Tag Archives | Tea Party

Tea Party Vs. Occupy In Congress: Battle For The 99%

God's Children (Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum)Seth Cline writes at OpenSecrets Blog:

Their politics may differ. But both the Tea Party and the Occupy movement have laid claim to representing the interests of the middle class, whose economic frustrations helped spur the groups’ establishment and growth.

So which side’s congressional lawmakers come closest to embodying that wide swath of the U.S. population? Or, in Occupy terms, which side is closer to the 99 percent?

Neither the members of the House Tea Party Caucus nor those of the House Progressive Caucus — whose views most closely align with the Occupy Wall Street movement — are remotely middle class, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics of congressional personal financial disclosure forms covering 2010, the most recently available data.

The members of the House Tea Party Caucus are especially wealthy, the Center’s research shows.

The median average net worth of a member of the House Tea Party Caucus was $1.8 million in 2010.

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Tea Partiers Care More About Godlier Government Than Smaller Government

Tea Party RallyHey tea partiers, is this insight from New York Magazine’s Daily Intel accurate:

In 2006, long before costume shops first began selling tri-corner hats to early adopters of the tea party movement, professors David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam “interviewed a representative sample of 3,000 Americans” about their “political attitudes.” By re-interviewing many of the same people this summer, they were able to determine what type of person eventually became a tea partier. Some of what they found is about as shocking as an episode of Full House: Current tea-party supporters were likely to have been “highly partisan Republicans,” and “even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president.” One finding that is actually revealing, though:

Next to being a Republican, the strongest predictor of being a Tea Party supporter today was a desire, back in 2006, to see religion play a prominent role in politics.

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Hardliners in Debt Talks Have Debt Problems of Their Own

Senator Mike Lee

Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah.

So only a crackpot would question hypocrisy? Looks like the Tea Party is projecting a bit. CNN reports:

They’re hard-charging, compromise-damning members of Congress, and they’ve changed the debate in Washington over the size and spending of the government.

In recent days, Republican hard-liners in the debt ceiling talks have been vociferous in their rhetoric.

At a tea party rally, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said his faction needs to push forward a balanced budget amendment and other measures “… in order to save our country from a Congress that for decades has been burying our children and our grandchildren, both born and unborn, under a mountain of debt.”

But according to recently released disclosure forms, Lee and others in his caucus have some significant personal debt of their own.

The documents — annual personal financial disclosure forms that were released in June — show that Lee had amassed at least $15,000 in credit card debt and had a $50,000 line of credit at a Utah bank as of late last year.

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A Look at the Tea Party Version of Fiscal Responsibility

The VenetianThe public Tea Party message, we are told, is one of fiscal responsibility. That means paying your debts living within your means, not wildly spending what you don’t have and defaulting to your creditors but according to Benjamin Spillman in the the Las Vegas Review-Journal the walk is much different than talk for the Tea Party Nation:

Some Tennessee tea partiers are in hot water with a Las Vegas gambling resort that’s accusing them of skipping out on a big hotel bill.

On Monday Venetian Casino Resort, LLC., filed suit against Tea Party Nation Corporation of Franklin, Tenn., alleging the group owes $642,144 for canceling a conservative conclave last year. The event, which had been scheduled for July 14–18, 2010, was first postponed until October and ultimately canceled.

The Daily Caller reported at the time there was a lack of people willing to pay $399 for a weekend pass or $125 per day to hear speakers such as conservative commentator Laura Ingraham or politician Sharron Angle, who at the time was in the midst of a failed campaign to oust Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Las Vegas.

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Tea Party TV

Boston Tea PartyCan’t get enough of the Tea Party? No problem, they’re making a TV series. Paul Bond reports for the Hollywood Reporter:

Those who belong to the conservative movement known as the Tea Party are acutely aware of the power of popular culture, so they have been cautiously delving into the creation of entertainment that promotes their values. It usually manifests itself in snippets of online political parody. Coming Sunday, though, is perhaps the most ambitious effort yet: A “TV show” created by a couple of Tea Partiers who have formed their own production company.

The one-hour drama is called Courage, New Hampshire, and it premiers Sunday at a movie theater in Monrovia, Calif. 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, though its set in Colonial America.

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Who Owns The Tea Party?

vigilantTea Party-ism is built around praising the virtues of the free-market capitalist impulse, so it’s not surprising that that the movement’s leaders realize what an immense money-making opportunity they have on their hands. Mother Jones reports on “the bizarre fight to trademark a movement”, an increasingly tangled legal battle for the right to sell Tea Party-branded tee shirts and golf towels and cigars:

In April 2009, Barry Cole attended the Tax Day Tea Party in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. An entrepreneur whose ventures include a company that calibrates police radar guns, he immediately “saw there’s a potential market developing here.” Within a week, he’d applied for a trademark (PDF) for the name “Teaparty Patriot” and arranged to sell T-shirts, flags, pins, license plates, and other gear on eBay and another website.

Eight months later, he got a cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer representing Tea Party Patriots—a group that now claims to be one of the largest tea party groups in the country—who accused Cole of committing a trademark violation.

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Democrats Vote Against Patriot Act Extentions, Then Bash Republicans Over Their Defeat

U.S. Great Seal Obverse

Check out these two news reports. Hypocrisy, politics, or both?

Simmi Aujla reports in the Politico:

Top House Democrats pounced on Republicans’ mishandling of a routine vote Tuesday evening, which caused a bill to extend provisions of the Patriot Act go down in defeat.

The Democrats said Wednesday morning that the failed vote is a sign that Republican leaders aren’t prepared to handle the practical difficulties of governing.

“I don’t think they’ve found their center yet,” Democratic Caucus conference chair Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) said. “It seems they’re coming apart at the seams.”

Rank-and-file Republicans threw off Republican leaders’ plans for the measure, which was expected to pass easily, when a large enough number bucked their party and voted no. The measure fell short of the two-thirds vote it needed by 13 votes.

But Greg Sargent reports in the Washington Post:

Yesterday, a vote on reauthorizing three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act failed after most Democrats and a few Republicans voted against it.

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Rand Paul’s ‘Modest, $500 Billion Proposal’

Rand Paul. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

Rand Paul. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

Senator Rand Paul, extreme tea partier from Kentucky, has a controversial opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, claiming that his spending cuts would keep 85% of government funding and not touch Social Security or Medicare:

After Republicans swept into office in 1994, Bill Clinton famously said in his State of the Union address that the era of big government was over. Nearly $10 trillion of federal debt later, the era of big government is at its zenith.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this will be the third consecutive year in which the federal government is running a deficit near or greater than $1 trillion. The solution to the government’s fiscal crisis must begin by cutting spending in all areas, particularly in those that can be better run at the state or local level. Last month I introduced legislation to do just that.

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Arizona Shooting Victim Arrested After Threatening Tea Partier

The disease continues to spread.  The “liberal” New York Times reports:

TUCSON — A victim of the shooting spree here that severely injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was taken into custody on Saturday after the police and witnesses said the man spoke threateningly at a televised forum intended to help this stricken city heal.

Tucson, AZ. Photo: Motorrad-67

Tucson, AZ. Photo: Motorrad-67

Eric Fuller, 63, a military veteran who was passionate about liberal causes and who had supported Ms. Giffords, was “involuntarily committed for mental health evaluation,” according to Jason Ogan, a spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff’s office.

Mr. Fuller, who was shot in the left knee and the back on Jan. 8, was among several victims, medical personnel and others who attended a special forum televised by ABC and hosted by Christiane Amanpour.

State Representative Terri Proud, a Republican, was sitting two rows behind Mr. Fuller. The topic of gun control had come up in the forum, she said, and a comment was made by one of the speakers about a bill that was introduced recently in Arizona that would allow staff members on college campuses with concealed weapons permits to carry guns.

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America in Decline: Why Germans Think We’re Insane

Tea PartyDemocrats Ramshield writes in Alternet:

As an American expat living in the European Union, I’ve started to see America from a different perspective.

The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less — right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical — the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.

The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane.

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