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Posted on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 10:25 p.m.

Tea Party members, protesters disagree at Tax Day rally on the Diag

By James Dickson

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Karen McConnell, center, of Ypsilanti, asks Rick Keith, left, of Ann Arbor, why he keeps disrupting Thursday night's Tea Party protest on the University of Michigan Diag. Their heated exchange quickly evaporated.

Lon Horwedel |

The University of Michigan Diag was alive with the spirit of protest Thursday night as the Ann Arbor Tea Party Patriots took the stage to complain they'd been taxed enough already.

The Tea Party phenomenon caught on last year, driven largely by opponents of President Barack Obama's legislative agenda. This year's Tax Day Tea Party focused on Obama's greatest success, the passage of health care reform designed to increase Americans' access to health insurance.

April 15 is the due date for income tax returns. Among the core tenets of the Tea Party movement are the beliefs that the American people have been overtaxed, that federal spending is unsustainable at current levels, and that younger generations will be saddled with debt if nothing changes.

"I'm here for my eight grandchildren more than anything," said Rhonda Thompson of Pittsfield Township. "If we keep spending the way we are, there's not going to be much left for them."

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Susan Vial of Brighton lets her sign do the talking as she listens to the first speaker of the evening Thursday night.

Lon Horwedel |

Thompson, a nurse, said that at a time when family budgets and corporate budgets are being slashed, politicians in Washington, D.C. should learn to do more with less. Like several tea partiers interviewed by, Thompson said she never took to the streets in protest before health care reform came on the radar.

But while this year's Tea Party saw much greater attendance than last year's - 500 people versus 150 last year - a lot of its growth had to do with the counter-protesters that decided to join the party.

After the Ann Arbor Tea Party Patriots announced they'd be staging a Tax Day rally on the Diag, the College Democrats at the University of Michigan announced a counterprotest to "Defend the M" at the center of the Diag against the Tea Party movement.

"It is our turn to defend the values of equality, justice, and rationality the University of Michigan is historically known for," reads Defend the M's Facebook page. "Join us as we rally in support of President Obama and against the racist, bigoted fringe of the Tea Party protests."

But that fringe was nowhere to be found on Tax Day.

The whole point of the counterprotest was to undermine the Tea Party protest. Defend the M got to the Diag an hour before the Tea Party began and appeared to outnumber tea partiers by about three to one.

Several counter-protesters specifically mentioned their desire to take a stand against the tea parties.

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Conservative radio talk show host Thayrone X fires up the crowd gathered on the University of Michigan Diag.

Lon Horwedel |

Said Zoe Iris, a student in the U-M Residential College at East Quad: "Ann Arbor is a liberal town, and this is a liberal university. We had to make sure our views were heard as well."

Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the U-M Department of Public Safety, said that despite the dueling protests, there was no violence and no law enforcement action taken.

In other words, both sides pretty much agreed to disagree.

In the hour before the rally, both groups kept a safe distance from one another, with tea partiers congregating near the steps of the Hatcher Graduate Library and Defend the M protestors gathering closer to the north-side benches.

Even when the Tea Party's speakers took the stage, counter-protesters would scream rebuttals - just as supporters shouted encouragement - but never tried to shout the speakers down.

Prior to the rally, a U-M staffer read a statement from the U-M Dean of Students Office, encouraging civility and the right of both sides to speak. Interfering with a speaker's ability to communicate could result in a warning for the first offense and removal on the second, the statement warned. It never got to that point.

Stephen Ross, chairman of the Southeast Michigan 9/12 Project, a Tea Party group, said he welcomed the presence of student protesters.

"This is exactly what we've been denied too long in America - a real dialogue about what we want and don't want our government to do," Ross said.

Images from Thursday night's Tea Party protest on the University of Michigan Diag.

James David Dickson can be reached at



Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 11:07 a.m.

Want to be American? Do the following: 1. Live within your means; no credit cards. 2. Get an education, minimum 4 year degree. 3. Stop whining like a 3 year old and think of solutions; be proactive in your life, not reactive. 4. Vote Democratic. Believe it or not Democrats are far more humanitarian then Neocons will ever be. Don't believe me? Check out history (see point number 2 for clarification). 5. Think of your friends and neighbors as allies, not enemies. Don't be the Jones', be the Waltons'. 6. Punish swiftly, but fairly. Fill your house with love and respect, but carry a big stick just in case. 7. Don't mince words. It does little good and only confuses the issue at hand. 8. Respect President Obama. He is our commander and we did elect him and he is a citizen just like you. 9. Hate is not a family value. Do not hate. Besides hate destroys the soul.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 10:55 a.m.

A few decades ago Ann Arbor would play host to the local Neo-Nazi hate mongers that would march to the Federal building only to be beaten with bricks and fists. These "Tea party" participants are no different, yet why did we not rebuff them?


Tue, Apr 20, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

Ram: Covering 30 million people just brings more honesty into the system. Before the bill, these people didn't just "do without." They visited emergency rooms and got health care. They got bills and some of them even paid them. But a lot of times hospitals shifted unpaid costs of the uninsured onto the backs of those who had insurance or who could pay for the services. Everyone knows one Tylenol doesn't cost $35. But when you see an itemized hospital bill, that's how much it may be billed. I know I'm being Pollyanna here, but I hope that with 30 million more customers, my insurer may reduce my premiums. Or health care providers may reduce costs because the formerly uninsured are now pulling their own weight. Since the bill didn't have any price control enforcement built in, I'm not holding my breath. But if the insurance industry takes this monster giveaway and still raises premiums, I think there may be a backlash down the road. The savings comes from bringing more of the uninsured into the system by making insurance affordable, so they pay for it. Hospitals can't claim so many tax losses which brings more tax dollars from the hospital industry. The new bill taxes my "Cadillac" health plan. I'm not happy about it, but as a citizen I'm mature enough to understand I win some and lose some. No one is happy with the bill. Well, I have to think the insurance industry is secretly happy with it. This was a win-win for them. They worked very publicly against it because they were making record profits. If they got it defeated, they invested a couple million in lobbying and attack ads and could keep making billions. When they lost, it gave them 30 million new customers, many of whom don't have pre-existing conditions and it will be a giant tax-subsidized cash cow for them. But now that it is on the books, many fixes can be accomplished in the Senate through reconciliation. You only need 51 votes to get things like accountability, price controls and fixing that abortion that the Republicans passed, Medicare Part D.


Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 10:48 p.m.

@Mack: I still don't believe the Health Care Bill saves us money. How does it cost negative dollars to provide 30 million people with health insurance? It just doesn't add up. I attempted to read the CBO reports but the section labeling of the Bill itself and the CBO report didn't match up. Fraud? I wouldn't go so far as to say it was intentional yet. But I wish they made it easier for the average, interested citizen to investigate.

Bill Wilson

Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 7:43 p.m.

Q-Help us out with which of these were Republicans. A-How many were Iraqis?

Hot Sam

Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 5:02 p.m.

What the president says and does could easily be another discussion. However it is important in understanding what many folks are not happy about. Yes we have received a tax cut...I think mine was about four bucks a month... At the same time everything else is going up around us. If we are not one of those getting some special deal like first time this or clunker that, then all we get is the bill. It is as the CBO says..."unsustainable" It is as if your credit card company gives you the good news that your monthly minimum is going down...while at the same time tripling your balance buying things with your (future) money, and raising the AP rate at the same time...


Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 2:35 p.m.

@hot sam...on the supposed disconnect beteen obamas rhetoric and actions... well, for starts, i a staunch supporter of israel ( although often critical of some of its specific governmental policies) and foe of jihadism ( and actually having some islamic world professional expertise)...that many of those, including a growing number of jews, who support tea partyism and dislike obama as a supposed terrorist appeaser ( if not a muslim absurd charge!)are simply not being fair. he is diligently combatting the taliban and al qaida in pak/afghanistan ( and more effectively that bush)and bending all efforts to isolate iran, although his style is less bombastic than bush's.and israel is sometimes appropriately criticizeable! on the domestic front even tho im personally well insured,i regard it as enlightened self interest to see a national health insurance system, since itll cut down on the uninsured using e.r.s for primary care...and a long wait at one almost killed me. and the market is rebounding as we speak, although the perfect multiple storms of the bush years will take time to rectify. finally anyone/ any movement that can rally behind true anti -science, evolution denying knuckleheads like sara palin is already discredited as someone /something to be treated with respect.


Mon, Apr 19, 2010 : 2:33 p.m.

I cannot believe these people. One of them admitted that this was her first time joining a public protest. So when they oppose something that will save the country money, according to the NONPARTISAN Congressional Budget Office, they run to the streets and babble like idiots about taxes and the deficit. Where were these clowns during the buildup to the multi-trillion-dollar blood-thirsty Operation Iraqi Liberation (the original name until the Bush Administration found someone smart enough to understand what an acronym is)? One year of the Iraq War could pay for every man, woman and child in this country to have FREE health care for ten years. These low-information activists need to get a little perspective, stop letting Rush, Fox News and Glenn Beck tell them what to think. You want to fix the deficit and lower taxes, stop worrying about pennies and start going after dollars. Protest our continued involvement in wars that only weaken our security and drain our treasury.

Edward R. Murrow's ghost

Sun, Apr 18, 2010 : 11:04 a.m.

Mr. Lillie: To answer each of your points: 1) So you know better? Can you show that there are not tax cuts in the bill. 2) Polls have shown consistently that a) roughly 40% of those who opposed the bill did so BECAUSE IT DID NOT GO FAR ENOUGH! They wanted some form of the public option or single-payer. If one takes that 40% of the 60% (= 24%) and add that to the 40% who support the bill, you have 64% of the nation who wanted health care reform equal to or more "to the left" than that which the law provides; and b) the vast majority of Americans, when polled, support the bill's major provisions. They don't like the bill because of the right-wing lie machine (e.g., death panels) that manufactured hysteria about the bill. 3) That's how legislation is made. People who profess to be "shocked, SHOCKED" at the deals that were cut are either ignorant of the legislative process as it has been practiced in this nation for 200 years or they are being disingenuous. There is no third option. If you think this is a relatively recent phenomenon, let me refer you to John Godfrey Saxe who wrote in the Daily Cleveland Herald on March 29, 1869: "Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made." 4) Neither one of us know why President Obama glared at Gibson, but let me take a guess: he did so because it was a stupid question. The law passed created less than good healthcare for the 30 million+ Americans with no health insurance. It is clear that President Obama would have liked a better package, but what he got was all he could get through Congress. The question, then, is better asked of those Republicans and ConservaDems (e.g., Lieberman) who prevented more more progressive legislation. 5) I cannot begin to even address this point except to say that the government of South Vietnam (our ally, if you recall) was at least as good at torture as was that of North Vietnam, as demonstrated numerous times against... yes... the Montagnards. 6) You can believe what you want. Your beliefs do not create facts. Indeed, your belief that many of those who voted for President Obama are racist belies the fact that you apparently do not know the meaning of the word.

Edward R. Murrow's ghost

Sun, Apr 18, 2010 : 8:04 a.m.

Stunhsif: George "Busch"--HA HA!!! That's a good one. And where did Nixon come from? I've not heard anyone complain about him for years. Today's Republican Party doesn't even mention his name: Saint Ronald Reagan and his true believers hated the policy of detente that Nixon and Kissinger constructed. In the domestic realm Nixon drastically increased entitlement programs like Medicaid and food stamps, enacted the nation's first environmental laws, implemented affirmative action in federally-funded construction projects (the "Philadelphia Plan"), created OSHA, created the EPA... I could go on. In other words, like Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Eisenhower (not to mention George Romney and Bill Milliken), Nixon would be nowhere near the modern Republican Party, much less the so-called "Tea Party Movement". Indeed, I doubt any of them would be permitted in the door. If you and your tea-party friends think Nixon was some sort of like-minded friend, you need to go back to school and learn some history from those teachers you love and admire so much.

Hot Sam

Sun, Apr 18, 2010 : 6:46 a.m.

"""that alternative is called "the sane and moderate middle", and obama is a hell of alot closer to that than either extreme""" If we go by what he says, true...if we go by what he does...not even close.


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 11:35 p.m.

@bedrog "and 9/11 conspiracy theorists in its ranks..." It is typical. When you cannot hold an intelligent debate, call people names. Way to go bedrog. By the way, how did WTC 7 decintegrate in 6.5 seconds? Also, do you know which hospital Obama was born in? Do you know his physician? It should say right on the birth certificate. Just like everyone else's. Please tell me the hospital and physician. If you cannot, you are the conspiracy theorist. I will wait for your reply. I consider myself a moderate (socially progressive but Constitutionally conservative). I also believe politicians should be moderates rather than both sides of the extreme since vast majority of the people, politician represent, are moderates.


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 11:32 p.m.

@bedrog "and 9/11 conspiracy theorists in its ranks..." It is typical. When you cannot hold an intelligent debate, call people names. Way to go bedrog. By the way, how did WTC 7 decintegrate in By the way, do you know which hospital Obama was born in? Do you know his physician? It should say right on the birth certificate. Just like everyone else's. Please tell me the hospital and physician. If you cannot, you are the conspiracy theorist. I will wait for your reply. By the way, I consider myself a moderate (socially progressive but Constitutionally conservative). I also believe politicians should be moderates rather than both sides of the extreme since vast majority of the people, politician represent, are moderates.


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 7:12 p.m.

What these people refuse to understand is that the Tea Party movement does and is supporting Democrats that have stood up and acted/voted in support of what their constituents wanted. They are also targeting Republicans that have not stood up and acted/voted in support of what their constituents wanted. Here's just one example: Just have to use this search term: tea party endorses democrat You'll find them. But that makes no sense. The TP are hateful racist right wing fringe terrorists... Keep thinking that. My sign for the next rally: "You just keep laughing at us Mr. Obama. But WE WILL be doing the laughing in Novenmber!"


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 6:56 p.m.

Many of these Liberal posters sound like broken records. They want to blame George Busch, Ronald Reagan and Nixon for our current "state of the union". I was at the Tea Party and it was a very diverse (not divisive) crowd. Yes, there were a few college kids hoisting "we love obama" signs but for the most part it was folks like me who are sick and tired of the left leaning "socialist" direction this country is taking. As well, A2 lefties want to paint Tea Party members as being 100% Republican. As any poll will tell you, that is a lie. 40% are independants and fiscal democrats that are fed up with B.O.'s socialist agenda.


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 5:42 p.m.

Colin Powell's address to the UN: Read it.

Basic Bob

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 5:13 p.m.

@EyeheartA2, thanks for the info on the nationalities of the 9/11 terrorists. Now which of these were from Iraq or Afghanistan? Saudi terrorists did not start the war. G. W. Bush did, and I think he's a Republican. Don't drink the tea.


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 3:52 p.m.

believe or not,there's an alternative to the far left ( which indeed has its idiots...just look at the local green party!!)and the far right with its preponderance among the tea partiers ( per the NY TIMES and simple observation of the "birthers" ( "obama is a muslim non citizen"),evolution and climate change deniers, and 9/11 conspiracy theorists in its ranks... that alternative is called "the sane and moderate middle", and obama is a hell of alot closer to that than either extreme...both of which appear on this thread, with scurrilous overblown rhetoric...seems willing to acknowledge.

Hot Sam

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 2:59 p.m.

"""I don't recall Rubin arranging an almost trillion dollar bail out and getting a 10% kickback. But then, Dems are small fry compared to the audacious Repubs!""" That's a tough argument to make...the dismantling of Glass Steagal and the wall street running of the fed have been truly bi-partisan efforts. These efforts are good reason for a tea party. Would you like Darjheeling or Earl Grey???

David Briegel

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 2:46 p.m.

Hot Sam, Don't know what Tony is objecting to. I don't recall Rubin arranging an almost trillion dollar bail out and getting a 10% kickback. But then, Dems are small fry compared to the audacious Repubs!

Hot Sam

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 1:27 p.m.

"""dissenters during the Bush years were "America hatin', terrist luvin' defeatists that wanted our soldiers dead". Remember? I do.""" Me too...

Hot Sam

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 1:23 p.m.

"""He pleaded with Paulson to come to Washington.""" The Goldman Sachs gravy train actually began with Rubin in the 90's...Bush just kept it it is now.


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 12:49 p.m.

I attended the Tea Party on the Diag--my first Tea Party event--and thought it was wonderful. almost everyone was well-behaved and polite, except for a few noisy students who thought shouting "IDIOT!" at the speakers was funny. the Obama-ites tried to get in our faces a little, but when they realized we weren't going to take the bait they stopped. I would have to say that there were maybe a few more TPers than counter-protestors. but I thought the turnout--for liberal A2--was pretty darn good! as I read these comments I'm amused--like Obama was amused by the Tea Partiers, right!--by all the people who want to change the subject and talk about Bush. I don't know if you've noticed, but Bush hasn't been president for almost 2 years. it's funny how you guys want to keep blaming Bush for things, but when we get a bit of good news (say, unemployment slowed for a month or something) suddenly THAT's to Obama's credit. I'd also like to see us stop calling each other racists. Obama started his term with around a 65% approval rating. that's sunk by 20 points or so. do you really think all those people just recently discovered he's black? what nonsense. Obama's policies are hurting this country and it's not racist to point that out. really...if that's all you have, the race card, you've pretty much lost the argument already.

Hot Sam

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 12:39 p.m.

@Diagenes Well said....


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 12:10 p.m.

What should we cut? I realize that you want a specific program or expenditure listed. It isn't that easy - it can't be due to the sheer volume of our government. The only way we can get the overspending in check is to go through and audit each program and cut the waste, cut out ineffective programs, find and eliminate duplicate expenditures and look at programs to determine if they should be funded by the states rather than the federal government. The Heritage Foundation has a listing of programs and waste backed up by REAL data from 2005, they have done studies since that time which you can find on their website: While I understand that most liberals will refuse to accept information gathered by this group - if they can refute the information with fact based data. Much of the waste and redundancy listed by the HF is STILL there - some have even grown. Eliminate pork and hold our legislator accountible for abusing earmarks. These 'goodies' that are added into bills can cost as much as the bill itself, doubling the cost to taxpayers. If you look at all of the money spent on special projects - that benefit only a few, but paid for by all, it should make you mad. The tax code needs to be reformed! It's a monstrocity that even those who are tax experts can't agree on or interpret with any sort of unity. This is the US Tax Code: In 2006 - the tax code was over 16,000 pages long! It needs to be simplified - understandable. We need to downsize our government. In 2008 there were 1.6 million people (civilians) on the payroll - not including the the military. These people earn higher wages than those in the private sector and their benefits are usually much better than those in the private sector. The federal employees are looking at a wage increase of anywhere between 1 and 3% for 2010, the increase has been steady and will continue. This - while private sector employees face pay freezes and pay cuts. Many of these employess can be eliminated or their jobs can be privatized and contracted for less than we are spending now. The bottom line is this: In your own household, if you are having trouble meeting your financial responsibilities (your bills), you sit down and go through your income and debts. You look at areas that are not necessary or wasteful and eliminate them. You figure out ways to save money where you can and you live within your means. The government must live by a budget, just like the rest of us do. Entitlement programs are a huge burden. I understand why people believe we have an obligation to provide for those less fortunate. As moral humans - we should, but we can eliminate the abuse and fraud within those programs and still help those who need it most. Those who cannot work due to REAL disabilities are other valid reasons. While helping people out on a temporary basis is good - people who are able bodied and capable should NOT be entitled to continue to leech off of the system for years, decades or generations! That's just a few of the things that can be fixed. I remember Obama saying in one of his speeches before he was elected: Barack Obama, Second Presidential Debate, October 7, 2008 We are going to go through our federal budget, as I promised during the campaign, page by page, line by line, eliminating those programs we don't need and insisting that those that we do need operate in a sensible, cost-effective way. What happened to that one? Did it also go the way of the transparency promise?

David Briegel

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 11:51 a.m.

dissenters during the Bush years were "America hatin', terrist luvin' defeatists that wanted our soldiers dead". Remember? I do. I didn't think people referring to us with those words considered us or our dissent to be patriotic. You don't really believe that either! You are too kind to refer to Bush as a big govt Republican. You know very well it was worse than that. He pleaded with Paulson to come to Wahington. We only found out later it was to preside over the looting of the Treasury! As for you free marketeers picking winners and losers. I remember Jesus saying "blessed are the bankers" and "it is their duty to bankrupt and foreclose". If only actions had been free market oriented! They chose to let Lehman fail and AIG and Goldman as winners. They decided to bail out their friends!!

Hot Sam

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 11:04 a.m.

"""It takes a lot of patronage and bureaucracy jobs for energy industry insiders to make sure what little regulation we have is not the least bit restrictive to the industries or effective at helping citizens. """ we're getting somewhere! Care for a cup of tea???


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 10:29 a.m.

Dissent was patriotic during the Bush years, it should also be patriotic during the Obama years. The Tea party is patriotic dissent. It has been overwhelmingly peaceful and civil. Many people here like to ask where were similar protests during the Bush years. It is my opinion that the Tea Party is in part a result of Bush's policies on domestic and foriegn spending. Bush was not a conservative. He was a traditional big government republican. People are realizing that the Constitution reads "promote the general welfare" not PROVIDE welfare. We want government to provide a level playing field for all to compete in the private marketplace of ideas, products and services. Not pick winners and losers through political patronage. That is the essence of the Tea Party.

Gary Lillie

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 9:52 a.m.

@ Mermaid. The T-shirt Thayrone was wearing has the words Front Toward Enemy on the front and Back on the back of the T-shirt. It is a bit of veteran humor - in other words, dark humor. Those are the words on a Claymore mine, which sits above ground and the deadly blast comes from the front. Of course in high stress situations there is always the possibility of someone setting it in the wrong direction, hence the reminder. The inference on the T-shirt can be interpreted many ways but I have always taken it to mean 'face problems head on.'

David Briegel

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 9:20 a.m.

Hot Sam, It takes a lot of patronage and bureaucracy jobs for energy industry insiders to make sure what little regulation we have is not the least bit restrictive to the industries or effective at helping citizens. They really must make certain that the energy industry pays no tax whatsoever. See Exxon. And there must be no collection of royalty fees! Clownfish, great post. We have a problem with the poor not paying enough but nary a complaint about the millionaires who pay nothing. The effective tax rates at the top are miniscule compared to the middle class average effective rate.

Hot Sam

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 8:29 a.m.

"""Specifically which programs do the Tea Party people want to cut? """ I'll start with one... The department of Energy...started in the 70's with the goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil. It has grown to over 26,000 employees with a budget in excess of 44 BILLION per year... How is it working???


Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 8:22 a.m.

Specifically which programs do the Tea Party people want to cut? This was asked before, but never really answered. We know they want the government to keep it's hands of medicare. :) We know they don't want the feds to stop funding NASA. I assume that defense spending cuts are off the table. They appear to be against the new insurance law, but in favor of several of it's provisions. so, other than the general whining about spending, which programs do you people want to go away? if you wanted tax cuts for the middle got them. Now you are mad that so many people got tax cuts and credits? There seems to be some disconnect there. Is there any proof to your argument that those not paying income tax TAKE anything from those that do? Those people still pay FICA tax, sales tax, property taxes and gas taxes. George Soros and Warren Buffet have no problem paying their share, why do you? Personally I pay WAY more in insurance premiums (health, theft, fire, liability for business and home) than I do in income tax and I have had about $2000 worth of claims in 20 years. But, if I complain about that I am complaining about the alleged "free market" and am told to suck it up. I guess that is my advice to those opposed to spending at home...suck it up! Create jobs that create wealth that creates tax revenue that pays off our debt, debt WE ALL created, either with support for war or support for health insurance reform. That is what was supposed to happen when your taxes went down the last few years.

Hot Sam

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 7:01 a.m.

Once again the conversation deteriorates to an irrelevant rant about Republicans who are long gone. The tea party is not about Republicans or Democrats, and it is certainly not about race. It is about an unsustainable level of fiscal irresponsibility that simply must be reversed. The people involved are those who know that if one is addicted to credit cards, that you don't give them another one. It's as simple as that. This fiscal madness is affecting all of us, all of our children, and all of our children's children. We don't have money for our teachers, public safety, or roads, yet Washington keeps growing like a cancer. And please, spare us the obligatory response about the good things that the federal government does. We know that, and no one is advocating "no taxes". It is about examining every thing that Washington does, and going after it with a chain saw and not a scalpel. When was the last time a federal program was ended for not achieving it's stated goal? Regardless of which side of the political aisle you sit, I will bet you can find a number of them that should go. It would be nice if this conversation was limited to discussions about being Taxed Enough Already, and avoided the ridiculous partisan talking points.

David Briegel

Sat, Apr 17, 2010 : 6:25 a.m.

Sarah and Thayrone, Now that would be an intellectual "great leap forward"! Or Palin and X! There is absolutely no way that an intelligent analysis of our politics could conclude that the Repulican party of Ronnie Reagan, Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, Bob Jones Univ, The Bush Crime Family, and the 'Southern Strategy' can call itself the party of Lincoln! They are the party of the south and rural America. The Southern Dems switched to the Republican Party (where they were gleefully welcomed) when Lyndon Johnson had the nerve to push through the civil rights legislation during the 60's. All this talk about "the content of ones character" is hooey from the party that believes in affirmative action for the semi-literate offspring of rich white guys. The last two Repub nominees being perfect examples of people who would never have been successful without their birthright! Our current Pres is a great example of an individual who earned every single thing he ever got from life and who has great "family values". As for Dems/Liberals being racist. How Silly! We don't run to Bob Johes Univ every 4 yrs to wink at the racists and let them know we "feel their pain" and that they are welcome in our 'big tent'. We don't run around feeling sorry for the "rich white guys" in the "power structure". Our prisons are disproportionately full of the Repub/conservative largess towards poor and minorities! And finally, our gov't is starting to crack down on the criminal Wall St Banking class for their fraud and theft of vast fortunes of the wealth from our fellow citizens. If they were poor and minorities they would be overflowing our prisons!!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:18 p.m.

To Gary Lillie - Most excellent points. Some musings. I am a pro-choice, fiscally conservative independent who voted for Obama. I won't do it again as I feel I was duped. I don't remember the nation this polarized and a president so divisive. Seems there is always a "bad guy", be it pharma (did you know it can cost more than a billion dollars to develop a new antibiotic?), the banking industry, the insurance companies, even those of us who have good insurance plans at low cost to ourselves because we've worked hard and have good jobs. I don't know much about this "tea party" movement but I'd hazard a guess that the passage (and especially the way it was passed) of the health care bill was the catalyst that moved these people to act. Guess I can sympathize with them. For example, nowhere in these posts do I find anyone addressing the other "R" word: Responsibility. When it comes to health care, liberals say it is a "right". Well, people have the right to smoke, overeat, refuse to exercise, drink in excess, engage in other unsafe activities and thus diseases ensue. Those of us who work to maintain good health have to pay for treating these people who are victims of themselves. How is that fair? (And don't tell me that life is not fair, don't want to hear it.) I work in health care so I see this every day and I imagine things will get worse when more people get health care at little or no expense to themselves. And since the infrastructure to absorb this large influx of new patients does not exist, and many physicians say they may retire sooner, expect long waits if not rationing. (Personally, I'd like to tax the heck out of cigarettes, chicken McNuggets, beer, pop, things that really add no value to our lives, and put those monies toward health care.) Nothing in this legislation addresses the cost or delivery of health care, it simply redistributes, in a mandatory manner, the cost. Where is tort reform? How about being able to cross state lines to purchase a plan? When will we draw the line at what we will pay for? For example, does it make sense to spend $500,000 for a bone marrow transplant and addressing the side effects that follow - for a 75 year old? We do this now. Who will have the courage to address such things? Why did the bill have to be rammed through without good, intellectual thought put into it? The comments the democrats made at the time were amazing - most really didn't know what was in the bill, another didn't care if it violated the constitution. Shocking. Government forecasters have never been able to predict years out how much a program ends up costing. For an example, in 1990, Medicare was 8 times what it was originally predicted to cost, must be worse now. Our taxes will necessarily go up because the same mistake will be made again. But what angers me is that the cost of this latest monstrosity will be the final straw that buries my children's generation. Does anyone even care what we're doing to our kids? They don't stand a chance because of the irresponsibility of those we've elected. And why do we keep electing the same old people with the same old tired ideas (talking nationwide here)? Can't they just retire? Sure have done a bang up job, especially for Michigan, over the years. Re: race, it didn't affect my vote one way or the other, just wanted a change. (A reminder: it was during the democratic primary that race was injected into the election cycle.) Speaking of which, I'm no fan of GWBush, but I think we forget that his presidency began with a recession and the 9/11 attacks occurred when he'd been in office less than eight months. The misguided Iraq war began as a bipartisan matter, as I recall, and polls at the time suggested the majority (not me!) of Americans were behind it. I can't help but laugh when so many senators who voted for the war now say they would not have. They were privy to the same sensitive information and came to the same (wrong) conclusions regarding WMDs, etc. Sorry, no leeway there, only one vote, the one originally cast. Isn't hindsight grand? Hopefully, Obama won't face the same challenge, and we'll get out of the middle east sooner than later. Anyway, for the "tea baggers", I get you and I guess I'm leaning more your way these days. Just stick to your principles, be nice but persuasive, and please don't look to Sarah Palin to be your leader. She might give a good speech but is really not qualified for much else.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:28 p.m.

Really, Craig? What happens when millions finally reach the pot and find it empty? Do you honestly believe that after decades of entitlement programs that the people who refuse to contribute to society have any ability to differentiate between want and need? Or that the people who run businesses will continue to employ others if they're forced to relinquish everything they make? What would be the point? Obviously, Obama is headed in this direction. That's why the Tea Party movement is gaining steam.

The Picker

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:24 p.m.

Well said Gary!

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:09 p.m.

"6) Finally (for now), I truly believe liberals are the most racist people in the country. How many voted for obama simply because he is black?" A whole lot less than those who would never consider him because he was black. By way of disclaimer I'm a middle age white guy who is politically independent. Personally i think we should all throw our money in a big pot and each of us just takes out as we need.

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 5:23 p.m.

@Gary Lillie: I truly believe liberals are the most racist people in the country.I think most American voted for Obama because it was time to give someone other than a middle-aged or old white guy a chance, since their overall record hasn't been so good. As a white guy, I think it was about time someone else had a chance to lead our country, particularly since white males are not a majority of the population.Also, if you look at the poll of the Tea Party group recently published in the New York Times, it clearly shows they are the ones who hold bigoted views.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 5:18 p.m.

@bedrog, Question. On 9/11, how many steel framed skyscrapers collapsed at free fall speed into the path of most resistance (physically impossible - physics 101) into its own footprint? Most people are aware of only two (WTC 1 & 2). However, there were THREE. The third one was WTC 7, a 47 story skyscraper that turned to dust in 6.5 seconds. How do you explain this steel framed building turning into dust? Google Video "WTC 7" and see for yourself. Then THINK! This is another reason why many progressives are joining the Tea Party. They want answers and both Democrats and Republicans are covering it up. Even though 1,000 architects and engineers recently demanded another investigation. Along with some 7,000 professors, former politicians, CIA, FBI, fire fighters, family members, military, entertainers, jounalists, authors, etc.

Gary Lillie

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 4:38 p.m.

There are several comments I would like make in response to the "liberals" on this site - in other words, the left-wingers. 1) For those who believe there is actually a tax cut in the health care takeaway you are simply repeating what your leaders tell you. You will soon learn the bitter truth, but even then many of you will deny the truth rather than accept the fact he lied to you. 2) If the bill was so good for the American people why did 2/3 of them object to it, only to be ignored? 3) Why did the democrats have to bribe other democrats with huge payoffs to their state and offers of jobs because they knew they could not win the next election if they voted Yes? 4) Why did obama glare icily at Charlie Gibson with a "How dare you ask me that" look and not even respond when Gibson asked him if he would use the same health care coverage in the bill for his own family? 5) For the fellow with the sign that asks conservatives if they would approve of the bill "if we were bombing the uninsured," I would like to ask you will you object to "torture" committed by terrorists, when so many of your ilk accuse our troops of torture? Of course those people are clueless as to what constitutes real torture. I never once saw any of them condemn North Vietnam for the torture they inflicted on our troops or even the genocide they are committing against the Montagnards today in order to steal their land and grow coffee and tapioca on it. 6) Finally (for now), I truly believe liberals are the most racist people in the country. How many voted for obama simply because he is black? So much for Martin Luther King's hopes for "judging by the content of the character and not the color of the skin." More importantly, with your racist policies you are in effect saying to blacks, "You poor things - you can't make it on your own. But don't worry, we'll take care of you." Because conservatives don't believe the color of one's skin dictates their capabilities we don't offer up special deals for skin color. In other words, we don't engage in economic slavery.

Hot Sam

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 3:36 p.m.

"""Why are these people so mad now?""" Some are mad because we have gone from bad to three times worse...


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 3:20 p.m.

Beddog/? - I'm an Indie. Can't speak for the rest of the people that support the Tea Party. Most of those I know who also support it are Indie's too. Fair and balanced media... Don't think ANY media outlet is totally fair and balanced. Each outlet has it's own agenda and it's own views - those seem to pretty much dictate what is covered and how it is covered. I will say that there does seem to be far more liberal/progressive programs than conservative, but it's interesting that the conservative programming has much higher ratings as a whole. Just a thought - MSNBC is doing a program on Timothy McVeigh. They show a clip of him stating that he has NO remorse for his actions (the Okalhoma City Bombing). I think that everyone would absolutely have to agree that McVeigh deserved every bit of the death penalty and then some. HOWEVER, this same news program cannot seem to acknowledge that Bill Ayers was ALSO a terrorist who openly admitted that he had no remorse for what he and his group had done. Now why is that? Is it because the left likes to tie McVeigh to the beliefs of the right? Maybe it's just me, but I don't look at people like McVeigh, Ayers or that wonderful uber-liberal Ted Kaczynshi (the Unabomber) as the 'norm' for an entire political ideology. It's NOT okay for either side to paint an entire side with that kind of brush - but it is more truthful and honest of they do show that there are people of BOTH side who have done the same thing and reflact upon their actions in the same way.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 3:18 p.m.

The main issue why the tea party people cannot be taken seriously is that their issues are not coherent or relevant. They are protesting taxes, but the president has lowered taxes, lowest in 50 years. They are protesting that the government is too big and that they want a smaller government, yet they are not protesting to close down military bases and bringing our troops home, this would be a great start to a smaller and more fiscally responsible government. I would like to see protests against government intervention into private lives, like telling us who we can marry and if we want children or not, that is none of their business. How about protesting to repeal Medicare and Medicaid, they are entitlement programs that should go if you are really are against redistribution of wealth. Since they are not protesting on any of these issues I feel that the tea party movement is just a bunch of irrelevant noise makers without any real issues or purpose.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 2:58 p.m.

@ ian "40% of tea partiers are democrats/independents" you say. in contrast to the ny times which pegs most as right wing republicans... hmmmm!!!..who to believe?.. that's a toughie, especially given your repeated assertions on other threads about the benign nature of militias ( and do i recall some 9/11 " inside job" conspiracy business as well?.. gee...guess i'll go with the much maligned ( by y'all)"mainstream media " TIMES on this one ( especially since i have some personal ties to journalism schools that actually have something called "standards" in their training opposed to the "anything goes" approach of the internet sources you and the tea partiers so adore ( and FOX is nothing more than a whole network of the worst sort of blogger-mentality types... "fair and balanced" my patoot!!!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 2:56 p.m.

What does "Front toward enemy" mean? (The slogan written on Thayrone x's shirt) Shouldn't it say "Front towards enemy"? Who on earth is "Thayrone x"? Why are these people so mad now? Where were they a few years ago?


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 2:34 p.m.

I shall conclude with this. About half of Americans pay zero federal income taxes. When there are more people in the wagon than people pulling the wagon we have lost our way and have reached a state of unsustainability. When us "old white guys" decide to stop pulling and set up shop in Costa Rica what will the wagon squaters do?????????????


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 1:51 p.m.

they shouldn't blame the government but (check the news NOW!) people who are supposed business men that make their money off hard working americans. sorry, you're looking for opposition in the wrong place. THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO HELP!!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 1:40 p.m.

I was at the rally yesterday. I'd have to say that I think the crowd was pretty good. There were more Tea Party people than those who were there to oppose them. But it was fairly equal. I did manage to speak to a lot of different people from both sides of the issues - of those who came in from Wayne County (not sure why they chose the A2 rally to attend) - they really didn't have much to say. HOWEVER the people from this area who attended basically have the same concerns as those who were 'Tea Party' supporters. One of the main issues was Health Care - most were glad it passed simply because they feared that if it had been tabled - the things that they think are important (like not getting booted for pre-existing conditions) would never happen. Many did NOT really know what was in the bill beyond the 'talking points' the administration, the legislators and the news that supported the bill have said. Many of them think his bill is NOT going to cost money in the future. I spoke to one young man - he was under the impression that the Tea Party was for NO taxes - at all. Well - in a perfect world... However, we know there will always be some form of taxation, the Tea Party is for LESS Government, Less Spending and Less Taxation. It's a pretty simple premise. Smaller government means less spent on feeding the monster. Bush 'grew' our governemnt and our federal spending - Obama is growing and spending at 3 to 4 times the rate Bush did! I was not for it then and I am not for it now. The argument abou people having paid less in taxes is not necessarily true. While we are certainly paying less in property taxes (cool - but at the loss of home value) - my husband and I have seen an increase in taxes in our income - but no increase in our income. We are NOT one of the 200K+ income households. Seeing this 'change' already and knowing that the increased spending by our government is going to require increased revenue plus the Bush tax cuts expiring - we KNOW we are going to be hit even harder in the coming year and it will continue to rise. The argument that those who support the Tea Party are those who are working, have decent incomes and insurance (for which they pay little) is totally wrong. We do have an income - it is probably in the median for our area, maybe a bit above - but we are certainly NOT wealthy. We do have very good health, dental and optical insurance through our employer - but we pay almost 300 per month for that insurance. The portion that we pay has been increasing wach year, next year it goes up to 400 per month. This also takes a bite out of our income. On top of this, we will now be paying taxes on this insurance just because we have it. While we like the insurance (with two young kids - insurance is important), we can't opt out and purchase our own, and even if we could - we would find it very difficult to find and afford the coverage we have now because we are locked into a state 'insurance monopoly'. Not much different than we have here with our auto insurance companies. Bottom line is - even if I do not agree with E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G E-V-E-R-Y speaker at the Tea Party had to say, there is enough common ground that I can support what they stand for. As an adult, I realise that nothing of a political, religious or social nature can or will be totally agreeable to all people all of the time, but we can have compromise that works for most of of most of the time. And I do believe that's what everyone reslly does want. Oh and the students that were there... At first I was taken aback by their behavior and their antics. They were pretty disrespectful at times, but in giving it more thought I had to look back at my own youth. Some 30 years ago, I was one of them. I probably thought and believe much the same way they do - and as much as I hate to admit it - I probably acted a lot like they did yesterday. The difference is - I grew up (an older - yikes - waaaaay older;) ), I could no longer look to my parents for financial support, I had my own bills and responsibilities, a mortgage and a family to support. This changes a person's view - and their belief system. That these kids are perhaps thinking about issues - even if I don't agree with them, is actually a good thing. As they grow up and become more independent on themselves many of them will change their views. But they have to have a view to begin with.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 1:25 p.m.

"Strange how they suddenly are brought to a frenzy over a black president and health care for all." Cash that is a very racist statement, hes the president, not the black president. When will you libs get over skin color and move on to the issues?

Raggety Andy

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 1:24 p.m.

Dearest Tea Party Activists - 33% of your tax dollars go to the pentagon for their imperialist military adventures and new high tech methods for imparting death onto poor people of color in foreign lands. I hate taxes as much as the next person, but I gladly pay them so that I may the enjoy the benefits of developed infrastructure, public transportation, National Parks, and yes even social welfare for those who are relegated to the underbelly of society by the excesses of the capitalist, "free" market system. If you would really wish to see less waste, lower deficits and possibly lower taxes I encourage you to fight the problem at its root: The Military welfare state.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 1:15 p.m.

@bedrog, Please get you facts straight. 40% of Tea Party supporters are democrats and independents. I think most progressives have no idea what the Tea Party stands for. Therefore, the unwarranted fear and loathing. Instead of relying on the mainstream media to dictate your beliefs about the Tea Party, why don't you go and meet and speak to some of them. Among some of the Tea Party members, there will be some extreme people. Just like any other political party.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 1:13 p.m.

garrisondyer, taxes are only 4.6% if you completely ignore Social Security, Medicare, the gas tax, and dozens of other tariffs and taxes, including ridiculous programs like the sugar import duty. Social Security + Medicare takes away 15% of the income of the average taxpayer. The employer pays half, but just takes it out of wages as part of the cost of business. The actual 20% federal income tax jumps quickly to 40% (25% marginal rate + 15% FICA/Medicare) for all income above $34,000 for single taxpayers. Hardly 4.6%.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 12:52 p.m.

@townie, Here is my two cents. "Why now?" Bush/Cheney were installed to fool the conservatives. Bush/Cheney did nothing that was conservative. Big government, big spending, took away our freedoms (Patriot Act & Military Commissions Act). With the help of Fox News and other right wing media, large number of conservatives cheered on Bush/Cheney even though it was agains their beliefs. Also, we had the "war president." Rally around the commander BS. That is called state sponsored propaganda. During this time, the progressives demonstrated against the war and the crimes committed by Bush/Cheney. Torture, rendition, illegal wars, death squads, 9/11, etc. Many conservatives are now coming around and it has resulted in the Tea Party. Most members of the Tea Party are against both Bush and Obama administrations because they are both doing the same things. Much of it violates the Constitution. Now Obama has been installed to fool the progressives and to stop the war protests. Do you see anymore anti-war demonstrations? Many progressive are also coming around. I think a little faster than conservatives. They realize Obama is doing exactly what Bush/Cheney did (illegal wars, wiretaps, torture, rendition, and now he can authorize to have U.S. citizens assassinated). Thus, progressive, like me, have also joined or support the Tea Party. If people have not figured it out, we have a one-party system pretending to be two opposing and separate parties to fool the masses into believing we have representation. Get it.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 12:50 p.m.

@independent asked me a question: by "activist" i actually sort of DO mean what you say but have a more realistic spin on it than you/tea party... i.e in a hurricane katrina situation ( or a war with jihadists, drug cartels, mother nature...who causes potholes etc...) i actually do believe its better to have competent specialist organizations funded by "taxes" (the horror!!)to take some degree of control than to have uncoordinated "militias " running around doing god knows what, (if anything useful)... and actually even some degree of coordinated health care isnt too bad an idea, given that the alternative is possibly even more expensive, via lost work time, spread of sicknesses, overcrowded e.r. rooms ( which even well insured me finds a possible personal liabilty)...again you get the idea... i repeat..tea party piffle!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 12:40 p.m.

@EyeheartA2 Are you sure you have your facts correct regarding who was piloting the flights on 9/11. Its not easy to fly 747s when you have no flight experience. Or, are you just repeating what you were told my our mainstream media and Bush/Cheney? The same people that told us Iraq had WMDs and a nuclear weapon. Resulting in spending $12 billion a month to enrich their friends. No you can see why people are upset.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 12:35 p.m.

I think what many of us on the left are having trouble with about the tea party activity is, "Why now?" Where was the outrage when Bush and Cheney spent billions on a war in Iraq that had nothing to do with 911, and everything to do with Georgie paying back Saddam for trying to kill his daddy? Where was the outrage at the Patriot act, that did more to strip Americans of their liberty and privacy than any other legislation in modern times? Where was the outrage from the right when billions of no-bid contracts went to Bush/Cheney pals in the defense industry? Where was the outrage when Bush/Cheney allowed Wall Street to pillage the American economy? Where was the outrage when Bush/Cheney and their Republican pals in Congress tripled the national debt? Where was the outrage when Bush/Cheney sanctioned torture? Apparently everything was just hunky-dory with these folks until the rest of us got fed up and elected a brilliant African-American Democrat to fix all of the above. The right had 8 years of free-reign and it nearly ruined this country. Give our man, and our party, a chance to fix things, or better yet, contribute to the effort instead of just saying no to everything. Perhaps these are right-wing Republicans who were so ashamed of what Republicans did to our country during the previous 8 years, they came up with a new brand name. A Republican by any other name is still a Republican, the party that sent this country into a death-spiral. Now they are fighting every effort made to pull us out--not because they are opposed to the policies themselves (many were, in fact, ideas originated on the right), but because they simply don't want the left to get any credit for pulling our country back from the brink. Not very patriotic if you ask me, and I think the right will pay at the polls for first, sending the country into the toilet, and second, for refusing to be any help whatsoever in pulling it back out.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 12:27 p.m.

One common thread in the comments here and in the media is an attempt to define those who join the Tea Party. Problem is, it's a diverse group. Part of the problem is that Sarah Palin is being attached to it, and she is a polarizing figure. I'm tempted to join sometimes, but I'm not a Palin fan, and reports of Tea Party events in other areas becoming forums for racism make it sound quite unappealing. Though I absolutely believe in the core tenets of the movement. I think both major parties are in a panic about this. The Democrats realize there is extreme opposition to the new round of entitlement spending. And the Republicans realize that the core principles of the Tea Party aren't theirs, either. Or haven't been in a long time. Semper fi asked a good question: where were these people when Bush was deficit spending in a reckless manner? Well, where were they? Those who don't speak up when the bus starts veering off course shouldn't be surprised when the bus crashes. I don't think I'm over-taxed now. I'm concerned for two reasons: 1) About half of Americans do not pay income taxes. There are too many entitlements and they are learning helplessness. This is causing extreme anger toward those who do pay most of the taxes and provide most of the jobs. That is not a healthy way to govern a country. The Utopian ideal of everyone contributing in a socialist society is completely lost. Instead, many collect their entitlements and demand more, without doing their part. 2) Deficit spending will eventually lead to hyper-inflation, which will destroy the economy. We are headed for another Great Depression. The past five years were nothing compared to what we will face a decade from now when we can no longer sustain existing entitlements, let alone the new ones being passed today.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:58 a.m.

just wait libertarians. sit on your hands and when costs get under control with healthcare and military spending then you'll be asking us for an apology. :P


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:40 a.m.

Help us out with which of these were Republicans. How many were Iraqis? Let us not be fooled, democrats as well as republicans voted to "authorize force", a term I cannot locate in the Constitution. I am still find it fascinating that so many people that are against corruption in government, overspending by government and strict interpretations of the Constitution are still in favor of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These undeclared wars are costing us over a trillion dollars. An awful lot of that money is going abroad, never to return. Meanwhile, when we try to spend money at home to help our neighbors, and reign in the "empire", we are called communists! Empires collapse most often from financial ruin, not external attack. Usually that ruin comes from overextending the reach of those empires. Can it come down to which way you want to see us fall, spending on war or spending on food, clothing and medical care for the less fortunate? An interesting question for a self described Christian country.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:39 a.m.

@ bedrog, By "activist" do you mean the activity of taking their stuff and giving it to somebody else that doesn't have it? Look folks, if you want something you have to take it, not wait for somebody to give it to you. To take it, you either need to be smarter, stronger, or have more resources (or some effective combination of those) and you must have the desire/willpower to follow through. Life's not fair, never has been, never will be fair. The sooner you get this the better off you'll be. You do not make the weak strong by giving them stuff. In unicorn land, the biggest fight many have had was probably trying to decide whether they wanted to buy their coffee from Bigby or Starbucks or whether to buy a Prius or an Accord. I understand. I actually feel sorry for you. One day when we can't hide behind this "fake" level of comfort, the unicorn landers will all be sitting ducks unaware of how our species works (hint: there are no unicorns).


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:35 a.m.

Well, I was at the rally and sure didn't see/hear/experience what the writer did. My sense is that the Tea Party persons outnumbered the protestors by 2 to 3, versus being outnumbered 3 to 1. And I didn't hear the "dealing protests," or at least very few. The writer also said that one of the three the core tenants of the Tea Party is that the "American people have Been overtaxed." The main featured speaker, Thayrone, actually said that he would get rid of the income tax and instead move to a value added or comsumption tax -- which makes much sense, if only to diminish the strength of K Street lobbyists. As for the other two core tenants: "Federal spending is unsustainable at current levels and younger generations will be saddled with debt if nothing changes" -- anyone who disagrees with them is delusional. By the way, I am no where near a Tea Party adctivist or even sympathizer.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:29 a.m.

The Tea Party. For me it just lacks credibility from the get-go just because of its name. The original Boston Tea Party in 1773, it protested taxation without representation. It makes no sense to invoke that event and relate it to the present-day "too much taxation" context. Although the taxation we have no is really no more of a burden than any recent era, people are upset about it, that's fine. But the taxation we have in this era comes WITH representation. It is a travesty to name this modern day movement for reducing taxes (or whatever it is they're trying to achieve) "Tea Party." The government we have was not put in place by a foreign power, we are not governed or taxed without representation. We voted for this government in accordance with the Constitution through popular elections (and electoral college, etc). If you want to effect change, do so through elections. It's simply a travesty to name this "movement" Tea Party.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:17 a.m.

This morning I phoned the office of Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN) to protest her characterization of the Administration during yesterday's Tea Party rally in Washington DC as a "gangster government." The staffer with whom I had a (very polite) conversation told me that Rep. Bachman was simply employing rhetoric, that the remark didn't single out anyone by name (and was therefore harmful to no one), and that surely the audience discern this. How nice. I still say, hate is not ennobled by being wrapped in the Stars and Stripes.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:14 a.m.

according to to a new york times poll about 17% of americans support the tea party "movement"...and they are mostly hardcore republicans, who are relatively economically well off, who'd get bent out of shape whenever a more activist democrat was in power.let alone a black one!! there are also fringe " libertarians", conspiracy theorists and other 'marginalia' who are trying to piggyback on the undue and disproportiate attention given this alleged "movement" ( actually 'same old same old' inertia of the relatively well off...just louder and more strident) thanks to FOX, sexy sara, and the internet).....alot of bumpf and piffle.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:10 a.m.

@ eyeheartA2, Thank you for providing us with some common sense. I appreciate it. IT


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:08 a.m.

@ gibby, I think if you read my previous post @ rusty, your questions will be answered as to where I stand in regards to the unicorn utopia land that you speak of. Furthermore, the "right thing to do" that you speak of is for one thing, completely subjective, and secondly is based on some emotional outpouring that makes you "feel" like you're helping people, not data. Maybe you are, maybe not. Maybe you're just enabling people to do nothing with themselves. If you want to spend tax dollars on social programs, those people that are the scammers better get a big fat "zero" dollars worth. The scammers probably make up a substantial portion of those people you want to "help". IT


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 11:02 a.m.

"DON'T BE MESSIN' WITH MY RIGHTS" what hogwash! that old chic hasn't lost anything. :P

Some Guy in 734

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

EyeheartA2: I'll try to phrase what I said before in a gentler way, in hopes of not having it deleted, too. I suggest that when a sign uses speech patterns common to AAVE, such as the habitual "be" and dropped final consonant in "DON'T BE MESSIN' WITH MY RIGHTS"... race is being brought into the issue, and it isn't brought in by me for saying so. I do believe that if Hillary Clinton were president, with an identical agenda, many of the Tea Bag squad would be there speaking out, as is their right. I do not believe that if Hillary Clinton were president, signs such as the one shown would be phrased in the same way.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 10:52 a.m.

@Independent_Thinker oh so everything has to proven by the language in the Constitution to be the RIGHT THING TO DO? you think people should be left starving at the side of the road. Ok you've pushed me here it is: "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" where in this Bible of the Constitution does it say I have to PROVE myself in this world of Reaganomics, someone that even perverted Andrew Smith's economic model, which is just a theoretical model on how to run business and says nothing on how we're supposed to treat each other. Heck, if we are decent humanitarians, helping people should not be predicate on how much money some one has, it's just promoting the greater good for everyone. IDK why you people don't see that but I guess the comforts of being a suburban white person gives a good cushion for people :P


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 10:44 a.m.

Unless your income is more than $250,000, you are paying the LOWEST level of federal taxes in decades. Confounding that these people are sucked into the misconceptions they believe. Do they not even look at their tax returns when they file them?


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 10:41 a.m.

@ gibby, "social programs are a right for this country for everyone" Please show me where this exists in the Consitution. Should it? I don't think so, but if you think so, pass an amendment. Otherwise, social programs are not rights. What you stated is simply untrue.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 10:36 a.m.

I love how republicans always bring up this "Fiscally Conservative" stuff when it's a republican that got us into this stupid war. That's the sucking sound of money and the deficit, not social programs. social programs are a right for this country for everyone. and actually is not as expensive compared to billions spent on missiles, which they are attempting now, through the latest treaty with the other super powers, to bring to a halt. quit whining. LoL Tigger, so is this stupid Tea Party going to be replacing the republican party!! yaya!!! maybe it'll replace the silly right popularist libertarians whoopeeess /dance oh wait they'd have to have a majority ok nvm. everyone come back to the center and start talking sense :P


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 10:15 a.m.

@ rusty, I think what you are leaving our of your perspective is that the world is always a place of conflict. Therefore, you are either dominating or being dominated. I know most people (particularly liberal annarborites don't "get that"), but it is reality. I am not a conservative, just an observer of reality. If we were to sit back and pull forces back from other places in the world, eventually those places would grow stronger and attempt (and possibly succeed at) dominating us. The unicorn utopia world does not exist and never will. You are either aggressively pursuing or passively defending. It is human nature. This idea that if we just let people be and everything will be alright is a fantasy. Furthermore, Muslim extremists have a lot more motivation than just past/present territorial grievances. They believe strongly in a system of magic that rules the world (religion), of which there is absolutely no evidence to support. These magical believes strongly, if not solely in many cases, influence their choices. Unfortunately, a belief in magic also is heavily present in the USA (and many other parts of the world). Where would you rather be, aggressively pursuing or passively defending while others grow stronger? This concept of conflict is reproduced on a daily basis in small situations. Ever get irritated with somebody at the store for not honoring your coupon? Ever been cut off by a driver? Ever get angry at a talking head on TV? Conflict is all around us, it happens every day. War is just a large scale version of what we are as humans when things really get out of hand. If you're not looking out for yourself in any given situation, you will quickly be taken advantage of by somebody soon (regardless of what country you rside in). Sorry folks, no unicorns here.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 10:13 a.m.

When is everyone going to wake up??? Do you really think this is a Republican v Democrat issue??? Do you really think this is a conservative v liberal issue? I think we can all agree politicians on both sides are abusing their power. I think both sides are sick of the corruption! I am sick of the bailouts! While the lobbyist are lining the pockets of the politicians on both sides. All the while the person America voted in to change this has done nothing to fix it. Its time to start voting for issues instead of party lines.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 10:13 a.m.

@Mick52 "Thus we should never have responded when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Too bad for Kuwait. Never tried to contain the Taliban even after 9/11. No response to massive genocide (well we don't do that anyway)." You have the mainstream media version of history. Look a little deeper and you will know the truth.

Some Guy in 734

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 9:52 a.m.

Marcia Swiss... "I saw many more Patriots than protestors." I'd argue that protest *is* patriotism.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 9:34 a.m.

Interesting discussion my friends. My two cents: Taxes. I think we all agree that at the state and local levels all units, schools included, are struggling for funding. In my opinion, when the fed appears to be on a deficit enlarging spending splurge, many fear expanded fed taxes/fees and hesitate to contribute at the local level. The services you rely on the most are provided at the local level, PD/FD, schools, streets, utilities, etc. Its futile to contact federal reps on spending, we should contact our local reps and demand THEY contact fed reps and tell them to stop spending. I reckon they have the phone numbers. We need to spend more at the state, not federal level. You folks that complain about military spending...I know some people think we should never interfere anywhere internationally no matter what happens, its their own business. Thus we should never have responded when Iraq invaded Kuwait. Too bad for Kuwait. Never tried to contain the Taliban even after 9/11. No response to massive genocide (well we don't do that anyway). And we should have done nothing when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, Poland, Austria, opened concentration camps for mass murder purposes, invaded France, Denmark, Norway and bomb England. Oh, wait, we didn't do anything then. We waited until we were attacked, which pretty much told us we were on the list. So from history we have learned that we should sit back, do nothing and wait until the problem is as large as possible to do anything, not snuff out the little fires when they start up. Of course there exists today no one who would do anything like genocide, take over a country, bar women from school, etc. Nope, won't ever happen again. And we can rely on the powerful UN to handle everything. We are not just Americans, we are Earthlings too.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 9:32 a.m.

Oh, Thayrone. There's a convincing voice for any organization.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 9:25 a.m.

Protesting high taxes and progressive policies in Ann Arbor is like protesting Communism in Havanna. Waste of time. Except in Cuba one would be taken to a "free speech zone". A gulag. A prison camp in Cuba, just not the east end, that is reserved for our enemies. That brings up another issue for our TP friends, do you still support having a prison in Cuba, at a higher cost annually than holding those prisoners in the USA?


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 9:21 a.m.

Does anyone still believe Obama is a socialist?????? Don't let facts get in the way of propaganda, Ian. In order to separate Bush (supported by most of the TP'ers)from Obama the celebrity entertainers MUST have an enemy. first they tried to turn Obama into a Muslim, as that was the Enemy du-jour. Then they tried to make him un-American by questioning his birth country. (If you were not born here, you could be an enemy, especially if African or even worse...European!) Then they played the race card, but that backfired. so they move to an old enemy, communists and the dread socialist. Then they realized that if they combined two of Reagans enemies, commies and the government they could really get the sheople riled up. And look how well it worked! Obama is not a communist, but many here use that term, because they have been told to do so. Obama is not socialist, but they use that term, often combined with "dictator". Neither is accurate, or true. But they do not let that stop them. I too have issues with the Obama presidency, including the debt we are incurring. But all of you that toss these propaganda terms around loosely loose my support immediately by doing so. Bush was not Hitler, Obama is not Mao. Learn it, live it. Obama is a pragmatic corporatist, if one must use these types of terms. He is not even that far left, just to the left of those that supported wireless wiretaps and unregulated war spending, I guess.

Marcia Swiss

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 9:20 a.m.

I was standing right next to you, Mr Dickson @ the Tea Party last night on the Diag. I would disagree with you that the Tea Party Patriots were out numbered by those trying to defend Mr. Obama. I saw many more Patriots than protestors. I would say the turnout was a flip of your observance.

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 9:11 a.m.

Watch any of the available videos on YouTube from last fall - it's easy to see why the majority of Americans fear the Tea Party. You have Americans who shout loudly about how government doesn't work, but don't know how their government works - for example, that czars were instituted by a Republican president, that Communism, Fascism and Socialism are not the same thing, that Joe Wilson supported health care for immigrants, or that the bank bailouts were initiated by Bush.More troubling is that anyone pays attention to these folks who say things like "we need government out of our lives", and "there's too much government." That's like saying there's too much water in the ocean. America - do you really want the world to think we're like this? Tea Party


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 9:02 a.m.

Reposting with nicer phrases. Let's get this straight. Obama is NOT a socialist. He is a CORPORATIST. Let's see what he has done for big businesses during the past 12-16 months. 1. Bankster bailout - With a snap of the finger, he was instrumental in giving $700 billion plus $20-$23 TRILLION in loan guarantees to the criminals that caused the financial meltdown. No one has gone to jail or prosecuted for this crime. 2. War Machine - Expanding wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We are spending $12 BILLION a month killing innocent people to enrich the military-industrial-complex. I thought Obama was going to pull out of Iraq? 3. Insurance Reform - Designed to help the insurance companies. Practically written by the insurance industry. Notice no public option was offered even though everyone will be forced to buy insurance. Insurance company stock prices went up after the bill was passed. 4. Swine flu - Obama declared it a NATIONAL EMERGENCY even though it was one of the mildest flu season in history. Spent billions to buy mercury laced vaccines from big pharma. 5. Monsanto - Obama appoints former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam A. Siddiqui to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Obama also appointed, Former Monsanto lobbyist Michael Taylor as a senior adviser to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner on food safety. I thought Obama would not hire lobbyists? Does anyone still believe Obama is a socialist??????


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:55 a.m.

rusty is right. Even with a much smaller military, no country on earth would consider attacking the U.S. We are constantly being bombarded by our media and government about all the treats to our country. Purposely done to scare us into givin up more and more money for the Pentagon (classic rule by fear). A tiny country like North Korea is able to defend themselves because they have a few nukes. That is all you need to prevent another country from attacking and invading. No wonder Iran wants nukes. For self defense and I think they have every right to defend themselves now that they are surrounded by hostile forces. We are expandng our military basically for empire building. Just as Nazi Germany, Rome, Spain, France, did in the past. They have all failed.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:51 a.m.

Where were the Tea Partiers when Bush/Cheney quadrupled the national debt while slashing taxes on the wealthiest? Most people who will benefit from the change in health care have been paying taxes their entire life. They deserve it. Defense of our great nation is not optional, but sweetening the bankrolls of Halliburton and Blackwater isn't the way to do it. There is waste in the military and it needs to be reined in. I love the fact that there are so many people becoming more vocal about the way government operates. Remember to keep it personal as the major political parties are to blame. Both of them.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:46 a.m.

@ rusty, I'll admit you have a valid point. The only problem that I see is the reality of the situation. Which is, the money from the cuts would go towards redistributing wealth rather than back to me (and other tax payers)... and I'd rather have more aircraft carriers than have that happen.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:31 a.m.

Tigger, it's alright with me if we spend significantly less on war.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:26 a.m.

"One request for the Tea Party organizers. Get rid of Sarah Palin. She is not a good spokeswomen for the Tea Party and only hurts the Tea Party image." +1


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:22 a.m.

I was there at the Tea Party. And of course, the Ann Arbor,Com folks WOULD focus on this guy, who was an OBVIOUS plant, and was yelling and screaming from the corner and had to be finally quieted down by the event organizers. Makes me NEVER want to visit or interact with this Website. SHAME on you, AnnArbor.Com -- I thought you would have more integrity. Totally Disgusting!!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:20 a.m.

I am a progressive (part of the 40%) but support MOST of what the Tea Party stands for. One request for the Tea Party organizers. Get rid of Sarah Palin. She is not a good spokeswomen for the Tea Party and only hurts the Tea Party image.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:19 a.m.

One more tirade... A while back when re-working the tax structure we were told that those that earn their incomes from capital gains should be taxed at a lower rate than those of us that earn wages (ie: work for a living). We were told that by allowing a lower tax rate on investments we would create jobs, wealth all boats would rise equally. Now we have people earning, literally, hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of these people made that money betting against you and me and our ability to pay our mortgage. If you earn your income via a wage, you pay a higher percentage of your income in tax than do many of those that earn more in a year than you will see in your lifetime. Then there are those that take their money and run, maybe to UBS in Switzerland. They cost us hundreds of millions in lost revenue. Food for thought, make of it what you will.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:14 a.m.

The redistribution of wealth is nonsense. I'm not a conservative, and certainly not a liberal. @ Craig L., "I would imagine that if a study was done on the demographics of tea party protesters one would find they overwhelmingly have at least two common characteristics. 1. a per capita income considerably higher than the average for their area. 2. A nice health insurance plan for which they personally pay very little of the actual cost. Just a hunch." What's your point? If they are ahead in the game, why would they want to share with you (or whoever)? Why would they want to take a loss to help you? That's like saying that if one person works out and is strong, they should have to have some of their muscle taken away and given to somebody who choses not to work out and is weak - just because. It must be tough when a liberal annarborite one day finds themself in a situation that requires them to survive in the real rat race that is life. Some of you will never get that "surprise", but it's out there. @ David B., "The only right they have lost is the right to have a WHITE President. Of course, his mother was white!" Nice racist comment. @ Rusty, The reason you are sitting around doing what you're doing now is because of the military. Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Without the most powerful and technolically advanced military in the world we would not be where we are. The strength of a country's military always has and always will determine its place in the world. You can believe in your unicorn filled fields of world peace, but that is a utopian fantasy that never has and never will exist. It is human nature to fight wars.

Edward R. Murrow's ghost

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:08 a.m.

Clownfish: Great Questions. The answer: Shrub was white.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:05 a.m.

Sighhh, Ann Arbor is NOT a liberal or Liberal town, it's actually pretty conservative. The University is definitely liberal, but there's much more to Ann Arbor than the U. Ann Arbor is not, however, conservative enough for the Tea Party. Wasn't there, but how did the TP handle our diversity? They usually avoid areas that have any. I don't believe we are overtaxed, but we certainly overspend...

Mumbambu, Esq.

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:59 a.m.

Ugh. I hated having to pay less in taxes in 2009 than 2008 - 2010 is looking just as low. I'm sick of these darn tax breaks!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:55 a.m.

I do have to wonder, again, where the astroturfers were when Bush: 1: passed the $400,000,000,000 medicare part "D", by a forced vote. 2: spent almost $1,000,000,000,000, off budget, building roads, schools and hospitals in Iraq, at cost plus. Included in that cost is the subsidization of food and gasoline in Iraq (socialism) which continues to this day. 3: spied on Americans in violation of the 4th amendment. 4: had hundreds of BILLIONs of US tax payer dollars stolen by the Iraqi government, and simply misplaced billions more? I also wonder why the protesters have not created jobs with their tax cuts. Wasn't that the idea? Where are those jobs? Then Obama comes along, inheriting the worst recession in 60 years. He signs legislation that keeps us out of a real depression, signs legislation that will help families get and keep health insurance, spends money rebuilding OUR roads and schools, and all of a sudden there is outrage. Where were you guys from 200-2008? Waving flags and screaming at protesters to "support your president while at war!" I bet Usama LOVES the Tea Party! What could be better for his cause than to have us fight amongst ourselves? Ahhh, the good 'ol days when a right winger would call a protester a "traitor" or a "terrorist lover". Now it is "patriotic" to protest the Commander in Chief while he fights two wars. What happened to the theory of the Unitary Executive? The strongly held belief of the right wing that during war a president should be given far reaching powers? "This is exactly what we've been denied too long in America - a real dialogue about what we want and don't want our government to do," Ross said. When were they denied anything? They voted in 2008 with the rest of the country, didn't they? Can't they go to their reps offices any day and speak to them? Can't they use a phone?


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:52 a.m.

Once again, I would like to repeat that the current debt levels of the government, run by both major parties, is a tax on the youth. How can we justify this?


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:43 a.m.

@Rusty I totally agree that we should not be in so many places overseas. Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany to start. And resist the urge to "fix" everyone's problems overseas. "But were the only one capable of doing it" they chant. Well then they need to get the ability. Our blood and treasure goes to policing the world so that others have more money to spend on cultural programs. We have to slash ours to maintain THEIR defense. What a joke! But entitlements are out of control too. Social Security, Medicare and medicade were sold as a "safety net". They have become a hammock. People plan their retirements around them. This is dangerous for our economy because we cannot fund them the way people planned. They must be scaled back. Now. With an eye to eliminating them within the next 50 years. This means reforming healthcare too.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:42 a.m.

@ BenWoodruff - That's just not a valid argument. There is a sliding scale of social programs, and the point is that there are plenty already...enough is enough, let's keep it where it is for now. I don't seriously believe any Tea Party member thinks your laundry list should be eliminated (as you imply) - just not expanded while spending and the deficit are out of control. And in response to the argument that Bush was a big spender, most conservatives agree that he overspent as well. But that should not give the current administration a justification to run the USA's credit card debt into the stratosphere (he robbed a bank so we're going to do it does that make sense?). The current administration had (and still somewhat has) a strategic opportunity to show they are the fiscally responsible option. Would it not be more convincing to voters, and a better strategy, to show fiscal responsibility and then point to the prior administration's contribution to the deficit based on a BS war in Iraq? I don't think taxes are too high right now. To the contrary, they are at historic lows. I just think the credit card charging is out of control, with the end result no different for the USA than my teenage daughter.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:39 a.m.

Whinny Americans. Your taxes are so low in comparison to European locales. This is just embarrassing...


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:33 a.m.

Tigger.... I don't know what you have been smoking but you need to change brands bud....Are you really trying to say we do not need a military? You need to wake up and smell the flowers, not the poppies.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:33 a.m.

Don't be ridiculous by naming government programs and benefits in which almost everyone participates or receives or has the right to participate or receive. Not only do they represent a very small percentage of overall spending, many are primarily funded or are subsidized by private industry and investment, which is on its way to extinction. Moreover, such a juvenile "all or nothing" attitude misses the point entirely. But Tigger is absolutely right - if spending is not reduced drastically, albeit slowly, this movement has no point. And I am not a "Liberal," but I agree that the current military budget, among many other govt. budgets, is outragously unecessary!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:31 a.m.

As someone who agrees with many Tea Party platforms, I would love to form an alliance with Leftist Americans to curb military spending. Our foreign policy of George W. Bush is a mess, and I never supported such foreign intervention. Ron Paul had it right. I am disappointed that many Democratic Leaders, such as President Obama and Congresswoman Pelosi, have done little to change things. How is that hope and change working out for everyone?

Top Cat

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:21 a.m.

The Tea Party folks see what is happening in Greece, New York and California. That is exactly where Oborrow, Pelosi and Reid are taking us. Patriots are standing up and saying NO. November 2!

Chase Ingersoll

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:20 a.m.

The two black women in the first picture are conservative, pro-life activists from the E. Side of Washtenaw County. They are everything that is smart, articulate and pragmatic. My questions when I met them two years ago, is how they came to find themselves in the Republican rather than the Democratic Party. Both knew the last 150 years of the history of both parties, were influenced by their beliefs that abortion is taking a human life and both were huge fans of Ronald Reagan. I had to ask them how they dealt with their families and living in the Washtenaw County of Obamatology. They agreed that "Obamatologist" was an accurate description of many of their family and community members, and that people with such ardent emotions, were not going to reasonably consider history or facts. If you want to meet them, they are Republican Precinct Reps and are at most every Republican Central Committee Meetings.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:15 a.m.

You will all become worried about taxes when those of us who pay for nearly all of the benefits everyone else receives stop working so hard due to our exasperation with having the govt. steal 50% of our income. It is especially frustrating when my husband and I are paying off HUNDREDS of thousands of $ in student loan principal and interest for which we receive NO tax deduction. Why do we not deserve the money we have worked so hard for? Perhaps the dissenters of the tea party movement have decided that we should pay a "fee" for having a strong work ethic. This country was not founded on socialist principles such as wealth redistribution and those who support such philosphies are free to move to Europe. Oh, and yes, garrisondyer, my family does pay for it's health coverage at 100%.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:13 a.m.

Also, next time how about having your rally on private property, not public owned "socialist" grounds...


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7 a.m.

An interesting article from that East Coast Liberal rag:


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:57 a.m.

Tea Partyers: Tired of feeling hypocritical by receiving Medicare and Social Security from the government. Don't just sit there feeling guilty, do something! Here's a quick and easy form for you to fill out:

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:54 a.m.

Taxing Spending Taxing Spending Taxing Spending Taxing Spending Program after program after program after program after program after program after program after program after program after program after. And 50 YEARS LATER, what are the results: More Taxing Spending Taxing Spending Taxing And program after program after program after program after program after program after program after program.

The Picker

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:51 a.m.

I'm suprised that allows the racist rants of some commenters. What does ones color have to do with the article you have presented here. If the commenters have issues with race or ethnicity,shouldn't they be bumped to a more appropriate forum? Ask yourself, if I replaced WHITE with any other race would this comment stand? I hope not. Be a leader and start to judge your commenters not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Edward R. Murrow's ghost

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:48 a.m.

Cash: But don't ya know that race has NOTHING to do with it? Absolutely NOTHING? Yeah, right. Kinda like fertilizer has nothing to do with the grass turning green.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:45 a.m.

It is truly shocking why some people still like and trust Obama when his policies are nearly identical to Bush/Cheney. In some cases worse. Here is a progressive journalist and author, Chris Floyd.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:33 a.m.

But the Mad Hatters never protested the increase in debt due to the Bush Middle East invasion and subsequent war, or the Bush tax cut for the rich only, etc. Strange how they suddenly are brought to a frenzy over a black president and health care for all.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:30 a.m.

The Entitlement attitude has got to be crushed, If you are not willing to contribute to society then you should not be able to receive the benefits of that society. This is something the Tea Party will correct.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:24 a.m.

I believe in smaller govt and lower taxes. I have a right to my opinion and those who want to take the money I earn and distribute it to those who did not earn it, also have a say. Hopefully I win, that is America.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:23 a.m.

It should be mentioned the Obama "Brown Shirts" were called into action to protect liberal turf. The Tea Party message was taken into the bastion of liberalism. Similar rallies were held in such liberals citadels as San Francisco, Cal Berkley, Columbia, and Harvard. Th Tea Party people were respectful as the speakers tended to drone on. A few of the imported Obamabots made a ruckus but "internal security" quelled it. You could sense the panic in the Obama followers as they could see with their own eyes that the Tea Party is not astroturf or an angry mob but rather mainstream America saying enough to the tilt to the left.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:17 a.m.

The current system of maintaining high levels of national debt is a tax on the youth. As a member of America's youth, I support the Tea Party's mission to reign in government spending. I do not deny that taxes are necessary - we must financially support a powerful government, so that it is there to protect our rights (not to go liberate Iraqis, not to tell me what I must purchase, not to go bail out a banker on Wall Street who lost on a gamble). However, I do oppose tax measures such as redistribution of wealth, which is glorified stealing.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:15 a.m.

garrisondyer, the chart says it all. The tax rate started a steady decline when Bush took officer and shows a rise with the current administration. Just wait until we have to pay for all of the deficit budgets and the Bush tax cuts expire. Those of us 50% of workers who pay 97% of the taxes will really protest. TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY! NO MORE SPENDING!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:15 a.m.

The Tea Party will be something to reckon with by this fall....wait and see.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 6:05 a.m.

I hate to bust your sweet little bubbles, But, The Tea Party is catching on like a wild fire and it will be a force to be reckoned with this fall. I suggest you get out of the way or get run over.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 5:59 a.m.

I would imagine that if a study was done on the demographics of tea party protesters one would find they overwhelmingly have at least two common characteristics. 1. a per capita income considerably higher than the average for their area. 2. A nice health insurance plan for which they personally pay very little of the actual cost. Just a hunch.

David Briegel

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 4:39 a.m.

I like the soccer and baseball slide show here! The only right they have lost is the right to have a WHITE President. Of course, his mother was white! Every single Mad Hatter is now paying less tax unless they earn over $250,000!

David Briegel

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 4:32 a.m.

The "genius" from WAAM doesn't appreciate the Obama tax cut! Only Republican tax cuts are patriotic? He should donate his back to pay off the Republican National Debt! garrisondyer, you should have a local talk radio show! But, your wife doesn't do the hiring!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 2:28 a.m.

"Income taxes: A family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 4.6 percent of its income in federal income taxes this year, according to a new analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. This is the second-lowest percentage in the past 50 years." Just to be fair, I thought I'd put this out there. In a way, I do share some of the concern about crazy gov't spending, but to complain about taxes right now is ridiculous.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 12:54 a.m.

I was there and thought it went pretty well. I support the Tea Party, but did talk to some of the people there to oppose the rally. Some were nice - a bit ill-informed, but I honestly believe they think things are going to be great from now on. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat. It's not up to me to make personal decisions for people - about religion, abortion or other social issues. I have my own beliefs about those things, but I do think that it is up to us to keep our government in check, especially regarding fiscal policy. I had to agree with some of the people who were there in opposition that the spending under Bush was bad - but this administration has doubled the spending under Bush in a fraction of a single term. Anyone with common sense knows you can't spend more money than you have, worse - you can't spend more money than you can earn. The only problems I saw at the rally came from people who were there for the purpose of causing problems. That guy in the picture - with the two women talking to him was one of them. He was yelling out questions and interupting the speakers. One woman kept answering his questions and asking him to quiet down. He asked who wrote the 'Pledge of Alliegence' - she told him it was some guy by the name of Bellamy (sp?) - he was a Christian socialist that got kicked out of his church for his socialist sermons. Then he yelled about Jesus. She told him Jesus said a lot of stuff, give to Ceaser what's his and to God what's his but he never said give to Ceasar so he can hand it out for God. LOL! He did quiet down for a few minutes then he went right after her. I think he wanted to know something in the Constitution because she laughed and tried to hand him a copy of it and kept saying 'of' to him. Then he started yelling again but the man she was with told him to back off. He yelled at one of the speakers - and the speaker answered him - then he just shut up. It was kind of funny. I think the guy was drunk or something. I thought it was a good rally and the majority of the people were really decent. The only thing I didn't get was that Fluffhead sign. Even the dumb signs made some kind of sense, I like waffles too. But I still haven't figured out the Fluffhead sign.

John Galt

Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 12:20 a.m.

Protesting high taxes and progressive policies in Ann Arbor is like protesting Communism in Havanna. Waste of time.


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 11:55 p.m.

great to see that there is a civil discourse around town and we can agree to disagree. God bless us ALL


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 11:08 p.m.

Give me a break You state that the Liberal U of M college punks( Univ of Michigan Democrats) outnumbered the Tea Party folks "about 3 to 1". Yeh, you were smoking something funny with those college punks weren't you? I was there at 8p.m. and the college punks were outnumbered 4 to 1. Give me a break I cannot wait until Nov of 2010 and beyond. Only two more years of bad B.O. left to go!!!!! That is a good thing for certain!!!

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 11 p.m.

Ann Arbor isn't a "liberal" town it's a "Liberal" town. There is a difference. The later is a proper noun which, interestingly, in the UK means the opposite of what it does here; the "Conservatives" in the UK are the ones who are more left wing. "Classical liberal" also means what most Liberals would call "conservative" at least in the financial sense... like the Tea Party. I'd argue that the proper noun Liberal is essentially an example of what George Orwell called Newspeak. Because of that I usually refuse to use the term Liberal (I find it dishonest) and instead refer to left and right wing. Big L Liberals are not classically little L liberal.