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Archive for the ‘tea party’ Category

Give Me Liberty TV Interview with Governor Heineman

Posted by Dan Draney on September 4, 2010

Nebraska Governor David Heineman sits down with GML-TV’s W. A. Mitchell. The Governor talks about the state budget, federal spending, illegal immigration, the Cornhusker Kickback, and the states’ lawsuit against the ObamaCare “individual mandate.” Will he challenge Sen. Ben Nelson in 2014? He doesn’t say so, but he sounds like someone who’s thinking a lot about what a Nebraska senator needs to do.

via Give Me Liberty TV.

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Posted in GML-TV, government spending, healthcare, Nebraska, Senate, taxes, tea party | Leave a Comment »

York County Tea Party Group Plans Flag Day Rally in Seward

Posted by Dan Draney on June 6, 2010

York, Nebraska, has an active Tea Party group with plans for a rally on Flag Day (6/16). The local paper, The York News-Times reports:

YORK — Just about two months ago, the Tea Party movement in York County was made up of two like-minded women who said they were sick of high government spending and lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution. Today, the local grassroots group consists of dozens of people, a board of directors and a outreach program that’s assisting their neighbors in Seward County.

Watch the Video Report

Jeremy Jensen, chairman of the York County Tea Party, says the group is partnering with Lincoln Tea Party volunteers to host a Flag Day rally in Seward, June 14.

“Our goal is simple,” Jensen says. “We want to deliver resources for people who feel like us, to take a stand, become informed and provide education about our Constitution. We believe in limited government, free market solutions and fiscal responsibility. We support everything that is in the U.S. Constitution. We do not endorse specific candidates, but rather want to educate the people so they can ask the right questions and make the right decisions when it comes time to vote in November.”

Voting is important — the local Tea Party chairman says they encourage voter registration and are distributing material to help residents be registered and prepared.

“We are not looking to be a third political party,” Jensen said. “We want to provide a platform for the citizens to ask questions of the candidates, on the local, state and federal levels. We believe that if individuals have good information they will make good decisions” in the voting booth. “We want people to study the Constitution and base their decisions on whether a candidate backs it.”

[…]

Jensen said they will also be having an informal event before Flag Day, on June 10, at the York Community Center. “From 1-7 p.m., we’ll have an open house during which we will be giving people complimentary supplies to make signs for the Seward rally. And, if someone wants to make a sign but cannot attend the Seward rally, we can take the signs over for them.”

My friend, Ed, made this short video promotion for the event:

Posted in Constitution, GML-TV, government spending, Nebraska, tea party | 2 Comments »

GML-TV Update

Posted by Dan Draney on May 22, 2010

We have a new Give Me Liberty TV episode running on Lincoln’s Time Warner Cable public access channel. There are three segments in this show:

  1. The conclusion of the interview with Tea Party leaders Shelli Dawdy (Grassroots in Nebraska) and Laura Ebke (Red State Eclectic / Campaign for Liberty) hosted by GML-TV’s Patrick Tarr. The discussions cover the Federal Reserve, local grassroots organizations for limited government, citizen efforts to report on legislation in the Unicameral, and the new movie, “A New America.” If you missed the first part of the interview, you can check it out here.
  2. The second is an interview I did with Lory Storm of the Nebraska 912 Freedom Project about their Initiative petition to allow recall of elected officials in Nebraska. The Initiative process in Nebraska allows citizens to place amendments to the state constitution on the ballot by collecting signatures throughout the state in support of the amendment. The purpose of this particular amendment is to increase government accountability by adding a mechanism for the people of Nebraska to remove a politician from office before the end of his/her term. If the amendment reaches the ballot and is enacted, it would apply to Nebraska officials at all levels of government: federal; state; and local.
  3. Finally there is a video of a speech about Repeal and Replace that former NY Governor George Pataki gave in Lincoln recently. It’s a good speech, but I’m not a big fan of Pataki based on what I saw of him when I lived in Connecticut. The Governor appeared through RevereAmerica, which seems to be mainly a vehicle for promoting him for the 2012 presidential race. That seems like a pipe dream to me.

Posted in Constitution, GML-TV, Nebraska, tea party, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The T-Word

Posted by Dan Draney on May 4, 2010

That would be the use of “teabagger” in reference to those patriots protesting the hard left turn by the Democrat politicians who have their boot on the throat of the country. In my view anyone using that term is displaying his own bigotry and has forfeited all rights to be listened to at all. I’ve made just one exception to that personal rule. (He knows who he is.) It would be interesting to know what fraction of the cratering of CNN’s ratings in the past year can be traced to Anderson Cooper and company yukking it up on the air about “teabaggers,” in full-blown “Because-We-Know-About-The-Homosexual-Meaning-And-They-Don’t” mode. Openly mocking and insulting your customers: Not A Good Business Model.

Right on the heels of his speech calling for civility by denouncing the partisanship of his opponents, our phony “centrist,” pretend “post partisan,” allegedly “post racial,” President has come out of the teabag closet himself by using the term in an interview. As Allah Pundit points out, it’s got to be good news for the opposition when Joe Biden is the tactful, elder statesman of the left. Just keep it up, fellas. We’ll see how hard you’re laughing in November.

Meanwhile, the main worry of the Obamacrats seems to be their inability to devise enough wildly unpopular legislation to ram through Congress with parliamentary chicanery. The thinking, if you can call it that, seems to be, “We know we’re going to take a bath in the midterm elections anyway, so what have we got to lose?” Gaze into this crystal ball for a glimpse of where that path leads.

Posted in Civility Watch, Obama, tea party | Leave a Comment »

New GMLTV: Nebraska Grassroots Groups

Posted by Dan Draney on May 2, 2010

The Tea Party Movement consists of hundreds of small groups operating independently around the country. Of course, GMLTV itself is such a group, but there are many others just here in Nebraska. Laura Ebke, who blogs at Red State Electric, is the leader of Campaign for Liberty in Nebraska. Shelli Dawdy of Grassroots in Nebraska is another local Tea Party leader. Recently GMLTV’s Patrick Tarr hosted a discussion with Shelli and Laura. Topics ranged from the Tea Party Movement to the Unicameral’s resolution on state sovereignty and the Constitutional balance between state and federal power.

[Cross-posted at GMLTV]

Posted in 10th Amendment, GML-TV, Nebraska, sovereignty, tea party | Leave a Comment »

Faking Racism

Posted by Dan Draney on April 3, 2010

It’s an ongoing theme of the Obama Administration, Congressional Democrats, and the lapdog MSM outlets that the Tea Party Movement is “racist,” in the hope of discrediting the TPM without speaking to any of the issues. This is completely at odds with my experience and that of everyone I know in the TPM. Apparently the main basis for this charge is the proposition that opposition to Obama policies is ipso facto racist, since he happens to be black. And, if  baseless accusations that you’re a racist make you mad, well, that just proves you are a racist.

Over at Big Journalism Andrew Breitbart continues to blow the whistle on the latest manufactured “racism incident” on Capitol Hill: The claims that members of the Congressional Black Caucus were subjected to shouted “N-Words” as they walked through a crowd of protesters – Barack Obama’s Helter-Skelter, Insane Clown Posse, Alinsky Plans to ‘Deconstruct’ America.

The first sign that a plan was in place was the ham-fisted, high-camp posturing of the most controversial members of the Democratic caucus walking through the peaceful but animated “Tea Party” demonstrators on Capitol Hill. There is no reason for these elected officials to walk above ground through the media circus amid their ideological foes. The natural route is the tunnels between the House office buildings and the Capitol. By crafting a highly symbolic walk of the Congressional Black Caucus through the majority white crowd, the Democratic Party was looking to provoke a negative reaction. They didn’t get it. So they made it up.

As Breitbart points out, it’s more than a little peculiar that despite the sea of AV equipment in the crowd, there is not a single recording of a single instance of “The N-Word” allegedly hurled from the crowd. He has put his money where his mouth is on this, offering a reward of $100,000 to anyone who can produce such a recording. The offer has no takers to date, and it’s a safe bet there won’t be any.

The proof that the N-word wasn’t said once, let alone 15 times, as Rep. Andre Carson claimed, is that soon thereafter — even though the press dutifully reported it as truth — Nancy Pelosi followed the alleged hate fest, which allegedly included someone spitting, by walking through the crowd with a gavel in hand and a shit-eating grin on her face. Had the incidents reported by the Congressional Black Caucus actually occurred the Capitol Police would have been negligent to allow the least popular person to that crowd – the Speaker – to put herself in harm’s way.

Read the whole article. It’s well worth it.

Evidently the way the Left is transcending race in this Brave New World is by gratuitously inserting it into every aspect of every discussion of public policy. For the fight against real racism this will soon accomplish what Joe McCarthy’s campaign accomplished for anti-Communism.

Posted in Alinsky, fake racism, tea party | 1 Comment »

Should the Tea Partiers Become a Party?

Posted by Dan Draney on April 2, 2010

Briefly, the answer is “No.” So why not?

First of all, the deck is stacked against “3rd party” challenges, due to the “winner take all” nature of things as well as the ballot access barriers set up by the main parties. These rules exist to greater or lesser degrees in every state in the country. Just getting onto the ballot in each state, and staying there, is costly in money and manpower. The two large parties have also written into the law some “free” taxpayer money for themselves, while simultaneously restricting private donations, making it difficult for “3rd parties” to raise money.

The experience of the last year has also destroyed the main argument in favor of a 3rd party, namely the claim that “there’s no difference between the Democrats and Republicans.” Since all the Washington levers of power passed to the Democrats, the country has had a vivid demonstration of what the Dems will do with unchecked power, and it’s much worse than most people expected. Meanwhile, the Republicans have done better than expected, admittedly a rather low bar. They have remained highly unified in the face of the steamroller trio of Congressional super majorities, a radical left administration, and MSM cheerleading for the Obama agenda. Despite the occasional wobbling, the Republicans rediscovered their principles, and their opposition has been a key factor in denying the Democrats even a fig leaf of “bipartisan support” to legitimize their radicalism.

It remains to be seen how sincere and how widespread this rediscovery actually is, but the Republicans have earned the benefit of the doubt for this cycle. If you’re not convinced yet, consider the consequences that even a successful 3rd party founding would entail.

Suppose that a new Tea Party Party was wildly successful. What would that look like?

In the 2010 balloting that might mean getting a third to a half of the votes from people opposing our current runaway freight train government. Certain result: victory for the statists. Best case scenario for proponents of this approach is that it also begins a collapse of the GOP, so that the new party becomes the “2nd” party and the GOP becomes the “3rd” party.

Although it’s quite unlikely to happen that fast (<< 0.1% chance), if at all, let’s assume that by 2012 the GOP is becoming marginalized nationally as the Tea Party Party (TPP) makes more and more inroads into what was formerly the GOP base and dissatisfied independents. So in the 2012 elections, let’s say the Tea Party Party gets half the former GOP and two-thirds of the sympathetic independents. Electoral result: the statists win again, and the GOP is on the way out. After that assume, again highly optimistically, that remaining GOP officeholders defect to the TPP (or the Democrats), and the GOP itself fades away completely before the 2014 elections. At that point the TTP represents the unified voice for a small government, Constitutional renaissance.

Yippee! Now look at the wreckage. Democrats have had unimpeded control of both houses of Congress from 2008 to 2014, but now we’re ready to strike back. Obama, facing a divided opposition won re-election with pluralities of both the popular vote and Electoral College. The window for repealing the healthcare takeover is closed, as it’s now become part of the “safe” status quo. The economy remains a mess, due to George Bush, deregulation and greedy businesses, of course. Media outlets for opposition voices have been curtailed by a new Fairness Doctrine.

In other words this extremely optimistic scenario is a disaster for the ideas we want to promote and a dream scenario for our opposition. Now how long would it be before the pure, principled leaders we elect with the new TPP fall victim to the same corruption that politicians of the other two parties do? No longer, really, than if we elected them as through the current two parties. So if you meet someone who is fiercely advocating this course, you might ask yourself if he/she is a moby.

UPDATED: Fixed link to definition of a moby.

Posted in tea party | 4 Comments »

Who Are These Tea Partiers?

Posted by Dan Draney on April 1, 2010

Fellow Nebraska blogger, Uncle Wiggily, had a post this week that caught my attention, entitled The enemy of my enemy is sometimes my enemy too. He starts by describing the original Boston Tea Party in context and then turns to the current Tea Party Movement:

I laid that micro-lesson in history on you as prelude to this declaration – in one rabbit’s opinion, today’s so-called Tea Parties are nothing like, and bear no meaningful relationship to, that honored, even sacred, juncture in American history that took place in Boston so long ago. To compare today’s boisterous chatauqua-cum-picnic gatherings (complete, of course, with the requisite goofy hats, shirts and hand-painted signs) to the coup d’éclat of those early revolutionaries whose courageous actions jeopardized their careers, reputations, and even their lives, is to dishonor those who birthed this republic.

Additionally, I have never liked what I believe to be the symbological disconnect between current political revelers and those old colonial patriots. Adams, and many others, were struggling against, among other indignities, illegal taxation and tyrannical exploitation by an imperious English king, as well as striving to maintain rights and liberties they had devoted their entire lives to securing. Today’s weekend demonstrators are cranked about a whole variety of issues, but mostly they seem to just want to attend a sort of political Woodstock and generically bitch about those policy aspects of the current administration with which they disagree. The facile co-opting of the emotional horsepower contained within the philosophical bone and sinew of real American patriots by today’s pseudo-political saturnalians strikes me as impertinent toward, if not contemptuous of, those old guys’ heroic exertions.

Many, if not most, modern-day TPers appear to this observer to be only inflamed with the “pious ecstasies of the dissidence of dissent“, to borrow a wonderfully descriptive phrase from Russell Kirk. They’re into the scene – the self-absorbed urgency of the throng – with no very clear idea of where their perhaps well-intentioned flailing about will take them or their disordered enterprise. That old Shakespearean phrase comes to mind: “... full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I consider myself to be a member of the Tea Party Movement, broadly defined. I was a founding member/leader of Grassroots in Nebraska, although I am not much involved with that group today. More recently, I have been working with about a half-dozen people at Give Me Liberty TV, making TV shows and clips. See for example our most recent show. I don’t think you can get any more “grassroots” than GML-TV: everything is done by individual initiative and consensus, and we have no budget.

Although Uncle Wiggily is one of my favorite rabbits, his criticism struck me as a bit harsh. Feel free to read his entire post and the comments, although I won’t quote them all here. He goes on to express concern that the TP groups will end up splitting the opposition to progressivism, resulting in the triumph of the very forces we are protesting against. This is a serious issue and the main reason I don’t support creating a Tea Party Party. UW is certainly right about the different levels of risk assumed by the original Tea Party members vs. today. However, in my experience people in the Tea Party Movement have tremendous respect and admiration for the Founders.

What bothered me, though, was that smart folks like UW and his commenters seemed to have absorbed a lot of the MSM line characterizing the Tea Party Movement as primarily Angry Racist Kooks. That doesn’t square with my personal experience at all. The most apt description I have heard for the TPM, from Larry Kudlow, I believe, is “free market populists.” Some good work has been done toward understanding the Tea Party Movement by people who are not out to discredit the protesters, such as this from Kristen Soltis at the Winston Group:

Some of our findings were unsurprising — tea-party members tend to be conservative; a majority are Republican; they are concerned about the federal deficit and spending.

But some four out of ten tea-party members aren’t Republican, and a third aren’t conservative, painting a picture of a movement that is hardly monolithic.

There’s quite a bit of data to sift through, but the critical storyline that emerges is this: The tea-party movement is driven by concern about the economy and jobs. Yes, they place a high level of importance on the national deficit — over three times as many tea-party members name it as their top issue than do voters overall — but it doesn’t end there.

In question after question, tea-party members expressed their belief that things like low taxes and reduced spending can create jobs.  For instance, 85 percent say that cutting taxes for small businesses will create more jobs than increased government spending on infrastructure projects. Yet when pressed on what they’d prefer — a balanced budget or a 5 percent unemployment rate — 63 percent picked the unemployment rate, similar to the overall sample of voters at 64 percent.

Similarly, Ramesh Ponnuru and Kate O’Beirne argue that the GOP should consider the Tea Party Movement an opportunity rather than a threat:

The first [myth] is that the tea partiers are driven by racial animus against the president. Actually, a third of the people who participated in tea-party rallies say that they approve of Obama’s performance in office and a fifth say that they voted for him in 2008. Five percent of them are black, 11 percent Hispanic. Of those who agree with the protests, 29 percent approve of Obama’s performance. Waters and Krugman can rest easy.

The second myth is that the tea partiers are unpopular. Krugman wrote last April that the tea parties “have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so,” and Brooks speculated that “the tea-party tendency” might “be the ruin of the Republican party, pulling it in an angry direction that suburban voters will not tolerate.” Some Republican officials worry that media criticism and Democrats’ attacks on the activists have made it politically risky to associate themselves with the tea-party movement.

The polls do not bear out this fear. Most voters don’t consider themselves well-informed about the tea parties, but have a favorable view. As noted already, 53 percent of the electorate look sympathetically on the tea parties. McLaughlin also asked likely voters which characterization of the tea parties they leaned toward: an “anti-government, fringe organization that is driven by anger” or a group of “citizens concerned about the country’s economic future.” A majority of 57 percent chose the benign characterization while only 19 percent disagreed. Even a plurality of self-identified liberals went with “concern” rather than “anger.”

It really should not be difficult for the GOP to win over the majority of the Tea Party Movement, provided the GOP is actually willing to stand up for the principles it claims to hold dear:

But Republicans can do more than hope. They can appeal to the tea partiers and ally with them. While the tea partiers often express disgust with the Republican record on spending and bailouts, their views on most issues are within the mainstream of the Republican party. As we have seen, they are concerned about deficits but enthusiastic about tax cuts; they are pro-life; they are pro-defense. McLaughlin also finds that they favor increased reliance on nuclear power. They listen to the same talk-radio shows that conservative Republicans do. Their demographic profile looks very similar to that of Republicans.

Which is not surprising, since they’re generally the same people. The tea partiers are, for the most part, Republicans. Specifically, they are a highly engaged, but not highly partisan, segment of the party. A majority self-identify as Republicans and as conservatives. A full 68 percent of tea-party sympathizers voted for John McCain in 2008 — which was, it need hardly be noted, low tide for the GOP. Some of the tea-party activists take pride in their movement’s independence from the Republican party, and Republicans reaching out to them need to be mindful of that fact. But it’s also true that they’re not going to have to reach very far.

Michael Barone sees the Tea Parties as the continuation of the long-term struggle between the ideas of “Progressives” (i.e. statists) and those of the Founders (i.e. individualistic, free market), as embraced by the TPM. That certainly describes the attitudes of the people I have met in the Tea Party Movement (in person and online). Some see the GOP as the natural home of the movement, since these are ideals long espoused by the party. Most agree that the GOP blew it and bears a lot of responsibility for the mess we are in now. Some are convinced the GOP has now seen the light and are ready to re-join it. Others, including me, think that some in the GOP have seen the light, but too much of the party infrastructure is just waiting for the storm to blow over so they can get back to business as usual.

As far as Tea Party events themselves, it’s a tricky path to find the right notes. If things are too “light” some (e.g. UW) may feel the movement lacks seriousness. If things get too passionate, it’s “hate speech” or “racism” to those who disagree. If one person looks or sounds like a goofball or brings an offensive sign, he/she is a magnet for TV news reporters: See! We told you they are all Kooks and Klansmen!

It would be a mistake to think of the Tea Party Movement as some monolithic, nationwide organization, as sometimes portrayed in the MSM, or by self-appointed, national “leaders” of the TPM. It’s very much a local phenomenon that is breaking out nationwide, with local groups and leaders cooperating and competing with each other. Not everyone has the same goals, either. As my friend, Ed, put it the other night: It’s like we all agree we should head west, but to some that means Los Angeles, while others are thinking Alaska, and everywhere in between. Throw in the regional cooperation/competition, with GOP and national organizations trying to “lead” it, and the results are often not particularly pretty. Most of us are amateurs, after all.

We’ve basically got one shot left to stop this statist juggernaut, and it starts in November. The Dems must be severely punished at the polls, and the spending floodgates must be closed. In 2012 we get our one shot to repeal the ObamaCare monstrosity by electing a president and large Congressional majorities committed to that. I welcome the help of everyone who is pursuing that goal in a non-violent, non-nutty way.

Posted in Nebraska, socialism, tea party | 3 Comments »

Panel Discussion on Tea Party Awakenings

Posted by Dan Draney on March 27, 2010

If your only view of the Tea Party movement has been through the prism of CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and national newspapers, you may think of the protesters as a mob of angry people with pitchforks and torches, looking to tar and feather everyone who disagrees with them. If you get all your news from Nancy Pelosi, you may think the protesters are violent, neo-Nazis. To hear the Leftists tell it, dissent against “Chimpy McBushitler” was the Highest Form of Patriotism, but dissent against the unprecedented expansion of federal government currently underway must, obviously, be due to racism.

In fact nothing could be further from the reality of the Tea Party movement. The vast majority of participants are simply regular people, patriotic citizens trying to restore respect for the Constitutional principles of limited government. We know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. All these “free” things the government gives us will have to be paid for, one way or another, in higher taxes now or on our children.We know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.

To give you a direct look at some members of the Tea Party movement we offer this panel discussion featuring three Nebraskans who became politically active in the past year: Bryan Van Deun; Joanne Elliott; and Dan Draney (i.e. Yours Truly). This is Show #7,  and it is hosted by GML-TV’s inimitable W. A. Mitchell.

[Cross-posted at GML-TV and Plains Feeder]

Posted in GML-TV, Nebraska, tea party | 3 Comments »

The Coffee Party Con

Posted by Dan Draney on March 16, 2010

Turns out “The Coffee Party” is about as spontaneous as an Iranian “Death to America” Rent-a-Crowd. [via American Thinker: The Coffee Party Con.]

The new and much-publicized Coffee Party movement sports a fairy-tale narrative about a spontaneous uprising of concerned Americans appalled at the Tea Parties and determined to restore civility. The truth, easily researchable on the internet, is that plenty of left-wing establishment fingerprints are all over the birth of this supposedly spur-of-the-moment operation.

Despite a sequence of puff pieces in the MSM about this “grass roots” organization, it’s astroturf all the way:

However, there are some awkward footprints leading up to the purportedly spontaneous birth and the emergence of the “accidental leader,” who turns out to have lots of help. About the time of launching the Coffee Party, Ms. Park attended what was billed as RootsCampDC at the Washington office of a liberal teachers’ union called the National Education Association.

The list of attendees reads like royalty of the progressive movement: people from the White House, Harry Reid’s office, the Democratic National Committee, the Center for American Progress, Change.org, the SEIU, MoveOn, La Raza, Organizing for America, the Alliance for Climate Protection, etc., etc. This Astroturf camp for progressives included people from NPR, PBS, and Firedoglake. (Was everyone at CNN and CBS busy?)

Ms. Park was a presenter on the panel, “Coffee Party: 100% Grassroots/Netroots Strategic Response to the ‘TEA.'”

Look out, Ms. Park, your Nutroots are showing.

Posted in crazy leftists, MSM bias, Obama, tea party | 1 Comment »

It’s Not a Communication Problem, It’s A Listening Problem

Posted by Ryne McClaren on March 4, 2010

While browsing around the Internet this evening, I found a transcript of an interview that Charlie Cook gave to National Journal.com last month.  Like most “pollsters,” he’s always right until he’s wrong, but he provides lots of food for thought.

The entire thing is an interesting read, as Cook is a very astute, so I suggest that you check the whole thing out.  But the line that really caught me was this one:

NJ: If Obama has a communications problem as you suggest, then what should he do to reach out to the American people? Should he try to appear more populist?

Cook: I sort of reject the notion that there is a communications problem with President Obama. I think it’s just fundamental, total miscalculations from the very, very beginning. Of proportions comparable to President George W. Bush’s decision to go into Iraq. While Bush went, “We’re going to go after Afghanistan as a reaction to 9/11,” and then just pretty soon got distracted and obsessed with going into Iraq with varying rationalizations that sort of evolved over time.

Charlie Cook is quite right.  Obama’s ability to communicate is not in dispute — YES WE CAN! — and over 60 million Americans — HOPE AND CHANGE! — voted for him.  His ability to craft and deliver a “message” is evident, and it’s the entire reason the man is sitting in the Oval Office today.

Look at what he had to overcome to get where he is today!  Namely, the complete lack of experience or any sort of viable record on the really important issues of the day.  (And don’t give me any of that stuff about how he was “against the war.”  He may have done that, but it was a pretty intense political gamble he just happened to win.  I don’t believe, based on his actions as President, that he’s any more or less “against war” than any other politician.)

Even in the sound-bite driven, Dumb and Dumber, 30-second attention span world of cable news channels and the Internet, it’s laudable for a man with absolutely no credentials other than being elected to his home state house and the US Senate to become President.

He won, in the absence of a record or concrete ideas because he’s a good communicator.

But here’s the thing.  If Barack Obama’s problem were a piece of e-mail software, it would come only with a send button, and no ability to receive messages.  If Barack Obama’s problem were a telephone, it would only relay your voice, and have no receiver in which to hear what the other party’s saying.  If Barack Obama’s problem were an overnight delivery service, you could only send packages, and never have one show up on the front porch.  I think you get my drift.

And it’s not conceivable that Obama isn’t capable of listening.  After all, not even a US President insulated by a cadre of ward heelers and political heavies could avoid the all-hell-has-broken-loose Tea Parties.  And the President even went so far as to host a health care “summit,” where a number of Congresspeople raised all sorts of hell with his HCR math.

He hears the words that you’re saying.  The problem is that he doesn’t care.  Whenever this President has been confronted with opposition, the extent of his communication has consisted of: I won, and I’m the President.

Barack Obama’s manifest political destiny was written on his shaving mirror by his audacity to hope, by his ability to raise beaucoup cash for Congressional colleagues just with the sound of his voice, and by his ability to surround himself with some of the most wicked and paralyzing political hacks Washington has ever seen.

Eventually a few slivers of daylight may break through Barack Obama’s human wall of David Axelrod, Robert Gibbs and Valerie Jarrett.  But the question is, will he actually notice it?  His miscalculations have been many and often, and I think what I’ve detailed above is as much of a reason as I can come up with.

Posted in Obama, socialism, tea party | Leave a Comment »

The Left Gets Caffeinated

Posted by Dan Draney on March 3, 2010

From The Left Gets Caffeinated – Daniel Foster – The Corner on National Review Online.

Behold the Coffee Party, USA, 50,000-strong and growing:*

Fed up with government gridlock, but put off by the flavor of the Tea Party, people in cities across the country are offering an alternative: the Coffee Party. . . .

The slogan is “Wake Up and Stand Up.” The mission statement declares that the federal government is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

Local chapters are planning meetings in cities from Washington to San Antonio to Los Angeles (where there have been four in the last month.) The party (coffeepartyusa.org) is planning nationwide coffee houses for March 13, where people can gather to decide which issues they want to take on and even which candidates they want to support.

This summer, Ms. Park said, the party will hold a convention in the Midwest, with a slogan along the lines of “Meet Me in the Middle.” The party has inspired the requisite jokes: why not a latte party, a chai party, a Red Bull party? But Ms. Park said that while the Coffee Party — and certainly the name — was formed in reaction to the Tea Party, the two agree on some things, like a desire for fiscal responsibility and a frustration with Congress.

“We’re not the opposite of the Tea Party,” Ms. Park, 41, said. “We’re a different model of civic participation, but in the end we may want some of the same things.”

*Caveat: 50,000-strong on Facebook.

UPDATE: It turns out that Annabel Park, the Coffee Party’s founder, is a former New York Times employee and Obama campaign apparatchik, neither of which is disclosed in the article.

[Emphasis added] Sorry, Ms. Park, but with that Mission Statement, you most assuredly are “the opposite of the Tea Party” movement. I can’t imagine a single signer of the Declaration of Independence or member of the Constitutional Convention agreeing with the proposition that the federal government is “the expression of our collective will.” The Framers were acutely aware of the danger government power poses to individual liberty. Strong, central governments have proved to be “the enemy of the people” time after time all over the world.

The phrase “our collective will” reminded me of the poster at the right. From the site where I found the picture:

The Nazis viewed this as one of their best posters. It, too, is by Mjölnir. The caption translates: “National Socialism: The Organized Will of the Nation.” Goebbels claimed that Mjölnir perfected the art of drawing the Nazi Storm Trooper.

The phrases “collective will” and “organized will” are also staples of Marxist rhetoric. You could Google it.

So are the Coffee Party Nazis or Communists? Of course not. Well, there are probably a few, but mostly they just haven’t realized the logical outcome of putting the “collective will” ahead of the individual. But ideas have consequences, and the consequence of “collectivism” is inevitably tyranny. Most of those who followed leaders who claim to embody the “collective will” in Germany, Russia, Cambodia, etc. were not seeking to do evil. That road is paved with good intentions, but we can see where it leads. If we are willing to look and think.

Posted in socialism, tea party | 3 Comments »

Nebraska Unicameral Sovereignty Resolution

Posted by Dan Draney on February 28, 2010

In January, 2010, Nebraska Senator Tony Fulton introduced LR-292. This resolution cites the 9th and 10th Amendments to the US Constitution and reminds the federal government that it’s powers are limited. The 9th and 10th Amendments are the final Amendments of the Bill of Rights. The full text is:

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In December, Sen. Fulton sat down with Patrick Tarr of Give Me Liberty TV to discuss the resolution, the Constitutional relationship between the states and the federal government, and how we can begin to restore the balance.

The interview is currently running on Lincoln’s Community Access Channel (Ch 13) on Time Warner Cable. It can be viewed there Mondays at 1:30 PM, Fridays at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 9:00 PM. Or, just watch it here:

UPDATE: Due to a combination of fast work by Time Warner Cable and slow posting here, the show above (#5) has finished its run, and show #6 is now playing.

The first part of the new show is an interview by W.A. Mitchell with Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key. Rep. Key is the author of the State Sovereignty bill in Oklahoma, and he was in Lincoln to testify at the hearing on the Nebraska bill. The second part of the show is a speech delivered to state sovereignty supporters by Nebraska Sen. Tony Fulton at a banquet organized by Grass Roots in Nebraska.

Cross-posted at GML-TV

Posted in 10th Amendment, GML-TV, Nebraska, sovereignty, tea party | 1 Comment »

Are You a Socialist?

Posted by Dan Draney on February 27, 2010

You might be a socialist if…
You think it’s “best to spread the wealth around”

You might be a socialist if…
You go to political rallies in the middle of the week
And no one misses work
Except the government workers

You might be a socialist if…
You strongly believe “The Rich” don’t pay their fair share of taxes
But you can’t define “Rich”
Or “Fair”
And you don’t know what they are paying now

You might be a socialist if…

You believe it is necessary to destroy capitalism in order to save it

Or…
If you think it’s patriotic to pay taxes
But you don’t actually pay any yourself

You might be a socialist if…
You think it’s a “giveaway” to let someone keep his/her earnings, but you think people who aren’t paying any taxes deserve a “tax cut,” too.

You might be a socialist, if you think the government owes more loyalty to those getting money from it than to those paying for it.

If you think government spending creates jobs, but…
You never consider the jobs destroyed by taxes and borrowing to raise the money, and…
Most of the permanent jobs “created or saved” by your plan seem to be in government, then you just might be a socialist.
If you call for America to return to a time of “savings and investment,” but…
You think a tax increase is “savings”
And government spending is “investment”

You might be a socialist if…
You rant about the deficit you inherited
And claim to be “cutting the deficit in half”
Without mentioning that you’re quadrupling it first

You might be a socialist if,your preferred solution for a crisis due to massive, unsustainable private debt is to permanently expand government spending as much and as fast as possible to generate massive, unsustainable government debt. Because clearly the best cure for a hangover is to drink ever more heavily and never sober up.

“You never want to let a good crisis go to waste.” Rahm Emanuel

You might be a socialist if you see a compelling need to redistribute other people’s wealth, but you never considered how wealth gets created in the first place. You’ve got that “destroying wealth” thing down, though.

You might be a socialist, if you think private decisions in the marketplace are dangerous, because people will act in their own interests. But political decisions are better because politicians and bureaucrats will… act in their own interests.

If you swear you don’t want to run the all the banks, but..
You want to control what they pay their employees
And who they lend to
And the terms of the loans
And get some for yourself, of course
Then you might be a socialist

If you don’t want to run the car companies, but…
You just want to decide who’s the CEO
And who’s on the Board of Directors
And what kind of cars to make and how many of each
And where the plants are, and the wages paid
And give “tax cuts” with car purchases
And cover the warranty
Then you just might be a socialist.

You might be a socialist, if you think borrowing your way out of debt makes perfect sense. Because doubling the size of government will stimulate the economy just like a falling boulder stimulates Wile E. Coyote.

You might be a socialist, if you think a massive, new government healthcare entitlement is going to “save” money. Because government does such a good job with… There must be something? You might be a socialist, if you have to be glued to your teleprompter at all times to avoid accidentally blurting out your true aims and opinions and scaring people. You might be a socialist, if you think penalizing success and subsidizing failure is a good way to produce anything other than less success and more failure.

You might be a socialist, if you think getting the government to spend other people’s money means you are generous, and if they don’t like it, they’re greedy.

You might be a socialist, if too much private, corporate power scares you, but you’re comforted by thoughts of a large, benevolent government that can take care of everyone. You might be a socialist, if that nasty, fat, ugly, drug-user, Nazi Rush Limbaugh really makes you puke, because he’s such a “Hater.” But you’re comforted by thoughts of a large, benevolent government that can take care of him, too

You might be a socialist, if you think bankers are evil for refusing loans to people who can’t pay them back and that bankers are evil for making loans to people who can’t pay them back. You might be a socialist, if you think US companies exploit poor countries by doing business with them and that US companies exploit Cuba by not doing business with them.

You might be a socialist, if this presidential succession tree doesn’t scare the daylights out of you: Barack Obama; Joe Biden; Nancy Pelosi; Robert Byrd; Hilary Clinton; and Timothy Geithner.

If you hate creeping socialism, but you support Essential Government Programs to Preserve The Family Farm, or Crop price “stabilization,” or ethanol fuel subsidies, then you just might be a part of the socialism problem.

If you oppose wasteful government spending, but you think that $19 million footbridge across the Missouri “created jobs,” and it was federal money, so it didn’t cost Nebraskans anything, then you just might be part of the socialism problem.

You might be part of the socialism problem, if you think all the problems we’re facing were caused by one party. Or that conservative, Constitutional principles are a problem rather than the solution. Or that political “moderation” is a virtue. Or that you can go back to sleep once the Republicans are in charge.

You might be a socialist, but it’s not too late to change course.

Posted in jokes, Obama jokes, socialism, tea party | Leave a Comment »

Future News: Election 2010 Report

Posted by Dan Draney on February 23, 2010

The morning after voters issued a historic rebuke to the Democrats, party officials struggled to comprehend the magnitude of the loss. Two years ago the Democrats appeared to have established a permanent grip on the Washington levers of power. Yesterday, every Democrat in the House lost, and the only Senate Democrats to escape the electoral tsunami were those who were not up for reelection. A party operative, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to trash his colleagues, conceded that the party’s legislative strategy might have been an error. “By ramming a series of huge, costly, unpopular measures through the Congress on party-line votes, we lost many moderate voters. When your agenda is opposed by over 80% of sentient voters, using parliamentary shenanigans to pass it makes you appear a little arrogant.”

Happier times when the TARP cookie jar was full

A chastened President Obama accepted his share of the blame while reading from his teleprompter to a group of reporters gathered in the Presidential Bunker. “We failed to communicate clearly enough to the voters how much they are going to like these programs once it’s too late to repeal them. We need to do a better job of that. I need new speech writers.” In October, President Obama held more press conferences and gave more speeches than Presidents Bush and Clinton combined in their entire terms. However, the President feels he could have done more, “I need to get out and speak directly with the press, academics, union officials, and, you know, the little people clinging to their guns and butter.” The ratings of his fourteen televised speeches during the last week of the campaign were so low that only MSNBC would only run them and only in the middle of the night.

Exit polls in several states showed Democratic candidates failing to gain even a majority of registered Democrats. It was no surprise to see Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lose his bid for re-election, but few predicted he would come in third behind the Raving Loony Party, whose candidate was put up as a joke by some college students.

In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi lost her seat to Republican newcomer Pat Lapin, the first openly transgendered congressperson. The Speaker was clearly a lost cause after she broke down during a televised debate with Lapin and began screaming incoherently about “f-ing Teabaggers.” Lapin seized the moment with the quip, “Ich bin ein Teabagger.” The audience roared its approval, and the electoral rout was assured.

Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi remain committed to completing the passage of the Obama agenda this year during the lame duck session of Congress. “We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to get these programs enacted while the Democratic majority is intact,” said Reid today. These plans may be hampered by the fact that most of the defeated Congressmen appear to have gone into hiding.

Posted in fake news, jokes, Obama jokes, socialism, tea party | 3 Comments »

Lincoln Tea Party – Sat. April 11

Posted by Dan Draney on April 4, 2009

If you are here in Nebraska, you should attend the Lincoln Tea Party to be held at the Capitol building on Saturday, April 11, 2009. Follow that link to the home site for the event for updates. If you have a blog that covers Nebraska, please help publicize the event with the links below. If you know an appropriate blog/blogger, please pass this along to them.

KLKN TV (Channel 8) in Lincoln did a nice report on the event. Details and video here.


More links of interest:
Main web page (accessible to all)
Facebook group and event pages (all Faceboo members can join)

Attention Volunteers: Help needed in lots of areas from advance planning to day of the event and beyond. Please help if you can. Here’s a form to submit your contact info. Your privacy is important. The organizers will not sell or give away your contact information to others.

Other important links on the main site:

Posted in Nebraska, taxes, tea party | Leave a Comment »

 
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