02/3/15

The Tea Party: Then and Now

By: Michael Johns

The largest and most impactful political movement, at least since the civil rights movement and perhaps in all of American history, originated in the minds and efforts of less than a dozen American citizens.

It was late February 2009, just weeks after the inauguration of Barack Obama, and there was every reason for conservatives to fear the worst: That we had elected a polarizing, far left and ultimately ineffectual president who would prove a threat to constitutional law, our economy and America’s global standing in the world.  Most concerning was that he would gradually or even quickly erode our nation’s two centuries of respect for individual rights and liberties upon which America was founded, “fundamentally transforming” (as he promised) our nation in destructive ways.

On the morning of February 19, 2009, as was often the case, I had the financial media outlet CNBC playing on a distant television in my suburban Philadelphia home.  This particular cold February morning, Rick Santelli, a Chicago-based CNBC reporter, was doing his usual stand-up reporting from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade (COMEX).  Santelli began reporting on Washington’s federal subsidies of housing under Obama when mid way through his report his sense of outrage began to escalate passionately.

Santelli accused the Obama administration of “promoting bad behavior” in subsidizing mortgages then at default risk with a $75 billion housing program, known as the Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan. He then turned and, while still live on CNBC, stated assertively to COMEX floor traders: “We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party!” Santelli’s suggestion of a Tea Party response to the federal government’s overreach was greeted with supportive applause and whistles of approval from COMEX traders. Santelli then said: “What we are doing in this country is making our founders roll over in their graves.”

I found Santelli’s Chicago comments accurate, inspirational and even bold for a mainstream reporter in a media world that really never challenged Obama on much of anything during or since the 2008 campaign. What I did not realize was that his remarks were viewed similarly by several other conservative-leaning Americans, who would go on to inspire a national political movement that would shake the nation.

Just a few days following Santelli’s rant, 12 or so conservative activists, including me, were invited to participate in a strategic organizing Tea Party conference call moderated by Nashville-based, Stanford educated conservative Michael Patrick Leahy.  It was Leahy who earlier launched the now famous #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter) hashtag, where it remains today one of Twitter’s most commonly used hashtags and a key methodology for conservative communication.

Most on the call, unlike me, were new to political engagement.  They had largely never worked in government, public policy or politics. Aside from Leahy and me, the others had never managed an organization either.  They had largely never written or spoken on political or public policy themes, even though all of us would soon be called upon to articulate our Tea Party message nationally in the weeks to come.  Most had never even worked on a political campaign.  But the passion on that call was infectious.  The 12 or so of us left it with a feeling that a potentially influential national political movement was emerging—and quickly.

Several follow-up calls were scheduled, and they led us to devise a now well-known plan for Tea Party protests across the nation on Tax Day, April 15, 2009.  The aggressive six-week timeline, like much that the Tea Party movement has undertaken since its creation, was organized hastily, with a sense of urgency, and not without its errors. But April 15, 2009, is now a fairly notable day in American history in the sense that it was the physical manifestation of a national political movement, comprising tens of millions of Americans and quite possibly the largest in American history, that would go on to impact significantly the nation’s political debate.

The day of April 15, 2009, was a busy one. For my part, in the afternoon, on Boston Square in downtown Boston, just blocks from the original Sam Adams-led Tea Party on December 16, 1773, I spoke to a large and passionate crowd furious with Obama and the country’s direction.  I then left Boston to speak that evening at one of the nation’s largest tea parties of the day, held in lower Manhattan, not far from the memorialized 9/11 attack location. Three days later, on the grounds of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, I spoke for a third time in just three days to a very large and vibrant Tea Party rally organized by the Independence Hall Tea Party Association, of which I was then an officer.

The years 2009 and 2010 were full of flurry and a sense of urgency for the national Tea Party movement, an urgency that has continued to this day.  In 2010, in Quincy, Illinois, where Lincoln held his sixth debate with U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas on October 13, 1858, I joined Leahy and the late media personality Andrew Breitbart in addressing a large Tea Party crowd on the precise location where Lincoln pointedly articulated his anti-slavery message: “We (the Republican Party) also oppose it as an evil so far as it seeks to spread itself,” Lincoln said that day in Quincy.

By this time, the message of our movement was being refined and polished, comprised mostly of three universal themes that were and continue to be broadly popular with the American people: First, the federal government has grown too big and its taxes vastly too excessive.  Second, the sovereignty of the United States—in controlling its borders, in developing its national security and foreign policies — must be defended at all costs.  And third, that the U.S. Constitution was a document containing absolute truths to which government needed to adhere if it was to avoid lawlessness and chaos.

As I was in Boston and New York City, Leahy and others organized one of the day’s largest and most successful events in Nashville, drawing thousands.  In downtown Chicago, just a couple blocks from where the Santelli rant heard round the world took place, another Tea Party founder organized a large and hugely successful Tea Party rally.  His name was Eric Odom.

Quickly, the passionate and activism of this small cadre spread to thousands, then tens of thousands, and ultimately to millions of Americans who identified themselves as being supportive of the Tea Party movement. On November 2, 2010, a highly motivated Tea Party movement rocked the nation, sending 65 new Republican House members to Washington and thus forcing then Speaker Nancy Pelosi to surrender her gavel to new Republican John Boehner. Four years later, on November 4, 2014, the Tea Party movement again proved a huge difference maker, further increasing Republican presence in the U.S. House and increasing its U.S. Senate seats by nine, including pulling out wins in hugely contentious races in many states, including Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, and South Dakota.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. House of Representatives, a Tea Party Caucus, chaired by former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, had been developed with the movement’s input to coordinate the Tea Party agenda in Congress.  And the national strategy discussions continued. In Chicago, for instance, Odom and I spent three long days in detailed discussion on the movement’s strategy, messaging and allocation of limited resources.

In the months and years since, along with other Tea Party founders from the February 2009 conference call, we continued tireless efforts of what by then had become a vast, influential, though sometimes chaotically organized movement of political consequence. All the Tea Party movement founders from Leahy’s first conference call are impressive in their own ways, and have their own personal stories about what sparked their leadership in this now historical movement.

In the years that followed, along with other national Tea Party leaders, Leahy, Odom and I crisscrossed the nation articulating the Tea Party message and helped to organize the movement politically in order to prevail in elections.

In Dallas, Leahy organized a national Tea Party leadership meeting that included many of the founders from the original February 2009 call participated.  “Let’s begin this meeting with a prayer to God for His guidance of this movement,” I suggested privately to Leahy, who agreed. We began the meeting exactly that way.  Later, also in Dallas, we organized a two-day training course for regional and other Tea Party leaders on political and public policy activism.

One of those leaders was Chicago-based Eric Odom.  In fall 2010, from Las Vegas, we poured ourselves into the campaign of Nevada State Senator Sharron Angle in hopes of replacing the Obama administration’s strongest U.S. Senate ally, Harry Reid.  As the movement’s prominence (and the associated strategic questions facing it) evolved, Odom and I spent several days in Chicago asking and discussing those questions and developing our best answers.  And there was the day in Philadelphia where I invited Odom to join me in addressing an important pre-election Tea Party rally held on the iconic grounds of Independence Hall in front of the very building where 56 founders of our nation pledged with a “firm reliance of the protection of divine providence,” their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” to remove imperial British forces and rule and establish a self-governed nation rooted in liberty and the rule of law.

The Tea Party movement’s efforts, as even its detractors would concede, have since proven hugely consequential, ensuring that Obama, at least since 2011, was not given full reign of the legislative and executive branches of government.  A Tea Party-influenced Republican House and Senate, along with our extensive grassroots efforts, have held liberal Obama’s agenda at bay, despite the Tea Party’s ultimate inability to defeat Obamacare.

Since that first February 2009 conference call, the founding and ongoing development of the historic Tea Party movement is one of many intriguing personal stories, and a singular collective story.  Along the way, we have done many things well (removing Pelosi and then Reid as Speaker and Majority Leader, respectively).  We have strengthened the Republican Party as a party that stands more than before for conservative principles expressed (but too often ignored) in the GOP platform.  We also quickly obliterated the 2008 progressive political culture that maintained that Obama was a man who singularly held the answers for the nation.  Time has proven those ideas were not at all innovative and were actually just a rewording of those from the liberal playbook of more government and more taxes.  In all these ways, since those February 2009 planning calls, the national Tea Party movement has exceeded the accomplishments of the effective and well-constructed 2008 Obama for America campaign that ultimately propelled Obama to the presidency.

All this history is important because it reaffirms the veracity of Margaret Mead’s famous statement: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” It’s worth asking: If those first organizing calls had not been launched, would Republicans today control the U.S. Senate and House? If no, that means that Obama’s entire far-left political agenda would have been rubber stamped by an equally liberal Congressional leadership.  Has the Tea Party movement saved the nation?  I believe it likely has.

Yet, to be truthful about the inner workings of the Tea Party movement, we have done many things well, but failed in others.  In 2015, the Tea Party and patriot movement’s top priority must be communicating and impacting public opinion and explaining why and how Tea Party principles can make America great again: creating jobs and economic prosperity, restoring rigid adherence to the U.S. Constitution, and restoring a strong America that can defeat serious national security threats.

With a reliance on divine providence again, let’s roll back this utterly destructive, unconstitutional government and welcome in a century or more of strong liberty leadership.  Next step: We must explain our Tea Party vision and solutions for America.

01/28/15

Carol O’Cleireacain: Why is a Marxist Running Detroit’s Economic Recovery?

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

In October of 2014, new Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan appointed Dr. Carol O’Cleireacain as Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy, Planning & Strategy.

 Carol O'Cleireacain‎

Carol O’Cleireacain‎

According to Mayor Duggan, O’Cleireacain would be responsible for identifying “outside sources of funding” for the city so that it becomes financially stable outside of bankruptcy.

“Our ability to live within the Plan of Adjustment once it is approved can’t rely solely on traditional revenue sources because they can fluctuate based on conditions we can’t control,” Duggan said in a statement. “I’ve charged Dr. O’Cleireacain with identifying new funding sources to help insulate ourselves against these unknowns so the city can provide a consistent level of service.”

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr had hired O’Cleireacain before the Mayor and Detroit City Council legally revoked his powers. Duggan, however, continued the appointment when he retook full control of the city.

“Mayor Duggan is setting a strong tone of fiscal accountability with his administration and I’m thrilled to have been asked to play a role,” O’Cleireacain said in a statement. “The mayor is building a great team that is going to transform the way Detroit meets the needs of its residents for years to come.”

Sounds great – except that Carol O’Cleireacain has been a card-carrying Marxist, who presided over New York City’s finances during one of the Big Apple’s most depressed periods, the 1990-93 Dinkins’ mayoralty.

O’Cleireacain came to Detroit from New York City, where she is a nonresident senior fellow at the leftist Brookings Institute, a think tank that is based in Washington, DC and an adjunct faculty in management and urban policy at the even more leftist New School. She is also a member of the “nonprofit, nonpartisan” Council on Foreign Relations.

O’Cleireacain moved to New York City in 1976 at the height of that city’s fiscal crisis and served 13 years as chief economist at District Council 37 AFSCME, a union notoriously controlled by Marxists led by the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee. DSOC, would in 1982, merge with the New American Movement (an amalgam of mainly former Students for a Democratic Society and Communist Party USA members) to form Democratic Socialists of America.

O’Cleireacain was first identified as a Democratic Socialists of America member in DSA’s Democratic Left, Sep./Oct. 1987, page 9, while she was serving as assistant to the executive director of AFSCME, District Council 37, Stanley Hill – another DSAer.

In 1990, another DSA comrade, David Dinkins, was elected mayor of New York on the back of a big campaign mounted by DSA, organized labor and the Communist Party.

Dinkins immediately appointed several Marxists to key positions in his administration (including current Mayor Bill de Blasio and Carol O’Cleireacain.

DSA’s Democratic Left, May/June 1990, page 8, proudly noted that their member, Carol O’Cleireacain, had been appointed Commissioner of Finance for New York City.

The same year, Democratic Socialists of America sent a delegation to the October 1990 Socialist International meeting in New York, which included DSA’s permanent representative to the SI, Bogdan Denitch; DSA Honorary Chair, Cornel West; Pat Belcon, a DSA NPC member; Motl Zelmanowicz, a “DSAer active in the Jewish Labor Bund;” Jo-Ann Mort, a DSA NPC member; Jack Sheinkman, president of ACTWU; Terri Burgess, chair of the DSA youth Section; Skip Roberts, Chair of DSA’s Socialist International Committee; and NYC Commissioner of Finance, Carol O’Cleireacain. She had briefly became NYC budget director in the last days of the Dinkins’ administration.

The Center for Democratic Values, a “progressive think-tank” developed with Democratic Socialists of America sponsorship, made its first public appearance at the Socialist Scholars Conference in New York, on April 12-14. 1996. CDV cosponsored two panels at the conference and held a reception to introduce the Center to the assembled socialist scholars and activists.

The first panel dealt with rethinking the role of government. The discussion centered around a paper authored by DSA member and CDV organizer David Belkin (a policy and budget analyst in the office of the Manhattan Borough President), which “challenged the left to seriously reopen the issue of the role of government in a democratic society.” Carol O’Cleireacain, former New York City Budget Director, another member of the panel, “stressed the need for the left to pay more attention to organization and management as well as policy and structure, the traditional focuses of socialist theories.”

Here is a photo from the late 1980s of Carol O’Cleireacain wearing the badge of DSA’s Institute for Democratic Socialism. DSA’s “rose and fist” symbol can be clearly seen.

carolo'cleraicannn

Carolo

As late as 2009, O’Cleireacain was still serving on the Editorial Board of Dissent Magazine, alongside well known DSA comrades Joanne Barkan, Paul Berman, Mitchell Cohen, Bogdan Denitch, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Todd Gitlin, Michael Kazin, Deborah Meier, Harold Meyerson, Jo-Ann Mort, Patricia Cayo Sexton and Cornel West.

Detroiters are wise to remember that DSA played a big role in wrecking Detroit in the first place. After socialists seized control of the United Auto Workers, they used union muscle and money to elect Marxist politicians all over the state – including to the Detroit City Council.

One of their greatest victories was the election in 1973 of Coleman Young, a bona fide Communist Party member posing as a Democrat, to the Detroit mayoralty.

Young presided over a Council, stacked with socialists, whose cronyism, corruption and over-regulation drove an already teetering city off the financial cliff. Socialist influence on the Council continued until recent times under DSA aligned Councillors Maryann Mahaffey, and JoAnn Watson, revolutionary Marxist Ken Cockrel, Sr., and Communist Party supporters Erma Henderson and Clyde Cleveland.

While in charge of New York City’s finances, Carol O’Cleireacain computerized the city’s tax system, massively increasing revenues. Sound fiscal policy perhaps, but not the kind of shock Detroit’s very fragile business community could easily handle today.

But Carol O’Cleireacain may not actually care that much about private businesses anyway.

In an article in DSA’s Democratic Left, Spring 2007, DSA National Political Committee member and Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America Chairman David Green, wrote in support of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) – or “card check”.

What distinguishes socialists from other progressives is the theory of surplus value. According to Marx, the secret of surplus value is that workers are a source of more value than they receive in wages. The capitalist is able to capture surplus value through his ownership of the means of production, his right to purchase labor as a commodity, his control over the production process, and his ownership of the final product. Surplus value is the measure of capital’s exploitation of labor…

Green went on to write:

Our goal as socialists is to abolish private ownership of the means of production. Our immediate task is to limit the capitalist class’s prerogatives in the workplace…

In the short run we must at least minimize the degree of exploitation of workers by capitalists. We can accomplish this by promoting full employment policies, passing local living wage laws, but most of all by increasing the union movement’s power…

Will this be Carol O’Cleireacain’s strategy for “saving” Detroit? More taxes, more regulations, stronger unions? Where will the “outsourced” revenue come from? What happens when American businesses and taxpayers are bled dry? Chinese interests?

Hasn’t America’s once greatest city suffered enough from socialists?

Trevor Loudon is an author, activist and political researcher from Christchurch New Zealand.

He is best known for exposing the ties between a young Barack Obama and Hawaiian Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis, as well as exposing the communist background of former Obama “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones. Loudon’s latest book, The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress, is designed to expose the comprehensive communist, socialist and extreme progressive infiltration of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

12/27/14

Qatar: A Change of Heart? Or merely rearranging the Camels?

By: William Michael
Qatar Awareness Campaign

An Update from the Qatar Awareness Campaign

Several recent news reports point to the possibility that Qatar, the host nation of the Muslim Brotherhood, may be genuine in their attempt to reconcile with their Arab neighbors.  After expelling the Qataris and isolating them diplomatically, the United Arab Emirate, Saudi Arabia, and even Egypt appear to have reached an accord with Doha.  The Nazi-rooted Muslim Brotherhood was long ago banished from Saudi Arabia (in the late 1920s), and Egypt has violently suppressed them many times, notably after the assassination of Sadat.  Yet the daily report out of the Middle East suggests that KSA, UAE, and Egypt may really welcome Doha back into the family.

Consider:

  • Yesterday, it was reported that Qatar pledged to stop funding Hamas – truly remarkable, if true.
  • A few months ago, they expelled prominent members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • An Interpol arrest warrant has been issued for Yusuf al-Qaradawi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader”), and he will no longer broadcasting on Al Jazeera (if report are to be believed).

It is possible that the month-long Qatar Awareness Campaign, which issued an open letter to nearly 30 companies, universities, individuals, and politicians who benefited financially from a relationship with terror-sponsoring Qatar, had something to do with this apparent change of heart.  The campaign identified Qatar as the primary sponsor of Islamic terror, with connections across the Middle East and North Africa to groups such as Hamas, ISIS, and Boko Haram.

But, there is another explanation for this apparent change of heart which, given Qatar’s two-faced nature, may be more realistic.

The MB could simply be shifting their bases of operation, leaving their financial hub, Qatar, alone (for the moment), thus providing their wealthy benefactor with the good press to alleviate them of the international pressure. For over the past four months, the world press had suddenly taken notice of the corrupt Gulf terror state, and its causing them trouble. FC Barcelona, for example, dropped their sponsorship deal Qatar Foundation over Qatar’s financing of Hamas.

The evidence for this “camel rearranging” is as follows:

  • Turkey, a close ally of Qatar and Muslim Brotherhood proxy themselves, welcomed the expelled Muslim Brothers from Qatar.
  • Qatar and Turkey recently reaffirmed their mutual support for “oppressed peoples” – i.e., Islamists in secularly governed countries, and Hamas in Gaza.
  • Other MB expelled from Qatar have gone to Libya, where the UAE/Egypt are in a proxy war with Qatar.
  • Hamas has been removed from the EU list of terrorist groups, providing more flexibility to terrorists in Palestine.
  • The White House (Obama) tacitly threatened to sanction Israel, and remains extremely hostile to Netanyahu.
  • Qatar’s reconciliation with their Gulf neighbors appears to be directly related to lower oil prices, which have crippled Russia’s economy and hurt Iran (Russia and Iran being no friends of Saudi Arabia).  This also directly affects Syria, a Russian and Iranian client state that is under siege by Qatar, the Muslim Brotherhood, elements in Saudi Arabia, and the Obama administration.
  • ISIS is preparing to attack Israel.

Another development to take into account is the increasingly sharp language of the conservative press aimed at Obama and the Islamists.  We may finally be reaching a point where, sooner or later, the mainstream press is going to have to face up to the possibility that Obama is not who he says he is, but in fact an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Consider, the cop killer in NYC worked for Islamic Society of North America, and the president of ISNA is a close Obama advisor, including to DHS and the National Security Council.  The truth is getting harder to ignore.  As many people who have spent the time investigating Obama’s roots and connections have determined, the real threat to world peace is not in fact Qatar, but the Obama administration.

Now is truly the time to make the case that the administration is the North American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Taliban, and Hamas.  It must be done for posterity, before it is too late!

Let the chips fall where they may – the future belongs to the brave.