“Tell Us What To Say” – Tea Party Group Gives GOP Freshmen Medicare Talking Points

So, what sort of power does a group like the Tea Party have over members of the House and Senate?  Could it be Corporate and special interests who are looking for members of both houses in Congress to tow the free market line?  

The wealthiest corporations and special interest groups usually pepper politicians with overwhelming amounts of money in hope of influencing the political process.   

It’s the same way with the Tea Party which is backed by the likes of Koch Industries and other corporate interests.

Huffington Post

FreedomWorks Gives Freshman Republicans Tips For Dealing With Medicare At Town Halls

The conservative group FreedomWorks has a message for freshman Republicans in Congress: Do not shy away from the Medicare fight.

On May 24, the group run by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey convened one of its regular off-the-record meetings with “communicators from limited-government conservative offices in the House and Senate who have a close relationship with the grassroots,” according to an email from FreedomWorks’ Media Coordinator Jackie Bodnar obtained by The Huffington Post. The email was intended for attendees of the breakfast meeting.

The main topics of discussion, according to notes attached to the email that recapped the meeting, were the debt ceiling and Medicare. The special guest that day was Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who argued, according to the recap, that the “debt ceiling has become a key bargaining chip that can be used to get the BBA [balanced budget amendment] passed.”

Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, focused on Medicare and gave the congressional offices tips for dealing with the hot topic in their districts (emphasis added):

  • Get out there and talk to people. Hold town halls at senior centers and other areas where the population is especially concerned about their benefits being cut. Take the lessons of ’94 and ’95 and get out there and explain to people that their immediate benefits will not be affected. Explaining the plan will offset confusion and the Democrats’ negative messaging.
  • We need to dispel the myth that if we leave Medicare alone it will stay the same. It won’t. By reforming them we are saving and strengthening these programs for the current and future generations.
  • Don’t bury your head in the sand. Republicans must not shy away from this issue. Expect Democrats to attack, but not fighting back will only makes it worse. BOLD action is needed.
  • Communicate that Democrats do not have a plan of their own. Hold up a blank piece of paper as a powerful image of their do-nothing approach.
  • Stick to your message.

Continue reading here…


House Republicans Face Backlash At Home Over Medicare Vote

What planet are these  “Tea Baggers” from?

Huffington Post

House Republicans returning to their districts on Monday faced harsh criticism for voting to turn Medicare, the federal health care program for retirees, into a voucher system. GOP lawmakers faced this same constituent iremere weeks ago when they first voted to support House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan, which would lower tax rates for corporations and the wealthy while replacing Medicare with private-insurance subsidies for those under 55.

Speaking in his home state of Arizona Monday night, freshman Rep. Ben Quayle (R), son of former vice president Dan Quayle, took heat from constituents who demanded to know why he supported turning Medicare over to private insurers.

Quayle isn’t the only lawmaker who, after voting in favor of Ryan’s plan, faced anger at home this week. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) faced a similarly boisterous crowd at her first Vancouver town hall, while Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) weathered disapproving audiences in Worcester County.

A town hall meeting held by freshman Allen West (R-Fla.) on Monday night degenerated into a shouting match, with one person having to be removed from the meeting by police.

A recent speech by Ryan, meanwhile, was met with dozens of protesters marching outside a hotel in downtown Chicago and carrying signs that read: “Hands off my Medicare” and “Paul Ryan plan: Let them eat cat food.”

The most recent round of backlash comes just days after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican presidential candidate, called the Republican plan to end Medicare too “radical” and “too big a jump” for Americans. He also referred to it as “right-wing social engineering.”

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Trump Ups The Ante, Tells Hannity Obama Is ‘The Worst President In History’

More from Donald “One Note” Trump…


The last time a public figure uttered this sentence, the nation had a hearty guffaw at Ben Quayle’s expense– until he became Congressman Ben Quayle of Arizona, one of the 535 most powerful people in America. This time, it’s Donald Trump who is pulling out the “Barack Obama is the worst president ever” card with Sean Hannity, amid claims that he also has a “big heart” and “gets along with everybody.”

Unlike most of the combative Trump personal appearances that have made him, somehow, the top potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate on some polls, Trump’s sit-down on Hannity (lavishly overlooking Central Park) was more about what was good about Trump than what was bad about President Obama. This may be, however, because he began the interview with the harshest critique of President Obama yet:

“I always said the worst president was Jimmy Carter. Guess what? Jimmy Carter goes to second place. Barack Obama has been the worst president ever. In the history of this country, Barack Obama is number one.”

Moving right along, Trump had nothing but good things to say– about himself, that is. And of his most threatening opposition, Mike Huckabee. “I do much better when I don’t like the people,” he joked, worrying that the fact that Huckabee was a “terrific guy” would weaken his attack. He once again confirmed that he was not making the media rounds to promote Celebrity Apprentice, and then took some time to explain why he may run. “I think I’m know as a really good businessman,” he noted, adding later that “I’ve made a lot of great decisions” and, what’s more, “I’m a very conservative person with a big heart.” This meant that he gets along “with everybody”– hence his campaign donations to Democrats– and he hoped the rest of the nation could grow to get along, too.

See video here…


Midterm Madness: The Year In Review (VIDEO)

Huffington Post – 11-2-2010

Welcome to Election Day, everyone! All year long, we’ve noted that America is facing a host of difficult choices and tough circumstances. Long wars, massive unemployment, a foreclosure crisis that seems to get worse and worse and an economic recovery that’s slow to emerge. How have your would-be lawmakers responded to this time in our lives? With the most infantile, substance-free campaign in memory.

We’ve been watching the campaign ads, the debates, and the interviews, and if there’s some undercurrent of gravitas and maturity and dignity to be found in the country, we’ve not been able to discern it amid all of the chickens and the demon sheep and the gunplay and the singing and the dancing and the barely concealed childish wrath that’s been allowed to masquerade as “conviction.”

If you happened to miss any of our previous chronicles of Midterm Madness, we’re here to help. Here’s the story of how we got to where we are today.

Watch videos here…

Democrat Joe Manchin’s Republican TV Commercial


The advertising imagery is unsubtle and so archetypically right-wing you might think it was a parody: a candidate taking target practice while declaring his or her allegiance to gun rights and small government. Arizona state legislator Pamela Gorman cut one such ad earlier this cycle that became a YouTube sensation (but was not enough to best Ben Quayle in Arizona’s 3rd congressional district). What’s newsworthy about another commercial delivering typical Republican talking points—pro-gun, anti-Obamacare, and anti-cap and trade? Well, this time they are being delivered by a Democrat.

In West Virginia, Joe Manchin, the popular governor who is running for an open seat in the Senate, is facing a surprisingly tough fight from heretofore politically unsuccessful Republican businessman John Raese. (The latest Public Policy poll has Manchin, who once held a large lead, up by only 3 points.) It’s a tough political environment for Democrats everywhere this year, and the rugged hills of West Virginia are a particularly difficult terrain. The electorate is “moderate to conservative on fiscal policies,” according to Marybeth Beller, chair of Political Science at Marshall University in Huntington, W.V. Even Democrats in West Virginia, Beller notes, are mostly “moderate to conservative on social issues.” West Virginia is also one of very few states that favored John McCain in 2008 by a bigger margin than it did George W. Bush in 2004.   Continue reading…
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Democrats Blast Ben Quayle As The ‘Son Of The Worst Vice President EVER’

Well, young Ben Quayle called President Obama the worst president ever in his new campaign ad, so I guess the comparisons to his dad are justified…

Huffington Post

Democrats are firing back at Arizona congressional candidate Ben Quayle, son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, on the heels of the GOP hopeful’s release of an ad calling President Obama “the worst president in history.”

“The son of the worst vice president ever may think he has some wisdom on the job performance of political leaders,” explained Brad Woodhouse, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, to CNN. “But if he thinks a president whose actions have saved the country from a second Great Depression, reformed a broken health care system and protected consumers from the risk and greed of Wall Street merits such mention, his analysis is only slightly less ridiculous than his candidacy for public office is.”

Quayle, who is running for Arizona’s 3rd district House seat, alleged in the 30-second spot that because of Obama, his “generation will inherit a weakened country.”

(A Siena study released last month ranked the top presidents in American history. Obama received significantly higher marks than former President George H. W. Bush, as well as the second Bush, who was rated among the five worst White House leaders.)