President Obama To Appear On The Daily Show

In light of the Tea Party culture of ignorance which is dominating politics this year, Jon Stewart is trying to respond to apathy among the rational portion of the electorate. He is holding his “Rally to Restore Sanity” on the National Mall on October 30th. It has now been announced that Barack Obama will appear on The Daily Show three days before the event:

President Obama plans to appear on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” shortly before the midterm elections, a senior White House official tells CBS News, in what will be his first appearance on the show since becoming president.

The appearance will be on Wednesday October 27th. It comes shortly before both the November 2nd midterm elections as well as host Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” on the National Mall on October 30th.

The president has been trying to rally the sort of young voters who watch Stewart’s show to come out to vote in the midterm elections amid signs that they are less enthusiastic than they were two years ago. Democrats are trying to hold the House and Senate amid predictions of a potential wave election for Republicans, and among his campaign stops in the midterm cycle have been appearances at college campuses.

While he has appeared on the show as a candidate, this will be Obama’s first appearance as president.

NAACP Releases Report On Ties Between Bigots and Tea Party

The NAACP has released a 94-page report on bigotry and anti-Semitism among those who receive a platform from the Tea Party movement.

“These groups and individuals are out there, and we ignore them at our own peril,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous.  “They are speaking at tea party events, recruiting at rallies, and in some cases remain in the tea party leadership itself.

The report, “Tea Party Nationalism: A Critical Examination of the Tea Party Movement and the Size, Scope, and Focus of Its National Factions,” was written by Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart of the Kansas City-based Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights.

Zeskind and Burghart examined government documents and databases, including court cases, campaign finance reports and corporate filings.

“This is the first data-driven report of this type on the tea parties,” Burghart said. “Understanding their membership structures was the crucial first step that enabled us to understand the complexity of the tea party movement and to be able to specify the role of racists and bigots in the movement.”

The report cites numerous examples of what it said were racism and extremism within the tea party movement. Some of them, according to the news releases:

•The St. Louis-based Council of Conservative Citizens, the largest white nationalist group in the country, has both led and promoted tea party protests. Roan Garcia-Quintana, a member of ResistNet who served as media spokesman for a 2010 Tax Day Tea Party in South Carolina, is on the national board of directors for the Council of Conservative Citizens.

•Clayton Douglas, a former information officer for the New Mexico Militia, is a member of the ResistNet tea party. He uses his profile on the ResistNet website to advertise his own “Free American” website, on which he promotes anti-Semitism.

•The Wood County Tea Party in Texas is led by a woman who used to be involved with the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

•The 1776 Tea Party — also known as — is led by Stephen Eichler, executive director of the Minuteman Project, an anti-immigrant border patrol group often referred to as vigilantes.

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Tea Party Members Conned By Conservative Elites

Karl Rove got it right in saying that the Tea Party movement “is not sophisticated” in an interview with Der Spiegel. They are a group of poorly informed ideologues who are manipulated by the far right. Dana Milbank discussed the irony of a faux populist revolt in which the common men were giving money to the Chamber of Commerce to make the rich richer (emphasis mine):

These donors to the cause of the Fortune 500 were motivated by a radio appeal from the de facto leader of the Tea Party movement, Glenn Beck, who told them: “Put your money where your mouth is. If you have a dollar, please go to . . . the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and donate today.” Chamber members, he said, “are our parents. They’re our grandparents. They are us.”

They are? Listed as members of the chamber’s board are representatives from Pfizer, ConocoPhillips, Lockheed Martin, JPMorgan Chase, Dow Chemical, Ken Starr’s old law and lobbying firm, and Rolls-Royce North America. Nothing says grass-roots insurgency quite like Rolls-Royce — and nothing says populist revolt quite like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In describing the big-business group as “us,” Beck (annual revenue: $32 million) provided an unintended moment of clarity into the power behind the Tea Party movement. These aren’t peasants with pitchforks; these are plutocrats with payrolls.

There is genuine populist anger out there. But the angry have been deceived and exploited by posers who belong to the same class of “elites” and “insiders” that the Tea Party movement supposedly deplores. Americans who want to stick it to the man are instead sending money to the man.

Consider the candidates on the ballot next month who are getting Tea Party support. In the Connecticut Senate race, there’s Linda McMahon, who with her husband has a billion-dollar pro-wrestling empire. The challenger to Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, is a millionaire manufacturing executive. The former head of Gateway computers, Rick Snyder, is spending generously from his fortune to win the Michigan governor’s race.

In New York, the Republican gubernatorial candidate is developer Carl Paladino, with a net worth put at $150 million. And Rick Scott, running for governor in Florida, has a net worth of $219 million from his career as a health-care executive. Then there’s California, where the Republican Senate nominee is former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina and the gubernatorial candidate is former e-Bay boss Meg Whitman…

And who will be helping these anti-elite elites get into office? Well, there’s FreedomWorks, a Tea Party outfit run by Dick Armey, the former Republican lawmaker whose last job was with a big lobbying firm. His deputy at FreedomWorks is Matt Kibbe, who worked for none other than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

There’s also the Tea Party Express, the creation of longtime Republican consultant Sal Russo. A colleague at Russo’s consulting firm pitched the Tea Party Express idea as a way to boost the company’s bottom line. According to an internal e-mail intercepted by the New York Times, it came from a “desire to give a boost to our PAC and position us as a growing force/leading force.”

When the common man sends money to Tea Party organizations they are helping the rich maintain their lifestyles and take cruises. From Politico:

The Tea Party Express, paid Holland America Line a total of $103,000 to send six of its staffers on four consecutive cruises on the Amsterdam. The payments to the cruise line, which appeared on a campaign finance report filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission, have started drawing attention from critics of the Tea Party Express, who have alleged that the committee is a front for Republican consultants seeking to use the populist movement to make a buck and live the high life.