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Obama's health reform speech galvanizes opponents
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Obama's health reform speech galvanizes opponents

BY Matthew Bigg

ATLANTA, Sept 10 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to Congress on healthcare reform has galvanized activists opposed to his proposals who plan a mass march on Washington on Saturday as the next step in their campaign. Groups that reject Obama's reform and seek limited government and lower taxes said that nothing they heard in Wednesday night's speech to a joint Congress session would deter them. Instead, it provided fresh fuel for their opposition to the government plans for the $2.5 trillion sector, in part on the grounds that it would raise the country's budget deficit -- a charge Obama denies. That opposition took the form of often rowdy town hall meetings over the summer and Saturday's march provides a new opportunity for the campaign to seize the agenda, they said. "Every group (going to the march) has its own agenda but we have a common agenda to get the country back," said Jack Staver, who leads a Tea Party Patriots group in northern Georgia and plans to attend the march. At least 20,000 people are expected for the march, said Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union, a conservative group. The event will gather groups including FreedomWorks, the National Taxpayers Union, the Tea Party Patriots and Smart Girl Politics, all of which rely on the Internet and social networking sites to communicate with members. The groups said they have seen a spike in membership and activism since a political fight over a big economic stimulus package passed by Congress in February, and again more recently over healthcare. "We are educating and motivating citizens to get involved in this debate through petitions, faxes, phone calls, personal visits," said Ron De Jong of the conservative Grassfire.org group. "Obama's speech has only galvanized our opposition." MARCH DAY AFTER 9/11 ANNIVERSARY But supporters of Obama said he succeeded during the speech in clarifying a series of gross distortions of his reform plans perpetuated by conservative opponents for political reasons. Marches on Washington are a potent symbol because of a 1963 civil rights march at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. Saturday also falls one day after the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Groups participating in the march said Obama's speech made little difference to their opposition plans. "There wasn't anything new in the speech except that it gave us new talking points," said Rebecca Wales of Smart Girl Politics, a conservative women's organization founded last year. For many conservatives, the stimulus package, Obama's energy reform bill and now healthcare reform evoke raw anger because they view them as fundamental violations of the way the United States should be governed. "He (Obama) is an out-and-out Communist," said Lynn Kartchner, who runs a gun shop in Douglas, Arizona. "He's a Socialist to the core and he doesn't really care who he has to steal from to get what he wants. What he wants is power. "He wants as many people as possible totally dependent on the government, just like the Soviet Union," Kartchner said. These activist groups share a common position with many Republican politicians as well as with lobby and industry groups opposed to Obama's healthcare plans. Many draw inspiration from conservative talk radio. Opposition to healthcare provides a focus for conservative energy but, in the longer term, several activists said they were focused on congressional elections in November 2010. Republicans lost ground in congressional elections in 2006 and 2008 but many conservatives believe public anger over healthcare reform proposals provides an opportunity to change that trend. (Additional reporting by Tim Gaynor in Arizona; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Bill Trott)

09/11/2009
Health-Care Reform, One Stop at a Time
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Health-Care Reform, One Stop at a Time

BY Daniel Eggen

President Obama's supporters hope to recapture the energy of last year's triumphant election campaign in a bid to regain control of the health-care debate, planning more than 2,000 house parties, rallies and town hall meetings across the country over the next two weeks. The initiative began Wednesday with a rally at a labor hall in Phoenix that featured the Obama sunrise logo and placards that became fixtures of the 2008 presidential campaign.

09/11/2009
Fiscal Conservatives Plan ‘Largest Gathering Ever’
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Fiscal Conservatives Plan ‘Largest Gathering Ever’

BY Katharine Q. Seelye

A demonstration against government spending and “socialized health care” planned for Sept. 12 in Washington could become “the largest gathering of fiscal conservatives ever,” organizers said on Thursday. Among the sponsors of the march is FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group that was instrumental in fueling opposition to a health care overhaul at town hall-style meetings this summer. The National Taxpayers Union and the Tea Party Patriots are also major sponsors. The groups began building momentum earlier this year with opposition to President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan and bank bailouts. Over the summer, their opposition to big government spending found an outlet at the health-care town halls. Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, said that the groups had started planning the protest and obtaining permits last February, realizing that Congress would be returning to Washington this month and taking up major legislation, including health care. “Health care has always been one of our primary focuses, and we guessed right about the timing,” he said in an interview. “It is emblematic of this broader theme about spending money we don’t have and the government getting involved in things it has had no success on.” Asked if Medicare was not a success, Mr. Kibbe said it was underfunded, broken and financially unsustainable. Organizers said in a conference call that they expected tens of thousands of people at the march but could not predict a number because many demonstrators planned to come on their own. They also said that the crowds were not being “ginned up.” “All we’ve done is create the space for these guys to show up,” Mr. Kibbe said. “If they aren’t angry enough to pay their own way, we couldn’t gin it up.” Andrew Moylan of National Taxpayers Union said that his group had been around for 40 years and only now were thousands of new people responding to the movement. “The story of this is that it’s not just conservatives anymore, who were always concerned about this,” he said. “It’s the story of the disaffected moderates who have had it up to here with the actions in Washington.” Adam Brandon, a spokesman for FreedomWorks, predicted this would be the largest gathering ever of fiscal conservatives, distinct from the social conservatives who have organized major events around issues like abortion and gun rights. Fiscal conservatives, he said, had never really gathered in groups of more than a couple of thousand. “This is the beginning of a big tent on our side,” he said.

09/11/2009
My 9/11
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Blog

My 9/11

[These are my recollections as best I can recall. You can imagine that between the chaos and the years, some details may be slightly incorrect…but only slightly.] Eight years ago today, I was sitting in my office in Chicago when I saw news of an airplane hitting one of the World Trade Center buildings. My company’s New York office was just a few blocks away (at Rector and Trinity), with my partners, employees, and friends preparing for another trading day.

09/11/2009
Alternative Health Care Bills
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Blog

Alternative Health Care Bills

  Here at FreedomWorks, we believe that it is vital to the health care debate that every idea for reform be considered by every member of Congress.  Much of the popular rhetoric being spread throughout the nation may lead the public to believe that H.R.

09/10/2009
Liberty Summit Officially Awesome
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Blog

Liberty Summit Officially Awesome

Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma helped kick off the Liberty Summit this morning over at the D.C. Armory.  Over 1500 people turned out for a great event.  Check out the video and pictures below. One caveat, I was running around all morning and didn't have a chance to take many pictures, but pictures from real photographers and a full report will be coming soon.

09/10/2009
Supreme Court takes a hard look at McCain-Feingold
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Blog

Supreme Court takes a hard look at McCain-Feingold

As I mentioned yesterday, Barack Obama’s rebranding of his health care snake oil wasn’t the only important event of the day.  (I may or may not get around to writing about that. It strikes me that lots of other people are doing a fine job with it.  I recommend THIS article and THIS article for those of you who need an antidote to the dominant liberal media’s fawning coverage.)

09/10/2009
Ouch! Hurricane Camille (Paglia) Strikes Democrats...Again
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Ouch! Hurricane Camille (Paglia) Strikes Democrats...Again

Although her fellow Democrats will no doubt dismiss Camille Paglia's latest diatribe regarding the sorry state of intellectual honesty on the Left, they would be wise to heed her words. Paglia offers a damning articulation of the dissatisfaction so many Americans feel toward Big Government and those that shill for it. Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans?

09/09/2009
FHA in Financial Hot Water?
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FHA in Financial Hot Water?

Friday’s Wall Street Journal features an article outlining concerns over the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) financial viability.  The article points out that FHA currently insures 23 percent of the loans in the housing market up from 2.7 percent in 2006.  7.8 percent of FHA loans at the end of the second quarter were 90 days late or more or in default.   Federal law says the FHA must maintain reserves equal to 2 percent of the loans insured and the ratio has fallen to 3 percent last year down from 6.4 percent in 2007.

09/08/2009
"Meet Me In D.C." Video Contest Finalists
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"Meet Me In D.C." Video Contest Finalists

Thanks so much to everyone who sent in a video for the contest. We had a number of fantastic entries. Below are the four finalists in no particular order.Please check them out and leave comments about your favorite. We'll announce the winners tomorrow.Thanks again for your participation and don't forget to be in D.C on Saturday! 

09/08/2009

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