Thursday, April 08, 2010

Extremism in the Defence of Librium

It's been one of those weeks. I am torn as to how to interpret recent political events. On the one hand the latent threats of violence and intimidation that underlies the actions and speech of the Tea Party crowd is enough to make any clear-thinking person seriously alarmed about the direction the lunatic fringe of American politics seems to be headed. On the other hand, these people are just so damned funny! We're talking Ambivalence City here! Part of me wishes them to go away and the other part would mourn their loss if they ever did. Let's face it: These assholes are the best thing to happen to progressive politics in this country since Eleanor Roosevelt.

"Don't retreat. RELOAD!"

Sarah Palin

You see what I'm talking about? They're a hoot!....sort of. On the more ominous side are the latest threats against the lives of Senator Patty Murray and Congressman
John Lewis - both Democrats. Back in the day, it was frustrating being a Progressive in this silly country. Now it's starting to get downright dangerous. One GOP operative the other day suggested that Democrats should be afraid to leave their houses. Isn't that sweet? And as I predicted would happen on this site not two months ago, the Republican party, which initially embraced the Tea Partiers, is now desperately trying to distance themselves from this nutty movement. Try as they might, though, they can't - but it sure is a funny thing to behold! The "party of Abraham Lincoln" and the so-called "Tea Party" are now inexorably linked in the public's mind. This is going to hurt them badly come Election Day. Intelligent Americans are becoming disgusted with the mindless extremism. Isn't life wonderful?

Take Michele Bachmann.....Please. She recently implied that the whole purpose of the census was so the government will know where the best places to set up internment camps will be. I realize that this silly woman has the IQ of your average hummingbird, but surely she must know that that statement is complete and utter bullshit. What does that tell you about her? It tells me more than I need to know. If there has been a more despicable American demagogue in my lifetime I am not aware of it. You have to go all the way back to Joe McCarthy to find anyone comparable. In October of 2008, in an appearance on the Chris Matthews program, she stated (with a straight face, I swear) that all Democratic members of the House and Senate should be investigated for their "anti-Americanism". I'm not makin' this stuff up, folks. It makes one wonder if she's ever given the Constitution even a passing glance.


You gave us Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, Garrison Keillor and Eugene McCarthy. Is this half-witted, hideous twit the best you can do? Seriously.

The question needs to be posed but, thus far, few are willing to pose it: When and where will the first act of extreme violence be carried out? Don't kid yourselves into thinking that it won't happen. It will happen and soon. The encouragement by these "responsible" legislators and commentators virtually guarantees as much. For months they have been egging on their mindless masses and it's only a matter of time before one of them goes even further over the edge or reason - if that is even possible.

Am I being just a tad paranoid? You be the judge. Just last week Sean Hannity was addressing an auditorium filled with right wing zombies at the Reagan Library in California. When he referred to the gathering as "Tim McVeigh wannabes", instead of being greeted with uncomfortable silence he was applauded! Count on it - someone will soon cross the line into extreme violence. That "great American patriot" Ronald Reagan, in his inaugural address nearly thirty years ago, told his clueless, fellow countrymen and women that government wasn't the answer, government was the problem. That has been the mantra for these assholes ever since. Keep repeating that mantra:


Keep it up! Eve
ntually you'll believe it. Ask yourself this question: At a time when our population has exceeded the quarter-of-a-billion mark, is it really a particularly good idea to shrink the size of the government? Call me an old fussbudget, but it would seem to me that if two-hundred and fifty-million people need anything, it is efficient governance. One-hundred years ago, there was an organization of crackpots who were bent on doing away with all government. One of them was even able to murder a president of the United States (William McKinley). Back then they were called "Anarchists". Today we call them the "Tea Party". The more things change, the more they stay the same. Go figure.

The propaganda campaign on the part of the American plutocracy has truly been impressive. As of this writing we still live in a democracy (technically speaking, that is). They still need a majority on Election Day in order to seize the reigns of power. In an effort to do this they have somehow managed to convince a fairly large segment of the population that the economic mess we now find ourselves in is the fault of the president of the United states and a cabal of Liberal politicians that don't even exist any longer. As far as these foolish people are concerned, the recklessness of the Bush years - lowering taxes (particularly on the wealthy) while fighting two separate wars; handing over our debt to China - never even happened. The fact that the economy is slowly but surely improving is irrelevant to them. This Socialist president and his Liberal allies, within Congress and without, are out to destroy the United States of America. I learned a long time ago never to underestimate the stupidity of the American people. A people who would twice cheerfully send a incurious jackass like George W. Bush to the White House are capable of just about anything. Isn't life strange?

Here is the sad truth that EVERYBODY is ignoring....

We are standing on the edge of an economic cataclysm and there is only one way out. It will
involve taxes - a decade or more of serious taxation. The politicians won't tell you that but that is the way it is, folks. Unlike the last forty years, however, there is no reason why the poor and middle class should have to bear the burden of getting us out of the the hole that the uber rich dug us into.

Once upon a time there existed a class of people who were SO FILTHY RICH that they lived in a ninety percent tax bracket. In other words, they kept ten percent of their income, handing over the rest to the federal government. It wasn't as much of a sacrifice as you might think. They still had more money than they knew what to do with - they only had ninety percent less of it. That situation has not existed in this country for a long time. But it will exist again - count on it. I'll be very blunt with you: Our very economic survival depends on us "soaking the rich" if you will. The last thirty years was their party and you and I were not invited. It's time for them to pay the piper - not us. This is not class warfare, nor is it revolutionary thinking on my part. That is what is known as good old fashioned common sense.

Knowing all this as I do, it is a laugh riot for me watching these Tea Party jackasses at any given event. They have been brainwashed by the plutocracy into doing th
eir bidding and they're doing it quite handily. And remember, contrary to what their leaders would have you believe, this was not a "grass roots" movement. It was created, promoted and, in some cases, financed by Rupert Murdich's FOX Noise. Watching them protest the "evil Liberals" and knowing that the median income of these idiots is probably around thirty-five-thousand per year - if that - is enough to send me into gales of uncontrollable laughter. I'd really miss them if they were gone. Honestly I would.

We sure do live in interesting times. I remember when I was a kid thinking that Watergate was mountaintop of weird politics. It wasn't even close. Strange days indeed.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


Fear and Loa
thing on the Campaign Trail '72
by Hunter S. Thompson

The funniest book ever written about the American political/campaign process. I sure do miss you, Dr. Gonzo. Have you finally found the peace that eluded you your entire life? I hope you have.


A writer on CHICAGO NOW just wrote a review of the above piece yesterday morning. It's a prefect illustration of how the right wing operates. He calls me, "emblematic of the essential anti-Americanness of the Left in this country." How's that for prose? It sounds like he attended the Michelle Malkin School of Writing, doesn't it? This fellow wasn't content merely to quote me grossly out of context. No, he had to make things up! Did I say that I wished anyone to be killed in this piece? Did I even vaguely imply it? That's what this silly person says! He refused to provide a link to this site so his readers could make up their own minds. Oh, but I'm providing a link to his! Please, reread what I wrote above then read his review. It is an absolute scream! Here's a link:

Seriously, it must be seen to be believed.


At 7:11 AM, Blogger Steve Gravano said...

What an the poor hummingbird.

At 8:18 AM, Blogger JUDI M. said...

Great post, as usual. It amazes me that I have relatives (lots of 'em) that believe this crap........I must be adopted!

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I hope when the violence comes that it is small and isolated, and that it causes people and politicians to wake up. As far as taxes, we know they are needed, but does anyone have the cajones to make it happen?

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Beulah said...

It is sad that it appears many people in the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement do not understand history. Extremists are nothing new.

However, what is new (and I pray for his safety every day) is that we have an African American president. I agree with Wanda Sykes that the underlying cause to all this vitriol, which is now spilling over to other Democrats, is because of Presdient Obama's race.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...

Excellent points. Unfortunately I do not believe there is enough pain to really force our citizenry to really sit down and figure out what we really want from ourselves, each other and our government.
No one wants to pay more in taxes, and yet there is no talk of drawing down our military arsenal.
No one want to build more prisons and yet if more money is needed for head start or after school programs the response is consistently that we don't have enough money.
And if you really want something to think about, listen to this story on NPR:
Basically, these elders of our society have decided to take their ball and play somewhere else. Not to mention the town has a completely fabricated history, complete with fabricated rail lines and lighthouses.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, another very thoughtful and insightful article.

I have managed to live 68 years peacefully and avoiding violence, yet I know that given the anger and mentality (?) of this group, violence will happen. To that end, I am beginning to think that liberals should also arm themselves and be prepared to fight back. I have never owned a gun, I have never wanted a gun, but the time has come. Like the school yard bully, violence will have to be met with violence. That is the only thing they will understand.

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Alex Merovan said...

I have always known deep down that affluent white people/ American Dreamers slopping down on American Pie, and all those who think they can be would get really pissed off and do something when the credit all dried up and the Toyota's began breaking down. This of course would include the bling folks and NASCAR rednecks who drive $500 a month Escalade's with rims and are one paycheck away from oblivion.

Of course in reality there is no dream or pie to get. A $500 car payment is modern slavery as is a $1500 house payment. It is all as we Dharma bums say, an illusion.

I am an American that has one good meal a day, rides a bicycle, and is over 250K in debt and I am a slave. The credit monkey's call me everyday and I talk to them. I am not hiding, I will take my medicine for choosing slavery. I had one young credit caller lady on the phone yesterday in tears, she handed me off to her supervisor and I had him in tears. For we are all slaves, right, left, Jew, Catholic, Moslem, rich and poor. Yes, Freedom ain't free. A new way of looking at that phrase.

Wage slaves and Teabuggers unite, start a war ho hum, but do not count of me in the fight for I am not that dumb.

There is another way of looking at the world.

Alex Merovan

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Opinionated Gifts said...

In the words of the fake Ed McMahon, "You are correct, sir"

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Rain said...

You are right on as usual. I have a post set to go in four days reminding people what life was like before a lot of the government programs were in place. It's a joke to think people can go back but stupid to think they'd want to go back. I think Bachmann must be mentally off if she believes what she says. She would not be the first demagogue who was...

At 11:18 AM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...

She's not off, but like Palin, looking for the payday. In their minds if the masses don't get their payday oh well. It just shows just how deserving of their corporate paycheck they really are.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger yatesh said...

Minnesota also recently elected Keith Ellison, Al Franken, and Amy Klobuchar to Washington. I think most people would describe them as "the best" that we can do.

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Bill said...

You call tea party members crackpots and mindless because they do not agree with you? You are being dismissive and ignorant. This is a much larger movement than you care to recognize.

I know status quo is easy, and change can be hard (sardonic tone intended), but pretending it is not coming like a five year old with his hands over his ears and his eyes closed going "LA LA LA" shows lack of reason.

The government has grown into a 1,000 lb lump who cannot control his appetite, cannot support himself, and cannot even get out of bed so he must soil himself. And you want to keep throwing Snickers bars at him and wiping his ass?

Personally, come November I'm calling in Richard Simmons and Jenny Craig.

"Love and Peace" - Bill

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Bill in DE said...

When you mention the Teabaggers, don't forget their true 'forefathers', the Know Nothings.

It's easy to make the link between Michelle Bachman and Sara Palin, but while both of them are limited in their 'thinking', Bachman is True Believer, whereas Palin seems to be in it for the money.

The sad part of all of this Rightwing hysteria is that it is inevitably going to culminate in some kind of tragedy before anything positive will happen.

Our one hope is that we have a reasonably mature and thoughtful leadership when that happens, instead of what we had on 9/11.

The GOP has cultivated and catered to the kind of ignorance embodied by the Teabagger Party for a long time, and now they're reaping the reward. It took their all-out no holds barred opposition to the Healthcare Bill to paint themselves into this corner that they now can't get themselves out of.

Having gone so far out on a limb to demonize the Democrats and the Bill, they have no way of ratcheting back their position without having the Teabaggers turn on them, and they lost the moderate mainstream portion of their party along the way to being so extreme.

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

The party of 'NO' opened their own version of Pandora's box and released all the evils of the ignorant.

Yes, I do believe that another American tragedy is coming. I just hope it isn't an assassination of another one of our Presidents, but fear it will be.

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


You state aloud what the rest of us mere mortals only dare to think. A tip of the hat to you.


Tom Degan

PS - I hope your tooth is better!

At 7:05 PM, Blogger PCS said...

Agreed, Palin and Bachmann are not the brightest bulbs. But what does this say about their supporters?

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous cyndie said...

You should go live somewhere else if you do not love America and the constitution that it was built on. You should also get a job and support yourself instead of sponging off all the hardworking tax-paying citizens and military that protects the ungrateful citizens like yourselves. Maybe you need to look back at history. It is very clear that you have a room temperature IQ if you swallow everything this guy is saying. why is everyone so hell bent on becoming a socialist government? Why do you need others to take care of your needs that you are too lazy to take care of on your own? This is the land of opportunity. Instead of whining about the rich people, why not get off your pity pot and make something of yourself (without having the gov do it for you). Stupack was threatened by the way from his own Democratic party leaders.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...


At 9:11 PM, Blogger tnlib said...

I'm gonna keep the faith, babies.
These yahoos are doing more harm to the Republicans than the Progressives ever could. And the GOP keeps shooting themselves in the arse.

We still have to work and we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent but we've got 'em and they know it.

At 3:19 AM, Blogger Germanicus said...

I couldn't believe that he actually used the phrase "Tim McVeigh wannabes" without igniting a firestorm. I was so utterly stunned when I read it that I googled it and then watched the segment. I had to sit through 8 minutes of that smug asshole, but yes ladies and gentlemen, Sean Hannity FONDLY referred to his audience as "Tim McVeigh wannabes".

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Sigh indeed. Thank you for that one Cyndie. That was truly a gem.

Here is a note from a woman named Donna Donaldson that was posted on my Facebook page. It is worth a read:

I suppose it wouldn't be possible to give Bachmann and others of her ilk a remote location (like Wyoming?) and allow the to see just how unfeasible their idea of how to "ungovern" and still function is? It would be amusing to watch them pick one another off as they argue, "reload" and wrestle for supremacy.Palin, Newt, and similar ex-politicos and the ranting mouths that egg them on (Beck, Rush, Hannity, etc.) could all go there and create their own hell on earth. No government handouts! Nobody wresting their 2nd amendment-guaranteed arms from their cold, dead hands! And we could get on with the business of democracy sans the freaks.

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hicks with guns - just what American needs more of...

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, you are so very's difficult to even begin to point out the untruths in your post. I'll begin by saying I actually was there for the 3/20 protest. There were NO racial slurs, there was NO's all a big lie. And the fact that multiple perspectives have been presented via video/audio that support my claims, the left continues this fable for political points. What a very sad, pathetic attempt to throw the race card around. As a woman of color and a survivor of domestic violence I am sickened by the desperate attemps of the liberal pundits to paint the tea party movement as racist and hateful ...Shame on politicains and media/pundits that use these horrific allegations to smear those who disagree with their agenda. There has however been documented violence towards a black, wheel chair bound tea party protester by a union thug...caught on video and backed by hospital ER records. Where is your outrage?
Please take some time to check yourself. I believe you can see the truth, now I hope you can write/speak it.
Mary Jeanette,RN, NP
Tea Party activist
New Jersey

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Mary, you sound like a smart woman. You said, "it's difficult to even begin to point out the untruths in your post."

Please do. I am not trying to be a wise guy. I am serious.

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

To Mary Jeanette (Teabagger):

Teabaggers: giving "patriotism" a bad name

At 1:38 PM, Blogger PCS said...

Cyndi, how is wanting to help those who are less fortunate than others unpatriotic. Do you think all of us liberals are on the "dole"? I for one pay plenty of taxes and I'd rather that money go to help someone get health insurance than to drop bombs on dusty villages in Afghanistan.

As for Mary Jeanette, I assume the link above is to the video showing the spitting incident. I also assume you will not believe your own eyes. Further, I assume, that like most members of the Tea Party, you are a low information citizen and cannot even explain what the Tea Party actually wants.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger PCS said...

Ok, it wasn't the "spitting video" linked above. But here it is. Watch closely at 1:24. Also notice the sea of white faces raging against a group of black politicians.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

The march of time doesn't guarantee change (I know the GOP & Teabaggers hate that word):

Tracing the roots of the Teabaggers

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Gotta love Ben Franklin: the man epitomises and distils the very nature of prescience:

"He that won't be counseled can't be helped." -- Benjamin Franklin (describing the Teabaggers)

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave said:

My comment is directed, in large part, to "Mary Jeanette,RN, NP".

You say "Tom, you are so very misguided". Mary--I have been reading Tom, fairly regularly since his input at "Aternet"-years ago and rather than Tom being "misguided" as you say, I think he is generally spot on--as is the case with his post on this occasion. He is an astute thinker and an excellent writer.

This gaggle known as the "teabaggers" has the potential to cause real harm--possible harm of major proportions, as Tom points out. If they would just be a dissruption for the repulicans--that would be fine but it is not likly to stay confined to that role.

The teabaggers are being egged on by the agitators--the becks, the bachmans, the hannitys etc. Can you not see that these people are fanning the "teabaggers" unrest/anger/disafection, whatever, to the extent that it will almost certainly explode. I hope the devastation caused when it does happen is minimal--but it may be really terible.

I listened to Hannity's radio show, a few days ago and the underlying theme for the duration was clearly and simply "HATE THE LIBERALS"! And you say you dont hear inciteful talk from these people? You say "it's all a big lie". Well in a sense it is, but not in the context that you, Mary, meant.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Nance said...

When is the violence coming? Look for something on April 19th, when rallies are planned in DC and in many state capitols around the company...participants are encouraged to bring their guns. Just google: "April 19th Rallies."

Tom, I believe you've read Sheria Reid's blog, The Examined Life ( She posted recently on Darlene's fears. I'd encourage your readers to make a visit there, too. Hope you don't mind that I suggested it. Her recent post just fits into this conversation so well.

Your rants are masterful, my friend!

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Twitter quote of the week:

Sean Hannity calling Obama a "radical" is almost as absurd as someone calling Sean Hannity a "journalist." -- @KeithOlbermann

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Thank you for the kind words, Dave and Nance. Here is a link to the blog that Nance spoke of, folks. Recommended reading:


At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"sea of white faces raging agains the black politicians"....HA ! The "sea" consisted of a mix of Americans, 18% black, which is roughly what a random slice of our country is...
The black politicians in question chose to walk through the middle of an on going protest agains washington spending and this translates into your twisted perspective is the real danger here. The danger is in your mind. No one has a personl issue with ANY of those politicians however, they do work FOR US and we, like you, have every right to protest their actions.
I hope you never have a disagreement with the government if your stance is that Americans can't protest.
Mary Jeanette

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


To deny the overt racism behind the Tea Party's opposition to President Obama is to deny reality. You're obviously not paying attention and you should be.

The GOP today is comprised of former southern Democrats (or their ideological heirs) who migrated to the Republicans after LBJ passed the voting and civil rights acts of 1964 and 1965 respectively. Racism is the base alloy of the modern day "party of Lincoln". Can't you see that?


Tom Degan

At 3:21 PM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...

You didn't answer Tom's question. Maybe I can help:

"Shame on politicains and media/pundits that use these horrific allegations to smear those who disagree with their agenda."

What exactly do you mean by that? Whats is the agenda?

"There has however been documented violence towards a black, wheel chair bound tea party protester by a union thug...caught on video and backed by hospital ER records. Where is your outrage?"

Of course we are outraged, if the report is true. How do we know this person was a Union thug? What union? Did he should his membership card? How can you on one hand say that the actions of a few in the "tea party movement" are not indicative of the movement as a whole, and then turn around and claim the very same thing about this Union led attack"?

My biggest problem with the opposition party/tea baggers/etc. is that they are unable to effectively convey their points without resorting to soundbites and fragments of arguments I could hear on television. I just started to get my degree and one of the things I've noticed is that if any of these folks were to have to deliver their points as a class assignment they'd fail.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Apologies for posting this again, Tom, but when I hear the Teabagger 'movement' verbally evacuate its bowels in an otherwise cursive discussion, I think it's perhaps warranted:

Learn to Speak Tea Bag

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

CNL, I missed that one first time 'round. That was a scream! And never be shy about posting a link to your excellent blog here,Buster! NAZI! SOCIALIST!!!

Sorry. I was just brushing up on my Teabagese.

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

You're very gracious, Sir - I didn't want to appear to be overplaying my hand.

Did I mention that Obama is communist?

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and this....

Obama supporter ( bites the finger off a protester...

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ill tell you what..when one of the politicians shows us a missing digit then I'll call the tea party violent hate mongers.
Warm Regards,

At 7:07 PM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...


Once again, how is this indicative of "Unions attacking people", or "liberals" in general attacking folks - as part of their primary motivation?
Even the finger guy... Stated he threw the first punch - twice. I mean really, if you swing on someone (assault), why are you going to be upset if you get a black eye, busted lip -- or in this case, loose a finger.
Whats worse is how Neil turns an assault, into a "you lost a finger protesting health care reform."
I guess when I got a split lip in Thailand brawling with one of my Marine buddies, I guess I was being a real Patriot.

Finally, LISTEN, to what the guy says. When asked about what he thinks you get a slogan -
"Freedom isn't free"
"The heroes are in Afghanistan and Iraq right now"
"health care is how we are being diverted while the government grabs whats left of our freedom away from us"

On a lighter note, I thought it was funny that the guy who attacked the finger biter thought that should he meet the finger biter again, he'd run. Way to play the victim.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Rastamick61 said...

I agree The Kill is coming. What io wonder about though is will it be one of those abortion doctor sniper shots or something more McVeighesque ? And when it happens I want that stupid twat Bachman and her whore pal Palin arrested for rousing the rabble.

At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "kill" is coming? What are you talking about? Is this entire site insane? I stumbled upon it and really, you guys seem like you really need some help, I'm not being a wiseass here. Can you hear yourselves?
Anyway, it's been real. Gotta go, and likely won't be back but take care, love your neighbor, and do good.

MJ from NJ

At 5:35 AM, Blogger Sheria said...

What an interesting and lively discussion! I'm always left a bit confused by the tea party. They speak often of the Constitution but I have the distinct impression that most of them have never given it more than a cursory review. They insist that freedom of speech applies only to their right to speak and stops at the right of anyone to critique that speech and then there's the obsession with the right to bear arms despite a lack of necessity for a standing militia in the 21st century. I share the concern that some very real violence may be in the not too distant future, violence that will make Waco and Ruby Ridge look like soccer match skirmishes.

My thanks to Nance and Tom for recommending my blog.

At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The level of indignation in this rant is far out of proportion to the level of correct information. Tea partiers are not white supremacists and are largely a cross-section of American, according to a recent Gallup survey. There are some whack jobs in the movement, but does the left then want to be blamed for its crazies? The charges that they shouted racial epithets at John Lewis may not be true. The rally and his march through crowd to the Capitol -- a total media event -- were widely recorded on both audio and video and, though all sorts of shouts can be heard (mostly "kill the bill"), none is racist. Breitbart has offered a $10,000 prize for audio or video of a single racial slur at that event and so far no one has collected. If it did happen without turning up on anyone's camera or cellphone, it must have been pretty isolated, and certainly not representative of the event as a whole.

As for your 90% tax proposal, that sounds like a great way to quadruple the size of the tea party movement. As Obama said in another context, Go for it.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anonymous, you wrote...

"As for your 90% tax proposal, that sounds like a great way to quadruple the size of the tea party movement. As Obama said in another context, Go for it."

I'm not surprised that you took a few words out of context, in an apparent deliberate attempt to make a claim that Tom proposed a 90% marginal tax rate for everyone. A least, that's certainly how I interpreted your comment. Either that, or you totally misunderstood (or didn't read) Tom's article. If you'll go back to the piece, the exact quotation is, "Once upon a time there existed a class of people who were SO FILTHY RICH that they lived in a ninety percent tax bracket." [Bold type my own, for your benefit.]

Now, I'm not exactly sure why the tea-bagger movement would "quadruple" (as you claim), just because the upper two-percent were assessed with marginal tax rates of up to 90% (as they were during most of the 1950s and into the 1960s -- when the middle-class prospered in this country, by the way.)

May I suggest you read Paul Krugman's, The Conscience of a Liberal, where he explains how these higher marginal tax rates on the wealthy created more wealth and a higher standard of living for all, and how this was the reason that the middle-class grew and prospered during this period. This "Great Compression" (or lessening of income inequality) brought about the greatest growth of a middle-class society to this country. Once the Reagan years began, along with his subsequent reduction in marginal tax rates on the wealthy, the decline of the American middle-class started in earnest.

Please, do yourself a favor, and others, and read (and comprehend). We'll all benefit.

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Joel said...

Hi Tom,

I enjoyed reading your latest liberal rant. I do see your point about the Tea Party movement, and I can’t take Sarah Palin seriously. Related to your rant, my son wanted to see Capitalism: A Love Story, so we rented it. While Moore is definitely a bitter man with a communist bent, he made some of the same valid points as you. The failure of the “uber rich” in this country to share their good fortune is a problem. A lot of them do freely share their wealth. And a lot of them are just greedy bastards.

I think some of the folks in the teaparty are just as angry as you are in the lack of fairness with respect to paying taxes and the disparity between rich and poor. Part of the anger towards government is the inequity that has developed over the past 30 years between what a government employee makes and their private sector counterpart. The pay and benefits are much better in the government, not to mention job security. The difference I see between the liberals, like Moore, and the teapartiers is how a level playing field is accomplished. Liberals want the government to guarantee a job and benefits for all, and the teapartiers want the government to leave them alone to do it themselves. Yes, they probably make just enough to get by, but maybe they prefer it that way vs. what they perceive as the current direction of the government providing for them. I don’t think they object to essential social services or government in general.

There needs to be a more equitable tax structure. Is it possible a high tax on million dollar incomes would help deter greed? Probably not, but at least the wealthy would pay their fair share. I know the rationale, but why is it that people making over $100k, or there about, don’t have to pay social security or medicare tax on that portion above $100k? Again, I know the rationale, but interest, dividends and capital gains should be subject to the same tax as earned income. Why should someone sitting on their ass collecting interest and dividends not have to pay the same taxes?

If there were a balanced budget, fairness in the tax code, appropriate regulation of financial institutions and corporations, I think the teapartiers would be happy, as would you. Nah, you would always have something to rant about.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Good one, Joel. And you're absolutely right. I'll always have something to rant about.


At 12:00 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Mary Jeanette claims the Teabaggers "are not racist", which, frankly, is utter voodoo:

A "Tea"-chable Moment?

At 12:03 PM, Blogger askcherlock said...

These Tea Party people may actually split the Conservatives. Never did the term Right wing lunatic apply so aptly as it does to them.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

The best outcome I'd like to see is if the Teabaggers put up candidates to run against GOP candidates in the mid-terms: hence splitting (diluting) the GOP vote leaving the Dem's with a sold majority.

At 12:23 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


Funny but I just posted a comment on your blog not two minutes ago on this very same topic. Here it is:

The 2012 election will be the political equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel. Who are the GOP’s two most viable candidates to take on Obama next time ’round? Eric Cantor and Mitt Romney. The problem with that is the simple, undeniable fact the the religious bigots who have hijacked that party will never – EVER - nominate a Jew or a Mormon.

David Duke will become president of the NAACP before that ever happens.

Tom Degan

At 2:35 PM, Blogger PCS said...

The black politicians in question chose to walk through the middle of an on going protest agains washington spending and this translates into your twisted perspective is the real danger here.

Mary Jeanette, are you implying we need a law against black politicians walking through certain types of protests? Are you saying Lewis was some how at fault for being spit on? Please explain, I really don't understand the logic.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you abandoned ALL logic?
Of course I don't want a law to prevent blacks from walking through the crowd or whatever it is you are suggesting. And nothing I wrote even HINTED at that. Stay with me here, I was comenting on the twisted explaination of what happened that day...and YES, I WAS there. RIGHT THERE. It was an ONGOING protest. The politicians walked through the crowd. The crowd was chanting KILL THE BILL. They had been chanting this for 5 hours prior to this "walk through". The point is, NO ONE was chanting AT the politicians, we were chanting the same way for HOURS at the house. We were chanting our protest of THE BILL. Now from this, your readers(and you_) are twisting this into some kinda a racial hate crime and it's just not logical. So stop the hate. Calm down. There's some basic logic that is lacking on this board...looking for the "next kill" and laws against blacks?
As I said before, I'm a black woman. I've been a victim of REAL violence. I am offended with throwing those words around without merit.
So, I send love and peace to all of you and hope that you find it in your hearts and minds to seek fellowship and respect those with different backgrounds and opinions. That's called tolerance.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

MJ, you said:

Have you abandoned ALL logic?
Of course I don't want a law to prevent blacks from walking through the crowd or whatever it is you are suggesting. And nothing I wrote even HINTED at that.

I think you need to slow down and chill a bit. It was PCS, NOT Tom who made that comment. If this column is too hot for you, maybe you should take your own advice and not come back. You are not going to win any friends or convert anyone here among Tom's long time readers.

At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ehem, charles,
this "blog" is not too "hot" for's too juvenille and appears to be loaded with a bunch of near do wells who are pissed at folks that have earned some money working and learning...
I've laughed reading here, you(collectively) have not inspired anger in me...I'm shocked that some of you are over the age of 12 but....hey, I guess that's why blogs anyone can become a "writer" and everyones brain is spilled out in all of its ugly glory on the internet.
However, you are correct in suggesting I not hang around. It's just a waste of time.
And I repeat, do good, love your neighbor...and I hope your limited view of the world can somehow be pryed open a bit. There's always hope, huh?
MJ the NP from NJ

At 6:26 PM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...

"And I repeat, do good, love your neighbor...and I hope your limited view of the world can somehow be pryed open a bit. There's always hope, huh?"

Whats the technical term for this tactic in argumentation again?

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

You rock, Mr. Moore!

And MJ, I have to be blunt with you: the Tea Party was formed and promoted by FOX News. That's not my opinion, that is a fact. Do you think for a second that Rupert Murdoch gives a hoot in hell about regular Americans like you, me and Charles Moore? They have you convinced that the Liberals are "out to get'cha". Do some historical research. I say that with all due respect.

Also, as an African American woman, remember that it was the Liberals and moderates who fought for the equal rights of black persons in this country. It was not a Conservative cause. Why do you think the entire "solid south" bolted to the GOP the minute LBJ signed into law the civil and voting rights acts of 1964 and 1965? It's something to think about.

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

One more thing, Mary Jeanette....

You keep the pot stirred with a good debate. Please do come back.


Tom Degan

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Teeluck said...

Its all been said bro, nuthin more for me to do but just laugh...I think this shit is funny too.

At 11:12 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Rather than bore you all with statistics, I'll leave it a current survey from the University of Washington on the make-up of the Teabagging fraternity:

Racial attitudes influence tea party movement

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I read your comment on Frank Rich's ' Blame ... " column.

So what is your prediction now ? Are we still screwed or what ?

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Tom for the invite to stick around to stir up the stagnant pot..but no thanks.
I don't throw my pearls to the porcine...if you get my drift..too many important things in my life.
That said, good luck to you and your blog. Hope your life is full of gumdrops, lollipops and unicorns..
MJ from NJ

At 4:57 PM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...

...and yet us swines bellies seem to stay full...

With bling even.

At 5:46 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

A writer on CHICAGO NOW just wrote a review of the above piece yesterday morning. It's a prefect illustration of how the right wing operates. He calls me, "emblematic of the essential anti-Americanness of the Left in this country." How's that for prose? It sounds to me that he attended the Michelle Malkin School of Writing. This fellow wasn't content merely to quote me grossly out of context. No, he had to make things up! Did I say that I wished anyone to be killed in this piece? Did I even vaguely imply it? That's what this silly person says! Please, reread what I wrote above then read his review. It is an absolute scream! Here's a link:

Seriously, it must be seen to be believed.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

I swallowed my tongue and read that right wing garbage by Chicago Now. Like all right wing ideological reasoning (?) he ignores the facts. It is replete with the right wing ideas that have never worked and ignores the facts that the left wing is responsible for enacting laws that made this country great.

It was a great country until the right wing gained control again and deregulated everything they could get their hands on. We are now suffering the consequences of their ideology.

History is a subject that such idiots ignore to out peril.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Typo: to our peril. Sorry.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Gotta love the Teabaggers: look what they're protesting about now...

"Teabaggers Now Protesting … Hobos"

At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Australian I can honestly say that the best thing that has even happened to our counrty was Murdoch leaving and becoming a US citizen.
I also have an interest in world politics and I can say the one thing that people all over the world are the same in that the rusted on members of both sides of the spectrum forget one thing. Elections arent won by the faithful they are won by taking the middle ground belonging to those usually having moderate political views. The people with the views espoused by the Tea Party and their ilk scare the crap out of the moderate man in the street regardless of what they say about having a huge ground swell and that will further antagonise them in the next election cycle.
Thanks for taking the time to read my views
Den from Oz

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They still need a majority on Election Day in order to seize the reigns of power."

Tell that to Al Gore

At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Billy Jingles said...

These losers that call themselves "teabaggers" weren't to vocal when G.W. Bush and his thugs were taking us into a needless war. Big insurance corporations and their meg-rich CEOs no doubt LOVE to see the teabaggers scream about the evils of health reform. I figure these folks don't have a life and are chronically angry about what small lives they do have so they need someone or somethinbg to blame. Their freedom of speech ends when they advocate sedition through violent measures and issue threats. I put these nutcases in the same category with the religious zealots who harass and harangue at a soldier's funeral! Both groups are obnoxious, repugnate, and full of hate!

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous jammer5 said...

Being as how shit floats, I imagine both Palin and Bachmann would have no problem swimming in the deep end. Now we need to make the deep end far enough away where they can't reach the shallow end in order to get out.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger lee said...

sorry cant be nice to you fucking liberal scum as usual trying to change the foundation of this country your all traders and should be treated as such in 1776 why dont all you nigger loving fagots(rachel maedow)see what they did to traders like yourselves and if you dont like the country for with so many of my family members in all wars defended your rights and lives just leave

At 8:14 PM, Blogger lee said...

cyndie,you are a true american thank you because i cant be that nice to a group of people who are so fucking stupid and yet still manage to get into these positions where there opionon matters

At 8:18 PM, Blogger lee said...

hey dalene i guess RONALD REGAN was a bad president,moron talk about fucking stupid if you like all the rest of the traders andleft wing fagot nigger loving scum dont love my country as much as i do just leave

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

I think 'lee' needs to be congratulated on showing us all an example of just how badly someone receiving an education in Texas can be in trying to articulate their ideas - he managed a full three posts with no capital letters (except those revering "RONALD REGAN" - an icon of his which he managed to misspell), two "niggers" (one of which intoned "you nigger loving fagots" - again, the latter being misspelled), and only two uses of a comma.

And by "traders", I think he means traitors - but hey, what's a contextual definition between friends?

You couldn't pay to receive this level of entertainment! Tom, you really do need to begin charging for membership here!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger PCS said...

Actually, I sort of feel sorry for Lee.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...


Someone asked me why I just don't delete your silly comments. How could I??? You're a walking, talking advertisement as to the craziness and racism of the right wing in this country.

Keep 'em coming, pal!


Tom Degan

At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom: what a sad demonstration of how you chose to "stir up the stagnant pool" here on your blog. Lee was obviously a ficticious blogger, he joined on the day he posted and those were his only posts. You only make Left wingers look crazy when you plant this garbage on your own site.
Grow up.

MJ from NJ

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Mary Jeanette,

Other than the above (and previous) anecdotal partisan utterances, do you ever try and make a point?

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

With all due respect, MJ, accusing me of "planting" Lee's crazy postings is just a bit crazy - or paranoid - in itself. I have no way of knowing whether or not Lee was "fictitious" as you say. All I know that he or she was anonymous. I think your problem with that posting is the fact that it is such a blatant example of all that is wrong (and evil) in the conservative movement.

Forgive me but accusing me of planting this nonsense is just plain nuts.


Tom Degan

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

I don’t believe you planted it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were real. However, I do take issue that it in any way epitomizes the conservative position – or any position for that matter. It is a straw man caricature that is easy to tear down. But, that’s not surprising in that most political debate is comprised of building and tearing down straw men – on both sides. It’s why I hate politics – particularly the false dichotomy that is our two-party system.

At 2:33 AM, Anonymous David Millson, VT said...

"Just try to be kind to each other, okay?" This from a man who calls those with whom he disagrees "assholes"!

"It's the Constitution, stupid."

You-uns (I thought I'd give you the opportunity to make fun of my rural colloquialism as you-uns do to Mrs. Palin; after all, it's so much easier and more fun to smear and slur: you don't have to know anything to do it!) are so avid to idealize this Chicago political hustler who has used every duplicitous, community-organizer, Richard J. Daly trick to get elected, and is now acting like ACORN with our national rule book, the Constitution.

While I didn't vote for Mr. Obama, I hoped and (OK, all y’all, now it's time to dump on a bona fide Christian, since we're the only group it's politically correct to bash) heartily prayed for him – and the nation -- that he could do what he promised; his promises were good. But no one likes to be conned after investing suspension of disbelief and hope.

All other issues are secondary to Mr. Obama's unconstitutional actions, including:
• documented extortion of corporations,
• outright lies to Congress,
• surrender of our national sovereignty, appointing unaccountable "czars",
• abandoning NATO allies Poland and the Czech Republic,
• repression of critical opinions,
• and refusal to confirm his American citizenship with a birth certificate. What’s that about? I couldn’t even sign up for Medicare without one!

You folks live in the age of, as Dean Koontz so aptly put it in Forever Odd (p. 306), willful ignorance and narcissism. If you do no more than echo the Obama diktat, you will have failed to protect our country from a man who makes up his rules as he goes along.

People who get away with that are called "dictator"; and most of our representatives in Congress, having failed at being our leaders (see: deficit, Social Security crisis, Medicare crisis, pork, pork, and MORE PORK)… and a welfare system that enslaves the very people it’s supposed to help, have now assumed the roles of rulers.

You are witnessing the beginning of how it happened in Germany in 1936. Read the history and see how the NAZI (the Z, btw, stands for the German word for "Socialist") Party whittled away at the rule of law. If you don't know what happened, read about it. If you won't, you are truly willfully ignorant and narcissistic... no matter how good it makes you feel to cheer for a man who could care less about YOU… because it can happen here!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...

"While I didn't vote for Mr. Obama, I hoped and (OK, all y’all, now it's time to dump on a bona fide Christian, since we're the only group it's politically correct to bash) heartily prayed for him – and the nation -- that he could do what he promised; his promises were good. But no one likes to be conned after investing suspension of disbelief and hope."

So God didn't answer your prayers...

At 10:21 AM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...

"But no one likes to be conned after investing suspension of disbelief and hope."

Or did God con you out?

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...

David, reading this blog scares me to death. I'm with you...

"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter." - Churchill

At 3:30 PM, Blogger cod3fr3ak said...

You are with him in fear??? I wonder what you really are afraid of? Patriot Act? Nope. Citizens United ruling? Nope. Illegal war in Iraq? Nope. Illegal stop and search for citizens (who happen to be brown skinned) in Az? I doubt it.

Seems to me you are afraid of something, but what it is you seem afraid to say.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Harley A. said...


You said “Seems to me you are afraid of something, but what it is you seem afraid to say.” Obviously I was communicating that I disagree with the vast majority of opinion proffered on this blog and that it is sobering to think that a large % of Americans may think this way (or more often fail to think critically at all, in my opinion). I didn’t think that was a huge leap in interpretation but I’ll try to be more clear.

What you did, in fact, do was jump to the WRONG conclusion - you infer too much if you think I was a big fan of Bush, the Iraq war, etc. I had problems with a lot of what he did, though I was pleased with some of what he did. Along the same lines, I suppose I will likely not disagree with every move Obama makes, though I certainly did not want him as president. Again, the false dichotomy of the two-party system I mentioned earlier. I don’t bind myself to this artificial construct of thought. I don’t treat my worldview like a football game as most on this blog seem to do.


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