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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do Hannity and North operate a "charitable" fraud?

By Joe Conason

A potentially damaging scandal erupted today that implicates Fox News Channel personalities Sean Hannity and Oliver North in the worst kind of charitable fraud. According to complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the IRS, the two right-wing icons have exploited American veterans for personal and partisan gain. The actions filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington accuse Hannity and North of misusing millions of dollars collected by the Freedom Alliance, a charity they promote and control.

Similar accusations were aired recently by right-wing blogger Debbie Schlussel, who complained that the "Freedom Concerts" sponsored by the Freedom Alliance and headlined by Hannity were not donating all proceeds -- estimated at more than $10 million -- to scholarships for the children of wounded and killed service members, as advertised. But now CREW, which had been investigating the same allegations independently before Schlussel posted her warning, has completed its own probe and filed legal actions before the two federal agencies.

The CREW complaint to the FTC charges that "Hannity and Freedom Concerts have engaged in illegal and deceptive marketing practices by suggesting that all money generated by ticket sales for the Freedom Concerts he sponsors each summer goes to scholarships for children of killed and wounded service members." Duane Ward, the promoter who heads Premiere Marketing, which produces the concerts, also runs Premiere Speakers Bureau -- which exclusively represents Hannity and North. "After staging the concerts, Premiere donates an unknown portion of the concert proceeds to the Freedom Alliance," according to CREW.

CREW points out that Hannity often promotes the concerts on his radio and television broadcasts, claiming: "Every penny, 100 percent of the donations are applied to the Freedom Alliance scholarship fund." Appearing with Hannity, North has said: "There’s no overhead. There’s no expenses taken out. Every penny that’s donated or that’s raised through things like the Freedom Concerts goes to the scholarship fund."

In its IRS complaint against Freedom Alliance, CREW says that the group’s charitable tax status should be voided because it has engaged in "prohibited political activities" such as its annual "Freedom Cruise" with Republican politicians, including Newt Gingrich and Michael Steele.

"There is little more despicable than preying upon the generosity of Americans by deceiving them into believing they are aiding the children of killed and wounded service members when the truth is most of the money is going to a for-profit venture," said CREW executive director Melanie Sloan in a press release. "Americans deserve to know whether this high-profile charity allegedly dedicated to helping veterans and their families is really doing what it says it is."

Not surprisingly, Hannity and North and their allies have sought to refute the charges first lodged by Schlussel. But one of the researchers who worked on this matter says there is much more that will be revealed in the coming days.

FEC commissioner helped RNC conceal role in 2004 vote suppression

By Brad Jacobson

Judge found sworn testimony 'belied' the facts

091217 caroline hunter ap 218 Exclusive: FEC  commissioner helped RNC conceal role in 2004 vote suppressionCaroline Hunter, a Bush-appointed Federal Election Commissioner who remains in office, provided misleading statements under oath in an effort to conceal Republican National Committee involvement in vote suppression activities during the 2004 presidential election, a Raw Story investigation has found.

Legal experts say Hunter's submission of such statements under oath is a serious ethical and professional breach which could warrant a bar review and potential disbarment. At the time, Hunter was serving as deputy counsel to the Republican National Committee.

How a young Republican lawyer became a central witness

In the final days of the 2004 presidential election, the Democratic National Committee files an injunction against the Republican National Committee in New Jersey federal court, alleging its involvement in using lists of returned mail to challenge 35,000 newly registered Ohio voters. This tactic, also known as voter caging, is historically employed to suppress votes from minority and low-income citizens who tend to vote Democratic.

At the time, Republican Party officials are busy stoking claims that voter fraud at the polls is a grave threat to the country.

On Oct. 20, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett decry rampant voter fraud in the state.

"The reports of voter fraud in Ohio are some of the most alarming in the nation," Gillespie asserts.

Two days later, the Ohio Republican Party challenges 35,000 voters, most of whom live in urban, Democratic-leaning areas.

On Nov. 1, the showdown over the injunction plays out in Newark Federal District Court.

"Is the RNC discussing the political aspects of wide-scale voter fraud? Absolutely, your Honor," argues RNC counsel Bobby Burchfield. "They're talking about it every day, because it's a pervasive problem."

rsilogo Exclusive: FEC commissioner helped RNC conceal role in 2004  vote suppressionFederal Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise listens to arguments in the case. Debevoise is intimately aware of the laws against voter suppression.

In 1981, Judge Debevoise presided over a case in which the Democratic National Committee accused the RNC of violating the Voting Rights Act by using vote caging tactics in predominantly minority precincts in Newark and surrounding areas.

In 1982, the RNC agreed to settle the lawsuit by entering a consent decree that prohibited it from using "ballot security" measures, meaning any efforts to prevent allegedly unqualified voters from casting a ballot. The decree was revised in 1987 to include a provision that required the RNC to first gain prior approval from the court before engaging in such measures.

Thus, the pivotal focus for Judge Debevoise in 2004 rests on whether Republicans have violated the decree.

Sworn testimony from a young Republican lawyer plays a central role in the RNC's defense. That lawyer's name is Caroline Hunter.

In her affidavit (pdf), submitted under penalty of perjury, Hunter claims "the RNC is not initiating, controlling, directing, or funding any programs of 'voter challenges' … including the effort by the Ohio Republican Party to challenge voter registrations in Ohio."

"Although representatives of the RNC were involved in the emails discussing the possibility of the challenges described above," she continues, "the RNC has not initiated any challenges to the absentee ballots in Ohio or in any other state."

Burchfield tells the court that Hunter's affidavit is proof the RNC isn't violating the decree. Rather, he says, her statement demonstrates the party was diligent to avoid "initiating, controlling, directing or funding" any voter challenger programs.

Yet her affidavit is submitted along with email communications showing RNC members engaging in vote caging activities in Ohio. They also demonstrate that the RNC worked in concert with state Republican Party officials. Hunter is on a few of the emails but her involvement is unclear.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Debevoise rules that the RNC has violated the decree.

In granting the injunction, Debevoise specifically addresses Hunter's statement denying that the Party was involved in vote caging activities. He finds her sworn testimony -- made as a witness -- unsupported by the facts in the case.

"Miss Hunter," Judge Debevoise tells the court, "states in a conclusory way that, 'To the best of my knowledge, after due investigation, the RNC is not initiating, controlling, directing, or funding any programs of voter challenges as described above, including the effort by the Ohio Republican Party to challenge voter registration in Ohio as alleged.'"

"Miss Hunter's information and belief," he concludes, "is belied by the evidence developed during the brief period of discovery."

Experts raise questions of legal ethics

Provided with documents from the trial, legal experts interviewed by Raw Story characterized Hunter's statements to the court as a potential breach of legal ethics.

Gerry Hebert, an election law expert who spent over twenty years as a Justice Department attorney prosecuting voting rights cases, addressed Hunter's attempt to linguistically circumvent the dictates of the consent decree.

Hebert, currently the executive director at the Campaign Legal Center, pointed out that although Hunter said the RNC had not been involved in "initiating, controlling, directing, or funding" voter challenges, her statement was merely "very carefully worded."

"It doesn't mean they were not aware, it doesn't mean they did not participate, it doesn't mean that they didn't assist in the programs of voter challenges of the Ohio State Republican Party," he said.

"The judge makes findings of fact that directly contradict her statement," he added, after reviewing the court record. "At a minimum, it strikes me as misleading."

Raw Story located the corresponding passage in the 1987 Consent Decree, which supports Hebert's findings. It states:

"[T]he RNC shall not engage in, and shall not assist or participate in, any ballot security programs unless the program (including the method and timing of any challenges resulting from the program) has been determined by this Court to comply with the provisions of the Consent Order and applicable law."

While legal experts confirmed that Hunter's statements shield her from perjury charges, they argued that they still pose ethical problems that potentially could result in her disbarment.

They also made clear that this was not a statement by a lawyer in open court to the judge, but rather an affidavit signed under oath by a witness in the case for one of the parties.

"If a lawyer makes a misleading statement in sworn testimony to the court," said Hebert, "and then the court not only finds that the statement was misleading but it turns out to be 'belied' by the actual facts in the case, I think a state bar would be interested in that."

"It could be viewed as a serious ethical breach for an attorney, one that might warrant a review by the state bar in which she's accredited and may be grounds for disbarment," Hebert continued.

Deborah Rhode, a legal ethics professor at Stanford University, agreed.

"Absolutely," Rhode said, when asked if this would create ethical problems for Hunter. "It should be a basis for concern."

"In a perfect world," Rhode added, a state bar would review Hunter's actions, but she didn't think it was likely to occur.

Regardless, Hebert said, "It's very troubling that a lawyer who presently sits as a federal official at the FEC would submit a document under oath to a court that a court finds is contrary to fact."

Joe Rich, a former Voting Section chief at the Justice Department who spent nearly forty years at the agency, said he found it disturbing a sitting FEC commissioner provided misleading statements under oath.

"She was discredited by the judge," Rich told Raw Story, stressing the severity of her actions. "He didn't find her credible."

FEC spokeswoman Judith Ingram declined to comment on Hunter’s behalf.

Emails show Hunter received caging email

Hunter was also named as a recipient on one of the most incriminating RNC emails discussing vote-caging activities in Ohio. The message included plans to roll out similar activities in Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Mexico.

Her name, along with others in the RNC hierarchy, appears on other emails as a scheduled participant in conference calls to discuss voter challenges. The subject lines on the emails are "Cuyahoga Returned List" and "Voter Reg Fraud Strategy conference calls."

Legal experts say that without further proof, Hunter can claim that as RNC deputy counsel, her inclusion in the email and conference calls was only to advise colleagues on how to stay within the legal bounds of the consent decree and other election laws. They agreed this is a separate matter from the misleading statements she provided under oath.

But while there is a five-year statute of limitations on perjury in federal courts, Hebert said he wasn't aware of any statute of limitations for a state bar review of Hunter's affidavit.

Part II: Ideology trumps experience in Federal Election Commissioner€™s rise

Catholic League: Church Abuse Scandal Is A Crisis Of ‘Homosexuality,’ Not ‘Pedophilia’

By Igor Volsky

Recently, the Catholic Church — and even the Pope himself — have been coming under increasing criticism for failing to appropriately discipline church officials who had sexually abused thousands of children. On March 24th, the New York Times characterized “Pope Benedict XVI’s latest apology for the emerging global scandal of child abuse by predatory priests,” as inadequate, noting that Benedict “made no mention of the need to discipline diocesan leaders most responsible for shielding hundreds of priests from criminal penalties by moving them from parish to parish to continue their crimes.”

The Catholic League responded the op-ed by running an ad in the New York Times criticizing the paper for its editorial and blaming the scandal on homosexuality:

catholicdefense1

The argument itself is confusing and contradictory. If “homosexuality does not cause predatory behavior” then why is is the “pedophilia crisis” a “homosexual crisis”? Most of the molesters were also over the age 30 but the Catholic League does not rename the “pedophilia crisis” an “older man crisis” or an “white older man” crisis or anything of the sort. But all this misses the point. What the Catholic League is trying to do is imply that there is a connection between homosexuality and molestation, just like segregationists once accused African Americans of raping white women, and Jews were accused of murdering Christian babies.

In reality, pedophilia has little to do with the gender of the child or the orientation of the molester; pedophiles are attracted to youth and control. “Accessibility is more the factor in who a pedophile abuses,” psychotherapist Joe Kort writes. “This may explain the high incidence of children molested in church communities and fraternal organizations, where the pedophile may more easily have access to children.”

Last night on Larry King Live, Catholic League President Bill Donahue tried to dismiss this argument by claiming that “it’s not a pedophilia” because “most of the victims were post pubescent,” as old as 12 or 13 years of age. Anything older than that is the fault of gays.

Update Maureen Dowd writes, "Donohue is still talking about the problem as an indiscretion rather than a crime. If it mostly involves men and boys, that’s partly because priests for many years had unquestioned access to boys."
Update The Interfaith Alliance strongly denounced the ad today. "I find [Donahue's] reasoning repugnant. To claim this is a ‘homosexual crisis’ rather than a ‘pedophilia crisis’ is a misguided insult to the millions of gay men and women who find this scandal as devastating as their heterosexual counterparts," the group's President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, said in a statement. "Rather than pointlessly pointing fingers, Mr. Donahue should start focusing on the need for accountability and transparency," Gaddy added.

LL Cool J Says Fox News Is ‘Misrepresenting’ One Of His Old Interviews To Promote Sarah Palin’s New Show

By Matt Corley

Yesterday, Fox News announced that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will host the first edition of her “Real American Stories” show on Thursday, which “will feature stories about a Marine who died to save his fellow soldiers and a stock broker who helps underprivileged students pay for college.” According to numerous press reports and a Fox promo, Palin’s program will also showcase “In Their Own Words” segments with Toby Keith, Jack Welch and LL Cool J. Watch the promo:

But don’t be confused. The segment with LL Cool J is not an interview conducted by Palin. On his Twitter page, the rapper and actor said that Fox was “misrepresenting” an old interview “in order to promote Sarah Palin’s show”:

LL Cool J tweets about Fox 'misrepresenting' an interview with him

Fox News “did not immediately return requests for comment” from NBC Washington and the New York Times. Palin’s supporters are already lashing out at LL Cool J. Conservatives4Palin responded to LL, saying, “don’t flatter yourself” and arguing that Fox “never stated that Palin interviewed LL Cool J. It’s not Fox’s fault that others in the press misconstrued what the press release actually stated to mean that you and Palin talked.”

Watch LL Cool J’s “Real American Stories” segment here, which was not conducted by Sarah Palin.

Update Gawker points out that the LL Cool J video on the Real American Stories website appears to have been removed this morning. The above link now says "The page you were looking for does not exist."
Update A Fox spokesperson tells TVNewser that they are "cutting" the LL Cool J "interview from the special." The Fox spokesperson also included a jab at the rapper, saying "it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others."
Update LL Cool J's spokesman said in a statement to the AP that "the show had planned to use an interview from 2008 that was being repurposed without LL's permission" and "this statement is not a reflection of any feelings LL has toward Fox News or Ms. Palin, whom he has never met, rather a clarification of what we have seen published in the media."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cool Conservative Gear: Gretchen Carlson Highlights Tea Party Fashion Site

Note: I couldn't put the video that goes along with the story, if you want to see the video click on the link..

By Danny Shea

"Fox & Friends" co-host Gretchen Carlson(R-news model) Tuesday interviewed two women who say they've solved the tea party fashion dilemma: the founders of CoolConservativeGear.com.

Carlson introduced Sheila Kinhe and Betsy Gall as "stay-at-home moms" and said the pair launched Cool Conservative Gear in frustration over not being able to find any clothing for conservative women.

"[Betsy] hosted this wonderful home party, we had Fox News on in the background, some conservative books and magazines lying around, and some wine, it was great....our friends came and they shopped!" the founders said of their launch party, which sold 100 t-shirts.

Kihne and Gall have given their clothing to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

Newshounds points out that Carlson did not mention that "stay-at-home mom" Kihne is also Vice Chair of the GOP Third Congressional District in Minnesota and the creator of a blog, The Activist Next Door.

M.C.L Comment: To show the tea party folks I'm kind I can cut an ad for them right here and right now...

If you're a female tea bagger and you want to say I hate that negro president without actually saying it? Well Mrs. Tea bagger you can say I hate that negro president in a 100% cotton, hot pink t-shirt and matching hat. sizes Fat, fatter, and holy crap that's a big ole right wing woman.

The Yes Men call O’Keefe, Breitbart ’sad and pathetic’ for targeting ACORN

By Sahil Kapur The ends justify the means, say The Yes Men, but only as long as you're going after the right people.

The duo's latest movie The Yes Men Fix The World, out on DVD April 1, chronicles the real-life efforts of anti-globalization activists Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum to expose corporate malfeasance in unorthodox ways.

"What we do is pass ourselves off as representatives of big corporations we don’t like," Bonanno explains in the film. "We make fake websites, then wait for people to accidentally invite us to conferences."

They've shined a spotlight on controversial practices of powerful companies like Exxon-Mobil and Halliburton. One of their most prominent hoaxes occurred in 2004, when Bichlbaum posed as a spokesman for Dow Chemical on BBC News television and -- under false pretenses -- accepted "full responsibility" for a disaster its subsidiary created in Bhopal, India.

Such tactics have now been emulated by conservatives such as James O'Keefe, who famously went undercover and unveiled the dodgy dealings of some ACORN employees last year, the video clips of which were vigorously promoted by writer and publisher Andrew Breitbart.

"For O'Keefe and Breitbart to be targeting ACORN is incredibly sad and pathetic," Bonanno told Raw Story. "Most of its members are lower-income home owners, so these are model Americans -- pull themselves up by their bootstraps type of people -- people who are often very poor."

In a videotaped conversation with blogger Mike Stark at last month's CPAC convention, Breitbart, probed about the morality of O'Keefe's actions, pointed to The Yes Men as an example of progressive activists using similarly questionable means to attain their goals.

But it's not his and O'Keefe's tactics that The Yes Men take issue with; it's who they're taking aim at, and the now-extinct community group didn't deserve the treatment, Bonanno alleged.

"It's why you're lying and who's gaining and who's losing as a result," he said. "There are liars and there are assholes. What James O'Keefe is doing is making a lot of lower-income people lose, unfortunately. And it's supported by a bunch of very nasty, mean-spirited people."

"A lie itself isn't necessarily bad," Bonanno continued, drawing out the difference between The Yes Men and individuals like O'Keefe. "We lie in order to criticize people who are abusing their power. They lie in order to humiliate and take out people who are at the receiving end of power."

The Yes Men have been chastised as "world-renowned troublemakers" as well as "sick, twisted and cruel" beings by mainstream news organizations. In their latest of two films, the duo deplores the "free-market cult" they claim is centered around "letting greed solve the problem."

They seek to comfort the afflicted by actively afflicting the comforted. And that's the opposite of what anti-ACORN activists are doing, Bonanno purported. "By targeting ACORN, they're targeting people who are victims of a very nasty power dynamic. So, I think it's a mean thing to do."

Bonanno found it "amazing" how Congress insists on taking aim at groups like ACORN over "a few bad apples" when large defense contractors, for instance, have committed far worse transgressions on a broader and more damaging level and walked away unscathed.

Ultimately, Bonanno concluded that lies and trickery are helpful to fight the establishment in an age where corporations wield unprecedented power and where "the political middle is being pushed further and further and further to the right. M.C.L. Comment: In right wing world trying to break an organization that help lower income people and signing up people to vote is very similar to exposing corporate corruption.. Let's be real here if ACORN was on the right and were doing the things the right accuses ACORN of doing O'Keefe, Breitbart and his corporate masters wouldn't care. ACORN real sins were getting middle class, working poor and inner city people to vote and those people tend to vote Democratic that's one and two ACORN were giving voice to those who wanted to stop the corporate exploitation. The sad thing is that we had some Democrats who didn't want for facts and jump on the strip ACORN of its funding fever created by O'Keefe, O'Keefe three dollar dumpster trash sidekick Hannah Giles and their bank roller Andrew Bretibart. ACORN is gone and the right wing isn't happy because they stop some evil group, they're happy because if people can't sign up to vote there's going to be less people voting against Republicans.

Gun Advocates Plan DC March On 15th Anniversary Of Oklahoma City Bombing

By Ben Armbruster On April 19, the pro-gun group Second Amendment March (SAM) will lead a demonstration to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, “to remind America that the Second Amendment is necessary to maintain our right to self defense.” The group has sponsored several rallies across the country already, including ones last weekend in Frankfort, KY and Helena, MT. Second Amendment March founder Skip Coryell explained the group’s motives:

I saw a lot of our freedoms being stripped away,” he said. “I was concerned about what the present Congress and administration were going to do. So were a lot of other people. [...]

“If you look at Barack Obama, he’s got the most anti-Second Amendment voting record of anyone who ever served. I just don’t trust him.

He said when George W. Bush was president, he didn’t feel as threatened.

Coryell claims he chose April 19 “because it is the 235th anniversary of Lexington-Concord.” However, the date also carries a rather unfortunate significance: the day militia sympathizers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog The Daily Dish wrote in to express concern:

As a person from Oklahoma City, I find the entire idea upsetting beyond belief. These protests are going to take place on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. The idea of a bunch of armed right-wingers parading around on that day — especially here — makes me *ill*. Do any of these people know what actually happened here on that day?

Even some commenters on the Tea Party Patriot-linked SAM web page for the march in Oklahoma were troubled about any potential gun rights rally in Oklahoma City. “Everyone should *implore* the Oklahoma coordinator to schedule this march on a date that is NOT the anniversary of the Murrah Building attack,” said one commenter.

April 19 also marks the end of the weeks-long siege of the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, TX. Dan Casey of the Roanake Times reported that “[s]ome activists in the gun-rights movement have tried to talk Coryell out of organizing” the march, fearing that the “political timing is bad” or that it “might lead people to believe the gun movement is a paper tiger with a few loud voices.”

Of course Coryell’s fears are completely baseless. Obama has no intention of taking any anyone’s gun rights. In fact, during his campaign for president, Obama said, “I believe in the Second Amendment, and if you are a law-abiding gun owner, you have nothing to fear from an Obama administration.”

Update A separate gun rights group will also be holding a rally in Virginia on April 19th. Mike Vanderboegh, who has threatened congressional Democrats and called on Americans to "throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide" because of health care reform, has said he will be speaking at the event.

Beck guest host Doc Thompson: Tanning salon tax makes health care reform a ‘racist law.’

By Alex Seitz-Wald

The recently passed health care reform act includes a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning salons to help pay for expanded insurance coverage for millions of Americans. Radio host Doc Thompson(R-minor league right wing dingle berry), subbing in for Fox News host Glenn Beck on his radio show today, used the tax to make the absurd accusation that the health bill is somehow “racist”:

For years I’ve suggested that racism was in decline and yeah, there are some, you know, incidents that still happen with regards to racism, but most of the claims I’ve said for years, well, they’re not really real. But I realize now that I was wrong. For I now too feel the pain of racism. Racism has been dropped at my front door and the front door of all lighter-skinned Americans. The health care bill the president just singed into law includes a 10 percent tax on all indoor tanning sessions starting July 1st, and I say, who uses tanning? Is it dark-skinned people? I don’t think so. I would guess that most tanning sessions are from light-skinned Americans. Why would the President of the United Stats of America — a man who says he understands racism, a man who has been confronted with racism — why would he sign such a racist law? Why would he agree to do that? Well now I feel the pain of racism.

Listen here:

The real motivation behind the tanning tax is to disincentive the carcinogenic practice of indoor tanning. Later in the show, when asked about real racism — Congressional Black Caucus members being spit upon and yelled at — Thompson refused to believe their testimony, despite the presence of new video evidence. Thompson suggested that the congressmen should be given a lie detector test to see if they are telling the truth. Thompson also began the show by saying that he can be heard regularly “in the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia.” It’s not surprising that Beck would hand off his show to someone with Thompson’s views, considering Beck has called President Obama “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred for white people.” (HT: Atrios)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Attempting To Strip Gays Of Hate Crimes Protections, Oklahoma Removes Protections For Race/Religion Instead

By Igor Volsky In October, President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard Act, expanding the reach of the 1969 hate crimes law to “authorize the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute certain bias-motivated crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.” Previously, the law only allowed for the federal prosecution of anyone who “willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person’s race, color, religion or national origin.”

State lawmakers in Oklahoma argued that the Shepard Act would trample on the free speech rights of religious leaders “who preached out against the lifestyle of the victim who was attacked.” On March 10, the Oklahoma state Senate thought it was passing a bill prohibiting “local and state law enforcement agencies from sharing information about hate crimes with federal authorities if the state of Oklahoma did not recognize the crime as a hate crime by its own statutes.” Oklahoma state law does not recognize “sexual orientation or gender identity” as a special class and fails to provide gay and lesbians with hate crimes protections.

But in trying to strip gays and lesbians of protection, the Oklahoma State Senate inadvertently cited the wrong section of the U.S. code. The bill stripped rights under Title 18 U.S. Code Section 245, but protections for sexual orientation and gender identity is actually under Section 249. From the bill:

Section 24A.12. Except as otherwise provided by state or local law, the Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma and agency attorneys authorized by law, the office of the district attorney of any county of the state, and the office of the municipal attorney of any municipality may keep its litigation files and investigatory reports confidential, except they shall keep their litigation files and investigatory reports confidential upon request of any federal agency when such request is made for the purpose of an attempt to investigate or prosecute an individual or individuals pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 245, except for those records of any individuals convicted pursuant to Section 850 of Title 21 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

Section 245 of the Code refers to race and religious protections. Therefore, Oklahoma actually passed a statute allowing state law enforcement officials to keep information about crimes motivated by race or religion out of the hands of federal authorities.

“The bill in its current form doesn’t take away rights from gays and lesbians,” Oklahoma State Senate Minority Leader Andrew Rice explained. “It takes away rights for religion and race.” Rice said the error occurred during the creation of the bill. “This is most likely a legislative error or at least a typo,” he said. “Gay and lesbian citizens should be upset because someone tried to take their rights away, but minority groups should be concerned that their rights have already been voted to be taken away by the Senate.” “People who consider themselves Jewish, black, even Christians should be outraged,” he added. The bill will likely be modified before it is voted on in the House.

RNC spent $1946.25 at sex-themed nightclub Voyeur West Hollywood.

By Brad Johnson Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele evidently does not share the right’s disdain for Hollywood, a commitment to conservative spending practices, or discomfort with sexuality outside of traditional marriage. The Daily Caller reports that “FEC filings suggest Steele travels in style”:

Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

There are topless ‘dancers’ acting out S&M scenes throughout the night on one of the side stages,” a rave review of Voyeur on Yelp.com describes. “There’s a half-naked girl hanging from a net across the ceiling and at one point I walked to the bathroom and pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks to watch two girls simulating oral sex in a glass case.” Although Steele’s high-flying ways have angered GOP donors, RNC communications director Doug Heye explains, “It takes money to make money.” (HT Oliver Willis)

Forgetting His Attacks On The Netroots, O’Reilly Says Media Are Using ‘Nuts’ To ‘Brand’ Tea Party As ‘Racists

By Matt Corley At the Tea Party protest on Capitol Hill the weekend that health care reform passed the House, reports surfaced of angry Tea Partiers yelling racist and homophobic epithets at Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), and other House Democrats. In the days that followed, a series of vandalism incidents and death threats aimed at lawmakers became public, which were seen by many as a possible manifestation of the tea party’s anger over the passage of health care reform.

Conservatives have responded with outrage, complaining about double standards and hypothesizing that the racial slurs reported on Saturday were fabricated by the African-American lawmakers. In an interview with Laura Ingraham today, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly claimed that connecting the threats and bigoted language to the tea party as a whole was a “grossly unfair” effort to “brand the entire movement” as “a bunch of racists”:

O’REILLY: But the press showed no restraint at all in covering that story and immediately took that and branded the tea parties a bunch of racists. Now, that’s the strategy. This is why it’s a big story. Why I’m leading with it tonight on the Factor. And I got Al Sharpton in the seat. Because I can’t get the others and that tells me something too. I can’t John Lewis and I can’t get Emanuel Cleaver. These are the guys who made the accusations. They won’t come on. That shows, that tells me something. But anyway, the strategy is on the left because the Tea Party movement is a danger to them to brand everybody in it as a racist.

INGRAHAM: Isn’t that a sure sign of a scoundrel’s refuge, though? I mean, you always go to the racist charge.

O’REILLY: Sure. Of course it’s scoundrels. Of course, the left-wing media, you don’t get more scoundrel than those people. And but that’s what they’re doing. You can see it. You can see it that any nut — and there are some nuts, Laura, in the Tea Party movement — any nut and anything will be used to brand the entire movement.

“What is true is that the extreme far left is not often used to brand” the Democratic Party,” observed O’Reilly. “But the extreme right has been used to brand the Republican Party. And that, that’s what’s going on.” Listen here:

Of course, O’Reilly is correct that incidents of bigotry at Tea Party events do not mean that everybody in the Tea Party movement is racist. O’Reilly’s effort to make a nuanced distinction is surprising, however, considering his past efforts to use cherry-picked user comments to label the netroots as “hatemongerers” like “the Ku Klux Klan” and “the Nazi Party.” In 2007, when JetBlue sponsored the YearlyKos convention, O’Reilly attacked the company, saying that “if the company was sponsoring a David Duke convention, we’d do the same story. Hate is hate, no matter where it comes from.” The two or three comments out from a forum in which hundreds of thousands of people participate were not representative of the site as a whole.

When Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) appeared on O’Reilly’s show to defend YearlyKos, which he was attending, he argued that “the fact that there are objectionable people who show up here on this site doesn’t discredit everyone else who participates in this in a wonderful way to share their views on a variety of subjects.” “Your description of that site is so opposite from what it is,” responded O’Reilly. “You are so dead wrong on this.” A year later, when former Vice President Al Gore spoke at the convention (which had been re-named Netroots Nation), O’Reilly declared that “the fact that he went to this thing is the same as if he stepped into the Klan gathering. It’s the same. No difference.”

Whose Country Is It?

By CHARLES M. BLOW

The far-right extremists have gone into conniptions.

The bullying, threats, and acts of violence following the passage of health care reform have been shocking, but they’re only the most recent manifestations of an increasing sense of desperation.

It’s an extension of a now-familiar theme: some version of “take our country back.” The problem is that the country romanticized by the far right hasn’t existed for some time, and its ability to deny that fact grows more dim every day. President Obama and what he represents has jolted extremists into the present and forced them to confront the future. And it scares them.

Even the optics must be irritating. A woman (Nancy Pelosi) pushed the health care bill through the House. The bill’s most visible and vocal proponents included a gay man (Barney Frank) and a Jew (Anthony Weiner). And the black man in the White House signed the bill into law. It’s enough to make a good old boy go crazy.

Hence their anger and frustration, which is playing out in ways large and small. There is the current spattering of threats and violence, but there also is the run on guns and the explosive growth of nefarious antigovernment and anti-immigrant groups. In fact, according to a report entitled “Rage on the Right: The Year in Hate and Extremism” recently released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, “nativist extremist” groups that confront and harass suspected immigrants have increased nearly 80 percent since President Obama took office, and antigovernment “patriot” groups more than tripled over that period.

Politically, this frustration is epitomized by the Tea Party movement. It may have some legitimate concerns (taxation, the role of government, etc.), but its message is lost in the madness. And now the anemic Republican establishment, covetous of the Tea Party’s passion, is moving to absorb it, not admonish it. Instead of jettisoning the radical language, rabid bigotry and rising violence, the Republicans justify it. (They don’t want to refute it as much as funnel it.)

There may be a short-term benefit in this strategy, but it’s a long-term loser.

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday took a look at the Tea Party members and found them to be just as anachronistic to the direction of the country’s demographics as the Republican Party. For instance, they were disproportionately white, evangelical Christian and “less educated ... than the average Joe and Jane Six-Pack.” This at a time when the country is becoming more diverse (some demographers believe that 2010 could be the first year that most children born in the country will be nonwhite), less doctrinally dogmatic, and college enrollment is through the roof. The Tea Party, my friends, is not the future.

You may want “your country back,” but you can’t have it. That sound you hear is the relentless, irrepressible march of change. Welcome to America: The Remix.

Little difference between tea party and Grand Old Party

By David Jarman

Polling evidence indicates that tea partiers are just conservative Republicans by another name

With Saturday’s much-publicized rally in Searchlight, Nevada, there is lots of talk about the effect that the tea party movement could have on this November’s elections.

But several polls released this week suggest that the only thing new about the tea party movement might be its name – and that the tea partiers themselves are simply the loudest, most revved-up subset of Republicans.

Quinnipiac’s March 24 survey found that, contrary to the notion that they’re a newly mobilized force of previously apolitical independents, tea party supporters represent the right-most flank of the Republican core. Tea partiers, who made up 13 percent of Quinnipiac’s nationwide sample, approved of the Republican Party by a 60 to 20 percent margin; among independents, by contrast, the GOP’s approval was 28-42 percent.

74 percent of tea partiers identified as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, while only 16 percent said they were Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents. Only 15 percent voted for Barack Obama, while 77 percent went for John McCain (suggesting little of the allegedly rampant “buyer’s remorse”). And while Sarah Palin has an upside-down favorable rating (33-51 percent) among all voters, tea partiers view her favorably by a 72-14 percent spread.

The activation of this die-hard base is what’s helping the Republicans gain an edge in voter intensity going into the midterm election. But there are a few races where there’ll be viable third-party candidate with tea party ties on the ballot – and in these cases, that intensity could spell disaster for the GOP. Quinnipiac finds that the GOP leads the generic House ballot (which asks which party one plans to vote for in November’s congressional elections) 44-39 percent; but when a tea party option is included, the Democrats gain a 36-25 percent edge over the GOP, with the tea party option at 15 percent.

The same dynamic is evident in a March 25 Harris Poll, which looked at a hypothetical 2012 election. It found Barack Obama would defeat Mitt Romney 46-39 percent, but in a three-way race between Obama, Romney, and Sarah Palin as a tea party candidate, it turns into a 45-24-18 percent rout for Obama. The pattern is the same: the Democratic share stays almost the same, while the GOP vote is splintered by the presence of an even more conservative alternative.

In other words, the tea party movement could be as much a curse for the GOP as a blessing.

M.C.L comment: I bet you folks out there already knew these tea party folks were the vocal nutty base of the Republican party and this only confirms it. I have no problem Republicans or conservatives protesting President Obama, but what they're protesting were things they clapped and cheered for.

The things they're screaming about now were things their guy George W.Bush and their GOP majority did when they had power, so my question to the tea party nation is since you're screaming about debt, record spending and threats on personal freedom where were you from 2001-2008?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Congressman Spit On By Tea Party Protester (VIDEO)

From Huffy Post

Last weekend, as the House of Representatives gathered to debate health care reform while Tea Partiers protested outside the Capitol, word emerged that Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) had been spit on by one of the demonstrators.

Cleaver released a statement confirming the incident, but some questioned his claims. Fox News personality Sean Hannity asked if there was any evidence proving that it had actually happened, and Tea Party groups offered a cash reward for proof.

Now video has emerged. Take a look and judge for yourself:

Palin Tells Constitution-Loving Tea Partiers: We Don’t Need A President Who Is A ‘Constitutional Law Professor’

By Faiz Shakir The Tea Party movement loves to express its affection for the Constitution. The Los Angeles Times writes, “Adherence to what supporters deem to be a strict interpretation of constitutional principles is a key tenet of the tea party movement.” Yesterday’s Tea Party rally in Searchlight, NV, for instance, was filled with imagery of the Constitution. Protesters carried signs that read “I honor the Constitution” and “What about the Constitution don’t you understand?” Rally attendee Norman Halfpenny, a 77-year old retired Marine Corps veteran, said, “We need to get our Constitution back.”

In her speech at the rally, Sarah Palin of course paid homage to the Constitution. “Our vision for America is anchored in time-tested truths that the government that governs least governs best, that the Constitution provides the path to a more perfect union — it’s the Constitution,” she exclaimed. And so it’s extremely puzzling that Palin introduced this new attack line against President Obama yesterday:

In these volatile times when we are a nation at war, now more than ever is when we need a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor lecturing us from a lectern.

Ironically, the crowd cheered wildly at Palin’s line. Watch it:

Perhaps the Tea Partiers feel more comfortable with an “MBA President” who leads the country into economic and international crises.

Rubio Admits Repealing Health Care Isn’t Realistic, But Says GOP Should Campaign On It Anyway

By Amanda Terkel

The extreme right-wing of the Republican Party, supported by the Tea Party movement, is pushing to repeal the entire Affordable Care Act. “We are putting the marker down now,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told Tea Party activists last week. “We are going to continue to fight to repeal this thing and we’re filing it tomorrow.”

Marco Rubio, who is running against Gov. Charlie Crist in the Republican primary for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat, has also said that he supports repeal. Last week, he launched a petition on his site, saying that he pledges “to undo this legislation and start over with common sense health care reforms.” He even has a whole page devoted to “Repeal It” on his campaign site.

Today in a debate on Fox News Sunday with Crist, Rubio, however, admitted that the repeal campaign isn’t realistic until Republicans “win a few elections”:

WALLACE: Mr. Rubio, now that the health care reform bill is law, would you, if you go to Washington, work to repeal it? How would you do it given the fact that Barack Obama will still be president and could veto a repeal? [...]

RUBIO: I think the first step is to repeal it. We need to win a few elections before we can get there. But we certainly need to start campaigning and talking about it.

Watch it:

Other Republicans have also come out and acknowledged that the repeal movement is little more than political gamesmanship:

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ): “Our view is that we should repeal and replace the bill with the solutions that we think actually work. Obviously, the president will not sign a repeal bill that the Congress passes, so that’s more of a symbol. … Barack Obama is president. He would never sign a repeal law. We don’t have the votes to get it passed right now. We’re not going to waste our time on that.

Newt Gingrich: “What you have to do is be politically honest. If the Republicans win a majority in the House and Senate next year, they will not be able to repeal the bill. The president would veto it.”

Repealing the entire Affordable Care Act would mean re-instituting denials of coverage based on preexisting conditions and rescinding coverage for millions. Even some Republicans like Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA) have said that they do not want to repeal everything in the bill. Rubio, however, signed a pledge to repeal health care reform before it even became law. “There are no shortage of statements made by Marco stressing his belief that the plan should have been scrapped months ago, and now that it has become law, should be repealed,” said his campaign last week. More on the GOP repeal campaign in The Progress Report.

Transcript:

WALLACE: Mr. Rubio, now that the health care reform bill is law, would you, if you go to Washington, work to repeal it? How would you do it given the fact that Barack Obama will still be president and could veto a repeal? And I want to ask you about an article you wrote last December. Let’s put it up on the screen: “Any solution should ultimately seek to promote a vibrant private market where individuals can buy health insurance the way we buy auto insurance — independent of our employer, with the kind of flexibility and coverage we need, and at affordable prices.

Mr. Rubio, would you move away from an employer-based health insurer system?

RUBIO: Well, it’s not moving away, it’s about providing an alternative to it. Let me first tell you about the bill. There are so many things wrong with the bill, we don’t have enough time —

WALLACE: Talking about the –

RUBIO: In the health care bill. We don’t have enough time to talk about it, whether it’s tricky accounting or other. But here’s the main thing: We can’t afford it. The bill, when the true numbers are applied to it, add to the debt and bring us closer to insolvency as a nation. We have to move away from it.

The solutions are like those outlined in the article you pointed to a moment ago. It’s about allowing individuals to have the same tax benefits that the employers get when they try to buy insurance from the marketplace. It’s about allowing small businesses to pool together to buy insurance coverage, and to do so across state lines. It’s about tort reform. It’s about lawsuit abuse reform to help lower the cost of health insurance. These are the reforms we should be working on.

I think the first step is to repeal it. We need to win a few elections before we can get there. But we certainly need to start campaigning and talking about it.

DeMint Claims That Republican Senators Just Wanted ‘Some Debate And A Vote’ On Obama’s Nominees

By Amanda Terkel

Yesterday, President Obama announced his intention to recess appoint 15 qualified nominees who have faced an “unprecedented level” of GOP obstruction to fill “critical” administration positions. From a statement by White House Communications Director Jen Psaki:

Many of these fifteen individuals have enjoyed broad bipartisan support, but have found their confirmation votes delayed for reasons that have nothing to do with their qualifications. … Because of political posturing, these fifteen appointees have waited an average of 214 days for Senate confirmation. [...]

To put this in perspective, at this time in 2002, President Bush had only 5 nominees pending on the floor. By contrast, President Obama has 77 nominees currently pending on the floor, 58 of whom have been waiting for over two weeks and 44 of those have been waiting more than a month.

One of the people receiving a recess appointment is Craig Becker to serve on the National Labor Relations Board, which protects workers from unfair labor practices. As Psaki explained, although the “five member board has been trying to operate with only two members,” Becker has “been waiting for 261 days or over 8 months” to be confirmed.

Becker, who has spent much of his distinguished career as a lawyer for the AFL-CIO and SEIU, has been one of the GOP’s top targets. Republicans have been using his nomination as a proxy battle for the Employee Free Choice Act. As The Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo has explained, they seem to believe that “Becker will somehow institute EFCA all by himself, which is, of course, nonsense.”

Today on CBS’s Face the Nation, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) tried to make the GOP obstruction sound reasonable, claiming that all they wanted was “some debate and a vote”:

DEMINT: Craig Becker, who was in the group that he appointed by executive fiat yesterday, is someone who has worked for unions his entire career. He put him on a board that is supposed to be unbiased arbitrators between businesses and unions. Democrats opposed this nomination. So, there’s bipartisan opposition. All we had asked for is some debate and a vote on this nominee. He decided to circumvent Congress again — which has become his style on so many issues — and just appoint him while we were out of town.

Watch it:

Despite what DeMint is saying, the problem is that Republicans were preventing Becker from receiving an up-or-down vote. Becker, in fact, has never received such a vote, thanks to a GOP filibuster (which was joined by Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln). In February, the motion to file cloture on his nomination was defeated by a 33-52 vote (with 15 senators missing the vote), eight short of the 60 needed to proceed to debate and a final vote. Even if all of the non-voting members had voted no, Becker still would have received the approval of a majority of the Senate.

There’s a similar story for many of other Obama’s nominees, including Erroll Southers, the man Obama chose to lead the Transportation Security Administration. DeMint led the opposition to Southers — in an attempt “to prevent TSA workers from joining a labor union” — who eventually chose to withdraw from consideration because of the delays.

Transcript:

SCHIEFFER: One of the things the President said when you all said that we’re going to continue to oppose this, he said “bring it on.” He was ready for the fight. And I suppose one of the ways he is doing that is he announced last night that he is going to, what they call “recess appoint,” 15 nominees for government jobs that have been appointments that are being held up in the Senate — he’s going to appoint them during this recess. And for people who don’t quite understand what that means, what it means is they can go to work, fill out those positions, and continue to work in those positions until the next Congress is seated next year. What’s your response to that?

DEMINT: Bob, the President is mocking Americans who continue to be against this bill. He said “bring it on.” That’s what we intend to do. Now his recess appointments belie the fact that hundreds of his nominations have been confirmed unanimously by the Senate. But he has had mixed in with these batch of nominations some pretty radical folks.

Craig Becker, who was in the group that he appointed by executive fiat yesterday, is someone who has worked for unions his entire career. He put him on a board that is supposed to be unbiased arbitrators between businesses and unions. Democrats opposed this nomination. So, there’s bipartisan opposition. All we had asked for is some debate and a vote on this nominee. He decided to circumvent Congress again — which has become his style on so many issues — and just appoint him while we were out of town.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Right America Feeling Wronged

M.C.L comment:The roots of the tea party movement.

Media Matters' Eric Burns on MSNBC: "Glenn Beck is the single most dangerous person in this country"

Poll: Tea partiers afraid of ‘big government’ want the government to create jobs and rein in Wall Street.

By Zaid Jilani While the right-wing tea party movement touts its rhetorical “aversion to big government,” a new Bloomberg national survey finds that many tea partiers are clamoring for more aggressive government action. The poll finds that large numbers of them want the federal government to act to create jobs and rein in Wall Street by restricting excessive executive bonuses:

At the same time, 70 percent of those who sympathize with the Tea Party, which organized protests this week against President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, want a federal government that fosters job creation.

They also look to the government to rein in Wall Street, with almost half saying the government should do something about executive bonuses. Supporters are also conflicted over whether private-enterprise elements should be introduced into government programs like Social Security and Medicare.

“The ideas that find nearly universal agreement among Tea Party supporters are rather vague,” says J. Ann Selzer, the pollster who created the survey. “You would think any idea that involves more government action would be anathema, and that is just not the case.”

The poll also finds widespread disagreement about what comprises a “socialist” program run by the government. Only 10 percent of tea party backers agreed that the Veterans Administration, the country’s “only true island of socialized medicine” where the government directly runs hospitals and services for veterans, is socialist. Meanwhile, 47 percent of responders thought that Social Security and Medicare, both of which are government programs, should stay public programs and not be privatized

Obama bumper sticker fuels violent political road rage in Tennessee.

By Faiz Shakir After picking up his 10-year old daughter from school yesterday afternoon, Nashville resident Mark Duren was driving home when he was suddenly and intentionally rammed from behind by Harry Weisiger. Enraged at the sight of Duren’s Obama bumper sticker, Weisiger gave Duren “the bird” and then hit him from behind, leading to a violent series of events. Nashville’s WKRN reports:

“He pointed at the back of my car,” Duren said, “the bumper, flipped me off, one finger salute.”

But it didn’t end there.

Duren told News 2 that Weisiger honked his horn at him for awhile, as Duren stopped at a stop sign.

Once he started driving again, down Blair Boulevard, towards his home, he said, “I looked in the rear view mirror again, and this same SUV was speeding, flying up behind me, bumped me.”

Duren said he applied his brake and the SUV smashed into the back of his car.

He then put his car in park to take care of the accident, but Weisiger started pushing the car using his SUV.

Duren said, “He pushed my car up towards the sidewalk, almost onto the sidewalk.”

Watch a video of the report:

Weisiger has been charged with felony reckless endangerment.

VIDEO: The Extreme, Violent Rhetoric Of GOP Lawmakers

By Lee Fang

Yesterday, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) falsely charged that his office was “directly threatened” in a gun attack. Cantor used the incident to provide partisan cover to his unruly GOP colleagues, who have been pandering to tea party activists with increasingly unhinged and extreme rhetoric.

Last weekend, as the House vote on health reform legislation neared, Republican lawmakers whipped tea party crowds into an angry mob. For instance, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) spoke to the crowd with a megaphone, conjuring up debunked conspiracy theories about government spying into medical records and decrying what he called “tyranny.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) held up a picture of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the crowd, mocking it and “slapping” it. Throughout the day, the tea party protesters accosted Democratic members of Congress with racial and homophobic slurs, and one protester even spat on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).

Cantor asserted that no lawmaker “would incite threats.” However, ThinkProgress has compiled a short snapshot of Republican lawmakers speeches to angry tea party crowds throughout the year, using extremely violent rhetoric. The compilation below features Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and King:

MCCAUL: They fought against tyranny and oppressive taxes, do that sound familiar? We’re continuing that revolution right here in Austin, Texas today. Thomas Jefferson said the Tree of Liberty will be fed by the blood of tyrants and patriots. You are the modern day patriots. [...]

* * * * *

BARTON: What are the homeland security people calling us now?

AUDIENCE: Domestic terrorists! Terrorists!

BARTON: Welcome right-wing activists — is that what we are?

AUDIENCE: Extremists!

BARTON: Yeah extreme, well I’m going to get me a button.

* * * * *

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I’m a proud right-wing terrorist.

HERGER: Amen god bless you, there’s a great American.

* * * * *

BACHMANN: I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back.

* * * * *

KING: If I could start a country with a bunch of people it would be the folks standing out here the last few days. Let’s hope we don’t have to do that. Let’s beat that other side to a pulp. Let’s take them out, let’s chase them down.

Watch it: