Daily Archives: August 28, 2011


Isn’t he a caution? The constituents of Representative Gibson of New York’s 20th District certainly think so.

Those good people would be advised to watch their backs For as Think Progress points out —

“In recent weeks GOP congressmen have resorted to all sorts of underhanded schemes to avoid interacting with their angry constituents back home over August recess. Now two Republican freshmen, Reps. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Tim Griffin (R-AR), are taking this trend one step further, using disturbing intimidation tactics and “watch lists” to discourage constituents from asking them questions:

Rep. Webster’s Winter Garden, Florida district office gave out a “Watch List” of six Floridians who had asked questions at Webster’s previous town halls. The list, with the header “For the Media,” included names, photographs, and questions that members of the media should ask them.
The Watch List itself doesn’t contain any information on who wrote it or where it comes from.The memos surfaced in Arkansas in connection to the office of Rep. Tim Griffin, and were traced back to Rep. Webster’s office.
With black and white photos that resemble police surveillance, some of them pulled from the individuals’ Facebook profiles, the memo is clearly meant to intimidate these six people and anyone else who might stand up and ask a question of their elected representative. At a Griffin town hall, staffers were handing out the Watch List to attendees, calling it their “homework.” Griffin staffers were also spotted taking photos and shooting video of attendees, creating an extra layer of intimidation.

While Webster and Griffin are ostensibly making these lists to screen out paid activists, the people they are targeting are regular constituents who have simply spoken up and expressed their disagreement about important policy decisions. Nevertheless, Webster staffers clearly went out of their way to investigate the backgrounds of these individuals and insinuate people like them are not welcome at future town halls.
In April, ThinkProgress reported from Webster’s home district about a town hall where he faced a barrage of criticism for defending his support for tax breaks for the rich and the Medicare-ending Paul Ryan budget. One of the constituents ThinkProgress interviewed, Tamecka Pierce, ended up as #5 on the “Watch List.”

Happily The People aren’t easily silenced. And Grover’s slaves are feeling the heat.

As to the Capo di Tutti Conserva-Capi

“Norquist grew up in Weston, Massachusetts, the son of Carol (Lutz) and Warren Elliott Norquist. He attended Weston High School. His father served as vice president of Polaroid Corporation. He became involved with politics at an early age and in his early teenage years Norquist volunteered for the 1968 Nixon campaign, assisting with get out the vote efforts. He enrolled at Harvard University in 1974, where he would obtain both a BA and MBA. While in school, Norquist was an editor at the Harvard Crimson and helped to publish the libertarian-leaning Harvard Chronicle. Norquist has said: “When I became 21, I decided that nobody learned anything about politics after the age of 21.” He attended the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia, an organization that teaches conservative Americans how to influence public policy through activism and leadership”

IOW, how to deliver “Marching Orders” and keep the rabble in line.

“Norquist is best known for founding Americans for Tax Reform in 1985, which he did at the request of President Ronald Reagan.”

“The primary policy goal of Americans for Tax Reform is to reduce the percentage of the GDP consumed by the federal government. ATR states that it “opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle.” Americans for Tax Reform seeks to curtail government spending by supporting Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) legislation and transparency initiatives, and opposing cap-and-trade legislation and Democratic efforts to overhaul health care.
In 1993, Norquist launched his Wednesday Meetings series at ATR headquarters, initially to help fight President Clinton’s healthcare plan and eventually becoming one of the most significant institutions in American conservative political organizing. In 2009, Norquist received $200,000 in annual compensation for his part-time job (24 hours per week) with Americans for Tax Reform, plus an addition $22,419 other compensation from the organization and related organizations.”

See how it works? Right-Wing Politics is all about the Benjamins.

Of course problems do occasionally arise.

“Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform were mentioned in Senate testimony relating to the lobbying scandal for which Abramoff pled guilty in 2006.”


Such a charmer, no?

” Norquist has denied that he did anything wrong. Records released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee allege that ATR served as a “conduit” for funds that flowed from Abramoff’s clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns.”

Plus he had enough friends in high places to avoid prosecution.

“Early in his career, Norquist was executive director of both the National Taxpayers Union and the national College Republicans organization, holding both positions until 1983. Afterward, he held the positions of Economist and Chief Speechwriter at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 1983 to 1984.
Norquist traveled to several war zones across the world to help support anti-Soviet guerrilla armies in the second half of the 1980s. He worked with a support network for Col. Oliver North’s efforts with the Nicaraguan Contras and other insurgencies, in addition to promoting U.S. support for groups including Mozambique’s RENAMO and Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA in Angola and helping to organize anti-Soviet forces in Laos.
In addition to heading Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist serves on the board of numerous organizations, including the Hispanic Leadership Fund, Indian-American Republican Caucus, and The Nixon Center. He has long been active in building bridges between various ethnic and religious minorities and the free-market community through his involvement with organizations such as the Islamic Free Market Institute, Acton Institute, Christian Coalition and Toward Tradition.
In business, Norquist was a co-founder of the Merritt Group, later renamed Janus-Merritt Strategies.
Norquist also serves on the board of ParentalRights.org, a grassroots organization dedicated to adding a Parental Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

IOW the opposite of THIS Grover.

“In 2010, Norquist joined the advisory board of GOProud, a political organization representing conservative gays, lesbians, transgendered people, and their allies, for which he was criticized by the Family Research Council.”

I can’t imagine why. GOProud is every bit as homophobic as the Family Research Council — if not more so.

“Norquist is a member of the board of directors of the National Rifle Association the American Conservative Union, as well as the Advisory Council of GOProud.”

Covering all the bases as it were.

And in the spirit of base-covering, a hat-tip to Digby — and a suggestion to Chris Barron


on how he can loosen that seriously blocked sphincter of his.

Take it away boys!