Tea Party movement

Thanks, But No Thanks

So the fissure between some in the "Tea Party" movement and "social conservatives" continues to fester beneath the surface of American politics, revealing itself periodically, but not quite coming to a boil — yet. Yesterday, Politico ran a story about a letter sent by GOProud, a homosexual activist group, some tea party leaders and various bloggers, urging Republican leaders in Washington to avoid putting forward any legislation on those nasty little  social issues the Tea Party seems so bent on ignoring. Focus, they say, solely on limiting government. 

Mitch Daniels, your office is calling.

Truce. Let's bury the hatchet for a while and just focus on the issues where we agree. We'll get back to the "divisive social issues" later. There are more important things to deal with. 

We've heard it all before.

Now, there are many possible responses to this foolish line of thinking, not the least of which is the polling that shows an overwhelming majority of tea partiers as socially conservative, and the fact that pro-life and pro-marriage candidates dominate the class of new Congressmen that will arrive in Washington in January — many of whom ran campaigns that touted their socially conservative leanings. 

But you know all that already. 

I have some other reactions (not all printable!). For instance, this truce that's being pushed, does it include, say, GOProud's friends at the Human Rights Campaign and their state chapters like Equality Virginia? Or Planned Parenthood? Or NARAL? Will they cease and desist from pushing their agenda's during the "truce"? No more coming to the government for grants? No more money to Planned Parenthood? No more attempts to legislate same-sex marriage? 

Yea, that's what I thought. So we're being asked to just play defense? Sorry, I'll pass.

And why can't we focus on more than one issue at a time? Is it really that difficult? Honestly, social conservatives, who are also overwhelmingly fiscally conservative, have no problem working on lowering taxes and decreasing the enormity of government at the same time they seek to restore some ethical standards that once under-girded our culture. Is it so bad that our politicians can't think about two issues at once?

Don't answer that.

Frankly, this whole debate is wearing thin. News flash: social issues aren't going away. They aren't going away because for a large segment of the electorate, on both the left and the right, these issues matter. They matter a lot. They matter to those of us who believe that strong, stable, two parent families will reduce poverty a lot faster than any government program. They matter to those of us who understand that losing 50 million people from the population since abortion was made legal has had a $35 trillion negative impact on our economy (not to mention the fact that those are 50 million human beings we're talking about!). They matter to those of us who understand that our freedom to say what we believe and exercise our faith in the public square is threatened by the relentless march of secularism.

So no, I won't be joining any truce. The Family Foundation isn't joining any truce. We aren't going away. No matter how badly some in the "Tea Party" wish we would.

Who Knows More About Capitalism? The Communist Chinese Or Washington Liberals?

It's absolutely astounding, but true: The Communist Chinese, who even know that excessive corporate tax rates kill jobs, is doing a better job at fostering economic growth than the current Washington regime. The further irony is that those now running our government probably think they're doing it the socialist way. None other than hotel magnate Steve Wynn recently went off on CNBC about Utopian panaceas coming out of Washington that are driving the country into bankruptcy. Say what you want about Steve Wynn, but for a man who has little eyesight, he has had the vision to create  thousands of jobs — and wants to create thousands more. But not in America, now; not in this environment. Instead, he's looking to the East fore new opportunities, where he said, things are more stable. He says we're becoming Greece, the health care law will not do what was promised and that the Tea Party movement is legit. Hear his candid and passionate comments in full:

Steve Wynn: Washington's spending has made America unstable.

Looking For The Truth? Look At The Statistics: 1% Tax Increase Lowers GDP 2-3%

One of the most insightful and oft-quoted stock market analysts in the country is Virginia's very own Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist and managing director of Capitol Securities Management. His April 22 Early Morning Commentary quoted a profound statistic:

As per Bloomberg, next week the Treasury may sell an unprecedented $128 billion in notes which some believe might be the peak in issuance as the economy strengthens. At this juncture, primary dealers are estimating the Treasury will sell a record $2.4 trillion in debt in 2010 as compared to $2.11 trillion in 2009.

Regarding 2011, Treasury has stated the obvious that 2011 issuance will be based upon tax receipts and projected budget.

Will revenue and growth projections meet expectations? As written several times and as per the National Bureau of Economic Research, a tax increase of 1% of GDP lowers real GDP roughly 2% to 3%. In other words higher taxes lower GDP. Perhaps the only absolute is that taxes are going up next year.

Will revenue assumptions meet expectations, especially given that as per the IRS a record 47% of society will not pay federal taxes in 2009? Never have so few carried the burden of so many.

The NBER is a non-partisan, highly respected institution (it is the official arbiter of when recessions start and when they end). The highlighted statistic — not to mention the frightening aspect of Treasury debt — is something to heed: Raising taxes decreases economic activity, including job creation, tax generation (to reduce annual state and federal deficits and cumulative national debt), and, it reasons, access to health care.

So, exactly what has the Left done to us (against our collective will)? It has rammed through some of the largest tax increases in history through the health care bill, not to mention the plethora of other faults it encompasses. Is this ignorance? Demagoguery? Or just plain egalitarian socialism, where the playing field is leveled — so that everyone has horrible health care and chronically high unemployment? Maybe all of the above. 

Over the last couple of weeks, the Left has lied, impugned and tried to discredit the Tea Party movement (ironic since in the same breath they say it is an inconsequential and contrived flash in the pan). One of the lies is that the movement should "thank" President Obama for lowering taxes for 95 percent of Americans, which is Orwellian. Be that as it may, there is no disputing what is scheduled to happen in several months as the Bush tax cuts sunset as well as the onset of the new health care law taxes.

So, who's actually telling the truth and what will be the actual outcome for the economy? Hint: Statistics don't lie.  

Tony Perkins To Urge Conservatives To Stop Giving To RNC

The Politico has learned that influential Christian conservative Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, will urge conservatives in his next e-mail newsletter to stop donating money to the Republican National Committee. An episode in which RNC staffers spent $2,000 at a "lesbian bondage club" was the last straw. Mr. Perkins will write:

I've hinted at this before, but now I am saying it: Don't give money to the RNC. If you want to put money into the political process, and I encourage you to do so, give directly to candidates who you know reflect your values.

This latest incident is another indication to me the RNC is completely tone-deaf to the values and concerns of a large number of people they are seeking financial support from.

Another point of contention for Mr. Perkins, and perhaps much more serious, is that the RNC has hired attorney Ted Olson to represent it in a campaign finance case. Mr. Olson initiated a law suit of his own to overturn California's Marriage Amendment, a case that may have implications for the many state constitutional amendments and statutes that define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Also, not pleased with the tone deafness of the RNC and Chairman Michael Steele is major Republican donor and Christian conservative Mark DeMoss, who earlier announced that he no longer contributes to the RNC. The burgeoning boycott is bad news for the RNC, already reeling in irrelevancy from the independent conservative/libertarian Tea Party movement, and a lack of funds to funnel into targeted 2010 Congressional mid-term campaigns.

Conservatives Make A Statement With The Mount Vernon Statement

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council issued the letter below yesterday inviting conservatives to sign the Mount Vernon Statement, a proclamation in which the conservative movement reaffirms itself to America's founding principles (see FRCBlog). A host of conservative leaders signed it in a ceremony yesterday (see FRC news release). Many are saying conservatives have tied themselves too closely with the Republican Party. Which may be true, but was that statement possible before the Tea Party movement? Now, there are options. Conservative movement stalwart Richard Viguerie offers his thoughts on his Conservative HQ Blog (here) while OneNewsNow covers the story here.

More than 100 conservative leaders joined together today to celebrate the release of the Mount Vernon Statement — a document in which the conservative movement has reaffirmed its commitment to Constitutional Conservatism and the principles of the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is a significant moment as social, fiscal, and national security conservatives joined together to declare the importance of working in partnership to defend our nation's founding principles.

You can become part of history as well by signing the Mount Vernon Statement today.

Sign the Mount Vernon Statement today to stand with us on the historic principles of Constitutional Conservatism

Sincerely,

Tony Perkins

President

Virginia News Stand: December 10, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations Obamanomics Claims Victim — The ACLU's Largest Donor

Governor Tim Kaine's expansion of state employee health insurance benefits to same-sex and other unmarried couples and announcements by Governor-elect Bob McDonnell  dominate the news. Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb is quoted in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot article on the former. As for McDonnell, he reiterated vows to balance the budget as well as to reject tax increases. He also named two cabinet secretaries: Bob Sledd, former head Performance Food Group CEO, a Fortune 500 company before taken private, will be Secretary of Commerce; and long time McDonnell aide Janet Polarek will be Secretary of the Commonwealth. He also fulfilled a campaign promise by formally announcing that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling will head up all job creation efforts. If you thought he couldn't attend certain meetings before. ...

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Jim Webb (contact) says he's not yet decided on how he will vote on health care "reform" (although thousands have asked him to vote "no"). The Tea Party movement has a message for Republican first district U.S. Rep. Rob Whittman. Nationally, the Washington Post has a feature on the Tea Party movement and whether it will split the GOP. Surely, wishful, but not of the question, thinking. But liberals are not without their divisions, either: The ACLU's top donor (to the tune of $19 million a year), David Gelbaum,  has stopped cold his donations to that organization, as well as to the Sierra Club and other liberal groups. Guess Obamanomics affects rich liberals, too.

News:

*Log Cabin Republicans back Va. benefits change (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell questions Kaine benefits plan (Washington Times)

McDonnell vows not to raise taxes (Washington Times)

McDonnell vows balanced budget (Roanoke Times)

Lt. Gov. Bolling to be named to jobs creation post (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell to announce Bolling, Sledd to head economic team (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Undecided on health-care vote, says Webb (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Push is on to force lawmakers to reveal government income (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Tea Party group chides Wittman (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

National:

For conservatives, a political surge (Washington Post)

ACLU loses donor, one-fourth of yearly contributions (AP/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tea Parties Continued: Make Your Voice Heard On Government Takeover Of Your Health Care!

Tomorrow at High Noon, the Tea Party movement in Virginia continues into another phase as people from all walks of life and all political persuasions will gather at the offices of Virginia's two U.S. senators to let them know socialized medicine, nationalized health care or whatever one wants to call it, is not acceptable. The monstrosity under consideration in Washington will destroy the world's greatest health care system through diminished quality, rationed services, exploding government debt, government bureaucrats picking who gets treated for what and when, and an increase in abortion services. It is nothing less than a complete government takeover of health care, which accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Since this is July, the month when the revolutionary ideals of American freedom from oppressive government were so eloquently and dramatically expressed, it is an appropriate a time to rekindle those ideals and let our senators know in very adamant terms that we want to remain true to our Founders' vision.

We won't be alone in Virginia. Americans in every state will visit senators'  district offices in a coordinated effort to demand that they protect our health care  freedoms to choose our doctors and to keep the government out of our health decisions.

If you are not able to make it, please take the time to call, e-mail or fax Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner so your voice is still heard. You may mail them by simply addressing envelopes with their names and the following: United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; or you may call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for their offices. To e-mail the senators, click on their names below. Also see below for district office locations and contact information.

Senator Jim Webb's District Offices (click to e-mail him)

Southside 308 Craghead Street Suite 102A Danville, VA 24541 Phone: 434-792-0976 Fax: 434-972-0960

Hampton Roads 222 Central Park Ave. Suite 120 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 Phone: 757-518-1674 Fax: 757-518-1679

Northern Virginia 1501 Lee Highway Suite 130 Arlington, VA 22209 Phone:703-807-0581 Fax:703-807-5198

Southwest 756 Park Avenue, N.W. Norton, VA 24273 Mail to: 756 Park Avenue, N.W. P.O. Box 1300 Norton, VA 24273 Phone: 276-679-4925 Fax: 276-679-4929

Central Virginia 507 East Franklin Street Richmond, VA 23219 Phone: 804-771-2221 Fax: 804-771-8313

Roanoke Valley 3140 Chaparral Drive Building C, Suite 101 Roanoke, VA 24018 Phone: 540-772-4236 Fax: 540-772-6870

Senator Mark Warner's District Offices (click to e-mail him)

Southwest  180 West Main Street Abingdon, VA 24210 Phone Number: 276-628-8158 Fax Number: 276-628-1036

Hampton Roads 101 W. Main Street Suite 4900 Norfolk, VA 23510 Phone Number: 757-441-3079 Fax Number: 757-441-6250

Central Virginia 5309 Commonwealth Centre Parkway Suite 401 Midlothian, VA 23112 Phone Number: 804-739-0247 Fax Number: 804-739-3478

Roanoke Valley 129B Salem Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24011 Phone Number: 540-857-2676 Fax Number: 540-857-2800