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Tea Partiers to storm Capitol Hill in last-minute protest of health-care bill

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The goal is to speak to someone — anyone — other than a congressional member’s receptionist. And thanks to a memo from Democratic leadership, Tea Partiers may not only make it past the front desk, but also get a cup of coffee.

Tea Party activists will storm Capitol Hill this morning, spending the day rallying and protesting against President Obama’s health-care bill and demanding meetings with targeted members. Former Republican leader Dick Armey, whose FreedomWorks is an organizer of the day’s events, said the Tea Partiers will be a reminder to members that a vote for health care could doom them in the polls in November.

“The fact of the matter is these folks — they got Nancy Pelosi saying, ‘You either give me your vote or something bad is going to happen to you,’ and … real voters in their district saying, ‘You give Nancy Pelosi that vote and something worse is going to happen to you,” Armey told The Daily Caller, referencing members of congress weighing their decision.

Brendan Steinhauser, a FreedomWorks organizer involved in the logistics of today’s events, said, “The focus is to get people to offices.”

“They’ll definitely be up and down the hallways of Congress,” he said. “They’ll be finding congressmen in the cafeterias, seeing them outside on the street, going in and setting up appointments with staff.”

The Tea Party Patriots group is also helping coordinate the effort that begins at 9 a.m. on the East Capitol Lawn across from Cannon House Office Building. Organizers say they expect thousands to hit the halls of Congress as well as the local district offices to warn members not to vote for the bill.

Tea Party Express is holding a 10 a.m. rally at Taft Park, located on the Senate side of the Capitol. Spokesman Levi Russell said the event will feature Republicans Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina and Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia.

In an e-mail, Tea Party Patriots coordinators instruct activists to bring handwritten letters when they visit the offices of both their own representatives, as well as targeted members of the Blue Dog Coalition of 54 conservative Democrats, who may be the deciding factor on whether the bill passes.

Getting past the front desk of the member’s office is the goal, the e-mail states. Activists, in the e-mail, are told to first ask to speak with the representative, but to ask for the chief of staff or health-care adviser if the member isn’t available.

FreedomWorks chief executive Matt Kibbe said smart members will take meetings with the activists who storm the halls.

“I use to work on the Hill, and I think the stupidest thing you can do is refuse to talk to your constituents regardless of what the issue is,” he said. “There’s a lot of goodwill created simply by showing up at a town hall meeting. Even if people are yelling at you for three hours, it’s your job.”

In a memo sent out Monday by the Democratic leadership to the party’s freshman and sophomore members but obtained by The Daily Caller, representatives are told to be hospitable to the “tens of thousands of conservative and Tea Party activists” and put out snacks, water and coffee for them (no word on whether tea will be served as well).

“Many of the conservative activists are not opposing the actual provisions in the bill, but are instead reacting to a caricature of the reform bill presented by right-wing media outlets,” the memo reads. “In fact, many conservative and GOP ideas and concerns are addressed in the legislation.”

Members are also told to meet with attendees in small groups and bring in extra chairs to accommodate the visitors.

“Also, don’t assume common myths about this bill have been debunked. Be prepared to explain that there are no death panels, that Medicare is in fact strengthened, and that reform is not a government take-over, but it is an attempt to crack down on the abusive practices of health insurance companies by providing oversight and increasing competition,” the document says.

Steinhauser said organizers expect “anywhere from 1,000 to 2-4,000” on the Hill, but said he’s unsure how many will actually show up since the event has mostly been advertised through Twitter and Facebook and has been organized only within the last several days.

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  • rainmaker1145

    The part that REALLY hurts – and I mean hurts – is that we can provide universal health services to our people without the taxpayers having to provide a single penny of taxes. I know this sounds like I haven’t had my medicine, but the laws of mathematics only work one way.

    Insurance is not the way to go to get to where we want to be; it’s like people trying to fly by using anvils. You can do it, but it is real hard and extremely expensive to make that anvil really fly on an ongoing basis.

    What if you just changed the structure of the system so that the private-sector could provide support for the services, organize and market the programs and use the capital markets to provide for timely payment and retirement of the costs in a way that was actually stimulative to the economy – in the strict sense of the word and not the phony “stimulus” term thrown around by politicians and operatives to confuse the ignorant.

    Think about it while you are deciding how this issue should shake out. You can have what these people are offering (or not offering as the case may be) or you can have a system where everyone pays $30 per month and they have complete access. Everything is covered, but the copayment is 2% on everything but electives; electives are 7% and the program is fiscally-responsible. This means all costs are retired on a current basis so their are no deficits added to the books and there are no tax dollars used for the system.

    You can try to make that anvil fly, but would you rather have this neat invention called the airplane? Glad to show it to you.

    • theneighborhoodguy

      Rainman: You make entirely too much sense! Thanks. Now go refill your medication…your clarity isn’t supposed to last too long…or how else will they be able to hoodwink you. Nighty night now.

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  • strawhat88

    These people look like fools.

    • toddthesofaking

      I know! these guys like Kevin and scorpioman really look like idiots, don’t they?

      • spr8er

        Their moms should move next door to each other then these two could be basement buddies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Hirth/37516397 Kevin Hirth

    Quick question for you guys: Why are the tea partiers overwhelmingly white?

    Answer and stay fashionable.

    • hurtzallot

      How’s that Coffee Party gig working out? HP is missin’ ya’ Girth. LOL!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Hirth/37516397 Kevin Hirth

        I wouldnt know Im not a member.

        • moira1987

          Why are the tea partiers overwhelmingly white?

          What difference does their race make why do you care? What are you implying? Do you ask that question of every public institution that is “overwhelmingly white?” And please tell us precisely what is wrong with something that is “overwhelmingly white?”

          Oh, and don’t forget to “stay fashionable.”

        • toddthesofaking

          You’re a member of the racist party, though.

          why, Kevin? Why?

          Can’t we just stop the hate? Can’t we stop the hate before it’s too late?

          and why do you hate Obama so much?

    • ojfl

      Kevin,

      maybe because they are the majority of the population? There are 75% of whites in te country. Also the African-Ameican community voted overwhelmingly for president Obama, about 95% of the population, and while some may be disenchanted it is very hard for them to stand against president Obama, lest they be labeled a “sell-out”. Latinos seem to still be undecided about the policies. While they are self-reliant they see the pain in the community. But that can change quickly. The others are real minorities in the country. My impressions trying to stay fashionable.

      • thebigodoopedu2

        ojfl..your talking way over Kevin’s head…I think you killed his hamster.

        • spr8er

          kevin-strawhat88-scorpioman,have nothing to say they just sling poop and scream like a pissed off monkey in his cage.

    • emem

      Why do you care what color they are?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Hirth/37516397 Kevin Hirth

        I just thought it was weird.

        • thephranc

          You though a proportionally representative group of people was weird?

        • moira1987

          I just thought it was weird.

          Why is it weird?

          • toddthesofaking

            Because Kevin is a racist.

            To Kevin Hirth:
            Where did it go wrong, Kevin?

            Is this some sort of joke? Like it’s funny to you?

            People are dying, Kevin. People are DYING! PEOPLE ARE DYING!
            Is THAT funny? Does THAT amuse you?

            Why do you hate Obama? Why do you hate our first black president so?

            Well, it’s not funny. And it never was.

            Stop it. Just stop it. Stop the hate.

            STOP THE HATE! STOP THE HATE!
            STOP THE HATE, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

            LATER, HATER, GO EAT A TATER!
            AND DON’T LET A GATER BITE YER TOMATER!

            RACIST, SEXIST, ANTI-GAY!
            KEVIN HIRTH, GO AWAY!

            SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

            seek help, racist-hater. and get your hate off me, kevin.

    • bahama

      likely because we are the majority that still believe in working, for a living, rather than wishing for liberial Obama handouts!

    • patrick

      don’t know if they are. don’t care if they are. all are welcome except socialists.

    • theneighborhoodguy

      Could it be because the majority of tax paying, hard working, God fearing, Country loving, don’t need no government handout, citizens are white?

      Unfortunately for us…the majority of Congress is white, too.

    • toddthesofaking

      Because you are a racist.

      Where did it go wrong, Kevin?

      Is this some sort of joke? Like it’s funny to you?

      People are dying, Kevin. People are DYING! PEOPLE ARE DYING!
      Is THAT funny? Does THAT amuse you?

      Why do you hate Obama? Why do you hate our first black president so?

      Well, it’s not funny. And it never was.

      Stop it. Just stop it. Stop the hate.

      STOP THE HATE! STOP THE HATE!
      STOP THE HATE, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

      LATER, HATER, GO EAT A TATER!
      AND DON’T LET A GATER BITE YER TOMATER!

      RACIST, SEXIST, ANTI-GAY!
      KEVIN HIRTH, GO AWAY!

      SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

      seek help, racist-hater. and get your hate off me, kevin.

    • rainmaker1145

      Why do people like Kevin Hirth constantly worry about racial equality of groups of people? Answer: because they only let minorities in to serve the coffee and the food, so they don’t want anyone looking too closely at what they are doing (just what they are saying).

      I’d say you are a disappointment, Mr. Hirth, but I think you already pretty much know where you stand in the big scheme of things, so why go into redundancies when we can all just stand back and wait for the next morsel of wisdom to fall out of your vast larder of knowledge and enlightenment?

  • scorpioman

    Such sweet sorrow… A DickArmey of baggers marching toward their Waterloo

    boo hoo hoo

    • hurtzallot

      Your ignorance no longer amazes me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kimberly-Charron/100000177047441 Kimberly Charron

        roflmao!!!!

    • toddthesofaking

      You’re like an eleven-year old who can’t stop smelling his fingers.

      (thx, Gut!)

      • theneighborhoodguy

        nice visual todd…were it only true that they were just eleven…they’d have an excuse…no, they are real live members of the hey hey, ho ho (fill in the blank)has got to go…or SEIU…or still in college and have never had a job, or started a business, or provided for a family…I said it before…these guys are “basement boys”, living at Mom’s…sad, really.

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