Posts Tagged ‘newt’

Best on point teaoartt event in NH for vets.

January 9, 2012

Evan Vucci/AP

Tea Partier William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., waits for a flight at Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday, a day after the Iowa caucuses.

Tea Partier William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., waits for a flight at Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday, a day after the Iowa caucuses.

Evan Vucci/AP

Tea Partier William Temple of Brunswick, Ga., waits for a flight at Des Moines International Airport on Wednesday, a day after the Iowa caucuses.

Talk with Tea Party leaders here in South Carolina and you quickly realize that the toughest job in the Mitt Romney campaign would be the assignment of doing outreach to these activists. Maybe not a mission impossible, but close.

They really want no part of Romney. And there appears to be little he could say  or do between now and Jan. 21, the date of the South Carolina primary, to change that.

The Massachusetts health law Romney enacted as governor with its individual mandate called Romneycare by critics is just one of several reasons they give for their animus.

There are Romney’s policy-position switches that some have less charitably called flip flops. And there’s Romney’s failure, at least in Tea Party activists’ eyes, to reach out to them directly.

“There’s no Tea Partier that I talk to in the state or nationally that would want to promote Romney,” said Karen Martin, who leads the Spartanburg Tea Party.  “Other than the people that have come out publicly and endorsed Mitt Romney and the people left over from his 2008 campaign, I do not personally know anyone that does not despise Mitt Romney and doesn’t hate the idea of him being our nominee…”

The Massachusetts health program with its individual mandate is both hated in its own right but also as a symbol of what, to Tea Party activists, is one of Romney’s greatest weaknesses, Martin said.

“Using that as a measurement of people’s distaste for him, it’s just the constant spinning that he’s had to do because of so many positions he’s held over the years and it’s really hard to pin him down on any core convictions,” Martin said.

“I think there’s one Tea Party member in Columbia who likes him,” meaning Romney, said Allen Olson, formerly the leader of the Columbia Tea Party who left to work on Newt Gingrich’s campaign. “But throughout the state, the rest of the Tea Party leaders, there’s not one who was seriously looking at him.”

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who came to power in 2010 partly on the energy of her Tea Party supporters, endorsed Romney. That apparently has not done much to change anything except the way Tea Partiers view Haley.

“We definitely feel betrayed by that,” Martin said.

“Mitt Romney, he’s a moderate, he’s actually not conservative,” said Dianne Belsom, president and founder of Laurens County Tea Party. I think most Tea Party people find that he doesn’t really represent our values.

“And he’s never made any effort, at least to my knowledge or in my personal experience, to reach out to the Tea Party in any way. Newt has done that. He’s actually been aboard the Tea Party since the beginning,” Belsom said. She added that in 2009 he was the keynote speaker in New York at one of the first Tea Party rallies in New York. Also, two years ago, Gingrich reached out and met with Tea Party leaders nationwide, Belsom included.

Another example. South Carolina’s Tea Party groups will hold their convention in Myrtle Beach on Sunday, Jan. 15, and Monday, Jan. 16. It just so happens that a Republican presidential debate will take place in the same city that Monday.

Gingrich and Rick Santorum are scheduled to speak at the convention. Michele Bachmann was on the schedule, too, but now that she has exited the race, there would appear to be no reason for her to appear. All the candidates were invited, Belsom said.

Partly for his receptivity to the Tea Party movement, Belsom’s group endorsed Gingrich in the South Carolina primary race. Belsom and other Tea Party leaders in the Palmetto State say that  despite his difficulties in Iowa and national polls, Gingrich still has a very good chance of beating Romney in their state.

If Gingrich, who many view as the ultimate Washington insider, seems like an improbable figure for the very anti-establishment Tea Party to rally behind, consider this: some Tea Partiers now view Gingrich as an honorary outsider because of how thoroughly Washington insiders have been trying to politically destroy him.

“He was run out (of his speakership) by the Republican establishment, so to speak, the insiders,” Olson said. “Right now, everybody who’s coming out against him are Republican insiders. (John) Sununu, others who supposedly were working under him (as House speaker) who were part of forcing him out. So, in a sense it put Newt, even though he’s an insider, it put him on the outside, if that makes sense.”

If Gingrich or some other not-Romney fail to win the nomination, Tea Partiers say they will support Romney. (Some backed Bachmann before she bailed out.)

Their main goal is to limit President Obama to one term. But if they have to vote for the former Massachusetts governor, it will only be grudgingly.

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December 8, 2011

  • 1. The provisions were passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—enacted for the last 48 years or so to provide funding for the military and all our wars. (The act for fiscal year 2012 awarded $662 billion for defense spending.) Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) took the lead in promoting them, making passage a bipartisan effort/failure.
  • 2. Initially the provisions passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without a single hearing. The Senate didn’t want to spoil the surprise for everybody.
  • 3. Because of the provisions, the NDAA now says the military can detain anyone deemed to be “a part of” or deemed to have “substantially supported” Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or “associated forces.” You can be on the battlefield, or you can be PayPaling money to your local terrorist cell while sipping your latte at a Starbucks—doesn’t matter. Even though we captured Saddam, Osama, and Anwar al-Awlaki, these powers are still necessary. Don’t question.
  • 4. The bill grants power to the military to arrest U.S. citizens on American soil and detain them in military prisons forever without offering them the right to legal counsel or even a trial. This isn’t a totally new thing: “dirty bomb” plotter Jose Padilla spent three-and-a-half years as an “enemy combatant” until he was finally charged. But Padilla’s detention was unusual and sparked a huge outcry; the new provisions would standardize his treatment and enable us all to become Jose Padillas.
  • 5. Some people are trying to say that language regarding indefinite detention (Section 1031) doesn’t apply to American citizens, but it does. However, the mandatory detention requirement (Section 1032) includes an exemption for American citizens, which means the military doesn’t have to imprison you forever and ever “unless ordered to do so” by the president. You better remove that Nobama bumper sticker from your truck.
  • 6. The provisions could last as long as fruitcake lasts. We covered this earlier.
  • 7. Many important people oppose the provisions, including FBI Director Robert Mueller, the CIA, the military, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the Director of National Intelligence, and your mom (unless she’s a U.S. senator).
  • 8. A group of 26 retired generals and admirals wrote a letter to the Senate saying the provisions “reduce the options available to our Commander-in-Chief to incapacitate terrorists,” and will “do more harm than good.” The Senate obviously ignored them.
  • 9. According to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who opposes indefinite detention of U.S. citizens, an American can be deemed a “terrorist” after just one hearing. Finally, the government promises to work efficiently on something.
  • 10. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) tried to kill the provision on indefinite detention with an amendment that required Congressional review of these brand-new military detention powers, but his effort failed 60 votes to 38.
  • 11. All the Republican senators supported the provisions except for Paul and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).
  • 12. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was in attendance for the vote on behalf of the waterboarding lobby. Every time he heard the words “indefinite detention,” he got an erection.
  • 13. None of this stuff will ever affect people who are innocent of terrorism-related crimes, unless the government wrongly accuses them.
  • 14. As pointed out by Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald, the provision dispenses with Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution, which provides that nobody can be punished for treason without heightened due process requirements being met.” Goodbye, Art. 3 Sec. 3! Send our regards to the 4th, 8th, and 14th Amendments.
  • 15. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the provisions’ most vocal supporters, put it this way to the New York Times: “Citizens who are suspected of joining Al Qaeda are opening themselves up ‘to imprisonment and death … And when they say, “I want my lawyer,” you tell them: “Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer. You are an enemy combatant, and we are going to talk to you about why you joined Al Qaeda.”‘” Shut up, fool! Lindsey Graham hates it when you talk.
  • 16. Some of the senators who passed this shit don’t really know what they are talking about when they talk about “enemy combatants” and their status under existing law.
  • 17. President Barack Obama has stated he’ll veto the provisions because they would “raise serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.” They’re also confusing.
  • 18. The provisions will militarize America even further and—in Graham’s words—”basically say[s] in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield.” Your backyard is a microcosm of the war on terror. Just think of that every time you host a barbecue.
  • 19. They could disappear from the NDAA if the House and Senate conferees who meet in conference committee this week decide to get rid of them.
  • 20. Texas Republicans have somehow worked sex with animals into all this.


Now for the good news: Greenwald at Salon says none of this indefinite detention without a lawyer stuff changes the status quo that much. It only codifies what’s already been happening in the U.S. for the past few years. So you’ve been living under these conditions for a while now, but look—you’re still not in jail. Just be more careful about what sorts of opinions on the government you post on Twitter, and don’t say anything nice about Al Qaeda, and you’ll be fine.

[Image of Guantanamo via AP]

Contact Lauri Apple:

United We Stand Divided We Fall

December 6, 2011

The message they sent you was:
Victory or Death? Pls share. This video is outstanding! Over 2.8 million views

government wConsidering that an earmark moratorium is in effect, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s Pork Patrol sure seems to be uncovering a lot of earmarks.aste, debt, dnc, newt, elections

November 30, 2011

Considering that an earmark moratorium is in effect, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s Pork Patrol sure seems to be uncovering a lot of earmarks.

When the one-year earmark moratorium was announced for fiscal year (FY) 2012, seasoned observers anticipated that earmarks would not disappear, but merely change shape.  Judging by the 15 appropriations bills that CAGW has analyzed thus far, this viewpoint has been corroborated.  Eleven of these bills contain earmarks, totaling 248 projects worth $9.5 billion.  While the number has substantially decreased compared to prior years, any earmark violates the moratorium.  Leading the way is the Department of Defense (DOD) bill, in which the Senate included 49 earmarks worth $2.9 billion and the House added 72 earmarks worth $3.9 billion.

The six Senate bills scrutinized by CAGW thus far have contained 142 earmarks worth $4.4 billion.  In addition to the bill funding the DOD, the Senate included $748.2 million in earmarks in the Energy and Water bill, $439 million in the Labor, Health and Human Services bill, $224.6 million in the Transportation bill, $115.4 million in the Agriculture bill, and $16.4 million in the Military Construction bill.

Five of the nine appropriations bills produced by the House have a total of 106 earmarks worth $5.1 billion.  In addition to the House DOD bill, the House earmarked $436.1 million in the Energy and Water bill, $368.4 million in the Commerce bill, $321.6 million in the Interior bill, and $56.8 million in the Agriculture bill.

In addition to continuing to fund earmarks, members of Congress have drastically reduced transparency.  Prior to FY 2008, most earmarks were contained in a single table, which usually included the account that was to fund the earmark and the city or state where the project was located.  From FYs 2008-2010, members were also required to attach their names to their earmark requests, and submit accompanying certification letters.  This period marked the zenith of earmark transparency.

Unfortunately, members of Congress have now reached the nadir of earmark information in FY 2012.  Senators and representatives no longer attach their names to earmarks.  In fact, the projects are no longer contained in a separate location apart from the text of the bill.  Many bills analyzed by CAGW do not contain tables at all.  Unearthing earmarks requires reading the bill line-by-line to identify projects where the House or Senate has appropriated money for a project that was not requested by the administration, where funding represents a substantial increase over the budget request, or which meets another of CAGW’s seven-point criteria.  Needless to say, this has dramatically lengthened the time necessary for detailed analysis of appropriations bills. 

It is clear that many members of Congress never took the earmark moratorium seriously.  In fact, members have reversed the progress of recent years by removing the methodology that previously provided a semblance of transparency.  Under the new rules, appropriations bills have undeniably become more opaque. 

Over the years, earmarks became the currency of re-election, and most observers predicted that the earmark moratorium would not last long.  After having witnessed earmarks continue during the moratorium, one wonders if members might not prefer the current system, where they still channel funding for earmarks, but without the cumbersome transparency of previous years.  As usual, the cynical view of Washington has proven correct.  Of course, if there were no earmarks and members really abided by the moratorium, this article would not have had to be published.


GOP debate

November 23, 2011

Last nights debate was a good exchange of the candidate’s positions. Just for fun I logged into twitter.GOP debate. Found several very interesting posts. Most of them where very negative. Like “boring, felt like a root canal,idiots etc.” These people do not sound like Americans,maybe more like OWS dudes. I guess they are happy Economic growth of 2%, Direction of country is Right 20%- is wrong 73.3, Congress jobs approval 43.4-disapprove 81.2,Obama job approval 43.4-disapprove 49.9 Have a happy thankgiving

Is voting a Right or a Privilege

November 19, 2011

the argument that voting is not a privilege.

Voting in political elections is not a right, nor is it a privilege. Then what is it? I contend that it is a grave responsibility. Those that do not agree, should not be allowed to vote. Those that do agree, should be allowed to vote. They should strive hard to make ‘informed’ decisions which are best for them in the long-term.




Many factors should be considered and researched before you vote. The 2012 elections could be the most important decisions Americans have ever faced.  Don’t be a robot programned to vote   for a Party, exercise your choices. Vote for a President-Commander In -Chief who, in your opinion, will best serve “We ThePeople”. In the past many Americans have voted solely on “how much of the pie they  can expect to get with candidate X”. Please remember FREEDOM IS NOT FREE and keep in mind that we all have a huge  RESPONSIBILITY  to honor the millions of American troops who gave their lives to KEEP AMERICA FREE!   Begin your research on all of the candidates today, be very selective,  compare their qualifications.  Take some notes on each, it’s easy thanks to the net.  A good place to start is I think Newt Gingrich is Top Gun.


God help us

Freedom Is Not Free

November 16, 2011 “Senate Defense Bill” has 49 EARMARKS worth 2.9 Billion. That’s insane! America is broke. Wake up Americans, un-elect them.