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Sarah Palin's defense fund relaunches
The confusing and, in the end, not really damaging story over whether Palin's original defense fund was legal ends with that being shut down and the new Sarah Palin Legal Defense Fund launching, with some attitude.
Now, Sarah Palin's enemies have scored a limited victory in their vicious campaign to smear, bankrupt, and force this dedicated public servant and conservative leader out of politics. They have successfully questioned her prior legal defense fund--a fund that mirrored John Kerry's fund and Bill Clinton's fund. So a new fund was necessary to make sure Sarah Palin can continue to speak the truth to Americans.
'Florida Tea Party' crashes press conference to combat charge that it's working for Democrats
The saga of the Florida Tea Party, the third-party ticket that grass-roots activists accuse of being a front for Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) (who's denied this), escalated yesterday into a shouting match. Independent tea party activists called a press conference to announce the formation of a Central Florida Tea Party Council and demand that Peg Dunmire, the "Florida Tea Party candidate" against* Grayson, drop out of the race. Dunmire and party director Fred O'Neil showed up. Things got ... well, not ugly, but not pretty, either.
"The recently formed Florida Tea Party political party is a Tea Party in name only," grassroots organizer Jason Hoyt said, but his speech was interrupted by a Florida Tea Party member who yelled, "you lie!"
Bob Hazen has video of the anti-"Tea Party" tea party conference; here's video of the "Tea Party" candidates who showed up, fighting back.
And here's the latest on the "Tea Party" versus Tea Party lawsuit.
*I hope you're following this.
The DISCLOSE Act passes
Conservative groups are dealt a defeat -- one that they believe massive outreach an activism delayed by a week, at least -- as the DISCLOSE Act passes the House and heads to the Senate.
The legislation split conservatives and had activists griping about the NRA, which -- while not endorsing the bill -- got a carve-out that was written in a way that exempted them from campaign finance restrictions.
Rupert Murdoch, open borders crusader
Not news: Michael Bloomberg uniting wealthy executives for a pro-immigration reform project called the "Partnership for a New American Economy." News: the participation of Rupert Murdoch.
Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp., appeared together Thursday on Fox News to discuss the effort. "We're just going to keep the pressure on the congressmen," Murdoch said. "I think we can show to the public the benefits of having migrants and the jobs that go with them."
Does this represent a shift for the owner of Fox News? Not really, says Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian.
"Yes, I watched Murdoch on Fox," says Krikorian. "Interviewed on his own network by one of his employees! Come on! Would you ask tough questions?"
Krikorian points out that Murdoch, whose News Corp. has owned the Wall Street Journal since 2007, has made no changes to the immigration position of a newspaper that pro-restriction conservatives consider hopelessly biased toward open borders.
"Honestly, you'll hear complaints from immigration hawks that Fox News itself is squishy," says Krikorian. "They were way behind on the 2006 and 2007 immigration bills. It took them a long time to catch up with the outrage out there."
Immigration activists might know this, but the Murdoch hook is obviously the best thing Bloomberg has going for this project.
Rand Paul speaks on McChrystal and BP
I got a chance to talk to Rand Paul after his low-dollar D.C. fundraiser Wednesday, and asked him about the McChrystal kerfuffle and the controversy over his take on the BP spill.
RN: Do you agree with the president's decision to accept Gen. Stanley McChrystal's resignation?
PAUL: Ultimately it is the prerogative of the president to decide who his generals are. My first thought was, going back to the historic controversy between Truman and MacArthur, but the thing is I'm not sure I'd call this insubordination, but he had a public disagreement and I think -- I don't think anybody questions that it's the prerogative of president, whether it's a small or big disagreement, to decide who generals are at the top level. I haven't read all his comments nothing specific to say.
RN: You've started to take heat for your approach to the BP escrow fund. Do you support the fund, the way it's set up?
PAUL: Well, I don't think there are many people who don't believe in any regulations, myself included, and even my dad -- I don't think you'll hear him say he doesn't believe in any regulation. But I'm not sure I have the answer to that, sincerely. I think everyone in the country wants BP to pay for the clean-up, myself concluded. I've never had any argument with that -- it's amazing how you say things and they get blown into things you didn't say! I'm not even sure I can talk to some people anymore because they take things out of context.
RN: But do you support the set-up of the fund? Do you oppose regulating offshore drilling?
PAUL: There should be some regulations, but I want to do it in a rational, reasonable way, and ask: Did they obey the regulations? Do we not have enough regulation, and do we need two blow-out preventers from now on? These are the things scientists and inventors should tell us. Should we be drilling at that level? There are a lot of issues, but we shouldn't react in an emotional way and say no more drilling. I see some of that emotionalism happening because the president feels trapped -- his advisers say you've got to be tough, you've got to have tough language. I'm not sure that's a rational way to handle this.
RN: To finish up, though: Do you oppose the fund? I'm not going to trap you and ask whether or not it was a "shakedown," but do you think it's legal and legitimate?
PAUL: I was listening to some people on the Hill today, and they were looking for the justification for setting it up. I don't know what the legal justification is -- I'm not an expert in whether Congress has to give you authority or the president has authority to do it. Those issues take research and time, and I'm not going to make an off-the-cuff response.
An apology to my readers
I'm a member of an off-the-record list-serv called "Journolist," founded by my colleague Ezra Klein. Last Monday, I was deluged with angry e-mail after posting a story about Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) that was linked by the Drudge Report with a headline intimating that I defended his roughing-up of a young man with a camera; after this, the Washington Examiner posted a gossip item about my dancing at a friend's wedding. Unwisely, I lashed out to Journolist, which I've come to view as a place to talk bluntly to friends.
Below the fold are quotes from me e-mailing the list that day -- quotes that I'm told a gossip Web site will post today. I apologize for much of what I wrote, and apologize to readers.Continue reading this post »
Steve King: 'There's one [birth certificate] in this country we haven't seen'
A strange moment on the floor of the House, captured (off of a TV) on YouTube by a believer in Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories who thinks that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is proclaiming his solidarity with that movement. In a wide-ranging speech critical of Obama policies, King described the share of the national debt inherited by children as soon as they were born.
"Little baby with ink on their foot," said King, "stamped right there on the birth certificate -- there's one in this country we haven't seen -- but, the footprint on those we have seen owe Uncle Sam $44,000."
I've asked King's office exactly what he meant here, but it's hard to tell what this is if not a joke about "birtherism." What's the "one" birth certificate he hasn't seen?
Christie's N.J. primary opponent blasts governor's 'hype,' 'big government spin machine'
Steve Lonegan, the head of New Jersey's branch of Americans for Prosperity who lost a surprisingly close primary campaign to now-Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), takes to the op-ed pages to douse the governor's support from national conservatives.
National pundits talk of “spending cuts.” Some enthusiasts have gone as far as starting a “Christie for President” chant. So many words. But as the big government spin machine rolls on, what is really happening? Sweep away the bluster and the attitude, and behind it all is the largest property tax hike New Jersey has ever seen.
He knocks Rush Limbaugh twice, and points out that Christie -- who has to wrestle with a Democratic legislature -- has acquiesced to spending increases and reversals on some planned tax cuts. And really, when I talk to conservatives outside of New Jersey, there's less interest in the details of this than the fact that Christie is attacking the state's unions and sounding great doing so.