A Message to the Delegates at
The Mount Vernon Assembly

Propose Two Amendments

        The meeting in Indianapolis this week might be one of the most important events of the 21st Century. It can determine the future of the United States. The delegates will be working out the rules and procedures of how an Article V Convention for Proposing Amendments would function should a convention for proposing amendments be called ... and it is looking likely that one or more “conventions of the states” are in our future. Article V Logo
        Only state legislators, the elected officials closest to the people, will participate. It will not be an easy job. Even though Article V of the Constitution is short, simple and direct, the Washington DC establishment will fight vigorously to keep the power they hold by using every judicial and adminitrative tactic imaginable.
        One of the proposals, already proposed by several states, is a single issue convention to balance the budget. This would seem to be the easiest amendment to pass because most Republicans and Democrats realize that there will be serious consequences in the near future if we continue to ‘print money’ in order to spend more than we have. But the amendment would need to have an ‘escape clause’ in the envent of war or ‘serious emergency’. That would leave ‘serious emergency’ open to future interpretation. And reduced spending isn’t the only way to a balanced budget. Future congresses could always find a way to balance the budget by increasing taxes either directly or indirectly.
        I am all for a balanced budget amendment, but I would propose another amendment which would also attract a majority regardless of political party ... term limits. Today, legislators who win office and play-the-game with “the establishment” will likely be re-elected and most of them will become millionares within a couple of terms. A ‘term limit amendment’ of 6 years in the House and 12 years in the Senate, would assure an opportunity for new blood with fresh ideas and a commitment to represent their constituents over their self-interests far into the future.
        A big thank you to all the legislators participating in the Mount Vernon Assembly. May God and the encouragement of the American people give you the wisdom and courage to use the Article V provision to carry our country forward. -/-




Jordan Page "crowdfunding" his next album


        He has inspired thousands of liberty minded, politically conscious people from all walks of life and is about to create a new album. As a prominent voice in the Liberty Movement, Jordan has shared the stage with iconic Congressman Ron Paul 15 times.  Jordan Page poster
        This is a campaign to finance his next album. Anyone who owns his previous albums, Liberty, and Revolution EP know how powerful his music is and how dedicated he is to combating injustice through this medium. Jordan is calling on his fans and the whole patriot community to rally for him and create a truly grassroots-funded record. What's sure to be a major hit from this collection is the song “Arm Yourselves” Jordan calls everyone to arm themselves with their respective faith, their force of arms, and most importantly, with the truth. The song will be immediately followed by “Act Three,” an instrumental battle scene that transports listeners and raise pulses.       Click here for the complete source story

Click here to become a backer


Photograph Elephant Ron Paul

Ron Paul

The Elephant in the Room

Photograph of Ron Paul
       Although Ron Paul scored significant standing in some of the primaries, caucuses and polls, he has been taken less seriously than the other candidates. Most conversations about Paul begin with "I like a lot of what he says but . . ." or - "If only he was not so extreme" or - "He says a lot of things I agree with but he is a little crazy" or - "He's great on the economy but his foreign policy is . . . ".

       Ron Paul is one of the 'final four' and despite long odds, it is still a possibility that he could be the Republican nominee. He might have the potential of gathering a wider array of voters against Obama than the other nominees could gather.
       In addition to his hard core libertarian and conservative base, Paul's supporters would include Republican, Independent and Democrat voters who:
       * want Anybody-But-Obama.
       * think marijuana should be legal and taxed.
       * believe economic/monetary reform is essential.
       * want the money being spent abroad to be spent in the USA.
       * want world-wide military involvement only for declared war.
       * want to see a drastic reduction in foreign aid.

His campaign would claim:
        * he will have to convince Congress before making legislative changes.
        * his most controversial policies are based on federal issues and states would be free to replace these issues with local legislation.
        * his policy changes and spending reductions would start immediately and proceed "as quickly as possible" without damaging the economy.

     

     Editor's Note:  The name "Ron Paul", even in the most neutral way, brings more response from his supporters and detractors than any other person or topic. I look forward to your comments.


Santorum Will Be Hit - Hard ! . . . But It Won't Help Mitt

Photograph of Donald Trump Santorum will be hurt:
       The Santorum bashing will increase dramatically as we approach Super Tuesday. Negative ads by Romney and denunciation by the press and the Republican Establishment will do serious damage. Santorum will probably survive.

Unchanged pattern:
       Since the beginning of the primary campaign, the sum of votes for conservative candidates has been higher than the sum of the votes for the establishment candidates. The Republican party is conservative - the leadership just does not 'get it'. Turnout has been lower than expected for every primary and caucus because TeaParty members don't have a candidate to be excited about. Romney's performance has been consistent as conservatives have soared and crashed around him.

No 100% pure voting record:
       Politics is, by definition, 'horse trading'. A legislator trades a vote on a minor issue for a promise of a vote for something more important. A campaign researcher can find historical votes which create an inaccurate picture of any politician. A just evaluation of a candidate is based on the totality of his/her actions and the extent of his/her accomplishments.

TeaParty Will Find a Standard Bearer:
       A concerted campaign by the establishment in both parties has created the impression that there is no possible candidate who is truly conservative or 'electable'. Eventually the TeaParty followers will shake off this impression and settle on someone to support. If it is not one of the three candidates left in the race, then it will be at a brokered convention. It is probably too late to draft a 'dark horse' or "revival candidate" into the primary race.

       The Republican Party is conservative. Mitt Romney is not conservative.


Trump Stepped Into the Circle
And Got Caught in The Trap

Photograph of Donald Trump        If Donald Trump had stayed on the sidelines, he would have been in the news until May with his comments about the primaries and speculation about his support of one of the candidates or his plans to run as a third party candidate. He gave up that option and 'stepped over the line' when he announced he was prepared to endorse a candidate now.

       Although he claims he is independent, Donald Trump is deeply integrated in the corporate, government and banking 'elite'. This bi-partisan establishment could not let him endorse anyone other than Mitt Romney, the 'establishment' candidate.

       Donald Trump's empire hinges on government regulations, banking loans and corporate 'deals'. Without a good working relationship with the elite in these areas, his empire would fall, so it only took a couple of phone calls from 'elite' officials - especially bank executives - to 'convince' him that he had to endorse Mitt Romney, and to endorse him NOW.

       The endorsement ceremony was neither enthusiastic nor inspiring. Donald praised Mitt's stand on China. (Does Mitt have a position on China? ) It may have been Donald's last hurrah on the primary scene. He can't even tease about running as a third party candidate against someone he is 'supporting'. But Donald Trump does not need a Republican primary to get attention.


Odds Favoring Romney 15:1 creates
Serious Arm-Twisting Leverage

Photograph of a broken arm        The Las Vegas odds are now 15:1 that Romney will be the Republican candidate and many think he has a reasonable chance of winning the presidency. If you are a politician, or dependent on interaction with government on any high level, you can't operate effectively as a lone wolf.

       When the full weight of the Republican leadership tells a politician to endorse their candidate or expect no support from the party . . . what's a politician to do? With a strong local base of support he/she may get (re)elected without party support but can then expect minimal opportunity at best to be effective once in office.

       This is why local election officials in Nevada, including Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki and Republican Congressmen Joe Heck and Mark Amodei. and virtually all state republicans are endorsing Romney. Now the leadership is moving state-to-state ahead of the primaries "encouraging" (read as arm-twisting) officials to endorse Mitt Romney.

       The establishment steam-roller will extend the pressure to everyone who needs the cooperation of the government and with each new endorsement Romney's odds of winning will increase. The only thing that can stop the process is for conservatives to show that the establishment leadership does not represent the majority of the republican voters.


Ideological Attacks on Newt
Could Trigger Surprises

       The Conservative candidates, as a group, won the majority of votes in the primaries so far. When they split the votes evenly, Mitt Romney held the lead. When the votes concentrated on one of the conservatives, Romney lost the lead. Integrity graphic

       Each time a conservative pulled ahead of the pack, attacks from the establishment, the press and the other candidates took him/her down. There were so many negative charges that the interview with Newt Gingriche's ex-wife backfired and sent Newt into the lead.

       The attacks on the conservatives have been both ideological and personal. Newt may be weathering the personal accusations, but his conservative credentials are also being challenged. If the challenge succeeds, it will be fatal to his campaign. TeaParty followers want a Republican nominee who is a true conservative.

       Polls say Rick Santorum is "not ready" to be president and some of Ron Paul's ideas are too extreme, but Rick and Ron may be the last standing conservatives if Newt is taken down.

       If one of these three remaining conservatives does not consolidate the support of the TeaParty and establish a clear lead in the next few weeks, we can expect some bold surprises in the Republican party. As much as Mitt Romney is trying to move to the right the past few weeks he will never convince the TeaParty that he is one of them and he will not be accepted as the nominee.


"Morals" and "Ethics"
Have Nothing to Do With Character


Integrity graphic        We want our leaders to have 'high moral character' - but 'morals' and 'ethics' accusations are tossed around like marshmallows and are no longer an indication of character.

       Herman Cain was taken out of the race by morals charges which were weak at best and from a witness with very little credibility. The barrage of ethics charges against Newt Gingrich were by a political adversary and all but one were dropped. The most significant morals charge against Gingrich was by a bitter ex-wife about a suggestion he made to her which cannot be verified. Unfortunately unsubstantiated accusations pervade our political system, especially in an election year.

       Character combines integrity and courage and continues to develop and reveal itself over time. This should be the basis of out judgement of our politicians and ourselves.


Herman Cain and 9-9-9 will Play a Big Role in 2012

Editorial Graphic        The press, talk shows, debates, the 'establishment' tell us what they want us to hear. The focus is on the 'topic of the day' with each spinning the 'news' to their advantage. But although they control what we hear from day to day, we go into the voting booth alone to vote for the person we trust will will accomplish the goals most important to us.

       Herman Cain is one of the few people active in the race with the gift of "plain talk". Agree or disagree he does not look like he is reading a teleprompter or regurgitating what his staff has prepared for him. As the Republican primary gets more contentious the candidates appear more and more to be positioning themselves and less and less 'speaking from the heart.' Herman Cain will continue his straight talk and he will play a major role as this campaign moves forward. Maybe a very major roll.

       And the issue many of us will focus on in the voting booth is the economy. 9-9-9 is the only new idea which lowers taxes and simplifies the tax code that everyone can understand. The only argument against it is that 9-9-9 will become 10-10-10 and 11-11-11 etc. There is always pressure by some to raise taxes and in a complicated tax system it is easy to disguise the increases. It's hard to change a 9 to 10 without everyone seeing what is going on. Fair Tax and Flat Tax also lower and simplify taxes, but they have not been able to gain enough traction. Maybe even they are a little too complicated.
       

     Editor's Note: 
                Coming soon. Why the fat lady has not even left for the theater yet.



Vote for the Best graphic

Take this test - Learn how you will vote.

Will you select your candidate
based on Column A or Column B ?



      Column A
  • The most electable.
  • Looks presidential.
  • Has experience in government.
  • Has experience in business.
  • Worked hard and deserves to win.
  • Has turned-around failing companies.
  • Can get along with democrats.

  •       Column B
  • Is passionate in his/her beliefs.
  • Has always been against ObamaCare.
  • Will reduce government spending
  • Will reduce the size of government.
  • Will lower & simplify taxes.
  • Has done the least flip-flopping.
  • Believes ordinary citizens are more important than government & corporate elite.


  • If your vote will be based on
    the qualities in Column A
    you will vote for Mitt Romney

    Jeb Bush and Chris Christie are
    standing by in case of emergency.

         
    If Column B has the
    qualities you are looking for
    you will vote for
    Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul
    Rick Perry or Rick Santorum.

    Sarah Palin and Herman Cain
    are available if called.

    ONE Candidate Deserves Your Vote !

    Your Vote Counts Button        The Candidate Who Deserves Your Vote is the one whose beliefs and standards are closest to yours - not the one who you are told is "most electable".

           In January 2008, few people thought Barack Obama was the most electable democrat. Did you think Ron Paul was electable enough to tie Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses? Did you think there was a Republican electable enough to win the office held by Ted Kennedy for 47 years?

           Saying we should vote for the 'most electable candidate' is a sham promulgated by the media and the 'establishment'. We are being told we should vote for 'the person who can beat Barack Obama', but history has shown we cannot even predict primary results, let alone a November result.

           We do know what we believe and voting our beliefs will give us the best possible candidate.


                                  Corrupt Cronyism Trumps Politics and Ideas

           On one level our political system is about beliefs, convictions, and ideas. Our political campaigns are about debating issues and voting our preferences. But on another level the system is all about the power held by our leaders, senior government officials, corporate and union bosses. They speak their "political beliefs" but use their resources and power to maintain the status quo - regardless of party.

           Here are some Synonyms for "Corruption & Cronyism"

           Tax Code: 72,536 pages of exemptions, penalties and regulations which benefit single industries, companies or other small segments of the population. The beneficiaries of these tax breaks return the favors with campaign contributions. The legislators and the recipients have each other's phone and email address to continue their cooperation year-round. The solution: Smart-tax, flat-tax or 9-9-9 would end this corrupt cronyism.

           Seniority System: The longer a legislator is in office, the better his/her committee assignments and the power that goes with the office. Every piece of legislation benefits some group or organization and legislators get to personally meet the people who benefit from the legislation and exchange personal phone numbers and email addresses. The longer a legislator is in office the more he/she can help constituents - and . . . ensure support for future elections. The solution: Term Limits.

           Government Spending: Every payment made by the government either benefits the country as a whole by fulfilling its proper role under the constitution, or it benefits a limited group acting outside the functions assigned to congress in the constitution. The solution: a Balanced Budget with cap on total spending.

         Editor's Note:  Do you have suggestions for more Synonyms for "Corruption & Cronyism" ? Send them to: Editor@TeaPartyWatcher.com


    Only a Real Conservative Can Defeat Obama

    Editorial Graphic
    Obama's majority:
           Obama is behind in the polls, but his class-warfare strategy is attracting the 48% who pay no tax. These, added to his liberal base, are enough to win in 2012. With Obama's campaign bankroll, labor unions, government workers and 'community organizers' can buy the votes he needs to win. A Republican candidate can only win if the TeaParty movement has as much energy in 2012 as it had in 2010 - and that will only happen with a true conservative as the presidential nominee. Obama will win if the Unions gain more voters from the 48% than the TeaParty generate from the American Majority.

    Energizing the TeaParty:
           An "establishment" Republican, such as Mitt Romney, with an "anybody but Obama!" war cry, will not energize the TeaParty - and in a Romney vs Obama race, Obama will win. Many TeaParty followers don't think Newt Gingrich is conservative enough.
           In this volatile campaign, Pawlenty, Perry, Bachman or Paul, with TeaParty support, could take the lead. But if more than two or three candidates remain after the first few primaries, the delegate count may be too split to declare a clear Republican nominee. Then the Republicans will look for an alternative that "everyone can get behind". The establishment Republicans will call for Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. The Conservatives willl want to resurrect Sarah Palin or Mitch Daniels or Herman Cain.
           A real Conservative nominee could energize the TeaParty enough to beat Obama and deliver a Republican Congress. Without a Conservative at the top of the Republican ticket, the TeaParty will focus their energy on the Congressional races.


    "Here is your next question candidates:
    You have 60 seconds to make a mistake or do something embarrassing.
    ( "Maybe this question will get one of them" )
    Thank you, your time is up . . . next candidate please"

    Editorial Graphic        With The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Heritage Foundation, two conservative think tanks, co-sponsoring tonight's 'debate', we would hope that this time the candidates will be allowed to answer the questions with some detail . . . but I doubt it.
           These events are for the press, not the people. They are designed to give each candidate just enough time to make a slip of some kind that can be blown-up into a headline.
           Even when the candidates are looking and sounding their best - they are expected to give their opinion of a complex issue in 60 seconds. Again, just enough for a headline.
           Because of their tax status, The Heritage Foundation and AEI must remain neutral, so tonight it will be up to Wolf Blitzer and CNN to make sure that each candidate has just enough time to do something that will create headlines and material for tomorrow's talk shows.
           There has not been much talk about tonight's debate. It is not likely that there will be many viewers When we have a forum where our candidates can fully tell us their views, offer their solutions and answer our questions we will have 'debates' with ratings that can compete with Monday night football.

    8pm ET on CNN - Location: DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC - Sponsor: CNN, The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute - Participants: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Huntsman, Paul, Perry, Romney, Santorum




    Gingrich / Cain "Debate" - Review

    Editorial Graphic        There was little advance publicity; it coincided with a big football game; and only televised on C-Span - but it demonstrated how valuable a 'debate' could be.
           There were 3 parts to the 'debate', each one 30 minutes. The moderator started each part with a question. All the questions were about "entitlements".
           There were no bells, buzzers or time limits - each speaker could speak for as long as he wanted. The candidates decided between themselves who would speak first and they could direct their answers to their 'opponent' or to the audience.
           It was polite, orderly and extremely informative. It was never argumentative and there was not a single 'gotcha' comment or question.
           Their goals were usually the same, but the approaches were quite different. After mentioning a point of agreement, they would give a detailed explanation of their own solution. To the viewer, it appeared to be another string of good ideas rather than an argument or debate.
           It's not likely we will see this again during this campaign. Formats are set for the remaining primary debates and President Obama would never agree to open, honest discussion. But we would be better off as individuals and as a country if we could all learn about our candidates in open forums like this. Here is a link to the full 'debate'



    CNBC Republican Debate from Michigan tonight at 8pm ET

    Debate Graphic        Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, will be hosting eight GOP candidates tonight for the CNBC "Your Money, Your Vote" debate focusing on the economy and jobs. Tonight's event is only 90 minutes compared to previous GOP debates, featuring eight candidates, which have been 2 hours in length.
           Air Time: Wednesday, November 9 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on CNBC - Live Stream: CNBC.com
           Participants: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Huntsman, Paul, Perry, Romney, Santorum       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  As the press has said about all the earlier debates and will probably say about all the future debates "This debate can be a game-changer !" . The real question for tonight is: - Will the debaters and moderator(s) bring up the "Cain sex scandal" tonight? Let's hope they rise above the temptation/strategy.



    Cain/Gingrich Lincoln-Douglas Style Debate Tonight

    Photographs of Gingrich and Cain        Two of the leading conservative contenders in the Republican Presidential primary campaign will go head-to-head tonight for 90 minutes in an un-moderated, no-holds-barred debate.
           Newt Gingrich has a reputation as one of todays greatest debaters in the Republican and Democrat parties - while Cain's experiece as a political debater is very limited. This will be an interesting contest. It could give Gingrich a big boost within the Tea Party Movement. It is a 'gutsy' move of Cain to accept this challenge. I doubt that seasoned campaign campaign consultants would approve of him accepting the challenge at this time.
           The debate will be broadcast on C-Span. [Presidential Election News, Nov 5]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  Even with little publicity, and broadcast only on C-Span the outcome of this debate could have a large effect on Cain's chances. He is holding the support of the Tea Party and many talk show hosts throughout the sexual harassment charges fray. It's not likely he can win a debate against Gingrich, but if he holds his own and makes a good showing it will give him a big boost among the people who are concerned about how he will fare among the political pros. But if Cain gets beaten badly it could hurt him and give Gingrich a big boost within the TeaParty movement. This could effectively split the TeaParty influence and give the nomination to Romney



    Protestors Take Aim at Sarah Palin

    Editorial Graphic        The Occupy Wall Street Protesters latest target is Sarah Palin because she earns tens of thousands of dollars for a single speech and because she has the support of conservative millionaires.
           But Sara Palin focused the country's attention on corporate-greed and corruption before the protestors first day of 'occupation'.
           In early September - in Indianola, Iowa, in one of her best-known speeches, she condemned 'corporate crony capitalism' as the enemy within both the Republican and Democrat parties.
           And as for being "owned" by supporters, Occupy Wall Street is owned much more by the unions than Sarah Palin is owned by the people who pay her speakers fee.Editorial Graphic
           Is everyone making money from public appearances evil? What about ball players and celebrities who have multi-million dollar contracts and also make appearances for tens of thousands of dollars - are they all evil too?
           So get it right protestors. You may not want to think of Sarah Palin as your leader in the fight against 'corporate crony capitalism' but in this case, she took the first shot at the 'enemy', and we are all on the same side.



    Tonight's Debate in Las Vegas

    Debate graphic        October 18th, 2011 8pm ET on CNN - Tickets
           Location: Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV
           Sponsor: CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference
           Participants: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Paul, Perry, Romney, Santorum       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  Tonight will likely tell us whether it will be Perry or Cain v.s. Romney for the GOP nominee.



    Finally, Real Discussions on Real Issues

    Editorial Graphic        Tonight's debate combines the right sponsors with the right moderators in the right setting for some serious discussions about things that really matter.
           With Bloomberg Financial Network running things, we can expect relevant, specific questions on the most important issues of the campaign - economics and jobs. The setting: sitting around a table will be more conducive to real discussion. And Charlie Rose, a master of interview and discussion will be much less likely to toss out 'gotcha' questions to trap the candidates into providing headline grabbing sound bites.
           This is Ron Paul's strong area. He won't have anything new to say, but he will try to explain his economic theories in a way that will attract new followers. Finance has been Michele Bachmann's weak suit, but she will have an opportunity to present her plan for job and economic recovery.
           Romney, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich and Huntsman have each proposed some sound conservative economic ideas and will be expected to discuss them in-depth and with specifics.
           Herman Cain earned points by being the first candidate to present a concrete economic/jobs plan. But also became a specific target for the other candidates. A defensive position in the debate could weaken his frontrunner image.
           Because of the importance of the subject of the debate - and because the field is now stabilized - this is likely to be the most decisive debate of the campaign.



    Republican debate tonight

    Debate graphic        Eight GOP contenders will take the stage tonight from Dartmouth College in a debate sponsored by Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and WBIN-TV. All the questions will be about the economy and jobs. A three-person panel led by PBS veteran Charlie Rose will moderate.
           Air Time: Tuesday, October 11th at 8pm ET on Bloomberg Television.
           Live Stream: The Washington Post
           Candidates: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Huntsman, Paul, Perry, Romney, Santorum
           Moderated by: Charlie Rose, The Washington Post political correspondent Karen Tumulty and Bloomberg White House correspondent Julianna Goldman.
           Be a part of the Bloomberg debate conversation on Twitter #EconDebate and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/bloombergtelevision. [Presidential Election News, Oct. 10]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note: Because of the subject matter, and because it is being broadcast by Bloomberg, this might not get the attention of the general public as much as some other debates have. But we can be sure that the Republican party leaders will be watching closely. The TeaParty candidates will have to do well to weaken the establishment fixation on Romney/Perry.



    One Reason Herman Cain Might Win It All

    Editorial Graphic        Voters may disagree on economic, social, political and other issues, but there is one thing that everyone wants and respects - someone who gives them "straight talk".
           Plain-speaking and straight-talk helped Donald Trump explode into the political scene; it was the refreshing quality that Sarah Palin brought to the McCain 2008 presidential team. Most people admire Ron Paul's consistent plain-speaking even when they don't agree with his more controversial positions and straight-talk brought Chris Christie to the headlines.
           Herman Cain uses straight-talk to promote populist ideas. TeaParty principles become palatable to independents and even democrats when Herman Cain says them. Even his strongest detractors believe Herman Cain to be be sincere and consistent. These are qualities a large part of the electorate appreciate even when they do not have full grasp or firm opinions on the issues.
           If Herman Cain makes it to the White House straight-talk will have played a big part in his journey.



    Cain's Campaign Soars as Republicans Search for Someone to Love

    Photograph of Herman Cain        The rise of Cain is a reflection of prolonged hunger among a segment of Republican voters for someone to inspire.
           Cain's rhetoric is pungent. He told protesters who have set up an encampment in New York's financial center "Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."
           Cain is an advocate of smaller government and would "take the hatchet to the spending" in federal agencies. He vowed that "If you mess with Israel, you mess with the United States of America." He complained that, "We are up against a lot of stupid people in America."
           The other candidates are forced and too polished. Cain says "Politics won't change me, I'll change politics. The political establishment doesn't get it and I'm fine with that but you can be sure they'll get it in January 2013 when I'm taking the oath of office as president!" [Bloomberg, Oct. 7]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note: These are just a few excerpts from a much longer article by Timothy Jones.


    Read this one twice
    Tea Partiers: Time to Drive GOP Debate

    Photograph of Richard Viguerie      By Richard A. Viguerie | 10/6/11
         Now that the media's Chris Christie frenzy is over - again - it is time for Tea Party and conservative movement activists to focus on what it is really going to take to beat Barack Obama and elect a conservative congressional majority: Organizing at the grassroots and selling the constitutional conservative message.
         According to Gallup's daily tracker, Obama has been at or below 40% approval since July and 49% of Americans think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.
         Key states, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida that contributed to Obama's 365 to 173 blow-out of the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008 are in play at this time.
         This is a stunning reversal for Obama and Washington's big government elite and an encouraging sign for Tea Party and conservative movement activists across the country.
         Here's the bad news; the Republican presidential candidates are playing the campaign by the national media's made-for-TV script and hammering each other over issues that have nothing to do with Obama's job performance and the dismal state of the U.S. economy.
         With Republicans fighting over issues that are irrelevant to beating Barack Obama, no wonder the GOP primary polls are on a roller coaster. We need to concentrate our energies NOW on building-up our local grassroots Tea Party and constitutional conservative organizations, so we become the focus and drivers of the Republican presidential sweepstakes. The more organized at the grassroots we are, the more likely it is that the campaigns will respond to us and our demands for an end to business-as-usual in Washington and a return to a government of constitutional limits.
         If you want to make a real difference this campaign cycle DO NOT WAIT to establish your Twitter account, build your followers list and make a habit of updating regularly, establish a facebook page for your local Tea Party group, set-up fan pages for conservative candidates, blog about where the candidates stand on the issues, and most importantly, build and maintain your email and texting lists - and then get to work pushing the Republican candidates to focus on the issues that are going to decide this election - jobs, the economy and the fearsome growth of federal power under Barrack Obama and the Democrats in Congress. [Conservative HG, Oct. 6]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note: I wish I had said this. It's worth reading again - - every word. I worked with Richard Viguerie more than 40 years ago. He was a leader then, as he is now, working to ensure that our country perpetuates its greatnes.



    Palin Could Win as an Independent

    Photograph of Sarah Palin      The possibility of an independent run makes sense and to delay the anouncement of her candidacy may be part of a bigger plan. Sarah Palin promised this to be a very unconventional election cycle. Creating a third party fits that narrative. ...
         Political parties always fear a third party challenge because it splits the votes. If Sarah Palin does not run in the GOP primary, the nominee will likely be Mitt Romney, a favorite of the establishment, the elites and Wall Street. If Sarah Palin was running as an independent, Romney would clinch the nomination but will lose to Obama in the general election.
         That is, unless, Gov. Palin makes a bold move that will split the votes to take votes away from both Obama and Romney. Picking a Vice President who is BOTH pro-business and black. Herman Cain (or any other black man or woman with private sector background). A pro-business running mate would take votes from Romney. The black community will not abandon the first black president on election day unless the alternative is a black candidate who really knows how to create jobs.
         Conservatives4Palin says: "None of us has insider information about any third-party run intention by Governor Palin . . . but, the threat of a Palin independent run may put the fear of God in the party machinists." [Politico, Oct. 4]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  Rush Limbaugh presents yet a third scenario in a Daily Caller editorial. He envisions Sara Palin as a late entry to the GOP primary and being swept to a big win in the Iowa caucuses by a wave of public opinion joined by the party establishment.



    "Compromise"
    a 10-Letter Dirty Word

    Editorial Graphic      When the alternatives are similar but different - compromise may be the best solution. But when the alternatives are opposite to each other, "compromise" is either meaningess or harmful.
         The only compromise between 'bigger government' and 'smaller government' is 'no change in government'. The compromise between 'higher tax' and 'lower tax' is 'no change in tax'. Years of trying to compromise is the reason there has been no change in the increases in tax and spending as our government continues to get bigger.
         We saw the results of "Compromise" during the last session of congress when our republican leadership, trying to compromise, achieved only a fraction of what they had promised to achieve.
         Now we are told to 'compromise' TeaParty principles in order to select a nominee 'who can beat President Obama' in the general election.
         Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum all have more of a chance to beat today's frontrunners than Obama had of beating Hillary in September 2007. (In September 2007 polls showed Hillary Clinton with 35% of the vote to 16% for Obama.)
         If we compromise our standards in selecting our nominee can we expect our elected officials to maintain their standards once they are in office? Let's stick to our beliefs and forget that dirty-word 'compromise'.



    Sarah Palin-affiliated law firm made early-state deadline inquiries

    Photograph of Sarah Palin      Ken Vogel and Maggie Haberman of Politico both have sources saying calls were made on behalf of a mystery candidate to various early states to learn presidential filing deadlines.
         The calls were made by the law firm that employs lawyer Mark Braden, who represents Sarah PAC, her political action committee. While he nor the Palin campaign would comment on the calls, Palin is the only GOP politician eying the presidential race who is represented by the firm.
         The current thinking in GOP election law circles is that the first hard cut-off for entering the race is Oct. 28, when presidential candidates who hope to appear on the ballot in the New Hampshire primary would be required to submit a filing fee from a federally registered presidential campaign committee. [Politico, Oct. 4]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note: 



    "Occupy Wall Street"
    An Encouraging Message
    for the TeaParty

    Editorial Graphic      Most of the "Occupy Wall Street" protestors are probably liberal and many probably voted for President Obama. The movement, which started as a handful of people in New York's financial district, has become significant nationwide.
         They are mainly middle-class, and educated. They are not very focused on what they are demonstrating for. They carry signs saying that they are against Congress; against BIG banks, corporations and hedge funds; and against greed, corruption and the 'filthy rich'. This sounds like the Corporate Crony Capitlaism Sarah Palin described when she said:

          Corporate crony capitalism is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe's economies. It's the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest - to the little guys. It's a slap in the face to our small business owners - the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America. [September 04, 2011]

         Most of he "Occupy Wall Street" protestors will probably never embrace "The Tea Party Movement" by name, yet, they are against many of the same things Sarah Palin condemns. These demonstrators represent many more Americans not demonstrating and active. Can we show them that much of what they are looking for can be found in the TeaParty movement and not on the streets?



    Guest Comment
    by Erick A. Amthor - Tea Party News Reader

    Editorial Graphic      Our nation has gone so far down the wrong road, only a neck snapping stop and full reverse can save it.
         Herman Cain is the only non politician running. Bachmann is close and would be the ideal running mate Cain knows business. He is intelligent. He is humble. He is honest. He knows he will have to rely on experts for foreign policy.He believes in the rule of law and that the Constitution is still relevant.He worked his way up and was not a priveleged child.
         The media would not know how to oppose him. He is 100% real. Learn about him. Support him. Forget the RepublicRAT establishment and the media pundits.



    Tea Party Express:
    We will challenge Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana

    Photographs of Lugar and Mourdock      Tea Party Express announced its endorsement of Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock in his bid to unseat the six-term Republican. Mr. Lugar is the most senior Republican in the Senate and the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee.
         The Tea Party Express specifically criticized Lugar for voting for bailouts of banks and against a ban on earmarks, or federally funded projects in lawmakers' home states and districts.
         An email from Mr. Lugar said: "I have consistently voted for less spending and lower taxes. And I have consistently opposed the Obama approach of massive government spending, regulatory overreach, federalized central control and the redistribution of wealth by restricting wealth."
         The Tea Party has faced criticism in the past for its endorsements of conservative Senate candidates such as Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska and Christine O'Donnell in Delaware. All of those candidates came from behind to win the GOP nominations in their respective races but lost the general election. [The State Column, Sept. 29]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  This will likely be the most watched local race of 2012. Future editorials here will discuss the importance of seniority compared to true conservative principles and gambeling a GOP seat, and the importance of local elections.



    Tea Party Activists Are Special Because
    We Are Idealists - Not Pragmatists -
    But That's Not Always True

    Editorial Graphic        Politicians make their first trip to Washington as idealists - and are soon convinced by the new 'world of government' that to get anything done they must learn to be 'practical'.
           This is the system that grew our government to its outrageous size and put us deeper in debt than we could have possibly imagined. Our politicians thought they had to 'give this' to 'get that' and continued to compromise until the ideals that they arrived with were lost in the shuffle.
           It can happen to TeaParty activists too. We think of ourselves as strongly principled, sticking to our ideals. But presidential primary polls show we are looking more for 'who can win' than the person who shares our beliefs.
           An example is the sudden rise of Herman Cain. For months he extolled the principles of the TeaParty movement, giving a specific well-thought-out economic plan, yet he remained at the bottom of the polls - even among TeaParty activists. The polls were reflecting who voters thought could win - not who best represented the TeaParty principles. (The exceptions are the steadfast Ron Paul followers.)
           When Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll by a big margin, we began to believe he could win. Other polls showed daily increases - and for the next week he was a guest on talk shows across the nation. Herman Cain did not change in a day - our pragmatic view of who could win suddenly matched our beliefs.
           When the opposition tells us someone is 'unelectable', that might be the person we want to consider more seriously.



    Chris Christie's Dilemma

    Editorial Graphic      The NY Post says Nancy Reagan, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush are all encouraging Chris Christie to enter the primary race. Bill Kristol says "It's Not About You" - telling Christie he must run for "the good of the country".
         So the pressure is on. To me this says that the Republican party "establishment" is scared that an independent thinking TeaParty type candidate is likely to win the nomination if they do not step in with their own candidate.
         I believe Christie was sincere every time he said that he is not ready and had no intention to run. So if he does run, he is doing it against his better judgement. He enters the race contradicting himself and being labeled as either inconsistent or insincere.
         I believe that the "establishment" and BIG money/power ( Do I sound like a conspiracy theorist? ) have told him that if he does not run, he can forget about any future in politics outside of New Jersey.
         Christie's dilemma is choosing between a stand that would show he is strong and independent or compromising to appease the "establishment". My advice: Have faith that the TeaParty movement is strong and will be a more powerful force four or eight years from now than the party establishment. We should know his decision by early next week learn what kind of person he is.



    Newt Gingrich releases '21st Century Contract with America'

    Photograph of Newt Gingrich      The document is a new take on the "Contract with America," which Gingrich became famous for in his heyday as U.S. House speaker. The new proposals are different from those in the original, but match the themes of smaller government, lower taxes and greater citizen control.
         REPEAL "OBAMACARE" AND REPLACE IT: The federal health care law is unconstitutional. Americans would get the choice of a tax credit or the ability to deduct the value of their health insurance up to a certain amount.
         OPTIONAL FLAT TAX AND OTHER REFORMS: All tax filers would have a choice on income tax: Use the current provisions, or pay under a lower single rate with limited deductions - a single-page tax return. Reduce the corporate tax rate to 12.5 percent. Abolish the capital gains tax. Abolish inheritance tax. Allow companies to write off 100 percent of the expense of new equipment in one year.
         ENERGY PRODUCTION IN AMERICA: Replace the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with a Environmental Solutions Agency.
         MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY: Seniors could choose to remain in the existing Medicare program. Or they could select their own health insurance provider and get government help covering the premiums.
         BALANCE THE BUDGET: Gain federal revenue through development of federally owned land, "including the 69 percent of Alaska and the 85 percent of Nevada that we the people own through our government." Don't raise taxes. Pass a balanced-budget amendment.
         ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: Control the border with Mexico by January 2014. Reform the legal visa system to make it much easier to deport criminals and gang members while making it easier for law-abiding visitors to come to the U.S. go to college and do business.
         NATIONAL SECURITY: The country needs to restructure and adequately fund our security agencies.
         JUDGES: Use "the clearly delineated powers available to the president and Congress to correct, limit or replace judges who violate the Constitution."
         STATES' POWERS: There are 184 means-tested entitlement programs that states could handle on their own with block grants from the federal government. "One program alone -- Medicaid -- could save the federal government over $700 billion in the next decade. [DesMoines Register, Sept. 28]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  Herman Cain was the first GOP primary candidate to give specifics of what he would do economically. Newt Gingrich has gone further with specifics on more than a dozen issues. While the 'politicians' in the group are quibbling about what each other said in the past - with each trying to make sure they do not offend anyone - the TeaParty choices are coming out with specifics about what they will do and what they belive.



    What if Obama Does Not Run in 2012?

    Editorial Graphic      President Obama's desperate attempt to shift his focus back to his ultra-liberal base is not working. His popularity with young people, blacks and Jews has seriously eroded. If he cannot turn the economy around by the end of the year, it will be obvious that he will not only lose the election but take many in the House and Senate down with him. The pressure will be on from the democrat party to step down. He may just announce in January that the Republican gridlock is preventing him from accomplishing his goals and he will not run again.
         In January it will be too late for Democratic primaries so the delegates in office now would draft their obvisous choice - Hillary Clinton. According to Dick Morris, the Clintons are ready for this. Hillary has stayed far away from any domestic issues. Bill Clinton has already criticised Obama's Jobs Bill - as have two of the Clinton's former consultants. Bill has a book called "Back to Work" on jobs and the economy coming out in November for which he will be doing a book tour.
         If this were to happen, it would be a whole new ballgame. We could still beat Hillary, but we would not have Obama's failed first term as a weapon.



    Herman Cain Leads Republican Field

    Photograph of Herman Cain      A Zogby poll puts Herman Cain at the top of the Republican field with 28%; Rick Perry with 18%; and Mitt Romney with 17%; Ron Paul with 11%.
         The poll was conducted after the Orlando GOP debate, but before Cain won the Florida straw poll. It's a huge surge for Cain, who was polling at 12% just two weeks ago, and was floating at a campaign low of 8% two weeks before that.
         Rick Perry's nunbers have fallen 19% in the past two weeks. Michelle Bachmann has 4%. That puts her just below Jon Huntsman, which is the same way she finished the Florida straw poll. Romney's been holding fairly steady in the Zogby poll. He bounces a few points up and down, but seems to hover in the 15-17% range.
         Zogby's got President Obama's approval rating at 42%, with 57% disapproval. [Human Events, Sept. 27]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  It looks like the Florida straw poll was real. Herman Cain is a real contender. Now let's see how he does under pressure - which will be coming from all sides, especially from the administration. He isa self-made man and everything President Obams isn't.



    Marco Rubio Working on Memoir

    Photograph of Marco Rubio      Rubio, the 40-year-old son of Cuban exiles, was virtually unknown outside of his own state a year ago, but now is widely regarded as a possible contender for vice president in 2012. His youth, conservative views and potential appeal to Latinos.
         Rubio will be represented by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose clients include President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. A proposal has just begun circulating among publishers.
         Rubio wants to share the story of his background, recount the 2010 election and his improbable victory in a three-way race in which he began as an underdog whose approval ratings were "below the margin of error," and articulate his positions on a range of policies and on his vision for the future. [Fox News, Sept. 26]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  Senator Rubio could be a good addition to any Republican ticket in 2012 - and if he continues to perform as well as he has during the past two years, a possible choice for president in 2020.



    Wealthy, Influential, Leaning Republicans
    Pushing Christie for President

    Photograph of Cris Christie      A small but influential group of Republican-leaning donors share a desire to see Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey run for president.
         They include Kenneth G. Langone, billionaire Home Depot founder; Paul E. Singer, hedge fund magnate; David H. Koch, the richest man in New York; Charles R. Schwab, personal investment guru; financier Stanley F. Druckenmiller; hedge fund manager David Tepper; and Daniel S. Loeb, a onetime supporter of President Obama.
         In recent months, Christie enthusiasts have lighted up the phone lines between Manhattan and Trenton trying to persuade the governor to enter the Republican field amid growing concern about the current contenders. [ NY Times, Sept. 27 ]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note:  This is included as my I-told-you-so article from yesterdays editorial titled "Don't Let 'THEM' Tell You Who Will Win". In my opinion, Christie should continue to say "no" and finish the job he started in NJ. He has great potential is he doesn't rush things.


    There Is No Perfect TeaParty Candidate
    And There Never Will Be.

    Tea Party Editorial Square graphic      "Agree with me on 9 of 12 issues, vote for me. Agree with me on 12 of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist." Edward I. Koch, former mayor of New York City.
         "Public Opinion" makes heroes out of new entries to a primary race and then attacks the hero until we find his/her shortcomings and then throw the new found hero aside to start the search again for the 'perfect candidate'. If we write off these past hero castaways we could miss out on some of our best potential candidates.
         Instead of letting 'Public Opinion' determine who is in and who is out, let's use our own personal elimination process - and and give the rest of the field a chance to win our support.
         If your priority is immigration, eliminate Rick Perry; if military strength is key to you, drop Ron Paul from our list; if it is 'establishment politics', then Mitt Romney is out . . . etc. But if Michele Bachmann is going to drop to the bottom of the list, let it be because of a 'key issue' - and not just she has been around a long time and Rick Perry, a fresh face, is promoted by the party and the press.
         Each of the candidates in the race have some great strengths that meet TeaParty standards. Let's look at each candidate in his/her totality and not be swayed by "Public Opinion" created by our press and 'leaders' - or look for perfection on every issue.
          Send us your comments - when appropriate we will include them in the editorial section. Thanks -John-



    Rick Perry reels after Florida flop

    Photograph of Rick Perry      Perry drew a round of scathing reviews for his unfocused debate performance. Then he suffered a defeat in the Florida GOP's straw poll that amounted to a vote of no confidence from dissatisfied activists. The back to back stumbles added up to the worst week of Perry's White House bid, and left strategists wondering what he can do to bounce back.
         One pollster said:"Perry's gotta retool, reorganize and retrench very quickly." But the Perry campaign said the opposite. They say he is a little more than a month in the race and has proven that his message can resonate powerfully. He still has plenty of room to grow his support.
         Supporters hope he will make serious policy speeches in the coming weeks to lay out his conservative vision on how he'd get our country back on track - and focus on issues that really matter. They hope he will give a detailed speech on how he'd help position the country for a turn-around."
         If Perry posts an impressive number when the FEC quarter ends Sept. 30, he may be able to quiet doubts about his staying power and the strength of his operation. [Politico, Sept. 25]       Click here for the complete source story

         Ed. Note: Perry has chosen to be 'consistent' i.e. not modify his past statements and actions such as: in-state tuition for 'illegals'; border security; not adopting AZ type enforcement policy for TX; executive order for teen vaccinations etc. - Whatever TeaParty supporters he may have had probably moved to support more solid conservatives in the race.


    Don't Let "Them" Tell You Who Will Win!
    The GOP Primary Race Is Wide Open.

    Tea Party Editorial Square graphic      "They" want you to think the candidates leading the pack at the moment are the only ones with a chance of winning. Don't believe it. The field is still wide open. It's not just the main-stream-media trying to control our image of the TeaParty - it is also the Obama administration the Republican party establishment, super-sized corporations and banks and even Dick Morris .
         This weekend Herman Cain got more votes in the Florida Republican straw poll than Romney and Perry combined. Ron Paul beat them all in a poll of California Republican leaders. And every candidate looked good in the debates. Primaries begin in February of 2012 - a lot can happen in four months. And there is still time for new-entries: Sarah Palin?; Rudy Giuliani?; Chris Christie? . . .
         Why are "They" trying to limit our thinking to the frontrunners? To steer us toward the 'establishment favorites'. Romney was their first choice and they would have accepted Perry over the real conservatives. But now we are learning that Rick Perry is no poster-child for TeaParty believers either. My guess is that "They" are looking to draft Chris Christie as their next pawn. If so, the lure will be big money from big banks and big corporations and endorsements from big Republicans.

         While we will continue to publish the most interesting TeaParty stories of the day in Tea Party News, we will be adding more 'opinion' from the editor's TeaParty perspective as editorial articles and comments about the articles. Send us your comments - when appropriate we will include them in the editorial section. Thanks -John-



    Herman Cain gets more votes than
    Perry, Romney combined in Florida mock election.

    Photograph of Herman Cain      Cain, a Georgia businessman, won 37 percent of the 2,657 votes cast. Perry got 15 percent. Romney came in third with 14 percent of the vote.
         Trailing the top three: Sen. Rick Santorum, 11 percent; Rep. Ron Paul, 10 percent; Newt Gingrich, 8 percent; former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, 2 percent and Michele Bachmann, 1 percent.
         The mock election run by the state party capped a three-day convention where Cain and former Santorum appeared to pick up new supporters as the front-runners stagnated or stumbled. In the past, the contest has accurately predicted the winners of the GOP presidential nomination: Delegates voted for Ronald Reagan in 1979, George H.W. Bush in 1987 and Bob Dole in 1995. [CBS News, Sept. 25]       Click here for the complete source story

         Editor's Note: Look for "Them" (press, administration etc.) to turn on Herman Cain with a vengance. It's looking like one of the real conservatives has a good shot to make a move to the 'first tier' of candidates. We will hear things like 'never held elected office', has no experience with foreign policy etc. - They get very scared when real conservatives are taken seriously.



    Republican contenders face off in Florida debate

    Debate Graphic      The debate comes on the heels of a new Quinnipiac Poll showing Perry maintaining his edge over Romney 28 to 22 percent support. Among Tea Party respondents, Perry led Romney with 55 percent support to Romney's 35.
         Tonight, Perry, Romney and the seven other contenders - including Gary Johnson as a last minute addition - will meet in Orlando for a debate sponsored by Fox News and Google. Tomorrow, the candidates will all address CPAC Florida, a conference sponsored by the American Conservative Union. And then on Saturday, the Florida Republican Party will hold its presidential straw poll.
         It's no coincidence that the candidates are lavishing attention on Florida. Their calculation? Florida will not only be a battleground in the general election, but it could be decisive in the nomination fight as well. [CBS News, Sept. 21]       Click here for the complete source story



    Herman Cain
    works to break out of second tier in GOP debate

    Photograph of Herman Cain

            Cain has so far been unwilling or unable to engage with the other candidates and compare and contrast his message. Even as the other candidates ganged up on Rick Perry at the last debate, Cain was notably absent from the fray.
            If he wants to get noticed, though, Cain is going to have to mix it up.
            There is an emerging sense that Cain has reached a plateau in the race in the mid-single digits, and so far there is little reason to doubt that perception.
            Strong oratory can get you somewhere, but until you provide something else that the other candidates don't, you will be relegated to the second tier, which is where Cain has been for the vast majority of the presidential campaign so far.
            And unless he can do something to change that dynamic, it's going to be hard for him to break into the first-tier of the race. [Washington Post, Sept. 21]       Click here for the complete source story



    GOP
    leadership faces possible
    tea party
    revolt in 2012

    Republican Revolt graphic

            Tea party activist David Lewis's plans for a primary challenge to John Boehner is a sign of a larger problem for the GOP leadership. Some of the new reps are not holding Obama's feet to the fire on spending. They talked a good game going into the 2010 midterms but failed to deliver after winning control.
            The Coordinator of Tea Party Patriots said "We were told that if we passed the debt ceiling deal we wouldn't be downgraded, but we were." He warns that both Republicans and Democrats could face an electoral bloodbath in the 2012 primaries if they do not do more to hold the line on taxes and spending.
            Meckler criticized House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for throwing away bargaining chips with the White House in the spring tussle over a government shutdown. Tea Party Patriots doesn't plan to run candidates in primary challenges, but his group does plan to encourage tea partiers to become heavily involved in their local primaries.
            Recent history doesn't bode well for primary challengers. Only four incumbents lost their 2010 primaries, and the typical average is just three per election cycle. [Daily Caller, Sept. 20]       Click here for more information in the source story



    Sarah Palin
    Closes the Gap:
    She Leads
    President Obama Among
    Independents

    Photographs of Sarah Palin and Barak Obama

            A new poll shows Obama looks increasingly vulnerable in next year's election, with a solid plurality saying they'll definitely vote against him and most potential Republican challengers gaining on him.
            The biggest gain came for Palin. After trailing Obama by more than 20 percentage points in polls all year, the new national survey found Palin trailing the president by just 5 points, 49-44 percent. The key reason: She now leads Obama among independents, a sharp turnaround.
            By a margin of 49 percent to 36 percent, voters said they definitely plan to vote against Obama. Independents by 53 percent to 28 percent said they definitely plan to vote against him.With that sentiment permeating the electorate a little more than a year before the general election, most Americans think Obama won't win a second term. [Miami Herald, Sept. 20]       Click here for the complete source story with many more details



    Gingrich
    set to revive
    Contract with America

    Photograph of Newt Gingrich

            The man who devised the Contract with America that ushered House Republicans into power in 1994 hopes a new version can boost his bid for the presidency.
            Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who has been lagging in polls and fundraising says he will outline a "very visionary" plan next week that is "10 times deeper and more comprehensive" than the 1994 Contract with America. Gingrich promises it will be "very big" and the kind of thing that Abraham Lincoln would have campaigned on.
            Gingrich is a man of ideas and likes to expound on them in books and articles. He has gotten applause during recent GOP debates, especially as he bashed the news media for trying to divide the candidates.
            Gingrich received 5% in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, tied with Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain. Perry leads the GOP field with 31%. [USA Today, Sept. 20]       Click here for the complete source story



    Republican
    debate shows
    Tea Party
    here to stay

    Tea Party debate graphic

            The first ever Tea Party-sponsored debate showed the group is here to stay. Candidates answered specific policy questions on everything from the economy to Obamacare and social security reform.
            The debate was sponsored by the Tea Party Express and hosted by CNN. Wolf Blitzer was the moderator of the debate which consisted of questions from Blitzer and various Tea Party groups. The debate took on a different tone than previous debates, which focused on questions such as whether Michelle Bachmann would submit to her husband if she were elected president.
            The first question dealt with the viability of social security, long considered the third rail of American politics. Each candidate gave a detailed answer. All of the candidates made it plain that, while the current system needed to have serious changes to make it viable for younger people recently entering into the system, current and approaching retirees would not be affected. The candidates agreed on the need to repeal Obamacare.
            This debate showed that the Tea Party, which consists of everyday Americans, is a force to be reckoned with and is here to stay. It is also significant that it was hosted by CNN, a globally recognized news channel. [Greely Gazette, Sept. 19]       Click here for the complete source story



    Newspeople
    have love affair with
    Congress Freshmen

    Photo of congressional freshmen

            According to a new study, three of the 94 freshmen representatives elected to Congress in 2010 gobble up over one-third of the media's coverage given to the newcomers, while one rising star - Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. - has almost 20 percent of the coverage all to himself.
            The study of the House's "most buzzworthy freshmen" was conducted by Smart Politics, a non-partisan political news site. The study analyzed the contents of Lexis/Nexis news transcripts from ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and NPR.
            Rep. West came in as the clear winner of "most buzzworthy," interviewed or mentioned in 222 news broadcasts since January of this year, or 17.9 percent of all media stories on freshmen representatives. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., came in second, with 12.0 percent of the coverage, while Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., came in third, with 3.6 percent. Freshmen Democrats have received little attention in comparison to the Republican counterparts. [WND, Sept.19]
    Excel table       Click here for the complete source story



    Ron Paul
    money bomb
    eclipses
    $1 million
    -- again

    Photograph of Ron Paul

            Rep. Ron Paul raised $1 million with a one-day online "money bomb" commemorating Constitution Day.
            It was the fifth time Paul's campaign had raised $1 million or more in a one-day. He asked donors to "declare your support for the champion of the Constitution."
            Paul's campaign chairman said: "Our campaign continues to grow in strength and numbers, and the success of these truly grassroots events is a telling example of Dr. Paul's support"
            Paul is fresh off his victory at California Republican Party presidential straw poll, in which he won 44.9 percent of the 833 ballots cast. Texas Gov. Rick Perry finished in second place with 29.3 percent. [Chron.com, Sept. 19]       Click here for the complete source story



    Glenn Beck:
    GOP and
    Tea Party
    in Fight to Death

    Photograph of Glenn Beck

            "Either the tea party will eat the Republicans or vice versa. If the typical "John McCain, Lindsey Graham kind of Republican" wins the internal party battle, the GOP will be finished. It will go the way of the Whigs, The Republicans have one last chance to redeem themselves and if they go with a big government kind of guy we may lose the soul of our country."
            About his new venture, Beck said that GBTV currently looks like the TV news, but he is working on plans to make it completely interactive. What we're building really is a platform of education and entertainment."
            "I've funded this myself entirely. We had several very large investment houses come to us and say, 'We'd like to invest. Beck has built a studio in Dallas. He said his company has grown from six employees just four years ago to more than 100 now. [Newsmax, Sept. 16]       Click here for the complete source story



    Tea Party
    Activist
    to Challenge
    John Boehner
    in a Primary

    Photograph of John Boehner Photograph of David Lewis

            Tea Party activist David Lewis will challenge John Boehner on a single issue: Boehner's support of a federal budget that provided funding to Planned Parenthood.
            "Boehner doesn't really vote for his convictions. He's an establishment Republican. He doesn't believe in the Tea Party. He doesn't really believe in the pro-life issues."
            Dave Kern, chairman of the local GOP, defended Boehner: "I think the young man is mistaken to try to do damage to a committed soldier in this battle,"
            Tea Party activists have been unhappy with Boehner since he cut a deal with the White House to avoid a government shutdown. The deal included $38.5 billion in spending cuts, way short of Boehner's campaign pledge to cut $100 billion and the $61 billion that the GOP-led House approved.
            Tea Party Nation founder said: "The message the Tea Party needs push is - If you don't live up to your promise, we're going to throw you out."
            Boehner won his last primary in 2010 with 85 percent of the vote in a three-way race. [Fox News, Sept. 16]       Click here for the complete source story



    Conservatives,
    Tea Party
    pan Republican sponsored
    E-verify
    bill


    E-Verify Graphic

            Republican lawmakers, Tea Party groups and border-state governors - are airing a long string of complaints: From fears the bill will erode civil liberties; to worries it will harm the agriculture industry; to concerns that it simply won't work.
            TeaParty organizations - including the the Republican Liberty Caucus, the Liberty Coalition and the Kitchen Table Patriots - wrote to every member of Congress warning that the bill "poses a threat to both the Constitution and every law-abiding citizen of this country."
            The groups said the bill jeopardizes small businesses with expensive new paperwork burdens, violates individuals' rights to work and establishes "a de facto national I.D. system - even for citizens. After enactment of the Legal Workforce Act, employers could soon be required to verify whether employees are delinquent in the payment of federal, state, or local taxes, in compliance with child support or alimony decrees, on a terrorist watch list, or convicted or even accused of crime."
            Sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the legislation would force all employers to screen prospective hires through a Homeland Security Department database to weed out those in the country illegally. [The Hill, Sept. 16]       Click here for the complete source story



    Michael Reagan
    to Run Against
    Dianne Feinstein

    Photograph of Michael Reagan Photograph of Dianne Feinstein

            Michael Reagan, son of the former president is looking at challenging California Senator Dianne Feinstein in 2012. So far Reagan has declined to answer further questions about his intentions.
            A poll out this week showed Feinstein with the highest negatives in her 20 years in the Senate. Results that would presumably give Reagan a good reason run.
            This week it was learned that Feinstein's campaign accounts were "wiped out" in the accounting scandal that linked her to longtime treasurer Kinde Durkee. The latest FEC filings show Feinstein has more than five million dollars in the bank but it's not clear how much of that money actually exists or when the campaign might be able to access its remaining funds. [Fox News, Sept. 15]       Click here for the complete source story



    Sarah Palin
    is defended by
    'lamestream media'

    Sarah Palin on the front page of the NY Times

            They kicked her around, victimized her, tried to destroy her. But all of a sudden, the lamestream media is coming to Sarah Palin's defense. Palin is finding support in the unlikeliest of places.
            Film reviewers have slammed the British documentary "Sarah Palin: You Betcha!" Newspapers have refused to run comic-strip excerpts of Joe McGinniss's rumor-mongering tome "The Rogue." Johnston's accusations have been consigned to the gossip pages.
            Reviewer Janet Maslin said "The Rogue" a work of "caustic, unsubstantiated gossip. The Rogue' is too busy being nasty to be lucid, it is "indefensibly reckless."
            The Times recently published an op-ed praising Palin as a person of ideas and calling for her to be taken seriously. The column by Anand Giridharadas -- impeccably credentialed as an Aspen Institute fellow and Cambridge, Mass., resident -- accused the media of "ignoring the ideas [Palin] unfurled" in her recent speech at an Iowa tea party rally. "Ms. Palin may be hinting at a new political alignment that would pit a vigorous localism against a kind of national-global institutionalism."
            And it's not the sort of treatment Palin generally perceives from what she loves to call the "lamestream media" -- because, as she explained in another Facebook post, "The 'mainstream' media isn't mainstream anymore. That's why I call it 'lamestream,' and the LSM is becoming quite irrelevant, as it is no longer the sole gatekeeper of information."
            And then there's "You Betcha!" a cheerfully ruthless documentary about Palin. The film premiered last week at the Toronto International Film Festival. Variety called it "a sarcastically toned, strategically timed character assassination" that "lacks sufficient humor and insight to make it a must-see for anyone outside the Brit muckraker's fan base." Other critics called it "obnoxious" and "unnecessary." [Politico, Sept. 15]       Click here for the complete source story



    Half of
    Republicans
    support
    tea party


    Yes and No Tea Pots

            Half of all Republicans across American say they support the tea party, displaying the power of the movement within the GOP.
            The CNN/ORC International Poll shows tea party Republicans are more likely to be male, older, college-educated and born-again or evangelical. Both groups are predominantly white.      

    Graph of poll results
    Click here for the complete source story


    Tea Party
    Bill Allowing
    Boeing
    SC Plant
    Passed in House -
    Now on to Senate.


    Photograph of an airplane

            The House approved H.R. 2587 in a 238-186 vote in which eight Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the bill, and only seven Republicans voted against it.
            The bill is a response to the NLRB's (National Labor Relations Board) decision to sue Boeing for opening a manufacturing plant for its new 787 Dreamliner jet in South Carolina. South Carolina is a right-to-work state that bans forced union membership.
            Republicans said the suit against Boeing is an overreach of the federal government, and the bill is needed to keep the government out of decisions companies make about where to set up operations.
            Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), has promised to fight for a floor vote on the legislation in the Senate. [The Hill, Sept. 15]       Click here for the complete source story



    Pundits Push Myth of Tea Party-Republican Rivalry

    Graphic of split republican party

            The vast majority of Republican and independent voters have no problems with the beliefs of the tea party movement.
            Political pundits continue to discuss a "battle between the GOP establishment and the tea party." This is designed to create that very division - because it doesn't exist right now.
            The differences between the elder Bush and Reagan in 1980 were far more pronounced than any of the differences that exist among any of the major GOP candidates for president today.
            For whatever reason -- be it ignorance or something more nefarious -- much of the national media wants to portray a divided GOP. They are hopeful that the Republican who emerges as the party's presidential nominee will be identifiable with what these pundits consider to be a major rupture within the GOP. The tea party is a state of mind based on principles held by most republicans - and for that matter, also many democrats. [Townhall, Sept. 15]       Click here for the complete source story



    What we
    learned
    about
    "TeaParty"

    from the Turner/Weprin race.

    Tea Party Watcher square logo

    Editorial

            Bob Turner ran his campaign on tea party movement ideas but his ads never mentioned "TeaParty". This is reasonable strategy. He had the Republican vote locked up and all the polls tell us "Tea Party" has a high negative association and Democrats would not want to be associated with anything "TeaParty-ish".
            But David Weprin used "TeaParty" in virtually every ad ad he ran against Bob Turner. Usually he combined it with an adjective chosen to double the negative effect he was trying to create.
            Considering Turner's big win, it seems the media's campaign over the past few months to deamonize the tea party movement by making "TeaParty" a dirty-word may not have been very effective after all.       Click here for the Tea Party Watcher web site.



    Glenn Beck
    back --
    on Web
    pay TV


    Photograph of Glen Beck

            Glenn Beck is back - gambling on a new platform; a new daily program on his Internet-based network called GBTV.
            Three months after his television program ended, Beck has returned. He's setting himself up as a multi-media powerhouse to see if the world is ready to watch TV on the Internet.
            Pushing boundaries is nothing new for Beck. He rose to prominence by cultivating a committed following. He was noted for emotional outbursts and for fiery statements. Fox News began losing advertisers and Beck left the cable network in June.
            Beck has more than 230,000 viewers, each paying nearly $10 a month. By comparison, Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, with no subscription fee averaged 156-thousand viewers in June. Beck's new network is expected to take in $20 million in its debut year. [CBSNews.com Sept. 13]       Click here for the complete source story



    House Freshmen
    Emerge as G.O.P.
    Power Brokers

    Photograph of House Freshmen standing in front of Capitol

            Tim Scott invited Rick Perry to speak in a town-hall-style meeting, the third Republican presidential candidate to do so. After introducing Mr. Perry as "perhaps the next president of the United States," the two bantered about Mr. Scott's "mama," taxes and guns to peals of laughter and applause. Mr. Perry beamed, bathing in the light of Mr. Scott's local star. Mr. Scott is emerging as a power broker in the primary since being elected to Congress on the leading edge of the Tea Party wave.
            Four South Carolina freshmen -- Mr. Scott and Representatives Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney -- have been among the most prominent faces of the anti-Washington movement. They were among the 66 Republican House members to vote against the deal to raise the debt ceiling, and they remain popular in South Carolina, a state where the Tea Party has been the wind beneath the wings of Senator Jim DeMint and the hot breath on the neck of Senator Lindsey Graham, whose occasional deviations from orthodoxy have left some conservatives grumbling about him.
            The blessing of the Freshmen Four would be enormously helpful to candidates looking for some Tea Party sheen, and demonstrate the unusual power that they enjoy within their state's party.
            Our freshmen went to D.C. and they took a stand even against their own leadership. They say, 'This is why we were elected, this is what we believe in,' and that makes them popular." [NY Times, Sept. 9]       Click here for the complete source story



    Harry Reid
    rails against a
    'tea party
    recession'

    Photograph of Senator Harry Reid

            Harry Reid continued his assault on tea party Republicans, blaming them for standing in the way of President Barack Obama's new jobs plan and causing what he termed "a tea party recession."
            He urged "reasonable" Republicans to reject the tea party agenda and endorse Obama's $447 billion jobs bill, a blend of tax cuts and credits, state aid and infrastructure projects, that the president laid out in a speech to Congress.
            "We must not continue to bow to the tea party Republicans willing to do anything to hurt the president. But instead of hurting the president by causing a tea party recession, we cannot allow their radical agenda [to] crowd out America's jobs agenda."
            The majority leader called the bill "a good piece of legislation" - one that's comprised of bipartisan ideas - and said the Senate would debate it "as soon as possible." [Politico, Sept. 10]       Click here for the complete source story



    House freshman,
    now veterans
    pay tribute
    to 9/11

          Click here to see the VIDEO



    A Look at the
    Sarah Palin
    that the Press Usually Overlooks

    Photograph of Sarah Palin

            Last weekend, along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the "far left," she delivered an indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment -- left, right and center -- and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide.
            She made three points. First, that the United States is now governed by a "permanent political class," drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called "corporate crony capitalism." Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).
            In supporting her first point she attacked both parties saying:. "They arrive in Washington of modest means and ride the gravy train to fabulous wealth. 7 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the US are suburbs of the nation's capital.
            Her second point helpeds explain the first. The permanent class stays in power because it positions itself between two deep troughs: the money spent by the government and the money spent by big companies to secure decisions from government that help them make more money.
            "Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It's because there's nothing in it for them. They've got a lot of mouths to feed -- a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along."
            Ms. Palin's third point was more striking still: she made a distinction between good capitalists and bad ones. The good ones are those small businesses that take risks and sink and swim in the churning market; the bad ones are well-connected megacorporations that live off bailouts, dodge taxes and profit terrifically while creating no jobs.
            Strangely, she was saying things that liberals might like, if not for Ms. Palin's having said them.
            On one side would be those Americans who believe in the power of vast, well-developed institutions like Goldman Sachs, the Teamsters Union, General Electric, Google and the U.S. Department of Education to make the world better. On the other side would be people who believe that power, whether public or private, becomes corrupt and unresponsive the more remote and more anonymous it becomes; they would press to live in self-contained, self-governing enclaves that bear the burden of their own prosperity.
            No one knows yet whether Ms. Palin will actually run for president. But she did just get more interesting. [NY Times, Sept. 8]       Click here for the complete source story



    Rush Limbaugh
    predicts:
    Marco Rubio
    will be
    president


    Photograph of Rush Limbaugh
    Photograph of Marco Rubio

            Rush made this prediction while making a point about sticking to candidates with conservative purity instead of promoting moderate Republicans.
            "You want conservative purity, I'll give it to you: Marco Rubio, who is someday going to be president of the United States. Rubio is an unabashed conservative, who defeated former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the race for Senate.
            Rubio has often been mentioned as a prime choice to be a vice-presidential running mate for whomever wins the GOP nomination, but his eligibility remains in question because although he was born in Miami, Fla his Cuban-born parents were not U.S. citizens until they became naturalized Americans after his birth. There are many who believe that a natural-born citizen means being the child of parents who are both U.S. citizens.
            Besides Rubio, Limbaugh today also pointed to other recent conservative successes such as Rand Paul, Sen. Ron Johnson, Sen. Jim DeMint, and Rep. Allen West. [WND.com, Sept. 8]       Click here for the complete source story



    Tea Party
    Zombie Game
    Is Not
    Funny

    img-Zombie.gif

            An online video game is called "Tea Party Zombies Must Die." The game's description is: DON'T GET TEA-BAGGED! The Tea Party zombies are walking the streets of America. Grab your weapons and bash their rotten brains to bits! Destroy zombie Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, the Koch Brothers, and many more!"
            The game is free to use; design and playability are surprisingly slick. But none of that is of concern to partisans, who don't often use threats of violence and weapons-related outrage against the left.
            The company behind the game, StarvingEyes, has clients including TLC and Hotels.com, but the boss said "The game was just a personal project. I am not worried about it effecting [sic] business." Bloggers, on the other hand, are very worried about what this game means for America. [NY Magazine, Sept 7]       Click here for the complete source story



    More Republicans skipping Obama's speech to Congress

    Photograph of House of Representative chamber

            Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh said the speech is a political speech and he does not want to be used as a prop for the president and that Mr. Obama is abusing his power by seeking to speak to Congress on a topic that is not a national emergency.
            Sen. Jim DeMint said he does not think he will attend because he would prefer to read the speech text and Rep. Paul Broun plans to hold a Twitter town hall from his office during speech as he did for the State of the Union message.
            House Republicans do not plan to make a formal response to Obama's speech, as is typically done with major presidential addresses to Congress.
            Nancy Pelosi said the lack of a response "is not only disrespectful to him, but to the American people." [CBS News, Sept. 7]       Click here for the complete source story



    Jimmy Hoffa
    Threatens
    Tea Party:
    "Take These Son Of Bitches Out"

    Photograph of Jimmy Hoffa Jr.

            Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa Jr. had some profane, combative words for the tea party movement.
            "We got to keep an eye on the battle: You see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing we working people like is a good fight. And they've got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We're going to win that war.
            "President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong." [Real Clear Politics, Sept. 5]       Click here for the complete source story



    "Citizen Activism",
    a New Designation for the
    Tea Party
    Movement

    Graphic of Active Citizens 2011

            Senator DeMint is in the process of making a few changes. The Tea Party, he now says, is not a single group, rather is comprised of hundreds of groups of "citizen activists," who have only a few demands including less taxation, smaller government, fewer regulations and reducing the national debt.
            The Tea Party conservatives seem to think the word "conservative" implies short hair and white shirts. "Conservative" in many minds equals "religious."Senator DeMint is in the process of making a few changes. The Tea Party, he now says, is not a single group, rather is comprised of hundreds of groups of "citizen activists," who have only a few demands including less taxation, smaller government, fewer regulations and reducing the national debt. [Blogcritics, Sept. 4]       Click here for the complete source story



    New Congress deficit panel sets first meeting

    Graphic of Capitol on Dollar bill

            The opening meeting of the bipartisan "super committee" will be held September 8, just hours before President Barack Obama speaks to a joint session of Congress. At its meeting, which will be open to the public, the committee will consider rules under which it will operate.
            The panel will hold its initial public hearing on September 13 to review the history and causes of the growing debt. Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf is scheduled to testify.
            The committee's job is to find at least $1.2 trillion in new government savings over the next decade and has a November 23 deadline. The committee is expected to consider a mix of spending cuts and possibly tax increases.
            If a majority of the new committee cannot agree on a deficit-reduction package, automatic spending cuts of at least $1.2 trillion would be triggered in 2013. They would be divided equally between defense and domestic programs. [Reuters, Sept. 3]       Click here for the complete source story



    The Hill's 2011 50 Wealthiest Members of Congress

    Photograph of Sen Kerry

            Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has dethroned Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as the richest member of Congress. McCaul reported a net worth of $287 million. Lawmakers including Darrell Issa and Nancy Pelosi saw gains of millions of dollars.
            More than a dozen appear on the list for the first time, including 10 Tea Party-backed GOP freshmen with backgrounds in business, medicine and auto sales, among other professions. The richest GOP freshman is Rep. Jim Renacci, who reported $35.9.
            GOP gains in the 2010 elections helped shift the list toward Republicans. Six Democrats who made The Hill's 50 Wealthiest in 2010 lost their reelection bids. The rankings include 32 Republicans and 18 Democrats.
            To compile the rankings, The Hill reviewed all the congressional financial disclosure reports that lawmakers filed for the 2010 calendar year. [The Hill, Sept. 5]       Click here for the complete source story



    Tea Party Rep.
    Joe Walsh
    Skipping Obama Jobs Speech

    Photograph of congressman Joe Walsh

            Rep. Joe Walsh's solution to the scheduling debate over President Obama's jobs speech next week is to skip the event completely.
            "Instead of being a prop of another one of the President's speeches, next Thursday I will fly home to IL to talk to real job creators," tweeted Rep. Joe Walsh, who is known for his outspoken support of the Tea Party movement.
            "I will host a small business job forum - to talk to small businessmen & women, since they are who create jobs and generate economic growth," he added.
            Obama will deliver a speech focusing on jobs before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 8. [Fox News, Sept. 1]       Click here for the complete source story



    Moderate Democrats endangered in 2012

    Photograph of a blue dog

            The shrinking group of moderate House Democrats could be wiped out by energized Republican challengers.
            The House Democratic Blue Dog Coalition saw its ranks decimated after the wave election of 2010. In all, 28 of the group's 54 members were defeated or retired last year and many of those who did survive did so by the slimmest of margins.
            At least a dozen seats held by moderates are in competitive districts and vulnerable to a Republican takeover next year and when Congress reconvenes in January 2013, there may be 13 -- or fewer -- Blue Dogs left.
            Blue Dogs who face the biggest political threat include Reps. Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre, both of North Carolina; John Barrow of Georgia; Jim Costa of California; and Leonard Boswell of Iowa.
            The Blue Dogs are now doubly marginalized because the Democrats are the minority party and their own caucus is now dominated by liberals. The group wields very little influence on the congressional agenda. [Washington Examiner, Sept. 1]       Click here for the complete source story



    Tea party groups split over Romney speech

    Tea Party Express Logo Freedom Works Logo

            FreedomWorks is pulling out of a nationwide bus tour led by Tea Party Express over the inclusion of Mitt Romney as a speaker. The split signifies a growing divide between two groups.
            FreedomWorks was founded by Dick Armey and is a more conventional political action committee which has positioned itself as a member-driven organization that will not lend its clout to candidates considered moderate.
            Tea Party Express, launched by Sal Russo, is co-sponsoring a debate with CNN. "Our attitude has always been to keep our rallies open to everyone, we even let opponents to our endorsed candidates speak."
            A divide first opened up between FreedomWorks and the Tea Party Express over Hatch, who is expected to face a tough conservative challenge. FreedomWorks considers Hatch one of their top 2012 targets, and it is working closely with activists in the state to defeat him.
            Some activists see both groups as outsiders to the movement. "They just hijacked the name," said Jane Aitken of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers, adding that "FreedomWorks isn't one of us either." [Washington Post, Aug. 31]       Click here for the complete source story



    Rep. West threatens in letter to leave Congressional Black Caucus over tea party bashing

    Photograph of Congressman Allen West

            In response to comments made by Rep. Andre Carson and Rep. Maxine Waters that denigrate the tea party movement, Allen West -- a member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and the Tea Party Caucus -- sent a letter to CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver:
            "As Chairman of the CBC, I believe it is incumbent on you to condemn these types of hate-filled comments. Otherwise, I will have to reconsider my membership within the organization. It is unconscionable for a fellow CBC Member to claim that some in the Tea Party would love to see black Americans 'hanging on a tree.' It is appalling to hear another CBC colleague say 'The Tea Party can go straight to hell.'"
            "As a member of the CBC, I look forward to working with you to help end this practice. All of us, especially Carson, Waters and others who have engaged in racially-motivated rhetoric, should follow the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., not the example of Reverend Jeremiah Wright." [Daily Caller, Aug. 31]       Click here for the complete source story



    Ron Johnson:
    Current crop of lawmakers
    won't solve
    debt problem

    Photograph of Senator Ron Johnson

            The batch of lawmakers currently in Washington have little chance of solving the nation's debt problem, freshman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) warned on Monday.
            "I'm trying to let people know, don't expect Washington to fix this problem," said Johnson speaking on WEAU News. "I think the agreement of the debt-ceiling proves that the current crop of officials in Washington won't seriously address this problem."
            Johnson was one of a just a handful of Republicans who voted against the deal to raise the debt-ceiling forged by congressional leadership, on grounds that it did not slash enough in government spending. [The Hill, Aug. 29]       Click here for the complete source story



    Gallup Poll:
    Tea Party
    Prefers
    Perry


    Photograph of Rick Perry in a TeaPot

            According to a new Gallup poll, Tea Party members are begining to support Rick Perry.
            35 percent of Republicans who say they support the Tea Party also support Perry. Rep. Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney are tied for second at 14 percent. Just behind them is Rep. Ron Paul at 12 percent.
            Among those Republicans who say they don't support the Tea Party, Romney leads the pack at 23 percent with Perry polling at 20 percent, Bachmann at 6 percent and Paul pulling 16 percent.
            The same Gallup poll shows the Tea Party is a formidable part of the Republican Party. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they support the group. [FoxNews blogs, Aug. 28]       Click here for the complete source story



    Are Tea Party freshmen conventional politicians?

    Tea Cup Flag graphic

            Republican freshmen endorsed by the Tea Party (TP), didn't vote on the debt ceiling, or other issues, differently than the broader Republican Party. There are not significant differences between the Tea Party and the rest of the GOP.
            Gridlock can not be attributed to the TP freshmen who came to Washington. That's not to say the TP hasn't changed politics. It may have moved the entire GOP to the right, because establishment Republicans fear TP primary challenges and preempt those challenges by aligning with the movement.
            TP endorsements helped in the primaries but very little in the general election. The TP affiliation could hurt them once they get to the general election.
            There were not many people who were moderate in the past and become pitchfork-carrying radicals when they joined the Tea Party. They always had pitchforks. They didn't quite have the name brand and the identity, until the Tea Party came around.
            The Tea Party gave a common identity to the right wing of the Republican Party. Lawmakers like Michele Bachman, elected in 2006, eagerly presented themselves as the leaders of these new populist protests. Only 17 of the 88 freshmen have joined the Tea Party caucus that Bachmann formed last year. [CBS News.com, Aug. 26]       Click here for the complete source story



    I was born and raised in
    Ronald Reagan's
    America

    Photograph of Marco Rubio with Nancy Reagan


     Ronald Reagan Foundation Shield

    Click here to hear Sen. Rubio's speech at the Reagan Library

            Sen. Marco Rubio said he's flattered by the attention he's receiving as a possible vice presidential nomination. Looking and sounding like a politician on a national stage, Rubio offered a full endorsement of conservatism at the shrine dedicated to the man Rubio calls the greatest American of the 20th century.
            "Government programs have weakened the country and that those in need should first look to their families and communities before turning to the government.
            "Americans built the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Yet we have government that not even the most prosperous nation on Earth can afford to pay for. An extraordinarily tragic accomplishment. Reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is essential. It is my generation's duty to solve the rocketing costs of these programs."
            For a moment it appeared as if Mrs. Reagan would become the story. She almost fell while entering the room on Rubio's arm and her cane slipped. Rubio kept the former first lady from falling. After a few seconds they were walking again. A smile returned to Reagan's face as she took her seat for the event. [Fox News, Aug. 23]      Click here for the complete source for this story



    Rep. Steve King:
    Get Tough on
    Balancing Budget

    Balanced Budget graphic

            Rep. Steve King says he won't vote for a balanced budget amendment unless it includes a cap on federal spending and requires any tax increases to be approved by a supermajority of both the House and Senate.
            "If we pass something as a constitutional amendment that has no teeth, then it looks like we're just posturing rather than actually fixing the problem."
            Under the deal that raised the federal debt ceiling, both chambers of Congress must vote by the end of the year on a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget.
            "The debt ceiling deal was supposed to be an important lever for us to get a vote on a balanced-budget amendment, but they did not include a definition for the amendment.
            "Although Republicans hold a majority in the House, I don't think the current Congress can solve the country's fiscal problems. There's nothing I can see on the horizon that will turn us sharply enough towards fiscal responsibility to get to a balance." [NewsMax, Aug. 23]       Click here for the complete source story



    New fight over balanced budget amendment to parallel next round of deficit cuts in fall

    'Balance' as balanced budget graphic

            As a "supercommittee" tries to find $1.5 trillion in new deficit cuts this fall, Republicans will be pressing to amend the Constitution to require the government to balance its budget.
            The idea is being pushed most forcefully by conservatives eager to shrink government spending but disappointed with the results so far. Republican Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas says a balanced budget amendment is "the only permanent solution to control government spending."
            Some Republicans fear the amendment could trigger higher taxes. They want to require two-thirds of Congress, not just a simple majority, to approve tax increases. Under this summer's debt ceiling-deficit deal, Congress has to vote on the amendment by Christmas. Three-fourths of the state legislatures would then have to ratify it. [Washington Post, Aug. 22]       Click here for the complete source story


    Photos of Orren Hatch and Jason Chaffetz


    Chaffetz won't challenge Hatch in 2012 GOP Senate primary

            Chaffetz's decision follows diligent work by Hatch in recent months to shore up conservative support in order to fend off a primary challenge.
            Hatch tacked to the right by partnering with Mike Lee, a Tea Party favorite, to forcefully support a balanced-budget amendment. Hatch also aligned himself with conservatives on a series of votes this session, voting against the most recent debt-ceiling compromise and against the 2011 budget compromise that prevented a government shutdown.
            Hatch's campaign has courted high-profile conservative pundits to endorse his renomination. Radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin lent their support to Hatch, which his campaign proudly trumpeted.
            The campaign is a study in contrasts from Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who's also facing the threat of a conservative primary challenger but has embraced defended some of the centrist votes he's made. [The Hill, Aug. 22]       Click here for the complete source story



    Rubio
    headed to California for
    major speech

    Photograph of Marco Rubio

            Days after Sen. Marco Rubio's election former First Lady Nancy Reagan wrote to him: "As someone to watch on the national political scene. I'm looking forward to watching you in your new role. Americans are curious to get to know you. I believe the Reagan Library would be a great venue for you to deliver an address."
            Rubio will travel to California for his first major speech outside of Florida or the U.S. Senate -- as well as some fundraising for his new political action committee. He's will speak on: the role of government in America. Next month He will talk about his growing interest in foreign policy at the Jesse Helms Center in North Carolina.
            Speaker John Boehner quoted Rubio during the debt ceiling debate: "Senator Rubio said last week we don't need more taxes - what we need are more taxpayers."
            Just two weeks after Rubio speaks at the Reagan library, it will play host to a Republican presidential debate. It begs the question of whether Rubio's speech there -- and his overall strategy -- is calculated bait for an eventual vice presidential nod. [Miami Herald, Aug. 21]       Click here for the complete source story



    Union-backed
    Super PAC
    targets
    GOP House members

    Photo of George Soros with Money Bags

            A liberal political action committee funded by labor unions and George Soros, announced an ad blitz targeting House Republicans whose seats it considers "some of the most vulnerable" in 2012.
            'August offensive' television ad campaign will target Reps. Dan Lungren of California and Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. Other campaigns are against Tim Griffin, Scott Tipton and Chip Cravaack. They spent nearly $825,000 overall campaigning against Republican House members since April.
            A PAC representative said: "We are targeting Republicans more than a year before the 2012 elections because the American people are disgusted with House Republicans' misguided priorities and votes to sell out the middle class. House Majority PAC will continue targeting House Republicans."
            The battle for House majority is on. TeaPartyWatcher is sponsoring Send A Big Message which will be offering a number of ways to support the House candidates who can win and bring tea party ideals to Congress. [Daily Caller, Aug. 20]       Click here for the complete source story



    West Urges Black Voters to Follow 'Underground Railroad' Away From Democrats

    Photograph of Allen West

            Rep. Allen West, who is black, was responding to a raucous town hall meeting hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus. Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters voiced frustration with President Obama and asked the crowd to "unleash" her and other black lawmakers on the White House.
            West said: "You have this 21st-century plantation where the Democrat Party has forever taken the black vote for granted and certain black leaders who are nothing more than the overseers of that plantation. And now the people on that plantation are upset because they've been disregarded, disrespected and their concerns are not cared about. Social welfare policies have failed. The unemployment rate for African Americans is 15.9. [Fox News, Aug 18]       Click here for the complete source story



    Tea party less popular than Muslims, atheists

    NY Times Logo

            According to a recent New York Times/CBS survey, tea party members are less popular than atheists, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, and 21 other groups. The movement has lost 20 percent of its supporters and gained 40 percent more opponents.
            Times writers say the tea party's mixing of politics and religion simply doesn't appeal to the majority of Americans. The story claims pro-tea party folks are becoming "increasingly out of step with most Americans, even many Republicans."
            "While over the last five years Americans have become slightly more conservative economically, they have swung even further in opposition to mingling religion and politics. It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity." [Daily Caller, Aug 17]       Click here for the complete source story



    White House paints GOP field with tea party brush

    Graphic of a paint brush with tea party pots dripping

            The rising profiles of Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are giving the White House a new opening: linking the entire GOP field to the tea party. If the strategy works, it could cause guilt-by-association problems even for non-tea-party Republicans like Mitt Romney.
            Robert Gibbs said: "Republican candidates must decide whether to swear allegiance to the tea party or work with Democrats." A new video by the Democratic National Committee says "Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates are embracing extreme tea party policies."
            A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 40 percent of American adults had a "not favorable" view of the tea party, compared with 18 percent in an earlier poll. The proportion who said they knew too little to form an opinion of the tea party fell to 21 percent, from an earlier 46 percent.
            "The strategy is sound for the Obama team because they would love the campaign to be about the challenger, no matter who it is." [Atlanta Journal Constitution, Aug. 17]       Click here for the complete source story


    Paul Ryan
    for
    President
    in 2012?


    Photograph of Representative Paul Ryan

            Just when it looked like the GOP Presidential field was finally taking shape there is speculation that Paul Ryan is considering a run for president.
            Stephen Hayes reports in the WEEKLY STANDARD that "He has been quietly meeting with political strategists over the past three months to discuss a possible White House bid and he is presently on vacation in Colorado where he is discussing the subject with his family." [FoxNews.com, Aug. 16]       Click here for the complete source story


    TP rallies
    against
    Rep. Black
    vote on
    debt ceiling


    Photograph of Representative Diane Black

            Tea Party activists upset with U.S. Rep. Diane Black, held signs to tell her why they're upset with her vote to raise the federal debt limit: One of the signs said: "Diane Black $25 trillion in debt? Are you serious? We reject your road to serfdom!"
            According to her spokesperson: "The congressman's position on the debt limit did not change over the course of the past seven months. In fact she and members of staff have met numerous times with Tea Party activists and held town hall meetings in every county to extensively discuss her position. [DNJ.com, Aug. 16]       Click here for the complete source story


    Rep. Allen West
    taking heat
    from backers
    for debt limit
    vote


    Photograph of Allen West

            Allen West not only supported the debt ceiling deal, he tried to get others on board. Tea party and other supporters are incensed. Some are talking about recruiting a candidate to run against him in the Republican primary.
            Others are posting comments on his Facebook page. "I feel like Col. West stole from me," wrote Tony Wiley of Cape Coral. "I donated to his campaign, even though I'm not in his district. He then turns around and votes 180 degrees from what the people who got him elected want. Can I get a refund?"
            West spoke recently to Laura Ingraham, who said she would campaign for him if he does face a primary. "One minute they're saying I'm their tea party hero and what, three or four days later I'm a tea party defector?" West said. "That kind of schizophrenia, I'm not going to get involved in it." [TampaBay.com, Aug. 16]       Click here for the complete source story



    Left
    seeks to
    win by
    demonizing
    the
    tea party


    Graphic of a Devil in a Tea Cup

            The left has staked out its election strategy for 2012: They will resort to insults to demonize the tea party movement. It's a variation of a trial lawyer approach: If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. And if both are against you, pound on the table.
            The marching orders are clear: Appeal to the public's basest instincts. Call the tea partiers "terrorists" and "hostage takers." What better way to demonize the tea partiers than by equating them to jihadists who have killed thousands of Americans. Then call the decision to lower America's debt rating the "tea-party downgrade."
            Such nonsense from self-proclaimed "progressive" politicians doesn't come as a surprise, but from the secretary of the Treasury? Engaging in such petty politics is beneath the dignity of the office.
            The tea-party downgrade? Ridiculous. A sixth-grader can see the United States no longer is a Triple-A country financially, and that's because Triple-D-minus politicians have been running the show for more than a decade.
            Benjamin Franklin said: "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." [Sun Sentinal, Aug. 15]       Click here for the complete source story



    Support
    For the
    Representatives
    who
    Voted NO
    to the
    Debt Ceiling
    Bill

    Send A Big Message logo

            Tea Party success will be achieved by re-electing Representatives who are doing 'the right thing' and by replacing the ones who are not.
            At this website one donation can support multiple TP representatives. Currently a single donation of any size will be divided among the 27 freshmen GOP representatives who voted NO on the Debt Ceiling Bill.
            As TP candidates oppose RINOS in primaries it will be possible for a single contribution to be divided among the challengers.
            Except for the vote, there is nothing more powerful than campaign contributions to assure the success of TP principles. This site makes it easy for a small contribution so send a very big message.
            Tea Party Watcher is a sponsor of Send a Big Message.       Click here for the complete source story



    Boehner,
    McConnell
    announce
    picks for
    'supercommittee'

    Comic Book Super Heroes

            The GOP has announced its picks for the powerful "supercommittee" established to find $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts.
            John Boehner has appointed Dave Camp (Mich.), Fred Upton (Mich.) and Jeb Hensarling (Texas). Hensarling will serve as the co-chairman of the supercomittee. Mitch McConnell appointed his deputy, Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Rob Portman (Ohio), and Pat Toomey (Penn.).
            The two leaders seemd took different approaches to their selections. McConnell appointed two freshman senators in Portman and Toomey, Boehner did not pick any members of the House GOP's freshman class, opting to go with veteran lawmakers. The six picked for the supercommittee have all vowed to oppose tax increases.
            The supercommittee must be appointed by Aug. 16 and must vote on a plan by Nov. 23. That plan will receive an up-or-down vote by Christmas in both chambers. [The Hill, Aug. 10]       Click here for the complete source story



    Don't
    Blame
    the
    Tea Party

    Graphic of flag design teacup

            The Obama administration is attempting to blame the Tea Party for Standard & Poor's downgrade of the government's credit rating. The accusation is false. S&P said "the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration agreed to falls short of the amount that we believe it necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade." In other words - the debt ceiling compromise didn't go far enough.
            The Tea Party has argued all along that now is the time to rein in out-of-control spending and get the government on a path toward long-term fiscal responsibility. Conservative members of Congress were criticized for insisting that we must address this problem immediately, and the establishment was unfortunately successful in kicking the debt can further down the road.
            Responsibility for the credit downgrade rests not with the Tea Party, but with an administration that has added $4.3 trillion to the national debt in less than three years and with an establishment that has balked at efforts to enact substantial reforms. Tea Party members are the people who have been sounding the alarm about our financial mess for years. Tea Party representatives in Congress are the only ones presenting substantial reforms, such as the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act.
            Members of the Tea Party shouldn't be apologizing for the credit downgrade or the rest of our financial mess. They should be saying, "We told you so." [Fox News, Aug. 9]       Click here for the complete source story


    Tea Party
    'Hobbits'
    ask
    'Are You Going to Apologize?'

    John McCain photograph

            Whether you are quoting someone else or not, there are probably some things you should not say on the Senate floor, especially if they are about constituents who have supported you in the past.
            Sen. McCain said he is not going to give an apology for something he describes as "the facts."
            Things didn't get any easier for Sen. McCain when he tried to move the conversation away from the recent debt negotiations. McCain showed he didn't have all the answers and blamed the democrats for the problems the country is facing. [The Blaze, Aug. 9]       Click here for the complete source story



    GOP
    keeps control of
    Wisconsin
    Senate

    Recall graphic

            Republicans held onto control of the Wisconsin Senate, beating four Democratic challengers in a recall election. The attempt to remove GOP incumbents is a referendum on Walker's conservative revolution and demonstrates the public mood .
            The stakes in Wisconsin were clearly much larger than control of the Senate. Both parties were testing messages for the 2012 presidential race, in which Wisconsin is an important swing state.
            The Legislature that had been approving Republican-backed bills in rapid succession would likely have ground to a halt if Democrats had won back the Senate. They would then have been able to block anything from passage. [Todaystmj, Aug; 9]       Click here for the complete source story



    Sarah Palin
    grades
    Obama
    on the downgrade:
    'Disgraceful
    and embarrassing'


    Photograph of Sarah Palin

            "It is a disgraceful and embarrassing situation when the United States finds itself justifiably chastised in the same tone normally reserved for near-bankrupt economies.
            "Be wary of the efforts President Obama makes to "fix" the debt problem. The more he tries to "fix" things, the worse they get because his "solutions" always involve spending more, taxing more, growing government, and increasing debt. This debt problem is the greatest challenge facing our country today.
            "Obviously, President Obama doesn't have a plan or even a notion of how to deal with it. His press conference today was just a rehash of his old talking points and finger-pointing. That's why he can't be re-elected in 2012.
            Our economic news is disheartening and the task before can seem daunting, but we must not lose our sense of optimism. People look around today and may see only the negative. They see a culture and a nation in decline, but that's not who we are! America must regain its optimistic pioneering spirit again. [LA Times, Aug. 8]       Click here for the complete source story



    Perry
    to Enter Race,
    Sending
    a Jolt to G.O.P. Candidates


    Photograph of Rick Perry

            Gov. Rick Perry of Texas delivered a long-distance jolt to the Republican presidential campaign by saying he intends to join the race and visit South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday. Mr. Perry will stop short of making an announcement this weekend.
            His name will not be on the ballot in Iowa, but Americans for Perry has been urging supporters to cast a write-in ballot for him. That effort could erode support from his rivals.
            Republican candidates hoped to introduce themselves to voters through the rituals of the Iowa State Fair, but the spotlight of the race was suddenly yanked to Mr. Perry as a new element in the contest. [NY Times, Aug. 8]       Click here for the complete source story



    Focus
    on
    Iowa


    Iowa Straw Poll graphic

            Nine of the Republican candidates will participate in a nationally televised debate in Ames, Iowa, on Aug. 11. The straw poll held at the State Fair over the weekend is designed to gauge the early popularity and organizational ability of Republican presidential hopefuls.
            "For better or worse, the straw poll is a factor. If candidates perform poorly, they could see their money dry up and that will bring an end to their campaign.
            Bachmann's straw poll performance will show if the polls that show her tied with Romney are correct. Analysts predict Ron Paul will finish significantly better than his fifth-place showing four years ago. The stakes are highest for Pawlenty. He has placed his greatest emphasis on Iowa. A poor showing would show he is failing to gain traction.
            There are nine candidates on the straw-poll ballot, which will also offer a write-in option for the first time. Candidates who rented space for the event are guaranteed a ballot spot. Besides Bachmann, Pawlenty and Paul, those were Rick Santorum , Herman Cain and Representative Thaddeus McCotter. The ballot will also include Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. Texas Governor Rick Perry won't be on the ballot. [Bloomberg, Aug. 8]       Click here for the complete source story



    Only the
    Tea Party
    Had a
    $4 Trillion
    Plan



    Graphic showing AAA -->  AA+

            S&P exec John Chambers said: "$4 trillion would have be a good down payment. If we thought policy makers could deliver the goods on that, then that would have been a good strong sign. S&P may slash the Triple-A rating if a debt ceiling deal is not accompanied by what it deems is a credible plan to cut the $14.3 trillion federal [debt] by $4 trillion. The plan has "to have bipartisan support. If you have a plan that is only backed by one side or the other, even if you got it through, you would be faced with the prospect of it being unwound."
            There was only one plan that did what S&P required -- $4 trillion in cuts with bipartisan support. That'd be Cut, Cap, and Balance -- a plan that cut $4 trillion and got bipartisan support in the House of Representatives.
            As Democrats and some Republicans, lash out and blame the Tea Party for causing the United States to lose its credit rating, it is worth pointing out that only the Tea Party offered up a plan to avoid what happened.
            This is precisely why the GOP should have held the line. [Red State, Aug. 7]       Click here for the complete source story



    Public
    Frustrated:
    Majority of
    Americans
    disgusted
    with debt talks


    Photo of thumb pointing down

            According to a Rasmussen poll 62 percent of likely voters would replace the entire Congress if they could. Voters are extremely frustrated with the way Congress handled negotiations of its debt obligations.
            A CNN poll found 84 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job. A Pew poll found 72 percent described the debt negotiations in negative terms. "Ridiculous," disgusting, and stupid, frustrating, childish, disappointing, poor, joke, messy, idiotic, crazy, disgrace, stinks, pathetic, and outrageous, came up frequently. The negative views were shared nearly equally among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
            The president's and lawmakers' approval ratings declined. The public believes it will worsen the economy bu more than two to one. There are a lot of reasons why Americans lost faith in the process as they watched what seemed like a circus that wasn't producing anything but stalemate. [The Epoch Times, Aug. 8]       Click here for the complete source story



    Republicans
    Demand
    Geithner's
    Head
    Following
    S&P Downgrade


    Photo of woman holding Fire Geithner sign

            Jim DeMint said President Barack Obama should "demand" Geithner's resignation "and immediately replace him with someone who will help Washington [to] focus on balancing our budget and allowing the private sector to create jobs. For months [Geithner] opposed all efforts to reduce the debt in return for a debt ceiling increase. His opposition to serious spending and debt reforms has been reckless and now the American people will pay the price."
            Republican presidential hopefuls congresswoman Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota and businessman Herman Cain have also called for Geithner to quit.
            The downgrade comes just four months after Geithner told Fox News that there was no chance that US debt rating would be reduced, despite some warnings from S&P. [International Business Times, Aug. 8]       Click here for the complete source story



    Congress
    is in
    session
    during
    August


    Photograph of the Capitol Building with Sun graphic

            Eight House Republicans are earning their stripes this month while blocking President Obama from making recess appointments. The first-term lawmakers has pledged to hold pro-forma sessions in the lower chamber every three days for the remainder of the summer, blocking the Democrat-controlled Senate from adjourning.
            The move prevents Obama from unilaterally making new appointments to federal agencies, which can be done only if both chambers are in recess. And the Constitution states that neither the House nor the Senate can be in recess without the consent of the other chamber.
            The group of freshmen, which consists of Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Steve Strivers (R-Ohio), Allen West (R-Fla), and three-term Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Landry (R-La) has agreed to each take one of the nine remaining days over the course of the summer to preside over the House. [The Hill, Aug. 7]       Click here for the complete source story



    Marco Rubio's
    debt speech
    goes viral


    Marco Rubio Photograph above the You Tube Logo

            Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's Saturday speech on the national debt is a YouTube sensation, drawing more than 310,000 hits and possibly boosting his standing among independent voters.
            Rubio backers suggest his debt speech contributed to a sudden improvement in Rubio's approval/disapproval rating among independents -- from 40/35 in a Quinnipiac poll taken July 27 through Sunday to 54/29 in a poll taken Monday and Tuesday. [PostOnPolitics, Aug. 4th]       Click here for the complete source story and see the * VIDEO *



    Gas tax
    may be
    next
    Tea Party
    target


    Photograph of a Gas Spigot

            Lawmakers may now oppose renewing the federal tax on gasoline. The federal gas tax of 18.4 cents a gallon expires at the end of September. In order to keep the gas tax, lawmakers must vote to extend the highway funding bill to which the gas tax is tied.
            Senate Republicans introduced a bill to allow states to opt out of the federal highway program. The highway program uses $32 billion each year collected by the gas tax.
            Those supporting an end to the tax think the states could do a better job of maintaining the nation's infrastructure. Bureaucratic overhead adds to the cost and federal money can require the use of union labor and other stipulations.
            Supporters of the tax argue federal involvement allows roads to be built and maintained to uniform standards that ensure the smooth and safe flow of travel. If states built roads to a federal standard, Washington would still be a kind of equalizer because states on the coasts with large populations end up sending money to states in the middle of the country that have thousand of miles of open roads but fewer taxpayers to help fund them. [Money.CNN, Aug. 4]       Click here for the complete source story



    Tea Party
    groups
    see
    Medicare
    overhaul
    chance


    Photograph of Paul Ryan holding up Medicare Bill

            Medicare is at the top of lawmakers' fall agenda and Tea Party leaders hope to ignite support for Republican plans to transform it. Tea Party activists are expected to campaign for change ahead of the 2012 elections.
            A congressional committee charged with finding $1.5 trillion in spending cuts by November 23 is expected to focus on Medicare, and the program will be cut if the committee does not reach agreement, or if Congress does not approve the recommendations by December 23.
            Decried by retirees, labor unions and Democrats as a voucher system that would end Medicare, the Ryan plan appeared near death. But FreedomWorks, which helped found the Tea Party movement, sees its campaign as preparation for the legislative session that will begin in January 2013. [Reuters, Aug. 3]       Click here for the complete source story



    TP
    Adopts
    Mourdock
    in Primary
    Against
    Lugar


    Photographs of Lugar and Mourdock

            Sen. Richard Lugar voted for the bill to increase the debt limit. Now, Citizens United PAC is endorsing Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock and contributing $10,000 to help Mourdock in the 2012 primary and general election.
            Citizens United, led by David Bossie, gained national attention as the plaintiff in a Supreme Court ruling that opened the door to unlimited political donations from corporations and unions.
            Lugar, the Senate's most senior Republican, is in the cross hairs of fiscal conservatives such as the Club for Growth as he seeks a seventh term. He was one of 28 Republican senators to support the bill, which raises the debt limit. The Club for Growth ran ads warning Lugar to vote against an increase in the debt ceiling.
            A recent poll for the Club for Growth found Lugar and Mourdock essentially tied for the GOP Senate nomination. Lugar's own internal poll found he has a double-digit lead over his challenger. [USA Today, Aug. 3]       Click here for the complete source story



    Voters
    disapprove
    of debt
    deal


    Debt Ceiling graphic

            22 percent of likely voters approve of the agreement, 53 percent disapprove and 26 percent said they weren't sure how they felt about it.
            By a 4-to-1 margin, Republicans and unaffiliated voters disapprove of the legislation. Democrats were closer, with 34 percent favoring the deal and 40 percent opposed.
            Fifty-eight percent of voters said it was unlikely the deal would lead to a significant decrease in federal spending over the next few years, results indicated.
            "During the debt ceiling debacle, voters listened to members of Congress like they were the boy who cried wolf," said Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. "While official Washington obsessed over the minute-by-minute silliness, voters expected all along that the debt ceiling would be raised without making significant spending cuts." [UPI, Aug.3]       Click here for the complete source story



    Michael
    Savage:
    America
    has been
    'hoodwinked'


    Photograph of Michael Savage

            "If the left is telling you it's a victory for the tea party, then you know it's a lie," he said to his "Savage Nation" listeners. "You're being hoodwinked again."
            He said today's politicians need to learn from history to understand that the term "Leninist" best describes the president. "The Leninist elite would lead people to a world free of pain and poverty. There would be no more haves and have-nots or private property. Just boundless prosperity. All a nation had to do was transfer its entire wealth to Lenin's vanguard."
            But the Leninist vision will have consequences. "America's rich will be poorer, America's poor will be poorer, America's middle class will be wiped out, but America's government will be more powerful than ever, as will the elected officials and their corrupt bureaucrats." [WND, Aug. 3]       Click here for the complete source story



    Sarah Palin
    Blasts
    Mitt Romney,
    Praises
    Michele Bachmann


    Photograph of Sarah Palin

            Sarah Palin is mad and she's not going to take it anymore. She criticized the debt-ceiling deal and condemned VP Biden. "I'm gonna stick up for people who at this point are being called terrorists and being accused of waging jihad against our own country. Enough is enough and I'm not going to sit here and take it anymore."
            About Mitt Romney: "Bless his heart, I have respect for Mitt Romney, but I do not have respect for what he has done through this debt increase debate. He waited until it was a done deal that we would increase the debt ceiling and then he came out with a statement that he didn't like the deal."
            "Michele Bachmann (Bachmann voted against the debt-ceiling increase) spoke out and she cast her vote according to her principles, she stood true."
            Palin said she's "an optimist heading into this next election cycle," though she still hasn't made up her mind about her role in it. As for President Barack Obama, Palin said, "He is so off base. 2012 cannot come soon enough." [ABC News, Aug. 3]       Click here for the complete source story



    Debt Deal
    is a
    Blank Check


    Photograph of Peter Schiff


    Peter Schiff
    Chief Global Strategist
    of
    Euro Pacific Capital

            The risk of default existed only in the minds of politicians. The real crisis is not the debt ceiling, it is the debt. Failure to raise the ceiling would not have been a disaster, but raising it certainly is.
            The promised cuts in spending do not outweigh the increase in the debt. The $900 billion in cuts are spread over a decade and are skewed toward the end of that period. And $1.4 trillion in cuts are planned to be identified by a bi-partisan committee. In the past similar panels did not deliver on their mandates.
            None of these "cuts" are binding. Future Congresses can reverse what was agreed to over the past weeks. Economic weakness could be used to justify suspension of the cuts. And most of the spending reductions were already scheduled to take effect before this agreement was made.
            What did we really get? The Congressional Budget Office projects that $9.5 trillion in new debt will be issued over the next 10 years. Even if all of the reductions proposed in the deal were to come to pass, which is highly unlikely, that would still leave $7.1 trillion in new debt accumulation by 2021.
            The structure announced today allows both political parties to talk about reform without actually changing anything. [CNBC, Aug. 2]       Click here for the complete source story



    Borrowing
    to surge
    after
    debt cap
    raised

    Girl holding sign saying Why Do I Owe $46,000

            The Treasury expects to issue $331 billion in debt in the July-September quarter, up from $190 billion in the previous period. During October-December, it will borrow another $285 billion.
            The Treasury has been operating at the $14.3 trillion level since May, unable to increase borrowing. It warned that if the ceiling was not raised by August 2, the country will have to renege on some commitments, including possibly defaulting on its debt.
            But Republicans refused to agree to an increase unless they could get a long-term deficit reduction plan they could agree on, sparking a grinding political battle that was still not resolved Monday afternoon, one day before the deadline. [Breitbart, Aug. 2]       Click here for the complete source story



    Largest Debt-Limit Increase in U.S. History

    Debt Ceiling Increase Graphic

            The bill to increase the federal debt limit that has been put before Congress would increase that limit by up to $2.4 trillion, the largest increase in the debt limit in U.S. history.
            If the current bill is passed the two largest debt-limit increases in U.S. history would come in back-to-back years during the presidency of Barack Obama.
            Before Obama's presidency George W. Bush signed a law that lifted the limit by $984 billion and President George H. Bush signed a law that lifted the limit by $915 billion. [CNS News, Aug. 2]       Click here for the complete source story


    House leaders
    in
    both parties
    seek votes
    to pass
    debt-limit
    deal

            The debt-limit deal announced on Sunday night is expected to attract more than 60 votes in the Senate, but its outlook in the House is much more cloudy.
            Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will need Democratic votes to clear the bill through the lower chamber. How many remains unclear.
            Follow this link to a rundown of The Hill's constantly updated whip count. [The Hill, Aug. 1]       Click here for the complete source story



    When a cut is not a cut

    Facts graphic

            One might think that the recent drama over the debt ceiling involves one side wanting to increase or maintain spending with the other side wanting to drastically cut spending, but that is far from the truth.
            No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. The "cuts" being discussed are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in projected spending increases.
            The truth is that rhetoric about default is being carelessly thrown around to ram through a bigger budget than ever. A balanced budget is similarly simple and within reach if Washington had just a tiny amount of fiscal common sense.
            In Washington terms, a simple freeze in spending would be a much bigger "cut" than any plan being discussed. If politicians simply cannot bear to implement actual cuts to actual spending, just freezing the budget would give the economy the best chance to catch its breath, recover and grow. [The Hill, Aug. 1]       Click here for the complete source story



    Moody's
    says
    "Not
    Enough
    Cuts"


    Moody's logo

            "It remains our expectation that the government will continue with timely debt service. If the debt limit is not raised before August 2, we believe that revenues would be more than adequate for some period of time to meet those payments, although other outlays would be severely reduced as a result." [The Hill, July 31]       Click here for the complete source story


    'Clean' Balanced Budget Amendment Could Be Trap for Conservatives

    Balanced Budget graphic

            Some people are calling for a "clean" Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). But there are two types of a clean BBA, one of which would be worse than the mess we have today.
            One would only require that government spend less than it collects, and there are two ways to fix that. The first is cutting spending, and the second is raising taxes.
            Some supporters of a clean BBA are not too worried. But others are concerned that a judge could order a tax increase if the BBA only says that spending must be less than revenues. The framers intended that all revenue control be in the congress.
            But a "clean" BBA would change that. It would create a constitutional command. A private party with standing could ask a federal judge to remedy a violation of a clean BBA by ordering increases in taxes to close budgetary gaps, instead of spending cuts. To grant judges the power to raise taxes would create a perverse incentive for members of Congress who wanted to raise taxes but were politically vulnerable to foster gridlock on spending battles, then let the courts do their dirty work for them by increasing taxes to make up the shortfall. [Big Government, July 31]       Click here for the complete source story


    Photograph of Representative Joe Walsh Photograph of Ginni Thomas


    ** VIDEO ** Ginni Thomas interview with:
    Rep. Joe Walsh on the media's debt ceiling coverage

            The political news media do "a lousy job" covering the big issues of the day, such as the debt ceiling crisis, Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh told The Daily Caller's Ginni Thomas.
            "It's almost comical to do a lot of these media interviews last week and this week because everybody is so atwitter about Aug. 2. I'm not," Walsh said, referring to the deadline when the Treasury Department says America will run out of money to pay its obligations if a debt ceiling increase is not authorized. "I want to get it right. And if it takes another week or two to get it right, I think as a country we're going to be okay."
            Walsh said the media are focusing on the "horse race" rather than on the deeper issues linked with the nation's debt problem. [Daily Caller, July 31]       Click here for the complete source story



    Senator
    Jim DeMint
    Vows
    to Force
    Another Vote
    on
    Cut,
    Cap
    & Balance


    Photograph of Senator Jim DeMint

            "The bipartisan House-passed Cut, Cap, Balance bill remains the only plan on the table, the only one that preserves our AAA rating, and is only four Democrat votes away from a Senate majority to end this debt crisis," said Senator DeMint. "I will work to force another vote on Cut, Cap & Balance next week because the President and Democrats have not offered the American people any other viable solution.
            "It is outrageous that every Senate Democrat voted against even allowing a debate on balancing the budget within 10 years, a plan supported by two-thirds of Americans with wide support across all party lines. Why are Senate Democrats so afraid to debate a balanced budget? Cut, Cap, Balance is the compromise plan that passed the House and can end the wasteful spending that caused this debt crisis. It gives the President the debt limit increase he has asked for in return for immediate spending cuts, enforceable spending caps, and a constitutional amendment to force Washington to stop spending more than it brings in.
            "I urge Republican leaders to stop letting the President drag you back like children into secret meetings where he pretends to do something constructive. The President created this crisis by irresponsible spending and borrowing that has left our economy in shambles, and if he's unwilling to simply agree to balance the budget in 10 years then he is not a credible negotiating partner.
            "No more closed door meetings, no more phony compromises that don't solve the problem, no more useless commissions. We have a balanced approach supported by a bipartisan House majority that ends our debt crisis if just four Senate Democrats would keep their promise and support a balanced budget.
            "We must pass Cut, Cap & Balance to keep our nation from falling off a fiscal cliff." [The State Column, July 29]       Click here for the complete source story



    The
    One Thing
    The GOP
    Has
    Missed


    Photograph of Monica Crowley

            THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A ONE-DAY GAME. The whole game has been to start at the end. The goal was to set a deadline - and THEN be the last one to put a plan out. As long as Harry Reid can play the last card at the last minute, he's able to control the whole thing. In other words, he who controls the final day controls the whole game. EVERYTHING TO THIS POINT HAS BEEN IRRELEVANT.
            The GOP has negotiated against itself while the Democrats sat quietly. Reid will now add terms to the Boehner plan and present it as the only last-minute option. The Republicans have put themselves into the box they sought to avoid: being held responsible for the finale.
            Nothing has ever mattered but the last day or so. The GOP should have begun NOW with Cut, Cap and Balance. But alas, it's too late. We're getting to the day Obama set in place so he could play this very game. The Republicans stumbled into it, and now they'll be stuck with the consequences. [Monica Memo, July 29]       Click here for the complete source story



    Apple
    Now Has
    More Cash
    Than The
    U.S.
    Government

    Apple logo

            According to the latest daily statement from the U.S. Treasury, the government had an operating cash balance of $73.8 billion at the end of the day yesterday.
            Apple's last earnings report (PDF here) showed that the company had $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June.
            In other words, the world's largest tech company has more cash than the world's largest sovereign government.
            That's because Apple collects more money than it spends, while the U.S. government does not. [Business Insider, July 29]       Click here for the complete source story



    GOP delays vote as tide turns against Boehner debt plan

    Photograph of John Boehner looking worried

            House Republican leaders are desperately looking for the votes to pass Speaker John Boehner's debt-limit bill and have delayed the vote that was scheduled for yesterday. Modifications are being made to make it more acceptable to Tea Party Members
            There are 25 House Republicans who will vote no or are leaning no, according to The Hill's whip count. There are more than three dozen Republicans who are publicly undecided, and 10 of them said they are still on the fence they are:
            Roscoe Bartlett (Md.)
            Mo Brooks (Ala.)
            Trent Franks (Ariz.)
            Scott Garrett (N.J.)
            Randy Hultgren (Ill.)
            Timothy Johnson (Ill.)
            Tom Marino (Pa.)
            Jean Schmidt (Ohio)
            Michael Turner (Ohio)
            Tim Walberg (Mich.)
            Republican members who did not return phone calls include Reps. Joe Barton, Dan Benishek, Dan Burton and John Duncan Jr. All of these have bucked their leaders at times on high-profile issues.
            The problem for Boehner is that most of the 22 no/leaning no votes on The Hill's list can't be swayed. These include Reps. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Jim Jordan, Louie Gohmert and Steve King.       Click here for the complete source story      [The Hill, July 28]



    House Leaders Clear Preliminary Debt Vote, Set Stage for Vote Later Today

    Voting Graphic

            House Speaker John Boehner's plan to avoid a federal debt default has cleared a test vote this afternoon, a positive sign for the Ohio Republican's push to win the final vote scheduled for later today. The House voted 238-186 along party lines to move ahead with debate on Mr. Boehner's proposal to lift the federal debt ceiling and cut spending in two stages, starting with a $900 billion increase in the debt limit and cuts of about $917 billion over 10 years.
            It's still not completely clear that Mr. Boehner and his lieutenants have crushed the tea party revolt that has threatened their strategy all week. Some Republicans who said they still oppose the debt plan itself voted in favor of proceeding with debate.       Click here for the complete source story



    Boehner:
    'We don't
    have the votes,
    but
    we're
    getting
    there'

    Photograph of Rep. John Boehner

            Boehner still needs to convince dozens of undecided members to back his measure. "We don't have the votes, but we're getting there," Boehner said. He was "very low-key" a day after he rallied his troops with the exhortation, "Get your ass in line."
            According to an informal whip list kept by The Hill, 22 Republicans are either no votes or leaning against voting for Boehner's measure. At least another 44 Republicans are publicly undecided, or their positions are unclear, according to The Hill's list. Boehner can only afford about two dozen defections if Democrats vote en masse against his measure.
            The House is set to vote on the Boehner bill after U.S. financial markets close Thursday evening, giving the Speaker several more hours to secure the last remaining votes.       Click here for the complete source story



    Lawmakers
    who
    signed
    'Cut'
    pledge
    will decide
    fate of
    Boehner
    bill


    Cut Cap Balance graphic

            39 House Republicans pledged to oppose any bill that raises the debt ceiling unless it calls for major cuts, spending caps and a balanced budget amendment.
            19 of these have said they will oppose Boehner's bill. 6 of them have committed to backing the bill. 14 others who have not said how they will vote. If 5 or more of these 'undecided' honor their pledge, Boehner's bill will not pass.
            A defeat would represent a devastating blow to the Ohio Republican. Boehner has said that his new bill adheres to the cut, cap and balance bill that passed the House last week. Others disagree strongly because it neither cuts nor caps nor balances federal spending."
            The members who have signed the pledge and are undecided are:
            Joe Barton (Texas)
            Dan Benishek (Mich.)
            Dan Burton (Ind.)
            Trent Franks (Ariz.)
            Randy Hultgren (Ill.)
            Raul Labrador (Idaho)
            Jeff Landry (La.)
            Tom Latham (Iowa)
            Tom Marino (Pa.)
            Jeff Miller (Fla.)
            Jean Schmidt (Ohio)
            David Schweikert (Ariz.)
            Tim Scott (S.C.)
            Joe Wilson (S.C.)
         [The Hill, July 28]       Click here for the complete source story



    Sen. Rand Paul Firm Against Boehner & Reid Plans:
    "I Can't Vote for Anything That Doesn't Balance the Budget"

    Photograph of Senator Rand Paul

            "The Boehner plan will never balance. It will add $1 trillion to the debt over 10 years. Every year under the Boehner plan, we will spend more and borrow more and the debt will grow.
            "The balanced budget amendment allows five years to balance. If we pass it would it take two to three years to pass the states. We are talking about eight years to balance the budget, that's reasonable.
            The country is not headed for a crisis on August 2nd, it's headed debt crisis in the following months and years. That debt crisis is from spending too much. We have to rein it in. The entitlements are broken. The way we fix it is by balancing the budget by doing something that every American family has to do and I think every American family expects us to do. [Fox News, July 28]       Click here for the complete source story



    Donald
    Trump
    Tells
    Republicans
    To Force
    Default


    Photograph of Donald Trump

            Donald Trump has strong words for Republicans. The billionaire real estate mogul is pushing the GOP to hold back from comprising and allow the nation to default on August 2nd.
            'Unless the Republicans can get 100% of what they want, and that may include getting rid of Obamacare which is a total disaster, then they should not make a deal.'
            He went on to say "the pressure to compromise is not on the Republicans, but on President Obama. If no deal is reached that it will all fall on his shoulders. When it comes time to default, they're not going to remember any of the Republicans' names. They are going to remember one name, and that's Obama." [Terra, July 28]       Click here for the complete source story



    Senator
    DeMint
    Open to
    Busting
    August 2
    Default
    Deadline


    Photograph of Senator Jim DeMint

            "It's better to take it past August 2 and wait for something that solves the problem. The Democrats and the president will start talking about something real if they think we're going past August 2."
            Even if a deal is reached, Senate rules make it possible for a single individual to delay a vote by as much as 60 hours.
            DeMint also criticized the two main plans before the House and Senate saying that only the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, which was defeated last week, solves the nation's debt problem and "puts the country on a path towards a balanced budget." The other plans "just kick the can down the road."
            It's uncharted territory. Even DeMint can't quite believe congressional leaders will give him a chance to test his theory. Faced with the prospect of default or accepting a proposal that they feel offers only "nominal" cuts, conservatives are "trying to weigh the consequences of which is worse," [National Journal, July 26]       Click here for the complete source story



    The 2012
    argument
    for
    John Boehner's
    plan


    Wall Street Journal logo

            The Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol both weighed in strongly in favor of John Boehner's debt ceiling plan today, arguing that the bill will help Republicans defeat President Obama in 2012, in addition to having a positive impact on the deficit.
            The Journal:
            The Speaker has made mistakes in his debt negotiations, not least in trusting that Mr. Obama wants serious fiscal reforms. But thanks to the President's overreaching on taxes, Mr. Boehner now has the GOP positioned in sight of a political and policy victory. If his plan or something close to it becomes law, Democrats will have conceded more spending cuts than they thought possible, and without getting the GOP to raise taxes and without being able to blame Republicans for a debt-limit crackup or economic damage.
            If conservatives defeat the Boehner plan, they'll not only undermine their House majority. They'll go far to re-electing Mr. Obama and making the entitlement state that much harder to reform. [Politico, July 26]       Click here for the complete source story



    Boehner:
    'Get
    your ass
    in line'


    Photograph of representative Boehner

            Scrambling for votes on his troubled deficit package, Speaker John Boehner told GOP lawmakers to "get your ass in line" behind his debt ceiling bill, saying the Senate will fold and pass it.
            Boehner postponed the vote until Thursday after the Congressional Budget Office said it was $150 billion short of the $1 trillion goal. Many GOP lawmakers are still undecided whether they will back the measure.
            Boehner predicted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats will have to pass his proposal once the House does. Reid has an alternate plan to cut $2.7 trillion.
            While Boehner tried to adjust to his setback, Reid was enjoying a boost from the independent, non-partisan office, which said the Reid bill would save $2.2 trillion over the next decade -- almost triple what Boehner's bill would. [Politico, July 27]       Click here for the complete source story



    GOP
    delays
    vote on
    Boehner bill


            House Republicans have postponed the vote on Speaker John Boehner's deficit reduction bill to Thursday because the Congressional Budget Office found the legislation achieved less savings than Boehner claimed.
            The CBO said the bill would cut the deficit by $850 billion over 10 years, not $1.2 trillion. It threatened Boehner's pledge that spending cuts would exceed any increase in the debt ceiling. The bill would authorize $900 billion in additional borrowing initially.
            "We're here to change Washington - no more smoke-and-mirrors, no more 'phantom cuts,'" Boehner said. "We promised that we will cut spending more than we increase the debt limit - with no tax hikes - and we will keep that promise. Congressional staff are adjusting the legislation to meet our pledge. This is what can happen when you have an actual plan and submit it for independent review - which the Democrats who run Washington have refused to do." [The Hill, July 26]       Click here for the complete source story



    House GOP
    revolts
    against
    Boehner
    plan


    The Revolution Graphic

            "There are not 218 Republicans in support of this plan," says Rep. Jim Jordan who heads the conservative caucus in the House. Speaker Boehner will have to rely on Democrats to pass the $1.2 trillion spending cuts plan. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said "very few" Democrats will vote for the Boehner plan.
            A vote in the House is expected Wednesday, and Republican leaders are trying to round up enough support to pass their version. They hope that if it can pass the House, that will pressure Senate Democrats to drop their alternative and accept the GOP's plan.
            Mr. Boehner's bill would reduce spending by $1.2 trillion, grant an immediate debt increase of $1 trillion, and set up a committee to work on trillions of dollars in future deficit reduction through more spending cuts or tax increases. It would require both the House and Senate to hold votes on a balanced budget amendment.
            But many House Republicans said they don't just want votes on the amendment, they want an assurance it will be sent to the states. They want the Senate to vote on the debt increase the House passed last week, that includes deeper spending cuts and requires both chambers approve a balanced budget amendment and submit it to states for ratification before any debt increase happens. [Washington Times, July 26]       Click here for the complete source story



    Cantor
    tells GOP to
    'stop whining'
    about
    Boehner
    debt ceiling
    plan


    Photograph of Eric Cantor

            Cantor made the statement in a closed-door conference meeting. Boehner and Cantor are trying to rally restive members of their caucus behind a plan that would authorize up to $1 trillion in new debt in exchange for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and the promise of more in the future.
            Some conservatives have balked at the proposal and Boehner could not guarantee the bill would pass the House.
            Cantor told lawmakers they had three choices: allow the country to default; pass the Senate bill Boehner has denounced as a "blank check" for President Obama or support the GOP leadership and "call the president's bluff." "Stop grumbling and whining and to come together as conservatives and rally behind the speaker and call the president's bluff."
            Some members coming out of the meeting said momentum appeared to be building for the plan, despite reservations by the rank-and-file. [The Hill, July 26]       Click here for the complete source story



    Conservatives
    denounce
    Boehner
    plan


    Graphic of a two step step stool

            Boehner's proposal would raise the debt limit in two stages, but passage of the deal was not contingent on sending a balanced-budget amendment to the states. Boehner explained that he too feels the plan is flawed. "This is legislation reflects a bipartisan negotiation over the weekend with our colleagues in the Senate, and as a result of this bipartisan negotiation I would call this plan less than perfect."
            The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee wasted little time announcing his opposition to the House GOP leadership's two-step plan to raise the debt ceiling. Rep. Jim Jordan, who stood next to House Speaker John Boehner during Monday's announcement of the plan, released a statement saying he would vote "no" on the measure.
            Other conservatives argued that his leadership team should stand behind a measure that the House approved on a party-line vote last week -- the "cut, cap and balance" bill that failed in the Senate. [The Hill, July 26]       Click here for the complete source story



    John Boehner's
    response
    to
    Obama's
    speech


    Photos of Boehner and Obama

            President Obama came to Congress in January and requested business as usual -- yet another routine increase in the national debt limit -- we in the House said 'not so fast.' Here was the president, asking for the largest debt increase in American history, on the heels of the largest spending binge in American history.
            Here's what we got for that spending binge: a massive health care bill that most Americans never asked for. A 'stimulus' bill that was more effective in producing material for late-night comedians than it was in producing jobs. And a national debt that has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours. [ConHomeUSA, July6]       Click here for the complete source story



    White House
    says no
    to compromise


    Boehner and Obama at meeting table

            "The Speaker, Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell all agreed on the general framework of a two-part plan. A short-term increase (with cuts greater than the increase), combined with a committee to find long-term savings before the rest of the increase would be considered. Sen. Reid took the bipartisan plan to the White House and the President said no."
            If this is accurate the president is playing with fire. By halting a bipartisan deal he imperils the country's finances and can rightly be accused of putting partisanship above all else. The ONLY reason to reject a short-term, two-step deal embraced by both the House and Senate is to avoid another approval-killing face-off for President Obama before the election. Next to pulling troops out of Afghanistan to fit the election calendar, this is the most irresponsible and shameful move of his presidency. [Washington Post, July 25]       Click here for the complete source story


    * VIDEO *
    Interview
    with
    Speaker Boehner

    Photograph of Speaker John Boehner

            I would prefer to have a bipartisan approach to solve this problem. If that is not possible, I and my Republican colleagues in the House are prepared to move on our own. [ConHomeUSA, July 25]      
    Click here for the complete source story



    Compromise
    elusive
    separate strategies in House, Senate


    Photograph of Capitol Building

            House and Senate leaders are preparing separate backup plans after negotiations failed to break an impasse. Negotiators focused their attention on Boehner's proposal to raise the debt limit in two stages. They thought they were close.But Obama, Harry M. Reid and Nancy Pelosi rejected the emerging compromise, saying it would leave the door open to another wrenching debt-limit battle in just a few months.
            Reid said he would try a new approach with cuts which meet or exceed the amount of the debt-limit increase and no new taxes. Reid said, the $2.7 trillion debt-reduction package he plans to unveil Monday should buy the Treasury sufficient borrowing authority to pay the nation's bills through the end of next year. People familiar with the compromise said that hitting such a large target without raising taxes or cutting entitlement programs would probably rely heavily on savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
            Counting money not spent on wars is viewed as a budget gimmick, and House GOP leaders have been reluctant to include it as savings. But it has a political advantage because it was included in the budget blueprint Republicans adopted this spring. [Washington Post, July 25]       Click here for the complete source story



    Senate Kills 'Cut, Cap and Balance' Plan

    Cut Cap and Balance graphic

            The Senate voted to "table," or kill, a House Republican proposal to "cut, cap and balance". It's done, dead," Reid said after the 51-46 vote.
            With its defeat, lawmakers are still looking for a deal to cut federal spending while raising the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. The Obama administration says the limit must be increased by Aug. 2 or the country could default on its loans or otherwise be forced to shut down services.
            "The Democrat-led Senate's failure to both produce a budget and pass the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011 underscores the Democrats' irresponsible commitment to the status quo," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in a statement after voting for the bill. "While the president and Senator Reid refuse to produce a plan to deal with our debt crisis, Republicans will keep working to meet the nation's fiscal challenges." [Foxnews, July 22]       Click here for the complete source story



    Deadline,
    What
    Deadline?


    What Deadline? graphic

            A growing army of Republicans wants to push the debt showdown past the August 2 deadline. Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Jim Jordan are leading the charge.
            Jordan acknowledges that Mitch McConnell's plan, and the one proposed by the "Gang of Six" -- are gaining steam. Yet, he is unwilling to deal.
            59 Republicans voted against the deal brokered by Speaker John Boehner and President Obama in April. If a debt-limit solution without a balanced-budget amendment is proffered, that same bloc and more will rally in opposition.
            Rep. Joe Walsh has gathered more than 90 signatures on a letter to House GOP leadership urging them not to bring the McConnell plan to a vote. "The rank and file, through the letter, is making that clear that it is not going anywhere in the House," he says.
            DeMint, who is working closely with Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Mike Lee , sees hope for a last-minute standoff. So far, he can count two established Senate dealmakers, Lindsey Graham and Orrin Hatch as allies. [National Review, July 22]       Click here for the complete source story



    Black
    Tea Party
    group
    to rally
    against
    the NAACP

    Photograph of Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson

            "We're gonna expose and educate the people about the [NAACP]," said Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson. "They are not supporting black Americans, but using them for their own personal gain." On July 24th members of the South Central Los Angeles Tea Party and hundreds of others will rally against the NAACP in an event sponsored by Peterson's organization BOND Action.
            Peterson cites several reasons for the rally and came up with the idea after learning of the convention's location on his turf. Peterson says the NAACP lies by saying America is a racist society and holds black American's down.
            He hopes black Americans (he views the term "African-American" as a "dumb" title and unpatriotic), stop supporting the NAACP financially and with their manpower. For decades, Peterson argues, the organization has supported left-wing policies, which have created dependency on government and destroyed black families and hurt race relations. Peterson also said the NAACP is not needed and until black people stop hating "the white man", they won't be free. [The Grio, July 21]       Click here for the complete source story



    Jordan trashes
    Gang of Six
    in front of
    Coburn


    Representative Jim Jordan

            Rep. Jim Jordan trashed the deficit-reduction plan offered by the Senate's "Gang of Six," as one of the group's most high-profile members, Sen. Tom Coburn, stood just a few feet away.
            "Any time you've got a gang meeting behind closed doors, you usually aren't accomplishing good things. It is not going to fly with the American people, certainly not going to fly with folks in the House." Jordan said he opposed using the plan to cut a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, saying there were no guarantees Congress would cut spending later.
            "There is one plan that has been put on paper, one plan that's been debated, one plan that's been passed by Congress, one plan that has bipartisan support, one plan that fixes the problem," he said, "and that's the Cut, Cap and Balance plan."
            When asked about Jordan's remarks, Coburn said he too would dismiss the gang's plan, pointing out that it was never intended to be used in negotiations to raise the debt limit. Jordan, the senator said, has every right to pan the proposal. [Politico, July 21]       Click here for the complete source story



    GOP Sen. Coburn:
    Voting against
    'cut, cap and balance'
    an act of
    'cowardice'

    Cut Cap Balance graphic

            "The best way to solve our problem is the bill we are going to be voting on Saturday morning," said Coburn, referring to a procedural vote scheduled for the weekend. "And come Saturday morning when members of the Senate vote against proceeding on 'cut, cap and balance,' they will display either courage or cowardice."
            "We're not going to have it come to the floor ... for a full debate and for a vote ... because we're expediently cowards," said Coburn
            The measure would cut spending by $111 billion in 2012, cap spending over the next decade and prohibit more borrowing until Congress passes a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution. It was passed by the House on Tuesday. [The Hill, July 21]       Click here for the complete source story



    Ron Paul
    * VIDEO*


    Photograph of Representative Ron Paul


    * VIDEO*

    "We Will Default Because The Debt Is Unsustainable"

            "When a country is indebted to the degree that we're indebted, the country always defaults. We will default because the debt is unsustainable," Rep. Ron Paul said on the House floor.
            "If we don't understand this, this default will not be because we don't send out the checks. We will send out the checks. It will be defaulted on because people will get their money back, or they will get their Social Security checks and it won't buy anything." [Real Clear Politics, July 19]       Click here for much more in the * VIDEO *



    Sen. DeMint
    says
    "Supporting McConnell plan
    is 'suicidal'
    "

    Photograph of Senator DeMint

            For Republicans to cave after what happened with the Continuing Resolution, I think you'd see a deterioration of base of support, and a lot of third party activity. I'm afraid this is make or break time for Republicans."
            While the back-up option is gaining traction, DeMint warned it could be the undoing of the Grand Old Party.
            "It'd be suicidal for Republicans in the House to vote for it. Forgive me for being cynical, but it was pretty apparent to me that this was never a good faith effort."
            "The whole working group was designed to burn the clock up, push against a deadline". "The President needs a crisis to blame us for the economy that he has made worse with his policies." [Daily Caller, July 19]       Click here for the complete source story



    Senate group offers $3.75 trillion deficit cuts

    The Gang of Six Photograph

            A bipartisan group of U.S. senators revived a budget plan that could provide new ideas for breaking the impasse over raising the nation's credit limit. President Barack Obama is supporting this proposal by the "Gang of Six".
            The plan proposes $3.75 trillion in savings over 10 years and contains $1.2 trillion in revenues. It includes $500 billion in immediate cuts, cuts security and non-security spending over 10 years with spending caps, make the Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs operate more efficiently and abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax.
            While there are $1.2 trillion in revenues, the plan envisions a $1.5 trillion tax cut that would be achieved through broad tax reforms. Tea Party members in the House have vowed to block revenue increases.
            The plan would achieve savings in healthcare programs. The specific cuts would be decided later by congressional committees. It would also reform the Social Security retirement program.
            Revenue proposals are not likely to include income tax rate increases. They could center on repealing special tax favors such as for ethanol blenders and corporate jets, and preferential tax treatment for fund managers.
            Those specific decisions likely would be up to House and Senate tax-writing committees, along with broader tax reform questions. [Reuters, July 19]       Click here for the complete source story




    Obama
    officially
    threatens
    to veto
    Republicans'
    'cut, cap and balance' bill


    Photograph of President Obama

            The White House Office of Management and Budget labeled the GOP bill as an "empty political statement."
            "Neither setting arbitrary spending levels nor amending the Constitution is necessary to restore fiscal responsibility. Increasing the federal debt limit, which is needed to avoid a federal government default on its obligations and a severe blow to the economy, should not be conditioned on taking these actions. Instead of pursuing an empty political statement and unrealistic policy goals, it is necessary to move beyond politics as usual and find bipartisan common ground."
            The president's veto threat was followed by a full-on assault from administration officials who blasted the GOP proposal as "extreme, radical [and] unprecedented." [The Hill, July 18]       Click here for the complete source story



    McConnell's
    fallback
    plan
    gains
    steam


    Graphic of Plan B

            Senate aides say a fallback plan to give President Obama authority to raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit will soon become "plan A" for averting a national default.
            Speaker John Boehner Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell have made votes on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act and a balanced-budget amendment their priority this week. But GOP aides say the leaders are already looking past those votes to a potential deal with Democrats to raise the debt limit before an Aug. 2 deadline and spare Republican lawmakers from a political backlash.
            The fallback option, which would give Obama nearly unilateral authority to raise the debt limit, continued to gain momentum Monday as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), an influential member of the Senate Democratic Conference, endorsed it.
            Conservative opposition to the McConnell-Reid plan intensified on Monday as a coalition of activist groups, including some affiliated with the Tea Party, sent a scathing letter to Capitol Hill bashing it.
            The outcry has spurred efforts by House Republicans to reach a deal with the president, including through an unannounced White House meeting between Obama, Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). [The Hill, July 18]       Click here for the complete source story



    Public Split Evenly on Urgency of Debt Limit Deadline

    Pew Research sign graphic

            The new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 15-17 among 764 adults.
            Administration officials project an economic catastrophe if the debt limit is not raised by Aug. 2. - 40% of Americans say it is absolutely essential the debt limit be raised to avoid an economic crisis, and 39% say the country can go past this date without major economic problems.
            Most Republicans and GOP-leaning independents (59%) who have been following the issue very or fairly closely say the country can go past Aug. 2 without major problems; about the same percentage of Democrats and Democratic leaners (61%) who have been following this issue very or fairly closely say it would be a major crisis. [Pew Research, July 18]       Click here for the complete source story



    Tom Coburn
    unveils
    $9 trillion
    spending cut
    plan


    Photograph of Senator Tom Coburn

            The plan, called "Back in Black," proposes spending cuts that span the entire U.S. government - from Congress to independent agencies - and aims to reform entitlements and overhaul the U.S. tax code.
            "This plan offers the American people 9 trillion reasons to stop making excuses and start solving the problems in Washington," Coburn said in a press conference Monday.
            "I wouldn't expect [the proposal] to pass, but I would expect people to look at it," Coburn told Bob Schieffer. ""We have spent thousands of hours going through every program in the federal government. We have $9 trillion worth of savings that are achievable over the next ten years. Pick half of them. Half of them solve our problems."
            "The federal government has become so large, it is impossible to grasp its true size and scope or to pay for its costs. Nearly every corner of the federal government is rife with duplication, mismanagement, and special interest carve outs. Each is protected by an entrenched bureaucracy, a well-financed lobbying group, an active and organized constituency, and an entrenched politician, which time and again align to best any efforts to reform, cut, or eliminate government waste." [CBS News, July 18]       Click here for the complete source story



    Budget Outlays
    for 12 of 15
    Cabinet-Level
    Federal
    Departments
    Have
    Dramatically
    Expanded

    Graph of arrow going up

            Budgetary outlays for 12 of the 15 Cabinet-level federal governmental departments have increased.
            The Department of Agriculture experienced a significant increase from $84.4 billion in FY07 to $142 billion in FY10 - a 68 percent increase over the four fiscal years.
            The Interior Department went from $10.5 billion in FY07 grew to more than $12 billion.
            The Department of Education in FY07 was $66.4 billion grew to $106.9 billion.
            The Treasury Department outlay went from $490.6 billion in FY07 to $502.9 billion.
            The largest increase belongs to the Department of Labor which went from $47.5 billion in FY07 to $209.3 billion in FY10 - a 340 percent increase.       Click here for the complete source story



    Marco Rubio
    claims "Dems
    "deliberately"
    put off
    debt debate"


    Photograph of Senator Marco Rubio

            "I think they deliberately let this thing go on because they were hoping to get to a last-minute situation so they could force us into a take-it-or-leave-it proposition, like they tried to do with the government shutdown earlier in the year, like they did with the stimulus package in February. I think that in the context of politics, there was a strategy to leave this until the last moment."
            "Certainly the debt limit is an issue but the bigger issue here is the debt. The debt limit crisis is one vote away from being solved but if all we do is raise the debt limit without a solution to America's debt problem, we are in big trouble."
            "I come from a state that has a massive number of retirees and I've made it very clear that if we don't do something to save Medicare and Social Security they will bankrupt themselves and bankrupt our country. I did that during the campaign and everybody told me I'd lost my mind in terms of talking about these issues.
            "We have stepped up and talked about some of these issues that face America. Congressman Ryan has played a terrible political price early on this year for even offering a potential solution to some of these problems."
            "More revenue should come from economic growth. It's impossible for it to come from tax increases. They make it worse; they kill jobs. [CBS News, July 17]       Click here for the complete source story



    *VIDEO*
    Marco Rubio
    on
    America's
    debt ceiling


    Photograph of Senator Marco Rubio

            In an interview by Ginni Thomas, Senator Rubio said he wants to simplify the U.S. tax code, reform America's regulatory system, and pass both a balanced-budget amendment and a spending cap for the federal government.
            "I've always said that the debt limit is not just about the debt limit, it is a golden opportunity to deal with perhaps the most serious crisis of our time, and that is a government that is spending money we do not have at an alarming rate and in a way that threatens our viability economically as a nation."
            "The most catastrophic thing that can happen to our country is for Congress to go in and to raise the debt limit without any meaningful reforms whatsoevert, the message that will send to global lending markets and the world economy about America will be disastrous." [Daily Caller, July 17]       Click here for the complete source story and to see the * VIDEO *



    G.O.P. Freshmen Say Debt Concerns Them More Than Re-election

    New Leadership graphic

            "Re-election is the farthest thing from my mind," said Rep. Tom Reed, from upstate NY. "Like many of my colleagues in the freshman class, I came down here to get our fiscal house in order and take care of the threat to national security that we see in the federal debt. We came here not to have long careers. We came here to do something. We don't care about re-election."
            It is not clear how genuine or widespread that sentiment is in Congress, but regardless, it has upended what President Obama said on Friday had been a "difficult but routine process" in past years.
            Sen. Lindsey Graham, of SC, said many freshman Republicans -- "to their undying credit" -- were not concerned with re-election. "The people who got elected in 2010 are going to go down fighting, they are not going to be persuaded by traditional politics. They could care less about 2012. They want to do what they can on their watch."
            Some Republicans say they do not worry much about being punished by their constituents for playing hardball with their votes on the debt limit and thus pushing the nation to the brink of default. And besides, they doubt that the consequences of a default would be as dire as Mr. Obama and many economists say. [NY Times, July 17]       Click here for the complete source story



    The latest Republican plan to avert a looming U.S. default is a fierce statement of conservative principles that pushes the party's negotiating position farther to the right.

    Photograph of Speaker John Boehner

            By giving Tea Party conservatives a chance to take their favored legislation as far as it will go, House Speaker John Boehner may buy himself needed goodwill from a vocal segment of his party that has viewed his deal-making efforts with suspicion.
            That could make it easier for Boehner to pass legislation that could be acceptable to President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate, clearing the way for an increase in the debt ceiling before August 2.
            Even as Boehner touted his party's latest plan, he left open the possibility that the House may take up a compromise being shaped in the Senate that so far has failed to catch on with junior lawmakers.
            "The cut, cap and balance plan that the House will vote on next week is a solid plan for moving forward. Let's get through that vote, and then we'll make decisions about what will come after."
            The cut, cap and balance bill conditions a debt-limit increase on passage of a constitutional amendment that would require the federal government to balance its books each year. Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds vote. That's not likely in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and may even be a stretch in the House.
            Even if it were to pass Congress, the amendment would not take effect until at least 38 of the 50 state legislatures ratify it. [Reuters, July 17]       Click here for the complete source story


    House GOP
    Takes New Tack
    in Debt Talks
    Schedules Vote on
    'Cap, Cut and Balance'
    Pledge

    Cut Cap Balance graphic

            House Republicans will vote on legislation Tuesday to "cap, cut and balance" the budget. The legislation aims to reduce federal spending, impose spending caps over the next decade and require the eventual passage of a balanced-budget amendment to raise the debt ceiling. It would include a debt ceiling increase, though the size of the package and period of time it would cover is still being debated.
            House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the GOP approach will "demonstrate that we are getting things under control and so that the people who put is here can gain some confidence that we're going to live like they do ... We hope our Democratic friends on the other side of the aisle can join us in that balanced approach."
            "We need real spending cuts, and spending cuts that would exceed the amount of debt that would be increased," House Speaker John Boehner said. "We asked the president to lead, we asked him to put forward a plan, not a speech, a real plan, and he hasn't, but we will." [Fox News, July 15]       Click here for the complete source story



    DeMint
    pledges
    to stop
    McConnell
    plan


    Graphic of Plan B

            "I'll use every tool in Senate to stop passage of 'Plan B' blank check debt limit increase. No Republican was elected to give President Obama more power and that's what this plan does".
            "Republicans weren't elected last November to make it easier to spend and borrow and add to our debt."
            McConnell's plan would authorize President Obama to raise the debt ceiling but would give Congress the power to block him with a resolution of disapproval. McConnell has called it a fall-back plan so that Republicans are not forced to choose between government default or increasing the debt limit without spending cuts.
            "GOP wasn't sent to Washington to cut, run & hide from debt fight with 'fallback' plan," DeMint tweeted. "We need to pass cut, cap & balance." GOP leadership expects the House to vote on the bill next week. [The Hill, July 15]       Click here for the complete source story



    Boehner
    says
    upcoming
    deficit
    legislation
    is solid


    Legislation Graphic

            The legislation, favored by Tea Party-backed lawmakers, would cut and cap federal spending while calling for adoption of a balanced budget amendment.
            "We're far from the time for a last-ditch effort," Boehner told a news conference at which he criticized Democrats including President Barack Obama for producing no "real plan" with serious spending cuts. [Reuters, July 16]       Click here for the complete source story



    Raising
    the Debt
    Ceiling
    Might Not
    Prevent
    Moody's
    Downgrade



    Moody's logo graphic

            A long-term deficit reduction compromise is needed to satisfy the market's concerns.
            Excerpt from Moody Statement:
            If the debt limit is raised again and a default avoided, the Aaa rating would likely be confirmed. However, the outlook assigned at that time to the government bond rating would very likely be changed to negative at the conclusion of the review unless substantial and credible agreement is achieved on a budget that includes long-term deficit reduction. To retain a stable outlook, such an agreement should include a deficit trajectory that leads to stabilization and then decline in the ratios of federal government debt to GDP and debt to revenue beginning within the next few years.
            So . . . raising the debt ceiling isn't enough. Even though Republicans turned the debt ceiling debate into a broader discussion about the U.S.'s debt trajectory, the market appears to have embraced their approach. This means that there's no quick fix here: a substantial long-term deficit plan must be agreed upon by the two parties. [The Atlantic, July 13]       Click here for the complete source story




    Photograph of Michael Grimm

    Rep. Michael Grimm


    House GOP not ready to blink on debt negotiations

            Rep. Michael Grimm stood at a closed-door meeting of House Republicans and delivered a vivid account of his view of the debt-limit crisis. "I've had a gun to my head, literally," Grimm, a former FBI agent, said, according to two sources in the room. "Didn't blink then, won't blink now."
            That's the same feeling gripping House Republican lawmakers and aides three weeks before the Obama administration says the nation will run out of money to pay its bills. There is no proposal that satisfies House Republicans. Quite simply, nothing passes their muster. [Politico, July 12]       Click here for the complete source story


    Republicans
    fail to save
    30-cent
    light bulbs
    from
    extinction


    Graphic of light bulb

            Republicans failed to overturn energy-efficiency standards that would have allowed Americans to continue buying cheap but inefficient incandescent light bulbs next year.
            "We should let the marketplace decide," Rep. Joe Barton of Texas said. "We should repeal this de facto ban, and we should let people decide if they want to buy a $6 light bulb or a 39-cent light bulb."
            The bill fell short of the necessary supermajority, 233 to 192. Five Democrats broke ranks to vote for the measure, while 10 Republicans voted against it. Going forward, the bulb-efficiency rollback idea could morph into a rider to a budget bill or other bargaining chip in debt negotiations. [Christian Science Monitor, July 12]       Click here for the complete source story


    Boehner
    Embraces
    Cutting,
    Capping,
    and
    Balancing


    Photograph of Speaker John Boehner

            Republicans in Congress believe raising taxes is a bad idea. President Obama says the taxes he wants to raise are in 2013 or 2014. But Republicans understand that businesses will start making cuts today to preserve their net profits tomorrow.
            "The American people will not accept, and the House cannot pass, a bill that raises taxes on job creators. The House can only pass a debt limit bill that includes spending cuts larger than the hike in the debt limit as well as real restraints on future spending. My colleagues and I feel we should enact a balanced budget amendment to keep the federal government from spending us into the same situation again. We also need real reductions in spending right now and spending caps to ensure that progress we make is not undone in the future... A bill that doesn't meet these tests can't pass the House of Representatives.
            The GOP must throw out the normal political playbook. They must make clear that this is not a negotiation. Cut, Cap, and Balance is an ultimatum. [Red State, July 11]       Click here for the complete source story


    Obama says
    Balanced Budget
    Ammendment
    is not
    necessary


    Phogograph of president Barack Obama

            White House spokesman Jay Carney said the talks to increase the government's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, while also reducing future debt, "is not a constitutional issue."
            "The balanced budget amendment would be basically an admission by Congress that they can't do anything, right?" Carney said. "And that's not true, as these discussions that we're engaged in right now."
            Carney also said the proposed amendment is "not good for the economy, (and) it doesn't answer the problem."
            Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a prominent Tea Party supporter, said he will work against any debt deal that doesn't include a balanced budget amendment, saying Congress needs the discipline to avoid running up future debt. [USA Today, June 10]       Click here for the complete source story



    House
    GOP freshmen
    propose
    term limits


    Photograph of Representative Joe Walsh

            Rep. Joe Walsh introduced a bill on Thursday that would amend the Constitution to prescribe term limits to members of both houses. The law would restrict members of the House to three terms and a member of the Senate to two terms.
            The measure would require a two-thirds majority vote in Congress, and then must be ratified by three-fourths of the states.
            "Americans know Washington has long forgotten the citizen legislator vision of our Founders," Walsh saidi. "More often than not, politicians come to Washington and lose touch with reality and those they represent."
            Walsh and his co-sponsors, Rep. David Schweikert and Jeff Duncan are all in their first terms in Congress. [The Hill, July 10]       Click here for the complete source story



    It's Official: The Republican Party is Conservative

    Photograph of Reince Priebus

            Reince Priebus insists that the Republican Party is "part of the conservative movement" and that he has the "responsibility of creating an army of grassroots volunteers" from conservative Republicans.
            "The rise of the Tea Party movement is invaluable to the conservative cause and, in order to maintain the movement's support for the GOP, Republicans in Congress had to be "workhorses and not show horses" on reining in government spending.
            "The Republican Party is part of the conservative movement. Increasingly, people identify with the Republican Party and its message of lower taxes, smaller government and greater freedom. So we have the responsibility of creating an army of grassroots volunteers from those people."
            Turning to 2012, in Priebus words, "We feel confident of maintaining the majority in the House we won last year and winning the four seats that are needed to give us 51 seats in the Senate. [Human Events, July 7]       Click here for the complete source story



    What is a "Tea Party Democrat?"

    Republican Democrat Tea Mug

            In essence, the "Tea Party Democrat" exists much in the same way that the "Blue Dog" Democrat or the "Reagan Democrat" exists -- it's the self-identified "Democrat" who almost always votes for the Republican party and stands with their issues rather than that of progressives. The Heath Shulers of the political spectrum.
            And it wouldn't be surprising if ten percent of the Tea Party really were made up of Democrats once you look at that demographic. In Nebraska alone there are a large number of self-identified Democrats who can't name a single Democrat they have voted for in decades besides Sen. Ben Nelson. In my own family, many of whom are registered Democrats, the biggest debate is over who would make a better president -- Herman Cain or Ron Paul. The only thing they do agree on is that either would be a vast improvement over Barack Obama.
            Can the Democratic Party win back these Tea Party converts? Not very likely. But then again, they never really had them in the first place, at least, not in anything but name only. [Care2, July 7]       Click here for the complete source story


    - GOP willing
    to discuss
    tax
    loopholes
    in
    negotiations


    Picture of Tax Loopholes Book

            The GOP's move was seen as a positive sign that a deal will be reached, but the parties remain far apart on whether revenues raised from eliminating tax breaks should go to reducing the deficit or funding new tax cuts.
            "If the president wants to talk loopholes, we'll talk loopholes," Cantor said, with one caveat: Any revenue gained from ending a tax break should be used to lower other taxes, the second-ranking House Republican said at his weekly press briefing.
            That drew a sharp response from Democrats, who said the demand would prevent them from winning any deficit cuts through the elimination of tax loopholes.
            Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) took credit for Cantor's flexibility, but said Republicans were moving backward by demanding that the tax component of a deficit-reduction package be revenue-neutral. [The Hill, July 6]       Click here for the complete source story



    Obama
    Is
    Creating
    His Own
    Debt Crisis


    Graphic of a Time Bomb

            Sen. Jim DeMint has laid the issue of the debt ceiling at the feet of the White House by saying they are "creating a crisis."
            "I don't think we'll have any resolution,We've known this for six months and there has not been one debate on the Senate or House floor how to fix it."
            DeMint has long been a Tea Party favorite by focusing on fiscal issues and thinks the White House is using issues in order to grandstand for the nation.
            DeMint was also critical of Democrats for saying the nation would have to default if the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling isn't increased by Aug. 2, the day Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says was the drop-dead date. [Christian Post, July 6]       Click here for the complete source story



    Jim DeMint
    Olympia Snowe:
    Amend
    Constitution

    Photographs of Jim DeMint and Olympia Snow

            All 47 Senate Republicans introduced a balanced budget amendment in late March, and Snowe and DeMint - who are opposite sides of the spectrum of Senate Republicans - want to see the amendment as part of any debt ceiling deal.
            After passing the House in 1995, balanced budget amendment votes in the Senate fell by one vote in 1995 and 1997. At the time, the national debt totaled less than $6 trillion, Snowe and DeMint noted. The current debt ceiling is set at $14.3 trillion.
            "If Congress increases our national debt ceiling next month without permanent, structural budget reforms, we will signal to taxpayers and bond markets alike that Washington is still in denial. Whatever agreement is reached, everyone will know that future Congresses are not obligated to follow it. As a result, the only way to compel lawmakers to maintain their responsibility forever is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution." [Politico, July 6]       Click here for the complete source story



    Three
    Tea Party
    Backed
    Senators
    Bet
    on
    Gold


    Photograph of US Gold Coins

            Republican Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah unveiled legislation Tuesday that would keep Uncle Sam's hands off of gold and silver coins that have been declared legal tender by the government.
            The Sound Money Promotion Act comes after Utah became the first state to recognize those coins as legal currency and exempted the sale of gold from the state capital gains tax.
            The U.S. Senate legislation simply states that "gold and silver coins declared legal tender by the federal government or any state government shall not be subject to taxation."
            Twelve other states have considered following Utah's lead: Colorado, Georgia, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington. [FoxNews, July 7]       Click here for the complete source story



    Tea
    Partiers
    split
    over
    debt
    strategy


    Graphic of What-Would-Founding-Fathers-Do split in half

            Tea Party activists are split between opposing any new increase to the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and tying an increase to spending cuts, caps and a balanced budget amendment.
            On one side is the Tea Party Patriots group, which is urging its supporters to sign a "no debt increase" pledge. On the other side are Tea Party-related groups with significant GOP establishment backing such as FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. Tea Party Express has joined this side.
            These groups have joined a coalition calling for "Cut, Cap and Balance" to be the condition for a raising of the debt ceiling.
            This approach, developed by the Republican Study Committee, calls for "substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter," "enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget," and congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment. [The Hill, July 4]       Click here for the complete source story



    "The Great American Awakening"
    - a new book by Sen. Jim DeMint


    Graphic of the book cover of The Great American Awakening

            "The best way for Republicans to win back the majority in the Senate is to do what we say we're going to do. I'd rather have 30 Republicans who believe in the principles of freedom than 60 who believe in nothing at all.
            The book is a rallying cry for conservatives in 2012 -- an election cycle that DeMint plans to be heavily involved in through his political action committee, the Senate Conservatives Fund.
            DeMint was trying to raise money for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, but it proved difficult."So many people said that they're not going to give us another dime until we start acting like Republicans. I asked if they would give to an organization, a PAC that only supported rock solid conservatives. And a lot of people said yes."
            DeMint won't be running for a third Senate term in 2016. "I believe that the longer people stay up here the more likely it is they become part of the problem rather than the solution. And I don't want to go that way myself."
            Perhaps, run for president? Only time will tell. [Newsmax, July 4]       Click here for the complete source story


    Rand Paul
    Plans
    Debt-Ceiling
    Filibuster


    Photograph of Rand Paul

            "We've not had one minute of debate about the debt ceiling in any committee. With no budget or appropriations bill in two years. I am part of the freshmen group in the Senate that's saying, 'No more.'"
            His stand is to filibuster so that debt ceiling talks will take place on the floor of the Senate. A group of conservative senators plan to present their own proposal to raise the debt limit, hand-in-hand with a balanced budget amendment.
            Paul isn't the first to make such a move. Last week, fellow Republican, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson blocked all unanimous consent calls, the equivalent of halting any and all Senate business until debt ceiling debate took place on the floor. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada stopped him with a procedural move after about two hours. [Newsmax, July 4]       Click here for the complete source story


    Photograph of Senator Mitch McConnell


    McConnell: No balanced-budget amendment

            McConnell has come under fire from Tea Party leaders to include the amendment in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, but McConnell has said he won't do so because it has no chance of passing.
            One GOP senator said demands by Tea Party senators for passage of the amendment before raising the debt limit is "not helpful. [UPI, July 2]       Click here for the complete source story



    Ron Johnson Stops Senate

    Photograph of Senator Ron Johnson

            Freshman Sen. Ron Johnson blocked Senate action on a Libya resolution Thursday in an effort to pressure Democratic leaders to craft a budget proposal that addresses debt reduction.
            Johnson said the debt is "the single most important issue facing this nation. The economy "is in a coma" because lawmakers have failed to tackle the issue. Unless we receive some assurance from the Democratic leadership that we will actually start addressing our budget, I will begin to withhold my unanimous consent."
            Unanimous consent is used in the Senate to move things along, and rarely draws objections. By objecting to unanimous consent, he would effectively shut down the Senate.
            "Sometimes in order to get things in motion, you have to take action," Johnson said. "So I've put the Senate on notice. I'm hoping the American people will put pressure on the president and the Senate to start taking action." [GreenBay Gazette, June 30]       Click here for the complete source story


    RETIREMENT
    FREEDOM
    ACT


    Photograph of Seniors Running

            Senator Jim DeMint introduced the Retirement Freedom Act to give seniors the ability to opt-out of Medicare while still collecting Social Security.
            Seniors should have the freedom to make their own choice about health care without Uncle Sam threatening to take away their Social Security checks. These two programs have been unnecessarily tied together without the consent of the people or their elected officials. If a senior can afford private insurance and chooses to not accept Medicare, they are forced to give up their Social Security benefits. This is not right and it must change.
            This is a common-sense step toward reforming our broken entitlement system, allowing seniors to choose what health care is best for their individual needs. The bill gives seniors choice while strengthening Medicare's finances, which are headed toward bankruptcy. [Cypress Times, June 30]       Click here for the complete source story


    Photograph of Barak Obama in front of United Nations flags

    * VIDEO *
    Obama Uses the Language Of A Third-World Leader

    Senator Marco Rubio spoke about President Obama's class-warfare press conference yesterday... describing it on the floor of the Senate as "the kind of language that you would expect from the leader of a third-world country, not the President of the United States." [Human Events, June 30]       Click here to see the video.



    Defense cuts
    appear likely
    as
    pressure
    grows
    on
    debt deal

    Defense spending pie chart

            As few as 30 House Republicans would likely consider voting against a debt-ceiling deal that cuts $300 billion from security spending, according to a GOP aide.
            The relatively small bloc of opposition to the level of defense cuts floated by the White House suggests the GOP's traditional opposition to reducing military spending has taken a backseat to warding off tax increases.
            Robust defense spending and lower taxes have been two hallmarks of the Republican Party for years, and those two things are going to be in direct competition with one another in the debt talks.
            Given a choice between lopping funding for the military and increasing taxes -- two options for reducing the deficit long seen as anathema to the party -- most House Republicans seem ready to pull the lever against the Pentagon.
            Republicans are very much uniformly wedded to no tax increases. ... I think they'll ultimately come down on the side of no tax cuts. [Erik Wasson and John T. Bennett, The Hill, June 30]       Click here for the complete source story



    Senate
    Republicans
    introduce
    Balanced
    Budget
    Amendment
    to the
    Constitution.


    Balanced Budget Amendment graphic

            Senate Republicans on Wednesday introduced a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would put in place several obstacles to higher spending, including requirements that total outlays cannot exceed total receipts, and that total spending cannot exceed 18 percent of US gross domestic product. These rules could only be waived by a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and the Senate.
            The amendment, S.J.Res. 23, would also hold that the debt limit cannot be increased unless three-fifths of both the House and Senate agree.
            In its current form, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's amendment would also be the longest ever, at 553 words. The 14th amendment, ratified in 1868 and dealing with U.S. citizenship rights, is currently the longest amendment, at 428 words. [The Hill, June 29]       Click here for the complete source story



    Senator
    DeMint's
    response
    to
    Obama
    Tax Hikes

    Photograph of Senator DeMint

            Currently, the top tax rates are 33 percent and 35 percent. In 1988-1989, the top tax rate was 28% . Raising tax rates on the "rich" will not result in more federal revenue.
            From 1950 to 1963 when the top tax rate exceeded 90%, federal tax revenues averaged 17.4%. When the top tax rate was 28% from 1988-1989, federal tax revenues averaged 18.3% of GDP.
            Increasing the rates on the top earners in our economy will hurt investment, job creation and economic growth. Higher tax rates reduce incentives to work and expand businesses. According to data from the Treasury Department, 72% of all small business income is subject to the top two marginal tax rates.
            Raising tax rates on these small businesses will reduce investment, job creation and economic growth. It will not create a single job, and will eliminate many.
            Raising taxes on the top earners is counterproductive. Revenue is not the problem, spending is. [The Hill, June 30]       Click here for the complete source story



    Republicans
    play it cool
    over Aug. 2
    debt ceiling
    deadline


    Debt Ceiling graphic with Capitol and sign

            Speaker John Boehner insisted that an Aug. 2 deadline to reach a debt-ceiling deal is artificial, while another GOP leader said it would likely be extended.
            The GOP maneuver -- playing it cool as the deadline hurtles closer -- appears to mirror that of the White House, which has taken pains to seem unhurried despite its warnings of imminent calamity.
            "Dealing with this deficit problem is far more important than meeting some artificial date created by the Treasury secretary," Boehner said
            Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said he understood that the deadline would be moved back, to later in August.
            Both Republicans and Obama and Democrats could be blamed if they trigger an economic downturn by failing to take action that former Congresses handled almost routinely. [The Hill, June 29]       Click here for the complete source story



    The
    courage
    to balance
    the budget

    by
    Rick
    Santorum

    Photograph of Rick Santorum

            When I was a freshman senator we came close to passing a Balanced Budget Amendment. I led the fight to remove Sen.Hatfield who opposed it.
            Fast forward to today. After months of inaction and outsourcing the job to Vice President Biden and kicking the can down the road without a responsible deficit reduction plan, the importance of the vote to raise the debt limit still does not inspire seriousness in the president. So it is time for Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell to learn the lessons of 1995, draw a line in the sand, and not allow a debt ceiling increase to occur unless the Balanced Budget Amendment is also passed.
            This will put the crosshairs of your opponents squarely on your back - particularly if your own party does not follow your lead. But a Balanced Budget Amendment will force all parties to come to the table to find solutions to the solvency crisis facing our entitlement programs.
            The BBA would return our nation to the historical spending norm of 18% of GDP. As president I commit to ensuring the Balanced Budget Amendment is ratified as our 28th Amendment. [Politico, June 29]       Click here for the complete source story


    Photograph of Representative Ron Paul


    * VIDEO * Rep. Ron Paul
    on China and GOP Candidates

    The Texas congressman talks trade and politics
    on ABC's "Top Line." * VIDEO * [ABC News, June 28]      

    Click here to see the video



    Indiana
    appeals
    judge's
    ruling
    on
    Planned
    Parenthood


    Opposing

            Indiana is appealing a judge's ruling that blocks the state from enforcing a law which eliminates government funding to Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions.
            The law, signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels last month, strips the women's health group of funding, including money from the federal Medicaid program for the poor.
            A decision by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt last week granted a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the ban on Planned Parenthood offices in Indiana receiving reimbursement for Medicaid claims.
            Indiana is one of three states that cut funds for Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions. The others are Kansas and North Carolina, although those states cut only state funding and not federal Medicaid funds.
            Abortion is already not covered by Medicaid funding, but proponents of cutting funds to Planned Parenthood say the money indirectly subsidizes abortion by paying salaries and other overhead. [Reuters, June 28]       Click here for the complete source story



    * VIDEO*

    Bristol
    Palin
    on
    Hannity
    TV Show


    Photo of Bristol Palin

            A poised and confident Bristol Palin sat down with Sean Hannity to discuss her new book, "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far." The daughter of former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin discusses her relationship with former fiancee and father of her two-year old son, Tripp, Levi Johnston.
            Palin admits that she lied to her mother for the first time in her life, sneaking out of the house to be with Johnston. "Never lie to your mother--that's the biggest lesson I learned, I made a decision to go out, sneak out with my friends, get drunk and have sex for the first time. I own up to that mistake in the book--I talk about that being one of my biggest regrets."
            "I'm definitely not going to have sex before marriage. I know what my life is now and I don't want another kid and I don't want to risk being a single mom (again)," she said.
            Palin calls son Tripp a blessing. "He's the love of my life," she beamed.
            Palin also likes the idea of her mom running for president, telling Hannity, "Of course, absolutely!" [FoxNews.com, June 28]       Click here for the complete source story


    Interview
    with
    Marco Rubio

    Photograph of Marco Rubio

    * VIDEO *
    An articulate presentation of tea party> principles.

            Shrink size of government, broad-based flat tax reform, roll back regulations.
            Balanced budget amendment, with tough spending caps.
            Best solution for an ailing middle class: Create jobs.
            He believes the 21st century can be an American century if we follow this path.
            There are few people more articulate than the gifted Sen. Rubio. [CNBC.com, June 28]       Click here for the source story * VIDEO *



    Republicans
    Reject
    Tax
    Increases
    in
    Debt-Reduction
    Package


    No New Taxes graphic

            Two top congressional Republicans said Sunday that Congress won't approve a deficit-reduction package that includes tax increases.
            However, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl left room for maneuver on raising revenue in ways that might not be defined as a tax increase.
            Proposed ways to reduce the U.S. budget deficit include ending tax breaks for ethanol producers or other energy companies, and revising tax deductions for corporate jets. Some call those steps tax increases, while others describe them as closing tax loopholes.
            The only point on which the party leaders agreed: A deal needs to happen fast, before the brinksmanship spooks bond markets and interest rates spike. "It need not go necessarily to the 11th hour," Mr. McConnell said. [Online WSJ, June 24]       Click here for the source story



    DeMint Warns
    Republicans
    They May Be
    'Gone'
    if They
    Support
    Debt Ceiling
    Increase


    Close-up phototgraph of Senator Jim DeMint

            Sen. Jim DeMint has a message to fellow Republicans in Congress: If you support increasing the debt ceiling without first passing a balanced budget amendment and massive across-the-board spending cuts, you're gone -- destined to be swept out of Congress by a wave of voter anger . . . and the Republican Party would be set back many years.
            "It would be the most toxic vote," DeMint said. "I can tell you if you look at the polls, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, they do not think we should increase the debt limit."
            DeMint is not just talking political analysis here. He has a significant fundraising base and has shown a willingness to use his campaign money to support or oppose fellow Republicans.
            DeMint will use that political muscle to oppose fellow Republicans who don't stand firm on the debt ceiling issue. He said he will not support any candidate for Congress -- incumbent or challenger -- who does not sign a pledge promising not to vote for a debt limit increase without first passing a balanced budget amendment, making deep spending cuts and putting strict limits on future government spending. The same rule applies to presidential candidates. [ABC News, June 25]       Click here for the source story



    Sara's Bus Tour Message

    Photograph of Sarah Palin
    *Sigh* Reports of Tour Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated
    by Sarah Palin on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 7:14pm
            Imagine our surprise when reading media reports today that the "One Nation Tour" has been cancelled. Why didn't anyone tell me? Oh, wait, that's because it hasn't been cancelled. (Good ol' media... you never cease to amaze!)
            As I said myself at the end of the east coast leg of the tour, the summer is long, and I'm looking forward to hitting the open road again. The coming weeks are tight because civic duty calls (like most everyone else, even former governors get called up for jury duty) and I look forward to doing my part just like every other Alaskan.
            I wouldn't think it to be such a slow news day that, what with numerous wars and serious economic woes concerning Americans, a bus is driving news stories today. The next leg of the tour continues when the time comes. In the meantime, no one should jump to conclusions - certainly not the media with their long track record of getting things wrong or just making things up.         - Sarah Palin
          Click here for Sarah's Facebook Page


    House
    to consider
    balanced-budget
    amendment


    Graphic for Balanced Budget Amendment

            The House will consider a balanced budget amendment during the week of July 25.
            House Republicans have made it clear that we will not agree to raise the debt limit without real spending cuts and binding budget process reforms to ensure that we don't continue to max out the credit card. One option to ensure that we begin to get our fiscal house in order is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
            A vote on the amendment would come shortly before Treasury's August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling or face default.
            The Tea Party has been clamoring for a balanced budget amendment. House Republicans passed such an amendment in 1995 as a part of the Contract with America with precisely 300 votes. But the measure failed in the Senate by one vote. (foxnews) [The Hill, June 24]       Click here for the source story


    Photograph of the cast of Friends

    TV Executives Admit
    Hollywood Pushes Liberal Agenda

            * VIDEO * - Some of TV's top executives from the past four decades may have gotten more than they bargained for when they agreed to be interviewed for a politically charged book.
            The book makes the case that TV industry executives, writers and producers use their clout to advance a liberal political agenda. The author bases his thesis on, among other things, 39 taped interviews that he'll roll out piecemeal during the next three weeks. [Click on source to see video clips of interviews].       Click here to see video interviews. * VIDEO *



    Tea Partiers
    Create
    Their Own
    TV Show


    Photograph from Courage TV Show

            Tea Party members are acutely aware of the power of popular culture, and have been delving into the creation of entertainment that promotes their values. A "TV show" created by a company owned by Tea Partiers debuts Sunday in Monrovia, CA.
            The one-hour drama is called "Courage, New Hampshire". Co-hosting the red carpet activities are Saturday Night Live alumna Victoria Jackson and radio personality Tony Katz, both of whom regularly speak at Tea Party rallies.
            Courage has the pacing and feel of a soap opera set in Colonial America. There's no distribution partner, so it's going straight to DVD after the premiere. The company, Colony Bay, is trying to strike deals with conservative online TV outlets, like Glenn Beck's GBTV and Kelsey Grammer's Right Network. [Hollywood Reporter, June 23]       Click here for the source story


    Sarah
    Palin
    bus
    tour
    not
    dead


    Photograph of Sarah Palin and bus

            The Sarah Palin bus tour is on hiatus, not dead, the former governor assured her Facebook fans. But without an itinerary or any apparent future stops, the media figured the show was over.
            She said on her Facebook page that the coming weeks are busy for her due to civic responsibilities - she's been called for jury duty.
            "The next leg of the tour continues when the time comes. In the meantime, no one should jump to conclusions - certainly not the media with their long track record of getting things wrong or just making things up," wrote Ms. Palin on Facebook. [Christian Science Monitor, June 23]       Click here for the source story


    Graphic of Christing O'Donnells book - Troublemaker

            That's the title of her book, Troublemaker: Let's Do What it Takes to Make America Great Again.
            On her Twitter account, she quotes award-winning country singer Parton, by citing this line: "You'll never do a whole lot unless you're brave enough to try."
            O'Donnell sent an e-mail to supporters to reserve copies of the book, set for wide release Aug. 16. She proclaims she wrote "our story" to send a message that "career politicians and the establishment don't own our country."
            She says the book will contain details about the "I'm not a witch" ad, stories about her race against Democrat Chris Coons, and her reaction to events last year.
            O'Donnell drew national attention when she rode Tea Party support in the GOP Senate primary to defeat veteran congressman and former Delaware governor Mike Castle, a moderate. [USA Today, June 23]       Click here for the source story



    House
    GOP
    Digs In
    on
    Debt
    Ceiling


    Debt ceiling graphic

            Sen. Mitch McConnell says they might have to agree to a smaller increase in the debt ceiling and revisit the issue again in a few months - but - Rep. Eric Cantor said he doesn't see how multiple votes on a debt-ceiling increase can help us. The White House has said the borrowing limit must be raised by Aug. 2 or the government will run out of cash to pay its bills,
            Risks of taking multiple debt limit votes are more intense in the House than in the Senate because all members face reelection next year.
            Congressional aides said they have been looking at reaching an agreement on roughly $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion in specific budget reductions, made up mostly of spending cuts, but the Democrats are insisting on also increasing revenues with tax increases.
             One idea floated is to curb the rise of federal benefits by using a different measure of inflation to calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments. According aides familiar with the Biden negotiations, use of this alternate measure is being seriously discussed. The measure, changes expense and revenue numbers by adjusting the figures for the way consumers change their shopping habits as prices rise. For instance, motorists overall tend to drive less if gasoline prices jump dramatically. [Online WSJ, June 22]       Click here for the source story


    NBC
    Apologizes
    for Omitting
    'Under God'
    From Pledge
    During
    U.S. Open

    Children saying Pledge of Allegiance in front of flag
    Golf Ball and Club Head graphic

            NBC issued an on-air apology Sunday for omitting the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance during its coverage of golf's U.S. Open.
            In a statement during the broadcast, NBC commentator Dan Hicks said, "We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago and when we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open Championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being held in our nation's capital for the third time.
            "Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone and we'd like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it."
            While this was going on, Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy romped to an eight-shot win to claim his first major title with a record-low 72-hole score of 16-under par at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. [Fox News, June 20]       Click here for the source story



    Is
    Raul
    Labrador
    GOP
    immigration
    key?


    Photo of Representative Raul Labrador

            The tricky politics of immigration reform might seem to be a dead end for a Republican these days but Rep. Raul Labrador, a Puerto Rican-born former immigration lawyer and overnight tea party darling, is doing just that. He is meeting with Republicans and conservative opinion-makers to try to build a "conservative consensus."
            He favors border enforcement, a credible guest-worker program and punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. But he doesn't support a pathway to citizenship for the roughly 11 million people living in the country illegally.
            He's unquestionably conservative, he's intimately familiar with immigration law. His family's story -- of a mother who brought her son to the mainland when neither spoke fluent English, who insisted they speak their native Spanish only at home and who graduated from college the same year as her son -- has inspired state and national tea party groups eager to celebrate diversity after liberal groups accused the movement of racism in 2009. [Marin Cogan, Politico, June 20]       Click here for the source story



    Sen.
    Jim DeMint's
    Statement
    for the
    NLRB
    Hearing


    Photograph of Senator Jim DeMint

            The National Labor Relations Board has an obligation to not only protect union workers, but non-union workers as well. Americans must have the ability to choose whether to join a union or not join a union as a condition of employment. 22 states given employees that choice and the federal government must respect that.
            Companies also deserve the right to build and expand their businesses where they will have the best chance of economic success. Otherwise, there can be no such thing as free enterprise.
            The Boeing Company's decision to expand to South Carolina to build Dreamliner airplanes, would create up to 3,800 new jobs in Charleston and allow them to export more of their high-quality American product.
            Boeing's expansion should be celebrated, not the subject of a federal complaint. These new jobs in Charleston do not come at the expense of those at the first Dreamliner plant in Everett, WA. In fact, the Everett factory has added more than 2,000 jobs since Boeing announced it would build the Charleston plant.
            The federal government cannot treat non-union jobs as if they are less important than union jobs. All employees must have equal rights under the law and afforded the same protections by their government. The NLRB is not maintaining that balance.
            The Senate has not been given opportunity to vet and confirm President Obama's appointments to the highest positions within the NLRB. [Cypress Times, June 20]       Click here for the source story



    Jews
    Are
    Warming
    to the
    Tea
    Party


    Jewish Republican Stars graphic

            It took less than 24 hours after President Obama's Middle East address to launch 150,000 robo-calls from Michele Bachmann to residents in Iowa and South Carolina, accusing Obama of not standing up for Israel.
            Bachmann could be trying to tap into a perceived new constituency: Jewish supporters of the Tea Party. Jews have been considered to be the religious group least supportive of the Tea Party. But the community is warming up to the movement.
            A recent survey of Jews found that about 42% thought the Tea Party movement was "refreshing" versus an equal percentage that found it "alarming.
            The report cautioned that the 2,300 or so participants of the study were recruited via publicity on the websites of Jewish newspapers and Jewish organizations -- an outreach method bound to exclude the large percentage of Jews who are relatively less affiliated.
            Nevertheless, the study shows "a distinctive Jewish conservative voice emerging on Israel-related matters and an array of domestic social issues" among "highly engaged Jews." [Jewish Daily Forward, June 18]       Click here for the source story



    Ethanol:
    Great Energy Divide for Presidential Field

    Ethanol Corn Graphic

            Four years ago presidential candidates descended on Iowa vowing to do whatever it takes to prop up ethanol. Now, with focus on less government spending - ethanol subsidies don't sit well with the GOP base or with the tea party. Candidates are rushing away from support for ethanol, even if it hurts their standing in the State, where caucuses are scheduled for early February.
            Jon Huntsman said earlier this month that he doesn't plan to compete in Iowa's caucuses because he doesn't back ethanol supports. Sarah Palin, likewise, said she's not in favor of energy subsidies of any kind. And Tim Pawlenty said he wants to phase out ethanol subsidies.
            Michele Bachmann, a native of Iowa, has professed support for ethanol production as part of an energy strategy, but she has been cautious regarding of subsidies.
            But it was Romney, who leads the polling in New Hampshire by a large margin, who doubled down on his support for ethanol subsidies. That stance irked leading Republicans.
            John Sununu said: "Political pandering comes in all shapes and sizes, but every four years the presidential primary brings us in contact with its purest form -- praising ethanol subsidies amid the cornfields of Iowa. Though it sounds like a caricature, the photo tells the story: Mitt Romney, holding a golden ear of corn, declaring recently, 'I support the subsidy of ethanol,' " [Real Clear Politics, June 17]       Click here for the source story



    DeMint:

    EDA
    Is a
    Waste
    of
    Money


    Photograph of Senator Jim DeMint

            Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a tea party stalwart dedicated to reducing the size of the government, has set his sights on the Economic Development Administration.
            The EDA was founded to help promote economic competitiveness and create jobs, but DeMint says it wastes money with the promotion of "pet projects."
            "This program too often has used federal dollars to fund pet projects that have little relation to the national interest,"
            The EDA is responsible for projects like building a $2 million wine tasting room and gift shop in Washington state, and spending $1.5 million to promote tourism in the Northern Mariana Islands.
            It's not just frivolous programs that make the EDA wasteful. They also duplicate existing federal programs, like the $49 million that went to support flooded regions of Rhode Island, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Kentucky, a job that normally would go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
            "Mr. Obama's deficit commission cited these same examples of duplication and waste as reasons to eliminate the EDA completely--something Congress should immediately do," "But Democrats and, sadly, some Republicans, want to give the EDA a raise."       Click here for the source story



    Marco Rubio's
    Maiden Speech
    before the
    Senate


    Photo of Senator Marco Rubio

    ** VIDEO ** of On The Record interview -
            "Our people are as great as they've ever been. Americans haven't forgotten how to create jobs or run out of ideas. But we do have a broken government. Our tax code is complicated and burdensome and difficult to predict so people are scared to invest. Our regulations are strangling job creators. The hoops of trying to start a business in America are significant.
            "Our constitution also gave us a republic. This Republic was designed to limit government's ability to do things. The framers and founders didn't want us to have a very active government. They thought the government's job was to protect our rights. What happened in our country would be what our people did.
            You get disappointed because you know it is the opportunity cost of it. We have a chance. The world is coming in our direction. We have a chance for the 21st century to be better than the 20th. There are more people around the world than ever before that can afford to buy the things that Americans can invent, build and sell. We have to have an economy that can do that, that the government is not impeding the American people. I'm frustrated they are missing an opportunity to craft the new American century. [Fox News, Greta Van Susteren interview, June 15]       Click here for the source story



    Supreme Court
    reinstates
    collective
    bargaining
    law


    Wisconsin Supreme Court Logo

            Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi exceeded her authority when she issued a May 26 order invalidating the legislation, the high court ruled yesterday. The judge had ruled the measure was created in apparent violation of the state's open meetings law.
            The Supreme Court's justices invoked "original jurisdiction" over the dispute because "one of the courts that we are charged with supervising has usurped the legislative power."
            A first-term Republican, Walker signed the legislation on March 11. It requires annual recertification votes for public employees' union representation and makes their payment of membership dues voluntary. Firefighters and police officers are exempt.
            Under the new law, state workers would contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries toward pensions and pay 12.6 percent of their health-insurance costs.
            Democrats and organized labor opposed the legislation as an attack on worker rights. Opponents protested inside and outside the state capitol for almost four weeks. [Bloomberg, June 15]       Click here for the source story



    Sarah Palin
    email frenzy
    backfires
    on her
    media
    antagonists

    Photograph of Sarah Palin

            The trove of more than 13,000 emails detailing almost every aspect of Sarah Palin's governorship of Alaska, released late on Friday, paints a picture of her as an idealistic, conscientious, humorous and humane woman slightly bemused by the world of politics.
            One can only assume that the Left-leaning editors who dispatched teams of reporters to remote Juneau, the Alaskan capital, to pore over the emails in the hope of digging up a scandal are now viewing the result as a rather poor return on their considerable investment.
            If anything, Mrs Palin seems likely to emerge from the scrutiny of the 24,000 pages, contained in six boxes and weighing 275 pounds, with her reputation considerably enhanced.
            She is, however, viewed with a kind of horrified fascination by many in the media, who faithfully records everything she says and does while at the same time decrying her as ignorant and even evil. [Telegraph, June 12]       Click here for the source story



    House Republicans go after federal employee union contributions

    Union Dues Your Best Investment graphic

            House Republicans this week introduced legislation that would give federal employees a choice in whether a portion of their salary is sent to federal employee unions, which sponsors say would help break the "strong-hold that labor unions have on American politics and the federal budget."
            "This bill does not prohibit federal workers from joining a union or paying union dues," said Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), chief sponsor of H.R. 2145. "In fact, this legislation would increase employees' freedom by allowing them to choose to pay union dues rather than having them taken out of employees' paychecks before the workers even see the money."
            Scott said Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) would be introducing companion legislation in the Senate sometime this week. "Let's ... empower federal employees to make their own choices about their paychecks," DeMint said in a statement last week. [The Hill, June 8]       Click here for the source story



    Club For Growth:

    $2.5 Trillion
    In US
    Spending Cuts
    Not Enough

    The Club For Growth logo

            The influential Club for Growth on Wednesday applied pressure to Republican leaders who are calling for large spending cuts in exchange for an increase in the U.S. borrowing limit, saying that even more extensive steps need to be taken.
            "$2.5 trillion in cuts without budget reform is simply an inadequate trade for raising the debt ceiling," Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement. "Without spending caps and a Balanced Budget Amendment that requires supermajorities to raise spending, taxes, and the debt ceiling, then we are just kicking the can down the road. Cuts without budget reform is nothing more than maintaining the Washington status quo. Spending cuts alone won't last - they never do - but permanent budget reforms will." [NASDAQ, June 8]       Click here for the source story



    GOP pushes
    for a
    balanced
    budget
    amendment


    Balanced Budget Ammendment graphic

            Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Orrin Hatch of Utah and six colleagues wrote to Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., who is chairman of the Constitution subcommittee as well as assistant majority leader, saying, "Our nation is facing a fiscal crisis that is only getting worse."
            "The budget deficit is now almost fifteen times the size it was when the Senate came within one vote of passing a balanced budget amendment in 1997," they wrote.
            The amendment, they said, is "long overdue" and would "put in place a much-needed restraint on runaway Washington spending." [UPI, June 8]       Click here for the source story



    Piers Morgan
    Asks
    Ann Coulter
    if
    Tea Party
    is
    Modern Version
    of
    Hitler and Mussolini's


    Photo of Ann Coulter

    Picture of Piers Morgan

            COULTER: No, they're much closer to the original Tea Party, which, and actually not as, not as much of a rabble as the original Tea Party, which as I point out, the Founding Fathers weren't wild about the original Tea Party curiously enough because they were so against mobs.
            Having equated the Tea Party to Hitler and Mussolini's "mob," Morgan moved in another predictable liberal media direction - Tea Partiers are idiots.
            But the best was still to come, as now that Morgan had failed at besmirching the Tea Party, it was on to desparaging one of their most famous supporters:
            MORGAN: The way you talk as your publisher does here, "Liberals use mobs to seize power and impose their theories on the populace for the good of humanity." I think Sarah Palin would have written that, who whether you like it or not is irrelevant, is a brilliant rouser of the populous, like nothing else in politics right now. After Obama himself and his last election, she is doing an incredible job marshaling her base. But she also comes out with some pretty inflammatory stuff and that surely arouses a mob mentality. You wouldn't dispute that.
            COULTER: I don't think she's inflammatory. I think she's a great speaker. What do you think she said that is inflammatory? [NewsBusters, June 8]       Click here for the source story



    Ginni Thomas: Tea Party
    Must Mesh
    With GOP
    for 2012 Clout


    Picture of Ginni Thomas

            "I think it's important that both the tea party movement and grass-roots activists come together with the establishment and we see as little division as possible," said Thomas, a special correspondent for The Daily Caller. "In order to have the most success, we need to build bridges between the establishment conservative community and the Republican community and the grass-roots community. I hope together we can have an effective force in 2012."
            I think there needs to be greater effort by I would say Sen. [Mitch] McConnell and Speaker [John] Boehner and their teams," she said. "They need to reach out more effectively to the tea party movement and be comfortable with new people coming to the movement as opposed to seeing them as some alien force that's hostile or offensive in any way. I think this should be one big happy family, and there's some growing pains around the edges right now that I hope can be fixed."
            Regarding the crop of GOP presidential hopefuls, Thomas said Herman Cain "has gotten the attention of the grass roots."
            "I think they're watching for Michele Bachmann, whether Jim DeMint would get it, that would be exciting. I don't have a dog in the fight, and I really want the most conservative candidate to prevail in the end. And I want to see as little friction between all the players of our team so we can success." [Newsmax, June 8]       Click here for the source story



    Justices call for review of city's law on immigration

    Illegal is Illegal sign


            A Pennsylvania city will get another chance to defend its never-enforced illegal immigration law after the Supreme Court ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider the case yesterday.
            Citing their recent decision upholding an Arizona employer-sanctions law, the justices threw out a ruling by the Third US Circuit Court of Appeals that prevented the city of Hazleton from enforcing regulations that would deny permits to businesses that hire illegal immigrants and fine landlords who rent to them.
            Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act inspired similar laws around the country, including the one in Arizona.
            Both measures were authored by the same scholar, Kris Kobach, currently Kansas's secretary of state.
            "This is a great day for all of those cities and states, and for the people of Hazleton who had to endure criticism from those who opposed what we were trying to do because the federal government did not want to do its job,'' said Representative Lou Barletta, Hazleton's former mayor, who pushed through the measures in 2006. [Boston Globe, June 7]       Click here for the source story



    GOP freshman unconvinced on Geithner's debt ceiling timetable

    Photo of Timothy Geithner

            House freshman lawmakers who attended the late day bicameral closed-door meeting said that Geithner's refusal to present a "scorable" plan that would reduce the deficit in exchange for a must-pass debt limit increase, left many feeling frustrated.
            Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), who sat through most of the hour-long meeting, told The Hill that Geithner said "absolutely nothing" to convince him of the urgent need to increase the current $14.3 trillion limit by the August 2 deadline.
            If Congress does not raise the borrowing authority for the Treasury secretary by August, Chabot predicted that "we'll have to reduce the level of spending, which I'm in favor of."
            Even though Geithner told the group that it was "lights out" on August 2 if Congress fails to increase the debt limit, Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wisc.) said that the House should act responsibly, not out of fear. [The Hill, June 7]       Click here for the source story



    Ryan to Obama:

    'Leadership
    should
    come
    from
    the top'


    Photo of Representative Paul Ryan

            Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) confronted President Obama over his attack on the Republican budget plan in the most dramatic moment of a White House meeting with the House GOP conference.
            Saying he wanted to "clear the air" amid a deficit debate marred by partisan rancor, Ryan, the author of the House GOP budget, told the president he was wrong to characterize Republicans as turning their backs on children and senior citizens.
            "Leadership should come from the top," Ryan said to Obama, according to Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who described the exchange to The Hill.
            King said Ryan stopped short of directly accusing Obama of demagoguing the issue but that he was "politely critical" of the president. "Obviously we disagree. Ours was a good proposal," King paraphrased the House Budget Committee chairman as saying. "It was wrong to accuse us of turning our backs on autistic children or putting senior citizens out on the street." [The Hill, June 2]       Click here for the source story



    House torpedoes unconditional hike to $14.3 trillion debt ceiling

    Image of smoking plane diving

            The House overwhelmingly voted down an unconditional increase to the $14.3 trillion debt limit Tuesday, as the Republican majority delivered a symbolic rebuke to President Obama ahead of a meeting at the White House.
            The vote was 318-97, with 82 Democrats joining every Republican in rejecting legislation that would have authorized $2.4 trillion in additional borrowing by the federal government. Seven Democrats voted present on the legislation.
            House Republicans scheduled the vote, which occurred after the close of the American markets, to demonstrate to Senate Democrats and the White House that Congress would not increase the debt limit without significant spending cuts and reforms.
            Obama has invited the entire House Republican Conference to the White House on Wednesday; Carney said the president wanted to "hear and listen to their ideas, their concerns." He will meet with House Democrats on Thursday. The Biden group will hold its next meeting June 6. [The Hill, June 1]      Click here for the source for this story



    US Senator Rand Paul proposes eliminating gasoline tax

    Graphic of Exon gas sign

            Paul said he intends to make the proposal an amendment to any energy bill that comes before the Senate. He proposes offsetting the lost revenue with a corresponding reduction in foreign aid and corporate welfare.
            Such a proposal is a huge longshot because of concerns about losing federal money that goes to maintain and expand the nation's highways. [Business Week, June 1]       Click here for the source story



    Small Is Beautiful Memo to GOP: Think less about corporate America, more about startups.

    Small Business Graphic

            Last week, House Republicans announced a "pro-growth" agenda that concentrates on corporations. The plan lowers the top corporate tax rate while eliminating loopholes as a means of helping reduce today's horrendous joblessness. Sounds logical; big corporations such as General Electric pay no taxes while other less politically connected firms pay the full freight. The playing field, therefore, needs to be leveled. Plus, the U.S. corporate tax rate is uncompetitively high by international standards.
            Yet the GOP should be wary of becoming the political face of corporate America. The same goes for those Republicans who lately have been defending Wall Street's incompetent, too-big-to-fail bankers.
            American joblessness has reached heartbreaking levels for largely one reason: Who in their right mind in today's highly uncertain tax, regulatory, monetary, health care, and geopolitical environment would take the risk of striking out with a new venture? New enterprises flourish in a climate of abundant liquidity and confidence--exactly the opposite of today's conditions. Everyone in the risk capital community, moreover, knows that the likelihood of a new venture achieving a public stock offering in today's climate of caution and pessimism is strikingly low. That's why risk capital is so hard to come by. And forget about using government funds to pick the innovative winners from the losers. That's a fool's errand. [Weekly Standard, June 1]       Click here for the source story



    Some Immigrants Turn to Tea Party

    Diverse Tea graphic

            Lolita Mancheno-Smoak, an immigrant from Ecuador who once dreamed of becoming her country's president, has found an unlikely home in the tea party movement.
            When she launched her campaign for county school board last week at Brion's Grille in Fairfax, Va., she was not alone -- flanked by immigrants from Europe, Asia and Latin America who have joined tea party groups in the face of unrelenting criticism that the movement is isolationist and anti-immigrant.
            "Why do immigrants leave their country? Because they don't have opportunity and they don't have freedom, because politicians control everything," he said. "We come to America and we are going to have the same crap? Then we might as well go back there." [Roll Call, June 1]       Click here for the source story



    Supreme Court Inching Closer to States' Rights

    Photograph of Chief Justice John Roberts

            Chief Justice John Roberts is one vote short of moving the Supreme Court to a position so conservative on states' rights that it would be to the right of the Tea Party's idea of limited government. That chilling possibility was evident in the court's recent ruling in the case of Virginia v. Stewart.
            The principle at stake dates back to a 1908 case, Ex parte Young, in which the Supreme Court held that federal courts have a paramount role in stopping a state from violating federal law. [NY Times Editorial, May 29]       Click here for the source story



    As the GOP moves to the right, presidential hopefuls abandon old centrist stands

    Photo of an Elephant on the move

            In the first presidential election since the tea party's emergence, Republican candidates are drifting rightward on a range of issues, even though more centrist stands might play well in the 2012 general election.
            On energy, taxes, health care and other topics, the top candidates hold positions that are more conservative than those they espoused a few years ago.
            The shifts reflect the evolving views of conservative voters, who will play a major role in choosing the Republican nominee. In that sense, the candidates' repositioning seems savvy or even essential.
            But the eventual nominee will face President Barack Obama in the 2012 general election, when independent voters appear likely to be decisive players once again. Those independents may be far less enamored of hard-right positions than are the GOP activists who will wield power in the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary and other nominating contests. [Washington Post, May 29]       Click here for the source story



    Supreme
    Court
    upholds
    Arizona
    employer
    sanctions
    law


    Arizona doing the job the feds won't do graphic

            In their 5-3 decision Thursday, the justices made clear that states can play a role in what is generally a federal system of immigration regulation. The court upheld a 2007 Arizona law that revokes the business license of companies that hire unauthorized workers, saying it met an exception to the usual federal prohibition on states setting civil or criminal penalties in this area.
            The court "gives the green light to state use of licensing laws as a tool of immigration enforcement," says Temple University law professor Peter Spiro, predicting that advocates for restrictions will likely push other states to adopt measures similar to Arizona. "But that doesn't mean they will get their way," added Spiro, who specializes in immigration law. "Business interests are very powerful in state capitals."
            Jay Sekulow, chief counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, among the groups that backed Arizona at the court, said, "I think you're going to see this become a catalyst for state action, in licensing and other areas." He termed the ruling "a road map" for states that want "to protect their borders and citizens." [USA Today, May 27]       Click here for the source story



    Sharron
    Angle
    Drops
    House
    Bid


    Photo of Sharon Angle

            Tea party favorite Sharron Angle said she won't run after all for an open House seat in Nevada this year but don't count her out for future elections.
            Ms Angle says in her statement, a copy of which is on the Las Vegas Sun website, that she's pulling out because of a recent court ruling that makes the special election an open contest, with no primaries.
            "Current outcomes concerning the special election have made this election in Nevada an illegitimate process that disenfranchises the electorate," she says.
            Still, she says in the statement that she's "not ruling out a future run for office." In time for the 2012 election, Nevada is set to gain an additional congressional seat, which will likely be made up of large parts of the second district. [Blogs Wall St. Journal, May 25]      Click here for the source for this story



    New
    tea party
    senator
    gets
    Senate's
    attention


    Photo of Rand Paul

            Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, a freshman and tea party favorite, all but ran the Senate for three days this week in defiance of leaders of both parties trying to extend the Patriot Act before parts of it expire at midnight Thursday.
            Using filibuster tactics, Paul has delayed action on the intelligence-gathering measures, contending they should expire because the Patriot Act gives the government too much power to monitor people's lives. He spent most of the week demanding that Majority Leader Harry Reid make good on a promise earlier this year to allow him to offer amendments to the post-9/11 law.
            It appeared the measures were in real danger of lapsing unless Paul backed off his demand for a debate. Reid invoked an obscure procedure that could not be blocked, but Paul has insisted on using all of the time for debate allowed under Senate rules, which would push a vote on renewing the measures well past the midnight Thursday deadline.
            Paul opposes the entire Patriot Act as an unconstitutional intrusion on people's liberty. Paul has Senate allies on both the right and left who want to increase the Patriot Act's oversight and public disclosure requirements. [Google News, May25]      Click here for the source for this story



    Senate
    Votes
    Down
    House
    GOP
    Budget
    Plan


    Photo of Paul Ryan holding budget

            Several moderate Republicans joined every Democrat present in opposing the stringent House plan. They were Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Tea-party favorite Rand Paul of Kentucky opposed plan from the right since it doesn't actually balance and would add trillions of dollars to the U.S. debt.
            Democrats staged the votes to put Republicans on record regarding a plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
            Five Republicans joined every Democrat in killing the measure, which calls for transforming Medicare into a program in which future beneficiaries -- people now 54 years old and younger -- would be given a subsidy to purchase health insurance rather than have the government directly pay hospital and doctor bills. [Fox News, May 25]      Click here for the source for this story



    Americans
    More
    Worried
    about
    Higher
    Debt
    than
    Default


    Debt ceiling graphic

            According to a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll.
            Nearly half of respondents -- 48 percent -- said raising the debt limit was a greater concern than not, while just 35 percent said the opposite.
            The numbers underscore the potential political peril of voting to raise the government's borrowing limit without doing something to address the fiscal pressures pushing up the debt. They also suggest Democrats have only been partially successful in communicating the dangers of default to the general public. Almost half of those polled said they did not feel like they well understood the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling.
            The poll was conducted by telephone from May 19 to 22 among a random national sample of 1,004 adults. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. [National Journal, May 25]      Click here for the source for this story



    Hatch's
    support of
    Patriot Act
    likely
    to anger
    tea party


    Patriot Act Graphic

            In one of the few bipartisan efforts of the year, Congress is expected to extend three parts of the Patriot Act before they expire on Friday.
            Sen. Orrin Hatch plans to support the move and vote in lockstep with the vast majority of Republicans. Yet this vote is likely to become a political liability for the senator, who is trying to head off a conservative revolt in the state he has represented since 1977.
            That's because a vocal group of tea party activists see the Patriot Act as a gross invasion of personal liberty and a clear violation of the Constitution's protection against unreasonable searches. It is the same group Hatch has tried to court in recent weeks as he prepares for an expected tea party challenge in 2012.
            It also doesn't help that Utah's three other Republicans in Congress -- Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Jason Chaffetz -- oppose the extension.
            "Hatch is already in big trouble, having a 36-year record up for scrutiny. Extending the Patriot Act will only add fuel to the fire," said Darcy Van Orden, one of the leaders of Utah's tea party movement, who called the Patriot Act a "deplorable piece of legislation."
            An unusual mix of tea party Republicans on the right and civil libertarians on the left argue the Patriot Act is unconstitutionally invasive, while Hatch and a majority of Republican and Democratic leaders say the provisions are not only constitutional but vital. [SL Tribune, May 25]      Click here for the source for this story



    Tea Party
    Targets
    Schools
    for
    'Constitution
    Week'


    Graphic of the Constitution

            The Tea Party Patriots, Georgia-based but claiming 1,000 chapters nationally, are instructing members to remind teachers that a 2004 federal law requires public schools to teach Constitution lessons every Sept. 17, commemorating the day the document was signed. And they'd like the teachers to use material from the Malta, Idaho-based National Center for Constitutional Studies, which promotes the Constitution as a divinely-inspired document.
            The center's founder, W. Cleon Skousen, once called Jamestown's original settlers communists, wrote end-of-days prophecy and suggested Russians stole Sputnik from the United States. In 1987, one of his books was criticized for suggesting American slave children were freer than white non-slaves.
            "The Tea Party Patriots are doing what Americans are supposed to do," said Robert Leming, who directs his group's "We The People" program. "What that should do is encourage others of a different point of view to do the same thing." [ABC News.go, May 25]      Click here for the source for this story



    Ron Paul's Straight Talk on the National Debt Ceiling

    Photo of Ron Paul

            According to Geithner, the debt will now reach the limit on August 2. He is urging Congress to increase the limit and allow Treasury to issue more bonds. The alternative, he says, is a doomsday scenario.
            Congressman and 2012 presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) is having none of it. Paul argues that "in spite of how cataclysmic some might say it would be if we did not pass a new debt ceiling, it is hardly the catastrophe that has been advertised."
            Paul, in fact, thinks things will be far worse -- in the long run, if not much sooner -- if Congress gives in to Geithner's demands. Raising the debt ceiling, he argues, will tell the world: "Business as usual will continue in Washington; no real spending cuts will be made; and fiscal austerity will remain a pipe dream." Under these circumstances creditors will be far less likely to loan Washington money at favorable terms than they are now, exacerbating the debt problem. Eventually these creditors will "finally wise up and cut us off," Paul maintains, at which time "we will be forced to face economic realities whether we want to or not."
            Paul maintains it would be better "to deal with the tough choices we face now, on our own terms, rather than wait until we are at the mercy of foreign creditors." His recommended plan of attack: Don't raise the debt ceiling; slash spending. [The New American, May 24]       Click here for the source story



    TPW
    Editorial

    What is the lesson
    to be learned from
    NY 26 District?

            Jane Corwin, the GOP candidate for the empty seat in the 26 district of NY was expected to be a certain winner. But Jack Davis, who calls himself the tea party candidate even though no tea party organization supports him, is taking more than 10% of her votes - and giving her democratic apponent an edge in the polls.
            Some national tea party organizations have been called in to help try to recover some of those votes for Jane Corwin.
            Democrat blogs and some republicans are saying that this demonstrates that the tea party is the 'spoiler party' and that tea party candidates, real or imposter, will result in more democrats winning elections.
            That is not the lesson we should be learning from this. The real message to the GOP is to nominate candidates that tea party members can support and the republican party will easily win a majority in both houses of congress - and yes - the presidency too.       Click here for the source story



    Obama digging up dirt on potential opponent Chris Christie

    Photo of Chris Christie


            Despite New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's repeated pronouncements that he will not seek the GOP presidential nomination, Obama operatives are compiling a dossier of what they call "opposition research" -- material that could be used to damage Christie if he changes his mind.
            The Obama campaign is trying to keep its efforts from public view, concerned they would only elevate Christie's already impressive standing within the Republican Party. The operatives have chosen not to dispatch their own people to New Jersey, but instead are talking to people there and in New York who know Christie from his time in the governor's office, as a gubernatorial candidate and as US attorney.
            Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, did not respond to messages.
            Christie has repeatedly -- and colorfully --said he is not running for president in 2012. "Short of suicide, I don't really know what I'd have to do to convince you people that I'm not running. I'm not running," he's insisted.
            But party leaders have been pushing Christie to enter the race, saying his brand of New Jersey tough talk could put the White House within reach for the GOP. [NY Post, May 23]       Click here for the source story



    Why is the
    Senate
    stalling
    on the
    debt
    debate?

    By
    Tom Coburn


    Photo of Tom Coburn

            Our country is facing the greatest threat to our freedom and future since 1941. Any honest view of our debt, deficits, size of government and demographic challenges shows we must make major changes if we are going to pass on the American way of life to our children.
            For the past several months I have been meeting with a small group of senators from both parties, informally known as the Gang of Six, that was designed to force the idle -- not gridlocked -- Senate, and then the House and the president, to enact a long-term deficit-reduction package. Our talks reached an impasse this week when, in my view, it became clear we would not be able to produce a balanced, specific and comprehensive deal . . . .
            I understand the disappointment, and real danger, associated with our impasse. The question, though, is not how we tried and failed but why the Senate has not even tried.
            Getting there will require the Senate to put forward specific solutions and win public support for serious entitlement reform and tax reform. In the coming weeks I'll be putting forward my own proposal that puts everything on the table and cuts $9 trillion in spending over the next decade. I hope my colleagues present their ideas as well. I'm confident that in a free and open debate, the best solutions for America will prevail, but only if we have the debate. [Washington Post, May 18]       Click here for the full story













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