TEA Party Facts for Tax Day!

I didn’t understand last year when the Montana media decided to cover the dying TEA Party movement on tax day, and I don’t really understand why they chose to today, but there are some gems of facts from TEA Party “rallies” that perhaps make it worthwhile to read. Or at least enjoy.

It’s hard not to lead off with this delight from Republican Senate (SD 42) candidate Marissa Stockton, from Helena:

For example, Marissa Stockton…read some items she said friends posted on Facebook — for example, that 19% of federal spending is “spent on the NSA so they can spy on us.”

Asked about that number, Stockton said it may have originated with data from the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. But a review of several Heritage charts shows no such thing; the entire defense budget is only 18 percent of national spending, including “entitlement” programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Then child-hating Tom Burnett, Republican candidate in House District 67, in his non-stop war against feeding poor children offered this statistic, only problematic in that it is complete nonsense:

He also took aim at reduced-cost school lunches, bringing black-and-white images of food left on cafeteria trays: “Kids on free and reduced school lunch waste 46 percent more than the average kid who pays their way.”

Republican candidate for the PSC and Confederate enthusiast Derek Skees offered this explanation of the TEA Party movement today as well as a rousing call for increased rigor in Language Arts:

“Many of the things that we espouse as what was critical to our future are now becoming the political norm,” he said.

Over in Billings, math-challenged former Republican candidate for governor Ken Miller claimed the dwindling movement was as big as ever:

“The Tea Party is not a party, it’s a philosophy,” Miller said. “So philosophically, there are just as many people today as there were before.”

The more you read about the TEA Party, the more sense it makes that they hate public education, given its focus on facts and subjects like math.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • What would you DO for personal validation without the Tea Party? Why, without them, you’d have to look at your own party with a critical eye, perhaps even self reflect!

    Were there no Tea Party, I think it would be pretty easy to invent one. It’s done by mere power of suggestion, the same thing that makes you support Democrat wars and oppose Republican ones. I don’t think you’ve got much more juice flowing than they do.

    • I’d probably wander from blog to blog making absolutist pronouncements without an iota of evidence or reason supporting them, in order to make myself feel less insignificant and tiny.

      Oh, wait…someone’s taken that role.

      • Oh, I got plenty of evidence – My life was changed by curiosity and exposure to evidence. That set me off on a course of exploration from which return is impossible. Evidence changes a person. You should try it some time. Your schtick appears to be latching onto cynical politicians and placing complete faith in them. That’s no way to live, son. Faith belongs in the religious realm, not the political sphere. Never trust, always verify.

        • Settle down there, big fella. You can’t help it. You’re old, and you’ve lost your purpose in life. Now, the only hard on you got left is for others who don’t see your great whizzdumb! And that’s real sad.

          HEY, don’t blame me! I’m in the same boat, but we all deal with it differently. You and Big Weed have much in common. Now, your sole goal in life is annoying people in attempt to get them to recognize you. It’s all you got left! They hate me so I’m still relevant! You’re like an aging rocker who longer rocks’em! You mick jagger in tights! Pracning across the blogs making people nauseous! Your muse is meta MUSE cil., and you use it liberally to dump all over the forums! Sad, so sad.

          It’s all scientific. I choose a different way. Self-medication! And lubrication. You should try it. Works better than your Metamucil!


          I suck, therefore I am!

        • Then cite something, troll. Repeating what you hear in your own head is not evidence. You don’t know anything about the history of Russian imperial projection in Eastern Europe. Nothing. Instead, you spin nonsense from half-understood articles written by people who probably understand even less than you.

          Read a book sometime. Learn something. It will astonish you to be confronted by an opinion that doesn’t conform to your narrow, repetitive worldview, but you can do it.

          • I cite nothing to your sorry ass! You’re on your own! Go as far as your natural curiosity takes you, probably in your case to the end of your front walk. You’ve not shown me anything other than some standard academic tripe, rote repetition sans insight. Boring.

            I’ve got more books under my belt than you know, but more importantly, they are nothing but seedbed from which a world view grows. They are not factual – in fact, the safe assumptions is that most non-fiction is comprised of lies, inaccuracies, distortions and omissions, so that what is there is has to be blended and worked in with other sources in hope something cogent emerges. Reading any one fricking book about anything is pointless, especially a textbook, which needs committee approval (guaranteeing that it is full of lies, inaccuracies, distortions and omissions).

            Thus endeth the lesson.

            • Mark, it’s no mystery to you that humans have cognitive abilities that border on super-powers. One of the more notable of those is the ability to see patterns in seemingly (and often quite factually) random items, like numbers or events. Where that becomes truly problematic is when we ascribe meaning to those patterns which may or may not exist outside of our own little heads, without testing and reviewing the relationships between those items. Instead, we begin to see more and more things that fit the pattern of explanation we’ve already settled on, hence further anecdote becomes ‘data’ for no damned good reason. The sun must certainly circle the Earth because it reliably rises and moves East to West every single day. That’s how mythologies are born.

              Here you are, again, chastising another blogger because he isn’t privy to the mythologies you’ve created in your little head based on the patterns you see among often unrelated events, like the blast effect on a building in Oklahoma City somehow lends credence to your explanation of the damage in New York and Washington on 9/11/2001. Do you really have to wonder why that is so thoroughly annoying?

              Thus endeth the lesson.

              • There’s a vast aseemblage of evidence surrounding the defining events of our times, and some of us are deeply invested in that evidence. We are not fools, not stupid, not looking for patterns in stars, We are invested in hard evidence uncovered by serious people. There is a mountain of it

                Along comes a dabbler who has not invested the time and presumes to know that I don’t know Jack.

                I know Jack. I’m years into it, miles ahead of you, so that your comment, while duly belittling and seemingly pointed and thoughtful, really amounts to nothing. Until you are invested, you’ve no right to an opinion.

              • That’s a fairly standard and lame appeal to authority, Mark. You’re a believer, ‘investing’ in your belief. Good for you. But, by way of example, one doesn’t need to ‘invest’ a lot of thought or time into Scientology to have an opinion that it’s BS. If fact, if you read my comment with a slightly more open mind than you are used to exhibiting, you might see that I point out that your ‘investment’ in your mythology is part of your problem in dealing with the people who have reason and evidence not to share that particular mindset.

              • There you go again! You’ve got nothing! I said nothing about the value of books, but rather about the need for depth, breadth, and skeptical inquiry, understanding that “non-fiction” is a resource, but that no book by itself has much value. It takes years of reading hundreds of books from many points of view, which I have done, to form a cogent world view. You have not. this is apparent. You don’t know stuff.

      • American politics in a nutshell: Projection yields moral superiority. That’s 90% of being a Democrat – a feeling of moral superiority.

        They also think they are intellectually superior, and the Tea Party reinforces that. That’s why I think TP was invented – given moral and intellectual superiority and a black president and they become insufferable. I cannot wait till a Republican takes office, so they start paying attention again. they’ve been asleep at the wheel for damn near six years.

        • Yeah, good thing liberal collectivists don’t set themselves up on a intellectual pedestal.

          But I’m going to run with your theory. Intentional or not the blatant abuse of power this adm. has amazed will make it easier to ram our new rules down your throat.

          • Liberal collectivists?? Weed, come on now. Did you REALLY think that one up by your lonesome? Geez, dude. Ever heard of a co-op? We’ve been done collectivism for a loooong time there, lil’ fella. ONLY the Big Kockh brothers don’t understand. Are you really in ag? I can’t believe that sometimes.

              • UH oh! Clivescum don’t bleeve in no federal gummint. Clivescum’s ancestors actually took PART in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and he’s damn PROUD of that! Clivescum, the Stormin’ Mormon, is now gonna take his saint’s revolution to the REST of the country with his contingent of the Saintly First Inbred Irregulars! (excuse me for a moment)


                OK, I’m better now. Ah yes, the return of the saints! Only THIS time, they’re accompanied by the First Inbred Irregulars made up of white supremnits, mlisha, reetarts, rejects, confederiditots, inbreds from down south, and losers of ALL stripes just ITCHIN’ to engage in the fight that they missed from military service!

                Too funny. At LEAST the leader of the Freemen, Leroy, was quite intelligent and educated. THESE bozos are the flotsam of the trailer park SEWAGE lagoon! Their GENE pool too!


                • And for you history majors, (inbreds, that AIN’T you morons!),
                  as I like to say, from Coxy’s Army to KOCKHsy’s Army!

                  You see, my ancestors were part of Coxy’s Army. These inbreds are part of the KOCKHsy Army! And they’re too damn stupid to know it! Sad, so sad!


                  When morons go against their own bests interests, the Big Kockhs smile upon them! NUTHIN’ an inbred likes better’n suckin’ up to a Big Kockh brother! Makes’em feel all tingle patridiotic! Hope they don’t orgasm with DEElight!

          • I think Swede, that you’re stuck in the D vs R rut. “Collectivist” as far as I can think it through, as no meaning. Corporations are, after all collectives. Abuse of power is the norm in all administrations. My only schtick is that aside from how they manage our perceptions, they do not differ.

          • You’re not thinking well here, Don: The Tea Party “originated” via a CNBC broadcast that was widely hyped all over where a talking head supposedly spontaneously came up with the idea. Add to that a few people with signs and FOX News cameras, and by power of suggestion, they came from all over, many paid, and began to assemble, most imagining they were part of a grass roots movement. They were bused to rallies by the Kochs, and given their high profile, became established as a spontaneous uprising. Just like Ukraine, these things are easy to organize from above while media makes it appear as if they are from below.

            The initial purpose of the Tea Party, it appears to me, was part of the mass PR effort to pass ACA. They were portrayed as rowdy and stupid, and reverse psychology worked – if stupid people opposed ACA, it must be something good. But since passage of ACA, Tea Party has served interests of shallow pundits like you and Cowgirl, as you continually harp on them and their stupidity, ignoring your own party. Pure manipulation, and you haven’t a clue! tea Party will be gone in 2016″, or completely marginalized, it’s usefulness over.

            Your shallowness in politics continues to amaze me. You haven’t a clue how it is done, and you sit here and WRITE and PONTIFICATE as if you know things. What nerve!

            • I’m just curious, Mark. Were you still here in Bozeman on April 15th, 2009? You know, the day that the largest TEA peep rally in the country happened right here? That march down Main street that had a bigger turnout than in Washington D.C.? Please do tell me again how that was orchestrated and paid for by Baucus, Obama and the Koch brothers, ’cause that fable never gets old …

              • Power of suggestion. FOX had a lot to do with it. The public mind is under firm control, including yours is you think bring a Democrat is useful.

                Baucus is a schmuck, could not organize a two car funeral, by the way. We’re not talking about individual politicians, who are merely tools, but the public relations industry and the decision on how to market ACA. Tea Party came from those organizational meetings, as reverse psychology was needed to knock single payer and public option off the table and replace it with a private mandate. There would have been huge backlash among Democrats without the Tea Party offset.

                That’s how marketing works. If it were straightforward, it would not work.

  • Dammit! Can’t the inbreds just be allowed to LIVE out their fantasies and SHOOT someone from the gummint? Hmm. Seems reasonable to me! I mean, MANY the time I wanted to waste some sumbitch at the county motor vehicle dept. when they made my life a living hell! Well, now, thanks to Clivecsum Ted Bundy, maybe I can!


        • UH oh! It’s the Big Kockhs again! They’re everywhere! I mean, really, just HOW much money do a couple’a old dudes really NEED before they check out??

          It’s important to understand where all this is headed. Kind of unbelievable to me that the Koch funded John Birch Society has somehow become mainstream! Hell, we used to LAFF at these dufus bassturds back in the sixties! And now, they’re legit! That is what happens when your press goes tits up!


          • Oh, and p.s. I saw ol’ Wayne Hage and Helen Chenowith up there in Ft. Benton a few years back when they came up to Montana to rile up the ag folks up there. They didn’t really have much success. In fact, poor ol’ wayne went to the devil soon thereafter with a heart attack, and poor Helen JOINED her lover wayne in a Jeep accident!

            I almost shed a tear. Almost! But karma is a beeyatch! Ya just can’t fight Karma, and you can’t run from it either! If’n the Feds don’t gitcha, Karma will! Jus’ ask ol’ wayne and his lover Helen! Oh wait. THEY’RE DEAD! They won’t be able to answer.

            p.s.s I remember the time ol’ Helen said that she foresaw a coming war “between the environmentalists and the Christians”! Ooopsie! Well, hellen, YOU’RE dead, and I’m still here! Guess that you lose!

            Tell your lover hello for me, woodja? Hey, weren’t you both married? To other people??? How IS it down there? Warm, ain’t it?!

            • I heard that a NOTHER gummint agency is interested in doing bidness with Cliven Scumby’s Army! Seems that we could have another bad fire season, so the Forest Service is down there on the Sumby ranch recruiting the inbreds for duty. Seems that if they get enough of them to line up and whizz backwards like this, they wouldn’t NEED water tanker planes any longer! Heck, NO ONE has ever seen dudes whizz backwards like Scumby’s Army before! Them dudes is flow RIFIC!

              First it was every man for himself bee HIND his woman! Preferably a big FAT momma! Now, it’s every man WHIZZES backwards! Inbreds. Whatcha gonna do with them besides put out fires????


              Lil’ sheriff jonny smack. He’s what law enforcement is all about!…….on the Dukes of Hazzard!

              • Yes, because folks who live in trailer parks would NEVER consent to being placed in box cars! Brave patriots all, es PECIALLY if they have a big fat chunker of a wife to provide cover!

                Patriots in their own words. In their own minds. No, seriously, if you want a glimpse into the inbred mind, and Obama derangement syndrome, read it!
                Ya just can’t make this stuff up! Stupid is as these dudes does!


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