FreedomWorks

Lots of people think John Boehner has lost control of the House Republican caucus. Apparently John Boehner does, too.

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First they said Obamacare would create death panels. Then they said the law would cover undocumented immigrants. Now they’re saying President Barack Obama gave Congress a special exemption, so that lawmakers and their staff members aren’t subject to the law.

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The Tea Party movement got its start in February, 2009, when CNBC commentator Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and went on a rant about government bailouts. But the movement didn’t really establish itself as a political force until that August, when conservative activists confronted Democratic lawmakers at town hall meetings across the country, in order to denounce health care reform.

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By now, you may have heard of the campaign to undermine Obamacare that the conservative group FreedomWorks is running. If not, read Sarah Kliff's article on it in the Washington Post. The article will take you inside the "Obamacare resistance," as she calls it, where leaders are printing up fake Obamacare cards and urging young people to burn them in protest.

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It was one thing when Obamcare critics started fighting attempts to educate people about the law's insurance options—warning sports leagues not to promote the new benefits, for example, or criticzing states undertaking outreach efforts of their own. Now some conservatives are taking it a step farther. They're launching campaigns designed to discourage young people from using the law to get insurance.

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Who's trashing whom on the right? Here's a handy guide to post-election GOP recrimination.

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Recently, I asked whether Republican voters would care enough about the crony capitalism evident in Rick Perry's Texas to vote against him. For Tea Party conservatives to do so, I suggested, would mean confronting the disconnect between their populist rhetoric and their willingness, until now, to tolerate Republican coziness with big business. Commenter "Rayward" made another good point to explain why the crony capitalism charge may not take against Perry: "Crony capitalism has no sting anymore because Republicans have neutered the term by calling Obama a crony capitalist.

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Freedomworks is coming after you, Mitt Romney: A top goal of the nation’s most influential national Tea Party group is to stop Mitt Romney from winning the Republican nomination for president. Interviews with top officials at FreedomWorks, a Washington-based organizing hub for Tea Party activists around the country, revealed that much of their thinking about the 2012 election revolves around derailing the former Massachusetts governor. ... Kibbe said in an interview that FreedomWorks has no plans at the moment to endorse an opponent of Romney’s in the primary.

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Vox Populi

Ah, the Tea Parties. That great populist upsurge, ordinary people concerned about debt raising their voices in righteous fury against the burden placed upon future generations. Oh, wait: Business advocates hope the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts at the end of the year will become a flashpoint at town hall meetings and other gatherings, just as health care and government spending were during last year’s August break. In a pair of letters to lawmakers later this week, businesses plan to raise concerns about looming tax increases on investment income and also on individual income.

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One of the odd qualities of the Ayn Rand cult is the way Rand's fictional characters were assumed by the cult to take on the qualities of real-world philosophers. They were authorities whose pronouncements were cited as definitive statements of truth.

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