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Posts tagged "Tea Party Movement"

think-progress:

Meet the militia rushing to Cliven Bundy’s defense.

From the article:

“The militia movement is back, it is here in force and they seem to be roving the country looking for opportunities like this to make themselves known,” said Ryan Lenz of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), who traveled to Bunkerville to cover the Bundy standoff. “As more people with anti-government views streamed into the area, the issue became more about federal tyranny.” Lenz said tension mounted until “it was literally just one wrong step away from going south.”

The militia movement is back, it is here in force and they seem to be roving the country looking for opportunities like this to make themselves known.

The showdown in the Southwest drew supporters from many different camps, not just militia groups or the far-right: Western ranchers angry over federally owned land (Bundy’s not the first to spar with the BLM over this issue). Free speech advocates upset by the “first amendment zones” roped off for protesters. Avid fans of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who answered his call to “stand up against tyranny” by “standing with Bundy.” Far-right (and fully armed) militia members looking for a standoff with federal law enforcement. And state legislators from across the West who saw an opportunity to drum up support among Bundy’s biggest fans.

At the beginning of April, tea party terrorists began flocking the residence of a Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy. The stand off began after right wing media outlets like Fox News began pushing a narrative of the federal government encroaching on Bundy’s rights to graze cattle on land managed by  the federal Bureau of Land Management. Bundy claimed his family established the land in 1877, before the BLM ever existed. Property records show that the ranch was purchased by the Bundy family in 1948, several years after the creation of the BLM.

Bundy’s story doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

In an interview with KLAS – TV, Las Vegas, Bundy said:

“I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877.  All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements.”

While it may come as no surprise that Fox news, along with all of the other right wing media outlets that pushed Bundy’s narrative, never bothered to fact check these claims, local reporters from KLAS -TV decided to check the historical records. What they discovered is that the Bundy family purchased the land on which Cliven Bundy’s ranch is located in 1948, from Raoul and Ruth Levin. The record also shows that prior to 1948, the Bundy family resided in the state of Arizona.

Bundy’s claim that his rights predate the BLM also turned out to be bogus.

Bundy also claimed that his ‘ancestral rights’ predate the creation of the BLM. However, the BLM was created in 1946, 2 years before Cliven Bundy’s family moved to the Nevada ranch.

“My rights are before the BLM even existed, but my rights are created by beneficial use. Beneficial use means we created the forage and the water from the time the very first pioneers come here,”

Bundy told KLAS-TV.

Records show that the Bundy family was never granted water rights for land that borders the 160 acre ranch. The BLM also began managing the land in question two years before the Bundy’s moved from the state of Arizona to Nevada.

What’s more, the Bundy family didn’t begin to graze cattle on the federal land in question until 1954, a full ten years after the BLM was formed.

In an interview on the Pete Santilli Show, Bundy explained his real position. He simply denies the right of the federal government to own land. He believes he’s entitled to do whatever he wants and his ‘tea party patriot’ defenders were all too happy to be used as pawns in a phony, Koch backed war on the federal government.

How the oil and gas industry is using the tea party to further their agenda.

Far from being American patriots, the tea party militia members who flocked to Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April are nothing more than a group of pawns who are being used to further the agenda of the fossil fuel industry.

In the wake of the standoff between armed militia members and the federal government, Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, is calling on the Department of Interior to investigate the connection between ALEC and the incidents that took place at the Bundy ranch earlier this month.

Congressman Grajalva’s letter highlights the connection between ALEC backed legislation, which seeks to remove control of federal land from the US government, giving it to the states, and the Bundy standoff. The ALEC/Koch backed agenda seeks to remove the US government’s control of federal land. It would allow the fossil fuel industry to exploit land that is currently protected by the federal government. Grajalva is the ranking member of the House Resource Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation.

“The ALEC vision of state sovereignty trumping long-standing federal government efforts to manage public lands has already had tangible effects on Bureau of Land Management and other agency employees’ efforts to do their jobs.”

Grajalva wrote in his letter to Acting Inspector General, Mary Kelly.

“Examining how severe that impact has been, and whether ALEC is exerting undue influence on federal land management efforts, is well within the scope of your office. I believe a timely examination of these issues would serve the public interest.”

While Cliven Bundy has never had the legal right to graze his cattle on land that he does not own, his fake plight has been hyped by conservative media outlets across the country. The single reason the right wing media jumped on this story is because it furthers the narrative of the big, bad evil government encroaching on the ‘little guy.’ As it turns out, everything Bundy has said about his ‘ancestral rights’ is just another bold faced lie, being told by another right wing ‘patriot’ con artist.

This time the lies perpetuated by the right wing put the lives of private citizens and law enforcement professionals at risk, including women and children. Bundy and his terrorist buddies have backed the federal government into a corner, creating a situation in which the feds will have to take action against both Bundy and the militia members that rushed to defend him. Doing anything less would be to encourage armed tea party fanatics to repeat the behavior in other areas of the country. Next stop Yellowstone? Why not? They’ve got guns and they are entitled to use them to take what they want from the evil government.

By the way, the US government is us. It’s we the people. Federal land is land that belongs to all citizens of the United States. It includes our national parks, national forests, national monuments, scenic highways, protected wetlands and wilderness, historic landmarks and many other areas of country that the fossil fuel industry is currently not able to plunder and destroy.

Most people understand why they aren’t supposed to let their dogs poop on the public beach. They understand why they can’t just cut down trees in a national forest. They get why their kids can’t throw their trash all over a public park. That’s because they understand that they aren’t the only people with rights.

In Bundy’s case the BLM never said that Bundy couldn’t let his cows trample the land, eat the grass or leave big old cow patties all over the place. They just asked that he contribute a small fee, to help ensure that the land is preserved for the rest of the American taxpayers. But the idea of simple, basic respect for the rights of others is beyond  the comprehension of most tea party members. The idea that a person who owns livestock should carry the burden of the cost of feeding that livestock, is ‘tyranny,’ to tea-publicans. How dare the evil government expect Bundy to contribute to the cost of caring for his own livestock?

Will the right wing media outlets that pushed Bundy as a conservative hero report on the historical facts, now that they’ve been made public? Can we assume that sources like Fox News and Breitbart just failed to fact check Bundy, but didn’t purposely set out to mislead anyone? I highly doubt it. Remember the conservative mantra, the ends justify the means. If they can rile up enough tea party fanatics to provoke a violent confrontation with the government and ultimately start a civil war, they will accomplish what they set out to do a long time ago.

h/t: Randa Morris at Addicting Info

SC GOP candidate urges Christians to remove children from godless ‘Pharaoh’s schools’ (via Raw Story )

A Republican candidate for South Carolina lieutenant governor says Christians should remove their children from public schools. “It’s our hope and prayer that a fresh obedience by Christian families and educating their children according to biblical…



 

vicemag:

The Bundy Ranch Standoff Was Only the Beginning for America’s Right-Wing Militias

For two decades the US government has tried to get Cliven Bundy to remove his cows from federal land, and for two decades the Nevada rancher has steadfastly refused, defying court orders and attempts to negotiate a settlement for the $1.1 million he owes in federal grazing fees. Finally, last week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) took matters into its own hands and started seizing cattle that had been illegally grazing on government property. Things went downhill from there.

What began as an arcane land dispute rapidly escalated into an armed standoff in the desert. A ragtag band of anti-government militants, Tea Party politicians, and Old West ranchers descended on the area, responding to a call to arms posted by the Bundy family on their blog and circulated throughout the internet by conservatives and libertarians. Spurred on by YouTube videos of physical altercations between federal agents and the Bundys, the protesters aggressively confronted law enforcement, which in turn escalated things by gathering a huge force of armed BLM rangers and FBI agents. On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration placed a month-long flight restriction over the ranch after the Bundy family posted aerial photos of the assembled authorities.

For right-wing militias and paramilitary groups founded around a collective paranoid belief that the federal government is just looking for an excuse to impose martial law, images of armed federal agents forcibly seizing cows basically means it’s DEFCON 1. By Saturday, as many as 1,000 anti-BLM protestors from as far away as Virginia, New Hampshire, and Georgia had set up camp in Bunkerville, an arid patch of land where the BLM was rounding up the Bundy cattle. Packing handguns and assault rifles, the protesters carried signs featuring slogans like “Tyranny Is Alive,” “Where’s the Justice?” and “Militia Sighn In [sic],” and many said they were prepared for a shoot-out with the federal government. The mood was such that even Glenn Beck was wary of the crowd, announcing on his show that “there’s about 10 or 15 percent of the people who are talking about this online that are truly frightening.”

Continue

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

h/t: Kenneth Vogel and  Mackenzie Weinger at Politico

Ben Dimiero at mediamattersforamerica:

Five years ago, Fox News expanded its online presence with “Fox Nation.” Early promos for the site told viewers that it’s “time to say ‘no’ to biased media and ‘yes’ to fair play and free speech,” while promising that Fox fans had finally found “a place to call home.” Similarly, the “Statement of Purpose” on the site announces that it is dedicated to “the core principles of tolerance, open debate, civil discourse, and fair and balanced coverage of the news.”

But after its launch, the site quickly turned into — in the words of former Fox News producer Joe Muto — the “seedy underbelly of the Fox News online empire.” Fox Nation has for years openly cheered Republican politicians and policies, actively organized for the tea party, smeared Democrats and progressives, engaged in blatant race-baiting on a near-daily basis, and routinely elevated nonsense from the conservative fringe.

So while Fox Nation is celebrating its fifth birthday and its self-proclaimed role as a “defender of the Constitution and the home of hot debates,” Media Matters looks back at some (but nowhere near all) of the lowlights from the site’s first five years.

"Hip-Hop BBQ"

Fox Nation’s most infamous moment, which garnered widespread attention and ridicule, was posting a story about President Obama’s 2011 birthday party with the following headline and image:

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Obama’s “War On Marriage”

After President Obama declared support for marriage equality in 2012, Fox Nation attacked him for declaring “WAR ON MARRIAGE” (the site later changed the headline):

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Fox Nation has repeatedly trafficked in conspiracies about the president’s birth certificate, highlighting numerous stories promoting the nonsensical theory. More than once in 2009, Fox Nation attached an image of Obama wearing Somali clothes to stories promoting birther claptrap:

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The Impending Apocalypse

In February 2011, Fox Nation promoted what Fox & Friends Saturday co-host Clayton Morris described as an “incredible piece of video” showing a “greenish figure” in a crowd of Egyptian protesters. The site quoted fellow conspiracy website WND explaining that the green figure “resembles an erect rider atop a horse in Medieval-like barding.” The headline, which was pulled from Clayton Morris’ blog, asked:

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A Vicious Smear Of Planned Parenthood

In 2012, Fox Nation proved how low they were willing to sink to smear their enemies. That December, a British charity for victims of domestic abuse released a video urging women not to conceal the effects of domestic violence. After Planned Parenthood posted the video to its Facebook page, Fox Nation highlighted a since-deleted article from LifeNews.com that completely inverted the message of the ad, posting it under this headline:

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"Fox Nation Victory!"

Fox Nation’s open campaigning for Republican and conservative causes has led the site to repeatedly declare things like a 2009 congressional delay of health care reform (which the site called the “health care rationing bill”) a “Fox Nation Victory!” This 2011 headline and image about the House voting to repeal Obamacare perhaps best captures the tone of the site’s health care reform politicking:

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Obama Handing Land To Mexico

In 2010, Fox News show America Live embarrassed itself with a “ludicrous" story about how the Obama administration was responsible for a "massive stretch" of Arizona land being closed, with host Shannon Bream telling viewers, "Critics say the administration is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico." (The entire story was painfully misleading.) Fox Nation ramped things up by posting a link to the America Live segment with a headline informing readers that Obama “Gives Back Major Strip of AZ to Mexico.”

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"JOIN YOUR LOCAL TEA PARTY"

Shortly after its launch, Fox Nation morphed into both a cheering section and a staging area for the tea party. The site even hosted a “virtual tea party” in 2009 for people who “can’t get to a tea party.” To give an idea of what Fox Nation’s early tea party coverage looked like, here’s a headline from March 2010:

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Hillary’s “Communist” Clothing, “Macho” Putin, The “Nuzzling” President, And Other Lowlights

Other headlines that have appeared on Fox Nation throughout the years. May 2010:

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July 2013:

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January 2010:

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March 2014:

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August 2010: 

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December 2009:

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September 2009:

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July 2009:

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June 2009:

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June 2009: 

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May 2009:

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Not to mention numerous instances during the five years of Fox Nation’s existence documented by NewsHounds.us that the FN comments routinely featured calls of death threats directed at President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Eric Holder, Muslims, Hispanics, African-Americans, LGBTQs, unions, or basically any liberal/progressive in America. 

h/t: Daniel Strauss at TPM Livewire

As the Tea Party celebrates its fifth anniversary, we decided to look at five of the myths that Tea Party supporters, and many pundits, continue to believe about the far-right movement.

Myth #1: Tea Party Cares About Economic Stewardship

If Tea Party activists believe they are on a crusade to save the American economy, they have an odd way of showing it. The Tea Party was responsible for an economically harmful and utterly pointless government shutdown and has several times threatened economic catastrophe byrefusing to raise the debt limit — with their hostage-taking strategycontributing to a S&P credit downgrade and lower consumer confidence.

The Treasury Department warned in the midst of last year’s government shutdown [PDF]: “A default would be unprecedented and has the potential to be catastrophic: credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet, U.S. interest rates could skyrocket, the negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse…. Because the debt ceiling impasse contributed to the financial market disruptions, reduced confidence and increased uncertainty, the economic expansion was no doubt weaker than it otherwise would have been.”

One problem might be that Tea Party leaders seem to have no clue what they are talking about.

Tea Party politicians dismissed concerns about failing to raise the debt limit — with one Tea Party-aligned congressman arguing that such a move would help the economy — and didn’t seem to grasp the fact that “raising the debt ceiling simply lets Treasury borrow the money it needs to pay all U.S. bills and other legal obligations in full and on time” and isn’t a “license to spend more.”

Similarly, a Bloomberg News poll found that 93 percent of Tea Party Republicans believe the federal budget deficit is growing, even while it israpidly shrinking.

Myth #2: Tea Party Wants Entitlement Cuts

We keep hearing about how the Tea Party will lead a push to cut entitlement programs, but Tea Party members are disproportionately entitlement program benefactors. A New York Times/CBS poll found that Tea Party members are more likely than others to claim that they or a family member receives Social Security benefits or is covered by Medicaid, and 62 percent believe “the benefits from government programs such as Social Security and Medicare [are] worth the costs of those programs.”

According to a McClatchy-Marist poll, 76 percent of Tea Party supporters oppose Social Security and Medicare cuts while 70 percent said they were against cuts to Medicaid.

Of course, many Tea Party supporters don’t seem to mind public programs when they are the ones benefiting from them, and Republicans continue to criticize reductions in future Medicare spending that they voted for.

“[W]hat many of the Tea Party candidates have found is that when push comes to shove, their backers want to protect their entitlements as much as the next guy,” writes Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation. “In fact, much of the fury of the Tea Partiers against government stimulus and bailouts might have less to do with any principled belief in the limits of government and more to do with fear of what this will do to their own entitlements.”

Myth #3: Tea Party Faces Government Persecution

The Tea Party has desperately clutched onto a conspiracy theory that the IRS specifically targeted Tea Party groups to help seal President Obama’s re-election. Of course, it turns out that the IRS actually scrutinized liberal and conservative groups alike. The faux-scandal was hyped and distorted by congressional Republicans, and Tea Party leaders predicted that it would rejuvenate the movement.

As Alex Seitz-Wald reported: “We know that in fact the IRS targeted lots of different kinds of groups, not just conservative ones; that the only organizations whose tax-exempt statuses were actually denied were progressive ones; that many of the targeted conservative groups legitimatelycrossed the line; that the IG’s report was limited to only Tea Party groups at congressional Republicans’ request; and that the White House was in no way involved in the targeting and didn’t even know about it until shortly before the public did. In short, the entire scandal narrative was a fiction.”

Rather than face facts, leaders are out with a fresh and similarly dubious conspiracy that proposed IRS rules on political activity by certain nonprofits will target conservative organizations for discrimination.

Myth #4: Tea Party Ignores Social Issues

Many Tea Party leaders — including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, Mike Lee, Jim DeMint and Glenn Beck — are also favorites of the Religious Right. The GOP victories in the 2010 midterm electionbrought about what the Daily Beast called “one of the most religiously conservative [House of Representatives] in recent history” and Republican politicians in Congress and state legislatures immediately pursued a crackdown on abortion rights.

Glenn Beck’s massive 2010 Tea Party rally on the National Mall turned into a religious revival meeting. Last year, even the openly gay founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots addressed an anti-gay marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court. And far-right pastor Rick Scarborough decided to establish his own group, Tea Party Unity, to promote his call for a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality.

Pew found that just as “the Tea Party is much more Republican and conservative than the public as a whole… Tea Party supporters also tend to take socially conservative positions on abortion and same-sex marriage.” Tea Party activists oppose marriage equality and abortion rights at rates nearly identical to Republicans at large, and are just as likely to cite religion as the driving force on their stances on such issues.

A 2013 American Values survey observed that the majority of Tea Party activists “identify with the Christian Right,” and a study by political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell found Tea Party members to be “disproportionately social conservatives” with a penchant for the “overt use of religious language and imagery.” “It thus makes sense that the Tea Party ranks alongside the Christian Right in unpopularity,” they added.

Myth #5: Tea Party Has Wide Popularity

Tea Party politicians like to fashion themselves as champions of a broadly popular movement that has supporters across partisan lines. Bachmann thinks the Tea Party represents “virtually 90 percent of America ” and a poll of Tea Party supporters found that 84 percent agree that “the views of the people involved in the Tea Party movement generally reflect the views of most Americans.” Beck even believes that most Americans are in the Tea Party and to the right of the GOP.

But while the Tea Party is far from dead, a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of the right-wing movement.

In December, Gallup found that the Tea Party has never held widespread support.

The Tea Party has been deceiving America for 5+ years now. 

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

cc: mediamattersforamerica

Fox News is allowing Sean Hannity to promote the Tea Party Patriots on its airwaves even though the group is financially connected to the conservative host.

Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone reported today that Hannity, who also hosts a Premiere Radio Networks program, has been fundraising for Tea Party Patriots (TPP) in emails, and “has also promoted the group’s efforts on his Fox News program.”  

TVNewser reported that in response to Calderone’s report, “Fox News tells us Hannity’s involvement with the Tea Party group is for his radio show, and has nothing to do with his FNC show or role with the network.”

But Fox’s response that TPP has “nothing to do” with Fox is disingenuous and a dodge of ethical standards. A Media Matters review found that Hannity has repeatedly done promotional tie-ins for TPP on radio and then promoted or hosted the group on his Fox News program.

For instance, Hannity did radio promos for TPP on July 31 and August 12. He then hosted TPP president Jenny Beth Martin on his Fox program Hannity on August 20, and September 9. Martin was also part of a “special audience edition” of Hannity on August 16. Fox even allowed Hannity to promote TPP’s website HannityForSanity.com on August 1.  

Calderone reported that “Hannity made a passing reference to the Tea Party Patriots on his Fox News show” on February 19 in which Hannity said “The Tea Party Patriots are partners on my radio show.” Calderone added that “was the only time on Fox News that Hannity has described Tea Party Patriots as a ‘partner’ of his radio program,” according to Nexis. 

[…]

Though it’s not clear how much Hannity is receiving for his Tea Party Patriots promotions — representatives for Martin, TPP, and Hannity didn’t respond to comment requests from Calderone —  Hannity received big money for prior promotions for another conservative group.

Politico reported in 2011 that the Heritage Foundation paid $1.3 million to Hannity’s program for “promotional tie-ins, as well as regular on-air plugs - praising or sometimes defending the groups, while urging listeners to donate - often woven seamlessly into programming in ways that do not seem like paid advertising.”

Fox News previously forced Hannity to cancel a taping of a 2010 Fox News show at a Cincinnati Tea Party event because it charged admission and had “all proceeds” benefiting the organization. At the time Fox portrayed themselves to media as “furious” with Hannity.

Today, the Tea Party turns 5, and their anti-American agenda has destroyed America the past five years. 

Tea Partiers, Tenthers, and the corporate sponsors who support them have come up with a variety of ways to circumvent the federal government and bypass the federal regulatory system, including efforts to hold an Article V Convention, commonly called a “Con Con,” to amend the Constitution and the Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX)-developed plan for use of “interstate compacts” to block federal law.

In a report for the Center for American Progress, Ian Millhiser described these state’s rights efforts as a project for “seceding from the union one law at a time.”  These initiatives could result in a Balkanized confederation of states that would be no match against the power of international corporations and would allow for eliminating the regulatory system and the social safety net.

The most recent issue of The Public Eye magazine includes two extensive articles on the efforts of conservatives to shift power to the states, including Frederick Clarkson’s article on the State Policy Network’s growing influence, and my article on the growing nullification movement (co-authored by Frank Cocozzelli).

Nullification is based on a legal theory that states can block enforcement of federal laws individual states deem unconstitutional. But another route to “nullification” was popularized by Senator Cruz before he even became a senator, and promoted through Tea Party organizations and the highly-controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).


The Constitution, in Article I, Section 10, allows for states to form interstate compacts with the consent of Congress.  This is most commonly done to oversee shared resources, such as waterways.  One of the earliest formed and better known of these compacts is the New York – New Jersey Port Authority. But Cruz
 is claiming that interstate compacts can be expanded as a way to circumvent presidential veto power.Cruz’s idea is to use “interstate compacts” to shield states from federal laws. He developed the concept in 2010 as an alternative option for “nullifying Obamacare.” Just prior to his election as senator, Cruz worked as senior fellow with the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Center, the state’s “free market” think tank and a State Policy Network member. While the concept of interstate compacts is not new, Cruz’s idea to use them as a strategy for shielding states from federal laws is uniquely original, which he freely admitted to Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard  in January 2011.

[…]

The concept was also promoted through the State Policy Network’s “Federalism in Action” program, and Cruz himself presented the idea at the 2010 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference, where it promptly became the foundation for ALEC’s “Health Care Compact ACT” model legislation for state legislators.

To date, this Healthcare Compact Act has been passed in eight states: Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Missouri, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The healthcare compact is promoted and tracked through an organization called the Healthcare Compact Alliance, a project of Competitive Governance Action, a 501(c)(4) co-founded by Texas businessman Leo Linbeck III and Eric O’Keefe and sharing the address of the Linbeck Group, LLC, in Houston.

The vision of shielding entire areas of state regulation from the federal government has been further enshrined by ALEC in the form of a model bill developed by their International Task Force, and approved by the ALEC board of directors.  Under the title “State Legislature United Compact,” the model bill provides validation for those who half-jokingly warn about the “United States of ALEC,” apparently giving ALEC a role in forming and running the commission that would organize the interstate compact, and ensuring that like-minded conservatives would control the topics and outcomes of a convention.

ALEC’s December 2013 States and Nation Summit in D.C. was sponsored, in part, by another Linbeck and O’Keefe nonprofit, called the Citizens for Self Governance.  Its legal name is the John Hancock Committee of the States and it’s the parent organization of the Convention of the States (one of several organizations promoting an Article V convention to amend the Constitution).  The organization was incubated prior to gaining its own nonprofit status by American Majority, an organization founded by Drew and Ned Ryun to “infuse new Tea Party blood into the political system.”

Until now, the only method used to amend the Constitution has been through a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress, followed by ratification by three-fourths of the states. However, there is another process in Article V that allows for a convention to be called by two thirds of state legislatures.  Mark Meckler, cofounder of the Tea Party Patriots, is now president of the Citizens for Self Governance and is overseeing the group’s Article V convention efforts.

Meckler promoted the Convention of the States project in a session at ALEC’s December summit. On the Saturday following the summit, roughly 100 state legislators from 32 states met at Mt. Vernon to advance convention plans.  Ferris’ reflections on the event acknowledged that there are divisions in conservative ranks between those who want the “con-con,” and those who fear a “runaway con-con” infiltrated and overrun by liberals. Historical revisionist David Barton has just recently endorsed a Constitutional Convention, while both Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum and the John Birch Society (JBS) fall into the second category.

As noted in The Public Eye article Nullification, Neo-Confederates, and the Revenge of the Right, the JBS has become a major force behind state nullification efforts across the country.

Despite misgivings about a “runaway con-con,” there are several right-wing groups around the country working to organize a convention, but with some disagreements about how it would work.  PRA senior fellow Frederick Clarkson, Salon’s Paul Rosenberg, and I have all listened in on conference calls by one such organization that has differences of opinion with the Convention of the States on how to proceed (you can read Rosenberg’s story about it in Salon). The leader of that organization has a plan for the first amendment to be a “Sovereignty and State’s Rights Amendment,” allowing any federal law to be “countermanded” by the agreement of 30 states.

This state’s rights movement is gaining traction across the country, including among some on the political Left, but the money and organizing behind the effort is solidly conservative­—or perhaps better described as paleo-libertarian, or a combination of radical anti-government philosophies wedded to social conservatism.

h/t: Rachel Tabachnick at Political Research Associates

The growing visibility of a staunchly conservative movement in France has prompted comparisons with the Tea Party of the United States.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls has warned that France was seeing the birth of its own version of the grassroots, anti-tax Tea Party movement amid a surge of anti-government demonstrations by right-wing groups and religious conservatives across the country.

“We are witnessing the creation of the French version of the Tea Party. By exploiting the political and leadership crisis on the right, and the National Front party’s move away from the far-right, a conservative and reactionary right has been set free,” Valls, a Socialist, told the Journal du Dimanche in an interview published on Sunday. 

The eye-opening comparison came hours ahead of massive rallies in defense of traditional families in Paris and the eastern city of Lyon. They were organized by the so-called “Manif Pour Tous” (Protest for All) group that staged massive protests against gay marriage last year.

Sunday’s march, which police said drew 80,000 people in Paris, was just the latest public display of anger against President François Hollande’s government in recent days.

Hundreds of primary school students were pulled from their classrooms last week as part of a grassroots campaign opposing a new programme teaching gender equality and tolerance of homosexual parents within public schools.

The call to boycott schools one day per month, answered mostly by conservative Christian and Muslim parents, came on the heels of a “Day of Anger” against the government, which saw around 17,000 people hit the streets of the French capital on January 26.

That protest, in which some shouted anti-Semitic slogans, ended in clashes that wounded 19 police officers and led to the detention of 226 people.

Valls said that voicing opposition to the government was a legal right, but insisted that there was a worrying confluence of “anti-elite, anti-government, anti-tax, anti-parliament, anti-media” ideas that was threatening French democracy.

Longing for past

Sunday’s march included some prominent conservative lawmakers, like MP Henri Guaino of the right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and MP Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the niece of anti-immigration leader Marine Le Pen.

Their participation appeared to lend credence to Valls’ idea that a new, more radical movement within the political establishment – something akin to America’s Tea Party – is brewing this side of the Atlantic.

For Nicole Bacharan, a national fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, similarities exist.

“In both movements I see an array of people who feel they are becoming a minority within their own country, who long for a return back to a time when their countries were more traditional, more religious, whiter,” Bacharan told FRANCE 24.

The scholar said that Tea Partiers in the U.S. and people displaying France’s new conservative streak shared mutual feelings of being ignored by the political establishment and the media, but that sentiment was even more acute in France.

“In the United States there is more room for Tea Party members to express themselves, like on [the cable TV channel] Fox News,” Bacharan noted. “In France no news outlet takes sides in such a partisan way, and it’s true that the French media tends to look down on these movements as (being) something kind of backwards.”

If a nativist bent unites the allegedly kindred movements in Paris and Washington, observers said one key issue keeps them miles apart: the vision of a limited government.

“The Tea Party rejects big government, and often evokes ideas of the founding fathers as the basis for its principles … even their name suggests this,” said Thomas Snegaroff, a U.S. expert at France’s Institute for International and Strategic Studies.

In France few, if any, political movements disagree with a strong, central government.

Detractors of Hollande’s left-leaning government do not have the same “historical anchor” as the Tea Party, making “more religious or biological” arguments the basis for their struggle, according to Snegaroff.


h/t: Agence France-Presse, via The Raw Story

At a breakfast event with the Tea Party organization Tulsa 9:12 Project last week, Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) saw no need to rebuke or even disagree with a questioner who said that President Obama should be executed.

“Obama, he’s not president, as far as I’m concerned, he should be executed as an enemy combatant,” the questioner said, before asking the congressman about “the Muslims that he is shipping into our country through pilots and commercial jets” (a claim based on a bizarre right-wing conspiracy theory).

“This guy is a criminal and nobody’s stopped him,” she declared.

Bridenstine didn’t respond to her call for the president’s execution, but agreed that Obama is “lawless” and said he rules “by decree” and through the United Nations.

 

h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM


h/t: Janet Reitman at Rolling Stone