U.S. Politics

CNN Moves To The Right and Loses 52% of Its Viewers


CNN’s abandonment of news to climb in bed with the tea party has turned into an epic disaster as the network has lost 52% of its viewers.

In a month where all three cable networks had ratings declines, no one did as badly as CNN. The network lost 52% of their total viewers (Run, Anderson, run. Imagine what a Cooper/Maddow primetime could do for MSNBC). Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room was down 46% in total viewers and 61% in the demo. How bad for have things gotten for CNN? In my recent travels, I passed through four airports, and not a single one had CNN on. The channel that I have been seeing more public televisions tuned to is The Weather Channel. Yes, even the weather is more interesting than CNN.

CNN’s problems started when the network bosses got the bright idea that they should try to copy Fox News, and move to the right. After climbing into bed with the Tea Party Express and hiring far right wingers Erick Erickson and Dana Loesch led to the current ratings disaster, what would you expect CNN to do?

If you said hire more right wingers and conservatives, congratulations, you are qualified for an upper management position at CNN. The network’s latest hire, Fox News cast-off Margaret Hoover,  let the cat out the bag, “Executives at CNN have been looking for fresh faces and new talent with conservative perspectives, and in the end, offered me an opportunity that was too good to pass up. Indeed, competition, that sturdy pillar of capitalism, is alive and well in the cable news industry.”

Despite the fact that their network is dying because they hired a bunch of conservatives, executives at CNN are looking to hire… more….conservatives.

Continue reading here…

The Progressive Magazine · Wisconsin Recall Efforts

D-Day in Wisconsin on Tuesday

The Progressive


Wisconsin! Get Out The VOTE. RECALL THEM ALL!!

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Tea Party · Tea Party Ignorance

Tea party headed to Wisconsin to defend Republican state senators

These people profess to love their country, yet support policies that are devastating for our country…

Raw Story

Two prominent tea party groups will begin their four-day “Restoring Common Sense” tour in Wisconsin on Friday to support the Republicans facing recall elections.

CNN reported that the Tea Party Nation and Tea Party Express will hold rallies across the state to defend six Republican state senators.

“The tea party stands for fiscal responsibility, and Republican Senators in Wisconsin stood firm for those principles,” Amy Kremer, chair of Tea Party Express, told CNN.

“Now they are under attack for doing the job they were elected to do. It is critical that we support and defend them from these undeserved attacks and in that effort we are proud to be joined by our friends at Tea Party Nation.”

Another group associated with the tea party movement, Americans for Prosperity, has been accused of trying to suppress Democratic votes in the upcoming elections.

Democratic Wisconsin Senate candidates overwhelmingly defeated their fake rivals in the Democratic primary election in July. Republicans entered the fake candidates into the race to force Democratic primary elections and delay the general election.

The six Republican state senators were recalled after supporting Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial “budget repair bill,” which stripped nearly all collective bargaining rights from public employees.

The state Government Accountability Board also approved recall elections for three Democratic state senators. The general election will take place on August 9.

Democrats need to pick up three additional seats to have a majority in the state Senate.

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Pat Robertson · Tea Party · Tea Party Nation

Robertson: The Tea Party Is God’s Answer

“The stupid” follows this guy like white on rice.  (No pun, honest!)

Right Wing Watch

Pat Robertson and the Christian Broadcasting Network have been heavily promoting the so-called “Teavangelicals,” or the ties between the Religious Right and the Tea Party. Following a report by David Brody, who hosted a panel on “Teavangelicals” at the Faith and Freedom Coalition summit, on the religious views of Tea Party activists Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots and Amy Kremer of the Tea Party Express, Pat Robertson claimed that God sent the Tea Party to stop America from sliding into “chaos.”


I believe God loves America. I believe He remembers the sacrifice of past generations and how they’ve stood up and how this country has been a beacon of freedom around the world, and He doesn’t want this country to go into chaos. It’s heading that way, but is the Tea Party His answer? It would be. It’s almost like the humor of God that He’s going to bring a bunch of housewives in to change the government, isn’t that great?

Politico · Politico's Best Quotes of 2010

The Week In One-Liners



The week’s top 10 quotes in politics: 

“We didn’t elect Superman, we elected a human being.” – Colin Powell, on President Barack Obama. 

“I’m trying to stay out of prison, obviously.” – Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on his current goals. 

“Am I looking at the right camera?” – White House advisor David Axelrod, mocking Michele Bachmann’s confusing Tea Party Express interview, during his own TV interview. 

“In spite of the fact that I’m now on TV, I don’t want to be on TV.” – Former President George W. Bush, telling C-SPAN how low-key he’d prefer his life to be. 

“Granny is safe.” – President Obama, defending his health care bill from the “death panel” charges. 

“I can’t spell at all. … In fact, you don’t have to know how to spell anymore” – Vice President Joe Biden, revealing one of the perks of power. 

“It’s a tricky job. I’m sure I wouldn’t be any good at it.” – Incoming White House press secretary Jay Carney, assessing the job in a 2006 interview on C-SPAN. 

“I’m Italian. We don’t have problems with olives.” – Rep. David Cicilline, dinging Rep. Dennis Kucinich in an interview with ABC News. 

Promiscuous.” – Former President Bill Clinton, describing political advisor David Gergen’s political switch-hitting, while in Davos, Switzerland. 

“Back off.” – Sen. Harry Reid, issuing a warning to the White House on its efforts to rein in congressional earmarks.

Michele Bachmann · Tea Party · Tea Party Caucus · Tea Party Nuts

Michele Bachmann’s Gaze

Official photo of Congresswoman Michele Bachma...
Image via Wikipedia

It was the weirdest video response I had ever seen.  It actually topped Sarah Palin’s last video blaming the media  for directing a “blood libel” at her, in terms of bizzare.


It was almost impossible to concentrate on what Michele Bachmann was saying, exactly, in her Tea Party response to tonight’s State of the Union. First, there were the visual aids, that looked at times like what one might bring for a Civics class presentation on the Constitution (complete with confusing charts on unemployment that cleverly only labeled odd-numbered years—so unless you looked closely, it seemed as if unemployment went up during a Democratic presidency, not during the tail end of the Bush era).

Then there was her gaze. If you watched on CNN—the only station to carry the speech—she was looking over your shoulder, not at the camera. The TV camera, anyway: I didn’t watch online, but according to my Twitter feed, she was gazing directly at the webcam. Bachmann’s eye contact, then, is reserved for the Web faithful—for those bypassing the lamestream media, that is.

Another odd note: According to the New York Times, at least, the Web site of the Tea Party Express didn’t carry Bachmann’s speech live, despite the fact that she was ostensibly speaking for them as a subset of Republicans. Which leaves me wondering whether anyone wanted Bachmann to respond nearly as badly as Bachmann did herself.

Michele Bachmann · Tea Party · Tea Party Ignorance · Tea Party Talking Points

Matthews Yells At Tea Party Leader: Why Is ‘Balloon-Head’ Bachmann Speaking For You

I saw this segment on Chris Matthews’ Hardball last night and found Matthews’ heightened frustration with the Tea Party leader Sal Russo, amusing and justifiable.


Chris Matthews was nearly apoplectic in his questioning of Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo on the topic of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her controversial re-imagining of history where the founding fathers found a way to end slavery in their lifetime. Repeatedly calling Bachmann a “balloon head,” Matthews demanded to know why Russo and the Tea Party wanted Bachmann to give a response to the State of the Union address or, more generally, why they ever wanted her to open her mouth in the first place?

Given that Russo was eager to steer the topic away from what Bachmann does or does not know about slavery, the “interview” ended up being just Matthews berating Russo with questions like “do you know how little this woman knows about American history” and “what is she talking about?” Joan Walsh was also a guest for the segment, but there was a little time for her, since it was clearly much more entertaining watching Matthews scream at Russo “are you hypnotized – can you answer a question,” whenever Russo struggled to defend Bachmann.


Michele Bachmann · Michele Bachmann's Constitution Class · State Of The Union · State of the Union Address · Tea Party · Tea Party Caucus · Tea Party Rhetoric · Tea Party Talking Points

The GOP’s Michele Bachmann Problem

Apparently Michele Bachmann has aspirations of running for the presidency in 2012.  It appears that the GOP “establishment” and Bachmann do not see eye to eye on this issue…

The Daily Beast

The Minnesota congresswoman has never shied from controversy, but her latest efforts to represent Tea Party interests are disrupting Boehner’s push for the Republicans to rule effectively—and threatening the party’s unity. By Newsweek’s Andrew Romano.

Plus, watch video of 9 notorious State of the Union moments.

Michele Bachmann has certainly been keeping busy.

Within hours of winning her third congressional term in November, the colorful Minnesota Republican began campaigning for conference chair, the No. 4 position in the House GOP leadership. Why? Because “constitutional conservatives”—like her and, presumably, unlike the rest of John Boehner’s team—”deserve a loud and clear voice!” A few weeks later, news leaked that Bachmann would be traveling to Iowa for a fundraiser—and that “nothing,” according to her spokesman, “is off the table.” Asked whether she was considering a presidential run, Bachmann told ABC News  “I’m going to Iowa—there’s your answer.”

Then on Friday Bachmann announced that even though Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is slated to deliver the official Republican response to President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address, she would be giving her own online rebuttal on behalf of the Tea Party Express “shortly after” Ryan’s speech concludes.

Bachmann’s post-election maneuvering isn’t particularly surprising; the ultraconservative Minnesotan, who by one estimate appears on national cable once every nine days, is always looking for new ways to get attention. But the response her scheming has received in top GOP circles—a response that would best be described as arctic—suggests that the battle between disgruntled, absolutist Tea Party activists (who want to blow the system up) and their more realistic representatives in Washington (who plan to work within it) is only beginning.       More…

Tea Party

Tea Party Group Blames ‘Leftist’ for Giffords Shooting

The Atlantic

Showing no sign of tamping down on divisive political rhetoric in the wake of the shooting of 20 people that left six dead in Tuscon Saturday, the Tea Party Nation group e-mailed its members Sunday warning them they would be called upon to fight leftists in the days ahead and defend their movement.

TPN founder Judson Phillips, in an article linked off the e-mail “The shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and the left’s attack on the Tea Party movement,” described the shooter as “a leftist lunatic” and Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik as a “leftist sheriff” who “was one of the first to start in on the liberal attack.” Phillips urged tea party supporters to blame liberals for the attack on centrist Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was shot through the head and is now fighting for her life, as a means of defending the tea party movement’s recent electoral gains.

“The hard left is going to try and silence the Tea Party movement by blaming us for this,” he wrote. Clinton used the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing to “blame conservative talk radio, especially Rush Limbaugh” and “The tactic worked then, backing conservatives off and possibly helping to ensure a second Clinton term.”

“The left is coming and will hit us hard on this. We need to push back harder with the simple truth. The shooter was a liberal lunatic. Emphasis on both words,” he wrote.

The Tea Party Nation is the sponsor of the Tea Party Convention at which former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was the keynote speaker in February 2010. “America is ready for another revolution!” Palin told the assembled at the conference, to standing ovations.

Other tea party groups took a less combative tone. Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said Saturday her group was “shocked and saddened” by the “terrible tragedy.”

“These heinous crimes have no place in America, and they are especially grievous when committed against our elected officials. Spirited debate is desirable in our country, but it only should be the clash of ideas,” Kremer said in a statement published by the New York Times. “An attack on anyone for political purposes, if that was a factor in this shooting, is an attack on the democratic process. We join with everyone in vociferously condemning it.”

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords · Tea Party Rhetoric · Wing Nut Reaction

Tucson Tea Party Leader: We Won’t Change Our Rhetoric After Giffords Shooting


A leader of a Tucson-area tea party group condemned the mass shooting in Arizona that included Rep. Gabriel Giffords (D-AZ), but told TPM that this doesn’t mean her group is going to tone down their rhetoric: “I think anytime you start suppressing freedom of speech, I think it’s wrong. I live here and I didn’t hear anything [in the 2010 campaign] that concerned me in terms of inciting violence.”

Allyson Miller, a founder of the 500-member Pima County Tea Party Patriots, told TPM in an interview today that the members of her group, as well as the entire city of Tucson, were “deeply saddened” by the events of today and said “there is no place for violence” in political debate.

“This is outrageous,” she said.

Miller was quick to distance her group from the shooting and said that she felt she had to go on the defensive after news of the tragedy began to spread. “I did feel, you know, very like ‘why are they jumping to this conclusion before they even knew the person’s name?’ They’re jumping to this conclusion that it has to do with the hotly contested Congressional race,” she said. “Well, apparently, from what I’ve seen so far…it’s looking like that’s not the case.”

The race she’s referring to was between Giffords and Jesse Kelly, a tea party-backed Republican, who held one event in June that said “Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

The suspect, now identified as Jared Loughner, left a trail of rambling YouTube videos on the internet, in some accusing the government of “mind control” and “brainwashing.”

Miller said she knows the members of her tea party, who she called “reasonable individuals” closer to her age of 55 than the suspected shooter’s 22. She said she’s never seen the suspect at an event. “That’s why we put out our press release [condemning the shooting] so quickly. I just felt like all the fingers were pointed at the tea party.”

There’s one thing Miller didn’t feel she needed to defend — the heated rhetoric of the 2010 campaign against Giffords. TPM asked if, after the shooting, Miller thought tea party activists in future campaigns should temper some of the tougher talk.    More…