Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An illustrated guide: All the president’s Olympic cronies

My syndicated column today — reprinted below with added links, pics, and info — gives you a rundown of the Obama cronies inside and outside the White House who stand to gain the most from the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid.

Chicagoans of all political stripes who oppose massive government funding of Mayor Richard Daley’s pet project have inundated my email-box. Reader Will P. sums it all up by noting that the games would “protect the current corrupt structure” and paper over Chicago/Illinois’s myriad woes, including: “Governor after Governor going to jail. Pay to play schemes. Crumbling and outdated infrastructure. Deteriorating public housing. Failing, dumbing-down schools. Hospital cutbacks. Sanctuary city. Never-ending gang wars (outbursts every Spring requiring massive police presence, police outmanned at the Taste of Chicago, innocents shot in the crossfire weekly, current beating video out now). Cemetery scandal (bodies removed and graves resold)…Acorn, Bill Ayers, Rezko, Blago, Wright. Univ. of Illinois “clout” scandal. Illegal preferential city hiring. City inspectors on the take (Operation Crooked Code). Voter fraud. The unemployment rate. Taxes through the roof. Mayor Daley attempting to extend city taxes to the suburbs. All this, and more…”

Daley’s approval ratings are at a record low as he scrambles to lease everything from parking meters to airports to raise cash. Residents are still reeling over the murder of teenager Derrion Albert. But FLOTUS Michelle Obama, on her merry way to Copenhagen, is singing a happy tune: “I mean, you know, most of these Games are taking place blocks away from my house. There’s good security by my house these days. And while Chicago is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, it is — people don’t live in fear. The downtown area is completely accessible…I know Mayor Daley, and he’s going to make sure that these Games go off without a hitch because that’s the kind of mayor he is. It’s not called the ‘City That Works’ for nothing.”

It “works” for the few at the expense of the many. That is the Chicago way.

***

All the president’s Olympic cronies
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2009

When government officials play the Olympic lottery, taxpayers lose. That has been the disastrous experience of host cities around the world (Forbes magazine even dubbed the post-Olympic financial burden the “Host City Curse”). So, why are President Obama and his White House entourage headed to Copenhagen, Denmark this week to push a fiscally doomed Chicago 2016 bid? Political payback.

Bringing the games to the Windy City is Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s “vision.” The entrenched Democratic power-broker – in office since 1989 – would like to cap off his graft-tainted career with a glorious, $4 billion bread and circuses production. The influential Daley machine backed Barack Obama for the presidential primary. Obama lavished praise on Daley’s stewardship of the city. Longtime Daley cronies helped pave Obama’s path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Now, they’re returning the favor for their hometown boss.

Senior White House adviser and Obama consigliere Valerie Jarrett is a Daley loyalist who worked as his deputy chief of staff, deputy corporation counsel, and planning commissioner. She hired the future First Lady of the United States, then-Michelle Robinson, as a mayoral assistant. Jarrett went on to serve as president and CEO of The Habitat Company, a real estate firm with a massive stake in federally-funded Chicago public housing projects.

One of those public-private partnerships, the Grove Parc Plaza Apartments, was run into the ground under Jarrett’s watch. Federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex a bottom-of-the-barrel 11 on a 100-point scale. “They are rapidly displacing poor people, and these companies are profiting from this displacement,” Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle of Southside Together Organizing for Power, a community group that seeks to help tenants stay in the same neighborhoods, told the Boston Globe last year. “The same exact people who ran these places into the ground,” the private companies paid to build and manage the city’s affordable housing, “now are profiting by redeveloping them.”

Coincidentally enough, Grove Parc — now targeted for demolition as a result of years of neglect by Obama’s developer friends—sits in the shadows of the proposed site of the city’s 2016 Olympics Stadium.

Jarrett served as vice chair of Chicago’s 2016 Summer Olympics bid committee before moving to the White House, where she has helmed a new “White House Office on Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport” with an undisclosed budget and staff. It’s not just taxpayers in cash-strapped Chicago who should be worried about this field of schemes. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Jarrett and Chicago 2016 committee member Lori Healey met this month with federal officials at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development “to discuss financing options” for the estimated $1 billion Olympic Village.

The door is open and the administration is “willing to meet and listen” to any federal subsidy proposals, Jarrett said. Hey, what happened to Obama’s tough rules on interest-conflicted lobbying by his administration officials?

A majority of Chicagoans who live in pay-for-play-plagued Cook County oppose public funding for the Olympic party. The city has more than a half-billion-dollar deficit – and just received word that its Olympic insurance policy will cover only about $1.1 billion of the $3.8-billion operating budget drawn up by Daley. Cost overruns, fraud, and union-inflated contracts are inevitable. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defended President Obama’s all-out campaign for Chicago’s 2016 Olympics bid by claiming America will see a “tangible economic benefit.”

But as is always the case with sports corporate welfare disguised as “economic development,” an elite few will benefit far more than others.

Take senior White House adviser and Obama campaign guru David Axelrod. He’s been a Daley loyalist since 1989, when he signed up as a political consultant for the mayor’s first run. Axelrod’s public relations firm, Chicago-based
AKPD Message and Media, has pitched in work for the Chicago 2016 committee. It is unknown how much AKPD has received for its services – or how much they’ll make in future income if the bid is successful. AKPD currently owes Axelrod $2 million.

The head of the Chicago 2016 bid committee is Patrick Ryan, chairman of the Aon Corporation and a co-chair of Obama’s deep-pocketed presidential inaugural committee. (Under Ryan’s watch at Aon, the company settled a massive corruption probe with 3 states for $190 million. More here on Ryan/Aon/Daley dealings More on corruptocrat Chicago Republicans like Ryan and others here.)

Also on both of those committees: Obama confidante Penny Pritzker, who in addition chairs the Olympic Village Subcommittee and is president of Pritzker Realty Group – a mega-developer in Illinois that could reap untold millions in project work if the Daley Machine/White House campaign succeeds.





Former Pritzker executive and Obama campaign treasurer Martin Nesbitt is also on the bid committee – and serves as Mayor Daley’s chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority.




Another bid committee member, Michael Scott Jr., is “trying to develop a for-profit real estate project that would sit within feet of the cycling venue if Chicago wins the 2016 Summer Games,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

It takes a crony-filled White House to raise a Chicago Olympic village. Daley and Obama will get the glory. America will get stuck with the bill.

michellemalkin.com

Without Bush, media lose interest in war caskets

Funny how that works, no?

Remember the controversy over the Pentagon policy of not allowing the press to take pictures of the flag-draped caskets of American war dead as they arrived in the United States? Critics accused President Bush of trying to hide the terrible human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“These young men and women are heroes,” Vice President Biden said in 2004, when he was senator from Delaware. “The idea that they are essentially snuck back into the country under the cover of night so no one can see that their casket has arrived, I just think is wrong.”

In April of this year, the Obama administration lifted the press ban, which had been in place since the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Media outlets rushed to cover the first arrival of a fallen U.S. serviceman, and many photographers came back for the second arrival, and then the third.

But after that, the impassioned advocates of showing the true human cost of war grew tired of the story. Fewer and fewer photographers showed up. “It’s really fallen off,” says Lt. Joe Winter, spokesman for the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where all war dead are received. “The flurry of interest has subsided.”

It’s almost like the only reason the media wanted pictures of the coffins was to run negative stories that were inconvenient for a President they hated, and now they don’t care because we have a President they love. But that couldn’t possibly be true, right? After all, our journalists always assure us that they’re objective and committed to reporting only the unvarnished, unslanted truth.

sayanythingblog.com

Another Goofy Obama Elementary School Brainwash Video

Okay, so what's up with all of these weird Obama indoctrination children's skits?
Did the Teacher's Union hold some kind of contest?

Sand Hill Venable Elementary School in North Carolina is the latest school to film their Obama indoctrination video.



Previously This Month:
Sick. School Children Taught to Sing Praises to Obama
ANOTHER OBAMA SONG-- 3rd Graders Sing Praises to Dear Leader

gatewaypundit.blogspot.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

Medvedev Admits He Influenced Obama on Scrapping Missile Defense

From Poland's Daily News Fakt last week after Obama announced he was scrapping the missile defense agreements with staunch US allies Poland and the Czech Republic--
"Treason! We've Been Sold to the Russians"

On Sunday, in a morning show interview Barack Obama dismissed accusations that the Russians had influenced his decision to scrap the Eastern European missile defense system.
MSNBC reported:

President Barack Obama sharply dismissed criticism that Russian opposition influenced his decision to scrap a European missile defense system, calling it merely a bonus if the leaders of Russia end up "a little less paranoid" about the U.S.

"My task here was not to negotiate with the Russians," Obama told CBS' "Face the Nation" in an interview for broadcast Sunday. "The Russians don't make determinations about what our defense posture is."
Today Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev told students at Pittsburgh University that he did have input on the president's decision.
MSNBC reported:
What's important is Barack Obama listened to my position. Perhaps it was part of the basis for his decision. We are learning to listen to each other. This is a change from the previous administration. I think these are bold, courageous decisions, to change decisions of previous administrations concerning foreign policy. This was a complex decision. I tried to put myself in his shoes. It would not have been easy for me.
In November 2008, less than one year ago, Polish President Lech Kaczynski's office said Obama pledged to go ahead with the US missile defence system in Poland. But, by March Obama wrote Russia and was ready to scrap the program.

gatewaypundit.blogspot.com

Comics





Thursday, September 24, 2009

“Mmm mmm mmm:” New details about the Dear Leader song video; Update: School responds

In case you were wondering which school taught kids that “Barack Hussein Obama mmm mmm mmm” rap that I posted yesterday afternoon, here are some new details.

The video was originally posted in June 2009 here by YouTube user “brandnuwords.” Update: She has now removed the video sometime this morning. Here is the screenshot:

“Brandnuwords” is the YouTube account of Charisse Carney-Nunes. More on her in a moment.

YouTube user “alteredbeat” re-posted the video on September 6 here.

Alteredbeat e-mailed Carney-Nunes to inquire about the location of the school. She told him it was a school in South Jersey.

This screenshot from the video…

…matches up with this picture of the auditorium at B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington Township, NJ:

I have e-mailed the principal of the school with the following questions:

Did Ms. Carney-Nunes have permission to videotape the performance?

Were parents notified that their children would be participating in this activity prior to the lesson?

Was Ms. Carney-Nunes invited to the school to teach the children the song and about her book, “I am Barack Obama?”

Was the principal aware of this event and taping?

Back to Charisse Carney-Nunes. Via ModernConservative, Carney-Nunes is senior vice president of The Jamestown Project, “the award-winning author of the children’s books, I Am Barack Obama (2009),” and according to her biography, “a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she was a schoolmate of President Obama.” I have e-mailed Carney-Nunes for comment as well.

The Obama school song video that she taped shows her book featured on an easel next to the children hailing Dear Leader. She promotes her book as a tool that “allows children to see themselves through the inspirational story of President Obama growing up as an ordinary child asking, Who will change the world? Ultimately, he realizes that he will.”

She has spread this creepy cult message to schoolchildren across the country.

Coming to a classroom near you?



We already know what the response will be to critics of this elementary school agitprop: Raaaaaacist!

***

Mark Tapscott at the Examiner has a related warning on the driving force behind the progressive movement.

Guess he’s just another “kook,” too.

***

Jon at Exurban League has a response from the school district confirming the rap session as an official school activity.

The poorly written statement is posted on the school district’s site.

***

More: What’s the Jamestown Project? Plus: Find your “inner Obama.”

michellemalkin.com

Leno Zings Matthews: He's Amongst 'Drooling Blondes Rubbing Up Against' Obama

Pivoting off of Christopher Anderson's new book, 'Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage,' Jay Leno delivered this monologue joke, with MSNBC's Chris Matthews as the punch line, on Wednesday night's prime time Jay Leno Show on NBC:

There's a new book out about Barack and Michelle Obama's marriage and in it they say Michelle Obama was very upset by all these drooling blondes who would push up to her husband and rub themselves up against him. They said this one blonde was especially suggestive and kept rubbing up against the President. Finally, Michelle said, “Look, Chris Matthews, get away from my husband.”
newsbusters.org

Monday, September 21, 2009

Barack Obama Officially Turns Presidency Into Infomercial

The Slapchop President--
Barack Obama spoke with 5 networks on Sunday to promote his nationalized health care plan.
He could have just sent them all the video. He gave the same talking points to each station.

He's officially turned the presidency into an infomercial:



Next time Barack, save yourself the trouble and send them a tape.

gatewaypundit.blogspot.com

Friday, September 18, 2009

Michelle Obama Gets Her Farmers Market

Let's say you're preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don't have any certified organic Tuscan kale. What to do?

Here's how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon:

The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

Then, and only then, could Obama purchase her leafy greens. "Now it's time to buy some food," she told several hundred people who came to watch. "Let's shop!"

Cowbells were rung. Somebody put a lei of marigolds around Obama's neck. The first lady picked up a straw basket and headed for the "Farm at Sunnyside" tent, where she loaded up with organic Asian pears, cherry tomatoes, multicolored potatoes, free-range eggs and, yes, two bunches of Tuscan kale. She left the produce with an aide, who paid the cashier as Obama made her way back to the limousine.

There's nothing like the simple pleasures of a farm stand to return us to our agrarian roots.

The first lady had encouraged Freshfarm Markets, the group that runs popular farmers markets in Dupont Circle and elsewhere, to set up near the White House, and she helped get the approvals to shut down Vermont Avenue during rush hour on Thursdays. But the result was quite the opposite of a quaint farmers market. Considering all the logistics, each tomato she purchased had a carbon footprint of several tons.

The promotion of organic and locally grown food, though an admirable cause, is a risky one for the Obamas, because there's a fine line between promoting healthful eating and sounding like a snob. The president, when he was a candidate in 2007, got in trouble in Iowa when he asked a crowd, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?" Iowans didn't have a Whole Foods.

For that reason, it's probably just as well that the first lady didn't stop by the Endless Summer Harvest tent yesterday. The Virginia farm had a sign offering "tender baby arugula" -- hydroponically grown, pesticide free -- and $5 for four ounces, which is $20 a pound.

Obama, in her brief speech to the vendors and patrons, handled the affordability issue by pointing out that people who pay with food stamps would get double the coupon value at the market. Even then, though, it's hard to imagine somebody using food stamps to buy what the market offered: $19 bison steak from Gunpowder Bison, organic dandelion greens for $12 per pound from Blueberry Hill Vegetables, the Piedmont Reserve cheese from Everson Dairy at $29 a pound. Rounding out the potential shopping cart: $4 for a piece of "walnut dacquoise" from the Praline Bakery, $9 for a jumbo crab cake at Chris's Marketplace, $8 for a loaf of cranberry-walnut bread and $32 for a bolt of yarn.

The first lady said the market would particularly appeal to federal employees in nearby buildings to "pick up some good stuff for dinner." Yet even they might think twice about spending $3 for a pint of potatoes when potatoes are on sale for 40 cents a pound at Giant. They could get nearly five dozen eggs at Giant for the $5 Obama spent for her dozen.

But whatever the socioeconomics, there can be no doubt that Obama brought some serious attention to her cause. Hundreds of people crowded the market entrance on I Street as police directed pedestrians to alternative subway entrances. Hundreds braved a light rain and gave a hearty cheer when Obama and her entourage took the stage. "I can't imagine there's been a day in the history of our country when people have been more excited about farmers markets," Mayor Adrian Fenty, Obama's warm-up act, told the crowd.

The first lady, in gray slacks and blue sweater, marveled that the people were "so pumped up" despite the rain. "I have never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables!" she said. (Must be the tender baby arugula.)

She spoke of the global reach of her cause: "The first thing world leaders, prime ministers, kings, queens ask me about is the White House garden. And then they ask about Bo."

She spoke of the fuel fed to the world's most powerful man: "I've learned that when my family eats fresh food, healthy food, that it really affects how we feel, how we get through the day . . . whether there's a Cabinet meeting or whether we're just walking the dog."

And she spoke of her own culinary efforts: "There are times when putting together a healthy meal is harder than you might imagine."

Particularly when it involves a soundstage, an interpreter for the deaf, three TV satellite trucks and the closing of part of downtown Washington.

washingtonpost.com

Obama: Legalize Illegals to Get Them Health Care

UPDATE: Here's the video.

Ahh... Now we're starting to see the whole Obamacare picture.
If Barack Obama does not completely destroy this country's economy in his first four years it will be a miracle.
The Washington Times reported:

President Obama said this week that his health care plan won't cover illegal immigrants, but argued that's all the more reason to legalize them and ensure they eventually do get coverage.

He also staked out a position that anyone in the country legally should be covered - a major break with the 1996 welfare reform bill, which limited most federal public assistance programs only to citizens and longtime immigrants.

"Even though I do not believe we can extend coverage to those who are here illegally, I also don't simply believe we can simply ignore the fact that our immigration system is broken," Mr. Obama said Wednesday evening in a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. "That's why I strongly support making sure folks who are here legally have access to affordable, quality health insurance under this plan, just like everybody else.

Mr. Obama added, "If anything, this debate underscores the necessity of passing comprehensive immigration reform and resolving the issue of 12 million undocumented people living and working in this country once and for all."

gatewaypundit.blogspot.com

Comics




Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama 2007 Revelation: Health Care Reform Requires Tax Hikes-- Savings Are Just a Theory

SHOCK VIDEO--- Barack Obama in April 2007 told a group of supporters: Health Care Reform Requires Tax Hikes — Savings Just a Theory.

"Initially you may need another $90-100 billion each year."

Funny. That sure isn't what he told the American public last week during his speech to Congress.



gatewaypundit.blogspot.com

Triple-snort-worthy: White House “distances” itself from ACORN


(Photo source: 2008 ACORN slideshow presentation)

Good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read the Politico headline about Team Obama trying to run away from ACORN:

“W.H. distances from activist group”

Choking. Up. With. Laughter.

Barack Obama can no more disown ACORN than he could disown his own shadow.

He IS ACORN. And ACORN is him. The “accountability” that White House flack Robert Gibbs says they take “extremely seriously” doesn’t extend to Team Obama itself — and the accountability they have evaded for pouring more than $800,000 into an ACORN front group for campaign advance work that was mysteriously re-classified as “get-out-the-vote” work.

As for the ACORN “advisory committee” that will “audit” the group’s illicit activities, I repeat:

Choking. Up. With. Laughter.

SEIU is ACORN. ACORN is SEIU.

See Anita MonCrief for more background. And here.

The foxes guard the corrupted henhouse again.

michellemalkin.com

Dismay in Europe as Obama ditches missile defence

President Obama dismayed America's allies in Europe and angered his political opponents at home today when he formally ditched plans to set up a missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The project had been close to the heart of Mr Obama's predecessor, President Bush, who had argued before leaving office in January that it was needed to defend against long-range ballistic missile attacks from rogue states such as Iran and North Korea.

But it had hobbled relations with Russia, which considered it both a security threat and an unnecessary political provocation in its own backyard.

At a White House appearance today, Mr Obama confirmed that the defence shield envisaged by the Bush Administration, involving a radar base in the Czech Republic and interceptor rockets sited in Poland, was being abandoned.

timesonline.co.uk

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Foreign Media Reports on Obama's Links to Corrupt Org Caught in Pimp & Prostitution Scandal

You'll never see this in the US press--
The Telegraph reported:
"Group once linked to Barack Obama taped giving advice to 'brothel owners'"

The Telegraph reported what the US state-run media is hiding from the American public-- That the US Census Bureau has broken links with the controversial community group Acorn, once a close ally of President Barack Obama, after it supported a purported brothel owner with a stable of underage prostitutes.

ACORN is the largest radical Leftist group in America today.
This radical group worked closely with the Obama campaign during the election. But, the community organizing group was not open about this. The photo below was scrubbed from the ACORN website before the election:

One of Barack Obama's first big "community organizer" jobs involved ACORN in 1992. Obama also trained ACORN employees. He represented ACORN in court. Obama worked with and protested with ACORN. His campaign donated $800,000 to ACORN this year for voter registration efforts.
And, ACORN even canvassed for Obama last year.

Maybe that's why the US media refuses to touch this story-- It might make the radical in the White House look bad.

Related... The ACORN story is not the only news the state-run media is ignoring.
Last week The New York Times refused to report on the Van Jones scandal.
Their first print story on the controversy hit the streets more than a day after he resigned.
Kyle Smith at the New York Post reported on this embarrassment:

Long after Glenn Beck reported — back in July — that Jones was history’s first communist czar, and even after Gateway Pundit reported, on Sept. 3, that Jones had signed a wackadoodle 9/11 “truther” petition, The Times sent two reporters to Boston (in a story published Friday, Sept. 4) to pre-report the non-story of Joseph P. Kennedy II’s run for Ted Kennedy’s seat. (He later said he wasn’t interested. Also, the picture of Joseph the Times ran was actually of his brother Max.)

Granted, the Times must devote a lot of personpower to its vast corrections column. But if it is so flush that it can afford to hire, like the boy with the shovel who follows the elephant in the parade, a personal fact checker for TV critic Alessandra Stanley, surely it can scrounge up an intern to report that there’s a communist truther working as the president’s green jobs czar, or that a congressman was demanding his resignation (Sept. 4).

Jill Abramson, the managing editor, admitted only to being “a beat behind” the story but added that the paper had caught up — after the saga was over. The EMS equivalent of this statement would be, “Sorry I didn’t take your 911 call for four days. At least I was in time for the funeral.”

Although Abramson’s excuse was not an excuse, she proceeded to offer another one: “Mr. Jones was not a high-ranking official.”

Oh. And here I was, thinking that he was “one of Mr. Obama’s top advisers,” as I was told by, well, The Times, on its Caucus blog on Sept. 5. Confusing, confusing.

Only in Timesland can you be in charge of doling out $80 billion in contracts (“A Small White House Program” — The Times’ John M. Broder, on Sept. 6) and be less important than the Naked Cowboy.
Big Government continues to be all over the ACORN prostitution scandal.

gatewaypundit.blogspot.com

Telling Images: Obama Inauguration Crowd Vs. DC Tea Party Crowd

A picture of the Obama inauguration after the crowds left:


A picture of the DC tea party after the crowds left:

Moral of the story: Conservatives clean up after themselves. Liberals expect other people to do it for them.

By Rob - sayanythingblog.com

More photos from after the inauguration:


Estimated up to two million march to US Capitol to protest Obama spending

Up to two million march to US Capitol to protest against Obama's spending in 'tea-party' demonstration

Up to two million people marched to the U.S. Capitol today, carrying signs with slogans such as "Obamacare makes me sick" as they protested the president's health care plan and what they say is out-of-control spending.

The line of protesters spread across Pennsylvania Avenue for blocks, all the way to the capitol, according to the Washington Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

People were chanting "enough, enough" and "We the People." Others yelled "You lie, you lie!" and "Pelosi has to go," referring to California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.


Demonstrators waved U.S. flags and held signs reading "Go Green Recycle Congress" and "I'm Not Your ATM." Men wore colonial costumes as they listened to speakers who warned of "judgment day" - Election Day 2010.

Richard Brigle, 57, a Vietnam War veteran and former Teamster, came from Michigan. He said health care needs to be reformed - but not according to President Barack Obama's plan.

"My grandkids are going to be paying for this. It's going to cost too much money that we don't have," he said while marching, bracing himself with a wooden cane as he walked.

FreedomWorks Foundation, a conservative organization led by former House of Representatives Majority Leader Dick Armey, organized several groups from across the country for what they billed as a "March on Washington."

Organizers say they built on momentum from the April "tea party" demonstrations held nationwide to protest tax policies, along with growing resentment over the economic stimulus packages and bank bailouts.






Read more: dailymail.co.uk

Celebrating the 9/12 rallies; Turnout estimated at 2 million



I can’t make it to Washington DC today for the national 9/12 march, but I’m with all the marchers in spirit.

It’s been an unprecedented year for limited government activism. It would never have been possible without the early initiative of grass-roots leaders in the #tcot community on Twitter, Smart Girl Politics #DontGo — and concerned women like Keli Carender and Amanda Grosserode who stood up in their communities against reckless spending in Washington before anyone was listening. Before the cable news was paying attention. Before it became fashionable for politicians to latch on.

Activists were derided as amateurs who couldn’t turn out a crowd. Then they were smeared as corporate shills. They were criticized for not having a coherent message. Then they were mocked for ideological single-mindedness. They are resented by professional strategists who accuse them of organizing empty protests that won’t translate into electoral gains. But the movement has given birth to a new generation of movers and shakers who have rejected establishment partisan politics for nimble, Internet-facilitated, issues-based advocacy.

The success of the Tea Party movement and its allies/successors shows that there’s no monopoly on “community organizing.”

You are the change we’ve been praying for.

March on!

***

Livecam of the D.C. rally here. Wow!

The Tea Party Express blog is here.

12:34pm Eastern: Police estimate 1.2 million in attendance. ABC News reporting crowd at 2 million — tweets Tabitha Hale from D.C.

Teeny, tiny fringe, huh?

Video highlights via Ed Frank:



Update: Tabitha Hale says Parks & Rec estimated 1.2 million. An ABC News correspondent says it wasn’t national ABC News network that reported 2 million figure. I take them at their word — and am checking to find out more info.

So, how many were there? Allah looks at the numbers reports here. He writes:

However big it was, it was bigger than expected. From the NYT: “Many came on their own and were not part of an organization or group. But the magnitude of the rally took the authorities by surprise, with throngs of people streaming from the White House to Capitol Hill for more than three hours.”

Charlie Martin extrapolates at Vodkapundit.

As I joked after the Tax Day Tea Party: “When left-wing activists make crowd estimates, the algorithm is: Six figures = one million.”

Safe to say, by liberal math standards, today’s turnout rivaled the “Million Man March” and the “Million Mom March” for sure.

Late update: The misattribution to ABC News came from Freedomworks:

Conservative activists, who organized a march on the U.S. Capitol today in protest of the Obama administration’s health care agenda and government spending, erroneously attributed reports on the size of the crowds to ABC News.

Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, the group that organized the event, said on stage at the rally that ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance.

At no time did ABC News, or its affiliates, report a number anywhere near as large. ABCNews.com reported an approximate figure of 60,000 to 70,000 protesters, attributed to the Washington, D.C., fire department. In its reports, ABC News Radio described the crowd as “tens of thousands.”

Brendan Steinhauser, spokesman for FreedomWorks, said he did not know why Kibbe cited ABC News as a source.

As a result of Kibbe’s erroneous attribution, several bloggers and commenters repeated the misinformation.

Thanks to ABC News for clearing this up.

The Left, of course, has seized on the error to discredit the undeniably massive turnout today.

If only they were as vigilant about policing other figures — e.g., the “47 million uninsured” statistic…

***

One more helpful measuring stick via reader Rosemary Hayes:

Here is a link to a schematic of the national mall used to esitmate crowd sizes. It was used in references to planning for BO’s inauguration.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-01-19-crowd_N.htm

***

Here’s an excerpt from my Dallas Tea Party remarks on July 4 in celebration of today’s events across the country:

I’ve been reading in the newspapers about how the Tea Party movement is “losing steam.” I’ve been told by my colleagues in the mainstream, lame-stream, drive-by, state-SPONSORED media that you have died.

I’ve been told by the smug vulgarians on cable TV (yes, that’s you Anderson Cooper) and I’ve been told by the bigoted know-nothings in Hollywood (yes, that’s you Janeane Garofalo) that you all are nothing more than a teeny, tiny minority of fringe extremists.

I’ve been told that…thousands upon thousands of committed, peaceful, principled sons and daughters of liberty [do not] exist.

Well, I am happy to report to the rest of the country that you Tea Party Patriots are alive and kicking and moving full steam ahead in the common defense of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

They want you gone.

They want you silent and out of sight.

They want you marginalized, demonized, and demoralized.

Will you let them?

…On July 3, 1776, John Adams expressed his wish to his wife Abigail that Independence Day would be “celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.” He hoped it would “be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty” and “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.“

“My fellow Americans.” There are few words sweeter and more stirring than those three words. “My fellow Americans.”

Whether native-born or naturalized, we [are] united in citizenship, joined by common purpose, bound eternally as heirs of our founding fathers’ legacy.

We are not here merely for the games, sports, bells, and bonfires. We are here because we recognize the grave importance and civic duty to remember the reason for the July 4 season.

And the reason for the season is: LIBERTY.

The reason for the season is: LIBERTY.

As you all know, I am the daughter of legal immigrants from the Philippines. They stood in line, took their citizenship tests, filed mountains of paperwork, and — speaking in English — swore allegiance to the United States. The more- than-two-century-old oath of American citizenship declares, in part:

“I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty … I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic… I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

For millions of naturalized Americans by choice, the oath of allegiance is sacred. It is as sacred to them as the very first oath of allegiance our forefathers first swore to at Valley Forge. It is a solemn public commitment to embrace and defend American laws and institutions. The rights and responsibilities that accompany this coveted status are earned privileges, not entitlements.

That inheritance of rights as well as duties is in my bloodstream and in yours. Our skin may be brown, yellow, black, or white. But as fellow Americans, my fellow Americans, we share this transcendent fidelity to liberty.

On July 4, 1821, John Quincy Adams reminded us that our interest in commemorating the Declaration of Independence was not merely in enumerating its list of grievances against British tyranny. But more importantly, our lasting interest lies in commemorating the “principles which [the Declaration of Independence] proclaims.”

This extraordinary document was, JQ Adams said, “the first solemn declaration by a nation of the only legitimate foundation of civil government. It was the corner stone of a new fabric, destined to cover the surface of the globe. It demolished at a stroke the lawfulness of all governments founded upon conquest. It swept away all the rubbish of accumulated centuries of servitude. It announced in practical form to the world the transcendent truth of the unalienable sovereignty of the people.”

This transcendent truth, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and embodied by America over 233 years, has indeed covered the surface of the globe. While we too often take it for granted, it thrives in the hearts and minds of fellow freedom lovers in China, Cuba, Honduras, Iraq, Iran, and around the world.

Every day should be July 4. Every day should be a day to count our blessings and marvel at the gifts our God and country have bestowed — and to which we have all been entrusted to protect and pass on to our children and their children.

At an Atlanta Tea Party in February, some kids held up a popular tongue-in-cheek sign that read: “When I grow up, I want to be free.”

What their parents certainly know, and what our Founding Fathers made clear to their oppressors and the world, is that we are born free.

Freedom is not for government to give.

But it is for all of us to ensure that government does not take away.

On this first principle, we can afford no moderation. The business of protecting our home life from meddling intrusion, our homeland from foreign invasion, and our commerce from reckless restriction is not to be conducted in dulcet tones with bent spines and bowed heads.

The founding fathers did not intend for us to politely implore the masters of government for freedom like oliver twist begging Mr. bumble to fill his meager bowl with more gruel:

“Please sir, I want some more.”

Only extreme vigilance – forceful, rabble-rousing, aggressive, unyielding vigilance, can safeguard our inalienable rights. And in practicing this extremism, we have nothing – NOTHING – to apologize for. Ever.

We have spent many months enumerating our grievances against the soft tyranny of a new age. And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow we will continue to do so.

But today, we have no time to despair. There is no room for gloom. you have been mocked and derided and smeared. you will be mocked and derided and smeared some more.

But our forefathers have suffered far worse. And so have the men and women on the front lines over the ages who have given arms and legs, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wifes.

John Adams knew the price they would pay, and yet maintained hope, real hope: “I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory.”

We take strength in each other. We take inspiration from the past.

We publicly declare our independence from the culture of dependency.

We publicly declare our independence from the false guardians of the free market.

We publicly declare our independence from the culture of corruption.

We publicly declare our independence from the poseurs of personal responsibility in both major political parties.

We should take these obligations freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help us God.

More photos via El Marco:




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