In Support of Governor Walker

American Majority, in conjunction with local Wisconsin Tea Party leaders today held a rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Madison in support of the common sense deficit reduction plans put forth by Governor Walker. The rally marks the first major effort by tea party members to direct their power and attention toward the public employee unions whose demands are bankrupting states across the country.

“We are here today, not to be louder than the union bosses and not to shout down our opposition,” stated Ned Ryun, President of American Majority. “We are here to support common sense legislation that has been blocked by the same government greed and shortsightedness that is killing private sector jobs in this country,” he stated. Citizens concerned about the ever-increasing size of the government workforce and costs of high-end benefit programs travelled from across Wisconsin and the upper mid-west to attend the afternoon event.

Photo of Wisconsin Rally

Governor Walker’s proposal calls for modest contributions on the part of state workers for their pension and healthcare benefits. Presently WI state workers presently contribute nearly nothing into their public pensions. Wisconsin is facing a budget deficit of more than $3 billion. Since early last week union members have staged massive protests, forcing the shut-down of schools and other work stoppages to kill the proposal. Democrat lawmakers have fled into hiding to avoid a vote on the measure in the legislature.

“The average state and local government worker today earns nearly $40.00 an hour in wages and benefits while a private sector worker earns just $27.50. Right here, right now, America’s public pension shortfall could be as high as $34 trillion. Yet too many lawmakers refuse to take action to stop this economic crisis.”

Speakers at the event made it clear the full force of the tea party movement will act to ensure that leaders who choose to side with public employee union bosses over the public good will pay a heavy political price for their cowardice and shortsightedness.

Video 8: Facebook for Beginners

This is the first 20/20 video in our Facebook series. In this video, Kasey will be discussing some of the basic tenets for creating and maintaining a personal Facebook presence (the PERFECT video for someone you know not yet on Facebook).

Facebook manages over half a billion people. With a network so vast, we felt it would be better to kick-off our Facebook portion of this series with a shorter video and more articles, specifically collected for you to read at your leisure. Each article will walk you through some important steps and should take you about 20 minutes each. They cover everything from setting up your first profile to Friends Lists to Facebook’s new Places feature and related security settings:

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Go Further

In addition to each video, we will be including a series of links for further education. Below is a collection of links that we have “bagged” from around the web:

General Facebook Settings

Privacy Facebook Settings

Facebook Marketing

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Thank you for all you do

We hoped you enjoyed the 8th post in out 20/20 Program. We hope you enjoy this collection and look forward to bringing you a video on setting up your first Facebok Page next week!

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Do more…

More Unpopular than BP?

Guess who is still more unpopular than BP?

Felix Salmon posted this chart displaying just how much BP’s brand has tanked since the start of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April. But, I find the real shocker in Salmon’s chart is not BP’s drop. The real kicker is that the company responsible for the nation’s largest environmental disaster, you know, the one where up to 84 million gallons of oil is resting comfortably in the Gulf of Mexico, is still more popular than Goldman Sachs.

With all the discussion about BP and this administration’s inability to properly deal with the problem, it appears people have not forgotten about Goldman Sachs and their irresponsible behavior either:

While I agree, there was some serious mishandling on Wall Street, I have to wonder: Is the rush for financial reform because of the American people’s public outcry? Or is the Left keeping the public outraged in an effort to quickly pass financial reform?

Summit Speakers Announced

While it has been a very trying past few days, we at American Majority are hopeful. We see the courage and resolve coming from the grassroots and know that America’s finest days are still ahead. We have the numbers, we have the passion, what we need is the training. That is why we put together the Post Party Summits. These regional trainings will be unlike anything you have seen before. We are bringing in some of the best grassroots activists from around the country, people who know how to win because they are doing it.

We just announced names like Erick Erickson of RedState.com and comedian turned activist Steven Crowder. We have lined up some amazing women in S.E. Cupp, well-known author and political commentator and Dana Loesch, conservative talk radio host, tea party activist, and all around power mom. The list goes on. In addition to excellent speakers, we are working to bring you sought after trainers and guest lecturers, to ensure that this movement has the tools needed to implement freedom, not just talk about it.

We hope you will take a look at the Post Party Summits and consider attending one near you. We have worked hard building an itinerary that is beyond anything seen in this movement so far; but most importantly, this will be an event that brings together activists from entire regions. Our hope is that you will leave with connections, strategies, and the know-how to take back your communities, one-by-one.

Health care was only the beginning for us, not the end. I am reminded, and encouraged, by the words of Thomas Jefferson:

Educate and inform the whole mass of the people…They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty..As our enemies have found we can reason like men, so now let us show them we can fight like men also.

Facebook Privacy Video 2: Settings

This is the second video in a two-part series on Facebook privacy settings. The video series was designed to compliment our Facebook Beginner’s Guide. To view video one, click here.



Facebook Privacy Video 1: Friends Lists

This is the first video in a two-part series on Facebook privacy settings. The video series was designed to compliment our Facebook Beginner’s Guide. To view video two, click here.



The “Webster” Talks Online Activism

Ralph Benko, Washington Examiner Op-Ed Contributor and author of the book The Websters’ Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World, talked about his efforts to increase on-line activism with conservatives.

He makes some very interesting points about changing Rule 20 and returning representation to the states. What do you think? Is this a good idea?

Sector Showdown: Private Vs. Public

The D.C. area is an interesting place to live indeed. Recently, we received over 30” of snow. The record snow fall has crippled much of the federal government, including the post office. So it was no surprise Monday when the federal government announced it would remain closed all day. Now imagine my surprise when I see a Domino’s Pizza delivery boy at my neighbor’s door. Apparently on time, pizza piping hot, the delivery boy was whistling and even sporting a short sleeve t-shirt. So, while the highest offices in the land can’t seem to make it in, a 16 yr. old pizza delivery boy somehow manages to bounce around town delivering pizzas and blasting his radio a little too loud. Imagine that.

This got me thinking. Comparing government to the private sector, who does things better? Rather than write a long, bloated post about my opinion, I wanted to hear what you have to say. Have you worked in both? Do you know someone who has moved from one to the other? I am interested in hearing your opinions on this one.

Close the Floodgates

The Heritage Foundation today has a good good piece on the attempt for a second stimulus and the extreme growth of government taking place. Rather than recreate a similar article, I thought I would share some highlights:

Anticipating this bleak job news, the President announced in his State of the Union address last week: “That is why jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a new jobs bill tonight.” It is understandable why the President wants to call this new legislation a “jobs bill” instead of what it really is: his second stimulus. But that would mean admitting that his first stimulus completely failed, which both the objective evidence and the opinion of the American people show it has. …

There is one sector of the economy that is thriving under President Barack Obama: government. This week, the Obama administration announced that the number of government employees will grow to 2.15 million this year, topping two million for the first time since President Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over.” And today, USA Today reports “the lobbying industry is humming along in the nation’s capital” as the top 20 trade associations and companies increased their lobbying expenses by 20% in 2009. ConocoPhillips spent $18.1 million dollars lobbying Congress in 2009, up from $8.5 million the year before, while it also laid off 1,300 people.

This is a perfect example of what happens to an economy when government becomes “the focus” of job creation. Jonathan Rauch explains: “Economic thinkers have recognized for generations that every person has two ways to become wealthier. One is to produce more, the other is to capture more of what others produce. … Washington looks increasingly like a public-works jobs program for lawyers and lobbyists, a profit center for professionals who are in business for themselves.”

As Washington flourishes on the backs of the little man, I have to ask, “Where are the tea parties? Where are the 912 groups and the individuals outraged at both the lobbying increase and government expansion?” I have yet to hear a grassroots response to open floodgates in Washington, but I hold out hope that the people are listening, discussing, and preparing for 2010.

Tea Parties Vs. OFA

Organizing for America was advertised as the nucleus of the progressive wave supposedly sweeping America. OFA was to have the capacity to organize, motivate, and deploy liberal drones throughout the country. They would utilize the passion stirred up from the 2008 presidential election, mobilizing campaign volunteers into policy advocates. Yet, everything we have seen is telling us that OFA is fading fast. When you build a system of spoils, there will always be those upset about not receiving their just reward. Support has not turned in to favors.

Obama put together an organizational structure built on the illusion that those at the bottom have the power. Yet, in his book “The Audacity to Win,” David Plouffe makes it very clear that power and decision making ultimately remained with a small group at the top. They worked to build a list, not a movement. This was their achilles heel. Once Plouffe, Axelrod, Obama and others transitioned from campaign mode to White House elitism, they forgot and abandoned those that put them in office: the progressive base promised a new America and  the swing voters promised a new DC. The reality has set in that the people who voted for change were not organized in a new or powerful way. In fact, despite the extraordinary illusion that this campaign embodied the people from the ground up, it appears it was politics as usual:

In the end, the special interests sat first at the table and wrote the playbook, expecting OFA to follow. The top-down structure remained, yet the passion had flamed out. David Plouffe announced back in December of 2008 that more than half a million supporters had responded to an online survey of OFA’s future, with 86% saying they felt it was important to help the Obama administration pass legislation through grassroots support; 68% agreeing that it was important to help elect state and local candidates who share Obama’s vision; and a surprising 10% indicating that they would be interested in running for elected office. The desire to support the movement at a local level was there. People yearned for change in their communities, not just in Washington (sound familiar?). Yet, no actions was taken. Those at the top failed to realize this, focusing instead on demanding grassroots support for policy created behind closed doors and benefiting big corporations and bigger government. Now, after an historic loss in Massachusetts the myth is meeting reality and the American people on both sides of the political spectrum are getting restless. Organizing for America is seeing their passionate base shrink rapidly, interior structure deteriorate, and effectiveness diminish. This is undeniable proof of what architects already know: the world’s tallest buildings were built ground-up.

In a move that resembles MoveOn.org, OFA recently sent out an email asking its members to plan the course for 2010. While the strategy has worked in the past, this appears to fall under “too little too late:”

OFA and David Plouffe

While progressives scramble to recreate the magic of the 2008 presidential election, a truly organic movement has been brewing in the union. A movement that I argue has done things right.

The tea party movement has been repeatedly attacked by those most afraid of its success, but this snake has no head. There is nobody calling the shots, no Plouffe controlling the message, no list to be bought and sold. This movement has no title, no political affiliation. This is about principle over party, the individual over the state. In this movement, the power rests with the people, and the people are growing restless.

Read a single post from CNN, Washington Post, or Fox News and it becomes clear that the tea party movement is becoming a legitimate force in American politics. Obama’s campaign has shown the people how to organize, what we as individuals can accomplish when passion and inspiration meet opportunity. Poll after poll has shown us that more Americans self-identify as conservative than any other political ideology. So when Obama and his campaign elite MovedOn (pun intended), it set the stage for a dramatic shift. Unlike the progressive nanny structure, our movement is based on the individual, on personal freedom and equality. The tea parties and 912 groups are evidence of this, of individuals banding together and self-organizing in their communities. We represent a true, grassroots movement in America. There are no campaign managers, no Axelrods to lead us and leave us. Because of this, we will be stronger, last longer, and bring more change to the political landscape. An opportunity like this comes along only once in a generation. For years we have chose the lesser of two evils, but for the first time in my lifetime, we as a nation are saying we don’t want whats on the menu, we demand more.

Ironically, both OFA and the new conservative movement can be said to embody the political style for which they fight. OFA shines light on the faulty premise that the state knows best, that an enlightened few knew best for their supporters. When they abandoned the wheel, the ship ran ashore. In contrast, our movement has no leader, at least not one in control of information and strategy. We have all decided the strategy, we have all shared power, and we will all share victory. 2010 will be a record year for the political organizations. We have written on this site before about leaderless organizations and the conservative surge in online media, but history has yet to be written.

We now have two very different political forces on the ground in America. A force from the liberal left of the country struggling to find focus in the shadow of an abandoned leader and a rising force from the conservative right struggling to find cohesion among the pull of individualism. Who will win? What is in store? Only time will tell.

Big Media + Big Gov = Big Love

It has become increasingly clear to most Americans that the mainstream media is courting the current White House with the intensity of a 17-year-old boy. As I flip through the major networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC, it becomes painfully clear that there is an agenda they want to see pushed. When the president does this– elation. When the president does not– criticism. That is not news, that is a drama filled episode of HBO’s Big Love.

Coming from a traditional communications background, I am disappointed and deeply saddened at the loss of objectivity and standards within the news today. As an amateur historian, I am embarassed that the memory of men like Franklin and Jefferson are made a mockery by people like Matthews and Olbermann. Benjamin Franklin, who owned and published a newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, once said that “a newspaper in every home” was the “principle support of…morality” in civic life. Unfortunately, the current news structure has become less about education and knowledge and more about persuasion and opinion. In today’s era of big media, there unfortunately is another quote from Franklin that comes to mind, “When truth and error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter.” 50 years ago the media was there to tell the nation what the people thought. Today, the media exists to tell the nation what to think.

Any sane individual can clearly delineate the lines drawn in the sand. Victor Davis Hanson has done an excellent job recapping the media’s treatment of both Bush and Obama in a piece for The Corner. Specifically, Hanson noted the lack of “substantive criticism of Obama’s flips on renditions, military tribunals, wiretaps, intercepts, Iraq..” and the “Obama plan to run up more red ink in a year than Bush did in eight.” Apparently, an objective stance on the growth and over-reach of government is less important than ensuring the masses accept their fate and relinquish decision making in an appropriately jovial fashion.

In addition, Pew Research notes that this Administration has received an extraordinary amount of positive press, almost double that of Bill Clinton and George Bush. Their study has found that positive stories about this Administration have outweighed negative by two-to-one (42% vs. 20%) while 38% of stories have been neutral or mixed.

It seems objectivity is not only lost by those who produce the news, subjectivity is quickly overtaking those who consume it: According to the new poll out by Gallup, nearly half of Democrats (45%) say the media have done an excellent or good job as a watchdog of the Democratic Obama administration, compared with 29% of independents and 30% of Republicans. You can read the whole article here: Click to Read the Full Article


Rating News Media for Performing Watchdog Role in Obama's First Year

There are many speculating on why the mainstream media favors this Administration and why limited government never gets a fair shake, leave your thoughts in the comments and let me know what your take is. Me: I believe the news is there to inform, not influence. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.” This country was built on the ingenuity of free men and will continue to remain so only with the input of an educated, informed populace.

Regardless of our political affiliation, for now the writing remains on the wall; or in this case, the heart shaped eyes and dropping jaw remain on Chris Matthews:

You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour.

WATCH THE FULL CLIP HERE


Times, they are a changing. With the rise of blogs and social media, I hope we will fulfill the wishes of both Franklin and Jefferson in creating an educated, informed populace with the knowledge and know-how to steer this country from the bottom-up. Until then, I’ll take my news with a grain of salt…and a margarita.

Tea Party Comes Full Circle

By now, most of you know the news: Scott Brown has won Massachusetts’s special election for Ted Kennedy’s seat. Although his platform was one of transcendence and accountability, the fact still remains that Brown is a Republican. A Republican in a seat that had been a liberal shade of blue for over three decades. One can also argue that Massachusetts remains one of the most liberal states in the Union. So what does this all mean?

I would argue that Washington has a lot to fear. Not just Democrats, but Republicans alike. Remember that Brown’s campaign was built largely around an anti-establishment platform. Like him or hate him, Brown represents the “every man.” As we saw in Sarah Palin, and will continue to see in 2010, the people have seen the path taken by liberal elitism, choosing to support the honest, relatable candidate instead. The American majority has discovered that the power does indeed lie with them and they have only just begun to exercise it.

Given the recent elections and the growing fear among the Left, it appears that history does indeed repeat itself. The contemporary tea party movement was sparked by the same government reach and growing bureaucratic policy that initiated the original act on December 16 of 1773. Originating in the harbors of Boston, the American people once again stand defiantly in the belief that the individual deserves the freedom to choose what is best for their family, unobstructed from a disconnected government. The tea party movement has returned home, to its roots, to secure a powerful electoral victory in Massachusetts. If there was any doubt on that cold December day about what the colonists were fighting for, they have now been laid to rest on this cold January morning…

The tea party’s rallying cry is clear, “We will support principle over party. We will support candidates that stand for fiscal discipline, Constitutional restraint, and a government accountable to the American people. If you do not stand for these things, you better stand aside.”

Conservatives and the Technology Gap

Conservatives and Tech Gap

This year, American Majority will be launching its Patriot 2.0 training program, Gulp…..

As we trained around the country last year, the same questions and comments were being made, “Can the government track me through Facebook?” (“Ma’am, your life is not that interesting.”) and “I don’t use social media because it’s for Liberals!” (“Sir, with that reasoning, I could be a liberal, and you should leave now before brainwashing begins.”) There was even a few, “How does the CIA’s facial recognition software work?” (“Once I get my top secret clearance, I’ll let you know.”) Needless to say, these statements left most of us bewildered and shaking our heads wearily. This also got me thinking – why are Conservatives so far behind the technology curve? Why did we not embrace social media sooner?

After months of talking about it with trainees and asking others in the field, here is what I have come up with…

Politically, Liberals Believe Social Platforms Can Affect National Change
At the core of liberal philosophy…or progressivism, or whatever the title is they give themselves to avoid the inevitable term of ‘Socialist,’ is the belief that freedom did not come from nature or God, but instead is a product of the state. Essentially, the state is a reflection of the people and the people a reflection of the state. So when a communication platform comes along that embraces the many-to-many model, it would seem a natural fit for groups looking to mold society by either influencing enough people to mimic national support or coordinating mass pressure on public officials to influence the people. For these reasons, the Left was an early adopter of such technology.

Politically, Conservatives Will Not Embrace Social Platforms for Individual Decisions
My mother and father are good examples of why new media has not been adopted readily by the conservative base. As my father has said many times before, “If I know someone, they are in my cell phone.” As he would argue, “I have so much to do locally, why do I need to talk to someone half way around the world?” and to some extent, he would be right. Conservatives tend to believe that individuals are capable of making personal decisions best suited for themselves and their families. Creating a massive, online movement via Facebook to change the local sewer standards in one’s town doesn’t make much sense under conservative philosophy. As the mindset goes, “If conservative politics is local, where is the political advantage in starting a Facebook Page?” For these reasons, the Right is a late adopter to such technology.

Now What?
But, where does this leave us? I would argue that the time for excuses and debating over the issue has passed. The decision has been made for us. Understandably, emerging technology and dramatic change can be scary, but with increased communication comes increased influence; over 80% of those under 30 find the majority of their information online. Don’t you want to engage the next generation of leaders on issues? I equate conservative involvement in national politics to the old saying, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound?” I am here to tell you that yes, yes it does make a sound, a very loud, crashing ‘boom.’ The same goes for bloated, over-reaching government. Because you do not participate does not mean it will not grow and it will not find you; you either do politics, or politics will do you. And if you are doing the politicking, you’re on the offense. If politics is doing you, you’re on the defensive, and you can only play defense for so long before losing.

It is time to understand what the Left is doing and rise to the occasion, if not for you, then for your children. Conservatives maintain the majority status in America and unless our voices are echoed online, we will fail to influence, mobilize and win in coming years. To me, this is unacceptable. It is time to leave our comfort zones and take our Sunday conversations online, helping win the battle for hearts and minds in communities unknown and with allies yet to be realized.