PUNDIT PRESS HAS MOVED

Today marks a very exciting day as we launch the new and improved Pundit Press. We have joined forces with High Plains Pundit to design a new website to provide our readers with even more news and information.


Here is the link that will direct you to the new Pundit Press website: http://thepunditpress.com/


This new partnership will also include all 3 of Danny R. Butcher's (aka High Plains Pundit) internet radio shows, Nightly Review, The Danny R. Butcher Show, and Sunday Night Sports Talk.


A special thank you to all of the Pundit Press readers out there for your continued support. We are very excited about what the future holds for Pundit Press, and we hope that you continue with us on this journey.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Occupiers with Nothing Better to do Kicked out of Iowa Coffee Shop



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Man with Explosives Detained at Texas Airport

From the AP:
A man was detained Saturday after trying to go through a security checkpoint at a Texas airport with explosives in military-grade wrapping, federal and local officials said.

The man was stopped at a security checkpoint at the Midland International Airport about 9 a.m. and taken into custody by the FBI, they said.

FBI spokesman Mike Martinez declined to say whether the man was in military uniform or how many explosives were found in the bag. He said he did not know where the man was being held, saying he was at either the airport or at the FBI office in Midland.

City of Midland spokeswoman Tasa Watts said she had no information on the suspect but the explosives were wrapped in military-grade wrapping. She said the specific grade won't be known until the explosives are tested.

The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement saying one of its officers spotted a suspicious item in a carry-on bag during X-ray screening. It said the checkpoint was closed for about an hour while officers investigated and removed the item.

Watts said the man was entering a terminal when he was stopped, and a sweep was done to clear that terminal before normal operations resumed.
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Poll: 48% Say Most Members of Congress Are Corrupt

How surprising...
The belief that politicians use their office for personal gain is growing.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that most members of Congress are corrupt. Just 28% disagree, and another 24% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 27-28, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
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Newt Gingrich Weeps While Campaigning in Iowa

Well then:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wept Friday as he recalled his late mother's end-of-life illnesses, a moment of poignancy in a notably negative Republican presidential Iowa caucus campaign with four unpredictable days yet to run. 
"I do policy much easier than I do personal," Gingrich told an audience of women as he tried to regain his composure. The tears flowed as the former speaker was responding to questions about his mother from a pollster and longtime political ally. 
Gingrich's emotional moment came as his rivals engaged in traditional campaign tactics, and as polls suggested large numbers of Iowa Republicans could change their minds before caucuses Tuesday night provide the first test of the 2012 campaign.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Newt Gingrich Crying Video

From Iowa:



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Hormuz and Iowa

The Iranian's threatening to close the vital Strait of Hormuz not only brings the possibility of conflict between the U.S. Navy and theirs, whether it be by us acting first or them surprising us all, but how voters in Iowa will react to the bold aggression and saber-rattling of the islamic regime.

When they look at the field as it stands, we have numerous opinions on how to deal with Iran, but its very probable that our next elected President wont be thinking hypothetically, but will actually have to do something in his first year, because the threat is that real and dangerous.

In Iowa we have five candidates that can win the caucuses - Romney, Paul, Gingrich, Santorum and Perry. And the question heading to the local precincts shouldn't be "Who is pro-life?" but "Who will take Iran seriously?"

Romney wants to rebuild our U.S. Navy to superpower strength and blockade Iran. Paul wants to do nothing and allow them to acquire nuclear weapons. Gingrich has not really settled on a plan, besides tougher economic sanctions. Santorum would attack Iran, while supporting dissidents of the regime. Perry favors economically attacking the country, especially Iran's Central Bank.

Iowa, the implications of your choice is more important than you'll ever know. We are looking at the possibility of War against Iran, please select your candidate based on their thoughts on that, and that alone - and please do so wisely.

What say you?

Video: Arlen Specter Does Stand Up

Former Pennsylvania Senator Specter does some fairly good standup:



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Joe Klein: Iran Just Wants Nukes "To Deter Israel"

So very, very stupid:


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Corporate Responsibility, Personal Responsibility, Nike, and Michael Jordan


We have all heard the stories of the near riots that occurred when Nike released a new version of Air Jordan sneakers several days before Christmas.  There were arrests, damage to stores, toddlers left in cars, and pepper spray all brought out while the frenzy to be one of the lucky ones who got a pair.  Sneakers that are now on sale on Ebay for almost double the original cost.
Activists in the Houston area have asked the Michael Jordan and Nike take responsibility for the violence that occurred when they went on sale and the violence that has occurred to those who have a pair.
“It is the responsibility of Michael Jordan and Nike to stand up and be part of the solution. Right now it’s a public safety issue with children wearing those sneakers,”
“The people that can least afford these shoes are buying them, and what happens as a result of that? Well there’s more crime,”
So, it is Nike and Michael Jordan who are responsible for the violence?
I have had pretty strong opinions on Micheal Jordan during his entire career.  As a lifelong long-suffering Knicks fan, Michael Jordan and his Bulls team was nothing but a source of disappointment for me.  But above and beyond the fact that the Knicks could never get past the Bulls and go onto to win a title one of the things that always did annoy about Michael Jordan was his insistence of saying nothing no matter what was going on.  When asked about endorsing a political candidate running against the sitting republican senator of his home state his response was:
"Republicans buy sneakers, too."
Jordan made millions and possibly billions from endorsements.  His life has always seemed to be about the conquest and the next thing.  Some call that arrogant, I have always preferred to look at as the "eye of the tiger" if you will.  He always maintained an edge that made him better and more competitive.  His juices for the next title, the next trophy, the next accomplishment kept him at the top of his game for the majority of his basketball career.  He made very few errors until the very end of career  and once he went to the management side of things.  He has every right to go out and make money.  I believe in capitalism so have at it.  But I, for one, have always been disappointed that they he didn't take some stands on important issues.  Such as child labor in China, the breakdown of the black family (while since it has come out that he had more than one affair while he was married, that could be part of the reason) as he had an image of a family man, who grew up in a close family, and many other issues.  But he always kept his mouth shut and picked up his next check.  The same was true of Tiger Woods.
I am not a believer in parents sitting back while their children idolize some sports or music star.  We should be showing our children the real heroes in our society, first responders who put their lives on the line to protect their communities, our volunteer military who willing go off to war to protect our rights, the people who work at shelters and food banks to help the neediest amongst us for little pay, and countless others who get up everyday and just try to do the right thing.  Parents should be living a life that their children will be proud to follow as they grow and mature.
But we have become a culture of entitlement.  One of the activists said himself that the people who can afford them the least are the ones buying them.  A Black Panther is saying that Nike is responsible for the thefts that are occurring to the people who lucky enough to get a pair of these sneakers.  Another said this:
“These shoes have always had a place of value in Black life,”
Maybe instead of going after Nike to lower the price to keep up with the demand (I will let go of that obvious ignorance of how economics work) they should be having the discussion with parents of the kids who were rioting.  They should be talking to the kids themselves about coveting a pair of sneakers instead of looking at what the Christmas season is really about.  Maybe we should be telling these kids that expecting your parents to spend almost $200 on a pair of sneakers when they don't have a great deal of money isn't such a great idea.  Take this moment to teach them about personal responsibility instead of what we want and when we want it.  Let this be a teachable moment about how if we really want something we need to go out and work for it.  No, instead they are saying that Nike should lower the price.  How low should the price be?  Should Nike also give some away at no charge for the neediest of people because after all these shoes are part of "black life".  What about the non blacks who want these shoes too and can't afford them?
While I would love to see Michael Jordan take a real stand for once, the truth is, this isn't his responsibility.  This is the responsibility of the care givers of these children and young adults who caused all the mayhem last week.  It is up to the individual to act in a responsible manner, not some athlete who hasn't been on the scene in more than decade.


Cross posted at  just a conservative girl



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Stormfront Founder: Ron Paul’s Views ‘Coincide with Ours’



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Santorum Smacks Down Sharpton on MSNBC



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Huntsman: Iowa Picks Corn

One of Huntsman's problems has been his apparent arrogance when dealing with people, or situations, but it hasn't effected his goal of performing somewhat reasonable in New Hampshire, and perhaps not leaving the race immediately. However, his latest display of odd behavior could ruin any chances he's had.

When asked about his decision not to campaign in Iowa this morning, Mr. Huntsman had this to say: "They pick corn in Iowa. They pick presidents in New Hampshire." Except for selecting Bush in '00, and Dole in '96 as the Republican nominees for President, Iowa has no track record of, uh, success...

Insulting the social conservative bedrock, small farmers, country folk and a state that is potentially a swing state is not only incredibly stupid, but also a good reason why Huntsman hasn't made it - he is arrogant and doesn't understand how America lives, or operates.

What say you?

This Year's List of Most Corrupt Politicians is Out - Read it and Weep Folks

I don't care what party you are from, if you are corrupt, it is time for you to pack your bags.  If you broke the law, go to jail.  Sadly, some of these will be re-elected in less than a year.  


This list is compiled by Judicial Watch and is alphabetical order.


1. Spencer Bachus (R-AL): He has become the face of acongressional “insider trading” scandal that has rocked the Washington establishment as 2011 draws to a close. Rep. Spencer Bachus, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was one of the principal targets of a (CBS News)  60 Minutes investigative report on the scandal, which aired on CBS TV in September 2011.



The report was based, at least in part, on the book Throw Them All Out by author Peter Schweizer, which outed a slew of members of Congress who allegedly profited in the financial markets by trading on insider information. Bachus was not the only congressman cited by 60 Minutes -- others included Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi –- but the Alabama Republican stood out for his remarkable “good fortune” in shorting the stock market.
According to the allegations made by Schweizer and 60 Minutes, Congressman Bachus, at the time the ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee, traded short-term stock options in 2008 after receiving a private briefing for congressional leaders by Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The subject of the briefing: the pending meltdown in the global economy. Those privileged to attend the meeting reportedly sat around a table in Pelosi’s office, having left their cell phones outside the room to avoid leaks.
Congressman Bachus’s aggressive trading practices, in which he was able to benefit by betting on falling stock prices, reportedly earned him substantial profits from some of the 40 trades placed during the months of July through November 2008, many of the trades occurring after the September meeting.
In the wake of the congressional insider trading scandal, legislation banning insider trading is under consideration in Congress. The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee advanced a bill banning insider trading on December 14, 2011. Similar legislation (pushed by Rep. Bachus himself, obviously to deflect criticism) has stalled in the House. Critics have suggested, and so has the House Ethics Committee, that the law already prohibits insider trading by members of Congress.
2. Former Senator John Ensign (R-NV): John Ensign, former U.S. Senator from Nevada and former Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, was forced to resign from office in May 2011 as the result of an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. In a scandal that first broke in 2009, Senator Ensign publicly admitted to an affair with the wife of long-time staffer Douglas Hampton. Ensign then allegedly tried to cover up the affair by bribing the couple with lucrative gifts and political favors.
According to The New York Times, after Hampton discovered the affair involving his wife Cynthia, the senator bought his silence by giving him “a strong boost into a lobbying career.” Ensign asked political backers to find Hampton a job. “Payments of $96,000 to the Hamptons also were made by Senator Ensign’s parents, who insist this was a gift, not hush money. Once a lobbying job was secured, Senator Ensign and his chief of staff continued to help Mr. Hampton, advocating his clients’ cases directly with federal agencies.”
These lobbying activities seemingly violated  the law related to the Senate’s “cooling off” period for lobbyists. According to Senate rules, former Senate aides “may not lobby the Member for whom he worked or that Member’s staff for a period of one year after leaving [their] position.” Hampton began to lobby Ensign’s office immediately upon leaving his job on Capitol Hill.
In November 2010, the Federal Election Commission dismissed a complaint that Ensign had violated campaign-finance laws, and in December, the Obama Department of Justice announced that it would file no criminal charges against the senator. Ensign, however, was unable to avoid the ongoing investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. In May 2011, the Senate Ethics Committee issued a devastating report that summarized the evidence against Ensign and made the extraordinary recommendation that the Justice Department reopen a criminal investigation.
3. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL): In a year full of shocking congressional sex scandals, perhaps none is more serious than that involving Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings, who allegedly sexually harassed a female government employee and then engaged in a cruel campaign of retaliation when she rebuffed his advances. (On March 7, 2011, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against Hastings on behalf of the victim, Ms. Winsome Packer.)
The alleged harassment and retaliation began in 2008 when Hastings (an impeached federal judge) served as Chairman of the United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Ms. Packer served as his employee. According to Judicial Watch’s complaint, “Mr. Hastings’ intention was crystal clear: he was sexually attracted to Ms. Packer, wanted a sexual relationship with her, and would help progress her career if she acquiesced to his sexual advances.”
These advances included: Making multiple demands that Ms. Packer allow Rep. Hastings to stay in her apartment while she served as the Commission’s lead staff representative overseas; subjecting Ms. Packer to unwanted physical contact, including hugging her with both arms while pressing his body against her body and his face against her face; inviting her on multiple occasions to accompany him alone to his hotel room; making sexual comments and references to Ms. Packer; and asking Ms. Packer humiliating and inappropriate questions in public, such as “What kind of underwear are you wearing?”
In addition, Hastings seems to have abused his office by using government travel as a cover for sightseeing and by soliciting gifts and campaign contributions from congressional staff.
On November 28, 2011, The House Ethics Committee announced that it will take an additional 45 days to determine whether to launch a full investigation into the allegations against Hastings.
4. Attorney General Eric Holder: Attorney General Eric Holder now operates the most politicized and ideological Department of Justice (DOJ) in recent history. And revelations from the Operation Fast and Furious scandal suggest that programs approved by the Holder DOJ may have resulted in the needless deaths of many, including a federal law enforcement officer.
Fast and Furious was a DOJ/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gun-running” operation in which guns were sold to Mexican drug cartels and others, apparently in hopes that the guns would end up at crime scenes. This reckless insanity seems to have resulted in, among other crimes, the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was killed in a shootout with Mexican criminals in December 2010. Fast and Furious guns were found at the scene of his death.
The Fast and Furious operation by itself should have resulted in Holder’s resignation, but it is the cover-up that has prompted serious calls for Holder’s ouster.
On May 3, 2011, in a House Judiciary Committee hearing chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Holder testified: “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” Newly released documents show he was receiving weekly briefings on Fast and Furious as far back as July 5, 2010. It appears Holder lied to Congress. (Judicial Watch sued the DOJ and the ATF to obtain Fast and Furious records. The Judicial Watch investigation continues.)
Unfortunately, when it comes to Holder's corruption and abuse of office, Fast and Furious is just the tip of the iceberg.
On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that DOJ lawyers would no longer defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), as applied to homosexual couples. DOMA had passed Congress by a vote of 85–14 in the Senate and a vote of 342–67 in the House. President Clinton signed the act into law on September 21, 1996.
Judicial Watch filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the DOJ (including one on behalf of the Family Research Council) for records related to this pro-homosexual marriage decision. This failure to defend this federal law is unprecedented and raises serious questions as to whether President Obama and Eric Holder are upholding their oaths of office and following the Constitution’s command to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
The DOJ continues to stonewall the release of information regarding Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s participation in Obamacare discussions when she served as Solicitor General. In addition to forcing Judicial Watch to file a lawsuit to obtain this information, Holder’s DOJ thumbed its nose at Congress by failing to release this material to the Senate Judiciary Committee during Kagan’s judicial confirmation hearing. Holder continues to personally resist requests from Judicial Watch and Congress for additional information on this controversy. Kagan’s role in these discussions is especially significant now that the U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will consider challenges to the constitutionality of Obamacare in Spring 2012.
New revelations emerged in 2011 about the DOJ’s Black Panther scandal. Judicial Watch uncovered evidence that the liberal special interest group National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) may have had an inappropriate amount of influence on the DOJ’s decision to drop its voter intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense. This comes on the heels of sworn testimony that the Civil Rights Division of the Holder DOJ makes enforcement decisions based upon race.
Most recently, Judicial Watch obtained shocking documents suggesting the Holder DOJ is conspiring with scandal-ridden Project Vote (President Obama’s former employer and ACORN front) to use the National Voter Registration Act to increase welfare voter registrations. One former ACORN employee (and current Project Vote Director of Advocacy), Estelle Rogers, is even helping to vet job candidates for the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Division! (ACORN and Project Vote have a long record of voter registration fraud.)
Seeming to affirm ACORN’s hijacking of the DOJ, Holder recently said in a speech that he plans to use “the full weight” of the agency in 2012 to attack states that are enforcing laws that protect against fraud in the voting booths. This speech ended the pretense that the DOJ is independent from the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign – as it repeated almost verbatim the partisan arguments made by the Democratic Party against voter ID laws.
Holder must go. Pick your reason – Black Panthers, race-based decision making, abandoning the Defense of Marriage Act, Fast and Furious killings and lies, or turning the DOJ into an arm of the radicalized left –- but Holder must go.
5. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) and the Blagojevich Co-Conspirators: It took more than two years and two trials, but disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod “Blago” Blagojevich was finally brought to justice on June 27, 2011, for a number of crimes, including his efforts to “sell” President Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. He became the state’s fourth governor, and one of at least 79 Illinois public officials, to be found guilty of a crime since 1972, proving that Illinois has certainly lived up to its reputation as a cesspool of corruption.
As the trial unfolded, it became clear that many hands were dirty in the Blago scandal. (See Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm “Rahmbo” Emanuel, who was finally forced to testify during this second Blago trial – for a whopping five minutes – and President Obama himself, who was interviewed by the FBI in the scandal even before he took office.)
But all of the focus now seems to center on Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.
The House Ethics Committee announced on December 2, 2011, that it will continue its investigation into allegations that “Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. or someone acting on his behalf offered to raise campaign cash for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for a Senate appointment in 2008….The committee also released an initial report from the Office of Congressional Ethics that said there was “probable cause” to believe that Jackson either directed a third party or had knowledge of a third party’s effort to convince the since-convicted Blagojevich to appoint Jackson Jr. in exchange for campaign cash.
The evidence suggests Jackson, Jr. attempted to bribe his way into the U.S. Senate. And it will take a monumental lack of attention on the part of the House Ethics Committee to overlook the Illinois Congressman’s role in this serious scandal.
6. President Barack Obama: President Obama makes Judicial Watch’s “Ten Most Wanted” list for a fifth consecutive year. (The former Illinois Senator was also a “Dishonorable Mention” in 2006.) And when it comes to Obama corruption, it may not get any bigger than Solyndra. Solyndra was once known as the poster child for the Obama administration’s massive “green energy” initiative, but it has become the poster child for the corruption that ensues when the government meddles in the private sector. Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in September 2011, leaving 1,100 workers without jobs and the American taxpayers on the hook for $535 million thanks to an Obama administration stimulus loan guarantee.
Despite the Obama administration’s reticence to release details regarding this scandal, much is known about this shady deal. White House officials warned the president that the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program was “dangerously short on due diligence,” nonetheless the Obama administration rushed the Solyndra loan through the approval process so it could make a splash at a press event. The company’s main financial backer was a major Obama campaign donor named George Kaiser. While the White House said Kaiser never discussed the loan with White House officials, the evidence suggests this is a lie. And, further demonstrating the political nature of the Obama administration’s activities, the Energy Department pressured Solyndra to delay an announcement on layoffs until after the 2010 elections. Despite the public outrage at this scandalous waste of precious tax dollars, President Obama continues to defend the indefensible and has refused to sack anyone over the Solyndra mess.
President Obama continues to countenance actions by his appointees that undermine the rule of law and constitutional government:
  • Despite a ban on funding that Obama signed into law, his administration continues to fund the corrupt and allegedly defunct “community” organization ACORN. In July 2011 Judicial Watch uncovered a $79,819 grant to AHCOA (Affordable Housing Centers of America), the renamed ACORN Housing which has a long history of corrupt activity. In absolute violation of the funding ban, Judicial Watch has since confirmed that the Obama administration has funneled $730,000 to the ACORN network, a group that has a long personal history with President Obama.In 2011, JW released a special report entitled “The Rebranding of ACORN,” which details how the ACORN network is alive and well and well-placed to undermine the integrity of the 2012 elections –- evidently with the assistance of the Obama administration.
  • Barack Obama apparently believes it is his “prerogative” to ignore the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law when it comes to appointing czars. According to Politico: “President Barack Obama is planning to ignore language in the 2011 spending package that would ban several top White House advisory posts. Obama said this ban on “czars” would undermine “the President’s ability to exercise his constitutional responsibilities and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” In other words, Barack Obama believes he must ignore the U.S. Constitution to protect the U.S. Constitution. Many Obama administration czars have not been subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate as required by the U.S. Constitution. In 2011, JW released a first-of-its-kind comprehensive report on the Obama czar scandal, entitled “President Obama's Czars.”
  • In an historic victory for Judicial Watch and an embarrassing defeat for the Obama White House, a federal court ruled on August 17, 2011 that Secret Service White House visitor logs are agency records that are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell issued the decision in Judicial Watch v. Secret Service. The Obama administration now will have to release all records of all visitors to the White House – or explain why White House visits should be kept secret under the law. The Obama White House continues to fight full disclosure and has stalled the release of records by appealing the lower court decision.(Judicial Watch gave Obama a “failing grade” on transparency in testimony before Congress in 2011.
  • In 2011, the Obama National Labor Relations Board sought to prevent the Seattle-based Boeing Company from opening a $750 million non-union assembly line in North Charleston, South Carolina, to manufacture its Dreamliner plane. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) showing this lawsuit was politically motivated. Judicial Watch uncovered documents showing NLRB staff cheerleading for Big Labor, mouthing Marxist, anti-American slurs and showing contempt for Congress related to the agency’s lawsuit against Boeing, including email correspondence attacking members of Congress. And it starts at the top. Obama bypassed Congress and recess-appointed Craig Becker, who is connected to the AFL-CIO, the SEIU and ACORN, to the NRLB.
  • Obama’s corrupt Chicago dealings continued to haunt him in 2011.Obama’s real estate partner, campaign fundraiser and Obama pork recipient Antoin “Tony” Rezko was finally sentenced to jail this year as was former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is now set to serve 14 years for attempting to sell Obama’s former Senate seat to the highest bidder. The FBI continues to withhold from Judicial Watch documents of its historic interview of then-Senator Obama about the Illinois corruption scandal. The FBI interview was conducted in December, 2008, about one month before Obama was sworn into the presidency.
7. Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA): A first-timer on Judicial Watch’s “Ten Most Wanted” list, Rep. Laura Richardson is in hot water for reportedly misusing her congressional staff for personal and political gain. Rep. Richardson is now under investigation by the House Ethics Committee regarding allegations by former staff member Maria Angel Macias. Macias alleges that she was required by Richardson to order other staffers to run personal errands for the Democrat congresswoman – such as picking up her dry cleaning – and to work on her re-election campaign at taxpayer expense.
Richardson’s alleged behavior would violate federal law, which protects federal employees from “being forced by job-related threats or reprisals to donate to political candidates or causes.” House ethics rules also specify that “in no event may a member or office compel a House employee to do campaign work.”
Macias indicated to the Committee that Richardson regularly directed her to call staff members outside of office hours to “make them work at campaign events.” According to former employees, they were required to work the extended hours “under threat of dismissal,” and reportedly, were even required to act as servers at such events. Shirley Cooks, chief of staff for Representative Richardson, was also directed to ensure that staff members “volunteered” for off-hour campaign projects.
Rep. Richardson has responded by denying that she has ever forced employees to volunteer on campaigns, and then played the “race card,” claiming she is being targeted because she is black and because she is a woman. Richardson has further indicated that she would explore whether the Ethics Committee “has engaged in discriminatory conduct”… which is a blatant attempt to intimidate committee members and undermine the investigation.
Richardson is not new to controversy and investigations of ethics violations. Complaints against her include commandeering emergency helicopters in her California district for use as sightseeing vehicles for her staff and of her receiving special treatment when a bank rescinded the sale of a foreclosed home Rep. Richardson owned in Sacramento and then restructured her mortgage. (This was the third home on which Rep. Richardson had missed payments.)
The House Ethics Committee failed to punish her over the foreclosure deal (no surprises there) and approximately one year later Richardson again defaulted on her payments. True to form, however, Richardson failed to take responsibility for her actions, claiming the default was due to a “clerical error.”
Rep. David Rivera (R-FL): Rep. David Rivera, U.S. Representative for Florida’s 25th congressional district, is mired in numerous ethics controversies stemming from charges of money laundering and tax evasion schemes initiated when Rivera served in the Florida House of Representatives. The Republican congressman, serving his first term, is currently under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Miami-Dade Police public corruption unit, and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office.
Of particular interest is the investigation by the FBI and the IRS regarding Rep. Rivera’s dealings with the Flagler Dog Track, now known as the Magic City Casino. The basis for the investigation relates to payments reportedly totaling as much as $1 million made by the casino to Millennium Marketing in the guise of a consulting contract. Most of the money is said to have been paid in 2008.
Millennium Marketing is owned by Rivera’s mother and godmother, and Rivera supposedly benefited from the arrangement, and is thus the subject of a tax evasion inquiry. Income from the consulting contract was never reported by Rivera on his tax forms, nor did he mention the Millennium deal in financial disclosure forms filed with the Florida Ethics Commission. Instead, Rivera indicated that he had worked as a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in addition to being a member of the Florida House of Representatives. He reported no income for USAID, however, and the agency had no record of his having ever worked there.
For a long time, Rep. Rivera denied ever receiving any income from the dog track, but just before heading to Congress, Rivera admitted receiving $132,000 in “undisclosed loans” from Millennium. He claims he paid the money back.
Participating in the dog track inquiry – and at one time having had the lead on the case – is the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, assisted by the Miami-Dade Police. Investigators are also taking a close look at Rivera’s campaign spending, including $75,000 he paid in 2010 “to a now-defunct consulting company owned by the daughter of a top aide.”
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA): Rep. Maxine Waters is one of the most senior and one of the most outspoken members of Congress. She is also one of the most corrupt.
In August 2010, an investigative subcommittee of the House Ethics Committee charged Rep. Waters with three counts of violating House rules and ethics regulations in connection with her use of power and influence on behalf of OneUnited Bank. She was expected to face an ethics trial in late 2010, but the committee delayed the trial indefinitely on November 29, 2010, citing newly discovered documentary evidence that may impact proceedings.
The delay apparently has less to do with evidence and more to do with infighting on the panel. Ultimately, an outside counsel was retained and a recommendation was expected by January 2, 2012. However, the Committee announced that the Waters probe will be extended until July 31, 2012.
According to The Associated Press, the charges currently under the House Ethics Committee microscope “focus on whether Waters broke the rules in requesting federal help [bailout money] for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on the board of directors.” At the time she requested the help, Waters neglected to tell Treasury officials about her financial ties to OneUnited Bank.
Without intervention by Waters (and a big assist from her co-conspirator Rep. Barney Frank), OneUnited was an extremely unlikely candidate for Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding. The Treasury Department indicated that it would only provide bailout funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. However, Judicial Watch uncovered documents detailing the deplorable financial condition of OneUnited at the time of the cash infusion. In fact, just prior to the bailout, OneUnited received a “less than satisfactory rating.”
Aside from OneUnited, there was yet another scandal with Waters’ fingerprints all over it.
According to The Washington Times: “A lobbyist known as one of California’s most successful power brokers while serving as a legislative leader in that state paid Rep. Maxine Waters’ husband $15,000 in consulting fees at a time she was co-sponsoring legislation that would help save the real-estate finance business of one of the lobbyist’s best-paying clients…”
“Real-estate finance businesses,” such as the one helped by Waters’ influence, were labeled a “scam” by the IRS in a 2006 report.
Despite all of her ethical woes, Maxine Waters seeks to take over the retiring Barney Frank’s position as the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. It is quite obvious that Rep. Waters has neither the integrity nor the ethics necessary to hold such a position of public trust.
Rep. Don Young (R-AK): Rep. Don Young may have achieved a new level of corruption in 2011. The House Ethics Committee announced just before Christmas that the Alaska Republican Congressman was cleared of allegations by the House Ethics Committee that he exceeded the limit on campaign donations to his legal defense fund – which was set up to defend Young against an entirely different set of corruption charges! There was good reason the House Ethics Committee released this decision after most of official Washington left for the Christmas holiday: because the Committee’s “exoneration” is a joke.
House ethics rules prohibit contributions from any single source that exceed $5,000. Young received $63,000 from “twelve companies that…were in fact owned by Gary Chouest, his wife, and his five children, or some combination of those seven individuals.” Despite an independent analysis by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) that the shell-game was a rather transparent violation of the contribution limit, the House Ethics Committee gave Young a free pass because the 12 companies controlled by essentially one individual were “separate legal entities”!
On July 24, 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported that Young was under federal investigation for taking bribes, illegal gratuities, and unreported gifts from VECO Corporation, an Anchorage, Alaska- based company. Two executives in the company, including former company CEO Bill Allen, had already pled guilty to bribing members of the Alaska legislature. Reportedly, Young received $157,000 from VECO.
Rep. Young has developed a legendary reputation for steering federal dollars to Alaska. As The New Republic put it, Rep. Young is “well known for his sharp elbows and generous appetite for legislative pork,” including the $223 million he secured to build the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere.” Eventually, lawmakers responded to the mounting criticism and the bridge was defunded.
Over the years, Rep. Young has been linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s illegal efforts to lease government property, and he has been criticized for adding a $10 million earmark to a transportation bill for a short piece of road in Florida near Fort Myers, called Coconut Road. The local real estate developer who owned 4,000 acres along the road helped raise $40,000 for Young’s campaign, which might go a long way toward explaining why the Alaska congressman aggressively pushed to build a road in Florida.

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Video- Ben Breedlove's "This is My Story"

A very sad but inspirational story (you may want something to dry your tears). This is Ben Breedlove, who died on Christmas day at the age of 18:


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'I'm Allowed to Kill Infidels,' Crazed Man tells Judge

Crazy is as crazy does:
A mentally disturbed man who stabbed a witness to death in court told an appeals court judge yesterday that as a Muslim he was entitled to kill "infidels".

The judge told BAM, an Egyptian, that he should exercise his rights by using the law, "and not go around killing people".

BAM first appeared in court last year, accused of causing a permanent injury to a Nepalese man, LK. Released on bail, he then stabbed LK to death in his room.

Later he took the murder weapon to court and killed another Nepalese man who was giving evidence on behalf of LK.

Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance found him guilty, and ordered that he receive psychiatric treatment.

Prosecutors appealed on the ground that BAM was not mentally ill but knew perfectly well what he was doing. They pointed out that while claiming he killed the two men because they were infidels, he chose to kill only people who were giving evidence against him in a criminal court case.
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Bachmann Names Her Choices for VP

Not that any of this will come to pass as she has no shot at the nomination, but Congresswoman Bachmann gave her list of possibilities for the VP slot:
"We've got a lot of wonderful candidates who would fit that bill, easily comes to mind I think would be Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Marco Rubio of Florida certainly would be in that category. There's a lot of great people out there. And Donald Trump is someone that I think a lot of people would be intrigued with, too."
Donald Trump?  I don't find that so intriguing.  


She also stated that Rick Santorum would be a very good Attorney General or VP.  


Interesting.  


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OWENS’ LAW OF OSCILLATING PYRAMIDS

Which explains
The Cyclical Rise and Fall of Bureaucracy
While at the same time answering the age-old question:
“What happened to the Maya?”
OR

I’M NOT GIVING YOU ANYMORE CORN TO BUILD PYRAMIDS


Introduction
"The Mayas were intelligent; they had a highly developed culture. They left behind not only a fabulous calendar but also incredible calculations. They knew the Venusian year of 584 days. . . " (p.55)
Von Daniken, Erich. Chariots of the Gods? Bantam Books: New York.

For years people wondered where did these peaceful geniuses go.  Did the mother ship come down and carry them back to Jupiter or wherever peaceful geniuses come from?  Did they evolve into a higher state of being? 
All this wondering provided the gist for popular speculation and pseudoscientific pontification for many years or at least until Yuri Valentinovich Knorosov and other linguists translated the Mayan language.  Then it was learned that they might not have been so peaceful after all, and as a matter of fact they may have been one of the most warlike of all peoples.  And low and behold archeological data began to supply the required evidence and the problem was solved: the Mayan had destroyed themselves in an orgy of fire and arrows.  It all seemed so neat, scientific, and profitable.
Then some smart aleck historian, who also happened to be an organizational leadership researcher, made the mistake of interviewing some of the Native Americans who today make-up a sizable portion of the population of Guatemala and Mexico who happen to look surprisingly like the people depicted in the Mayan bas-reliefs.  And inconvenient as it may seem once all this speculation, pontification, and general wondering had made several careers and helped some otherwise starving publishers buy much needed yachts and mansions this eager young researcher emerged from the wilds of Northern Arizona and declared, “The Maya had NOT disappeared after all.” 
“What!”  Cried the popular speculators. 
“Away with him!”  Yelled the enraged pseudoscientific pontificators. 
“Quick, have him write a book about it!”  Yelled the copious publishers from their thousand foot yachts docked outside their hundred room mansions.
Since it is impossible to categorically answer the question, “What?”  And since no one really ever feels like following the Red Queen’s advice and conveniently being, “Away withed.”  I figured I might as well at least write an article and do my little part to help keep poor, disadvantaged publishers supplied with at least enough caviar, truffles and European blended coffees to avert any relief from the high cholesterol and gout which serve as their red badge of courage.
So where did the Maya go?  To quote one of my sources, “We got tired of giving those guys all our corn to build pyramids so we moved to the next valley and kept our corn for ourselves or something like that.”
This somehow brings me to the breakthrough Organizational Leadership concepts that should make my career as a leadership expert and hopefully get me an invitation to sip European coffee and eat truffles on one of those yachts. 
Are you ready? 
Here they come:
1.                  Bureaucracy is a good thing.
2.                  History supports the theory that bureaucracy is fundamental to the human condition
3.                  Bureaucracies all start out as pyramids with a large base, a small peak, and a proportional center, which adequately supports the top and adequately covers the base.
4.                  Bureaucratic pyramids all eventually become diamonds as they bloat in the middle.
5.                  All organizational diamonds eventually collapse due to the bloated weight of the expanded center.
6.                   The top is always lost in the crash. 
7.                  A majority of the center plunges back to the base.
8.                  The natural leveling process of change never leaves a level playing field.
9.                  A new peak immediately appears because there is always a point that rises above the field.
10.              The remaining middle coalesces to support the new peak in order to accentuate and solidify its difference from the base.
11.              Another pyramid establishes itself on the ruins of the preceding one. 
I call this Owens’ Law of the Oscillating Pyramid.  I propose that this Law explains the cyclical rise and fall of bureaucracy.  This Law is based upon observation and research and upon the fact that eventually the costs outweigh the benefits and someday, somewhere someone is going to yell, “I’m not giving you anymore of my corn to build pyramids!”
The collapse of the Soviet Union provided a perfect example of this phenomenon.  For decades, this highly bureaucratic “Evil Empire” had enforced its rule by giving benefits to one group (the communists) to brutalize and dominate other groups (everyone else).  As the model predicted the Soviet system admitted more and more people into the middle of the pyramid thus bloating the mid-level brutalizers and increasing the number of people who supposedly had a stake in the system.  But unfortunately for the Evil Empire the inefficiencies of the system didn’t allow the pyramid to provide the material advantages needed to continue the inflation nor to even sustain the growing weight of the middle level.  Therefore with no incentive to continue supporting the regime the pyramid collapsed.
Bureaucracy = hierarchical structure, division of labor, written rules, and records. 
This has been evident since the beginning of time. 
Examples:
Revolution every generation
Revolutionary youth becoming Reactionary adults
Luther from 99 theses to peasant revolt
British bureaucracy “the ministry” goes on though ministers may come and go.
Pyramids are made of pyramids, each department or group has a head, and each head is supported by layers. 
When a pyramid falls these component pyramids tend to seek independence (Chinese mandarins – Roman Empire) and then they begin to coalesce into succeeding pyramids, such as exemplified by the successive Egyptian and Chinese dynasties or the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne.
Signs that the end of a pyramids cycle is approaching:
  • “I was just following orders,”  or “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” as an excuse for doing things that common sense tells us are foolish. 
  • Malicious obedience.  When a subordinate follows the nonsensical orders of superiors in the hopes that doing so will bring about change.
  • Geritocracy.  Look at Congress.  Almost automatic re-election ensures a constantly aging pool of leaders with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
In modern American society we have moved from Trueman’s “The buck stops here,” to Clinton’s “It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.?’ ”  From Bill Gates leading an industry to change the world to octegenarian politicians whose secretary’s have to turn on their computers deciding what shape that industry should take.
At the time of the American Revolution there was no direct taxation there was instead taxes on various transactions which in total added up to a miniscule percentage of their income.  Today, for many it is now over 50%.  How much corn are we willing to give to those we don’t trust to do things we don’t want?  How long can this continue?  We are spending the money of the unborn to pay for the repose of the unproductive.  This is the ultimate expression of taxation without representation.
The Oscillating Pyramid Cycle:
Formless base - pinnacle dominated true pyramid – bloated middle diamond shaped twin pyramid – out of balance wobble (component pyramids strive for increasing individual autonomy) – collapse
Historical opportunity to break this cycle:
The Israelites at Mt. Sinai.  Instead they reject God’s offer to reinstate a personal relationship and demanded that Moses build them a social pyramid instead.
Proposed Exception to the Rule:
Steady-state primitive (Neolithic, pre-agriculture) societies both ancient and modern have been advanced as being different then the cultures of the present and therefore by implication exempt from this theory of bureaucratic/organizational structure.  There is not enough social or organizational data to make informed statements about unknown cultures.  Every one that has been extensively studied and reported on exhibited the pyramidal, hierarchical social structure and rule based operation even if a lack of writing precluded the development of true bureaucracy.
Long running societies (China, India, and Rome) exhibit this oscillating character within the ebb and flow of civil war and dynastic change.
In modern democracies, elections are designed to provide stability through a peaceful, periodic change in the pinnacle thereby allowing the base to exert influence and buy into the existence of the pyramid through nationalism.  Economic self-interest has also become a major factor in modern democracies.  Periodic major changes, Andrew Jackson, FDR, etc. change the tenor but not the shape as the middle continues to bloat.  Modern democracies are still too new of a phenomenon to contend that they will break the pattern and at the moment they appear to be textbook cases of its operation.
Change of focus for modern consideration: Bureaucracy is a GOOD thing.  The oscillating nature of its natural life cycle should be understood, recognized, appreciated, and factored into current calculations for what it is, the natural course of human organization.  Change is a constant component of life. 
So the next time you’re standing in line to renew whatever permit happens to need renewing at the time tell yourself that, “Bureaucracy is a GOOD thing.”  Tell yourself that about a thousand times as you wait for the clerk who has been standing at the window for ten minutes waiting to open the window at exactly 9 AM and not one second sooner.  And as your mind numbs through this exercise you can comfort yourself with the thought, “Eventually all pyramids fall,” as you fight to keep yourself from standing on a chair and yelling,
“I’M NOT GIVING YOU ANYMORE CORN TO BUILD PYRAMIDS!”
Then again as every pyramid falls another takes its place. That is Owens’ Law of Oscillating Pyramids.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

Hugo Chavez: US Gave Me Cancer

I don't know how he put the definition of "crazy" on paper so well:
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hinted that the U.S. may be behind a “very strange” bout of cancer affecting several leaders aligned with him in South America.

Chavez, speaking a day after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, said the Central Intelligence Agency was behind chemical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s and that it’s possible that in years to come a plot will be uncovered that shows the U.S. spread cancer as a political weapon against its critics.

“It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” Chavez said in a nationally televised speech to the military. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”

Chavez, who was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer in June and had a baseball-sized tumor removed in Cuba, has called for a regional summit of leaders who have battled cancer including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo.

“I’m just sharing my thoughts, but it’s very, very, very strange,” Chavez said. “Evo take care of yourself, Correa, be careful, we just don’t know,” he said, referring to Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, the leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador.
Here's looking at you, crazy
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fidel Castro Death Picture?

Once again, we haven't been able to confirm that Fidel Castro is dead, but this image has surfaced purporting to be his "death picture:"
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Video - Vote Rogue Palinista's Not Giving up On Sarah

This is an ad that had been playing in Iowa trying to start a write in campaign for Governor Palin who decided not to run.  


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Eww: New Texts Reveal Anthony Weiner "Turned on by Other Guys," Wanted Threesome with Man

From the New York Post:
Anthony Weiner proposed a threesome with texting pal Traci Nobles and a man, according to a new report.

The Queens Democrat made the suggestion in the midst of his texting and tweeting adventures that eventually forced him to resign his congressional seat in June, RadarOnline.com reported today.

The revelation came from conversation excerpts that Radar obtained from Nobles' proposal for a tell-all book.

After proposing a threesome, Weiner told Nobles, "I'm not really talking about other chicks... How about with another guy?"

"Hmmmm, haven't done it before," Nobles said.

"It can be hot," Weiner replies.

"Are you turned on by other guys?" Nobles asked.

"Well it depends on the guy, but generally yes," Weiner said.
Eww
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Daily Kos: The Tea Party's "Comeuppance is Coming... It's Payback Time"

Remember at the very beginning of this year when liberals intentionally and falsely accused conservatives of preaching violence?  They whined of "hateful" language and words and preached "civility."  Of course, no one actually believed their shtick but, surprise, the Left is openly using the rhetoric they supposedly despise.

The liberal website Daily Kos is launching a new campaign to bring the Tea Party a "comeuppance" by "brutally" telling them the truth.  In a new mass email from the site, they bluntly state that "it's payback time" and plead with their members to donate five dollars to them and an "activist" group called CREDO.  All of this is in order to attack Tea Partiers and the "Tea Party Ten," ten Republican representatives in Congress.

Ironically, of course, Republicans won over 60 new seats in 2010, but the Daily Kos is pleased with a measly ten.  In other words, while the GOP and Tea Party were able to take back the House in a tidal wave of support, liberals are so weak that their goal is ten whole seats come 2012.

They also are hiring minions to help accomplish their goals and their "strategy" is to yell at people in meetings.  In other words, what the Tea Party did respectfully and through grassroots organizing, the Left has to hire rich people to coordinate.

And, accompanying the desperate plea for support, in the email is this picture:
Looks like somebody got their hands on Microsoft Paint.

Here is the entire email:
From: Chris Bowers, Daily Kos
Subject: Comeuppance is coming
To: (xxxxxx@xxxxxxx.com)
Date: Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 12:58 PM

XXXXXXXX, you know the tea party Congress is in trouble when even the Wall Street Journal is blasting them

Republicans are in disarray, and some long overdue comeuppance is coming.

To make it happen, CREDO is mobilizing thousands of people through phone banking, neighbor-to-neighbor discussions, town hall protests and brutally honest truth-telling in ten House districts held by tea party extremists.

Please, chip in $5 to CREDO to help build this campaign. It's payback time.

Chris Bowers
Campaign Director, Daily Kos


We're going to give ten of the worst Tea Party-affiliated members of congress exactly what they deserve - unemployment. Make a donation now to help Take Down the Tea Party Ten.

Finally. It's time to hold Tea Party extremists accountable.

Dear Fellow Progressive,

If you're like us, you've watched in horror over the last year, as the most extreme congress in history made one nauseating vote after another.

Now it's payback time.

Many of the Tea Party-affiliated House Republicans were elected in 2010 with the help of millions of dollars in spending by political groups associated with Karl Rove and the Koch brothers.

So the most odious members of the congress have behaved as if they were above accountability.

But they aren't. And we're going to take them down.

So CREDO is launching a new campaign: To defeat ten of the most extreme Tea Party-affiliated members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. We aim to win - and we need your help to do it.

Can you chip in $5 to Take Down the Tea Party Ten?

This is the biggest campaign CREDO has ever undertaken, and it couldn't come at a more important time.

The CREDO SuperPAC will run a grassroots campaign in ten districts. We will mobilize our members to inform voters of the Tea Party incumbent's perfidy, to peacefully confront and question them at public gatherings, and to turn out thousands of volunteers for door-to-door canvassing and member-to-member phone calls.

The emphasis will be on making a significant, cost-effective impact, using brutally honest messages, cutting edge strategies, and some tactics that have never been tried before.

Our goal is to restore at least a measure of sanity to our national politics, and begin to change Washington.

Your involvement is crucial in this campaign - and every one of CREDO Action's nearly 2.5 million activists, along with progressives across the country, have a role to play to help defeat these extremist legislators.

Now, we need to get this campaign moving.

Donate $5 to help fund a hard-nosed campaign to hold ten of the most extreme Tea Party-affiliated representatives accountable:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/takedown?refcode=ie_actblue_20111227_kos_email1

Thanks for your activism. Together, we're about to do something really big.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Paid for by CREDO SuperPAC, 101 Market St. Suite 700, San Francisco CA 94105, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
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