Michele Bachmann

One Of These Things Is Just Like The Other

Sometimes you just have to marvel at the utter lack of shame exhibited by conservatives when it comes to their willingness to try and generate "controversy" out of whole cloth. 

Case in point is this new right-wing claim that President Obama is trying to buy off Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) and win his vote in support of health care reform by nominating his brother Scott to a seat on 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Everybody involved - from the White House to Rep. Matheson, to both of Utah's Republican Senators  - say that such allegations are completely unfounded and utterly absurd ... but Rep. Michele Bachmann is calling for an "independent investigation" of the nomination:

A big question that has to be addressed right now, Larry, is what in the world is going on in the White House? Because today, the president offered a judgeship to the brother of a member of Congress. Tonight, the president has that same member of Congress at the White House pressuring him to change his vote on health care. We really need to have an independent investigation into this matter. Because we've seen the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, the union loophole and now the big question is, is the White House trading health care votes for judgeships? This is a pretty serious issue.

I have to say that this totally reminds me of the outrage and demands for an investigation back in 2001, when President George W. Bush nominated Rep. Chip Pickering's father, Charles Pickering, to a seat on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oh wait ... that never happened. 

Scarborough Merging Tea Party and Religious Right Activism, Hosting Conference Calls With GOP Leaders

Vision America hadn't sent out its "Rick Scarbough Report" in several weeks, but today the most recent email showed up in my inbox and it is carrying an exciting new addition to its name:

In the latest update, Scarborough informs us that his appearance at the National Tea Party Convention was a massive success and that he intends to merge Tea Party activism with his standard Religious Right activism, changing the TEA Party's "Taxed Enough Already" acronym to "Truth Exalts America" and launching a "Patriot Pastors' Tea Party" with the support of David Barton.

Also, he's been regularly hosting weekly conference calls with Republican members of Congress including Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Randy Forbes, Jim DeMint, David Vitter, and others.

VISION AMERICA AT THE FIRST NATIONAL TEA PARTY CONVENTION

On February 4-7, I attended the First National Tea Party Convention at the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville, which brought together over 600 leaders of various local Tea Party groups. These are the folks who've wrought an overnight revolution and I was honored to be with them.

The Convention included speeches by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and a host of other national leaders.

On the first evening, I spoke to the Convention and led a prayer service. The following day, I conducted an hour-long breakout session on "Why Pastors and Churches Must Engage In Politics." Every chair in the room was filled and people stood around the walls in a hall estimated to hold 300.

To say our message was well received is somewhat of an understatement. The press reported that audience cheered as I explained how this nation has fallen as we have drifted further and further from our Judeo-Christian roots.

We made many friends and allies. I believe the seeds we sowed in Nashville will bear fruit in the months ahead, resulting in a growing alliance between Vision America and the Tea Party movement.

On Saturday morning, I had a closed-door meeting with 16 pastors and several laymen. Some traveled hundreds of miles to be with us. We discussed ways in which pastors can become more involved with local Tea Parties, including organizing their own Tea Party. Former syndicated columnist Don Feder talked about effective communications techniques.

LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE CALLS

As we have for the past year, we are continuing to do our Thursday afternoon leadership, networking conference calls (3pm Central Time).

Last week, we heard from Congressman Steve King (Iowa) on mega-deficits, taxes and looming fiscal calamity. This week's presenter was Congressman Randy Forbes (Virginia), founder and chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, which leads its members in national efforts to protect prayer and America's spiritual heritage. Rep. Forbes spoke on the work of his Prayer Caucus and the sham of a health-care "compromise."

Past presenters have included Senators Jim DeMint (S. Carolina) and David Vitter (La.), Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and Congressmen Louie Gohmert (TX),Lamar Smith (TX), and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin.

...

PATRIOT PASTORS TEA PARTY?

More than 60 pastors have been involved in an effort to organize a Patriot Pastors' Tea Party, just for Pastors. I have been conducting weekly conference calls for the past three weeks to explore the possibility of having a Patriot Pastors' Tea Party in San Antonio, at the Alamo, on July 7th. We have adopted the acronym Truth Exalts America for our TEA Party.

On the last call, the pastors heard from Wallbuilders' David Barton on the role pastors (the "Black-Robed Regiment") played in generating popular support for the American Revolution.

I promise to keep you informed of our progress on all of the foregoing, and earnestly solicit your prayers and support.

Meet The Oath Keepers

Justine Sharrock has a long article on The Oath Keepers in the latest issue of Mother Jones that notes the organization's ties to Tea Party and 9/12 activists and, by extension, figures like Ralph Reed, groups like the Eagle Forum, and members of Congress: 

Founded last April by Yale-educated lawyer and ex-Ron Paul aide Stewart Rhodes, the group has established itself as a hub in the sprawling anti-Obama movement that includes Tea Partiers, Birthers, and 912ers. Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and Pat Buchanan have all sung its praises, and in December, a grassroots summit it helped organize drew such prominent guests as representatives Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, both Georgia Republicans.

There are scores of patriot groups, but what makes Oath Keepers unique is that its core membership consists of men and women in uniform, including soldiers, police, and veterans. At regular ceremonies in every state, members reaffirm their official oaths of service, pledging to protect the Constitution—but then they go a step further, vowing to disobey "unconstitutional" orders from what they view as an increasingly tyrannical government.

...

It was while volunteering for Ron Paul's doomed presidential bid that Rhodes decided to abandon electoral politics in favor of grassroots organizing. As an undergrad, he had been fascinated by the notion that if German soldiers and police had refused to follow orders, Hitler could have been stopped. Then, in early 2008, SWAT received a letter from a retired colonel declaring that "the Constitution and our Bill of Rights are gravely endangered" and that service members, veterans, and police "is where they will be saved, if they are to be saved at all!"

Rhodes responded with a breathless column starring a despotic president, "Hitlery" Clinton, in her "Chairman Mao signature pantsuit." Would readers, he asked, obey orders from this "dominatrix-in-chief" to hold militia members as enemy combatants, disarm citizens, and shoot all resisters? If "a police state comes to America, it will ultimately be by your hands," he warned. You had better "resolve to not let it happen on your watch." He set up an Oath Keepers blog, asking soldiers and veterans to post testimonials. Word spread. Military officers offered assistance. A Marine Corps veteran invited Rhodes to speak at a local Tea Party event. Paul campaigners provided strategic advice. And by the time Rhodes arrived in Lexington to speak at a rally staged by a pro-militia group, a movement was afoot.

...

Rhodes has become a darling of right-wing pundits. In a column last October, Pat Buchanan predicted that "Brother Rhodes is headed for cable stardom." Glenn Beck has cited the group as a "phenomenal" example of the "patriot revival movement," while Lou Dobbs declared that its platform "should give solace and comfort to the left in this country." Conspiracy-radio king Alex Jones even put an Oath Keepers segment, including footage of the Lexington speech, on his hit DVD Fall of the Republic. "I can't stress enough how much your organization is scaring the globalists," he told Rhodes on his show.

...

On the conference's final day, National 912 Project chairman Patrick Jenkins stepped up to talk about the National Liberty Unity Summits his group was organizing in cooperation with Oath Keepers. They would provide a chance, he said, for patriots to forge a common agenda and a plan to carry it out. At the first summit, in December, attendees included representatives of groups from FairTax Nation to the Constitution Party to Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum. On hand were Ralph Reed Jr. (former director of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition and recent founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition), Larry Pratt (head of Gun Owners of America), and Tim Cox (founder of Get Out of Our House, an organization praised on Fox News for its goal of replacing business-as-usual incumbents with "ordinary folks"). Most notable were representatives Broun and Gingrey, who according to summit organizer Nighta Davis have expressed willingness to introduce legislation crafted by summit attendees. (So, Davis says, have Steve King [R-Iowa] and Michele Bachmann [R-Minn.]. None of the representatives agreed to comment for this story.)

As they say, read the whole thing.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • A Truth Wins Out (TWO) and South Florida Gay News (SFGN) investigation revealed that a Wall Street criminal mastermind who was convicted in 1987 of “fraud of spectacular scope” has secretly reinvented himself as a moral leader who “cures” gay and lesbian people.
  • Joe The Plumber is no longer a fan of John McCain or Sarah Palin.
  • Only Orly Taitz could find a way to turn a $20,000 fine levied against her for frivolous legal filings into an opportunity to prove that President Obama was not born in the U.S.
  • The UK broadcast of Glenn Beck's show "was forced to run without any advertisements" for five days in a row due to a lack of sponsors.

  • Hey, Sean Hannity will be joining Sarah Palin as she campaigns for Rep. Michele Bachmann.  Awesome!
  • We get it Matt Barber; you don't like gays.
  • Finally, Republicans sure seem to hate the stimulus bill ... except when they don't.

Is There Any Right Wing Gathering Bachmann Won't Endorse?

We've never even heard of Keep God In America, but via Andy Birkey we see that Rep. Michele Bachmann sure has and is endorsing a three-day rally the group is hosting in Jacksonville, Florida in March:

From what I can gather, the organization was founded by a woman named Nanette Malher who, in addition to owning a company called Aviatrix Enterprises, is also a columnist for the ludicrously right-wing website RenewAmerica.com. Speakers scheduled to be at the conference include John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council, Rick Green of Wallbuilders, Rick Scarborough of Vision America, Terry Kemple Community Issues Council, and Matt Brock of Liberty Counsel.

Like I said, we've never even heard of the group, but rally organizer, and Tea Party activist, Chris Nwasike obviously has enough sway to get Bachmann to produce a four minute video endorsing the rally and its mission.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW Senior Fellow Peter Montgomery: 'Christian' Manifesto Comparing Liberals to Nazis Gathers Signatures of Religious Right Leaders -- and Catholic Bishops.
  • Eric Boehlert: Palin headlines birther conference; press pretends not to notice.
  • Wendy Norris: Radical Anti-choice Group Rocked by Founder Resignations.
  • Towleroad: Fresno College Professor Relies on Bible to Teach Biology, Says That Homosexuality is a Disease.
  • Robin Marty: Will the Real Pam Tebow Story Please Stand Up?
  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered a lesser-known conservative conference featuring Glenn Beck, Michele Bachmann, and Phyllis Schlafly that got lost amid all the Tea Party Coverage.
  • Finally, speaking of Glenn Beck, it looks like right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton will be playing an important role in his "American Revival" effort.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann says America will be cursed by God if we don't stand by Israel.
  • Is Sarah Palin "even dumber than we thought"?  Steve Benen says "yes."
  • I guess it shouldn't be surprising that the Right is using Judge Walker's "outing" to press its agenda.  Honestly, I am surprised that they haven't made a bigger deal about it.
  • Shockingly, Fox and WorldNetDaily are spreading falsehoods about another Obama nominee.
  • Allow me to answer this question with a resounding "ummmm, no."
  • Finally, I must admit that these are actually pretty funny.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Family Research Council is seeking signatures for a petition opposing efforts to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
  • Self-proclaimed King of the Tea Partiers Dick Armey tells Michael Steele that he has to gain their trust by proving his bona fides on fiscal issues.
  • Gov. Tim Pawlenty's PAC took in $1.3 million in its first few months.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann has $1 million in the bank for her re-election bid.
  • Religious Right activists are holding a prayer vigil outside of CBS headquarters in support of Focus on the Family's anti-choice Super Bowl ad.
  • Finally, will Sarah Palin still be attending the National Tea Party Convention, even though all the other political leaders have dropped out?  You betcha.

Bachmann and Blackburn Drop Out of National Tea Party Convention

Yesterday we noted that Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Michele Bachmann seemed to be getting cold feet about speaking at the National Tea Party Convention amid complaints from activists and sponsors that its too expensive and something of a scam.

Now it is being reported that Bachmann and Blackburn have both dropped out:

Rep. Michele Bachmann has become the latest high-profile conservative to bag the rapidly unraveling Tea Party Convention in Nashville next week ... Bachmann’s office cited the same concerns that other Tea Party activists have voiced about the first-of-its-kind national gathering: namely, the for-profit model of organizer Judson Phillips, a self-described “small town lawyer” with a history of financial problems.

Phillips has announced that the $549-a-head convention featuring Sarah Palin is sold out. But Tea Party critics and allies alike have been asking questions about what Phillips plans to do with the money. Concrete answers have been in short supply, and in the end it looked like too big a risk for any public office holder.

“We’re out,” said Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok. “It comes down to conflicting advice as to how these profits are going to be used after the fact. We’d rather err on the side of caution than do it and find out it’s improper... with somebody saying ‘they’re using the money from an event you were at to support this and this,’ which comes as a direct conflict with what you’re doing as a member of Congress.”

One of the only other elected officials scheduled to appear, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., also has backed out, citing similar concerns.

Both Blackburn and Bachmann sought legal guidance in recent days from lawyers in the House Ethics Committee. According to Dziok, they got “conflicting advice.”

That was enough to put on the brakes.

There is no word yet on whether Sarah Palin will still be speaking.

Rep. Blackburn Getting Cold Feet Over National Tea Party Convention?

The last few weeks have not been particularly good for the organizers of the National Tea Party Convention, as activists have questioned its cost and sponsors have started to withdraw.

And now it looks like one of the featured speakers, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, might be having second thoughts about her participation:

Last week, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., was planning to introduce former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to a raving hometown crowd of TEA Partiers early next month in Nashville. This afternoon, she appears to be having cold feet.

"We've got it under review. We've got the request, and we'll see what happens," Blackburn said in an interview in her Cannon Building office. "It's a 'We the people' event, and I think sometimes it's become about 'I the organizer,' for the organizer."

She was referring to growing protests that the $549-per-person cost of the for-profit Tea Party Nation event on Feb. 4-6 at the Opryland Hotel is pricing some grassroots activists out. Some sponsors and supporters are fighting about the nature of the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) conservative movement and plans to showcase its stars, which include Palin, Blackburn and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

Blackburn said she is interested in hearing from the TEA Party groups and has addressed them at previous events.

Asked if she was asking for a review of the event by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, the so-called ethics committee, she declined to say. But afterward, her spokesman, Claude Chafin, called The Commercial Appeal to say an official request for review by the ethics panel has been made "out of an abundance of caution." The question is "whether they would consider it appropriate for her to do," Chafin said.

And it seems as if Blackburn's skittishness is making Rep. Michele Bachmann's staff a bit skittish as well:

Another listed speaker at the Nashville event, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., was still planning to attend.

"We just checked with Blackburn's office and according to them, they're still attending," Bachmann spokesman Dave Dziok said in an e-mail. "We still plan to attend."

He said Bachmann's advisers "are all just crossing our t's and dotting our i's to make sure everything's in line ethically" for her to attend.

Beck, Bachmann, Farah, Santorum, Schlafly Team Up For Another Right Wing Conference

There sure do seem to be a lot of right-wing conferences coming up.  You have the annual CPAC convention and the first National Tea Party Convention, in addition to first annual Freedom Federation Summit, the Family Research Council's "Faith & Family Summit," and Janet Porter's May Day for America prayer rally at the Lincoln Memorial.

To this list we can add The Constitutional Coalition's 2010 conference entitled "What Makes America Work? Lessons Children and Others MUST hear" which features everyone from Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum to Phyllis Schlafly and Joseph Farah and will be highlighted by "An Evening With Glenn Beck."

Just check out some of these speakers and topics:

- SENATOR RICK SANTORUM and KEN FERGUSON How to rid your TV of ALL Sexual programs and advertisements

- MICHAEL MEDVED, Lies About America that Must Stop

- PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY Child Abuse in the Classroom

- DAVID HOROWITZ Teaching Revolution on College Campus

- FRANK GAFNEY It is a Dangerous World – America Under Attack

- AN EVENING WITH GLENN BECK

- CONGRESSWOMAN MICHELE BACHMANN Fundamentals of a Good Education That will keep us Free and Strong

- DR. JERRY NEWCOMBE ENDOWED BY OUR CREATOR: The Role of God in America

- SENATOR RICK SANTORUM CREATED LIFE: The Declaration, Life and Liberty

- JOSEPH FARAH FREE IDEAS: America’s Unique Freedom of the Press

- SENATOR JIM TALENT SECURITY: The Constitutional and Moral Underpinnings of National Defense

It Was Only A Matter of Time

April 7, 2010 may just be the day the universe collapses upon itself when the orbits of two massive right-wing stars finally converge:

U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-06) announced today that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will come to Minnesota to assist Bachmann's re-election campaign on April 7, 2010.

"There is absolutely no one more in tune with the hearts and minds of everyday Americans than Governor Palin, and I'm excited to welcome her back to our beautiful state this spring," Bachmann said.

Both Governor Palin and Congresswoman Bachmann are well-known and respected conservative leaders whose bold and unwavering stances in defending the U.S. Constitution and commonsense approaches to issues like health care, taxes and government bailouts have attracted millions to their message.

"It didn't take the American people long to see through the extreme liberal agenda of President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress," Bachmann said. "We saw American's frustration start in the form of tea party protests in states from coast to coast. It continued with the health care town halls throughout last summer. But we saw it come into full focus yesterday in conservative Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, taking back a Senate seat that was held by Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy for decades. The American people have spoken, and the momentum is clearly at the backs of conservatives heading into the 2010 elections."

Right Wing Round-Up

Palin's Tea Party Revolution Will Be Televised

There has been a lot of talk lately about the fact that organizers of the National Tea Party Convention were trying to keep the media from covering the event, especially the speeches that will be delivered by Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Well, apparently Palin has decided that her speech can be covered by the press, according to The Tennessean:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has decided to allow media coverage of her speech at next month's Tea Party Convention at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

Palin's speech was initially announced as being closed to the media, but the former vice presidential candidate requested the press be allowed in after all, the event's organizer announced Wednesday.

The nation's first Tea Party convention will take place Feb. 4-6 at Gaylord Opryland.

Although the convention is sold out, according to the Tea Party Nation Web site, banquet tickets are still available. Besides Palin, Republican Congresswomen Marsha Blackburn and Minnesota's Michele Bachmann will both be speaking at the convention.

UPDATE: According to a press release issued by the organizers, it looks like only right-wing news outlets will be allowed to cover the event:

First, we are pleased to announce that the convention has sold out and we now have a waiting list which we will continue to try to clear as opportunity presents.

In this light, we have had numerous requests for press passes and the resulting expected coverage. However, as we have set expectations that this is a working convention, we have tried not to make it a media event.

In fact, Tea Party Nation has received hundreds of requests for press credentials to cover this convention. Everyone from a small town newspaper in Iowa to Fox News has asked for press credentials. We have had requests from Canada, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Croatia and Japan. We have been hard pressed to accommodate all of these requests and do not have the space or resources to support the entirety of the press corp. Indeed, we have asked the hotel if they would be willing to provide a press room during the convention.

However, given these practical limitations, we have approved the following press organizations:

Fox News

Breitbart.com

Townhall.com

The Wall Street Journal

World Net Daily

Michele Bachmann's Perfect Timing

What can better sum up the current state of the Republican Party and its ties to the Religious Right than the fact that the day after Pat Robertson declared that Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake due to the fact that the nation "swore a pact to the Devil," Rep. Michele Bachmann is profiled on The 700 Club, where Robertson introduces her as "one of the leading conservatives in America":

Now, just three years into the job, Bachmann is a major voice against what she believes is an out of control government threatening the freedom of Americans.

"What we are seeing now is the rise of big government, and so, big government is now oppressing the American people with too much spending, too much taxes, too much regulatory burden," she said. "We just saw the hate crimes law pass...really that bill is more about restricting free speech and free expression of American citizens, in contradistinction to the First Amendment that wants free speech and expression for all of Americans."

Bachmann says the United States is blessed with a unique form of government, but the current administration is straying from what the founding fathers intended.

"Jefferson warned us over 230 years ago, be prepared. The natural way of government is to enslave you," she explained. "And Jefferson said again, bind down big government with the chains of the Constitution. That's what the effort was. Use these beautiful documents to limit man, not to grow man's influence and oppress mankind."

Bachmann believes the current growth of government's influence will backfire.

"We have the most left-leaning, radical president we've ever had in the history of the United States. The most radical, left-leaning speaker of the House than we've ever had in the history of the United States and one of the most radical, left-leaning majority leaders in the Senate," she said. "We have never had this type of radical view of government."

The congresswoman has proven she's not about to be silenced and she relies on God as her source of strength to endure the battle.

However, Bachmann isn't the only one speaking her mind. Much like Sarah Palin, Bachmann has her share of critics who lash out against her in the media, online and on TV.

"Women are very competent, very intelligent. They can be very successful and make it on their own," Bachmann said about why she's under attack. "And I think that the left is very concerned [about] the message that myself and other women would be able to deliver. And I think that's part of the reason why you see the attack to silence us as messengers."

In fairness, Bachmann apparently sat down for this interview with CBN back in early December, around the time that she joined Robertson on-air for the first time, and the segment was finally ready to air today. 

Pat Robertson's Greatest Hits

It was just last week that we posted a collection of old Pat Robertson videos, but since he's making news once again by saying the tragic earthquake in Haiti stems from the fact that the nation once "swore a pact to the Devil," now seems like a good time to go back at take a look at some of Robertson's most outrageous statements from recent years:

  • Robertson and Falwell lay the blame for 9/11.
  • Robertson says Muslims should be treated like "some fascist group."
  • Robertson says gays are on their way to hell.
  • Robertson says hate crimes legislation would protect someone "who likes to have sex with ducks."
  • Robertson says all other religions worship “demonic powers.”
  • Robertson's advice to the GOP on handling the Rep. Mark Foley scandal: just say that it is "what gay people do so don’t worry about it."
  • Robertson says marriage equality is "so gross" it will lead to the end of our nation.
  • Robertson reports that God told him to expect massive terrorist attacks on the United States in 2007, and lists the specific cities at risk.
  • Robertson declares that the separation of church and state is "insane."
  • Robertson states that Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke because he was "dividing God's land."
  • Robertson warned that President Bush was "asking for the wrath of God" for not adequately supporting Israel.
  • Robertson explains that various natural disasters and weather events are God's way of sending a message.

Explain to me again why incoming Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell invited Robertson to attend his inauguration. Or why Rep. Michele Bachmann, whom Robertson lauds as a "marvelous public servant," is appearing on his program.

What Tea Party Convention Organizers Don't Want You To See

The upcoming National Tea Party Convention featuring the likes of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Joseph Farah, Rick Scarborough, Roy Moore, and others seems to be causing a bit of rancor among Tea Party activists:

In the latest sign of rancor in Tea Party circles, a convention billed as an effort to bring together conservative activists from across the country is being attacked by some leading Tea Partiers as inauthentic, too tied to the GOP, and -- at $549 per head -- too expensive for the working Americans the movement aspires to represent.

The National Tea Party Convention, scheduled for early February in Nashville, grabbed headlines after announcing that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann would appear as speakers, Palin as the keynote. According to a message on the convention's website, the event "is aimed at bringing the Tea Party Movement leaders together from around the nation." But organizers are a long way from unifying the notoriously fractious movement.

Tea Party Patriots, which helped put together a September rally that drew tens of thousands to Washington, view the confab -- which is being held at Nashville's swank Opryland Gaylord hotel -- as the "usurpation of a grassroots movement," according to Mark Meckler, a leader of the group. "Most people in our movement can't afford anything like that," Meckler told TPMmuckraker, referring to the price tag. "So it's really not aimed at the average grassroots person."

Robin Stublen, a Tea Party Patriots volunteer, echoed that view. "This convention is $550 dollars," said Stublen. "How grassroots is that?"

Not only is the price of the convention exorbitantly prohibitive for most, but organizers don't seem to want any press coverage either.

Today, David Weigel pointed out the preliminary list of scheduled breakout topics and among them is one entitled "Why Christians Must Engage," run by Rick Scarborough.  Maybe the event organizers are afraid that the media might see Republican leaders like Palin and Bachmann sharing the stage with the likes of Scarborough:

Scarborough, who served on Mike Huckabee's Faith and Values Committee during the latter's presidential campaign, unleashed a fiery sermon more befitting a Sunday sermon than a political gathering. But since the two are essentially one in the same for Scarborough and the other participants, his proclamations that he is neither a Republican nor a Democrat but rather a "Christocrat" who will support only candidates who proudly stand up on the campaign trail and say "yes, there's a God" and who realizes that the Constitution is a godly document designed to guide this nation by Christian principles, just as the Bible is designed to guide the lives of all of mankind. He then rails against Republican failures to defund the Department of Education and Planned Parenthood before turning his attention to President Obama and "his minions" who are intent on giving civil rights to "sodomites" while banning the Bible and putting Christians in jail. Eventually he turns to the "shadow government" constructed by President Obama filled with "well-financed, well-heeled, and highly-staffed professional infidels who have dedicated their life" to destroying America.

Robertson's ACLJ Files Anti-DC Marriage Brief On Behalf of 39 GOP Members of Congress

Today, the American Center for Law and Justice announced that it had filed a brief on behalf of 39 Republican members of Congress against marriage equality in Washington DC, arguing that the "Board of Elections and Ethics wrongfully denied [the] proposed initiative and its decision should be reversed":

We have just filed an important amicus brief in defense of marriage. This time the venue is the District of Columbia, where the city council has authorized same-sex marriages. In our brief, we're representing members of Congress in a very significant legal challenge.

A group of citizens has applied for the right for D.C. residents to vote on an initiative to halt same-sex marriages in D.C. However, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has wrongly rejected that application.

The D.C. residents have filed suit to challenge the Board’s ruling, and the ACLJ – with the support of 39 members of Congress – has filed an amicus brief with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in support of the citizens asking the court to reverse the decision of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

The brief [PDF] lists the following Republican members of Congress as having signed on:

Amici United States Senators James Inhofe and Roger Wicker and Representatives Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, Gresham Barrett, Roscoe Bartlett, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, John Boozman, Eric Cantor, Jason Chaffetz, John Fleming, Randy Forbes, Virginia Foxx, Scott Garrett, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Steve King, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Robert Latta, Don Manzullo, Michael McCaul, Thaddeus McCotter, Patrick McHenry, Cathy McMorris Rogers, Jeff Miller, Jerry Moran, Randy Neugebauer, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Mark Souder, and Todd Tiahrt are currently serving in the One Hundred and Eleventh Congress. Under the United States Constitution, they serve as members of the ultimate legislative authority for the District of Columbia and the very body which delegated to the District its limited legislative power under home rule. As members of the District’s ultimate legislative body, amici are concerned about the extent of the District’s delegated legislative authority, the preservation of Congress’s constitutional authority, and the interpretation of home rule. Amici also support the right of the District electors to directly participate in the legislative process pursuant to the initiative and referendum rights, under the Initiative Referendum and Recall Charter Amendments Act of 1977. It is precisely these concerns which lead amici to support Petitioners in seeking a reversal of the denial of the proposed initiative.

Palin-Farah Ticket The Key To Tea Party Success

The other day we noted that WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah had been added as a speaker at the National Tea Party Convention next month, joining the likes of Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann and a gaggle of fringe figures like Rick Scarborough and Roy Moore.

It seems that Farah is pretty excited about it as well:

Palin-Farah... maybe that should be the GOP's ticket in 2012.

Elsewhere in WND today, Farah announces that redoubling his Birther efforts

I am recommitting my energies and resources to the search for verifiable truth on this matter of eligibility. I don't care what Bill O'Reilly says about it. I don't care what MSNBC hacks say about it. I don't care that Republicans in Congress are too intimidated by the media and the political culture to demand proof, as the Constitution requires.

Only when this issue becomes a matter of popular concern will the truth come out.

As I said the other day: if the fact that Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, will be sharing the stage with Farah, a full-fledged conspiracy theorist/Birther, doesn't perfectly sum up the current state of the conservative movement, I don't know what does.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Pam's House Blend reports that Oklahoma's Sally Kern is trying to make it harder to get divorced in her state.
  • Good As You covers Mike Heath's recent appearance on Wallbuilders Radio.
  • Richard Pombo is back and TMP provides a look back at his ethical troubles.
  • Steve Benen notes that Michele Bachmann's anti-Census crusade could potentially end up costing her her seat in Congress.
  • Joe.My.God takes great pleasure in the fact that Glenn Beck is at war with the Birthers.
  • Towleroad reports that marriage equality in Iowa is safe, at least for this year.
  • Finally, Alvin McEwen exposes the latest nonsense from Cliff Kincaid, who claims that the outcry over Uganda's anti-gay bill is all part of a conspiracy to save Kevin Jennings.
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Michele Bachmann Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/22/2011, 11:15am
Last week, we noted that C. Peter Wagner was growing the recent attention and criticism his New Apostolic Reformation movement has been receiving and sent out an email trying to downplay all of their talk of taking dominion. It now seems like this is becoming a pattern as Os Hillman, a leading Seven Mountains advocate and the man behind Reclaim7Mountains.com, is also seeking to downplay all that dominionism talk: An important understanding and distinction must be stated at this point. Dominion, or perhaps a better word to use is influence, is a result of our love and obedience to God, not a... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/19/2011, 5:53pm
Amanda Marcotte @ AlterNet: Michele Bachmann vs. Rick Perry: Who's the Bigger Right-Wing Extremist? Carlos Maza @ Equality Matters: NOM President Claims Marriage Equality Will “Normalize Pedophilia.” Dave Weigel @ Slate: What Ever Happened to Glenn Beck? Matt Finkelstein @ Political Correction: Rep. Akin Still Won't Discuss Liberal "Hatred Of God" Comments With Concerned Clergy. Greg Sargent @ The Plum Line: Bachmann on why she worked for IRS: "First rule of war is `know your enemy." MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/19/2011, 5:40pm
VA Gov. Bob McDonnell will be joining Pat Robertson to help him celebrate 50 years of CBN. Anne Graham Lotz is positive that Jesus’ return is imminent. NOM supports Herman Cain's call to impeach President Obama. Joseph Farah loves Michele Bachmann. Yes, Eric Bearse, the AFA seeking to mobilize participants in The Response is just like secretaries of state registering voters ... if the secretaries of state were seeking to "mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/18/2011, 5:48pm
Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: Michele Bachmann Is Not a Doctor. Warren Throckmorton: Bachmann staffer: Perry is Saul and Bachmann is David. Rachel Tabachnick @ Talk To Action: What is it About Uganda? Bachmann Campaign Faith-Based Organizer Arrested There in 2006. Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion: Fresh Interest in Peter Waldron, Now Working as Michele Bachmann Staffer. Mark Joyella @ Mediaite: Christine O’Donnell Walks Out On Piers Morgan Interview After Gay Marriage Query. Kevin Drum: Presidential Vacation Watch. Steve Benen: Perry tackles... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/18/2011, 4:42pm
When Sarah Palin was chosen as the GOP nominee for vice president, Phyllis Schlafly hailed her as a role model of the non-feminist woman who by her very existence discredited the women’s movement. Feminists “are really spooked by Palin because she’s done everything and she is a success,” Schlafly said, “besides she is pretty and they cannot stand her.” Now that Palin’s star has significantly subsided and she has become one of the most unpopular politicians in America, Schlafly’s niece Suzanne Venker is crowning Michele Bachmann as the new... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/18/2011, 1:29pm
Michele Bachmann dropped by "Jay Sekulow Live" today to talk about her win last weekend in the Iowa Straw Poll and her presidential campaign in general.  During the discussion, Bachmann asserted that while the American people are very concerned about the state of the economy, they are concerned about other issues as well like abortion, defending marriage ... and the rise of the Soviet Union: I would say it's a unified message. It really is about jobs and the economy. That doesn't mean people haven't [sic] forgotten about protecting life and marriage and the sanctity of the... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 08/18/2011, 11:37am
A secretive ‘Super PAC’ tied to an Ohio political operative is planning to aid congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign after working to defeat South Carolina congressman John Spratt in the last midterm election. Chris Cillizza writes that “Citizens for a Working America, as the group is known, will be chaired by former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Ed Brookover, a longtime political consultant and adviser to Bachmann, will be involved as will conservative lawyer and economist Marc Nuttle.” Ken Blackwell’s ties to the Religious Right... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/17/2011, 5:51pm
I don't see how anything Liberty University says here in any way changes the fact that the school is one of the leading recipients of federal aid in the form of student loans. FRC reports that Michele Bachmann has been confirmed as a speaker at the next Values Voter Summit. I almost want to see Michele Bachmann become president just to watch her try and fulfill her promise to get gasoline under $2 a gallon. Finally, the fact that one of Bachmann's staffers was arrested for terrorism in Uganda seems like it might be a big deal. Liberty Counsel says schools... MORE >