- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The White House officially proclaimed Cesar Chavez Day, Census Day and Pan American Day in the past two weeks. So maybe President Obama should proclaim it national “tea party” day on Thursday, when those who pine for lower taxes, smaller government and a return to founding American values strut their stuff - by the thousands - on the Mall and elsewhere. The movement is burgeoning and vibrant despite hostile news coverage and critics who have become increasingly aggressive as tea partiers display more unity than divisiveness, more optimism than doubt.

Sometimes a passing slogan articulates the moment — like, uh, this one: “The Great American Tea Party: Republicans, Democrats, independents — 50 States United.” It’s emblazoned on a new “tea shirt” from Authentic GOP in the wee kirk of Woodinville, Wash. The message on the back of the shirt reads “Taxed enough already,” and it comes with a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution.

“Our Web site might otherwise be considered partisan as heck, but when it comes to Americans protesting runaway government spending, I know there are many Republicans, Democrats and independents on the same page. The shirt specifically includes all three for that reason. Some have asked why I put Democrats on there, and I say ‘because you couldn’t have asked any more of them than what they did in Massachusetts.’ They did their part,” manufacturer Andrew Laidlaw tells Inside the Beltway.

The shirt is $20. Consult www.authenticgop.com for more information.


Coming to Capitol Hill, specifically the Dirksen Building, on Thursday: “Avatar Solutions for the Environmental Crisis,” complete with an entourage that includes the film’s director, James Cameron, actress Sigourney Weaver, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, National Public Radio’s Richard Greene and Rep. Diane Watson, California Democrat.

But wait. Along with all the typical stuff about alternative energy and the environment, the group says it will address these topics: “Reducing taxes and making government smaller by ending the ‘silent taxation’ of Americans” and “How we can have a truly free market and stop subsidizing unsustainable practices.”

Hmm. Reduced taxes. Smaller government. Someone has been reading the tea-party playbook.


Meanwhile, the Tea Party Express arrives in Boston on Wednesday, nearing the end of a 38-city tour that began March 27 in Searchlight, Nev., hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The group will rally on Boston Commons with much ado.

“You have no idea how excited we are to be holding a ‘Boston Tea Party’ with Sarah Palin. This is historic for us on multiple levels. The location has tremendous significance as the birthplace of American freedom, where patriots stood up to the injustice of a self-serving government,” spokesman Levi Russell tells Inside the Beltway.

The tour ends in Washington Thursday. There will be an 11 a.m. rally at Freedom Plaza, at 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, ramped up with appearances by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, chairman of FreedomWorks; Republicans Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Reps. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Steve King of Iowa; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; radio talk-show host Neal Boortz; and Ken Hoagland, chairman of the Online Tax Revolt. Former “Saturday Night Live” star Victoria Jackson will also attend.

“We are pleased that Ms. Jackson will be on hand to entertain. She is a wonderful and fitting choice because the tax system is a joke,” Mr. Hoagland observes.


The University of Iowa College of Law plans to offer a class in the recently passed health care reform law. The course content is so “sweeping” and humongous that at least four professors — maybe more — will share the load, which includes concentrations in economics and human rights issues, plus antitrust, insurance, employment, poverty and constitutional law.

“The law is mammoth, more than 2,000 pages long, so we’ll have plenty to study,” says law professor Herbert Hovenkamp. “If anything, we’ll have a hard time fitting it into a semester.”


Look, look. They can legislate. They can speechify. And they can make cocktail fare, too. Among the 38 lawmakers who will prepare their favorite hors d’oeuvre dishes in a celebrity cook-off for the annual March of Dimes Gourmet Gala at the National Building Museum on Wednesday evening:

For the Republicans: Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana (spinach-artichoke party cups), Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming (Bobbi Barrasso’s cowboy caviar), Roy Blunt of Missouri (vegetable and cheese pesto panini).

For the Democrats: Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado (family crab spread), Sen. Al Franken (wild rice pancake appetizer), Rep. John Dingell of Michigan (cherry barbecue meatballs).


• 48 percent of U.S. voters say they prefer a Republican candidate in the 2010 congressional elections.

• 44 percent prefer a Democratic candidate.

• 48 percent of Republican voters describe themselves as “very enthusiastic” about voting this fall, 30 percent of Democrats agree.

• 23 percent of voters overall approve of the job Congress is doing.

• 41 percent of Democrats and 7 percent of Republicans approve.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,613 registered voters conducted April 5 to 11.

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