Day: March 14, 2010

Clarence Thomas’ wife launches ‘tea party’ group

After the SCOTUS rulings in CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION , this should be interesting.

Virginia Thomas, Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife has decided to launch a Tea Party Group.  Virgina Thomas told the LA Times that [the organization] would accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court. 

I can’t help but wonder about the timing of this, which is actually the least thing that piques my curiosity here.  Is there not a conflict of interest here? 

Read the entire story: LA Times:

The nonprofit run by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is likely to test notions of political impartiality for the court.

 By Kathleen Hennessey

As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the “tea party” movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.

“I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you,” she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama’s “hard-left agenda.”

But Thomas is no ordinary activist.

She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.

In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative “core principles,” she said.

The group plans to issue score cards for Congress members and be involved in the November election, although Thomas would not specify how. She said it would accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court. 

“I adore all the new citizen patriots who are rising up across this country,” Thomas, who goes by Ginni, said on the panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I have felt called to the front lines with you, with my fellow citizens, to preserve what made America great.”

The move by Virginia Thomas, 52, into the front lines of politics stands in marked contrast to the rarefied culture of the nation’s highest court, which normally prizes the appearance of nonpartisanship and a distance from the fisticuffs of the politics of the day.   More>>>

All indications show that this is NOT a conflict of interest.  However, as the article points out further down in the piece, Justice Thomas would have to keep a close eye that contributors to the organization don’t have a case before the Supreme Court.

This is disturbing to say the least.  Also, the article states that Mrs. Thomas is a Glenn Beck fan. 

‘Nuff said about the idiocy and chilling effect of this entire thing.

Is The Tea Party Movement Compatibile With Mainstream GOPers?

  

Now THIS is the definitive article about “sorting out the crazies”: 

Ben Smith: 

The rise of a new conservative grass-roots fueled by a secular revulsion at government spending is stirring fears among leaders of the old conservative grass-roots, the evangelical Christian right. 

 A reeling economy and the massive bank bailout and stimulus plan were the triggers for a resurgence in support for the Republican Party and the rise of the tea party movement. But they’ve also banished the social issues that are the focus of many evangelical Christians to the background. 

And while health care legislation has brought social and economic conservatives together to fight government funding of abortion, some social conservative leaders have begun to express concern that tea party leaders don’t care about their issues, while others object to the personal vitriol against President Barack Obama, whose personal conduct many conservative Christians applaud. 

 “There’s a libertarian streak in the tea party movement that concerns me as a cultural conservative,” said Bryan Fischer, director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association. “The tea party movement needs to insist that candidates believe in the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage.” 

Keith Olbermann’s Father Has Died

Rest in peace Mr. Theodore C. Olbermann.

Thank you Keith Olbermann for sharing your dad’s hospital experience with your audience these past several weeks.

 

Baseball Nerd:

Theodore C. Olbermann, 1929-2010

My father died, in the city of his birth, New York, at 3:50 EST this afternoon.
Though the financial constraints of his youth made college infeasible, he accomplished the near-impossible, becoming an architect licensed in 40 states. Much of his work was commercial, for a series of shoe store chains and department stores. There was a time in the 1970’s when nearly all of the Baskin-Robbins outlets in the country had been built to his design, and under his direction. Through much of my youth and my early adult life, it was almost impossible to be anywhere in this country and not be a short drive to one of “his” stores.

My Dad was predeceased last year by my mother, Marie, his wife of nearly 60 years. He died peacefully after a long fight against the complications that ensued after successful colon surgery last September at the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. My sister Jenna and I were at his side, and I was reading him his favorite James Thurber short stories, as he left us.

I can’t say enough about Dr. Jeff Milsom and his team at the hospital, and all of those physicians and nurses and staffers in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit who looked after my Dad all this time, and kept him in their hearts. And I feel the same way about all of you who have expressed your best wishes and prayers to him, and to me, and to our family.

My Dad was my biggest booster. A day after I was hired by CNN in the summer of 1981 as a two-week vacation relief sports reporter, I traveled by train to my childhood hometown, and walked from the station towards my folks’ house. I was stopped half a dozen times before I got to my Dad’s office by people congratulating me on my impending television debut. There was, of course, only one way they could have known. My Dad, the press agent.

Of course it was he and my Mom who took me to my first Yankees games (even though my father nursed a delightful grudge against the team for trading away his favorite players, Steve Souchock and Snuffy Stirnweiss – in 1948 and 1950). But as my interest in the sport began to take the shape of a dreamt-of career, it was my Dad also sacrificed family vacations so we could buy ever more tickets to Yankee games. When we could afford both games and vacations, four times those vacations were to Spring Training.

He was my inspiration, and will always remain so. His bravery these last six months cannot be measured. He is as much my hero now, as he was when I was five years old.