their site. He also posted a nice response further outlining their intentions. I figured since they took the time to respond with a little insight on their organization I could at least reciprocate by posting it.

Here is what Mike had to say,

Thank you for your review of our site. Your assessment of our site is pretty much on target.

We are all about following the Constitution. We have some additional platform ideas. We are not about party or ideology and wish to attract all like-minded Americans concerned about the direction the federal and state governments have taken.

We are not associated with any other conservative site. We do not have any sponsors and are truly grass-roots. We are about BEYOND April 15 and are actively recruiting grass-roots regional people to help organize a platform and other larger scale events.

Thanks again for your review.
I think I like these guys and the direction they are going. If you are interested in their ideas and becoming involved in this worthy cause, I highly suggest you check them out at The Tea Party Revolution.


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Tea Parties and Toeing the Party Line

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On April 15th, America's infamous tax day, tens of thousands of Americans are planning to protest wanton government taxation, borrowing, and spending. But the latest questions arising are is it a fringe movement being driven by party interests and media or a legitimate attempt to bring attention to the above mentioned problems no matter what your political affiliation?

If you are not familiar with how this all started, the On Air Editor for CNBC, Rick Santelli, seemingly captured the mood of many in the country and called for an impromptu Tea Party in Chicago to protest the Obama stimulus package. After that, Tea Parties started popping up across the country and started getting organized.

Personally I think the concept of organizing a grassroots movement against the crazed government spending that America has been subjected to, by Obama and Bush, is a fantastic idea. Nevertheless, I am always skeptical about the agenda of an activist movement, even it happens to match my own philosophy.

While digging into this I came up with three websites that seem to be the tip of the spear for this movement; Tax Day Tea Party, The Tea Party Revolution, and The Reteaparty.

The Tax Day Tea Party

The Tax Day Tea Party is organized by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, the DontGo Movement . Being familiar with SGP and Top Conservatives on Twitter, it suffices to say this organized effort has strong roots in conservatism. Conversely, there is no mention of the GOP or any support provided by Republican members of government in their mission statement.

Eric Odom, owner of Don'tGoMovement.com actually has a post concerning this issue and he sums it up nicely.

Why do we use “Silent Majority” as our national brand?

Because the vast majority of those involved in the Tea Party effort are people who have sat at home yelling at their TV’s for the past few years. This is a group of folks who have gone on with their lives in attempt at the American dream, only to be shell shocked by a sudden and bold surge towards full scale socialism… and we’ve had enough?!

Most of those involved in the Tea Party Movement do not wish to see something with RNC or DNC involvement. We do not want the failed two party structure injecting itself into this movement for political gain.

That’s not to say that there aren’t Republicans or Democrats involved, because we have people identify themselves as both involved all across the country.

But there is certainly no evidence whatsoever that the Tea Party Movement is some kind of orchestrated GOP effort disguising itself as non-partisan. In fact, the evidence suggests quite the opposite.

Take Chicago, for example. A hand full of local young Republicans have been trolling and following me all over the web in an attempt to attack me at every opportunity. They hunt me down on Twitter and Facebook, lashing out at me because I refused to promote their REPUBLICAN sponsored event happening later in the day on April 15th.

Indeed, the FUNDED organizations and media outlets of the left are swinging at this movement from all angles, attempting to paint this as a GOP backed effort. But the reality is that thousands of free-market minded Americans don’t see it that way.

The DontGo Movement was attacked last year by these same groups who claimed that we were taking oil money (still waiting on those magical checks, BTW), and now they claim we’re under the spell of the Republican Party.

What part of “we’re just Americans and we’re mad as hell” do they not understand?


Are they a fringe movement? If you explore the comments section on the about page, the most radical idea being proposed is not paying your taxes on April 15th (I can live with that.) and opposing the Obama administration on its spending habits. Not exactly a dangerous domestic militia movement some are trying to portray them as. I think the only ones who have anything to fear from these people are Senators and Congresssmen in 2010, when it's time to vote.

The Tea Party and Revolution

The next one is the Tea Party and Revolution, this site gives a little more information on their stances and concerns. The second line of their mission statement is the one that jumped out at me.

We are citizens who see a fundamental disconnect between our government and its citizens.
How true.

TP & R goes on to to say they do not support any particular candidate or political party and are trying to assist America's citizenry in becoming informed and engaged. Concerning their resource page, the furthest right publication they provide is the Weekly Standard and the furthest left is NewsWeek. I guess if you are one of those who think people that support the Constitution are fringe, then this site isn't for you.

The ReTea Party

This site was organized by PEAC (The Political Exploration and Awareness Committee) which claims to have to have no connections to a particular political party, candidate, or candidates committee. However, they do call for the drafting of three candidates for various offices, they are, Rand Paul, Andrew “The Judge” Napolitano, and Peter Schiff.

I was particularly impressed by the end of their mission statement.

Our team is a small group of young individuals who see the future as an opportunity to reinvigorate our faith in voluntary action, non-partisanship, and free thought. We recognize that many of our chosen leaders have good intentions. There are good Republicans. There are wise Democrats. Libertarians and third parties deserve more respect; but, the independent mind should always be championed. Re-Declare Your Independence.


I am gathering that this movement was created by some Ron Paul supporters and seems to have strong Libertarian ties. Not necessarily a bad thing and hardly constitutes a "fringe element."

All of these grassroots organizations are undeniably conservative in their nature. However, not one of these sites is calling for anything more than grassroots participation by average Americans against overreaching spending by the federal government, I saw nothing advocating violence. Quite to the contrary, they were supporting political engagement and becoming more informed about the political goings on in the Beltway.

Opposition from Left-leaning activists should be expected. Dating back to the 60's they have owned the protest movement and now they are being challenged by a somewhat effective and successful counterpart from the Right. Propaganda such as tying them to militia movements, claims that they advocate violence and overthrow of the government, and the classics, they are racists and homophobes should be expected. No one wants to give up territory they have fought for forty years to gain.

The main difference I see between the Tea Parties and left wing organizations such as Moveon.org,aside from agendas, is the organizers of the Tea Parties have actually reached out to Democrats and Independents. To put it more succinctly, they have reached out to Americans. These responses and their development over the next few years will be interesting to watch.

Related Articles:

Fox News-With Tea Parties, Members of Congress Watch From the Sidelines

H/T memeorandum.

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Liberal bloggers, again, try and rationalize their worth.

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I guess when right wing blogs find it ironic that left wingers are complaining about profit margins, the situation quickly digresses into "Attack of the Raging Progressive." This is complete with the typical right wingers are stupid, ugly, and their mother's dress them funny.




Jane Hamsher of Fire Dog Lake, wrote a post called Right Wingers Just Don’t Understand Business. . . and the Stupid Continues . Hamsher attempts to lambaste the Right for their criticisms of liberal bloggers expecting Progressive activist organizations to pay them for running their content.

Hamsher starts off by setting the stage with her "credentials," and then a little lecture on the differences between "paid media" and "earned media."

As someone who actually has a business degree and has made a career of running media businesses, I wrote this in a comment over at Talk Left (Comments section.):

A traditional marketing campaign has two components -- paid media and earned media. Paid media (advertising) is purchased, and earned media would be in the form of reviews, articles and other "free" content that a PR department pushes.

AARP, for example, had the "Divided We Fail" campaign. They put millions into buying ads in newspapers and networks, but sent the blogs a press release. Which means that the New York Times fell into the "paid" media category because of an ad buy, but was also counted on to be "earned" media in the form of news. Blogs were simply consigned to the latter.

The reason the New York Times is around to do "earned" media is because they make revenues off of "paid" media. Everyone understands that, it's just how business works in a capitalist system. And if you look at an advertising campaign for Toyota or Dove or Marlboro, they devote an increasing percentage of each campaign to online advertising. So it's not like we're asking anyone to participate in a system that has no benefit to them as advertisers.

The problem is that groups who send us their press releases expecting "earned media" just as they do the New York Times get the same "earned media" from us that they do from the New York Times. The difference is that they aren't factoring us into their "paid" media budgets, and like the New York Times, without that, we don't have a sustainable business model to keep offering "earned" media. As groups increasingly depend upon us as the only news outlets covering their issues (which we do without consideration as to whether they advertise with us or not), participating in a sustainable structure is something they need to be thinking about.


And right wingers talk too much? Carrying on, Jane's dynamic business modeling might sound fantastic to the less informed, however she conveniently leaves out one small facet called social media. This is the category which blogs fall into, not paid or earned media.

To keep it simple here is the definition from Wikipedia.

Social media is information content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. It is intended to facilitate communications, influence interaction between peers and with public audiences. This is typically done via the Internet and mobile communications networks. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and "building" of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM).


Some examples.

Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video.


Typical outlets such as newspapers, talk shows, and magazines all have massive overhead. Printing costs, production costs, delivery, staff, etc. requiring revenues for publishing which they garner through advertising. Where as bloggers may have to come out of pocket for domain charges, template design, and online publishing tools. Nevertheless, most of this is relatively inexpensive and even less inexpensive when compared to traditional media.

Still this doesn't explain Hamsher overinflating her worth, or that of other Left Wing bloggers, through expectations of payment for running activist content. Trying to equivocate social media to traditional media, at this stage in the game, is as pointless as trying to nail jello to a wall. Hamsher can rationalize the topic all she wants. But, until FDL, or any other Lefty blog, gets incorporated, starts negotiating rather than expecting, and treating blogging like a business, not a bailout, this is all they're gonna get. You don't need a business degree from a Cracker Jack box to understand that.

Take for instance Right Wing talk radio, Rush Limbaugh specifically. He unabashedly admits to receiving press releases from the Hill, yet he still gathers advertising revenues from outlets such as Gold Line, Life Lock, etc. To my knowledge, Rush receives nothing from the people providing the press releases or content. This doesn't mean that he is the paragon of virtue just that he probably recognizes drawing revenues from your sources shouldn't be expected, not to mention a conflict of interest. However, there is one exception that comes to mind, the right-wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation. Limbaugh, recently, has been using their content on his show as well as advertising for them.

Now, I got a really good laugh out of this next paragraph.

Right wing bloggers at the top of the food chain don't have to worry about this dynamic, because they're well compensated through a variety of means -- and also conspicuously silent on the subject. It's the toadies on the bottom who churn right wing propaganda for free who are whining, and they clearly don't understand the financial structure that both traditional media outlets and liberal blogs are operating within.


I find it hard to understand why Hamsher, in her opening statement, accuses right wing bloggers of being "ignorant" in the ways of media business. Then she goes on to contradict herself by mentioning how well compensated the top tier Righty bloggers are. Seems to me most of the bloggers participating in Pajamas Media were doing fine until recently. So, I guess they aren't to ignorant after all.

Of course then there are the "bottom feeders," like us here, who just push right wing propaganda. Part of our propaganda mission was giving Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald credit on some top of the line investigative work concerning Chris Dodd being scapegoatedd. Obviously, we didn't know what we were talking about.

Futhermore, we cannot distinguish which business models blogs fall into, neither can Jane, or how advertising revenue for industrial media versus social media works. I guess we will just have to rely on Hamsher and her business degree to be the shining example on the hill, lol.

Just for the record, I still think she is worthy writer and will continue to read her Progressive dribble, even if it is chocked full of inconsistencies, self indulgence, and infantile jibes.

(Tip o'the Lid to memeorandum)

Related Articles: Seems we aren't the only "bottom feeder" blog to notice Hamsher's high-pocrisy. And this one is a Lefty of sorts.

Winds of Change-Mo' Hamsher Funnies

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