Rick Santelli’s “Rant” Inspires Nationwide Tea Party Movement

As reported last Thursday the 19th, CNBC Reporter, Rick Santelli expressed the growing frustration of many Americans and announced he was going to hold a tea party on July 4th in Chicago.

No one is doubting Santelli’s passion, but his ability to carry out the excellent notion of sending a clear signal to Pres. Obama and Congress that it is wrong for Americans who work hard and play by the rules to bail out businesses and citizens who have failed to make good decisions.

Santelli’s ability to move forward with an actual tea party are in doubt for the obvious reason that he is employed by what has become the most liberal set of news networks in the country. While CNBC is arguably the least propaganda-spewing network of the NBC family, it is still NBC. It’s important to remember that NBC is owned by GE, which couldn’t be more in the tank for the Lefist agenda, and has its tentacles into far too many places.

Unfortunately, we cannot wait for the bold Rick Santelli to make a move. A group of organizations have decided to move forward with a tea party, right away, in Santelli’s honor. American Spectator magazine, TCOT, Smart Girl Politics, Heartland Institute, Don’t Go, and Americans for Tax Reform are sponsoring the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party this Friday, February 27, 2009 at Noon central time.

The two primary events are to be held in Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Other cities are getting organized across the country. All events will be held at NOON EST.  A simultaneous Twitter Tweet Chat, connected to all of the events will be conducted for people who are not located near an event or who cannot attend a physical location.

The website, listing more information, continually updated list of locations, and comments section:

Nationwide Chicago Tea Party

Be sure to click on the blue link entitled “Online Form” to see list of cities and to make comments.

You can also join the Twitter Tea Party group.

Stubborn Facts on Twitter

Are you already on Twitter and want to follow me there, just click on the Twitter button.

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If you’re asking: What the heck is Twitter? Then you might want to watch this video:

Are Republicans and “Conservatives” Suffering From Stockholm Syndrome?

One of the funniest things I have heard in a while is a comment by a caller into the Mike Gallagher show. She assessed Republicans and “so-called” Conservatives who have been going along with all of the bailouts, stimulus packages, and other Leftist measures, as suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”.

For those not familiar, this “condition” is defined as, ” An extraordinary phenomenon in which a hostage begins to identify with and grow sympathetic to their captor.”(1) The syndrome is so called based on the reaction of hostages taken in a violent 1973 bank robbery in Stockholm Sweden. (More, here.)

Mike Gallagher’s witty caller was certainly funny. Like I said, one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a while. Sometimes it does seem like the Democratic party leadership on Capitol hill must be at least, intermittently, holding some Republican politicians and even some “Conservative” pundits hostage. I’ve often wondered if there’s some bizarre catch and release / re-catch and re-release program going on behind the scenes.

Perhaps the whole bunch has been undergoing a Patty Hearst type of brainwashing in some Congressional closet. The caller might be on to something….

While an amusing explanation, I’m buying this explanation about as much a I bought into the Simpson Dream Team’s explanation of “if they do not fit, you must acquit.”

As attractive as a million amusing and innocuous explanations may be for what appears to be a near total collapse of principles in the Republican party, no amusement, no explanation explains, let alone begins to deal with the truth that must be faced.

Sources:
1) “Definition of Stockholm Syndrome“. Medicine.net

BLOGGERS: “Gird Your Loins” and Guard Your Data. Change.gov Scrubbing is a Red Flag

The Washington Timesstory yesterday regarding how the Change.gov website was “scrubbed” sometime over the weekend is a red flag to all those who wish to see truth preserved.

The Times reported that the Obama agenda previously listed there, largely copied over from the Obama campaign site, has been replaced with vague statements.

As many bloggers, and even some reporters know; this is not the first time information has evaporated from the internet regarding Barack Obama. In fact, the scrubbing of unflattering and questionable data intensified in the last months of the campaign. Any question regarding whether this practice would be routine during an Obama Presidency, have now been answered.

Bloggers need to be cognizant of this fact and act accordingly since there are few news outlets who will not plead amnesia in the future should an issue arise referencing documented information that has disappeared.

Further, it’s obvious that President-elect Barack Obama’s penchant for saying, “I’ve consistently said….” or “this has always been my position…” or “I’ve always said….” or “I have said so repeatedly….” would be a lot easier to back up if there is no proof of prior statements or contrary information available.

The Obama campaign, transition team staff, and coming administration have had a great deal of help in “protecting” information. Besides things disappearing off the ‘net, there have been things that have “disappeared”, difficult to access, withheld, or even altered in the “terrestrial” world. There are several incidents of which bloggers are likely aware that include the removal of the “Obama Youth” video from Youtube which was only re-posted because some shrewd blogger had permanently downloaded it and put it back up on the site. Besides that video on Youtube, there have been reports of disappearing Jeremiah Wright videos and NBC’s aggressively monitoring and immediately demanding videos including any NBC footage be pulled, such as Barney Frank’s appearance on CNBC in July of this year when he stated that Fannie Mae was a sound investment. This video was the basis for the Bill O’Reilly ambush of Frank in October.

Besides the video pulls, there are a number of people who were disturbed by a trend on the Real Clear Politics site, wherein negative Obama reader articles would mysteriously disappear and the user accounts deleted. It’s unclear at this date whether that issue was ever resolved. All inquiries to the webmaster, even by prominent blogger Roger Gardner of Radarsite, went unanswered.

There are some scrubbing incidents which I personally discovered in the last six to eight weeks of the campaign, primarily involving ACORN. On October 10, I had a post regarding Barack Obama having been a member of the legal team that sued Citibank in Chicago for allegedly “red-lining“. I assert that this is yet another Obama connection to ACORN. The two plaintiffs were likely referred to Obama’s firm by that group. These kinds of suits, which bullied banks to grant unprofitable and non-viable mortgages to people in areas with historically high rates of default, contributed to the “Sub-prime mortgage meltdown”. Citibank ultimately settled that suit.

In researching ACORN, I found a site called Tax Exempt World, where a large amount of data on tax exempt entities is available to the public. Some of the information is available for free, some for a fee. On October 9 amd 10, when I was doing this research, I pulled up an ACORN detail page on Tax Exempt World, using this link:


Trouble is, the page didn’t look exactly like it does now. There was further detail below the the Google ads, stating where ACORN’s funds were held, which was an account in the British Virgin Islands. Below is an image I prepared showing where the information existed on the page as of October 10, but disappeared within about a week, when I went back to look more carefully:


Certainly it’s easy to make an assertion like I’ve just done without any back up. Besides the fact that I had no real reason for doing so, I referenced the fact in my article, intending to go back and do further research:

“Further, the tax-exempt database I linked for the ACORN address above displays that ACORN keeps its money in an offshore bank account in the Virgin Islands, which I find just plain odd.”

Perhaps the Tax Exempt site had a glitch and was displaying information that was meant for the paid part of their service only. Of course that is a possibility, but considering that it was not the only web page that disappeared, was scrubbed, or was significantly edited that I used when researching for my post, I find it awfully suspicious.

It doesn’t look like I linked to the ACORN home page within the article, but I quoted from it. Several days later, when I went back to do some more research on their site, I kept getting the following result:


This went on for several days, and then mysteriously, the site reappeared and had clearly been scrubbed and edited. The edits included a rabid defense of the organization. In visiting the site today, one can find the full-fledged effort continues the self-defense measures. Today’s front page has a big button featured entitled “Fight Back: The Truth About ACORN”.

Perhaps this disappearance and re-emergence of a site is just another coincidence, but I don’t think so.

More recently, I was researching the issue of Barack Obama’s connection to Sal Alinksy’s theories and the book Rules for Radicals. I discovered the following page:


This was apparently from an online version of the book After Alinksy: Community Organizing in Illinois, which had been published by the University of Illinois at Springfield. Obama had written an essay entitled “Why Organize? Problems and Progress in the Inner City” at an earlier time. This essay was later included as a chapter in After Alinksy. Some enterprising person had the foresight to apparently copy the page source code and loaded the page back up to the web. It’s a good thing, because if one clicks on the link “The Complete book After Alinksy home page” on the above page, this is what comes up:


Since all of the other links on the reloaded page are connected to the University’s site and those work, it is hard to believe that this, too is another coincidence or something created out of whole cloth. One thing is definitely true, the book does exist. The ISBN number is valid. The book is listed for sale on Amazon, although it is obviously in very short supply; the current price is $150+.

Some may ask, “what’s the big deal about the removal of the book from the University site”? In some respects, it’s not that big of a deal. While the article may make my skin crawl because I understand the subtext and it’s implications, it is not particularly radical, per se. But apparently someone was bothered by the notion that the information existed on the University’s site. It would not be flattering to have any clear connections between Alinksy doctrine and Barack Obama. Despite many radical leftist’s denials, Alinksy is nothing but a Marxist radical, his tactics were not “peaceful” as some leftist pinheads on TV have said or many radical “community organizing groups” worshipping at Alinksy’s feet state in their “About Us” pages. His goal was revolution of American society; revolution to a Marxist state.

Despite the obvious implications of Obama granting permission to include his essay in a book about Alinksy, his other connections to the Alinksy philosophy, and what all of it means for an Obama, there is something more bothersome about the information being pulled off the Univeristy site.

It’s the Orwellian aspect of it all, of course. How can history be so easily re-written in what is supposed to be an open society? Who is doing all of this scrubbing, editing, and pulling? One could obviously make suppositions all day long about how the University of Illinois fits into all of this, considering the many tentacles of connections to Barack Obama there. At the very least, there are apparently a lot of people and organizations in our country who are very protective of President-elect Obama and whose ethics are questionable, to say the least.

Regardless of who is “scrubbing”, editing, and pulling, and why, the moral of the story is obvious: bloggers and others doing research need to protect the information they discover and they need to do so NOW. How many among us have had fleeting thoughts of going back over links, etc., discovered throughout the election, and doing something about downloading or taking a screenshot, but have as of yet to do so? I know for a while now, I’ve been intermittently capturing and downloading, but I haven’t done it consistently or gone back over things I’d found in the past.

It seems important going forward that we all adopt these practices as a normal part of the way we do things.

In pondering the best ways to preserve information, I recall the controversy that occurred over the ages of the members of the Chinese Women’s Gymnastics team. I recall a blog post by an author who is also an investigator. He employed the use of a cache search and turned up a Chinese government report that revealed discrepancies about the girls’ ages. The government had pulled the report off the net, leaving its discovery open only to those skilled in cache searches.

Certainly there are many others out there much savvier than myself. I’ve got some learning to do about this; I briefly tried this out on some of the links for pages I mentioned having disappeared, but clearly, I don’t know what I’m doing yet, or they are just gone. For those who might be reading this who are good at cache searching, I would ask you to leave comments to instruct the rest of us how it is best done.

For now, I can share what I’m going to be looking at myself:

Google Guide about Cached Pages
(the Google guide itself, which I’ve not “stumbled upon” before looks like it might have some handy information to generally improve searching techniques)

Search Engine Showdown
Includes a listing of many free services that archive pages from the web. Google is there, of course, but many others that may include information that Google doesn’t have.

One of those listed, “Way Back Machine”, doesn’t carry the archives for at least six months after the fact. However, since none of the others have worked for me so far and may not ever, I will wait patiently and try Way Back Machine for some of these pages.

Very likely many have already thought out how to archive data and have the tools handy to do so. Maybe you’ve done it or are doing it already. Although I’m admittedly new to blogging, I’m not new to the internet. Of course, I’ve experienced some dead links here and there over the years when going back to an old bookmark, but the number of things vanishing lately seems to have a creepy Orwellian bent. I wonder if that’s true for many others. Am I just naive?

In any case, in the event that anyone coming across this post is either also new to blogging or new to preserving the information they’ve found, I’m going to go list the steps I plan to use. If you have suggestions for improving upon my list, I invite any and all suggestions. (Unless, of course, your suggestion is for me to go suck an egg because I’m archiving information on Barack Obama. If so, please don’t bother. It will just be deleted, anyway.)

So, here are the steps I’m personally going to take:
1) Spend some time everyday for the next few days reviewing past posts for web page references and video files that are only linked at this point. If they seem likely candidates for removal, I’m going to archive them using steps I’ll go through below.

Youtube videos:
Download permanently using Youtube Downloader. In addition to handy downloading, this program also converts videos for use on multiple platforms like Ipods, Windows Media Player, etc.

Web pages and graphics:
Take screenshots of sites using MWSnap. This is much more flexible than simply using the “print screen” function in Windows.
Depending upon the perceived importance of the website or page, save the page source by going to the “View” menu at the top of the browser and pasting into notepad, saving as html.

Of course, this data could really rack up in size fairly quickly. So there are storage needs to consider. Maybe it’s time to invest in another external hard drive or a big pack of CDs.

2) I will be noting the importance of information I find going forward and take the above steps on ongoing basis as necessary.

Like I said, others more experienced in these matters than myself are very welcome to leave suggested improvements.

Hey Brit Hume: How about trying to put a CONSERVATIVE on your “All Star Panel?”


Fox News Channel is part of the mainstream media.

Pathetically, unless you want to spend an entire broadcast yelling at the pinheaded, kool-aid drinking anchor, its the only available news network. It is better than most other networks because there are some real conservatives available by way of some guests and Sean Hannity, but let’s not fool ourselves. It’s becoming more “mainstream” (mainstream = out of touch) by the minute.

In some ways, its no surprise; there’s little investigative journalism anywhere in the news business these days, and cable news spends too much of its time myopically covering and recycling the same small handful of stories. Fox has always had somewhat of a tabloid-type flavor to it, especially during non-primetime hours. Ever turned the channel on from about 9AM – 5PM (central)? Besides Neil Cavuto’s Your World (including when delightful fill-in Stuart Varney makes an appearance) and the occasional Megyn Kelly smackdown, you can see as much footage of overturned semis on I-90 near Atlantic, Iowa, as you can handle. It doesn’t help the network’s “cred” rating, in my opinion, that every woman on the network besides Julie Banderas must have her colorist on speed-dial to touch up those roots.

Even in primetime, the situation is sketchy. Mr. Mountain-sized Ego, otherwise known as Bill O’Reilly, prides himself on being one of the toughest interviewers on television. Poppycock. If ranting, turning red, and pointing fingers at the camera and screaming, “Coward!” at Barney Frank passes for “toughness” then I’m a monkey’s uncle. (And that can’t be; I’m a woman.) Instead of playing the miles of footage of Barney Frank attacking regulators of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and confronting him, loopy statement by loopy statement, Mr. Ego pitched a fit.

What was worse than that was O’Reilly’s coverage and interview of Barack Obama. Who does his research? Skipping over the birth certificate question (which is a diversion), the “he’s a Muslim” dead-end, where was the coverage of everything else? He said, “I don’t have a problem with Mr. Obama.” Super. Then, the night before the election, he and regular contributor, Dennis Miller, giggled their way through a conversation that was essentially about how ridiculous it was that Barack Obama was about to be elected. Joe Wurlzebacher revealed more for us about Barack Obama with one question than Bill O’Reilly did in twenty minutes. Yeah, he’s real tough.

The biggest problem, I have, though, is with Brit Hume’s daily show, Special Report, and his overall coverage of Election 2008. He is managing editor of his own show, so he must have some input into the members of his illustrious “All-Star panel”. The same tired parade of people is rotated and recylced for all election coverage, which Hume anchors. Nary a real conservative in the bunch. There have been random appearances of Bill Sammon, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, and now deputy managing editor at Fox News, and he’s a straight shooter, but that’s about it.

First of all, would someone please, please poke Mr. Hume with a stick? For at least six months, he’s been nearly napping his way through his on-air time. Sometimes when the camera moves onto him after coming out of commericial break, especially on longer nights during the primaries and debates, his mouth is literally, hanging open. Someone hand the man a napkin, he needs to wipe the drool off the corner of his mouth. He’s gone into retirement a little too early.

Regulars on Humes glittering panel include Juan Williams, of NPR, who committed random acts of actually rational analysis of Mr. Obama’s troubling background, during the primary season, but nearly burst into tears the night Obama gave his convention speech in front of those Grecian columns in Denver.

NPR is not under-represented on Hume’s panel; there’s also the penetrating Mora Liason. About a week and a half before the election, the esteemed panel was discussing the wisdom of the McCain campaign beating the “William Ayers” drum. Liason actually stated, “Ayers was just someone who lived in Obama’s neighborhood and their kids went to school together.” Nary a word from Hume or anyone on the panel to correct her. The statement was a virtual copy of the answer David Axelrod floated after the question of the extent of Obama’s association with Ayers first surfaced during the primaries. There’s at least a twenty year age difference between the Obama and Ayers children, and the relationship between the two has proved to be very extensive, reaching back at least to 1995, possibly 1987, when their wives worked at the same law firm in Chicago. Obviously, all of these “stars” are just filling air time, not actually have real, informed discourse on real issues that affect real people.

Other regulars include Mort Kondracke of Roll Call, Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of the Weekly Standard, Nina Easton of Fortune, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer.

Nina Easton was widely quoted on Fox during “Bailout Fest 2008”, including in a David Asman piece that attempted to carefully dissect the entire debacle. It was one of the best pieces of journalism on the subject, truly, but trotting out Easton, who repeated her favorite phrase everywhere possible, “The people on Main Street don’t want to bailout the ‘Wall Street Fat Cats'” was insulting to our intelligence. It didn’t help that Asmen introduced the clip of the wise Easton by saying, “Many Americans just don’t understand.” Easton was able to work in her take on the bailout on several occasions during her turn on Hume’s “panel”. But that wasn’t her only gem. My personal favorite was her statement during a discussion of the media’s bias in favor of Obama. I wish I could remember her exact words, but she literally looked perplexed when her turn came and said that she didn’t think it would really effect the outcome of the election.

Krauthammer and Kristol are definately the most thoughtful of the bunch. One hears decent insight from them on occasion. Unfortunately, like the overwhelming majority of pundits, they are looking at the world through their permanently fixed inside-the-beltway prisms. The most ridiculous moments are when they are asked what the American people, or the electorate specifically, are “feeling” about a particular policy or event.

The most egregious offender attending Hume’s tea parties is Fred Barnes. If one didn’t know better, one would often think Mr. Barnes was the editor of a liberal publication. Listening to him talk makes me want to reach through the TV and punch him right between the eyes.
On Thursday, during the august panel’s pontification on intepreting the outcome of the Presidential race, Mr. Barnes informed Republicans that they must recognize that they have to change their strategies moving forward; essentially, they must move to the left.

But this was the second night in a row that “conservative” editor Barnes had made that kind of statement. And this is just another in a long line of the same kind. As a “conservative” he wasn’t too bothered about the Bailout bill. At least Bill Kristol was clear that it was going to be a bad piece of legislation.

Perhaps I shouldn’t pick on Mr. Barnes quite so much. He’s probably taking the brunt of my frustration on the whole issue of perhaps well-intentioned “conservatives” in Washington who have not clue one as to how the majority of American people “feel”, do not do any real homework, do not call eachother out when one of them spews falsehoods, and observe “crisis”‘ situations in the same bored, lofty voices as they would commenting on the weather.

The whole panel needs to be scrapped, along with its moderator. There isn’t one, real tough-but- fair questioner on all of news after 3:00Pm (central). If Fox wanted real probing questions, and real diversity of real opinion, they would put Neil Cavuto or Stuart Varney in Hume’s time slot. The “All Star” panel should be turned into the “All America Panel” and have one articulate pundit from each side of the aisle, and rotate through a group of articulate, “average citizens”, two at a time, one from each side of the aisle, each night.

I’d start with Joe the Plumber on the conservative side. A conversation among that kind of group would prove far more interesting than the elitist pap that’s served up by the “All Star panel” everynight.