I’ve been meaning to post something this week on Matt Taibbi’s fantastic new piece on the Tea Party (Tea & Crackers) but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.

My pal Paul Kedrosky did such a nice job setting it up that I am just going to crib it from him:

>

Agree or disagree with Matt Taibbi, but his new piece on the Tea Party is great writing: it is muscular, memorable and pugnacious. An excerpt:

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.

After Palin wraps up, I race to the parking lot in search of departing Medicare-motor-scooter conservatives. I come upon an elderly couple, Janice and David Wheelock, who are fairly itching to share their views.

“I’m anti-spending and anti-government,” crows David, as scooter-bound Janice looks on. “The welfare state is out of control.”

“OK,” I say. “And what do you do for a living?”

“Me?” he says proudly. “Oh, I’m a property appraiser. Have been my whole life.”

I frown. “Are either of you on Medicare?”

Silence: Then Janice, a nice enough woman, it seems, slowly raises her hand, offering a faint smile, as if to say, You got me!

“Let me get this straight,” I say to David. “You’ve been picking up a check from the government for decades, as a tax assessor, and your wife is on Medicare. How can you complain about the welfare state?”

“Well,” he says, “there’s a lot of people on welfare who don’t deserve it. Too many people are living off the government.”

“But,” I protest, “you live off the government. And have been your whole life!”

“Yeah,” he says, “but I don’t make very much.” Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit.

… This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they’ve mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn’t an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist.

The world is changing all around the Tea Party. The country is becoming more black and more Hispanic by the day. The economy is becoming more and more complex, access to capital for ordinary individuals more and more remote, the ability to live simply and own a business without worrying about Chinese labor or the depreciating dollar vanished more or less for good. They want to pick up their ball and go home, but they can’t; thus, the difficulties and the rancor with those of us who are resigned to life on this planet.

Read the whole thing.

Category: Politics, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

106 Responses to “Tea & Crackers with Matt Taibbi”

  1. obsvr-1 says:

    The concluding paragraph pretty much sums it up, the power of the grass roots is being dissipated:

    The bad news is that the Tea Party’s political outrage is being appropriated, with thanks, by the Goldmans and the BPs of the world. The good news, if you want to look at it that way, is that those interests mostly have us by the balls anyway, no matter who wins on Election Day. That’s the reality; the rest of this is just noise. It’s just that it’s a lot of noise, and there’s no telling when it’s ever going to end.

  2. drewburn says:

    Like. And like. But, Barry, do you know you’re not updating on Yahoo? [BR: Seems to be working now]

    See a lot of people here in the midwest who are Tea-partyists who have no clue about what the gov does for them. OH! Well, yes we need the police! OH! Well, yes we need someone to make sure that Iranians don’t invade America………

  3. Bruman says:

    Barry! Pure awesomeness! Thanks for finding this!

  4. gmherger says:

    That sounds full of charity (the milk of human kindness!) for old people (probably already expended all their Federal health ration).

    He will have a better feel for where his “thing” is headed on 3 November. They tried this “thing” before. In Cuba, Zimbabwe, USSR, etc.

  5. Babak says:

    Barry,

    Check out this libertarian utopia!

    Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground

    OBION COUNTY, Tenn. – Imagine your home catches fire but the local fire department won’t respond, then watches it burn. That’s exactly what happened to a local family tonight.
    A local neighborhood is furious after firefighters watched as an Obion County, Tennessee, home burned to the ground.
    The homeowner, Gene Cranick, said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told it was too late. They wouldn’t do anything to stop his house from burning.
    Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.
    The mayor said if homeowners don’t pay, they’re out of luck.
    This fire went on for hours because garden hoses just wouldn’t put it out. It wasn’t until that fire spread to a neighbor’s property, that anyone would respond.
    Turns out, the neighbor had paid the fee.
    “I thought they’d come out and put it out, even if you hadn’t paid your $75, but I was wrong,” said Gene Cranick.

  6. engineerd1 says:

    Tea party activists are misguided, inconsistent, politically and economically naïve. But they want to hunt democrats with dogs, and so I won’t hear a word said against them, particularly by leftist weasels like this little punk. These are in significant measure the same grey collar dolts who got suckered by little o’s line of BS and are now mad as hell, maybe partly at their own foolishness. As long as they lapped up a rotten, warmed-over pablum of Euro-socialist crap seasoned as “Change” nobody in the white wine and brie set had a problem with them. Now, whenever the porn surf is running low, this smart set sits around regaling each other with ever more colorful putdowns of the people whose kids are taking the bullets, the mere sound of which would make Bar’ and his buddies piss their Eddie Bauer cargo pants. I am reminded of an acorn found by another blind hog democrat….”have you sir no shame?”

  7. franklin411 says:

    This phenomenon–big gov’t is A-OK when it benefits whites, but it’s the Devil Incarnate when it seems to benefit non-whites–has been going on since the 1970s:

    From Time, 1978:
    “Indeed, there was a tinge of class conflict in the campaign for Proposition 13, with possible portents of racial trouble in the simmering summer months. By and large, homeowners from the middle and upper classes, justly aggrieved by their rising tax burden, had led the tax revolt. But worried blacks and Hispanics in California feared, with some cause, that as government turned more frugal, they would be hurt the most.”

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919742,00.html

  8. call me ahab says:

    re the Tea Party- per wikipedia-

    various polls sometimes turn up slightly different results, they tend to show that the self-described Tea Party supporters are mainly white and slightly more likely to be male, married, older than 45, more conservative than the general population, and likely to be more wealthy and have more education.

    BR- since you consider yourself a libertarian (and a non-liberal)- based on the description- I guess we can include you in the Tea Party as well-

    I am sure there is a scooter with your name on it somewhere-

    if all of us could only be so lucky

  9. Jerry 369 says:

    I say he is full of shit and just plain ignorant to boot. This is reporting? More like “Matt’s opinion” of the tea party. Do you not watch Glenn Beck/ Do you even know who Rick Santalli is? What he did,started?
    The problem is progressives and their failed 100 year experiment. Grow up, get smart, join the solution. Nancy Pelosi/ Babara Boxer types are NOT welcome. All others, find yourself/God and reconnect with what it is that makes this the greatest country in the world, bar none! This is the only place people risk their lives trying to get to. God help us if the day comes when people run to get out. Vote, vote and vote some more! If your not part of the solution, your part of the problem. Stand aside, please…
    Jerry

  10. franklin411 says:

    @Jerry
    I wish we could get back to the days when people voted early and voted often. That’s what saved us from Nixon in 1960!

    Har! :)

  11. DD123 says:

    Barry, if you’re truly a fan of Taibbi, you’ve got to stop. And stop now. Matt is begging you.

    Taibb’s writing is….”muscular”?!?!

    C’mon. Taibbi is busting his ass, chasing a delusion wrapped in an illusion that he is this generation’s Hunter Thompson (yeah…good luck with that, Matt), and here comes two card-carrying members of The Establishment…two middle-aged white dudes in the form of Paul Kedrosky and Barry Ritholtz referring to Taibbi’s writing as “muscular”.

    Seriously, you’re killing this guy.

    As to “whether one agrees or disagrees” with Taibbi…

    Who gives a shit. He’s writing to people who exclaim “Pure Awesomeness!”

    But when The Establishment crashes the party and tries to be hip, only to fuck it all up with erect writing that uses laugh out loud references like “muscular” and “pugnacious”…

    Taibbi is failing. And failing miserably.

    ~~~

    BR: Shorter version: You disagree with him . . .

  12. Malachi says:

    Jerry, It shows an ignorance of the world when people say this country (the US) is the only place that people risk there lives to get into. I’m a US citizen but when I was living and working in London I’d occasionally read about immigrants climbing on top of trains and riding at high speed under the english channel in order to get into the UK. I also read of a tragedy where a truckload of immigrants trying to get into the UK ran out of air and people suffocated trying to get into a country where they had more economic opportunity and human rights than at home.

    Now I live in Australia and there are weekly news stories about people from Indonesia risking there lives on small boats to cross the ocean and try to illegally enter Australia, a country whose GDP is growing considerably more than the US’s and whose government finances are currently in much better shape.

    Get out and travel or at least look around at what is happening in the rest of the world these days. We are no longer #1 at everything simply because a number of us claim that this is the case. There are parts of the world that beg to differ. Maybe we could learn something from this.

  13. everydayfreethought says:

    @Jerry 369: So progressivism is a “failed 100 year experiment”, and your solution is……religion? Seriously? This is the greatest country because I can keep your nonsense out of my life.

  14. This type of G*rbage is, merely, another, distraction..
    ~~

    maybe, this:

    “Roman Baudzus writes –

    Paul Volcker, former head of the American central bank Federal Reserve, announced last Thursday at a conference of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago that the US financial system is largely insolvent and “broken”.

    Volcker indicated that not only the banks are to blame for this situation, but also the federal regulators. During the last few years, they could have tried a lot harder to stop the investment banks from turning the global markets into a casino. The investment banks were also responsible for attracting large parts of the former core business of the commercial banks, which consequently led to major problems, as everyone could now see…”
    http://goldmoney.com/gold-research/former-fed-chief-volcker-says-financial-system-is-insolvent-and-broken.html

    lies closer to the Source of the ‘problem’..

  15. I went to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in the burg formerly known as West Berlin when I visited there last winter. The museum is an amazing place.

    Most of the time, it seems that immigrants are escaping the former circumstances (poverty, oppression, religious persecution, communism, totalitarianism) as much as they are coming to any new country.

  16. KidDynamite says:

    my favorite Taibbi-isms:

    “”This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they’ve mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn’t an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist.”"

    and

    “” A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.”"

  17. Ernst S says:

    Taibbi mentions the “anti-colonialist” meme. I find it amusing that the right has begun calling Obama an anti-colonialist.

    If we think back, the U.S. was formed by 13 British colonies. The founding fathers disliked colonialism and in fact went to war in order to de-colonialize. They are often referred to as “patriots.”

    We can infer from this that they were “anti-colonialists.” Therefore; “colonialists” must be un-American; and anti-colonialists, patriots!

  18. contrabandista13 says:

    Barry thanks for pointing this article out…… However, what Matt articulated, is something that most of us already knew….. I’m really hoping that the Republicans win big, not particularly because I’m ideologically in tune with their brand of conservatism, it’s because, I think that such an event will provide a great deal of trading opportunities, for years to come….. I’m especially fond of Sarah Pailin in this respect….. Sarah Pailin for Fresident…! Yeaaa…..

    This is really fun and entertaining to watch……

    Best regards,

    Econolicious

  19. jeg3 says:

    Actually this country (and the rest of the world under neoliberal doctrine) has been dismantling as
    much of the “Progressive” programs as possible for the past several decades. That’s why we have a FUBAR political-econonomy. The best 3 presidents since 1970 were:
    1. Carter – Appointed Volker & Made Energy an issue (and apparently tried to get universal health care passed which would have saved a boat-load of money)
    2. Nixon – Under his watch, the EPA and NEPA created & Abolished the gold standard
    3. Bush 1 – Raised Taxes when needed & Amendments to the the Clean Air Act
    http://www.edf.org/documents/2695_cleanairact.htm

    What this country needs is:
    “The Rise of the Liberal Rich and Remaking of America”
    http://fdlbooksalon.com/2010/10/02/fdl-book-salon-welcomes-david-callahan-fortunes-of-change/

  20. wkevinw says:

    The answers to the questions by the “tea partiers” are not very effective. The beef is that the gubmint took a bunch of money on the promise to have a trust fund (i.e. A REAL BALANCE ON A BALANCE SHEET-NOT JUST CASH FLOW!). The fact that they have cash flow does not make these social welfare programs fiscally sound. It is unethical, in my opinion, to represent them as such.

    Generational income redistribution is what we have. There is an ethical system, called fiscal responsibility, to build a capital/balance, and distribute the dividends and interest.

  21. Jerry 369 says:

    To respond, Malachi, I would argue that the “MAJORITY” of the time, people try and get to the freedoms we take for granted here,most often. Never said it “only” happens here.

    As for Everyday…
    Well, here we go. I think we all need something to believe in, something “you” hold dear. I, being Catholic, believe in God. I try my best to live my life as best as I can by a simple code. Do unto others as I would have done onto me.
    What you put out there is what you get back, Karma? It goes by many different names. You, on the individual basis have to seek what it is you value, your code/principles. Each of us is unique unto another. I don’t believe as Obama does in Collective Salvation. Collective anything is wrong, it gets really evil when its twisted and perverted for the so called “Greater Good”. As I feel this great country is now under siege.
    To each his own, but it is your as well as my “God given Right”, not the states and certainly not the messiah Obama’s.
    Jerry

  22. victorberry says:

    Another excellent article by Matt Taibbi!

    Like the tea partiers, we can all talk big now about how unwise it was to bailout Wall Street in Sept-Oct 2008. But I remember at the time that I was in a panic calling my fixed income 401(k) investment holder to see if my life savings were in jeopardy. I was prepared to pull out all of the money that was left even if it meant paying income tax penalties. Fortunately, TARP passed and the crisis subsided.

    Unlike the tea partiers, I can imagine the horrific disaster that would have ensued from a completely frozen credit market in which the basic shipment of daily necessities (e.g., food and gasoline) would have stopped or slowed to a trickle. Sorry, but I’m not that into anarchy and basic survival.

    Speaking of X-ians and their 6000 year old world, ask them if they believe in the light year distances between solar systems in our galaxy. If they do, then what the hell are we looking at if it’s more than 6000 light years away?

  23. willid3 says:

    jerry, you do realize the golden rule isn’t what you seem to be practicing unless of course you really want them to what you are doing them of course?
    are we under siege?
    yes. but its not who you think it is. if its any body its China and India. but you are fighting them.
    and considering what Jesus says in Mark, I am thinking that the majority of tea par tiers are really Christians as they aren’t following what he said do.
    and why is it they are mad about taxes? when the biggest problem is wage collapse. and nary a word about that.
    nor is there any complaints about the lack of jobs. nor the lack of action to solve that.
    the GOP has only cut spending. but has no solution (except maybe hope. yup a change you can really believe in) for that.

  24. oldhillbilly says:

    We American’s are drug addicts, and no one will deny us our high. We tell our friends we really need to kick the habit, but when the government has drugs to hand out, we all rush the clinic to get ‘ours’. Hey, if we don’t – the other guy will, right? Instead of making us suffer the withdrawal symptoms of our addiction, our elected doctors just feud about how they can make us more drug dependent, because God help them, if they allow us to come down off this high, or make us feel bad about our addiction, we will fire them and find a new Board of Doctors. Once again, the minority doctors claim the clinic is running out of drugs, and that some of us might have to pay more for our baggie. Of course we fired them 2 years ago for prescribing too many downers, and forcing the freelance junkies, the ones with the really good stuff, to even seek help from the already bankrupt clinic.

    But hey – it’s all good man. We’ll throw these scumbags out and find us a new bunch, that will figure out a way to keep us all stoned, but make us think we are really sobering up.

    Yeah – we need to kick the habit – and we all claim we want to – but when it comes right down to it – we love the juice.

  25. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Jerry 369:

    ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ are two different words, with completely different meanings. If you haven’t mastered your native language (there goes a third-grade education, at public expense, down the drain), you have no business asking anyone else to stand aside.

    BTW: With all of the voting you apparently do, did you ever once stop to ask exactly what you were voting for? You have only yourself to blame for the decline of America — you voted for it.

  26. Doc at the Radar Station says:

    My favorite quote of MT’s piece:
    “At times, their desire to withdraw from the brutally complex global economic system that is an irrevocable fact of our modern life and get back to a simpler world that no longer exists is so intense, it breaks your heart.”
    I think this speaks to a greater and more common feeling of alienation of the general public that isn’t necessarily specific to them.

  27. wally says:

    That is an excellent article… excellent writing. (I read it from the Kedrosky link). There aren’t many writers around these days.

    The Tea Party is one of the weaker third-party movements I’ve seen. They have very little compared to John Anderson, Nader, Perot, and I doubt they’ll still be around in 2 or 3 years. There is a limited future for old, angry people who have no clue what they are angry about.

  28. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Jerry 369 Says:

    “As for Everyday…
    Well, here we go. I think we all need something to believe in, something “you” hold dear. I, being Catholic, believe in God. I try my best to live my life as best as I can by a simple code. Do unto others as I would have done onto me.”
    ___________

    And your sisters Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer? Are you doing unto them what you would have done to you? They’re not welcome? Where? And you bear false witness against your brother. Who are you to judge your brother?

    Since you copped to being Catholic, I’m going to assume that you stand up during every service and DEMAND that the ass-raping, homosexual pedophiles running the show in your church are held accountable. If you don’t, you’re as guilty in your own right as they are. You don’t have the balls to stand up for the right thing — let the kids suffer, as long as the power structure you’ve aligned yourself with (and I assure you it has nothing to do with any God), remains intact.

    “. . . it gets really evil when its twisted and perverted for the so called “Greater Good.”

    I guess you’d know all about that.

  29. Bill in SF says:

    I’ll buy my own damn scooter, as soon as I find them gold bars I buried in the back yard back in September, 2001.

    Oh, wait! I think I buried them in the neighbor’s yard, so as to not disturb my medical marijuana. Them alien dealers can go to hell! I only buy American!

    Besides, I’ve already found several dinosaur bones among the 6,000-year -old humanoid remains. They’ve gotta be worth a few bazillion by now!

    The Truth is Out There!

  30. Mannwich says:

    Bring the heat, Petey! As late Ned Martin used to say, “mercy!”. :-)

  31. MikeW says:

    Just read the Taibbi piece and the responses posted so far by TBP readers. Two things strike me :

    (1) Ernst S makes an excellent point. If Obama is an ‘anti-colonialist’, then more power to him, because you can’t get more red-white-and-blue than that. I just wish more Americans remembered that.

    (2) This is as close to channeling the Huffington Post as I’ve ever seen this blog get. Just like right-wingers can’t discuss the prospect of a war with Iran without getting stuck in the Hitler cul-de-sac, the folks at HuffPo won’t allow an adult conversation about the size of the Federal deficit to go more than a few sentences without throwing out the accusation of racism.

  32. Mannwich says:

    @mikew: Ok, so let’s talk about the deficit. What would you like to do about it, sir?

  33. Ilya says:

    Who gives a tinkers damn about tea partys, democrats, republicans OR Taibbi. During the silly season,
    gangbangers, gavel pounders and ham fisted writers jockey for power and attention.

    Screw government. Carry out your own dead.

  34. RC says:

    @MikeW, Thanks !!!!
    Finally someone points out that it was Americans who invented anti-colonialism. American writings since the revolutionary war was inspiration the world over to people fighting colonial oppression.
    Roosevelt was an anti-colonialist which is well documented. If Obama is being called anti-colonialist then he is some august company.

  35. philipat says:

    As usual, Taibbi has it about right. Fair and Balanced.

  36. V says:

    The sad part of all this is that what Ron Paul’s campaign for liberty was saying during the 2008 election was completely correct “Obama will be more of the same”.

  37. wrongtrade says:

    This writing is such a ridiculous tirade through liberal “progressive” (which just means a person who is always trying to f *** everything up) blinders that a thinking person can’t possibly enjoy it unless they agree with it. Thus “agree or disagree” is no premise for endorsing an article like this. Lets face it, Joe Sixpack is an idiot regardless of his political affiliation, but the ‘spirit’ of the tea party movement- fiscal conservatism and a return to our constitutional roots- could very well save America.

  38. wunsacon says:

    >> BR- since you consider yourself a libertarian (and a non-liberal)- based on the description- I guess we can include you in the Tea Party as well-

    Ahab, it sounds like you’re saying not only that (a) BR claimed he’s libertarian (as opposed to having libertarian sympathies — which is what I recall him saying) but also (b) that “all libertarians are in the Tea Party”.

    Forget “a”. Look at your “b”…You can’t be serious!

    Here’s how I see it :: =

    The Tea Party = the GOP libertarian

    At the outset of the Tea Party, you *could* claim/argue otherwise. And I would’ve said “the jury is out”. But, as soon as the Tea Party invited war-mongering, in-your-face religious, can’t/won’t-say-how-I’d-balance-the-budget, I’m-a-Fox-host-now-I’m-a-candidate dopes to speak/headline their events, then you can no longer tell me the Tea Party is “libertarian”.

    At this point, the “Tea Party” is a GOP-owned brand, like Fanta or Saturn. “Are/were you embarrassed to be a member of the political party that re-elected Dubya and lost in a landslide in 2008? Okay, here: we have another team name for you. We’re ‘new’. We’re cool. Buy our merchandise.”

  39. wunsacon says:

    >> the ‘spirit’ of the tea party movement- fiscal conservatism and a return to our constitutional roots- could very well save America.

    Yes, *if* it weren’t headlined by the same kind of dopes that stood for neither of those things from 2001-2009.

  40. jonhendry says:

    @Jerry: “To respond, Malachi, I would argue that the “MAJORITY” of the time, people try and get to the freedoms we take for granted here,most often. Never said it “only” happens here.”

    Yes you did:

    “This is the only place people risk their lives trying to get to. ”

    It’s right up there in your first comment.

    Zimbabwean kids risk their lives travelling on foot to South Africa in hopes of getting work, and putting themselves at risk of exploitation.

    North Africans risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean to get to Italy, France, Spain, Greece, etc. They wash up dead fairly often.

    North Koreans risk everything to get past North Korea and China and into a freer country, without necessarily intending to go on to the US.

    The Burmese flee to Thailand, probably ending up stuck in a refugee camp on the border, if the Thai military doesn’t deport them.

    Central Asians try to get to Australia.

  41. jonhendry says:

    ” the folks at HuffPo won’t allow an adult conversation about the size of the Federal deficit to go more than a few sentences without throwing out the accusation of racism.”

    I’m surprised they aren’t writing that the cure for the deficit is a small-balance credit card bill, shredded into small pieces, mixed with water, and diluted, and diluted again, and diluted again, and diluted again, x1000, then blessed with Deepak Chopra’s quantum woo, and fortified with ‘The Secret’, to produce a homeopathic quantum Law Of Attraction cure for the national debt.

  42. soloduff says:

    Taibbi is a foul-mouthed ignoramus. The Tea Party phenomenon is a protofascist movement characteristic of mature capitalism in severe crisis. Its base is the petite bourgeoisie, a stratum not known for rationality. The time to worry is when the real rulers of society co-opt the movement and run with it in a desperate move to “turn the clock back” on the rot of the system. In scholarly literature this is called “the marriage of classes.” This co-optation is now in process. American ignorance of history is legendary, but surely you’ve heard of such as Hitler and Mussolini, both tapped to run their countries to hell when all other options were exhausted. Cheer up! Fascism means war; which, in the case of the USA, means more war. Invest now!

  43. wunsacon says:

    victorberry, this crisis was years (decades) in the making. It could’ve been avoided years in advance. Establishment players saying “there was no time for other choices” is a setup.

    Even given waiting until the last minute, government could have taken over failed banks, supplied money/credit to supermarkets/consumers, etc. rather than buy worthless, fraud-originated financial paper at 100 cents on the dollar — 50% owned by the top 1%. Wall Street pitched a false choice to you. Don’t buy it.

  44. cswake says:

    “Check out this libertarian utopia! Firefighters watch as home burns to the ground”

    Babak, so what other insurance policies do you have a problem with? From the article, the couple was fully aware of the city’s fire protection policy and made the decision to roll the dice. Unfortunately in their case they made the wrong decision. It appears neighbors did try to help them put the fire out, by the way.

  45. wunsacon says:

    Some of the symbols I used were interpreted as HTML. I’ll try again. Here’s how I relate these groups, at least based on their principles:

    “Tea Party” = “GOP” != “libertarian”

  46. Joe Friday says:

    Taibbi: “Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: THEY’RE FULL OF SHIT.”

    Indeed.

    Their complaints about federal deficits & debt and overspending are one administration too late.

    The vast overwhelming majority of the current federal deficits & debt, as well as the future projected federal debt is as a result of the massive plunge in federal income tax revenue from the numerous rounds of tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate enacted during the previous administration.

    Yet the Teabaggers supported those failed tax cuts and now support candidates who want to enact more failed tax cuts.

    The overspending was overwhelmingly on two wars and more Corporate Welfare, including a drug program to benefit the pharmaceutical companies, all of which were not paid for during the previous administration.

    Their complaints about taxes are goofy on their face as levels of taxation are the lowest since 1950.

    The only thing I’m unsure of is whether their ass-backwardness is due to them being delusional or due to them being ignorant and uninformed.

  47. Thor says:

    Petey – you’re in rare form today ;-)

  48. jonhendry says:

    “From the article, the couple was fully aware of the city’s fire protection policy and made the decision to roll the dice. Unfortunately in their case they made the wrong decision.”

    I’m all for the firefighters letting it burn. The $75/year isn’t to cover the price of having a fire put out. It’s for upkeep and maintenance of the equipment, training, etc.

    If a lot of the people in the town stopped paying, the maintenance would be cut back, and then when a fire broke out there might not be enough fully operational equipment to fight it.

    This guy wanted to take advantage of other people paying for maintenance and upkeep, year after year after year, so they’d have proper equipment, and then kick in a pittance only if he had a fire.

  49. cswake says:

    There are so many logical problems with the arguments and direction of the article. Some blatant ones:

    1) “The Tea Party”, on a national scale, is depicted as some collectivist mob that is old and Caucasian. For instance on page 2, he writes “It’s a mistake to cast the Tea Party as anything like a unified, cohesive movement — which makes them easy prey for the very people they should be aiming their pitchforks at. A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.” Yet their sample is Kentucky, so of course it will be biased. When you actually look at the data, you’ll see that the broad brush is just a regurgitation of media-spin:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/127181/tea-partiers-fairly-mainstream-demographics.aspx

    2) The activists are selectively chosen to drive the message of the article. An honest approach would be to ask someone who HAS NOT had the ability to make a decision to live off the government tit. For instance, try asking an 18 year old Tea Partier if he or she would do away with the Department of Education and eliminate Federal loans.

    3) The questions are biased for the people they selected. These folks have lived in a society of government handouts their entire lives, OF COURSE they will have had interaction with the government. It would have been better to ask them if they wanted the same system in place for their grandchildren.

  50. jonhendry says:

    “When you actually look at the data, you’ll see that the broad brush is just a regurgitation of media-spin:”

    He’s talking about people at a rally, right? So they’re likely to be the most motivated, most involved Tea Party members.

    The guy who idly supports the Tea Party in a vague way but doesn’t really participate isn’t really their core of support.

  51. cswake says:

    If you look through the article he’ll never mention that the Tea Party has nearly as many minorities as the nation does, on a percentage basis. Instead, he says stuff like this I had mentioned above: “A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people”. This is dishonest journalism.

  52. constantnormal says:

    ” … the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit.”

    Unfortunately, that neither disqualifies them nor even disinclines them to get elected.

    We are a nation of the people, by the people, and (rarely) for the people. Unfortunately, the Tea Party is “the people” too. So they can get elected just like any other nonsensical idiots. Whether they split the Republican vote, or simply overpower it, they will be a formidable presence in the next Congress, speaking with many voices, all saying different things. In this, they will be not unlike the Democrats.

    I fully expect the Tea Party to do quite well in the coming elections, and will likely be a formidable contender for the office of President in 2012. even with Sarah Palin as their candidate.

    The Idiocracy has arrived.

  53. MikeW says:

    I was away for a while, but I see Mannwich asked a perfectly fair question about how I’d cut the deficit, given how I objected to fiscal conservatives often being dismissed offhand as bigots.

    Well, let’s start by making banks assume the losses of their own badly-turned-out high-tech crapshoots, rather than the taxpayers, and then maybe get a start on dismantling this hydra-headed military empire we’ve created worldwide.

    That should free up a few bucks to directly help many of the ordinary Americans who are suffering, of whatever demographic background.

  54. louis says:

    Mark E has it right, I wish my balance sheet into the cornfield.

  55. DiggidyDan says:

    It’s not journalism-it’s a roast. . . and he’s right on.

    “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.’

    And if you can guess the origin of that quote. . . run for president or vote Ron Paul.

    The tea party is a charade endorsed by dolts who have never contemplated the true ideas behind liberty or the founding of this nation.

  56. philipat says:

    On the “Open Borders” issue, as an “alien”, I have no view, but I do wish you US persons would make up your mind. Whilst Mexicans and, presumably also terrorists, just walk or drive over your boarders, European and other genuine tourists get hassled, and now charged, to enter the US. And then face 2 hour immigration queues to be insulted and abused by the friendly Immigration folks at the airports. Many no longer bother even to try. To the detriment of the US economy. The US has seriously lost its way and need to get its act together. Please?

    Does this mak

  57. davver says:

    Its funny. I live in Baltimore, a pretty decent part but Baltimore is so poor the decent parts are surrounded by ghetto. Baltimore is about as deep democrat as you can get. Majority black. Poor. East coast metropolitan. Dominated by democratic politicians. If you looking for a place that is the leftist equivalent of Kentucky, this is it.

    If you went out looking for disgusting morons that support the left you wouldn’t have to go far. Tabbi rails on scooter people. Well, the convenience store I get my coffee from going to work is full of them. They are fat, disgusting, foul mouthed, and rude. You can tell what day the government checks come out because they flood the place to buy lottery tickets and scratch offs ($20 scratch offs in bulk, who the hell does that). The local supermarket just started accepting food stamps. Now we’ve got people standing outside trying to sell food stamps for cash so they can buy drugs. Upper class liberals try to say these people are made up, that they are some right wing fantasy, but I see them every day.

    They are just as idiotic as anyone you can find in Kentucky politically. The black people here universally support Obama, because he’s also black. They don’t have a clue what his policies are. They are likely as ignorant, hypocritical, and inconsistent as the people Matt rails on. If you interview some of the Obama people here in Baltimore I’m sure you can get some great zingers for quotes too. And the protests they engage in are just as co-opted by special interests (just leftists interests like unions). BTW, we had a union protest down here with “hired” protesters like the daily show report.

    Anyway, most people are idiots. And therefore most people who vote are idiots. And the ones that go to a political rally will be the biggest idiots. So exactly what is Tabbi trying to prove, other then getting eyeballs glued to his writing so he gets paid?

    Here’s what I think. For every tea party wacko at a Palin rally there are 1,000 more normal people not there that feel let down by Obama, Washington, the two parties, etc. They want real change, and they know they aren’t getting it right now. They are sympathetic to any kind of “insurgent” movement because it challenges a status quo they know is wrong, even if the movement itself worries them a bit.

    There are two ways to address this if your on the left. You could try to actually govern well, do the things necessary to actually address the problems people have. That would mean admitting a lot of mistakes: the bailout & incomplete fin reg, the clusterfuck health care bill, and the continuing of the wars. Admit your mistakes and put forth genuine reforms that will make a real difference in peoples lives. Those reforms can lean to the left or right, they just have to be genuine solutions. Then people might give you another chance. Right now the democratic establishment can’t even get passed the admitting part. I think its a little bit of masters of the universe ego syndrome. I don’t know if they are capable of admitting mistakes.

    The second way is to embrace your own ego and denial and chase after tea party phantoms. “The legislative decisions I made weren’t wrong, average people are just too fucking stupid to see how brilliant I am.” So instead of addressing the real problems the democrats entire strategy for this election is to hold up a few tea party wackos and scream, “be afraid, be very afraid.” What happened to the party running on hope? They accuse Republicans of being the party of fear but fear is their entire strategy at this point. The tea party is the new welfare queens of the left.

    The radical fringe doesn’t win elections. The tea party isn’t winning elections because of a few nut jobs at a Palin rally. Its winning them because thousands of regular folks are going to the polls to register a protest vote, because that’s all they can do to fight back against the status quo. The more you try degrade people for electing tea party candidates the more it reinforces an image of arrogance that is driving people away.

  58. bulfinch says:

    “Barry, if you’re truly a fan of Taibbi, you’ve got to stop. And stop now. Matt is begging you.

    Taibb’s writing is….”muscular”?!?!

    C’mon. Taibbi is busting his ass, chasing a delusion wrapped in an illusion that he is this generation’s Hunter Thompson (yeah…good luck with that, Matt), and here comes two card-carrying members of The Establishment…two middle-aged white dudes in the form of Paul Kedrosky and Barry Ritholtz referring to Taibbi’s writing as “muscular”.

    Seriously, you’re killing this guy.

    As to “whether one agrees or disagrees” with Taibbi…

    Who gives a shit. He’s writing to people who exclaim “Pure Awesomeness!”

    But when The Establishment crashes the party and tries to be hip, only to fuck it all up with erect writing that uses laugh out loud references like “muscular” and “pugnacious”…

    Taibbi is failing. And failing miserably.”

    …Good work. I am constantly amazed at the stellar samplings of writerly prowess that people reserve exclusively for the comments sections of blogs. There oughtta be a Bloggy equivalent for just such comments. No – really. A few questions, though:

    Since you’ve provided such a thorough example of flaccid writing — what in the hell is ‘erect writing?’

    At what undertaking is Taibbi failing? And failing miserably? How is failing miserably different from plain failing?

    Awesomeness: does a commenter who maybe chooses not to seize upon the comments section of a blog as the perfect platform to express their inner Wordsworth mean that the commenter’s opinion is automatically invalidated?

  59. Jim67545 says:

    The RNC is running a spot full of half lies or deliberate distortions of the truth = full lies. Example: the health insurance plan cuts Medicare by $500B. Yes, through anticipated savings not through trimming/rationing coverage.
    I just do not see that kind of thing from the Dems and the Reps have been getting by with it for 2 or 3 election cycles now and nobody has (effectively) called them out on it. Is telling a lie acceptible if in a (to the speaker) good cause (such as getting elected, favoring an important contributor, etc.?)
    When will voters wake up to the fact that if a candidate lies to get elected there is a good chance that they will lie, and worse, when they get in office? They may profess moral principles but are not actions clearer than whatever the liar says?
    If a liar gets elected, in what regard do they hold the electorate who they so easily deceived? Do fools deserve respect from the liar? With no fundamental respect what duty does the liar have to his/her constituency?
    And what if the party organization itself lies?

  60. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Lots of MoFos in here are late to the disenfranchisement party.

    The only difference (other than intellect) between Bush and Obama is skin color — their policies are virtually identical. So, where were the racially-mixed (the tea Party is a cross-section of America? Not.) Tea Partiers when Bush was running the country into the ground with deregulation, lack of law enforcement, discrimination against gays, white/corporate welfare, busted budgets, lies, secret government, more lies, crony capitalism, tax “rebates”, flooded cities, torture, disappearing of people, no- or show-trials, and treason by the V.P?

    They were in full support of those policies and activities.

    There is only one difference between Obama and Bush, and that difference woke up those who try to cover their bigotry by calling themselves a legitimate, “grass-roots, anti-taxation” movement.

    To be a viable political party, you need a valid and clear agenda and a legitimate means for enacting it. From what I’ve seen of the Tea Party, they’re an angry and confused group — short on facts, long on emotions. They’re one kangaroo short of a mob, and a mob has no agenda at all (it has scapegoats, though).

    There are still people at these demonstrations accusing Obama of being a Socialist (he’s obviously a Corporatist), of being a Muslim (someone should remind the TP that being muslim does not preclude one from the Presidency of the US, that there have been attacks ordered by Obama on ONLY Muslim countries, there has been no move to strengthen Islam in the US, and that the man says he’s a Christian and that neither Christians or Muslims are supposed to lie). They believe that Nancy Pelosi ordered a big jet for herself (she didn’t, and that’s a fact). The list of dishonest “reasons” for the existence of this party is long. Why do they need to rely on bullshit like this to advance their profoundly unbalanced ideology? Their candidates aren’t much better.

    If I’m wrong, please point me to a rational platform put forth by the leader of this party. Please show me a membership that can articulate that platform. Please tell me why this group of Constitution-loving Americans waited until now to get motivated. Please tell me why their rhetoric is so light on fact.

    The answer is not taxes, as all citizens of all countries must pay taxes, and ours are relatively mild by historical/global comparison. That’s a fact.

  61. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    davver Says:

    “There are two ways to address this if your on the left. You could try to actually govern well, do the things necessary to actually address the problems people have. That would mean admitting a lot of mistakes: the bailout & incomplete fin reg, the clusterfuck health care bill, and the continuing of the wars. Admit your mistakes and put forth genuine reforms that will make a real difference in peoples lives. Those reforms can lean to the left or right, they just have to be genuine solutions. Then people might give you another chance. Right now the democratic establishment can’t even get passed the admitting part. I think its a little bit of masters of the universe ego syndrome. I don’t know if they are capable of admitting mistakes.”
    ______________________

    How does one address it if they’re on the right? Is the right wing Tea Party addressing these things? The bailout belongs to Bushco and the Republicans. Where is your honesty, sir?

    Not that it’s easy to put forth genuine reforms that will make a real difference in peoples lives when you are opposed by the people who have clearly stated that their goal is to destroy the government and who have pledged to block any legislation put forth, regardless of merit, simply because their opponents (actually, it’s their enemies) want it?

    Is that what kind of representation you want? Do you want the Constitutional government of the USA to be placed on the scrap-heap of history?

    Did you vote (R) in the last 30 years, even once? If you did, why can’t you simply admit your mistake? Holding people to a standard you yourself cannot live — such as taking personal responsibility — is a defining trait of the right.

    You blame the Democrats for not admitting their mistakes, when you have an identical shortcoming. You need to remove the beam from your eye before you want another to remove the splinter from theirs.

    The right is rife with dishonesty and hypocrisy, yet they can’t even see it.

    BTW: Obama is a Corporatist whore, and does not have my support. That does not mean that I would replace him for the likes of a right-wing confused, irrational, dissembler.

  62. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    MikeW Says:

    Well, let’s start by making banks assume the losses of their own badly-turned-out high-tech crapshoots, rather than the taxpayers, and then maybe get a start on dismantling this hydra-headed military empire we’ve created worldwide.
    ______________

    Agree on the banks. Good luck getting the tea party to cut military expenses. Let them put that shit into their agenda, if that’s what they believe.

  63. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    wrongtrade Says:

    “This writing is such a ridiculous tirade through liberal “progressive” (which just means a person who is always trying to f *** everything up) blinders that a thinking person can’t possibly enjoy it unless they agree with it.”
    __________________

    Who fucked everything up between 2000 and 2008? A thinking person would find much to agree with in the article. Confronting one’s own intellectual dishonesty or past foolishness is never an enjoyable process. ““Progressive”( which just means a person who is always trying to f *** everything up),” is as intellectually dishonest and prejudiced as the day is long.

    Talk about blinders. Heh.

  64. I think America needs a leader like this how about it?

    Silva’s ascension to power did not come easy. He was only successful on his fourth run at the presidency, when in 2002 voters decided to give him a shot. It was a watershed moment in Brazilian politics, handing the office to a one-time shoeshine boy with a fifth-grade education, making him the first working-class leader ever elected.

    He cried upon taking office on Jan. 1, 2003, and paid homage to the legions of poor Brazilians who saw their own reflections in him, in his rough, grammatically challenged speech, his inability to speak a foreign language, his lack of education.

    =========================================

    Wow! The PhD’s out there would flip if a person of those qualifications applied and was voted in for president. This guy turned around a nation of 190 million and showed that it has NOTHING to do with education and privilege. It is much more about the person who control the levers of power and how he uses them. Maybe more clearly it shows that it only takes a fifth grade education to be an effective leader. Maybe that is because someone like that does not have the ability to decode the daily missives of the secret government

  65. mathman says:

    Politics has been slowly and methodically taken over by the ownership class and the corporate sector.
    “Our” so-called government no longer works as it was designed and fails to even follow the Constitution any longer. If you think voting for either member of the duopoly will change anything for the better (unless of course you are one of the top .01%) you will be disappointed continuously. While we sit here arguing about complete nonsense, we’re being spied on against our wills, the environment continues to degrade and the vested interests continue to complete their strangle-hold on their little part of the pie.

    There wouldn’t be a tea-party without the billionaire right-wing Koch brothers’ investment, while Soros and his ilk “play” the other side. It’s only going to get worse.

  66. Julia Chestnut says:

    Oh God, I completely agree with Soloduff. Taibbi is the very definition of what the extreme right says about “liberals.” He’s a sneering jerk. He never finds any compassion for any single individual that he meets, and that makes me concerned. He is insufferably self-important, and it oozes out of every word he writes.

    But this is absolutely a proto-fascist movement, no doubt about it. And it WILL get co-opted, it’s happening even now. And the underbrush is very, very dry.

    But see, I don’t see it as something to short. Having kids means that I’m long on the future, and I can’t really hedge that bet. So I need some people with some ironclad cajones to think seriously about how we’re going to get those who own us to put down the lighters and back away. God, I don’t see it happening – they have yet to back away from making a profit at the expense of any human decency.

  67. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Julia Chestnut Says:

    “Taibbi is the very definition of what the extreme right says about “liberals.” He’s a sneering jerk. He never finds any compassion for any single individual that he meets, and that makes me concerned. He is insufferably self-important, and it oozes out of every word he writes.”

    Maybe that’s what the left needs as a counter to Bill O, Beck, Hannity, Kristol, Rove (now a paid commentator), Palin (same), and the rest of the right wing punditocracy who suffer, yet succeed, by the same ethos. Personally, I don’t see the disrespect.

    “But this is absolutely a proto-fascist movement, no doubt about it. And it WILL get co-opted, it’s happening even now. And the underbrush is very, very dry.”

    Amen to that. However, it can’t be co-opted, as it was malignant from inception:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123859296

    Proto-fascist and low brow enough to be easily and willingly fleeced. Not a good combination.

  68. cswake says:

    Petey Wheatstraw says:

    “There are still people at these demonstrations accusing Obama of being a Socialist (he’s obviously a Corporatist)”

    He is a corporatist, but the definitions are nuanced. I can see how people error in that government ownership of homes, auto, insurance, and finance as meeting the definition of government control of the means of production and distribution of resources.

    “If I’m wrong, please point me to a rational platform put forth by the leader of this party. Please show me a membership that can articulate that platform.”

    Rand Paul is one of the more intelligent members, seen as a leader of the “party”, and has a platform that I’d be ecstatic, but doubtful, to see implemented:

    1) Balanced Budget Amendment
    2) 16 year term limits for Senators and Representatives
    3) Mandatory waiting period for enacting legislation and requirement to read the bills

    “Please tell me why this group of Constitution-loving Americans waited until now to get motivated. Please tell me why their rhetoric is so light on fact.

    It was started by Ron Paul’s presidential run in 2007, and then took off once WHILE BUSH WAS STILL IN OFFICE bailing everybody out. It’s only continued to grow as Obama has expanded on Bush’s policies. The media portrays it as a racist outcry, because sensationalism is what the media does best.

    “The answer is not taxes, as all citizens of all countries must pay taxes, and ours are relatively mild by historical/global comparison. That’s a fact.”

    False – I’m assuming you are talking at the Federal level. Corporate tax rates, which by my definition includes both payroll and income taxes, are second highest in the world and generate more income for the Federal government than individual income taxes. (This includes Small Business, btw) As for individual income taxes, the only number I’ve seen create an average between the 50% who pay and the 50% who don’t – I’d like to see how the tax burden on the first half compares to the world.

  69. econimonium says:

    eswake – numbers please? If you’re going to say that we have the second highest Corporate taxes in the world, please publish 2010 data. Also, taxes don’t tell the whole “corporate story”, as the ease of doing business, bankruptcy laws, IP laws etc tell more of the story. I mean I’ve actually run companies in other countries but what do I know right?

    And please spare me the whole “small business” argument. Neither you nor anyone else is not going to hire people because the top tax bracket changes. Also, most “small businesses” I know keep multiple sets of books and cash doesn’t make it into the one that taxes are based from. If people are going to complain, they first need to admit what income they actually report. So spare me all of this it just isn’t true.

  70. call me ahab says:

    wunsacon-

    I am just busting BR’s balls- and I am going to take that libertarian moniker (however he said it) and run with it every time-

    I just found it interesting that that description of the Tea Party fits him perfectly (as a non-liberal of course)

  71. Winston Munn says:

    The most trying part of the evolutionary process is that it takes so long to eliminate unsuitable populations.

  72. VennData says:

    But wait… Sour Krauth says there’s no rich folks behind the Tea Party…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/23/AR2010092304746.html

    Yeah there were no rich folks backing the flag burning, prayer in the schools, stop stem cell, nor “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” either. ROFL

    What a tool.

  73. wunsacon says:

    In defense of hypocrites…

    Taibbi points out that Republicans enjoy the benefits of government. So?

    - Ike warned of the MIC despite furthering it.
    - St. Warren tells us “my class is winning [the class war]” while enjoying significant government subsidies.

    Just because people are hypocrites doesn’t mean we should ignore their argument(s). At times, the hypocrites might be the best sources of information about a problem.

  74. They may not be hypocrites. Many of them may espouse eliminating government excess but not government. Many of them probably could afford a 20% – 50% benefit cut that would be needed and would gladly fork that over as long as it was fair and across the board or means tested. This problem isn’t about government, it is about blind, reckless, stupid spending that was ignoring complaints. Complaints like the 90% calls against the bail outs to congressman that were appallingly ignored

    That is the fuel that fires (some of) these people and if the elites think they can just manipulate them for their own purposes then they are playing with that same fire.

  75. davver says:

    Petey,

    I’ve only been old enough to vote in a few elections. 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008.

    In 2002 I’ll admit I voted Republican in the congressional mid terms. I even worked on the guys campaign. He was a school principal whose primary campaign issue was education reform. I went to an exceptional charter school (probably one of the best schools in the country) and the local democratic officials and teachers union were always trying to shut it down. He stood up for us. He also stood up against several corrupt actions by the democrat holding the seat, mainly accepting campaign contributions in exchange for legislative favors. He didn’t have much money and tried to take on an entrenched incumbent, he lost pretty bad.

    In 2004 I voted libertarian.

    In 2006 I didn’t vote.

    In 2008 I voted for Ron Paul in the primary, then didn’t vote in the general election.

    In 2010 I will not vote. I will continue not voting until someone deserves my vote.

    Secondly, Democrats own the bailout. I called and wrote congressmen while the TARP vote was going on. Most Republicans voted against it. Most democrats voted for it. The democratic leadership structure (Pelosi, etc.) supported it. Obama and Clinton supported it. Yes, Bush voted for it, but that’s a sign that it was a bad bill that Democrats shouldn’t have supported! Even if you try to say they were panicked they have had two years of the presidency, huge majorities in congress, and massive public opinion with which to make changes to TARP and the various bailouts, and they have not. They did the bailouts. They own the bailouts. It is the biggest reason I will never vote democrat.

    Anyway, your whole post only makes my point. Rather then explain to me why I should vote democrat, all you can do is say why I shouldn’t vote Republican. That’s not good enough. I’ll exercise my third option, not voting, because none of them deserve it. Which is a shame for you, because I would probably be more likely to vote democrat at this point in spite of ideological differences if they weren’t such miserable failures.

  76. dwkunkel says:

    I used to have similar discussions with mid-western farmers about 40 years ago. They would constantly rail against welfare and government interference in their lives, but would refuse to acknowledge that the crop subsidies and special tax breaks they received were nothing more than welfare on a grand scale.

  77. Joe Friday says:

    cswake,

    “Rand Paul is one of the more intelligent members”

    Evidence ?

    ~

    “and has a platform that I’d be ecstatic, but doubtful, to see implemented: 1) Balanced Budget Amendment”

    Why ?

    We had balanced budgets in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 (temporarily).

    ~

    “2) 16 year term limits for Senators and Representatives”

    Why ?

    A) We already have term limits. They’re called elections.

    B)

    * Thomas Jefferson served in the Virginia House of Burgesses.

    * He was then elected to the Continental Congress.

    * He later returned to Virginia to serve in the House of Delegates, one of the two houses of the General Assembly.

    * Jefferson was elected Governor of Virginia,

    * He succeeded Benjamin Franklin as Minister to France.

    * Jefferson served as Secretary of State in President Washington’s Cabinet.

    * He was elected Vice President

    * He was elected President

    So much for the canard that our Founding Fathers intent was to have citizens serve a short term as public servants and then return to their private life.

    ~

    “Mandatory waiting period for enacting legislation and requirement to read the bills”

    The Democratic Congressional Majority already did this. Except for special situations, all legislation is put up on the internet 72 hours before it is voted upon.

    ~

    “Corporate tax rates, which by my definition includes both payroll and income taxes, are second highest in the world”

    You’re confusing the rate with what is paid. The vast majority of corporations don’t pay any taxes:

    MORE THAN TWO-THIRDS OF CORPORATIONS PAY NO TAXES

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/11/AR2008081102324.html

    -

    STUDY SAYS MOST CORPORATIONS PAY NO U.S. INCOME TAXES

    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN1249465620080812

  78. covel says:

    Politicians on the “right” or politicians on the “left” — neither are a solution. Both have one goal alone — to get elected. That’s it.

    There is some great writing in there.

  79. DL says:

    Yes, many “tea party” members are ambivalent about Medicare and social security. Ambivalence, however, is closer to where we need to be than the “head in the sand” approach that most liberals have.

    In addition, there’s the question of whether or not to add a new a entitlement, one which Obama has set into motion with Obamacare. If we can’t afford the entitlements we already have, it’s hard to see how we can afford new ones.

    Then there’s the endless bailouts, or as Obama prefers to call them, “stimulus”. The liberals want to spend us all into oblivion.

    The point is that it’s not just about medicare. It’s also about avoiding the course that the liberals want to take, which is to take a bad financial situation, and make it a lot worse.

  80. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    davver Says:

    Anyway, your whole post only makes my point. Rather then explain to me why I should vote democrat, all you can do is say why I shouldn’t vote Republican.
    ________________

    I’m not suggesting you vote either way. My beef isn’t (D) vs. (R), as they are nearly identical in their policies. My beef is the craven and irrational nature of many of those who call themselves conservatives, and who happen to self-identify as Republicans. However, I will say that the (R) camp has opposed ANY bill put forth by the (D) camp for the reasons I stated: opposition regardless of merit. Their core value is to maintain solidarity no matter how wrong and misguided their policies and/or ideologies. That is a huge difference between the two parties. That will destroy our government, and that is exactly what the “conservatives” in the (R) party want. I, for one, do not want my country destroyed simply because some infantile ideologue shit their diaper when they didn’t get their way (keeping in mind that their way put us where we are — firmly in the grasp and control of the Corporatists).

    Someone recently pointed out that the reason Republicans can’t govern is the same reason a vegetarian can’t make a good Beef Wellington: It is practically impossible to do well that which you believe should not be done.

    Finally, and as an example, I say that any party that would hold an emergency session of Congress, for the sole purpose of trying to “protect” a brain-dead woman, for the utterly slanderous and false reason that their opposition and her long-suffering husband wanted to “murder” her — when nothing could be further from the truth, and when her doctors, social workers and the courts had unanimously agreed to the hopelessness and irreversibility of her condition — is a party that is to be avoided a all costs. (the swiftboating of John Kerry, the false insistence on marital fidelity/sexual mores and the hypocrisy that is a party loaded with self-hating, closeted homosexuals are more examples of this utter lack of regard for honesty, truth, or their fellow citizens).

    The Democrats might be feckless and irritating, but you can’t point to a similar instance of intellectual and political fuckery perpetrated by them.

  81. everydayfreethought says:

    @Jerry 369
    No, I do not “need something to believe in”. Why do religious people always think they know what I need? You sound like an addict who used god to kick drugs and now thinks I need god because they messed up their life. Your religion, your mistakes. Not mine.

    Besides, I do not want to “believe” anything. I want to discern reality. A woman can believe her husband won’t get drunk and beat her again. A man can believe that his wife won’t cheat on him again. And you can believe there is a god.

    @cswake: I do not think the Tea Party is just a continuation of the Ron Paul campaign. TP is a LOT bigger than that. And if the Tea Party was really serious about change and taking on the Republican establishment, they would start their own party.

    I think a lot of them are just stupid. We saw the same thing when Clinton got into office: Republicans run up the debt, then we get a Democratic president, and all of a sudden conservatives are shocked! shocked I tell you! at how much the government is spending. And they claim to be just as disgusted with one party as the other. Yet they only seem fed up with both parties when we have a Democratic president.

  82. cswake says:

    “Evidence ?”

    While you’re obviously fishing for capitulation that I don’t have a standardized result of his intelligence, all I can provide is that, while some might not agree with his arguments, he can construct and argue his positions better than a lot of the other individuals I’ve seen come from the Tea Party.

    “1) Balanced Budget Amendment” Why ?”

    If you even have to ask, then it’s not even worth it for me to elaborate.

    “A) We already have term limits. They’re called elections.”

    Do you *REALLY* believe this nonsense?!

    “The Democratic Congressional Majority already did this. Except for special situations, all legislation is put up on the internet 72 hours before it is voted upon.”

    Was the healthcare bill a special situation? How did they not catch stuff like this if they actually read it?

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/costly-irs-mandate-slipped-into-health-bill/

    Even most the regular stuff they pass is complicated enough that there is NO WAY they can read it in 3 days unless that’s all they do, which they don’t.

    “You’re confusing the rate with what is paid. The vast majority of corporations don’t pay any taxes:”

    Hardly. I know the difference between statutory and effective. The large corporations have the accounting and lobbying teams to ensure they don’t pay taxes. Smaller businesses are on the losing end and that’s where it counts.

  83. basquebob says:

    @

    “In 2006 I didn’t vote.”

    “In 2008 I voted for Ron Paul in the primary, then didn’t vote in the general election.”

    and then:

    “Secondly, Democrats own the bailout. I called and wrote congressmen while the TARP vote was going on.”

    If you don’t vote why should anyone be paying attention to you?

  84. dss says:

    @DL

    Then there’s the endless bailouts, or as Obama prefers to call them, “stimulus”. The liberals want to spend us all into oblivion.

    This is rich after eight years of spend, spend, spend by the Republicans in charge for wars of convenience, irresponsible and unfunded tax cuts for the rich, and mindless, destructive deregulation promoted by 30 years of “conservatism”, etc., etc.

    How anyone can suggest that it was the liberals who want to spend us into oblivion after the GOP led congress quandering “surpluses as far as the eye can see” and then adding 6 trillion to the national debt during eight long years of Republican lies about everything from the cause of toe nail fungus to Rush Limbaugh’s weight gain.

    Good grief. Talk about being oblivious.

  85. dss says:

    Gotta blame those liberals instead of looking in the mirror or checking one’s own voting record.

  86. DL says:

    DSS,

    Did I say “Republicans are good, Democrats are bad”…?

    I’d be happy to vote for any Democrat who proposes to reduce Federal spending and to reduce mandates on the states.

  87. dss says:

    You implied it.

    The Republicans platform has been for the past 150 years to reduce Federal spending and reduce mandates on the states, yet under past Republican administrations Federal spending explodes and there are more mandates on the states. Yet I don’t see you complaining about them. Sure, I believe you will vote for a Democrat under ANY circumstance. I believe in magic fairy dust, too.

    I see no difference in the actual outcome of either party’s policies, but at least the Democrats are honest about their policies. The only way Conservatives, with the emphasis on “con” can get their policies supported and enacted is to lie through their teeth. They lied 30 years ago about their policies and they are still lying now.

    They hypocrite Republican party (pretend to be fiscally conservative, but in reality spend like drunken sailors) is nothing more than the party of plutocrats, relying upon Jesus, Guns and Gays to do their dirty work. In the end the outcome is still the same, the rich and powerful get richer while the idiots who voted for them pray to Jesus that they might still have a job tomorrow, never figuring out it is the people that they voted for who are trying to beggar them.

  88. Joe Friday says:

    DL,

    “Yes, many ‘tea party’ members are ambivalent about Medicare and social security.”

    Only if ‘ambivalent’ means they want to gut them.

    ~

    “Ambivalence, however, is closer to where we need to be than the ‘head in the sand’ approach that most liberals have.”

    Social Security is more financially sound today than it has been throughout most of its 75-year history.

    ~

    “In addition, there’s the question of whether or not to add a new a entitlement, one which Obama has set into motion with Obamacare. If we can’t afford the entitlements we already have, it’s hard to see how we can afford new ones.”

    According to the independent non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the ‘Affordable Care Act’ REDUCES the federal deficit.

    ~

    “Then there’s the endless bailouts, or as Obama prefers to call them, ‘stimulus’. The liberals want to spend us all into oblivion.”

    Once again, your concern about spending is one administration too late.

    ~

    “I’d be happy to vote for any Democrat who proposes to reduce Federal spending and to reduce mandates on the states.”

    Once again, the vast overwhelmingly majority of the current federal deficits & debt, as well as the vast overwhelmingly majority of the future projected federal deficits & debt, are as a direct result of the massive decline in federal income tax revenues from the numerous rounds of tax cuts for the Rich & Corporate enacted by the previous White House and Republican Congressional Majority, NOT spending.

  89. Joe Friday says:

    cswake,

    “While you’re obviously fishing for capitulation that I don’t have a standardized result of his intelligence, all I can provide is that, while some might not agree with his arguments, he can construct and argue his positions better than a lot of the other individuals I’ve seen come from the Tea Party.”

    As if arguing well about gibberish is a virtue.

    ~

    “http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/costly-irs-mandate-slipped-into-health-bill/”

    Cato ?

    Really ?

    Cato is funded by Big Oil.

    ~

    “Hardly. I know the difference between statutory and effective. The large corporations have the accounting and lobbying teams to ensure they don’t pay taxes.”

    So then why complain about the corporate tax bracket ?

    ~

    “Smaller businesses are on the losing end and that’s where it counts.”

    More than 97% of small businesses are not in those tax brackets.

  90. DL says:

    Joe Friday,

    I’m sure that you are strongly opposed to a “flat tax” (same rate for everyone, no deductions). But if we were to have a flat tax, and you had the power to set that tax at any level you wanted (e.g., 15%, 25%, or wherever), where would you set it?

    Your answer will say a lot.

  91. crankitto11 says:

    Davver said: “Secondly, Democrats own the bailout. ”

    Sorry, that’s not correct, no matter they say on Fox News. The TARP bill was drafted by Bush’s Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson. He actually got down on one knee to beg Nancy Pelosi to muster enough Democratic votes to pass it. GW strongly urged both parties to pass it, because Warren Buffett and most credible economists said there was no other choice, other than watching the entire global lock up and crash. Actually, our President’s exact quote was, ““If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down.” Even the WSJ editorial page urged passage of the TARP bill! No one is happy with TARP, but to say a) it didn’t avert a major disaster; and b) that the Democrats “own” it, are both fact-free, ideological bullshit.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/26/business/26bailout.html?_r=1&sq=bush%20economy%20sucker&st=cse&oref=slogin&scp=1&pagewanted=all
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13918.html

  92. Cynic_FA says:

    Nancy Pelossi and Harry Reid say “The Tea Party is Killing US, they must be bigots and nuts” I say F*%& ck Nancy Pellosi and Harry Reid.

    Obama says the filthy rich over $250,000 in income are not paying our fair share in taxes. Biased reporting from the WSJ this weekend said that the 20% of income families had 49.3% of all income; boy that sounds like way too much money. Honest reporting might point out that the income tax on that 49.3% of income is probably 90% of all income tax paid. I wold love to see those facts, but, it is easy to assume that the average federal income tax rate for the top 20% is at approximately twice the tax rate for the rest of America.

    As a “Tea Party Wanna Be” I can be an equal opportunity hater: Republican advertisements are blaming the Democrats for the TARP and the AIG bonuses. That history is not that ancient to be distorted. TARP and AIG is a sign of sin that needs to be hung squarely around the neck of George W. Bush and the Republicans. Paying off the AIG default swap gamblers at 100 cents is Tim Geitner’s dirty secret and Timmy should be dumped. Republicans are talking about responsible government when they ran up the second trillion dollars in national debt.

  93. davver says:

    crankitto11,

    TARP voting:

    House
    Yes: 241 D, 19R
    No: 10 D, 156R

    Yes: 45 D, 6 R, 1 I
    No: 7D, 34 R, 1 I

    Voted for Bailout:
    Obama, Pelosi, Clinton, Reid

    The democrats own the bailout. Its as plain as black and white. The votes are right there for anyone to see.

  94. crankitto11 says:

    davver:

    To own means to have exclusive possession. So you’re saying that Hank Paulson, the Treasury Secretary who proposed the TARP, and GW Bush, the President who urged its passage, were Democrats?!? I don’t think even the folks who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old would believe that. They had to be adults to save the global economy from crashing.

    While we’re on the subject of bailouts, during my research I found a perfect example of Taibbi’s premise that Tea Partiers (and you) are full of shit. When sympathizers of the national Tea Party called a rally at the Detroit Auto Show to protest the bailout of “Government Motors,” the Michigan chapter of the Tea Party called them off, because people’s jobs –or at least THEIR jobs– were at stake: http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/01/michigan-tea-partiers-boycott-detroit-auto-show-protest-1.php

  95. crankitto11 says:

    Correction: Paulson and Bush had to be adults to save the global economy from crashing.

  96. Joe Friday says:

    DL,

    “I’m sure that you are strongly opposed to a “flat tax” (same rate for everyone, no deductions). But if we were to have a flat tax, and you had the power to set that tax at any level you wanted (e.g., 15%, 25%, or wherever), where would you set it?”

    I wouldn’t, as it’s very bad public policy:

    A) To reiterate what I’ve posted previously, the ORIGINATORS of the misleadingly termed “Flat Tax”, Professors Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka, freely admitted in the 1983 edition of their book, that a ‘Flat Tax’ will be “a tremendous boon to the economic elite from the start”. In an appendix to their book, Hall and Rabushka estimated that their flat tax proposal would INCREASE THE TAX BILL for the lowest income families BY 78 PERCENT, and DECREASE THE TAX BILL for the very richest families BY 41 PERCENT.

    B) The Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress previously scored, for example, the so-called “Fair Tax” proposal (note the Orwellian name for a horrendously unfair tax proposal), and it estimated that it would actually require a 57 percent tax rate for federal revenues to be neutral.

    That would bankrupt the Middle-class.

    ~

    “Your answer will say a lot.”

    Indeed.

  97. dss says:

    I think that the question was asked says more about the questioner than the already well known answer. Would Steve Forbes work so hard to pass a flat tax because it would cost him money? Hell no.

    Davver,

    It would be pretty hard to have Republicans have the majority vote on a bill when they weren’t in the majority. They knew that they didn’t have to vote for the bill for it to pass, so what exactly is your point?

    What part of the Republican President BUSH, Republican Treasury Secretary PAULSON AND THE WSJ (that socialist rag) do you not understand?

    You are going to be called out when you try to play the silly game of pin our economy’s destruction on the Democrats. At least try to disguise your foolish dishonesty. (rolling eyes)

  98. Jim67545 says:

    Common to TARP, AIG and mortgage lending is how one should look at them at a later time. When I reviewed loans (at a community bank) the litmus test I applied was whether the lender had made the right decision at the time the loan was made with the information available at the time (both readily available and what they should have obtained.)
    If they made the right decision then that is all one can expect. If the loan subsequently went bad is irrelevant to this evaluation, other than as a learning experience.
    Similarly, whether TARP or stimulas worked as well as originally intended is somewhat irrelvant. It is like giving a transfusion to someone who arrives in the ER bleeding from an open wound then, when the unfortunate person dies, saying that the doctors were wrong to “waste” a pint of blood.
    What is relevant is what the choices were and the circumstances were at the time and what was done.