My Thoughts On The Santelli Allegations

For the sake of argument let’s grant Playboy that Rick Santelli’s now famous rant came from an authentic, absolutely genuine outrage that wealthy Republican backers might pay someone else to rant on TV instead of him. Obviously Santelli and the CNBC network would have some egg face but, other than that, who gives a crap? Did Santelli or any of his lame tea parties break out of rightwing blogs? If they did I missed it.

The point is larger than just that these anemic protests had less of an impact than a local WalMart closing. Obama’s stimulus is overwhelmingly popular with the average American. The idea that the trader asshats who caused this mess deserve some special concern or sympathy rightly strikes anyone who isn’t a freep as comically dumb. This isn’t the Clinton blowjob or even Terri Schiavo; the message just doesn’t have any resonance at all. The only people who give a rat’s ass long ago drank the kool-aid and passed out in the dirt.

The question boils down to whether Republicans planned this for weeks with extravagant financial backing, in which case they’re out of touch schmucks. Alternatively rightwing activists spontaneously decided that people would rise up against rescuing the economy. That would make them tone deaf schmucks. Rick Santelli obviously has some personal cred riding on the matter. For the rest of us, though, you’d need a degree in yiddish to tell the difference.


This photo (via) will indeed soon eclipse the Moran image as the awesomest summary of rightwingerism ever.

Get a brain, morans

Get a brain, morans

Get a brain, morans

82 replies
  1. 1
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    I’d say you’re spot on.

    I have no degree in Yiddish, much as I wish I did, but I think I can say pretty safely that Santelli is a schmendrick.

  2. 2
    Zzyzx says:

    Yeah, I couldn’t care less how grassroots these exceedingly small protests were… They still were small and not likely to make many converts…

  3. 3

    Could anybody be smart enough to engineer this whole thing, six months in advance, and plant somebody to set it off on national cable news…and be stupid enough not to realize how the optics of a "revolt" from the floor of a mercantile exchange in the aftermath of a financial meltdown are going to look to ordinary Americans?

  4. 4
    Fwiffo says:

    They registered the domain in August? Just weird.

  5. 5
    raholco says:

    It’s now in NBC Universal’s hands to answer.

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    The whole thing just seems crazy. Interesting, as I said before, but still crazy. I just generally don’t buy into all this conspiracy crap, so I will sit this one out again until someone else proves or disproves it. Plus, I hate being accused of either believing/not believing the crazy tale du jour, despite having never made a commitment one way or another on the issue.

  7. 7
  8. 8

    I’d say Santelli is more of a putz.

    I don’t know (or care) how the Revolting Teabaggers got their start and it’s impossible to tell if the high level of fail stems from the natural incompetence of the organizers or the usual Republican Sidam touch.

    But it sure is funny.

  9. 9
    sgwhiteinfla says:

    Wow, talk about the vast right wing conspiracy. Of course for the most part other than getting PJ TV exposure/encouragement most of these tea parties were epic fails but still this should be investigated seriously.

  10. 10
    jcricket says:

    Why choose? Can they be both out of touch and tone-deaf? How about also belligerent, abusive, obnoxious and douche-y?

  11. 11
    priscianus jr says:

    You could say that Santelli is a schmendrick if you like. A "shmendrik" is a dumb, spoiled mama’s boy, sort of like a Yiddish version of Joe Besser as Stinky, although not especially mean — just stupid. But as for me, I’ll go with schmuck.

  12. 12
    raholco says:

    @John Cole: Yup-read it. He’s certainly appears more upfront and forthright than what goes for the current crop of businessfolk.

    What I found troubling was that for as much as he railed against derivatives he uses them, too. He also notes that even with BRK’s AAA rating they have to pay more to borrow than the rescued banks backstopped by the Treasury.

  13. 13
    jcricket says:

    I’d say Santelli is more of a putz.

    Honestly, as a Jew, with family from Eastern Europe, I resent the waste of perfectly good Yiddish epithets on a schlemiel like Santelli.

    I think perfectly good English insults will do, like asshat, fuckstick or douchenozzle.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Jon H says:

    @joe from Lowell: "…and be stupid enough…"

    Yes. The financial explosions are showing us just how stupid smart people can be.

  16. 16
    MacsenMifune says:

    I don’t think its a planned attack but a reaction to Obama’s stances on stimulus and the budget. They were expecting, hoping, maybe even praying that once he became president Obama would change and become like almost everyone else in DC. It’s the old song and dance say one thing on the campaign trail, but govern by the Washington consensus. The fact that Obama didn’t pick a lot of liberals to be in his cabinet must of really got their hopes up. For some strange reason Obama is actually doing what he said he would, which to Santelli is like Obama pissed in his coffee.

  17. 17
    Jon H says:

    @raholco: ". He also notes that even with BRK’s AAA rating they have to pay more to borrow than the rescued banks backstopped by the Treasury."

    AIG was AAA too, you know.

  18. 18
    biggerbox says:

    I think it’s plausible that such a tone-deaf scheme could have been planned, since there are people too tone-deaf to realize that using "tea bag" as verb already has a commonly understood meaning that makes their protest very comical.

  19. 19
    raholco says:

    @Jon H: True-but that was before reality knocked on everybody’s door and showed that the whole system was corrupt.

    Now I’m just hoping I can sell my condo (I moved to a new job and am renting) so I can pay off my debts and let the markets find a new bottom. At least I got plenty of equity and no HELOC either, and my car is paid off.

  20. 20

    Highly intelligent post and comments, congratulations.

    For the grownups, here’s a 1993 allegation involving the same family pushing NAFTA:

  21. 21
    Cat Lady says:

    Obama doing what he promised to do is making heads explode. Everyone is being taken to school with this guy, including those who voted for him. He got a standing O at the Wizards game – remember W throwing out the first pitch to boos at the Nationals game? Here in Boston, drive time sports radio talk is wingnut. If you get the sports fans, it’s close to game over. The crazies are getting crazier, and they will use all their resources to make him fail. Too much at stake. Peak wingnut is still ahead of us.

  22. 22
    flounder says:

    If it is really manufactured outrage, I hereby pledge ten bucks to the next top-secret attempt by big business (who hopefully dump million into the plot) and our media overlords to trot out Rick Santelli, Joe the Plumber, Michelle Malkin, and an unnamed cast of white, paid-too much middle age pork belly swappers who are angry that they can’t play as much golf and go to as many strip clubs as they did last year in order to get a few dozen losers out whining and bumming for change.
    I couldn’t waste right-wing money that efficiently if I opened up my own think tank!

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    Goodfellas is on the history channel. I still can not believe that lost to Dances with Wolves.

  24. 24

    @jcricket: America! Land of the polyglot put-down.

    Honestly, I didn’t know until I was older that schmuck and putz were from another language. I just knew they were bad words but I could say them without getting a smack.

    RevTeaB for short?

    Only after Teabagging and the 101st Frightened Fuckwits are more closely entwined than a talevangical minister and his favorite wetsuit.

  25. 25
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Honestly, I don’t think anything will ever replace "GET A BRAIN MORANS".

  26. 26
    Karmakin says:

    I don’t see the conspiracy here per se. At least nothing out of the ordinary.

    This is the SOP of the right-wing noise machine over the last 30 years or so.

  27. 27
    DougJ says:

    Honestly, I don’t think anything will ever replace “GET A BRAIN MORANS”.

    I agree.

  28. 28
    kid bitzer says:

    oh, sure, that was eloquence itself.
    but it would not have meant as much without the mullet.

  29. 29
    demkat620 says:

    I’d say Santelli is more of a putz.

    I’d say prick myself.

  30. 30
    MattF says:

    The tin-hat brigade has always been there but– with the moderates gone– the Republican ‘pharmaceutical deficit’ (Don’t forget to take your medication!) has now become the main story.

  31. 31
    maya says:

    Here in NoCal there is one NBC affiliate TV station. It’s owned by a well known Republican backer and all they are playing on their "national news" clips this weekend is; CPAC, the "they say" economic theorists opposing Obama’s plan claims and paraphrasing Obama as telling lobbiyists "to bring it on", which as far as I know, Obama never said. Obviously trying to conjure up Bush’s taunt.
    I’d say it’s just ratcheting up. These people, including the wealthier members of the Gated Community 4th Estaters, are going to fight to hold on to their low tax rates. They’ve grown quite fond of them.

  32. 32

    @Notorious P.A.T.: I disagree (see photo in the update). A transposition of vowels, a mullet and a pornstache fades into significance beside a mother and son showing their support for teabagging.

  33. 33
    Michael says:

    I still really like the story that Dick Fuld got punched in the face. I think tales like that are cathartic, and am of the opinion that the Masters of the Universe would gain some insight from a more widespread application of that method of behavior correction.

  34. 34
    Comrade Stuck says:

    I wonder how many American’s remember their history on what the Tea Bag gag is all about. Subtract from that the number that does remember but doesn’t give a rats ass, and your left with a handful Greater Wingnuttia drama kings and queens. Who says Vaudeville went Dodo?

  35. 35
    Michael says:

    @John Cole

    Goodfellas is on the history channel.

    Lots of good lessons in that morality tale.

  36. 36
    Michael says:

    Oopsies – Double

  37. 37


    ill use of language has consequences.

    Teabagging is the dangling of ones scrotum onto another’s face while they are performing oral sex on you.

    Since Republicans and conservatives watch more porn than Liberals, I’m sure when they got invited to a teabagging party they were not interested.

  38. 38
    Unseen Majority says:

    What i absolutely love about that Picture Update, is the look of sheer joy on the kid’s face as he delights in his belief that none of the adult putzes(see, i can do yiddish too!) assembled around him have any clue or notion what-so-ever of the slang meaning of ‘tea bag’.

    But if it will it rival and eventually supplant “GET A BRAIN MORANS”, remains to be seen.

    God(!!!), it does make me LMAO though.

  39. 39
    wonkie says:

    Well I think that it is sort of obvious that the domain was set up so that "grassroots" protest could be organized against Obama no matter what Obama did. Obstructionists don’t really care why they are obstructing or what they are obstructing. They just set up the site so they could use it later after Obama took office…the specifics of what they were obstructing and the slogans and so on got made up recently. If it hadn’t been Tea Bags against Taxes it would have been KnowNothings against Immigrants or Rebels against Federalism or whatever.

  40. 40
    G says:

    The Joe the Plumber confrontation felt oddly the same: it felt contrived. It seemed like he was trying to catch Obama lying or something and when he genuinely tried to answer his question it threw him.

    Sounds like the same thing with Santelli. It just came off staged. Maybe he does this so much that his conveniently close friend was ready, but the guy next to him, the rant and how quickly people jumped on it gives me pause.

    Regardless, he’s a tool. And Joe the fake Plumber is as well. So whether premeditated or not, it’s still was unbelievably shallow.

  41. 41
    Jon H says:

    @Karmakin: "I don’t see the conspiracy here per se"

    It’d be more significant if CNBC/NBC/GE were in on it.

    If Santelli just got drunk on Randroid koolaid, wrapped himself in the tentacles of the Kochtopus, had a lapse of judgement, and told his producers "I wanna do some editorializing on the floor today, so give me some camera time. It’ll be good!" but didn’t let on that it was anything more than him opinionating, then it’s not such a big deal.

  42. 42
    Dr. Loveless says:


    I think perfectly good English insults will do, like asshat, fuckstick or douchenozzle.

    In learning Spanish, I have fallen in love with pendejo as an all-purpose insult. Look it up.

  43. 43
    Brian J says:

    I posted that picture yesterday here and made it my Facebook profile picture. Even the less political people I know found it hilarious. Boy is this a case a picture being worth a thousand words.

  44. 44
    valdivia says:

    @Dr. Loveless:

    pendejo is absolutely perfect and all use descriptor. As a native spanish speaker I swear by it.

  45. 45

    Oh well. As they say: "maroon is as maroon does."

    But Repub propagandists throwing "tea-bagging" parties?


  46. 46
    John Cole says:

    I honestly don’t think there is a conspiracy here. I’ve watched Santelli before, and he always puts on a show, ranting and what not. I watched a bunch of him last fall during the meltdown- calculated risks comments section had tons of links to him. It would not surprise me at all if he was just doing his everyday schtick, and the usual suspects just latched on to it just like they do every other little gimmick. All it takes is a Drudge link and these things take off.

    Parsimony, folks.

  47. 47
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    it would not have meant as much without the mullet

    Very good point there. We’re talking about the perfect meeting of song and singer. Can’t forget the American flag shirt either.

  48. 48
    Neo says:

    It’s pretty obvious that Rick Santelli was busy on the days before 9/11 packing explosives into the various floors of the World Trade Center.

    If you think that sounds crazy ..

  49. 49
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    I think Santelli conspired with himself to show his ass to the world, and impress his fellow nutters. He makes a decent living at it.

  50. 50
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    I honestly don’t think there is a conspiracy here.

    I dunno. There’s conspiracy, and then there’s conspiracy.

    On the one hand, you’ve got crap like the Brooks Brothers Riot and the Arkansas Project, but on the other you’ve got the 911-Truthers and One World Government crowd.

    This Santelli business sounds an awful lot like the former and not so much the latter. In other words, quite plausible given the well-documented record of GOP rat fucking.

  51. 51
    Anoniminous says:

    If it was a conspiracy it’s backfired, big time.

    What most of the US has seen is a bunch of lily white dim-bulbs walking around talking about "Tea-Bagging," acorns, and the so-to-be Communist take-over of the US.

    Frankly, they sound like a passel of paranoid horticulturalists who like kinky sex.

  52. 52
    John Cole says:

    The other evidence isn’t that compelling. It is basically just a recitation of the stucture of the Koch links, which are there no matter what. You could do the same thing with people funding progressive groups.

    And the registration of the teaparty domain is not that big of a deal, either. Probably really is just some enterprising guy who thought ahead to register it (you would be surprised what domains are probably already registered for 2012). I mean, it didn’t really take Nostradamus to figure out that taxes would increase for the top tier of taxpayers. The debate during the campaign wasn’t whether they would go up, but whether they would end the Bush tax cuts early or just let them run out.

    And if you still couldn’t figure out their taxes were going to go up from that, the McCain campaign was there every day TELLING us that Obama is going to raise taxes.

    This really, now that I have read it closely, seems like a bunch of nothingburger. Like I said, interesting, but there are simpler explanations for all of it.

  53. 53
    Jim says:

    I guess I’m lazy and don’t want to take the time to check things out myself, but I’m under the impression that the tax increases desired by Obama are simply to reinstate the marginal rates for the $250K and over crowd in 2011. Yes, there is an increase, but it certainly doesn’t seem to justify all these rants about Obama as Lenin incarnate. Am I missing something? Are there other increases that I haven’t seen? Is it all because he wants to tax hedge fund managers income as ordinary income rather than capital gains? If that is it, there are some seriously mentally ill people in this country.

  54. 54
    Comrade Stuck says:

    I dunno. There’s conspiracy, and then there’s conspiracy.

    Exactly. Two or more wingnuts getting together to do something stupid is not really a conspiracy. It’s just doing something stupid. But I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that later on, especially if Obama’s policies start to look successful, the desperation by the GOP doesn’t spawn some Nixonian like CREEP dirty tricksterism. Things like whisper campaigns and false stories planted in the press. Though some of that was done by Rove the past 10 years or so, but could become more prevalent.

  55. 55
    mcd410x says:

    Let me tell you something, pendejo … and pull the fucking trigger til it goes, click.

  56. 56
    Oliver's Neck says:

    @John Cole:

    Only for some definitions of the term "simple". It is equally simple that the Koch machine paid for/arranged this in the same way they’ve paid for a lot of discourse-influencing media. There’s nothing overly complex or outlandish about that premise.
    Which doesn’t mean that it is true, either. But it is entirely reasonable.

  57. 57

    John has probably hit on it. It pays to remember that these folks really do not live in the world the rest of us do. You have to watch the brokerages falling all over themselves explaining how they need to compensate to retain for when things get profitable. There’s one damn question they won’t bother with – where the f**k are they going to go? There are an absolute handful of investment banks that aren’t screwed. They could all offer them 75% of their base salaries and they’d go where? McDonalds?

    There may be a bit of inconvenience but there is no pain. Just to point to something about capital gains and taxes – since this is a buyers market and getting more so, who can afford to buy? How much more of the economy will be concentrated in fewer hands in a little while?

    The DOW is at about 7K? Short of armageddon where do you think it wil go, 8K was considered pretty much the bottom awhile ago. If it goes back to 8K, +1/7 and a more real number is 9K in a year if… Funny how being rich works out.

    We’ll all get screwed to the wall and they’ll increase ownership and profits.

  58. 58
    KevOH says:

    @John Cole:

    One of the key pieces of evidence is the registration in August 08, but if you check out other major cities the domain has been camped since 2000.

    Regardless, we have now been exposed to teabagging republicans. Such a fitting image for what the party has become. Also could say something like: under bush, the only thing trickling down to the masses is the ball sweat of the wealthy.

  59. 59
    Kineslaw says:

    John, I am going to respectfully disagree with you on how important this situation is. If the conspiracy aspect is true, it is worth knowing about and exposing. The more the MSM gets called on this stuff, the less they will abet it. Exposure makes this kind of astroturf work harder to do and lessens the results it achieves. Shining a light on how astroturfing works and how all these various entities are linked also makes it easier to convince people of other astroturf work.

    It will be interesting to see whether Bloomberg mentions these allegations on Monday. They have the most to gain from CNBC losing credibility (and CNBC seemed to be trying very hard to lose credibility even before this incident).

  60. 60
    mcd410x says:

    i’m trying to type tonight with i freaking rod in my shoulder holding together my collarbone after some asshat body checked me from behind in a soccer game wednesday when i was in all alone.

    freaking coed recreational soccer game. what the hell is wrong with people?

  61. 61
    raholco says:

    The Great Orange Satan has picked up the story…..

  62. 62

    Who handed out the teabagging posters? Does this have something to do with gay marriage?

  63. 63
    jl says:

    @37 Jay Severin Has A Small…

    Thanks for informing us squares on the various meanings of ‘teabag’. I had no idea, being a nerdnik myself. I thought it must have some hidden meaning. Um… do they know? Or is this another example of the GOP "gettin’ all jiggey widit" to bring in all the hep cats who have strayed from the Truth? What will they try next, Public Enemy rip-offs and retreads? That will be very appropriate. "you need soap on a rope, ‘less you see GOP is so dope." Maybe try to get Chuck D to sing Night of the Living Baseheads at the next CPAC?

    Maybe those nice white families are thinking of this definition:

    4) a person who is unaware that they have said or done something foolish, childlike, noobish, lame, or inconvenient.

  64. 64
    jl says:

    @59 Kineslaw is right. Even if the whole thing is silly, we need to attack attack attack the witless lying media, and hold them to some standard of professionalism, every day.

    As I noted in previous thread, GE is mainly a financial services firm. It is NOT mainly a manufacturer or engineering firm anymore, and they recently sold some more of their honest lines of business because they cannot get rid of their toxic waste, and it will kill them as dead as Citi or BofA unless they can maintain repeated taxpayer infusions of free cash, either to themselves directly, or through more fatuous and pointless TARP-type frauds.

    So, regardless of the details of this kerfluffle, it is clear where their interests lie and they should be watched closely, and any misleading or bamboozling or lying or engineering of public opinion needs to be countered. If Santelli’s rant was not rehearsed, it was very unprofessional, and the hosts reaction was unprofessional. That should be enough for the mass of the citizens who are being robbed to make a fuss about it.

  65. 65
    patrick says:

    @Tim F
    "Who gives a crap?"

    Well, I might. I don’t know, and won’t jump to conclusions regarding a broader conspiracy. However, if there is a broader conspiracy in which Santelli is involved, playing outraged observer but actually a mouthpiece for a right-wing moneyman, I would like to know. And I would like to make them pay a price. Your contention seems to be not to bother because their plan did not work this time. My contention would be to make them pay a price because when it doesn’t work is when they are vulnerable to reprecussions, not so when it does work and they get more popular backing, as they have in the past.

    Once again, there is not enough evidence at this point, I’m just saying that if turns out there is I would (if I had a popular blog) make a stink about it.

  66. 66
    Dave says:

    I don’t understand why anyone thinks the teabagging pic will supplant Morans. What made Morans hilarious was the utter cluelessness on display–the guy had no idea he misspelled "morons" at the same time he was telling everyone else they were dumb. That’s funny (or, as Ms. Morrisette would say, "ironic").

    The guy holding the teabag pic knows exactly what teabagging is. The sign makes no sense at all unless you understand the slang definition of the term. It’s mildly amusing that the teen held it up during the event, but it doesn’t succinctly define the wingnet mindset the way Morans did.

  67. 67
    AnneLaurie says:

    Since I’m not a big Playboy reader, I picked up the article from these guys:

    Is Rick Santelli Sucking Koch?

    The Exiled Online site also has a hilarious follow-up post from Yasha Levine, one of the authors, on his local "spotaneous astroturf" protest:

    Helpers were passing out tea bags to the 50 or so people milling around restlessly. The crowd was not what you would expect from a grassroots movement that supposedly tsunamied so fast that a whole network materialized in just a few days. It was more the size of a waiting list crowd milling around outside a popular sushi restaurant…

    A few people were holding anti-Obama signs. One guy, who called himself a comedian, held up a slickly-designed sign that read: “Don’t Tax Me, Bro!” A sickly young couple, who identified their political affiliation as “freeper,” held thin cardboard signs with anti-tax slogans quickly scrawled with markers. There were a bunch of Republican hags. Some were senile and could barely walk; a few of the more sprightly ones had donned 18th century dresses they’d saved from their first proms. A dozen or so clean-cut Young Republican types were dispersed through the crowd. None of them would admit it, but they were obvious organizers of the whole sham gathering. Reporters and assorted media types made up 1/3 of the mass, and there were constant stream of weirded-out passers-by who paused and gawked for a while before scuttling off. In rich, ultra-liberal Santa Monica, meeting lone Republicans is a rarity, like spotting a Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat. Saying critical things about Obama around here is blasphemy punishable by societal isolation.

  68. 68
    BDeevDad says:

    I’d say part of the impetus for the Tea Party was the Ron Paul event in late 2007 that raised a lot of money. It was probably the reason some right wingers bought tea party websites, thinking they could pull off something similar. What they forgot was that Paul could only organize on the net, he could not get people out of their basements to vote.

  69. 69
    Nellcote says:

    It’s not just that President Obama is raising upper income tax 3.5(!) %. He’s lowering various deductions and has put some serious money into white collar/fraud investigators for the SEC, FDIC & the FBI. He’s also going after off shore scam accounts and has already caused a bit of a storm investigating Swiss bank (and Phil Gramm employer) UBS.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    However, if there is a broader conspiracy in which Santelli is involved, playing outraged observer but actually a mouthpiece for a right-wing moneyman, I would like to know.

    It’s not like it’s unheard of for commentators to get payoffs.

  71. 71
    JenJen says:

    @John Cole: To be fair, "Dances With Wolves" did not suck. Not as worthy as "Goodfellas", to be sure, but it didn’t blow. C’mon now.

    Unlike "Shakespeare in Love" winning over "Saving Private Ryan." That example remains the definition of Oscar Abomination.

  72. 72
    sus says:

    First of all, I think it is absolutely hysterical that these social conservative Republicans are using TEABAGGING as a verb. It’s obvious none of them has looked up TEABAGGING in the urbandictionary.

    Second, Tax Protestor Groups are backing some of these "parties". Check the D.C. "Tea Party".

    Also, some of the wingnut boards are all hot & bothered over these Sovereignty Bills that are being sponsored by wingut state reps. And, there are a lot of them.

    Sites in wingnuttia are salivating over these bills. Some are posting articles about "the missing 13th Amendment". And, if you look into the really whacked out tax protestor movements of the past, you will see it’s not about the Constitution.

    The Anti-Defamation League had an article describing the Sovereign Citizen Movement and it’s history. One of their tactics is what they call "Paper Terrorism".

    "Paper terrorism involves the use of fraudulent legal documents and filings, as well as the misuse of legitimate documents and filings, in order to intimidate, harass and coerce public officials, law enforcement officers and private citizens."

    Umm… can you say "Natural Born Citizen Lawsuits"?

    The ADL also specifically mention the "Missing 13th Amendment":

    "Different sovereign citizen theorists have varying versions of this progression, but most include the following elements: the alleged suppression of a "missing" 13th Amendment that would have disallowed citizenship for attorneys; the Reconstruction amendments; the 16th Amendment (allowing an income tax); the 17th Amendment (allowing popular election of senators); the Federal Reserve Act and the 1933 removal of United States currency from the gold standard. By that time, many sovereign citizen theorists agree, the United States government was completely illegitimate, using emergency war powers and other unlawful measures to rule unconstitutionally."

    Now, do a google search for "Missing 13th Amendment".

    Consider the "Tea Parties". Also consider that the "We The People" folks (tax protestor movement) are supporting the "Birth Certificate" lawsuits.

    I don’t know John. What do you think.

    You can find the ADL article on Google cache. I don’t know why it’s not current, just the cached version is available.

    I don’t know how to do that cool tinyurl thing you guys do. But you can google the following phrase and then choose Cache:

    "In April 1992, an angry resident of Sanilac County, Michigan"

  73. 73
    bob h says:

    The Republicans evidently have lost the educated classes, and it is hard to see how they start to get it back with this garbage.

  74. 74
    Matthew Hooper says:

    Here’s where I think the "smoking gun", if there is one, might lie: Pajamas Media.

    Think about it: They’ve been carrying the torch for the teabaggers all this time, they’ve been reporting breathlessly on it… and their ads are about nothing but right now. Not about CPAC coverage, not about something that might pay the bills – and this is a media company that is not in good health. It’s all about the tea party.

    Who’s paying for the ads?

  75. 75
    bellatrys says:

    The Swiftboat guys weren’t real grassroots either. Astroturf is a well-documented industry – was even before that Dutch reporter punked the GOP last year with the commissioned fake LTEs – and the Koch family has been bankrolling the "Libertarians" at Cato and Reason since forever. (Reason is also supported by the social cons at Scaife and Coors – but they’re all the same team, theo and meocon alike, old robber barons’ great-grandkids in new fleecy coats.)

    Like they said back in the days of Watergate – follow the money! Or was the CREEP too crazy a conspiracy to believe in, either?

  76. 76
    bellatrys says:

    And if he was a random nutter, would there be all this push behind it from CNBC? Again, those ads don’t place themselves – *or* pay for themselves.

    Again, was CREEP a figment of American imagination? Were "ratfuckers" real or not? Did they all disappear with a "pop" when Ford became president (for some unknown, incomprehensible reason)–?

    If not, if Republicans have a history of manipulation of the media, then to claim that it’s off the wall to say it could happen again…is kind of willfuly delusional. What’s that saying about "twice is coincidence"? It was way more than twice already when George Will helped Reagan "win" the debate, back in 1980.

    It’s not like the federal government inserting moles and agents provocateurs into the opposition is too crazy to contemplate, after all. Or if it is, reality itself is too crazy to believe in…

  77. 77
    Svensker says:

    Is it all because he wants to tax hedge fund managers income as ordinary income rather than capital gains? If that is it, there are some seriously mentally ill people in this country.

    I have a friend who works in Wall Street and you wouldn’t believe the caterwauling going on about the hedge fund tax increase. These people seriously think they are entitled and that past actions and present circumstances should have no bearing on their "right" to the big bucks. "I have an MBA!" my friend says, as to why he should still get his bonus, even tho his firm is getting bailout money.

  78. 78
    gex says:

    The right has demonstrated exactly why they are irrelevant with their "tea bagging" line of protest. Reminds me of the "the Obama’s do a lot of fisting" line.

    These guys are either demonstrating their Beavis and Butthead maturity ("they said tea bagging, heh heh heh") or they are demonstrating that they have no actual clue as to what they are saying. You don’t hit on these keywords by accident. Someone picked them for their off-color meaning, and rubes repeat it without knowing what they are saying.

    Either way, they look juvenile or clueless. I’m not looking for Xbox Live level discourse to determine the route this country should take and I don’t want 13 year old boy "cleverness" to be the guiding thought process for the day. We’re trying to run a country here, not direct a Dane Cook movie.

  79. 79

    […] Tim’s point that the protests are all irrelevant notwithstanding, the Santelli/Koch conspiracy theory seems to be picking up, and at this point, I just don’t think there is really much there to support it. As I noted last night in the comments, sure, it is interesting, but so are all conspiracy theories. The JFK conspiracy theories are so interesting that Hollywood spent a record (at the time) amount of money creating Oliver Stone’s JFK. The conspiracy theories about 9/11 being an inside job are all interesting, but they are nutty as hell. […]

  80. 80
    jcricket says:

    It’s not like it’s unheard of for commentators to get payoffs.

    Look, when there are judges get are apparently getting kickbacks to send kids to jail with harsher sentences than they deserve, nothing really surprises me.

    But I think this is less conspiracy than exposing the dirty underbelly of the money-porn channels and their connections to the right-wing media machine.

    Frankly, the bigger issue is that the money porn channels are the exact opposite of what we need in terms of stock market/business reporting. Every public company and every investor, would be better off if these channels simply went out of business.

  81. 81
    Phoebe says:

    On the tiny tiny chance that this plea will not be met with total scorn:

    Please find another metaphor for whatever it is besides drinking kool-aid and passing out in the dirt. A lot of those people who did that did it at gunpoint, or were kids who didn’t know what was in the kool-aid, and a lot of them still have relatives who are alive. The whole thing was really really horrible.

  82. 82

    […] For some reason it feel especially good to see someone illustrate his own defects as graphically or concisely as […]

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  1. […] For some reason it feel especially good to see someone illustrate his own defects as graphically or concisely as […]

  2. […] Tim’s point that the protests are all irrelevant notwithstanding, the Santelli/Koch conspiracy theory seems to be picking up, and at this point, I just don’t think there is really much there to support it. As I noted last night in the comments, sure, it is interesting, but so are all conspiracy theories. The JFK conspiracy theories are so interesting that Hollywood spent a record (at the time) amount of money creating Oliver Stone’s JFK. The conspiracy theories about 9/11 being an inside job are all interesting, but they are nutty as hell. […]

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