Tea Party Group Sends Letter To Congress

Tea Party groups at oddsThe group Tea Party Nation (TPN) has sent a letter to Congress in hopes of discrediting the validity of another organization claiming to be part of the Tea Party movement.

According to CNN, Judson Phillips, founder of TPN, recently sent a letter to Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) with a list of the primary goals of the Tea Party movement, as well as a direct response to GOProud, which sent Congress a letter on Nov. 15.

The Advocate reports that GOProud, an organization made up of gay Republicans, teamed with Tea Party leaders from several states and urged GOP leaders to focus on fiscal issues before tackling social issues. Phillips took exception with the letter from GOProud, claiming that the group has never been affiliated with the Tea Party.

"A small group of non-Tea Party, non-conservatives, released a letter, trying to claim leadership of the Tea Party movement and purporting to tell you what the Tea Party movement wants," Phillips wrote in his letter to Congress, quoted by CNN.

Included in Phillips' message to McConnell and Boehner is a call for Republicans to fight the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT). GOProud noted that the DADT repeal is the only issue where the two groups disagree. 

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Tomorrow is perhaps America’s most important holiday, and it comes amidst the most positive change that has happened in a generation.

The Tea Party led the GOP to victory and it has given new hope to America. Furthermore, it is the Tea Party that has inspired many to challenge a leftist President and overthrow a liberal House of Representatives. It is the Tea Party that is setting a new course; one based on the blueprints that built this great nation.

Change has come quickly. Before the midterm election, it seemed many were giving up hope. And while the Tea Party does not yet have a unified agenda, its candidates have pushed for a balanced budget, the eventual elimination of the Federal debt and will try to repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.

The Tea Party has instilled new passion and direction in the conservative movement, and it has done so from the bottom up. The ideas and inspiration from the Tea Party come mostly from ordinary people that Americans can understand, not intellectuals like William F. Buckley, Jr.

Liberty Still Thrives Inside America
Keep in mind that I’m a dyed-in-the-wool realist. My wife tells me that I see the glass half empty, and years ago Personal Liberty Digest co-columnist Chip Wood called me Calamity John.

But I am far more optimistic this Thanksgiving than I have been in years past. The recent election has demonstrated that libertarian ideals are still alive.

That is a relief, because America may be the only nation that still has a conservative voice. It certainly has fallen silent in Canada.

Two summers ago my wife and I traveled to Ottawa, Ontario to our eldest son’s wedding. Our daughter-in-law’s parents had some friends that were active in Canada’s Progressive Conservative (PC) Party. At the wedding rehearsal I spoke politics with a few of them. I had spent much of the previous 20 years living in Spokane, Wash., and was woefully ignorant of the political climate that had changed in Canada. I was shocked at how these “Conservatives” not only liked President Barack Obama but were also inspired by his policies regarding bailout and healthcare bills.

They were members of the political party that had helped elect John Diefenbaker, one of Canada’s great Conservatives, just 50 years earlier. Yet as Canadian Conservatives they believed in the ideology of Ted Kennedy rather than the ideals of Ronald Reagan.

Back when Diefenbaker was Prime Minister there were two principals: the Liberal Party and the PC Party. Today there are three other major Canadian political parties at the national level: the Le Bloc Québécois, the New Democratic and the Green Party. The last two are on the far Left.

And despite the success of the Tea Party, there is no conservative movement like it in Canada. It is an interesting distinction, writes Canada’s most influential newspaper, The Globe and Mail:

“Canada and the United States are remarkably similar countries — so similar, that no one else on earth can tell the two of us apart, unless this Austrian or that Sri Lankan has an ear so well attuned to English that she can distinguish Newfoundland from Missouri accents. Yet politically, we are solitudes…

“(Yet) for all our shared geography and history, Canadians are more Japanese than American. Or more German. Or Norwegian. We accommodate ourselves to the political reality we inhabit. Only the Americans are perpetually up in arms against the status quo. It makes for more unstable, more dysfunctional, but ultimately more democratic politics.”

For the past four decades Canada has moved further and further to the left; so far, in fact, that Canada seems devoid of citizens who even know what individual liberties are, let alone demand them.

Northern Sheep
Tom Flanagan is a United States-born, Calgary, Alberta academic, and was an adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Flanagan has said he doesn’t think a group like the Tea Party will bloom north of the 49th Parallel because Canada’s political system — unlike the U.S. primary system — is not required by law to hold free and open nomination contests.

“You could have an insurgency here and there in Canada, but a wide uprising like we saw in the U.S. just isn’t possible here,” Flanagan told The National Post.

Others in Canada have pointed out that there is no Tea Party because Canada’s economy is so much better off. I can tell you that this is nonsense; that by most measures the U.S. has a higher standard of living and a better economic future than does Canada.

The real reason there is no Tea Party in Canada is that Canadians sheepishly accept what government dictates. Let me give you an example. When I was going to the University of Calgary in the 1970s, Ottawa instituted the unpopular metric system. Many Canadians complained when the provinces made all road signs metric. Yet the signs were erected and were soon accepted.

Around that time, Washington State was also putting up metric road signs. But those signs didn’t catch on. That was because drivers were tearing them down.

Perhaps the differences between Canada and the U.S. are not surprising; not when you consider the United States revolted against King George III, while those further north were happy to be co-opted by the British Empire.

Yet there was a time when conservatism had a strong voice in Canada. Today such ideals and the concept of individual liberty exist almost exclusively inside the U.S. As much as ever, America is a last bastion of freedom. One can only hope that with time American ideals will spread.

Canada is hardly alone on turning its back to the freedoms and responsibility that made western democracy so successful, says Mark Steyn in his New York Times bestseller, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.

“Today in your typical election campaign, the political platforms of at least one party in the United States and pretty much every party in the rest of the West are all but exclusively about secondary impulses: Government health care (which America is slouching towards incrementally but remorselessly), government daycare (which was supposedly the most important issue in the 2006 Canadian election), government paternity leave (which Britain has introduced). We’ve elevated the secondary impulses over the primary ones: national defense, self-reliance, family…”

But even as the rest of the world turns its back on libertarian values, America has not. That makes this year’s Thanksgiving special. Hopefully there will be even more to celebrate in two years.

Best wishes on Thanksgiving,

John Myers
Myers Energy And Gold Report

Researchers Urge Ban On Menthol Cigarettes

Researchers urge ban on menthol cigarettesNew studies on menthol cigarettes have prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review the safety of the flavored tobacco products.

According to ABC News, 11 new studies on menthol cigarettes are included in a recent issue of the journal Addiction. The publication contains data suggesting that menthol cigarette use is disproportionately higher among African Americans and young adults. In addition, researchers found that menthol smokers tend to be less successful when trying to quit.

In response to these recommendations, some researchers are calling for a national ban of menthol cigarettes.

In response to the recent menthol studies, libertarian think tank Americans for Limited Government warns that a ban on cigarettes would likely result in a multibillion dollar illegal market.

"An enormous black market can only mean one thing; easier and cheaper access to cigarettes for kids," said Bill Wilson, president of the organization.

ABC reports that cigarette manufacturer Lorillard, which makes Newport menthols, is currently embroiled in a legal battle in Boston. An African-American man alleges that his mother, who died of lung cancer in 2001, became addicted to cigarettes as a child because Lorillard passed out free menthols to children living in the housing projects during the 1950s. 

Who Shot JFK And J.R.?

If you’re of "a certain age," you still remember where you were and what you were doing on Nov. 22, 1963, when you heard the shocking news from Dallas that "The President has been shot!"

The assassination of John F. Kennedy caused consternation around the country and panic on Wall Street, where frantic selling drove stocks down by $13 billion before trading was suspended for the day. Controversy still reigns over who knew what and who did what on that fateful day.

Seventeen years later this same week, a shooting in Dallas again fascinated the country. Happily, this one was fictitious.

"Who Shot J.R.?" on the Friday, Nov. 21 episode of Dallas was the most-watched program in television history, with more than 80 million Americans eager to learn the answer. That is several times the largest audience American Idol ever earned.

By the way, in case you’ve forgotten, the culprit was Sue Ellen’s sister Kristin.

–Chip Wood

The FDA Wants To Trample Your Garden

If you haven’t heard of the draconian food control bill, aka S 510: the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which is currently under consideration in the United States Senate, you need to learn about it now. If passed, it will give the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate all food, from personal gardens to produce stands to farmer’s markets.

The bill will be considered again Nov. 29. Right now it’s held up by amendments Senators are attempting to attach to the bill. One would strip the IRS Form 1099 requirement from the Obamacare bill. Another, the Tester-Hagan Amendment, would exempt small farmers from some of the requirements of the bill, but it still doesn’t fix the bill’s problems.

What does the bill do? Among other things, it “Amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) to expand the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to inspect records related to food, including to: (1) allow the inspection of records of food that the Secretary reasonably believes is likely to be affected in a similar manner as an adulterated food; and (2) require that each person (excluding farms and restaurants) who manufactures, processes, packs, distributes, receives, holds, or imports an article of food permit inspection of his or her records if the Secretary believes that there is a reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to such food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.”

It also “Requires each owner, operator, or agent in charge of a food facility to: (1) evaluate the hazards that could affect food; (2) identify and implement preventive controls; (3) monitor the performance of those controls; and (4) maintain records of such monitoring. Deems facilities required to comply with certain food-specific standards to be in compliance with this section. Requires the Secretary to promulgate regulations to establish science-based minimum standards for conducting a hazard analysis, documenting hazards, implementing preventive controls, and documenting such implementation. Prohibits the operation of a facility that manufactures, processes, packs, or holds food for sale in the United States if the owner, operator, or agent in charge of such facility is not in compliance with this section.

If one reads the language, on its face it would seem a good idea for the FDA to “get control” of food production in the country. The problem is the FDA’s history with this. While the bill would seem to apply to large farms and food production facilities, there is no language exempting even personal gardens or roadside produce stands. Because they aren’t exempt, they can be bound by the same requirements.

Small farmers, too, will be forced to comply with the new reporting regulations. This will swamp them in paperwork and force them out of business.

Then there is the FDA’s history to consider. The FDA has always worked for the best interests of large corporations — Big Pharma and Big Farms — rather than the best interests of the consumer — or the small food producer. And the large corporations like ADM (formerly Archer Daniels Midland Co.) and Monsanto want nothing more than to crush the small farmer.

As Mike Adams the Health Ranger to points out on his website, the FDA’s record of “protecting” consumers is shoddy at best. It has gone out of its way to ignore critical evidence about dangerous drugs to the benefit of Big Pharma. It censors the scientific truth about natural remedies and nutritional supplements and has killed more people than the CIA, FBI, ATF and DEA combined.

Through this bill the FDA, which has already criminalized raw milk, could outlaw all vegetables unless they are irradiated, could outlaw raw food unless it’s pasteurized and could criminalize the very act of canning your own fruits and vegetables. It’s not a stretch to think that an organization that has already criminalized drinking natural raw milk could criminalize anything it chose. And this bill gives it that authority.

Never mind that food-borne illnesses always stem from FDA-inspected large food producers rather than small farms and produce stands; the FDA wants to come gunning for your garden, your local supplier and the small business/farmer.

Seventy-four Senators voted to move the bill from committee to the floor for a vote, so its passage on Nov. 29 is almost assured. The only way to stop it is for you to call your Senator and tell him or her to vote no on S 510. You can reach your Senator by going here.

Republicans Disagree On How To Manage Defense Budget

Republicans disagree on how to manage defense budgetSenate Republicans are at odds about the prospect of major cuts to the nation's defense budget.

According to media reports, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) expressed concern at a recent foreign policy forum that incoming members of Congress, such as Rand Paul (R-Ky.), will embrace "protectionism" and "isolationism" in their willingness to cut the defense budget.

"I think there are going to be some tensions within our party," McCain said, quoted by The Huffington Post.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who is a proponent of reducing military spending in order to balance the Federal budget, took exception to McCain's statement. According to the news provider, Coburn claims that it will not be difficult to cut defense while maintaining the integrity of the nation's defense system.

A new Financial Times/Harris Poll reveals that citizens of the United States and the five largest European countries are split when it comes to defense budgets. More than one-third of Americans believe that cutting defense spending is mostly a bad thing, while 36 percent said that cuts are neither a good nor bad thing.

More than 40 percent of Germans, Spaniards and Italians said that cuts in defense to bring down a budget deficit are mostly a good thing. Nearly two in five Britons believe cuts are a good thing, while 44 percent of French respondents said cuts are neither good nor bad. 

Anuzis Announces He Will Run For RNC Chairmanship

Anuzis announces he will run for RNC chairmanshipRepublican National Committee (RNC) chairman Michael Steele has not yet decided if he'll run for re-election, but if he does, he'll have some competition.

Saul Anuzis, the former head of the Michigan Republican Party, recently announced in an email that he will run for RNC chairman, according to media reports. Anuzis, who was defeated by Steele two years ago, criticized the current chairman for thrusting himself into the limelight and bringing negative attention to the GOP.

Earlier this year, Steele released his book Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda, in which he said the Republicans had "screwed up" for the most part since Ronald Reagan's presidency.

"My agenda is very straightforward. I have no interest in running for office. I won't be writing a book," Anuzis wrote in an email, quoted by The Associated Press.

The news provider reports that several candidates are considering a bid for the RNC chairmanship, which will be decided when voting members meet between Jan. 13-16.

According to FOX News, Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said he will not support Steele for another two-year term. DeMint, a champion of the Tea Party movement, said that Steele may have cost Republicans several Senate seats in the midterm elections because of inadequate organizational efforts.

These Kids Today

It’s been three weeks since voters across the nation spanked President Barack Obama and his tinfoil hat brigadiers. Normally, when a wayward child — or unresponsive political party — earns the back of their parents’ — or voters’ — hand, the time in the bedroom gulag is best spent reflecting on the reasons for the banishment.

Would that soon-to-be-ex House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her pals were as easily disciplined as the average 8-year-old. Sadly, during the time that has passed since Election Day, the Democrat Party has shown no inclination to learn the lesson. In fact, if I had reacted to a paternal upbraiding the way the Democrats have to the electorate’s belt, my fortunes would have dimmed considerably. If the Democrats continue joyriding in the family car and leaving their beer cans where Mom and Dad Voter can find them, they’ll find they end up a lot more than grounded in 2012.

Last week, the Democrats voted to keep Pelosi their House leader. Given that nearly every Republican who ran in 2010 dropped her name on their Democrat opponents the way Bugs Bunny dropped anvils on Yosemite Sam, you would think the Dems would have banished her to the far corner of Congress for a couple of years of timeout. Outside Obama himself, Pelosi is likely the most deservedly identified and reviled face of the Democrat party. The idea of the Democrats emerging from their electoral beating and immediately voting to keep the arrogant architect of their own demise is “Let’s keep Napoleon after Waterloo” logic. Even the French are more tactically sound.

For her own part, Pelosi didn’t exactly step out of character. A week after the Democrats’ disaster, she remarked on her party’s audio talking-points service,  National Public Radio:

“We didn’t lose the election because of me.”

In a sense, she’s correct. The rest of her party could have dumped her like a girlfriend who won’t give up the remote during football season. But they let Pelosi keep the TV tuned to The View.

Returning Pelosi to the top of the pecking order was merely the opening salvo in the Democrats’ pinhead-palooza. Last week, Ms. “Swamp-drainer” was pushed below the fold by The Swamp himself. Democrat Party leader Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), until recently the chairman of the enormously powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was caught dead to rights on 40 years of corruption, tax evasion and abuse of the public trust. Former civil rights legend-turned race-baiting liar John Lewis even showed up to lend Charlie his support. Lewis’ statement would have been more meaningful had he not opened by acknowledging that he had no clue what the trial was about. He then drew a moral parallel between the repulsive Rangel and the victims of South African apartheid. And the lame-duck, Democrat-controlled House, suitably chastened by the electorate’s reprimand regarding their perverse corruption, dropped the hammer… and picked up a feather instead.

Censure for Rangel — and even then the vote wasn’t unanimous. They have a word for the consequences faced by a non-40-year-Democrat-veteran-of-the-House, should they dip into the cookie jar like ol’ Charlie: prison.

In the midst of Rangel’s kangaroo court, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) blew kisses at MSNBC‘s late-night laughingstock “Special” Ed Schultz. Jackson-Lee, another of the Democrat Party’s standard-bearers, once served on the House Science Subcommittee, which deals with NASA. During one briefing,  Jackson-Lee — whose Texas 18th District includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center — asked whether the Mars Pathfinder would be visiting the flag left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts. Er… no, Jackson-Lee. Marvin the Martian demolished the Apollo site with his PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

Jackson-Lee left her interstellar interrogatives out of her makeout session with Schultz, instead choosing to focus on recent comments by radio supervillain Rush Limbaugh. With the simpering Schultz leading her by the nose, Jackson-Lee scurried to the safety of smearing Limbaugh with the specious claim of racism. Jackson-Lee, who sees racism in virtually every situation which doesn’t work to her advantage (she once claimed congressional hearing time limits were a racist conspiracy), even assigned victim-of-racism status to the pasty-faced Schultz:

“You’ve been called Sergeant Schultz. Is that because you have a name that may be ethnically connected to being a sergeant? I’m not sure what that is. I find that insulting as well.”

Stand with Sheila: Stop the oppression of Sitcom-Americans today.

Three weeks since America sent Congressional Democrats to their rooms, and clearly, the kids have not learned their lesson. Most galling of all: with the liberal bad seed running amok, the whole country has to go to bed without dessert.

Ethics Committee Says House Should Censure Rangel

Ethics committee says House should censure RangelThe House ethics committee's chief counsel has recommended that Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) be censured.

According to ABC News, chief counsel Blake Chisman suggested that House members should vote to censure, or officially reprimand, Rangel for his alleged involvement in improper financial and fundraising conduct. On Nov. 16, an eight-member subcommittee panel found Rangel guilty of 11 counts of ethics violations, which included soliciting millions of dollars in donations.

A censure is a formal statement of disapproval, and it is the highest form of punishment from Congress besides an expulsion. Chisam said Rangel "brought discredit" upon the House and his actions "served to undermine public confidence in this institution," the news provider reports.

Earlier, the nonpartisan watchdog group Judicial Watch had called for the expulsion of Rangel. Its president, Tom Fitton, recently said that if the ethics committee does not recommend Rangel's removal from Congress, then the House should act on its own to expel him.

"There can be no justice for Charlie Rangel without a serious punishment for his unapologetic violations of law and ethics rules," said Fitton. "Rangel deserves more than a mere slap on the wrist."

Palin And Trump Consider Presidential Bids In 2012

Palin and Trump consider presidential bids in 2012Sarah Palin hasn't decided if she'll run for President in 2012, but she believes she can beat Barack Obama in an election.

During a recent interview with Barbara Walters, Palin said "I believe so" when asked if she could defeat Obama. The unofficial leader of the Tea Party said her candidacy hinges on whether it makes sense for her family.

The former governor of Alaska said she learned a lot about politics during her time as Senator John McCain's (R-Ariz.) running mate in the 2008 presidential election. Palin claimed that she was "thrown under [the bus]" by some of McCain's top aides, and she said those lessons have taught her to be more selective about whom she can trust.

Palin admitted that harsh scrutiny from the media would be a major challenge in a potential bid for the nation's highest office.

"Other candidates haven't faced these criticisms the way I have," she said during the Walters interview, quoted by CNN.

Business tycoon and reality television star Donald Trump is also considering a presidential run. In an interview with ABC's Good Morning America on Nov. 18, Trump said he'll make his decision by June 2011. Trump, who would run as a Republican, said he will step in if "the country continues to be taken advantage of by the world."