freedomworks: Page 1
Dick Armey angrily quits FreedomWorks over "principles"; gets $8 million golden parachute (Matt Kibbe) (SEE UPDATES) - 12/04/12
Former House majority leader Dick Armey has resigned as Chairman of FreedomWorks, one of the main organizations pulling the strings on the Tea Parties movement. Armey's resignation letter is at  and, as you can see, it wasn't an amicable split.
Don't worry about Armey however: he'll be getting an $8 million golden parachute .
I don't know if some third party writes the lines and talking points that illegal immigration supporters use, but sometimes it certainly seems that way.
Freedomworks uses Teaparty-approved Alinsky tactics... against Teaparty (not a learning experience) - 06/29/11
As discussed on the tea parties page, the teapartiers could have pushed their same aberrant ideology using much more effective and much more civil tactics. Instead, they chose to act like a childish caricature of the far-left: throwing tantrums at public meetings, standing on street corners waving loopy signs, engaging in cheap stunts, playing dress-up games, smearing and lying, and on and on.
Freedomworks is going to actively try to prevent Mitt Romney from getting the GOP nomination . I'm not a fan, but Romney is one of the few electable current or potential candidates. So, the tea parties - controlled in large part by Freedomworks even if they don't know it - might bring their NY-26 magic to the national stage and help elect Barack Obama to four more years.
What the GOP can do about this is to declare "war" on Freedomworks right back:
1. Somehow, some way make an argument that libertarian-oriented policies (or the LibertarianLite version that teapartiers favor) just don't work. It's extremely easy to show that libertarian ideas are the stuff of rainbows and unicorns. The hard part is presenting it in a way that isn't automatically rejected by the teapartiers, who have a very unhealthy mix of emotional failings. In this, the GOP would need to consult the top psychologists in the U.S.
2. (Legally) buy people off. Give slots on Fox News to leading teapartiers to force them into line. I wouldn't do that myself, but that is one way the GOP and their helpers operate.
3. Turn one teaparty group against another or distract them in other ways with shiny objects. To an extent that's already happening; take steps to increase it.
5. And, most importantly of all, help discredit Freedomworks to the teaparty base. That isn't that difficult either since the head of the organization, Dick Armey, supports illegal immigration.
While most of the teaparty base opposes illegal immigration, the teapartiers as a whole have been very quiet about the issue. If the GOP elevated immigration to the key issue it is (much more vital and fundamental than spending) and used that against those like Armey and other teaparty leaders, they could help the U.S. while helping themselves.
[Freedomworks] knows they cannot impose their will on the fiercely independent conservative organizers fueling the Tea Party. But they say the activist base is just as anti-Romney as they are.
(Matt Kibbe) said in an interview that FreedomWorks has no plans at the moment to endorse an opponent of Romney’s in the primary. But others in the organization made clear they will devote considerable resources toward helping whoever emerges as the most viable Republican in the primary other than the putative front runner.
Brendan Steinhauser, who travels around the country meeting with activists as FreedomWorks’ top liaison to the grassroots, said most people he talks to are “definitely trying to stop Romney.”
“I don’t think I’ve met any groups or any local activists that like him or want him to be president,” Steinhauser said. “They just don’t believe he’s authentic. That’s the biggest problem in addition to the health care thing.”
Tea Party used to push corporate agenda (Institute for Liberty, Monsanto, Asian paper company) - 03/31/11
If you've been following our extensive tea parties coverage, you'll know where this is going (and if you're a teapartier, you'll have no clue):
Last fall, [Institute for Liberty's] president, Andrew Langer, had himself videotaped [ peekURL.com/vM87wLC ] on Long Wharf in Boston holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence as he compared Washington’s proposed tariff on paper from Indonesia and China to Britain's colonial trade policies in 1776.
That's from "Odd Alliance: Business Lobby and Tea Party" by Mike McIntyre of the New York Times (link) about how the Institute for Liberty and similar groups piggyback on the Teaparties in order to push a corporate agenda. It's not clear how successful they've been; the video has just about 150 views. However, if they haven't been as successful as Dick Armey has been it's not because the teaparties have seen through him: in my two years' of experience with them I've never known anyone in the teaparties to be able to see through anything.
In the article, McIntyre states that the Tea Party is "as deeply skeptical of big business as it is of big government", but the former does not appear to be true (see also this). The teapartiers are hand-made to be used to push a corporate agenda, usually by using a cleaned-up variant of something like "Nancy Pelosi hates your guts, so be a Patriot and help this corporation I'm being paid by ease pollution restrictions".
In the case above, Langer was serving (unpaid per him) the interests of a paper company from Indonesia that had concurrently - and no doubt completely coincidentally - mounted a PR campaign against tariffs on their products. And:
Mr. Langer had arrived the previous year from the National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business lobbying group. An enthusiastic, talkative man of 40 who dabbles in Republican politics in Maryland, he quickly saw potential in the Tea Party phenomenon. Working with FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, the institute co-sponsored early Tea Party events in Washington and published a guide called “How to Brew a Tea Party.”
Mr. Langer can seem disarmingly candid when discussing his work. In a recent interview, he explained how the institute pitched its services to opponents of the Obama health care plan, resulting in a $1 million advertising blitz.
Both Freedomworks and AFP are part of the general Kochtopus (groups funded by or linked to the Koch family) and both have been very deeply involved in organizing the teaparties. And:
He said he had sometimes chosen issues suggested by colleagues from an earlier job, at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market group heavily financed by business interests. The two institutes are involved in a campaign advocating a realignment of NASA’s budget that would benefit commercial spaceflight entrepreneurs. The Institute of Liberty’s contribution was a Web page called “No Space Pork!”
Last year, the two groups also supported the effort by the agribusiness giant Monsanto to ease federal restrictions on its pesticide-resistant alfalfa. (In February, regulators agreed to do so.) Mr. Langer said he decided “to try out our grass-roots method on that, and frame it as a dairy issue and access to affordable food.”
CEI is also part of the Kochtopus, and that page embeds the video at peekURL.com/vKTxvzK from blogging stalwart Bill Whittle. Any links between him and the Institute for Liberty aren't known.
Amnesty author Mike Pence for president? Dick Armey, Club for Growth, others hype him (UPDATE: he's out) - 01/21/11
Back in 2006, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence proposed his own "compromise" amnesty plan. He may have gotten the idea for that plan from a proposal by billionaire heiress Helen Krieble, and also in 2006, Krieble, Pence, and Dick Armey of Freedomworks appeared at an event to promote comprehensive immigration reform.
The latest bad idea from their general camp is to try to draft Pence to run for president. Those backing the idea include Armey, Chris Chocola of the Club for Growth (known around here as the "Club for Profits at Any Price"), former Rep. Jim Ryun, and Brent Bozell.
“What I see across the board, especially with the party activists, the energetic people, is a sharp division between those personalities you would call ‘old news’ personalities and newcomers... And almost anybody, if you said, ‘who will be on the field for the presidential sweepstakes from the Republican side,’ all the names you would name today - (Newt Gingrich), (Mike Huckabee), Sarah Palin and (Mitt Romney) - these are all old news names and, quite frankly, I don’t think they have much of a chance.”
While Jonathan Martin and Kasie Hunt of the Politico try to claim (link) that the appeal to Armey and Chocola is due to the claim that Pence "is viewed as a politician who would actually govern as a social and fiscal conservative" and that the "Draft Pence coalition can be best described as a group of insiders that prefers outsiders - and especially those focused on social issues like abortion and gay rights".
It's more likely that Armey and others in the "Profits at Any Price" school don't really care all that much about social issues; the tea parties - a group more or less controlled by Armey, the Koch family, and other "fiscal conservatives" - have deliberately avoided social issues. Rather, Armey et al see Pence as a salable commodity who'd be "good for business" (if you know what I mean).
1/29/11 UPDATE: Pence has decided against running for president. Whether he'll run for something else isn't yet known.
The anti-corporate Tea Party? No: will oppose some corporations, give others a pass (FreedomWorks, useful idiots) - 11/23/10
The teapartiers, Fighting the Power?
Not so fase: if you're familiar with both the teapartiers and Freedom Works, you know there's a catch, and indeed there is: they're only going to get the tea partiers to oppose *some* corporations, while helping or ignoring another set.
Don't worry: the teapartiers will continue to be useful idiots for some corporations, just not all of them.
Jesse Jackson isn't the only activist that can use corporate boycotts for political purposes. Starting next year, the huge Tea Party organizer FreedomWorks will urge supporters to punish huge corporations like General Electric and Johnson and Johnson for backing President Obama's progressive agenda.
In an exclusive review for Whispers of their plan, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe says: "Tea Party activists are willing to tackle progressive CEOs just as they tackled progressive politicians. Judging by the results of the midterm elections, progressive CEOs should buckle up, because Tea Party activists are going to give them a very bumpy ride."
I don't know whether the mention of Jackson was meant to evoke his corporate shakedowns or not, but the FreedomWorks efforts are going to be just as bogus as Jacksons'. The last thing FreedomWorks is going to do is demand corporate responsibility across the board; they just want to use their useful idiots in the teaparties to oppose one set of corporations.
At the same time, FreedomWorks and similar groups will be pushing for things such as reduced environmental regulations, something that will help the Koch family's Koch Industries, an energy company that's the second largest private corporation in the U.S.
Whether they'll be like Jackson and back off of corporations that pay a tribute isn't yet known, but considering that FreedomWorks and Dick Armey are all about the money it isn't something that would shock me. They're also going to be spreading the word through bloggers; if anyone finds any examples please leave a comment with a cite.
In 2002 ExxonMobil donated $30,000 for "educational activities" and a further $15,000 for general support.
Like I said, *some* corporations, not all.
FreedomWorks - the group that pulls many of the strings on the tea parties movement whether the teapartiers want to admit it or not - is launching a new effort called "DiverseTea" (wouldn't "DiversiTea" be better?). They're doing minority outreach in an attempt to show how diverse the teaparties are (link):
The ads [to be bought by Freedomworks], which will be accompanied by a yet-to-launch website, will showcase diversity in the tea party ranks by calling attention to movement leaders who are African American, Hispanic and Jewish... “The goal is to build a platform for a diverse group of tea party leaders from across the country –African Americans, Jews, Hispanics, others that have come to this movement – because there is this nagging perception that we are not diverse and I disagree with that,” said (Matt Kibbe) during a Monday breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
Obviously, this isn't the right way to go about things. The Democrats - and especially the far-left - engage in "diversity" for its own sake and are obsessive about bean-counting, quotas, and so on. Shouldn't a rightwing movement stand in opposition to such far-left concepts? Shouldn't a rightwing movement try to undercut those concepts instead of enabling them? Of course, but the tea parties are different because they're all just about the money and not about "social issues".
And, efforts like this are sure to backfire since no matter how "diverse" "DiverseTea" is, their opposition will always be more "diverse". They're only making their situation worse, not better. There's a way for the tea partiers to handle charges of racism, but I'm not going to tell them what it is.
Note also that one of those involved is Tito Munoz, who some might remember as the cartoonish John McCain supporter "Tito the Builder". Another is Ryan Hecker, who was behind the "Contract from America" sham.
The Tea Party "Patriots" have released a promo video in which they admit that they've failed. And, to compound that failure, they don't realize that they're admitting that they've failed. You can see their promo at peekURL.com/vudfmnw and my video response is attached (and also available at peekURL.com/v5ky22y ).
The script of my response is below, first some notes:
* See tea parties for my extensive coverage, including things you won't hear from them or their other opponents.
Earlier today, Glenn Beck held a "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington DC which was attended by somewhere around a few hundred thousand people; certainly an impressive turnout (UPDATE: see below). Thankfully I didn't watch it, but Part 1 of Beck's speech is at peekURL.com/vqlzrtm and Part 1 of Sarah Palin's speech is at peekURL.com/vyn3lcr
Any response to the borderline lunacy offered by Beck would become novel-length; for the novella version, see the dozens of tea parties posts.
A few quick notes:
1. Apparently Beck unveiled or was planning on unveiling something called a "Black-Robed Regiment", a reference to religious leaders prior to the Revolutionary War. It's also a class at Glenn Beck University (link).
2. The original Washington Post story on the event featured a photo showing a very small crowd and referred to the "thousands" of attendees and also highlighted that most were white. Part and parcel of their fringe ideology is that the tea party types - to be frank - aren't smart and sane enough to take effective action against those like the WaPo. The picture in question is here, and that's also an example of how the tea party types are ineffective: that post isn't going to change how the WaPo does things in the least. (That post also helps the WaPo in a way that I won't describe). I've actually described here on a few occasions how to do things in more effective ways, but long experience shows that the teaparty types aren't capable of or interested in learning.
The Washington-based FreedomWorks planned a large event Friday evening to raise money for candidates such as Mike Lee, a tea-party favorite who defeated the incumbent Utah Sen. Republican Bob Bennett in a May primary election vote. FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey, a former Republican House Majority leader, said the group is working with Mr. Beck to promote shared causes."We've got a complementary relationship," Mr. Armey said. "Glenn Beck is the instructional arm, and we are the action arm."
Armey will also be sticking up for Beck on a future NewsHour show (link).
4. There may be an even more direct link between Beck's rally and the Koch family. Americans for Prosperity - a tea party organizer and key part of the Koch apparatus - bused people into the rally as AFP volunteers discuss at the end of peekURL.com/vk5mabz
If you oppose illegal immigration, the teaparty/Beck follower types are either standing in your way or are consorting with those who aren't on your side.
McCain trounces JD Hayworth in GOP primary; who's to blame (tea parties, Palin, Scott Brown...) - 08/25/10
In last night's GOP Senate primary in Arizona, John McCain trounced JD Hayworth with 59% versus 29% for Hayworth (and 11% for Jim Deakin). To a certain extent, McCain's win was due to him spending around $20 million on advertising and him pretending to be tough on immigration matters. Defeating McCain would have sent a strong message to the Beltway establishment, the mainstream media, and other amnesty supporters. Instead, those who should have opposed him either didn't oppose him, didn't take a position, or engaged in useless or counter-productive activities.
Who shares the blame?
1. Hayworth isn't exactly a prize catch, no matter ones political affiliation. So, he bears part of the blame.
2. The four major Arizona tea parties groups that decided not to endorse McCain, Hayworth, or Deakin also shares some of the blame.  The "Arizona Tea Party" - which might be an umbrella group including some of those listed at  did support Hayworth, at least in twitter dot com/azteaparty. However, the Tucson Tea Party has a post explaining that they don't endorse candidates; the reason given differs from that in their press release.
3. The one other teaparty group that decided to hold a border event - instead of doing things in smarter ways - shares part of the blame.
4. Sarah Palin, Grover Norquist, Scott Brown and perhaps tea parties chief leader Dick Armey all supported McCain, thus sharing part of the blame.
5. And, starting over four and a half years ago, I've been trying to get people to go to McCain's events and ask him tough questions. Video of McCain being put on the spot could get hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube and might have prevented him from being the GOP's 2008 nominee and might have prevented him winning yesterday's primary.
There are plenty of videos of people asking McCain questions, the problem is that the questions and the questioners are invariably weak. McCain is able to bowl them over and launch into stock speeches; some members of the mainstream media have asked him tougher questions than regular citizens at his public events. See the question authority page for an action plan and more information.
Those sites that get more traffic than me and that have (except in one or two brief cases) completely refused to encourage their readers to follow that plan bear a good share of the blame.
One lesson to learn from the above is not to put trust in those who don't know how to do things in the right way, or who can't figure out the best outcome, or who are only interested in feathering their own nests.
 From a press release (link):
The organizers of the four largest Arizona Tea Party organizations – including the Tucson Tea Party, Greater Phoenix Tea Party, Flagstaff Tea Party, and Mohave County Tea Party – issued a joint press release regarding their unified decision to decline endorsing a candidate in the Arizona Senate primary race between John McCain, J.D. Hayworth, and Jim Deakin.
“The Tea Party is a non-partisan, grassroots movement that stands for limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility. Both McCain and Hayworth’s records during their many years in Washington leave much to be desired on these issues,” said Robert Mayer, co-founder of the Tucson Tea Party. “It is their job to hold themselves up to these values and fight for our votes.”
The reason that the Tucson Tea Party (TTP) does not endorse any one candidate in the primaries is because we are made up of a diverse group, which include constitutional, fiscal, and social conservatives, we also have many that are simply free market thinkers... So, if the Tucson Tea Party were to pick one candidate over another, or over many others, we would simply be creating a situation of conservative bloodletting and infighting that would serve no purpose for conservatives in general or the Tea Party specifically.
Even Dick Armey of FreedomWorks - a main stringpuller on the tea parties movement - now realizes that the label "Tea Party" is toxic and politicians should avoid calling themselves "tea party leaders". Recall that last month the Koch family - without which there might not be a tea party movement - also backed away from the tea parties. From this:
...Armey said (Rand Paul)’s "bigger mistake" came in his victory speech after securing the nomination, when he said "I have a message from the tea party. ... We've come to take our government back" and added: "This tea party movement is a message to Washington that we are unhappy and we want things done differently."
Armey said "I think that hurt him more than (the Civil Rights Act exchange), because the principles of liberty won that position and he won by adhering to them." He quipped that Paul’s reasoning for positioning himself as a tea party leader might have been, "Alright, I don’t have a big enough target on my back. Since the left hates the tea party and they hate me, let’s see if we can get ‘em to double down on me by me claiming to be the leader of the tea party."
"Don’t ask for more of what you really don’t want," Armey said. Pointing out that Paul "ran as a Republican - he won the Republican primary," Armey suggested that Paul and other tea party-backed candidates can remain true to the movement’s limited government principles without becoming targets by declaring themselves tea party leaders.
There certainly is the possibility that Armey was trying to distance the teaparties from Rand Paul due to the latter showing just where libertarian thinking (such as it is) leads. However, he was also asked about Sharron Angle, and, while her positions seem to also have a strong lunatic libertarian component she hasn't gotten as much heat for them as Paul. And, he was also speaking generally, so it seems like the much more likely possibility is that he now realizes that being associated with those in the tea party movement isn't such a good thing.
Note also that Armey had bad things to say about Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and suggested that Republicans stay off MSNBC. All of this ties together: if Armey and the tea parties were competent and advanced mainstream ideas they wouldn't have to worry about going on hostile TV shows, and they wouldn't have to worry about keeping any tea party leadership secret.
One of the reasons why there's still a tea parties movement is because their loudest opposition is a match for them when it comes to incompetence. The latest example of that opposition's incompetence comes from D.C. Douglas ("DCD"), the voiceover actor who was fired by GEICO Insurance after he left a voicemail for FreedomWorks ("FW").
As exhaustively detailed at the following link, the tea parties are a massive magnet for massive stupidity. They can't do anything right and the only reason they aren't little more than an embarrassing blip on U.S. political history is because their opponents are only marginally smarter than they are. Instead of trying to intellectually engage the partiers and show how they're wrong, those opponents have engaged in a long series of similarly childish activities, such as calling the partiers names or the like.
The latest example is the "Crash the Tea Party" group (crashtheteaparty.org) which is seeking infiltrators to try to make the partiers look bad by cranking their lunacy up a notch: bringing misspelled signs to rallies, advancing positions that are even more fringe, and so on. One problem with that is that it's lowering debate in the U.S. even more than the partiers are doing. Another problem is that it's difficult for even Pajamas Media to tell the difference between the real partiers and the infiltrators (pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=72); everything they say about infiltrators applies to some or many real partiers.
And, yet another problem with the "Crashers" is that it gives the real partiers cover: they can (and will) simply blame loony signs and loony ideas on the infiltrators. The person behind the "Crashers" (Jason Levin, twitter dot com/tpartycrasher, twitter dot com/xenex11) is in effect helping the partiers (he might even be secretly on their side). Even Dave Weigel can figure out that Levin is helping them (link).
Another twist and turn in this disturbing tale is that FreedomWorks - one of the string-pullers for the partiers - knows how they're vulnerable. At the Washington Post article, their Brendan Steinhauser says:
Steinhauser passed on a chance to critique the CrashtheParty strategy of discrediting tea partiers. "I'm not going to suggest what they'd do if they were smart," he said.
OK, so I'll do that:
1. Their opponents could send smart, high-minded people - i.e., not the Max Blumenthal types - to tea party events and meetings and have them engage those present - preferably their leaders - in debate about policy. Those smart people could show how their libertarian-leaning ideology leads to a raft of negative consequences. Videos of the debates could be uploaded to video sharing sites so that Americans who aren't that familiar with the partiers could see what they really support.
2. Their opponents could show why average Americans don't want to be useful idiots for Freedom Works, the Koch family, Grover Norquist, and all the others who are the real leaders of the tea parties. I believe that Rachel Maddow has discussed those who pull the strings on their movement, but based on what I've seen of her I don't think she would do it in a way that would convince those outside her small circle.
3. Their opponents could point out that the leaders of the partiers are lowering debate in the U.S.: instead of encouraging an open debate about policy, those leaders have encouraged their charges to throw tantrums, shout down politicians, and engage in other uncivil and ineffective actions.
4. Their opponents could point out that the leaders of the partiers have completely ignored immigration matters, and could suggest why that might be. Their opponents could use this issue to separate the bulk of the partiers from their corrupt DC and libertarian leaders.
"People's Surge Against Obamacare 2.0": another ineffective Freedomworks scheme (Brendan Steinhauser) - 03/12/10
On Tuesday, March 16 FreedomWorks plans a "People's Surge Against Obamacare 2.0" in Washington DC at which they expect "1,000 if not more people" to be "bused in from various parts of the country" in order to protest Obama healthcare. They'll then be sent out on a fool's errand (link):
[FreedomWorks' director of federal and state campaigns, Brendan Steinhauser says:] "We're telling people to go right into the three House office buildings: Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn. Find your congressmen, whether they are in the cafeteria, their offices, in the halls or hiding under their desks, and tell them to vote no. It's very simple." ...He added, "We'll help direct traffic. Come and deliver your message to Congress."
I've already seen this movie, and it doesn't have a happy ending. The attached video is from the February 2009 post entitled Melanie Morgan "storms" Arlen Specter's office over stimulus bill, does nothing useful. This latest Freedomworks scheme will be just like that, but without the addition of a low-level radio personality.
The much smarter and much more effective thing to do would be for them to use the question authority plan. In this case, that would involve Freedomworks finding those who are experienced with "cross-examining" people and who are familiar with specific topics to question politicians on video. Presumably, Freedomworks has logical reasons why they oppose Obamacare. Thus, they should be able to make their case and try to show how they think those opposite them are wrong.
Instead of doing things the smart and effective way, Freedomworks is just using an angry mob. Ask them why they keep doing things in showy but stupid ways instead of doing things that are smart and effective.
Dick Armey + PJTV + Glenn Reynolds + Dana Loesch + CPAC = just how dumb are tea partiers? - 02/19/10
Earlier today, Glenn Reynolds posted what might be the shortest summary of just how incredibly dumb and gullible those involved with the tea parties are (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/94212). Savor it:
THE CONTRACT FROM AMERICA: Dana Loesch Interviews Dick Armey at CPAC.
That links to a video at Pajamas Media. So, we've got:
* Reynolds, someone who among other things has encouraged his followers to swarm politicians, hold up bunny ears behind their heads, and throw tantrums like little children...
* PJTV, which converted Joe the Plumber into a war correspondent then an echo chamber talk show host rather than sending him out to do what he got famous for: asking politicians questions...
* Dana Loesch, a low-class, low-wattage, truth-challenged radio host who claimed that being opposed to the tea partiers goals' was "an accidental admission of socialism"...
* And, they're discussing the Contract from America, something so obviously bogus that even some tea partiers should be able to see through it.
If anyone can find an even shorter summary of the useful idiot nature of the tea partiers, leave a comment.
Earlier this month I discussed the ineffective, immigration suggestions that had been submitted for the Contract from America. Now, those behind the effort have narrowed down the list of suggestions to 21 and want their visitors to choose their top ten. And, there's not a single choice about immigration: thecontractfromamerica.org/default.aspx
Sarah Palin, Dick Armey, Grover Norquist, Scott Brown support John McCain; what J.D. Hayworth supporters can do - 02/15/10
Sarah Palin, Dick Armey of Freedomworks (see the update), Grover Norquist, and newly-elected senator Scott Brown are all supporting John McCain in his Senate re-election bid. Meanwhile, Chris Simcox dropped out of the GOP nomination earlier today, and has endorsed McCain's strongest rival, JD Hayworth. The last is running as the True Conservative against the RINO McCain.
1. This is yet another example of how the tea parties types are useful idiots; all four of those first listed above are associated with that movement: Armey helped organize the major Washington DC protest, Norquist has helped organize other protests, Palin recently spoke at their convention, and Brown was elected in part due to their efforts. Yet, they're supporting a RINO whose loose border policies will lead to more spending and less power for those in the tea party base.
2. McCain is - as always - very vulnerable on the immigration issue. The problem is that few want to challenge him to his face and show how he's wrong, and those who do ask bad questions. If you'd like to reduce McCain's chances, follow the question authority plan and find a smart, experienced questioner who's familiar with immigration to really press him on immigration, then upload videos of the exchanges to video sharing sites. You have to follow the plan to the letter: the person who asks the questions has to be smart, experienced with "cross-examining" people, familiar with immigration matters, and has to ask the right questions.
For starting points, see our immigration questions for Republicans and our coverage of his former (?) advisor Juan Hernandez. I'm willing to help craft questions specific for McCain if anyone is willing to follow the plan above. If you are, leave comments here and on the front page until I notice you; I don't review every comment on this site so you'll need to leave a few.
UPDATE: In comments, Steve points out that Armey has released the following statement (freedomworks.org/blog/bstein80/dick-armey-did-not-endorse-john-mccain):
The New York Times reported recently that FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey has endorsed Sen. John McCain in the GOP primary in Arizona. This is not the case, although this story has been picked up and repeated by countless media personalities and reporters around the country.
This seems to be a good case study in how false information can make its way around the internet and the airwaves before it can be corrected. But we wanted to post a quick statement for all of you who have asked us about this.
A clarification of his position would be appreciated; if he's not endorsing McCain does he still support him, or will he support the pro-borders Hayworth, or will not support anyone?
The Take Back America PAC is a new organization from Dick Armey's FreedomWorks; if you're considering sending them any money please read the following links first:
* Dick Armey did stimulus bill-related lobbying for a couple companies around the same time as Freedomworks was incompetently opposing the bill. It's unknown what his lobbying consisted of, but there's a more than fair chance that his actions didn't result in the stimulus being less than it was.
* See this 2007 video of Dick Armey supporting those who come here illegally. He's been a supporter of massive immigration for several years, and the massive immigration that he supports leads to more spending, higher taxes, and increased power for the Democrats and the far-left.
See their name's link above for more on that organization.
"to show that if Republicans pick their candidates with a message of restraint of big government and respect for individual liberty, it will translate into electoral success. If they don’t do that, they will probably get what I will call ‘gentle reminders’ from all of the grassroots activists in their districts that they need to be a lot more like Reagan Republicans or they can expect that they might lose their own primary."
If you didn't see those links above, please take a look now.
Disclosure documents show that tea parties organizer, head of FreedomWorks, and former Rep. Dick Armey lobbied in regards to the stimulus plan. The documents don't indicate what the lobbying consisted of, but there's certainly a fair possibility that he wasn't lobbying to reduce the amount of the stimulus.
Ironic: Dick Armey's support for massive immigration leads to more spending, bigger government - 11/12/09
Back in 1995, Tea Parties leader Dick Armey of FreedomWorks spoke at the Cato Institute about various topics including immigration (cato.org/pubs/policy_report/pr-ja-da.html), and his remarks are incredibly ironic: his immigration policies lead to the opposite of the other policies he claims to support.
Low-wattage smear artist Max Blumenthal offers what he calls "The Unauthorized 9.12 Teabagger Tour", video attached (note the nice Euro touch in the date). I haven't yet watched it, but I'm going to guess that he's cherry-picked the more extreme attendees of the 9/12 Washington DC rally rather than trying to offer some sort of counter-argument to their more valid points; that's what people like him do.
Irony deficient Christopher Knight of LAT: "Glenn Beck's '9-12' logo based on communist and socialist designs" - 09/14/09
Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times offers "Glenn Beck's '9-12' logo based on communist and socialist designs" (link), a hilarious example of someone - in this case some sort of art critic - just not getting the joke. His shocking news is that the logo used for 9/12's march on Washington was lifted from Communist symbols. That's obvious, and it was intentional. To help Knight understand this, he should refer to the classics.
In that FreedomWorks response, forwarded to the group a few days earlier by Jenny Beth and also obtained by TPMmuckraker, Brendan Steinhauser, an organizer for the corporate-backed group, explained that FreedomWorks would stick with its original logo, which shows raised fists in front of the Capitol building, in part because "the left (Keith Olbermann and Josh Marshall) thinks we don't understand the connotations of the symbol, which we do."
And, while Glenn Beck obviously has connections to the march, it's not his logo: as pointed out at the last link, it's a FreedomWorks invention.
Whatever you do, don't show Christopher Knight this site.
Later today, one or two million (maybe less) extreme fiscal conservatives will be marching on Washington DC demanding that the government listens to them and their Randroid concerns. And, we'll be there - virtually speaking - offering coverage of this momentous event featuring millions of people throughout the day. Literally thousands of busloads of true patriots - as opposed to the other, non-patriotic Americans - will be bussed in (at their own expense) by FreedomWorks (run by the corporate lobbyist Dick Armey). Hopefully many will be wearing period costumes and playing fifes, since we know that playing dress-up games is in their DNA.
Will there be a blimp? Wait and see!
To prepare yourself for the
Ron Pa Patriotic March By The Only True Patriots In The United States, watch this video of corporate lobbyist Dick Armey supporting illegal immigration, see our coverage of Citizen Journalist Glenn Reynolds, and make sure and see our extensive tea parties coverage. Also, ask yourself why your leaders encouraged you to go to townhall meetings unarmed (intellectually speaking). They just wanted you to act out in public and throw a tantrum; they didn't encourage you to ask questions like these despite how really pressing a politician on that could have quashed Obamacare.
UPDATE: OK, maybe the estimates were a bit high. You can see a traffic cam here and here. CNN has a live feed of the speakers at cnn.com/live, and a live feed looking at the crowd is here. For your dress-up games entertainment, see this.
UPDATE 2: This official page has a list of speakers: 912dc.org/agenda. They include at least three people from FreedomWorks (supports massive immigration), at least one from the Cato Institute (ditto), and Rep. Mike Pence (ditto). The "star" power is provided by a Baldwin brother: Stephen (apparently Mickey Dolenz wasn't available). And, from the libertarian side of things, they've got speakers from Ron Paul's "Campaign for Liberty", the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, and the Free State Project. They've also got speakers from two race-based groups: Mario Lopez of the Hispanic Leadership Fund and Hector Barreto of the Latino Coalition. The latter was a signatory to an infamous letter demanding amnesty for illegal aliens. That and all the rest illustrates the stupidity of these people: they're supporting race-based power and massive immigration and think that by doing that they're going to lower their taxes.
UPDATE 4: Glenn Beck is now ranting about corruption and encouraging his audience to think of the country first instead of thinking of themselves as Democrats and Republicans. The latter I strongly support. Unfortunately, what he appears to want to fill the partisan gap is some pretty extreme libertarian concepts; see the first link in this post and note the speakers from libertarian groups. And, regarding corruption, who exactly does Glenn Beck think he's palling around with? Many of his fellow "patriots", as discussed above, support massive immigration and do so because they're paid off or because they want race-based power.
UPDATE 5: If you aren't sick of this already, Pajamas Media has pictures at pajamasmedia.com/vodkapundit/2009/09/12/they-will-be-heard. Meanwhile, from the George Soros-funded side of things, there are pictures here and here.
UPDATE 6: In a few days, Glenn Beck will be the dinner speaker at a Michigan Chamber of Commerce gathering: michamber.com/mx/futureforum. The opening speaker will be Tom Donohue of the US Chamber of Commerce. The latter group is such a strong supporter of amnesty and massive immigration of any kind that back in 2006, Rep. James Sensenbrenner suggested that they should register as a Registered Foreign Agent. If Beck wants to oppose corruption, the US CofC would be a great place to start.
UPDATE 8: The page alan.com/2009/09/12/the-gop-corporate-push-behind-the-912-teabaggers reminds us that, in addition to several others who appear to have a "dog in the hunt" as they say, the "Bronze Co-Sponsors" of FreedomWorks' 912dc.com include the Club for Growth (doesn't care about or supports massive immigration), Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform (whoa nelly: see this and this), and at least two groups linked to the Koch family (the "Kochtopus"): Heartland Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute. If you oppose corruption and support our immigration laws, few of the people and groups listed anywhere in this post are your friends.
UPDATE 9 (9/13/09): The video here shows a group supposedly from ACORN being ejected from the DC rally. They were selling "Don't tread on me flags" and if the description is accurate, they were told to leave by the police. They didn't and someone from the rally followed them and encouraged them to leave, with someone from the supposed ACORN group swiping the tea partier with a flag and pushing his wife. Obviously, they shouldn't have done that, but it would also be interesting to know whether there are rules against vending or what was the original reason they were asked to leave (if they were asked to leave).
And, the tea partiers have a message for the millions of Americans who are unemployed: FU. Glenn Reynolds approvingly links (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/85089) to chicagoboyz.net/archives/9188.html which is happy to point out that - unlike millions of those with whom they supposedly share citizenship - the tea partiers are employed:
Getting hundreds of thousands of kids, the professionally unemployed and government workers to show up isn’t that hard (especially if someone buys the bus tickets). Getting two million middle-class, middle-aged people with jobs, careers, children and businesses is way, way more impressive.
When it comes right down to it, the great majority of tea partiers seem to have little or no concern for their (fellow?) American citizens: they only care about themselves. If anyone disagrees, provide some evidence of tea partiers making proposals that acknowledge there are people other than themselves living here. Even easier: find a non-Southern California tea partier who gives a whoop that what Dick Armey and the rest want would make Southern California's situation even worse. Coming up with "comprehensive" solutions isn't something they're interested in, with the "going Galt" types thinking it's the height of patriotism to turn their backs on the U.S. and run away.
UPDATE 10: ABC News calls out FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe by name (link) for falsely saying on stage at the rally that ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance. I don't think even FreedomWorks would do something like that intentionally, and I don't think that ABC would have called a Dem-friendly organizer out by name, but that's now a bit of a story instead of the flowering of Randrian principles that the organizers would have wanted.
UPDATE 11: In reply to the ninth update, in comments Ann says:
This seems to be based on a simple assumption: if you care about other people, you must therefore believe that more government involvement is the best way to help... Most of the tea partiers do not believe in that premise, and would point to a lot of disasterous government programs to back up their point.
Let me put it this way. The Dem solution to U.S. problems would be massive government programs that would - just as a coincidence - give more power to the Dems. The GOP solution would be slightly smaller programs that would - just as a coincidence - give contracts to their contributors. The solution offered by the tea party followers - those who aren't in on the game - is some combination of "what, me worry?", "I've got mine, Jack", and "get bent".
We've got two wars going on, millions of Americans are out of work, millions of foreign citizens are squatting here contrary to our laws taking jobs that Americans could be doing, and the tea partiers are consorting with those who support amnesty and massive guest worker programs and - ultimately - whining about completely self-centered financial matters.
The attached video is from October, 2007 and features Dick Armey of FreedomWorks (also a tea parties organizer) sticking up for illegal aliens. He claims "I don't like illegal immigration", but then engages in indirect baby-waving in order to in effect support it. While the video is a recent upload to Youtube, it's been available for a while at Reason Magazine (including a couple comments from me: reason.com/blog/show/125183.html). Not only that, but FreedomWorks hasn't been trying to hide his comments and has Reason's post re-printed at their site:
The American Petroleum Institute is starting a new astroturf movement called "Energy Citizens": rallies in "about 20 states" designed to:
"put a human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy and to aim a loud message at those states' U.S. Senators to avoid the mistakes embodied in the House climate bill and the Obama Administration’s tax increases on our industry."
If you've been following our tea parties coverage, you're probably thinking: "corporate astroturf? Call in the tea partiers!" And, in fact, FreedomWorks did call them in to the Houston rally. However, those inside the meeting apparently didn't want to rub shoulders with the hoi polloi and turned them away, as you can see on the attached video. Bear in mind that the source is Public Citizen via ThinkProgress , so there's the possibility that it was faked up. However, that appears to be slight. While some will no doubt laugh at them for being useful idiots (OK, I admit it), it's mostly just pathetic. If the oil companies (or FreedomWorks' funders, or the Koch family) want a crowd, at the least try to get some money out of it. That's what it's all about, right?
Paul Krugman of the New York Times might have done the tea parties a great big favor by giving them a great big pinata to whack at: the fact that Krugman tries to do a hit piece on them (link). Shortly after engaging in ad hominems and losing his train of thought for a few paragraphs, he says this:
...it turns out that the tea parties don’t represent a spontaneous outpouring of public sentiment. They’re AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects. In particular, a key role is being played by FreedomWorks, an organization run by Richard Armey, the former House majority leader, and supported by the usual group of right-wing billionaires. And the parties are, of course, being promoted heavily by Fox News.
While there's at least one instance of "AstroTurf" (a video produced by the GOP), in the main the parties do represent an outpouring of public sentiment: there are a lot of angry people out there. The problem is that their anger is unfocused and what they're doing is going to be completely ineffective. Rather than "AstroTurf", the word he's looking for is "useful idiot". Those attending the "parties" are more or less simply useful idiots for Beltway insiders like Dick Armey and Grover Norquist as well as for GOP strategists who want to make a name for themselves, t-shirt vendors, Pajamas Media, Fox News, and the Koch family.
If those attending the events wanted to stop being useful idiots and really wanted to do something effective - and something that would be opposed by everyone on that list except the t-shirt vendors - they'd help block amnesty. As a bonus, that would also be opposed by Paul Krugman.
PJTV: I talk with PubliusPundit - and Tucson Tea Party organizer - Robert Mayer, and with Tea Party facilitators Matt Kibbe of Freedomworks and Chris Bond of Americans for Prosperity about tea parties and where they should go next.
Click their name's link for more on the AFP; at least as of November of last year the chairman of their foundation's board was David Koch of the Koch family and they'd received money from that foundation; do a search for Kochtopus if you aren't familiar with their good works.
It's just a popular movement, dontcha know.
1. Over the weekend, there were apparently just three "parties": Buffalo; Stamford, Connecticut; and Essex County, Massachusetts.
2. The aftermath of the one in Essex County is promoted by Glenn Reynolds at pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/75093 and pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/75109. About a hundred people showed up. The Congressman for that area appears to be John Tierney, a Democrat. In 2004, he got 213,000 votes and his GOP opponent got 91,000. That means that the 100 people represent 0.05% of the votes he got, and 0.1% of the votes his opponent got. I'm sure he's scared out of his wits.
3. The tea partiers' tantrum is revealing a bit of a persecution complex, as Insty (pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/74907), Eric Odom (taxdayteaparty.com/2009/03/florida-gov-shuts-down-tea-party), and some others try to make a big deal about Cape Coral, Florida cancelling a planned event. Many of them link to this which they apparently didn't read:
WINK News spoke to the director of parks for Cape Coral. He says that even now if [the original organizer] is willing to get insurance for the event he'll likely re-authorize it.
Since that time, FreedomWorks (freedomworks.org/blog/bstein80/cape-coral-tea-party-is-on) apparently bought insurance and filled out the forms or similar. Requiring permits for marches and the like is a very standard practice; cities can abuse those rules and if they do they should be sued. However, that's apparently not the case here: the city had reasonable demands that the original organizers didn't want to abide by. The fact that it's back on should indicate that there really was nothing to this story to begin with.
It also illustrates that those promoting the protests have to resort to drama queen actions or are completely unaware of how things like protests work.
UPDATE: Here's the "Special Event Permit Process" for groups of over 500 people on public property right on Cape Coral's city site.
Melanie Morgan of Move America Forward offers "Why I stormed Sen.
FreedomWorks Foundation sponsored a luncheon for Capitol Hill staffers to discuss immigration reform that will balance both security and economic concerns. In particular, the forum will examine options for strengthening our borders while establishing procedures that provide law-abiding workers a legitimate path to the American workplace.It was her brilliant idea - perhaps as a way to get cheap labor for her horse ranch - that led to the Pence massive amnesty scheme, you know, the one that would allow unlimited immigrants.
FreedomWorks chairman and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey was joined by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN, 6), and Helen Krieble, President of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation.
Pausing briefly to wipe the "cheap" vegetables off his chin, Dick offers the usual false choice as well as a scare tactic:
"The Pence and Hutchison plans are on the right track. These serious legislative proposals first secure the border and address the need to supply necessary labor to critical sectors of the economy. Forcibly removing 15 million people is impractical and unrealistic, actions like this would be more characteristic of police state and not a free society."His group supposedly has 800,000 members, but he is/was also one of the leaders of "Americans for Border and Economic Security", a group created by George Bush to push his guest worker scheme.
UPDATE: There are some comments Armey made after the lunch in "Armey blasts Republicans over opposition to guest-worker plan" by Dave Montgomery of McClatchy Newspapers. He refers to those Republicans - whether just leaders or constituents - who oppose Bush's "guest" worker program as "jerks". Of course, Montgomery concentrates on the name-calling and doesn't ask Armey whether or not he's simply a paid cheap labor shill.
..."There is a reluctance to sign up for something that might turn out not to be the type of immigration reform bill we want to see," said John Gay , who runs a coalition in support of guest-worker programs that includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, First Data Corp. and Marriott International Inc.In other words, will it be almost completely against the wishes of the vast majority of Americans, or will it be completely against the wishes of the vast majority of Americans? That is, to them, the question.
Republican lobbyists including Ed Gillespie, the party's former national chairman, and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, are seeking to raise money for a public relations- campaign of as much as $3 million to support Bush's plan. The lobbyists are asking companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to contribute between $50,000 and $250,000 to pay for the effort.
Bush's plan aims to allow employers to hire immigrant "guest workers," which companies want. Supporters say their concern is that Republican lawmakers pushing for tighter borders on national-security grounds will pressure Bush eventually to accept a measure making it harder rather than easier to hire workers from overseas.
"We are still uncertain what the policy is that the group will advocate for," Lee Culpepper , a lobbyist for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, said of the Gillespie-Armey effort. "Will it be only whatever the White House wants, or will it be independent policy goals formed by the members of the group?"
What will Bush's propaganda consist of?
The campaign being planned by Gillespie and Armey is aimed at emphasizing the economic benefits of immigrant workers, said Terry Holt, a former Bush campaign spokesman who is working with them on the effort.Translation: "Aww... Why do you hate-filled people hate our cheap laborers? They're wonderful people, despite what you evil xenophobes say about them!"
..."We want to communicate the great message of what immigration means to the American economy," Holt said. "In this political climate, it's also necessary to talk about how our borders must be secured."
..."Immigrants aren't being talked about in a very endearing way [by " Talk-show hosts and newspaper columnists"]," Armey said. "But we're talking about real good people who are doing what we all are trying to do, which is feed our babies."
Gillespie's group, which also includes former Democratic Representative Cal Dooley of California, is courting companies such as Greenwood Village, Colorado-based First Data and Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Food Inc. as well as groups representing landscaping businesses, restaurants, hotels, nurses and hospitals.Obviously, the great majority of Americans are opposed to these various plans. It's also extremely dangerous for our country when corporations are listened to and the people are not: "Would a Bill of Impeachment Wake-Up President Bush?"
 In 2003 John Gay was identified as "Vice President, Governmental Affairs, of the American Hotel & Lodging Association". In 2004, he was identified as "vice president at the International Franchise Association". In both cases he was also identified as "co-chair of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition". The latter group is at ewic.org. Their membership consists of a large number of big business advocacy organizations, together with... the American Immigration Lawyers Association. In the "small world, eh" dep't, there's also a link between the AILA and Rep. Chris Cannon.
 Lee Culpepper is also Chairman of the National Immigration Forum and works for the National Restaurant Association. Last mentioned here.