Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:50 pm

A few Tax Day thoughts on the teabaggers

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 10:50 pm
Tags: , , ,

No overarching conclusions about the group’s beliefs/motives here, but a few things have emerged from the primordial media ooze to gain purchase on the shifting sands of my awareness:

  • In general, I, too, worry about budget deficits. But, having not slept through Econ 101 (got a B, in fact), I understand that when consumer demand has collapsed and jobs are hemorrhaging, the government has to spend because no one else is going to. And it’s funny how so few of those NOW worried about deficits worried about them between 2001 and 2008.
  • One thing I don’t worry about is the notion that federal income taxes are unacceptably high by any recent historical standard, because they’re just not. On the other hand, a recent CBS/New York Times poll found, teabagger concern about those taxes appears to have been overblown by anecdotal media reports: “Most [Tea Party movement supporters polled] describe the amount they paid in taxes this year as ‘fair.’”
  • And, finally, although I’m willing to give teabaggers in general the benefit of the doubt on race issues, that doubt is significant all the same for this reason: that same poll found that:
  • 25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public.
  • They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people.

UPDATE: If the Christian Science Monitor is mocking you, you probably should just give up.

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38 Comments

  1. When Hollywood, George Soros, et al were backing Obama it was hailed as such a grass roots uprising. The fact is that the Tea Parties across the country are much more fragmented, and more grass roots than the Obama campaign ever was despite your refusal to acknowledge it.
    Secondly, you might have paid full attention in Econ 101, but you are probably the right age to have been fed all that Keynesian crap that has been mostly discredited since ,especially since you subscribe to the notion of massive government spending to “rescue” jobs. (Although the true facts show that the “Stimulus” has been used to fund existing government jobs, and grants for sham research that create no jobs.) Also all the folks who are up in arms over the deficit, were criticizing their own party for the Bush deficits, but rightly or wrongly accepted the defense portion as necessary. All the conservative talk radio hosts were blistering Bush as not being fiscally conservative enough.
    Well, well its OK for Obama to pronounce corpsmen as Corpsemen but if the Christian Science Monitor sees a sign misspelled, whatever your cause is must be foolish? What crap Lex.
    When a Harvard professor plays the race card, and Obama, without knowing any of the facts, claims the white officer acted stupidly and afterwards has to back down, that’s seems like adequate reason for some people to think that maybe the President shows some favoritism.
    When his Attorney General (who is black), refuses to prosecute people (also black) who were wielding baseball bats at a Philadelphia polling place, despite the recommendation of the attorneys in charge to prosecute, do you think that might not smack of favoritism?
    Next, citing a CBS/NYTimes poll regarding “teabaggers” is so lame. What does race have to do with this movement? A rigged question by a left wing network and newspaper designed to reinforce your already liberal prejudicial attitude toward the movement. Your use of the term “teabaggers” exposes you.
    If you do your research, you’ll find out that the RNC chairman is black, the NCGOP vice-chairman is black, and the favorite Tea Party speaker at the Raleigh Tea Party Thursday was Bill Randall who is also black and is running for Congress in the 13th congressional district, and I guarantee that if he can get past a crowded primary, the “teabaggers” will overwhelmingly favor him over Brad Miller regardless of race.

    Comment by Jon Firebaugh — Friday, April 16, 2010 11:27 pm @ 11:27 pm

  2. So, how’s the weather over there in Jonland? Because here in the real world:

    — The presidential campaign of a major-party nominee in no way comparable to a true grass-roots movement, and I don’t know of anyone in a responsible position who has ever claimed otherwise.

    — The stimulus plan worked. But don’t take my word for it, take the word of the director of the CBO: “CBO estimates that in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2009, ARRA added between 1.0 million and 2.1 million to the number of workers employed in the United States, and it increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by between 1.4 million and 3.0 million. Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers. CBO also estimates that real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) was 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent higher in the fourth quarter than would have been the case in the absence of ARRA.” That doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods, but it does show that the plan helped … and, by extension, that a bigger plan, with more spending and fewer tax credits, would have helped even more.)

    — If all the people who are so up in arms over the deficit today were ALSO so up in arms about the deficit back when Bush was in the White House and Republicans controlled Congress, they were AWFULLY quiet about it. I’m willing to give them a pass on the 2001 tax cuts, inasmuch as Alan Greenspan, who was still believed sane at the time, said we could afford it and 9/11 hadn’t happened yet. But Dick Cheney made very clear that the ’03 cuts, which we clearly couldn’t afford, were nothing but looting (“elections have consequences”). I also heard no complaints from Republicans (and far too few from Democrats) about both the amount we were spending on the unnecessary war in Iraq and the fact that it was being financed off-budget. Back during the S&L crisis, Howard Coble made a big deal about how he wasn’t going along with off-budget solutions, but he sure went along with this.

    — If in fact Obama mispronounced “corpsman,” it was a dumb thing to do. But if you want to start comparing the communications skills of Obama with his predecessor, you’re bringing a water pistol to a gun fight. As for CSM, people have died of solemnity while reading that publication. It is PAINFULLY sincere. So if it is actively mocking you, you probably need to reconsider your position.

    — Sure, Obama mishandled the Gates incident. But point to anything in his budgets, policy or appointments that shows an untoward favoritism toward any non-Caucasians. Go on. I’ll wait.

    — What does race have to do with the teabagger movement? The poll data speak for themselves. Why don’t you ask the people who Wendy Lavine heard shouting “nigger” in downtown Greensboro on Thursday. And, yes, I use the term “teabagger” in a derogatory fashion because the Dick Armeys of the world do not come to this issue with clean hands, because many of even the sincere adherents of the movement have said stupid things in public without educating themselves and because the whole notion of a “tea party” misreads the history of the Boston Tea Party, which was about taxation without representation, not whining because your particular group happens not to be in complete control at the moment.

    Finally, Jon, I’ve got a great deal of contempt for the IGMFY crowd. This contempt obviously makes you feel uncomfortable. You might want to ask yourself why.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, April 17, 2010 10:53 am @ 10:53 am

  3. Lex, your contempt is unbecoming. The whole concept of IGMFY is crazy to begin with. The greatest charity workers and charity donors are in your despised upper 5% of the weath distribution. These are the people who create jobs, create new businesses, create new weath. It’s not a zero-sum game, you know.

    These people were not born at the top. Most of them moved over their lives from another place (read The Millionare Next Door). The fact that few do make this move is more indicative of people’s general lack of guts and determination than any shortcoming on the part of the super successful person.

    You say the middle class has been abused? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, right? But what do you say about the big numbers that say that all people are living longer, with better health, with bigger and better houses, nicer cars, better food, better air and water quality, and lot’s more free time than they did back in those good old days you seem to pine for, when the middle class was king? Do you remember NC in the early 1970s? We were both there in the Piedmont. Just anecdotally we can see a huge difference. Do you really want to go back to The Betty Feezor Show and the Pinewood Derby, the Douglas Municipal Airport, and liquor by the drink? Our big times were going to The Hungry Fisherman or the Pineville Dinner Theater. Woo. I don’t think the middle class or lower class people in NC now would tolerate what we used to call a decent middle-class lifestyle back then. Back to health for a minute. Who even had a great-grandparent? My kids grew up knowing 3 of theirs, and one is still alive and kicking at 99. All 4 great grandmothers held my babies. Of the 8, only one great-grandfather was dead before my kids were born, and he was an alcoholic who died before I even met my husband. Something is right with the world when this is happening. I agree that there are problems, but as a whole we are moving forward in ways no one could even dream of. Let’s look on the bright side!

    Comment by Liz Reiman — Sunday, April 18, 2010 10:33 am @ 10:33 am

  4. Liz, I was a journalist, and a damn good one, for 25 years. As a journalist, I had to deal with the world as it is, not as I might wish it to be, or else at least one of the couple of hundred thousand people who saw my work every day would get in touch with me, or my boss, and let me know that I’d screwed up. That didn’t happen very often.

    Accordingly, I learned a lot about American myths. In this sense, a “myth” isn’t necessarily something made up or false. Rather, it’s a term for a story that people tell themselves about themselves in order to define their identity. Some American myths are true. Some were never true. Some were true for a long time but are no longer true, or are less true than they used to be. Divining the differences takes rational analysis; it’s no place for sentiment.

    So, with that background, some thoughts on your thoughts:

    — With respect to income distribution, yes, millionaires (and small-business owners in general) do create lots of jobs, etc. (More on that below.) But that’s not the issue. The issue is the increasing hoovering of wealth by a very tiny portion even of U.S. millionaires, and the fact that that process is not only continuing but accelerating. As of 2007, the bottom 50% of U.S. households held only 2.7% of all U.S. wealth, and given all that has happened since, that figure probably has shrunk even more. The success of our economic system is predicated on a prosperous middle class, but this process is shrinking the prosperous middle class.

    — One reason is that, for most American households, median income has declined since 1973, with only a brief period of income gain during the 1990s. The illusion of wealth you see around you was created with debt, and now most people are tapped out, which is why the recovery is going to take so much longer than past ones have and why government action to stimulate demand is so desperately needed.

    — Re social mobility: In the U.S., by objective measures it has declined dramatically, to near-U.K. levels, as OECD data show.

    — Re life expectancy: Gains in the U.S. have been concentrated among the wealthiest and best educated. And as obesity continues to increase, for some reasons that are within individuals’ control and some that are not, both health-care costs and life expectancy are going to go in the wrong direction. It’s delightful that your kids can know their great-grandparents, but anecdotes != data.

    Overall, things are not getting better. Right now, it is mathematically impossible for an average household with average income to cover average living expenses. Those that are covering expenses are spending a lot less than average, doing without some important things like health insurance, or both (and note that this hypothetical example did not include any spending on clothes); those that are not covering expenses are eating up savings and/or going into debt. That’s simply not sustainable. Remember March 2009, when everyone thought that, economically speaking, the world was coming to an end? Bankruptcies in March 2010 were up 19% from March 2009.

    And it’s going to get worse before it gets better. A ton of banks are still carrying a ton of assets that are worth at best 30% of book value, and try though both Bush and Obama administrations have to disguise that fact via twiddling with accounting rules, those discounts cannot be hidden forever.

    Hundreds of billions in commercial real estate debt is scheduled to mature in the next three years, and much of it will not be extendable/refinanceable because CRE book values are so inflated. This is going to have devastating ramifications because half of all CRE loans are originated by small banks (<$10B in assets), and half of all loans to small business (<50 employees) are originated by those same banks. And why is that bad? Because in the last two expansions, that sector created a third of net new jobs. Meanwhile, the big banks that have benefited from TARP have, contrary to the intent of that program, cut small-business lending for about the last 12 months in a row.

    Many more banks, commercial real estate firms and small businesses are going to go bust. Many more jobs are going to be lost. Many more people are going to lose their homes. It’s going to happen, and putting your fingers in your ears and saying, “Nyah, nyah-nyah-NYAH-nyah, I ca-an’t HEAR you” will not stop it.

    (Oh, and about the IGMFY crowd: It is not the people with the most money. It’s the people with any amount of money who continue to cling to the notion, despite all available evidence, that we’re not all in this together. That’s not just a cute socialistic notion, it’s how our highly evolved, interdependent global economy works.)

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, April 18, 2010 6:22 pm @ 6:22 pm

  5. Perhaps tis is somewhat off topic but it was burning a hole in my pocket , so here goes.

    Bernard Goldberg to Jon Stewart: “Get some guts. You are not as edgy as you think you are.”

    “Goldberg answers Jon Stewart’s slam of Fox News on the basis of hypocrisy by admitting “guilty as charged.” But then he turns the tables on Stewart a little and points out his slanted ‘reporting’:

    Goldberg enunciates what I, and probably many conservatives were thinking. He always goes after Fox News much more than the others. Sure he hits CNN and the rest, but when was the last time he really focused on the crap that’s spewed over at MSNBC, in the same passion as FNC? I bet if you did a measure of who he goes after the most, FNC would be far above the rest. And this is what makes him, (AND OTHERS LIKE HIM) overall intellectually dishonest.

    But he’s a liberal elite, so I guess we shouldn’t expect much more. “

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, April 20, 2010 2:26 am @ 2:26 am

  6. Lex, I just saw this in today’s Townhall.com, in a John Stossel column quoting Michael Medved. Last time I looked, Stossel was a journalist, and Medved was one of the most intelligent and articulate social commentators around. Lo and behold, he was singing my song:

    Medved added: “This is one of the biggest lies — the idea that because of capitalism, we’re all suffering. … Poor people in America today, people who are officially in poverty, have a higher standard of living in terms of medical standards, in terms of the chances of going to college, in terms of the way people live, than middle-class people did 30 years ago. It’s an extraordinary achievement of technology and of the profit sector.”

    Medved surely didn’t read my post you you the other day. What are the facts? You do cite a lot of statistics, but expert journalists are great at finding the ones that support their arguments.

    I need to look into this some more. When I saw that microwave oven in the cafeteria in middle school (ca. 1975) it was an interesting novelty. Now who do you know that doesn’t have one and use it 5 or 6 times a day? The debt issue is crushing us, but is Wal-Mart the enemy or the source of better living through multinational trade?

    Comment by Liz Reiman — Wednesday, April 21, 2010 4:07 pm @ 4:07 pm

  7. Liz, John Stossel is a corporate tool who was discredited long ago, and Michael Medved is a sanctimonious whiner.

    “You do cite a lot of statistics, but expert journalists are great at finding the ones that support their arguments.” What, next you’re going to argue that there’s no such thing as objective reality? Funny. I never figured you for a Foucaltian.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:14 pm @ 5:14 pm

    • Ya, that is my main argument with life these days: objective reality seems elusive as a concept. Obama says we should be thanking him for lowering our taxes, for example…

      Comment by Liz Reiman — Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:53 pm @ 9:53 pm

      • That’s only because he DID lower federal income taxes for roughly 95% of U.S. households. But, hey, who’s counting?

        Comment by Lex — Thursday, April 22, 2010 6:30 am @ 6:30 am

  8. Fred, you know how I feel about Bernie Goldberg: There’s no whore like an old whore.

    To address his point substantively, Goldberg’s line illustrates his utter lack of clue. Stewart does NOT think he is “edgy.” More to the point, Stewart on multiple occasions has expressed surprise and dismay that what he does could even be considered “journalism,” let alone journalism superior to that of established MSM outlets. If the MSM did its job, Stewart would be out of a job. And I think at this point he wouldn’t be as upset about that as one might think.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, April 21, 2010 5:18 pm @ 5:18 pm

  9. You responded: “The presidential campaign of a major-party nominee in no way comparable to a true grass-roots movement, and I don’t know of anyone in a responsible position who has ever claimed otherwise.”
    That’s a numbing statement considering that a Google search on “Obama grassroots presidential campaign” returned 764,000 hits including articles in major magazines and newspapers describing Obama’s campaign as a grassroots movement.

    Second your assertion that the CBO estimates are accurate are subject to question, as they are estimates only, and I stand by my statement that to date most of the stimulus has merely conserved public sector jobs.

    Thirdly you make a big deal of the Bush deficits, but I had already acknowledged that most of the true conservative commentators were blistering Bush over his budgets, so if you want a gold star take it, but you are wrong when you say that there was no uproar over the deficit, you just weren’t listening closely One of the most telling events was the passage of the so called prescription drug benefit where the Democrats wailed that the bill did not go far enough, but after its passage claimed that it cost too much. That’s true hypocrisy.

    Again, the assertion that if you are mocked by CSM you should reconsider your position is patently foolish. The CSM is not the anointed arbiter for the validity of any political position. As for Obama vs. Bush as a communicator, take another gold star.

    Next, I never insinuated that Obama made any policy, budgetary, or appointments based upon race preference. You interpreted my comments as that, but what I stated was that it would not be unlikely that Obama’s handling of the Gates incident, and Eric Holders refusal to prosecute the Philly poll thugs might smack of favoritism to some, and cause some to respond to a poll stating that belief.

    As for your continued worship of the CBS/NYTimes poll, be my guest, but your attempt to link racism with the opposition to Obama’s policies is a tired useless tactic, and the standard fall back stance to avoid the real issues.

    If IGMFY means what I think it means, and you are insinuating that I am part of that crowd, then you are severely mistaken, and totally off base. Your contempt for the IGMFY crowd doesn’t make me uncomfortable in the least. I probably share most of the same contempt. The difference is my definition of who fits in this crowd, and that would be the bureaucrats in City Hall, Raleigh, DC. And since we are enamored with polls,
    Rasmussen Today:

    Sixty percent (60%) of Democrats are optimistic about the nation’s current course, showing little change from last week. Thirty-three percent (33%) are not. Prior to the passage of the health care bill, Democrats were almost evenly divided on the question: 48% said the country was headed in the right direction, and 44% felt it was going down the wrong track.

    Eighty-eight percent (88%) of GOP voters and 66% of voters not affiliated with either major party continue to think the nation is heading down the wrong track. These findings, too, show little change from the previous survey.

    Sixty-one percent (61%) of all voters now say the nation is heading down the wrong track, down slightly from last week but just one point above the lowest level of pessimism measured since last October.

    Comment by Jon Firebaugh — Wednesday, April 21, 2010 11:54 pm @ 11:54 pm

  10. [That’s a numbing statement considering that a Google search on “Obama grassroots presidential campaign” returned 764,000 hits including articles in major magazines and newspapers describing Obama’s campaign as a grassroots movement.]

    And a Google search on “Jon douchebag” yields roughly 7.46 million hits. What’s your point? A major-party presidential campaign is not, by definition, a grass-roots campaign, whether the New York Times, say, calls it one or not, whether the phrase shows up in Google or not. A grass-roots campaign is one that always originates and frequently is led by someone not already in a position of professional/institutional power. Neither the Obama campaign nor the Tea Party movement qualifies, end of story.

    Second, while it may be true that the bulk of jobs preserved by the stimulus package were state/local govt. jobs — I want to see more data before concluding that — the fact remains that EVEN IF THAT IS TRUE, those jobs would have been GONE without the stimulus. The stimulus was big enough to preserve some existing jobs but not big enough to go beyond that to creating new jobs, public or private, to replace those that had been destroyed. Which is exactly what I and others said at the time it was enacted. If you have documentation for your claim that “the true facts show that the “Stimulus” has been used to fund existing government jobs, and grants for sham research that create no jobs” — i.e., that NO new, private-sector jobs have been created by the stimulus, via research or otherwise, and that, further, what research was funded was “sham” research — please provide a link. Otherwise, I’m calling BS.

    Third, please provide links to documentation that “true conservatives” WHOM PEOPLE HAD EVER HEARD OF were complaining loud and long about the size of the Bush deficits. Among Congressional Republicans, who are the ones with actual power to do anything about it, and prominent conservative pundits there was little or no complaining from anyone in the leadership. If, however, by “true conservatives,” you mean people like, well, me, then, yeah, true conservatives were complaining.

    The CSM point isn’t really substantive, but I did think it was funny. (It kind of reminded me of the character Stork in “Animal House,” the one about whom Boon says, “We always thought Stork was brain-damaged,” who has one line in the whole movie: “Well, what the hell we S’POSED to do, ya MOH-ron?” He says that and you think, oh, wow, that guy can talk?)

    [[what I stated was that it would not be unlikely that Obama’s handling of the Gates incident, and Eric Holders refusal to prosecute the Philly poll thugs might smack of favoritism to some, and cause some to respond to a poll stating that belief.]] And it sounds from your comment as if you agree with them. Do you?

    [[your attempt to link racism with the opposition to Obama’s policies is a tired useless tactic, and the standard fall back stance to avoid the real issues.]]

    Hardly; as anyone with a lick of sense can see from my other posts, I give full faith and credit to the “real issues,” which have to do primarily with manipulation of government by the Wall Street crowd at the expense of the rest of us. Federal taxation is not a real issue inasmuch as federal taxation for the overwhelming majority of Americans is at its lowest level in decades, and federal spending is not a “real issue” in the Tea Party context inasmuch as 1) most of the people screaming about it now were saying nothing when a Republican president and Congress were running up deficits and 2) contrary to your notion that Keynesian has been “discredited,” pretty much every reputable economist says it’s an unfortunate necessity under current circumstances. Moreover, the correlation between Tea Party supporters and racial attitudes does, in fact, provide some basis for believing that a significant number of supporter are motivated to some extent by race. Note all the “somes” in there — I’m not saying all or even most are, and I’m not saying that those who are motivated by race are motivated ONLY by race. But the data speak for themselves, the anecdotes illustrate what the data are telling us and after 50 years in the South, I damn well know a racist dog whistle when I hear it.

    IGMFY: “I’ve got mine; f— you.” It’s the attitude of people who persist in believing, against all the evidence and against the reality of the complex, interconnected global economy in which we live, that we’re not all in this together. It has nothing to do with whether you work in the private or public sector and has nothing to do with your income (although its existence in people with means is a little less forgivable than in people without.

    Finally, what’s your point about Rasmussen? Seriously; I’m coming up with six or seven possibilities but I can’t point to one and say, yeah, THAT’s what he meant. Thanks.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, April 22, 2010 2:27 pm @ 2:27 pm

  11. So you know a racist dog whistle when you hear one, huh ?

    Hey Lex, tell that crap to AlphonZO Rachel.
    Pay attention now and PLEASE watch as he rips the hate filled, mean spirited, biggoted NYT’s Chales Blow, and any one else preaching that meme,a new one. Blow was at the Dallas Tea Party and filled a stoty. Well Zo is blowing back hard.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 22, 2010 2:54 pm @ 2:54 pm

  12. Also, re the prescription drug benefit, I may be wrong, but I think the Democrats’ complaints were far less about the cost per se than 1) that the GOP used questionable (and, in one case, arguably illegal) tactics to get their majorities and 2) that it cost MORE THAN CONGRESS HAD BEEN TOLD IT WOULD COST.

    Examples: Then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay told retiring Rep. Nick Smith that he would endorse Smith’s son Brad in the GOP primary to succeed him if the elder Smith would vote for the bill. This is a clear example of the kind of quid pro quo that constitutes bribery, as even that report by the toothless House ethics subcommittee noted.

    Rep. Candace Miller, R-MI, illegally threatened the elder Smith that if he didn’t vote for the bill, she would not support his son if he were elected to Congress.

    The Republicans, after at first losing the vote 216-218, held the vote open for hours while “negotiations,” including the discussion involving the Smiths, went on. This is believed to have been the longest recorded vote in House history.

    Seven weeks after passing the Medicare bill at a purported cost of $400B over 10 years, the White House revealed that the cost actually would be about $535B. CNN reported: “Rick Foster, chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has said that then-agency chief Thomas Scully threatened his job if he answered questions from congressional Democrats about the cost of the bill before a series of key votes last summer.”

    (See also this article.)

    THAT was what people were mad about. So, please, don’t try to rewrite history.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, April 22, 2010 3:24 pm @ 3:24 pm

  13. Fred, who is Charles Blow and what does he have to do with anything we’re discussing here?

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, April 22, 2010 3:39 pm @ 3:39 pm

  14. Aw come Lex , you don’t know Charles Blow from the NY Times. He wrote a column about the Dallas, TX tea party.. Piece of crap which ZO responded to in the self explanatory video for those with a pulse. Hello !

    Thursday night I saw a political minstrel show devised for the entertainment of those on the rim of obliviousness and for those engaged in the subterfuge of intolerance. I was not amused.

    We are talking about Tea Parties, right ?

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 22, 2010 4:22 pm @ 4:22 pm

  15. Lex beware ! The Tea Party Militia is coming to get you. It wil be worse than the McCarthy era. Imternment camps are under construction. Well, that is , if you listen to this crazed moonbat who is a cross between Rev. Wright, Cynthia McKinney and Calypso Louie Farrakhan. She has , no doubt, been on the receiving end of government largess as CEO and Chief organizer of ACORN. How nice.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 22, 2010 5:10 pm @ 5:10 pm

  16. Nope, Fred, until you commented, I had not heard of Charles Blow, ever. Unlikely, I know, insamuch as I know everything Am Aware of All Internet Traditions(tm), but true nonetheless.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:04 pm @ 8:04 pm

  17. So whacha think about that Zo, huh? Ain’t he sumthing ? Did you watch his video reply to Blow ? Fail not !

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:21 pm @ 8:21 pm

  18. Uh, no, when you try to argue that there’s anything significant about Wilson-era Democrats being racist while pretending that that whole Southern Strategy/Southern Realignment thing never happened, it’s not just fail, it’s Epic Fail.

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:21 pm @ 9:21 pm

  19. Picky , picky , picky. Er, no Lex. Zo gave you and blow ass kicking cuz your fulminations are almost indistinguishable from Blow’s, a guy you never heard off. Must be cosmic. Forget the history. I forgive Robert Byrd. But your doctinaire GOP/Bush hating regarding Part D is really tiresome.

    Throw that drum away and get yourself another one.

    We all know you are a Republcan so with that in mind I will expect to be you cheering this expose’ of the Democrat’s and left wing coo coo buns strategy to discredit tne Tea Parties .

    v=x12gzO42QDg

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:45 pm @ 10:45 pm

  20. Omitted/broken link from prevous comment

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:51 pm @ 10:51 pm

  21. Take the ledger off the shelf, Lex, and enshrine D.C Douglas as a now jobless turd who left a hateful message on the FreedomWorks amswering machine .

    Goodbye Lance Baxter aka D.C.Douglas, fired by Geico and added to the dismal ranks of the unemployed

    Maybe the White House will save his job. Bets anyone ?

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:13 pm @ 11:13 pm

  22. That’s only because he DID lower federal income taxes for roughly 95% of U.S. households. But, hey, who’s counting?

    Comment by Lex — Thursday, April 22, 2010 6:30 am @ 6:30 am

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/recovery/tax-saving-tool

    That clears things up… good Lord save us!

    Lex, did you buy a house to get the $8,000 or update your energy efficiency to get the $1,500? Did you get some tax benefit from the healthcare bill already? This document cites the healthcare bill as a source for federal income tax savings in 2009, but I don’t get that at all. The bill wasn’t even signed until 2010!

    Comment by Liz Reiman — Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:36 pm @ 11:36 pm

  23. no, here it is. the above was the tool that showed me I was only eligible for up to $1,500 for energy-efficiency updates to my home (30% of what I spent up to $1,500 – meaning I would have spent less than $5,000. What can you get for that? New insulation was way more than that).

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/04/13/health-reform-and-recovery-act-unprecedented-tax-cuts-middle-class

    Comment by Liz Reiman — Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:44 pm @ 11:44 pm

  24. Liz, you said Obama said we should be thanking him for lowering taxes. He said no such thing, but the fact is that his first budget CUT THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX RATE for about 95% of U.S. households. All that other stuff, if you qualify for it, is just gravy.

    Comment by Lex — Friday, April 23, 2010 6:31 am @ 6:31 am

  25. The title of this post was about Tea Parties , right ? Okay.

    hate accusers should watch their words.

    Are you listening SPLC ?

    (Excuse the lenght of the quote but the examiners articles are almost inpossible to link with any assurance that when posted it won’t break)

    “There’s a new narrative taking hold in the wake of the recent Tea Party protests and the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing: The Tea Partiers’ intense opposition to the Obama administration has led to overheated political rhetoric, which could in turn lead to violence, perhaps as devastating as Oklahoma City.

    Former President Clinton is the leading voice of this new narrative. In newspaper interviews, television appearances and a widely discussed speech Friday, Clinton said it’s “legitimate” to draw “parallels to the time running up to Oklahoma City and a lot of the political discord that exists in our country today.”

    “Watch your words,” warned ABC News, reporting that Clinton “weighed in on the angry anti-government rhetoric, ringing out from talk radio to Tea Party rallies.”

    The reports dovetailed with earlier media stories depicting Tea Party gatherings as angry mobs, accusing protesters of throwing racial epithets at black lawmakers and of making threats of violence. The implication was that all this could be part of a nationwide trend. “Just this month, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that it had tracked an explosion in extremist anti-government patriot groups fueled, in large part, by anger over the economy and Barack Obama’s presidency,” NBC’s David Gregory said on “Meet the Press” in early April. “In this highly charged political atmosphere, where you’ve got so much passion, so much disagreement, this takes it, of course, to a different level.”

    How did this story line grow? Many of the claims that extremism is on the rise in America originate in research done by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based group that for nearly 40 years has tracked what it says is the growing threat of intolerance in the United States. These days the SPLC is issuing new warnings of new threats. But today’s warnings sound an awful lot like those of the past.

    In 1989, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of skinheads, saying, “Not since the height of Klan activity during the civil rights era has there been a white supremacist group so obsessed with violence. …”

    In 1992, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of other white supremacist groups, which it claimed had grown by 27 percent from the year before.

    In 1995, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of right-wing militias.

    In 1998, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of Internet-based hate groups, which according to one press account had “created the biggest surge in hate in America in years.”

    In 1999, the SPLC warned that the growing threat of Web-based hate groups was growing even more, with a 60 percent increase from the year before.

    In 2002, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of post-Sept. 11 hate groups, which it said had grown 12 percent between 2000 and 2001.

    In 2004, the SPLC warned (again) of the growing threat of skinhead groups, whose numbers it said had doubled in the previous year.

    In 2008, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of hate groups overall, whose number it said increased 48 percent since 2000.

    And in 2010, just a few weeks ago, the SPLC warned of the growing threat of “patriot” groups, which it said increased by 244 percent in 2009.

    In the world of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the threat is always growing. Ronald Reagan’s policies led to a growing threat. The first Gulf War led to a growing threat. The election of Bill Clinton led to a growing threat. The Internet led to a growing threat. Sept. 11 led to a growing threat. The war in Iraq led to a growing threat. Is it any wonder that Obama’s presidency has, in the SPLC’s estimation, led to a growing threat?

    Hate groups do exist across the political spectrum, and have for a long time. But they have nothing to do with the expressions of frustration over deficits, taxes and Obamacare that we have heard at so many Tea Party gatherings. That frustration, felt by Republicans, independents and even some Democrats, is an entirely mainstream reaction to the sharply activist course the president and congressional leadership have taken. While the level of frustration is indeed a threat, it is a political threat. Ask Democrats running in this November’s elections.

    It’s important to distinguish between a political threat and a physical one. As Clinton might say, the hate accusers should watch their words.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, April 23, 2010 5:04 pm @ 5:04 pm

  26. Yes, it is. Because possible overstatements by the SPLC are the EXACT MORAL EQUIVALENT of eliminationist rhetoric, specific death threats and actual right-wing homicides.

    C’mon, Fred, at least try.

    Comment by Lex — Friday, April 23, 2010 5:51 pm @ 5:51 pm

  27. England’s King Edward I, the “Longshanks,” would agree with Clinton on “demonizing” government

    “Former President Bill Clinton is warning anybody who will listen that a new wave of domestic terrorism is right around the corner, not because of al Qaeda or some other radical Islamist group seeking the destruction of “the Great Satan,” but as a result of the Tea Partiers.

    There is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws,” Clinton said.

    That may sound like a tenuous argument – millions of Americans take to the streets to protest high taxes, exploding federal spending, taxpayer-funded bailouts of failing companies, and a government takeover of health care, so a few demented nut jobs are going to blow-up another federal building – but it’s not a new argument.

    Clinton himself has made it in the past, especially 15 years ago in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 men, women and children.

    But powerful people in government have been making that argument literally for centuries.

    Take England’s King Edward I, aka “the Longshanks” of “Braveheart” cinematic fame. It wasn’t just William Wallace and the Scots who made Longshanks uncomfortable; he also took very unkindly to criticism from his own subjects. So much so, in fact, that he manipulated what in 1275 passed for the English Parliament to approve Westminster I, a re-codification of basic English law.

    President Reagan did away with the Fairness Doctrine, which led to the explosion of Talk Radio and the flowering of hundreds of independent opinion-makers. But more recently, liberals like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Diane Feinstein are talking about reviving the Fairness Doctrine or some form of it. Not coincidentally, Pelosi and Feinstein are often subjected to criticism on talk radio.

    So Clinton’s argument that criticism of government by peaceful citizens participating in Tea Party demonstrations leads to domestic terrorism like the Oklahoma City bombing really is nothing new. Monarchs and others in government have been using that line to silence their critics for hundreds of years.

    Nothing new under the sun, right? ”

    Why don’t you stick to your burning Bush at the stake as a war criminal nonsense, cuz you are off base on this movement. We are talking Tea Party and the murders they have precipitated , huh ? Which are at last count ..ZERO !!

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, April 23, 2010 6:36 pm @ 6:36 pm

  28. As I have said before, Fred, I think the movement has many sincere, if misguided, adherents. But I also think it is being led by people who are not sincere and do not have the best interests of the country at heart, that it has attracted (in addition to the sincere) some who are not only insincere but also dangerous, and that the quality of the movement’s rhetoric is pushing the country in a dangerous direction.

    And the people it is being led by are politically aligned with people who are committing actual violence. That’s just a fact.

    And I only wish the notion that a former president of the United States is a war criminal were nonsense. But it isn’t. And the current president is fast following in his tracks.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, April 24, 2010 12:21 am @ 12:21 am

  29. Well , Lex, it seems you have no where else to turn. Huey Long is deader than Kelsey’s nuts.

    BTW Mr. Moral Superiorty name those in the throngs or paricularly leaders who promoted this true grass roots movement who are insincere and do not have the best intersts of the country at heart. Your generalizations are pathetic and shameful. Please excuse me while I throw up. I asked you to name one homocide traceable to the Tea Parties.. you can’t. ” Led by people who are committing violence ” Name ONE PLEASE ! You can’t. So as you have intoned in the past to folks with whom you disagree and can not tolerate .. no I won’t say that but the equivilent .. Zip It.. You used the word dangerous irresponsibly twice in on sentence. You are more than misguided .. disruptive is not even discriptive but nobody is listening. Sorry.. Being pushed it the wrong direction ..exactly. It’s a new day and I want my country back. Can you hear me !!!
    Remember this ?

    Dissent Is the Highest Form of Patriotism (Except When Democrats Run the Show and the Dissent is Aimed at Them)

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, April 24, 2010 1:10 am @ 1:10 am

  30. [[BTW Mr. Moral Superiorty name those in the throngs or paricularly leaders who promoted this true grass roots movement who are insincere and do not have the best intersts of the country at heart.]]

    Dick Armey. Game, set, match. And I have never claimed the movement is “led by people who are committing violence.” Please read.

    Sorry about your emesis. Perhaps it was something you ate.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, April 24, 2010 11:34 am @ 11:34 am

  31. You come up empty handed again, Lex. You got more stretch in your overheated, accusatory and dead wrong rhetoric that a spandex girdle.

    “And the people it is being led by are politically aligned with people who are committing actual violence. That’s just a fact”.. Lex ( I know somebody wwho knows somebody who… Sheesh.)

    Did one of Dick Armey’s army fire a bulet at Eric Cantor’s office window? Did Dick Armey’s union thugs beat a black conservative at a town hall in St, Louis.? Did his protestors beat, seriously injure and hospitalize an innocent young people in NOLA?

    Please stick to defrocking the Pope, Impeaching Obama and removing the Chief Justice of the SCOTUS. BTW good luck on the second one.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, April 24, 2010 2:03 pm @ 2:03 pm

  32. Fred, those goalposts were just fine where they were so put them back, please.

    “And the people it is being led by are politically aligned with people who are committing actual violence. That’s just a fact.” By that I mean that, as we’ve discussed before, it is the people on the Right, not the Left, who are doing the actual killing these days. I’m not arguing that the Tea Party itself is responsible for the killings, but that it is those whose political sympathies they share, and not their political opponents, who are doing the killing. That . I’m drawing a distinction between Left and Right.

    You asked me to name someone who was insincere and did not have the country’s best interests at heart, so I named Dick Armey. You did not ask me to name someone who had shot out somebody’s window or beat a black conservative in St. Louis.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, April 24, 2010 3:03 pm @ 3:03 pm

  33. Lex.. stop pretending, exagerating and playing semantical gymnastics. I named three very recent specific incidents involving violent acts commited against conservatives (by all apearances by left fringe) and chalenged you to name one by anyone incited by Tea Parties or the ” Leaders ” . In fact Freedom Works (which you probably think has no right to exist , I’ll bet ) received a threatening call which led to the firing of a personality associated with an insurance company

    Let’s see now, who is leading groups with hate speech to violence. Well in this case it appears to be a prestigious university.

    University Lumps Tea Parties in With Nazis”:

    “This is NOT a parody. It’s not a poster put up by some kooky student or lone Left-Wing agitator. This is an official poster for an official, school-sponsored symposium at Brandeis University.

    The symposium will be a look at the American Right from a ‘neo-Nazi’ perspective. And when Brandeis says ‘Neo-Nazis,’ they mean ‘tea partiers.’ ”

    From Michael Graham with copy of the University’s website before the swastika was scrubbed:

    I Wonder If Brandeis Has Invited Nancy Pelosi To Speak At This Event?

    “It will be fascinating to listen to Brandeis faculty members trying to link the Tea Party to political violence when, just months ago, they hosted actual terrorist bomber William Ayers to campus. In fact, Brandeis students participated in violence at the behest of Ayers and killed a cop.

    But for liberals like the Brandeis faculty, actual violence by the Left isn’t as dangerous as potential violence from the Right.”

    The National Socialist movement in pre war Germany is a fascinating subject. I waded through William L. Shier’s monumental work on that era, The Rise and fall of the Third Reich. But to equate it with Tea Party is tawdry intellectual bankruptcy. Shame on those who try that bullshit for they shall be called bullshiters.

    Oh and Lex, left wingers like to trot out James W. von Brunn’s shooting at the Holocaust Museum as an example of right wing violence ignoring the possibility that the
    Weekly Standard may have been his target

    “FBI agents visited the offices of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine yesterday after a shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum and told employees they’d found the magazine’s address

    The suggestion that the Standard may have been a target complicates any view of the racist shooter in contemporary left-right terms. Von Brunn’s white supremacist roots put him under the rubric of a “right-wing extremist,” but the substance of his views — which included everything from believing that President Bush may have been in on the September 11 attacks to denying that President Obama is an American citizen — are too far on the fringe to fit into conventional political classification.

    The focus on the Standard, though, appears to be of a piece with his central motivation: Anti-Semitism. In one essay, Von Brunn attacked “JEWS-NEOCONS-BILL O’REILLY,” and the suggestion that neoconservatism is a specifically Jewish conspiracy is common on the racist fringe.”

    Evertything thus far ( von Brunn died recently ) points to the fact that he was a jew hating 9/11 truther. So Lex put that red herring prop back in your little closet of horrors. Had zero to do with the Tea Parties. Yikes … such desperation.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, April 24, 2010 4:41 pm @ 4:41 pm

  34. So I looked at the original material indicated by Fox, and I think that Fox, unsurprisingly, is making way too much of it.

    Fred, you simply cannot point to anything anywhere I’ve said, here or anywhere else, and claim that I said that the Tea Party movement had killed anyone. That’s because I’ve never said it, not least because, insofar as I know, it isn’t true. What I HAVE said, and will continue to say, is that the Tea Party is predominantly right-wing in outlook and that, as I’ve said before, the right wing is where the overwhelming majority of both violent political rhetoric and violent political action in the U.S. are coming from these days.

    As for von Brunn, his plans, if any, to attack the WS complicate but do not change the fact that he was a right-wing nut. All that’s necessary to understand what you consider an apparent contradiction is to understand that neoconservativism, of which the WS is the official mouthpiece, is believed by the neo-Nazi fringe to be a specifically Jewish movement.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, April 24, 2010 9:22 pm @ 9:22 pm

  35. Oh for heavens sake let’s not “complicate” your orthodoxy. James von Brunn was taking orders from secret code from Crawford, TX.

    Meanwhile in AZ “non-Violent” pro-amnesty protestors pelt police with water bottles.
    Guess that’s scaled down from the terror in the streets at the WTO in Seattle.

    Shucks if it had only been one of those right wing, Nazi, racists Tea Party neanderthals then the story would have gone viral in the MSM

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, April 24, 2010 9:57 pm @ 9:57 pm

  36. “Antiwar” rallies are more violent than tea-party ones.

    “Of course no one but a skilled practitioner of paralepsis would suggest that the “antiwar” movement was composed of potential Timothy McVeighs. Yet everyone from left-wing bloggers to a certain former president has advanced that claim about the tea-party movement.

    Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity has an amusing video rebuttal of the by-now-tired racism charge. The video-makers politely confront some counterprotesters at a tax-day tea-party rally, holding a white sheet bearing the message DEFEND OBAMA: OUTLAW WHITE SUPREMACY”

    Yeah but this counterprotestor can’t point out one Confederate flag that he said he saw. Then utters a robotic talking point .. “more so the leadership “. What a maroon !

    Finis

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, April 25, 2010 9:16 pm @ 9:16 pm


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