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Tea Party Tag

Tea Party groups won a major victory last week, when Judge Susan J. Dlott of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified a class of Tea Party organizations that allege the IRS intentionally delayed their applications for preferential tax treatment based on their political viewpoints. Winning class certification in NorCal Tea Party Patriots v. Internal Revenue Service is a big deal, because it means the Court has already made several determinations, all of which favor the class.  The Court has determined that the number of Tea Party groups effected by the IRS's alleged behavior is so numerous that they can proceed together as a class.  The Court has also determined that all of the Tea Party groups have valid legal claims against the IRS which share common legal issues; in other words, that the IRS has treated them all the same way. Having survived the hazardous class certification step, the Plaintiffs will now get substantive discovery from the IRS and from third parties.  As the Washington Times summarized:

Given the atmosphere of deep political division that has widened and deepened during Obama's presidency and the clear dissatisfaction among Republican primary voters, Gallup's latest poll on party identification makes sense. According to Gallup, the percentage of people who identify with either the Democrat or Republican party is "nearing historic" lows.
In 2015, for the fifth consecutive year, at least four in 10 U.S. adults identified as political independents. The 42% identifying as independents in 2015 was down slightly from the record 43% in 2014. This elevated percentage of political independents leaves Democratic (29%) and Republican (26%) identification at or near recent low points, with the modest Democratic advantage roughly where it has been over the past five years.
Despite knowing better, I am sometimes surprised by how very few Americans actually identify as Democrat.  It seems that they dominate the news and the culture, so it's easy to forget that they make up such an insignificant portion of the electorate.   I'm never surprised that Republicans make up an even more insignificant portion.

As we watch the 2016 Republican primaries unfold in often-surprising ways, it is clear that there is a strong desire among Republican primary voters for change within the party.  Sick of what Ted Cruz calls "the Washington Cartel" and of the "election conservatives" who managed for so long to convince voters they uphold conservative values and principles, Republican primary voters are taking a stand. It began before Obama was elected, while President Bush was still in office, and has since only gained in strength and resolve, and the GOP establishment has been slow to notice or grasp what is happening. They saw glimpses of it in the TEA Party in 2009 and '10 and worked side-by-side with Democrats to diminish its influence, they may have noticed something was changing in the 2010 and 2014 mid-terms, they probably got a more clear picture when Eric Cantor (then House GOP whip) was booted out of office, and they started to pay attention when Speaker Boehner was also forced out.  They thought they could handle it, though, so they plowed ahead . . . pushing Jeb Bush as the next in line for the presidency, and that's when things started to go so terribly wrong for the GOP establishment that they are finally sitting up and taking notice.

Two recent discussions lay out a path to victory for Marcio Rubio in the 2016 Presidential election.  The New York Sun's Conrad Black even writes that the presidential election is Marco Rubio's to lose. According to Black, the Republicans have an advantage in the general election, whoever wins the nomination:
a party has won three consecutive presidential elections only when the incumbent was very popular at the end of the second term or when there were unusual encumbrances to a change.
It is fair to say that Barack Obama is not very popular.  According to Gallup, his approval rating is below average for President entering their eighth year in office.  "Unusual encumbrances to a change" is an awkward formulation, but there is nothing obvious at present.  So Black gives the nod to the Republicans.

Having just won reelection to his Senate seat for a sixth term in 2014, Mitch McConnell is back to making comments such as the one he made last year about his plans for "crushing" the TEA Party. This time, McConnell is announcing that he will ensure that no GOP candidate who "can't win" will be allowed to run for the U. S. Senate. The Hill reports:

“The way you have a good election year is to nominate people who can win,” he told reporters during his final Capitol Hill press conference of 2015.

He urged Republican primary voters to avoid the mistakes of the past, mentioning several Tea Party candidates who went down in flames in recent Senate elections.

“What we did in 2014 was we didn’t have more Christine O’Donnell’s, Sharron Angles, Richard Mourdocks or Todd Akins. The people that were nominated [last year] were electable,” he said of the last midterm cycle.

“That will happen again in 2016. We will not nominate anybody for the United States Senate on the Republican side who’s not appealing to a general-election audience,” he added.

Liberals have declared the death of the Tea Party countless times---but apparently, no one told Republican Matt Bevin, who won the gubernatorial election in Kentucky last night with strong support from the Tea Party. Bevin is a successful businessman who is pro-life and a veteran. News of his win is sending shockwaves through political media as the Democrat incumbent Conway was strongly favored to win, according to polls. The election was highly contested, as Kevin Robillard of Politico reports:
Republican Bevin wins Kentucky governor's race GOP businessman Matt Bevin easily won Kentucky’s governorship on Tuesday night and will become just the second Republican to inhabit the governor’s mansion in Frankfort in more than four decades.

Congressman McClintock represents California's fourth district. Wednesday, he announced he was resigning from the House Freedom Caucus. Formed earlier this year, the HFC hoped to pull the House Republican Caucus further to the right. There principles were simple. "First, rank-and-file Republicans must pressure leadership to enact a more conservative agenda. And second, this pressure should never involve frantic scurrying on the House floor," wrote NRO's Joel Gehrke in January.
As a caucus devoted to moving leadership’s agenda to the right, the group has a chance to take over the traditional role of the Republican Study Committee, which many lawmakers believe has strayed from its founding mission as an organization designed to pressure moderate GOP leaders to adopt more conservative positions. National Journal first reported that such a group was forming.
Less than a year after it began, the HFC has already lost one of its 30 members. Rep. McClintock's resignation was brutal. "I believe the tactics the HFC has employed have repeatedly undermined the House’s ability to advance them," he wrote.

A few years ago, liberals in politics and media insisted that rhetoric coming from the Tea Party was violent and that we needed a new tone in political discourse. Now that #BlackLivesMatter activists are openly advocating violence, those folks are nowhere to be found. Last night on FOX News, Megyn Kelly brought this double standard into focus. Josh Feldman of Mediaite has more:
Megyn Explodes: Liberals Rip Dangerous Tea Party Rhetoric But #BlackLivesMatter’s Is Fine?! Megyn Kelly really went off tonight on the hypocrisy of Democrats and liberal media figures who were quick to condemn dangerous tea party rhetoric for the 2011 Tucson shooting but are now keeping silent about dangerous rhetoric from #BlackLivesMatter protesters. After some protesters were filmed chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon,” Kelly was amazed that not only have Democrats avoided the issue, but they’ve been recently trying to establish a connection between them and the movement.

India-born Sundar Pichai has been named CEO of the newly restructured Google. The former Google CEO, Larry Page will now be heading a much larger Google entity. The news of Sundar Pichai's appointment, a former student of prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), was well received in India, with newspaper headlines using words like “pride”, "joy" and the fulfilment of the proverbial “American Dream” for a fellow countryman. The leading Indian Newspaper The Hindustan Times reported the Indian IT industry’s response to the news:
The Indian IT industry elated that 43-year-old Sundar Pichai is Google's new CEO. Pichai, who will succeed Google co-founder Larry Page as CEO a decade after joining the Silicon Valley behemoth in 2004, symbolises a new India, and represents talent, technological innovation, and managerial acumen, an Indian IT industry executive said.
The new Google CEO Sundar Pichai will not be the lone Indian-origin CEO at the helm of Corporate American. He will be joining corporate heavyweights like Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, PepsiCo’s Chairperson & CEO Indra Nooyi, and Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen -- just to name a few. Indians at home and abroad often highlight their country's success in Information Technology, and rightly so. But a less advertised aspect of India’s success in IT-sector has been the contribution of Indians returning back from the Silicon Valley, California -- bringing not only technical skills but also Silicon Valley’s attitude and values along with them. The truth is, there would be no Indian success story to report today if it was not for the Silicon Valley in the first place. Silicon Valley in turn is a product of entrepreneurship, spirit of enterprise and personal excellence -- values that are quintessentially American.

President Obama appeared on the Daily Show this week and claimed that the IRS never targeted the Tea Party. Yet according to an explosive new report from Judicial Watch, the IRS used donor lists from certain organizations to target specific people for audits:
Judicial Watch: New Documents Show IRS Used Donor Lists to Target Audits (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that confirm that the IRS used donor lists to tax-exempt organizations to target those donors for audits.  The documents also show IRS officials specifically highlighted how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may come under “high scrutiny” from the IRS.  The IRS produced the records in a Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking documents about selection of individuals for audit-based application information on donor lists submitted by Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations (Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:15-cv-00220)). A letter dated September 28, 2010, then-Democrat Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) informs then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman: “   I request that you and your agency survey major 501(c)(4), (c)(5) and (c)(6) organizations …”  In reply, in a letter dated February 17, 2011, Shulman writes: “In the work plan of the Exempt Organizations Division, we announced that beginning in FY2011, we are increasing our focus on section 501(c)(4), (5) and (6) organizations.”

A couple of interesting polls came out this week that raise some equally interesting questions about conservatism, American values, and American culture and society.  One Gallup poll states that Americans greatly overestimate the percentage of Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
The American public estimates on average that 23% of Americans are gay or lesbian, little changed from Americans' 25% estimate in 2011, and only slightly higher than separate 2002 estimates of the gay and lesbian population. These estimates are many times higher than the 3.8% of the adult population who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in Gallup Daily tracking in the first four months of this year. The stability of these estimates over time contrasts with the major shifts in Americans' attitudes about the morality and legality of gay and lesbian relations in the past two decades. Whereas 38% of Americans said gay and lesbian relations were morally acceptable in 2002, that number has risen to 63% today. And while 35% of Americans favored legalized same-sex marriage in 1999, 60% favor it today.
It might come as a surprise that only 3.8% of the American population identify as LGBT.  It did to me.  We are inundated with news stories and manufactured outrage from the left to such a degree that it really seemed that we were transforming our laws, interpretation of our Constitution, and our religious beliefs for a significant portion of the population.  But no. Not that the tiny percentage makes any real difference in our own beliefs about states' rights, gay "marriage," and the assault on Judeo-Christian values, but the difference between our perception and reality speaks volumes about the effectiveness of the progressive far left. They are so effective at both creating false impressions and pushing their ideology, in fact, that the results are measurable.  According to another Gallup poll, the number of people identifying their social values as liberal matches those who identify their social values as conservative for the first time.

The Department of Justice may have let Lois Lerner off the hook, but a judge has ordered the IRS to release the names of the Tea Party groups that were singled out for scrutiny. Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times:
Judge orders IRS to release list of tea party groups targeted for scrutiny A federal judge ordered the IRS this week to turn over the list of 298 groups it targeted for intrusive scrutiny as the agency defends against a potential class-action lawsuit by tea party groups who claim their constitutional rights were violated. The IRS had argued it shouldn’t have to release the names because doing do would violate privacy laws, but Judge Susan J. Dlott, who sits in the Southern District of Ohio, rejected that claim and ordered the tax agency to turn over any lists or spreadsheets detailing the groups that were targeted and when they filed their applications. Judge Dlott also ordered the IRS to say whether a partial list of targeted groups reported by USA Today is authentic as a number of tea party groups try to win certification for a class action lawsuit against the IRS.

In my last post on the continuing measles outbreak, I encouraged Americans to consider vaccinations. Imagine my surprise upon discovering that, as the co-founder of a San Diego Tea Party group, I am also labeled one of the dreaded #antivaxxers! Well, then I personally would like to welcome an iconic Democrat, Robert T. Kennedy, to the ranks of the Tea Party! While some "Tea Party" people don't choose to vaccinate themselves or their children, a look at the states where non-medical exemptions from vaccinations are an option shows that many of them went for Obama in the last election. The Obama Administration must be worried that the lack of immunization for childhood diseases is going to blossom into a major healthcare PR crisis of Ebola-like proportions, because its friends in the mainstream media are now smearing those who don't vaccinate with that vile term, "Tea Party." How, then, can these mainstream publishers explain the preponderance of progressive non-takers?

When I helped co-found a San Diego Tea Party group in 2009, one of our biggest action items was battling against Obamacare. Our members dialed Congress relentlessly, believing our representatives might weigh the will of the people.  What ever delusions I had about that concept utterly vanished when then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi paraded through a Tea Party rally by the Capitol with her big gavel. As for Obamacare passage, that's history, courtesy of congressional Democrats -- and reports on the new law's progress show that it is an even larger failure than we originally projected. So, imagine our opinion of of the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner when he gave Pelosi a big kiss and a warm hug---especially since he holds that position courtesy of the hard work of Tea Party members across the country.

One week ago tonight, Legal Insurrection brought national attention to a Tea Party, Marine mother running for Congress in upstate New York. Claudia Tenney has been battling a million dollar avalanche of "false flag" Super PAC ads that deceptively portrayed Tenney as the more liberal candidate, and incumbent Richard Hanna as more conservative. In fact, the opposite is true.  Conservative voters in this conservative district may mistakenly vote for Hanna thinking they are electing the more conservative candidate. The rallying cry has been picked up and amplified by Erick Erickson, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, among others. Unfortunately, so far, no big name national conservative or Tea Party politicians have jumped into the race to help Tenney. With the primary this Tuesday, June 24, time is running out. Why the lack of interest?  This is a completely safe Republican seat, the perfect opportunity to move the caucus at no risk. And it could have been winnable (and still might be).