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Posts tagged "Tea Party Movement"

h/t: Caitlin MacNeal at TPM

She’s just another deranged Tea Party nutbar.

h/t: Joe Holleman at

h/t: John Prager at AATTP

All four of these morons are bad for society. 

h/t: Tim Peacock at Peacock Panache



I don’t know how else to say it. But you simply must read this piece we published this morning about Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s long dalliance with the state’s local “Sovereign Citizen” movement. It will blow your mind. It’s a mix of scary, bizarre and hilarious, with LePage’s staff trying, in profound discomfort, to reel him back to reality while he keeps meeting with the group, buys into various of their conspiracy theories, has a sheriff look into some of their demands and finally has his legal staff draft an opinion on the group’s theory that the Democratic leaders of the state legislature should be arrested and executed. Truly. It will blow your mind. This guy’s a governor.


NOTE: Important points are bolded by me for emphasis. The original writer of the article didn’t bold any part of his article.

Remember in 2009, right at the start of the Obama era, when then-Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano issued a report (PDF) entitled: “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”? The report was truly prescient. It alerted us to the rise of right-wing extremism, such as from white supremacist groups, and warned that unchecked, it could lead to violence.

How did Republicans respond? They went ballistic attacking the report. John Boehner was especially upset that Napolitano would use the term “terrorist” to “describe American citizens who disagree with the direction Washington Democrats are taking our nation,” adding, “using such broad-based generalizations about the American people is simply outrageous.”

Well, what have we seen since 2010? An explosion in the number of hate groups and a rash of domestic terrorist acts committed by those very right-wing groups Napolitano warned us about.  Per the Southern Poverty Law Center, since 2010, there have been 32 instances of terrorism by far-right groups—that equals eight attacks per year. (Of course, citing the SPLC won’t move many on the right because they continually tell me on Twitter that the SPLC is biased. They’re correct, the SPLC is biased. Against bigotry.)

The attacks include a plot in 2011 by members of a Georgia militia group to bomb a federal building and release deadly ricin in Atlanta; an attack by a white supremacist on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people; another white supremacist planting bombs at a Martin Luther King parade in Seattle; and numerous plots against or actual killings of law enforcement officers.  And this list doesn’t even include the anti-government LAX gunman who killed a TSA officer and wounded another in November 2013, or the attack we saw this past weekend by Jerad and Amanda Miller, who executed two Las Vegas policemen and then tossed the Gadsden flag used by the Tea Party onto the dead officers’ bodies.

So how have Republicans responded to the rise of attacks by right-wing groups? By ignoring it and keeping their focus on foreign terrorists and Muslim-Americans. Perhaps the Republican members of Congress would find it instructive to reread the oath they took upon being sworn into office that provides in part: “I do solemnly swear to defend the United States…against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Republicans won’t investigate right-wing extremists because it would not only anger their base, it would actually indict some parts of it.

I’m sure they are fully aware of these words. The actual reason Republicans won’t investigate right-wing extremists is that it would not only anger their base, it would actually indict some parts of it. Let’s be honest: In a time when establishment Republicans are concerned about getting challenged in primaries by more conservative Tea Party types, calling for hearings to investigate right-wing organizations could be political suicide.

So instead, in 2011 and 2012 we saw Rep. Peter King hold five sets of hearings about the radicalization of Muslims when he was chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. I attended the first of these hearings and listened as Democratic members of the committee urged King to broaden his investigation to look at radicalization of Americans regardless of faith. They cited studies warning of a record number of right-wing hate groups and resurgence of anti-government chatter. But King wouldn’t have any of it.

We have seen similar tactics by Republicans in state legislatures. Instead of focusing on potential far-right groups in their state, they have passed laws intended to demonize Muslims because it plays to their base. In fact, just last month in Florida, an anti-sharia measure was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott even though supporters admitted there hadn’t been even one instance of Muslims in Florida trying to impose Islamic law. Yet, in Florida there has been a documented upsurge in the Ku Klux Klan, with the group now boasting more than 1,000 members.

And some Republican elected officials have even implicitly given their blessings to the right-wing view that weapons may be needed to fight off an overreaching federal government. We saw this during the recent standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and federal officers.  Rand Paul and other GOP officialspraised Bundy with full knowledge that there was in essence an armed militia of private citizens who had their guns trained on federal officers.

The threat of right-wing domestic terrorism is very real. In fact, just last week, the Department of Justice announced that it was reviving its domestic terrorism taskforce. As Attorney General Eric Holder explained, we must be vigilant in protecting Americans against the “danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from anti-government animus to racial prejudice.”

It’s time that the GOP join in the fight against the threats posed to our nation by right-wing extremists. True, this could cause them problems with parts of their own political base, but saving American lives must trump politics.

In a perfect world, the GOP would address the threats posed by these extremists with the same zeal they’re investigating the “truth” surrounding Benghazi. But they won’t.  The hard truth is that the GOP can’t lose any of its shrinking base by alienating the lunatic fringe and their supporters, from the Ted Nugents to the Cliven Bundys to the white supremacists. You see, what we view as radicals, the GOP views as their last, best hope. 

Source: Dean Obeidallah for The Daily Beast


attribution: Jody Hice for Congress (screenshot)
Jody Hice wearing camo, holding rifle
Rifle? Check. Pickup? Check. Giving away guns as prizes? Check.

Please stop.

Jody Hice, a Baptist preacher and radio host who’s one of several hard-right candidates running for Paul Broun’s (R-GA) congressional seat, recently sounded off on same sex marriage on The Jody Hice Show.

You know, there are other professions in the world other than radio show host. There are plumbers and gardeners and cheesemakers and kayak salesmen. But no, the history books on this era will write that, presuming the Republican candidates for national office were representative of the whole, over half of America’s post-millennial population were employed as talk show hosts. He’s also a “TEA Party Speaker,” which means that he is firmly and proudly and very predictably batshit insane.

“If a child loses a mom or dad in a car accident, we all think that’s a tragedy,” Hice said. “And yet in a same-sex relationship, there is an intentional, deliberate doing away with one gender or another.”

Well, nobody’s dying in the second case, so … yeah, I have no idea where to go with that. Jody Hice apparently considers being gay to be equivalent to euthanizing the other gender outright. That does seem to be a common theme among religious talk show hosts running for national office.

Hice also said that gay people retained the right to marry.

“Government doesn’t determine what gender a person is attracted to in order to allow them to be married,” he said. “Homosexuals have the right to be married, they just don’t have the right to be married to one another.”

Each and every Republican running for Congress in 2014 is insane. I really don’t think this is an arguable point anymore.

Source: Hunter for Daily Kos

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Conor P. Williams at TPM

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that several top tea party groups have spent “just a tiny fraction of their money directly into boosting” candidates, instead devoting most of their money to fundraising and consultants. The questionable spending has been aided by media outlets like CNN and Fox News, which, in the words of one of the shady groups in question, have given the tea partiers “great television news coverage” to promote their efforts.    

Over the years, CNN and Fox News have frequently promoted tea party events and hosted group spokespersons. CNN partnered with one dubious group for a presidential debate, while Fox News host Sean Hannity is a radio partner with another group. In turn, tea partiers have used the favorable coverage to increase name recognition and solicit more funds.

The Post wrote that the Tea Party Patriots (TPP), the Tea Party Express (TPE) and the Madison Project “have spent 5 percent or less of their money directly on election-related activity during this election cycle.” The spending “contrasts with the urgent appeals tea party groups have made to their base of small donors, many of whom repeatedly contribute after being promised that their money will help elect conservative politicians.”

While candidates are receiving relatively little money, tea party leaders are cashing in. TPP leader Jenny Beth Martin is “on track to make more than $450,000 this year”; TPP national finance director Richard Norman “is paid $15,000 a month,” and his firms have received “at least $2.7 million since June 2012”; and the Tea Party Express has paid “$2.75 million since the beginning of 2013” to the firm of leader Sal Russo, “while donating just $45,000 to candidates and spending less than $162,000 on ads and bus tours supporting their election.”

The Post report follows years of scrutiny from other outletsincluding Media Mattersabout lavish spending by tea party groups. In many instances, the criticism has come from other tea party groups, who have complained about the hypocritical nature of the consultant spending.

Mother Jones' Stephanie Mencimerreported in 2011 that TPP’s “coterie of consultants and fundraisers” have “sparked bitter complaints by affiliated tea party groups” who view the group as “morphing into the very type of slick, DC-centric special interest group they have been fighting against.” Politico's Ken Vogel reported in 2010 that tea party leaders “are suspicious of its [TPE’s] big payments to Russo Marsh, view the bus tours as distractions from meaningful grass-roots organizing headed into the 2010 midterm elections and say the Republican ties of both the firm and PAC are wrong.”

Despite years of reporting on the dubious nature of these tea party groups, media outlets like CNN and Fox News continue to give a publicity boost to the groups. 


Here are five ways CNN has helped tea party scammers.

CNN Partnered With Tea Party Express On Presidential Debate. CNN teamed up with TPE to host a September 2011 Republican presidential debate. The partnership drew criticism from Media Matters and journalists. TPE called the event an indication that “the tea party, which began as a small grassroots movement, has grown tremendously in size and influence to become a powerful force in American politics.”

CNN Promoted Tea Party Express Tours. CNN has frequently covered Tea Party Express tours. Slate’s David Weigel summarized CNN’s fawning coverage in a 2010 article headlined, “CNN and the Tea Party Express: The Greatest Romance of Our Time,” and noted that CNN had “highly uncritical coverage” and “was CNN’s first salvo in a series of fairly positive specials about conservative activists in 2010.”

CNN Is Still Hosting Spokespersons For Questionable Tea Party Groups. According to a transcript search of the Nexis database, CNN has continued to regularly host Tea Party Express representatives. Tea Party Patriots representatives has also repeatedly appeared on CNN in recent years, according to a Nexis search.

CNN Loved Ex-Tea Party Express Spokesman Mark Williams, Who Was Forced To Resign For Racist Remarks. CNN frequently hosted then-TPE spokesman Mark Williams in 2009 and 2010 despite his long history of race-baiting and incendiary rhetoric (Williams said Allah is a “monkey god,” President Jimmy Carter is a “creepy little faggot,” and Obama is “Tiger Woodsing” a “mistress” while raping the country). He was finally forced out of the group after he characteristically wrote a blog post about slavery that portrayed blacks as lazy.

Tea Party Express Uses CNN Coverage For Fundraising. For example:

  • An October 2013 email promoted an appearance by Sal Russo on CNN on the debt deal, and then asked readers for donations.
  • September 2011 email about “Tea Party Victories” cited the CNN debate as “a very important milestone” and asked for donations from “as little as $5 all the way up to the maximum allowed $5,000.”
  • Tea Party Express sold tickets and sponsorship packages for a watch party for the CNN debate, which it called “a truly historic, first-of-its-kind event.”
  • December 2010 email announcing the CNN partnership asked for money.
  • An October 2009 email stated that “CNN and Fox News have confirmed they will be covering the launch of the ‘Tea Party Express II: Countdown to Judgment Day.’” It then asked for money.  

Fox News And Conservative Media


Here are five ways Fox News and conservative media have helped tea party scammers.

Fox News Helped Launch The Tea Party Movement. Fox News was the most instrumental force in the creation of the modern day tea party. During the movement’s nascent days in 2009, Fox News breathed life into the tea party by heavily promoting April 15 tax day tea parties across the country, and even hosting its own “FNC TAX DAY TEA PARTIES.”  

Sean Hannity Is A Tea Party Patriots Partner. Fox News host Sean Hannity is acting as a de facto spokesperson for the group in fundraising emails and on his Premiere Radio show. (You can listen to some of Hannity’s radio promotions for TPP here.) Hannity hosted Jenny Beth Martin on the April 15 edition of his Fox News show, and said “we are partners on radio.”

Fox News Went Overboard Promoting The Tea Party Express. Fox News devoted live coverage and publicity to the kickoff of Tea Party Express tours in 2009 and 2010. Fox News also embedded a reporter —whom they labeled a “tea party groupie” — to cover the tour.

Tea Party Express Uses Fox News Coverage For Fundraising. For example:

  • An August 2011 email touted an upcoming Fox News appearance by a representative, and then asked for money.
  • An August 2010 email read, “Fox News is reporting on our 2-week push to help pull off another upset and propel Conservative Republican Christine O’Donnell to victory over Liberal Mike Castle.” It then asked for money.
  • A March 2010 email highlighted Fox’s coverage of its Tea Party Express III, and then asked for money.
  • An October 2009 email stated that “CNN and Fox News have confirmed they will be covering the launch of the ‘Tea Party Express II: Countdown to Judgment Day.’” It then asked for money.  
  • A July 2009 email highlighted a favorable Fox Nation post to ask for money.

Dubious Groups Recruit Conservative Media As Event Speakers. Despite their dubious spending and questionable practices, the Tea Party Express and Tea Party Patriots have been able to recruit members of the conservative media to their events. Tea Party Express speakers have included Fox News contributor Sarah Palin, radio host and Fox News contributor Mike Gallagher, and radio host Mark Levin. Tea Party Patriots speakers have included Mark LevinWall Street Journal writer and Fox News contributor Stephen Moore, radio host Dana Loesch, Fox News contributor Herman Cain, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell, and radio host Glenn Beck

h/t: Eric Hananoki at MMFA


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…



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.”


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