Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Coffee Party, the J Street of American Grassroots Movements

coffee party 015.jpg

NEWBUSTERS : Decaffeinated Coffee Party Convention Fizzles Out to Almost No Media Acclaim

Created 09/27/2010 - 09:14
Remember all the media hoopla earlier this year surrounding the birth of the liberal alternative to the Tea Party called the Coffee Party which was founded by former Obama political operative, Annabel Park [0]? Well, despite all the promotion of the Coffee Party by the MSM, it has pretty much fizzled out. The extent of its slide into complete insignificance can be measured by the fact that its national convention in Louisville, KY this past weekend registered almost no media coverage. Perhaps even the MSM was embarrassed by the Coffee Party's current obscurity to the extent that its lasting legacy might well be the performance at their convention of the lamest rap song [1] in history.

What little coverage the supposedly 350 people attending the Coffee Party convention received seems to have been pretty much limited to local media such as the Louisville Courier whose article [2] could do little to hide the navel-gazing aspects of this "movement" moving nowhere:

The Coffee Party USA -- which was founded on Facebook and is holding its first national convention in Louisville this weekend -- bills itself as a more thoughtful and reasoned alternative to the tea party.

Saturday night the organization held a panel discussion, part of its three-day "Restoring American Democracy" convention, that included bloggers, college professors and communications strategists talking about what they can do to make politics more inclusive. They also discussed how to draw more disenfranchised voters back into the democratic process.

Essentially discussing the lint buildup in their own navels which is why the eternally self-analytical Coffee Party never went beyond the stage of a glorified political group therapy session. However, if you read the news coverage just a few months ago, you would have thought the Coffee Party was a huge dynamic movement that was sweeping the nation. Who were the perpetrators of this myth? There were many but let us focus on just one of them.

Steve Tuttle of Newsweek! Are you out there? Front and center so we can refresh your memory with the absurd report [2] you filed in April about the "200,000" members of the "dynamic" Coffee Party:

When Annabel Park imagined what it would be like to head a new national political movement, here is what she had in mind: a coming together of engaged, intelligent citizens who had tired of the angry rhetoric and accusations of the Tea Partiers; Americans of all political persuasions joining in a spirit of equanimity to discuss the nation's problems, and maybe even share a laugh. It was this beautiful vision that danced in Park's head on a recent Saturday as she made her way to Busboys and Poets, a cafe in Washington, D.C., for one of nearly 500 Coffee Party meetings taking place nationwide that day.

...All of a sudden Park was a political leader--of what, she didn't quite know--and the target of right-wing fury. Conservative bloggers unearthed--scandal!--that she had once briefly worked for The New York Times and supported Sen. Jim Webb, a moderate Democrat from Virginia. One online commenter accused her of being a "Chinese agent." The notoriety didn't really hurt: the group now has more than 200,000 members, and every status update Park posts gets about a million views.
Of course, Tuttle and other MSM members who promoted the Coffee Party are now too embarrassed by its current insignificance to bother giving it more coverage which explains the extremely low profile of the Louisville convention in the news.
Meanwhile an encore [3] of Jonny 5's unintentionally hilarious Coffee Party rap song, "You Can't Stop A Movement," which sounds like it can also be used as a laxative commercial jingle.

Am Thinker:
September 27, 2010

The Soros-Axelrod Axis of Astroturf

Ed Lasky
In politics, things can be other than what they seem on the surface - especially when George Soros and David Axelrod are involved

Last year at about this time, I scripted a column suggesting that George Soros, billionaire sugar daddy of the Democrats, ardent ally of Barack Obama, and fierce anti-Israel critic and activist, was a founder and major funder of the anti-Israel group J Street . Recent revelations confirm that Soros and family members were major donors-despite J Street's previous denials.

I also suggested that Soros may have worked with David Axelrod, Obama's campaign strategist and now Obama's domestic policy advisor, to create J Street.

I thought that was a logical presumption: Axelrod has a lot of experience creating fake grassroots groups such as J Street (so-called Astroturf groups) and also probably would have had dealings with Soros, the emperor of such groups as MoveOn.Org (and now J Street). This speculation now may have its smoking gun. Axelrod has been the beneficiary of Soros's money in the recent past.

Politico's Ben Smith reports that Axelrod's firm (he still has ties there and receives money from the relationship) has been on Soros's payroll-at least indirectly. The ties go back to at least 2004:
That year, one of Axelrod's firms collected at least $229,000 from The Media Fund, Harold Ickes' 527 organization funded by Soros and other mega-donors, which ran some $53 million in ads aimed at supplementing John Kerry's campaign.

Another Axelrod firm earned at least $46,500 making ads for a Democratic 527 backed by the Sandlers, Citizens for a Strong Senate, which poured $5.4 million into that year's Senate races.

Those 527s were criticized for their woefully slow disclosure, with donors' names emerging long after ads had done their damage. The Media Fund also later paid a giant fine to the FEC for, allegedly, flouting federal election law by relying on huge contributions.

Axelrod's old firm also specialized in running run high-stakes, expensive advocacy campaigns on the state and local level that -- as he deplores today -- did no disclosure at all of their corporate backers.
The Sandlers are a husband and wife team of billionaires who made their fortune during the savingsand loan bubble that led to disaster. But they were experienced enough to know the type of risky loans they were peddling and sold out to Wachovia before the bombs started exploding on their S and L's balance sheet. They never paid a price for their shenanigans. Since then they have been partners with George Soros in many of his partisan ventures-including the founding of the Center for American Progress (Obama's Idea Factory and Hiring Hall).

The evidence mounts that Soros and Axelrod have worked together to create and fund a variety of Astroturf groups, including J Street, and, at least indirectly, the Coffee Party.

Is it ANY WONDER why the progressives are so sure the tea party is a construct of some hidden fascists with money who are duping the racists and yahoos to protect their money and power? It's only, after all, precisely what the progressives do.

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