Rand Paul: USA crumbling like Roman Empire. Wrong. 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — The USA now is just like the Roman Empire before it collapsed, says Rand Paul, GOP nominee for Senator from Kentucky. Wrong. Here’s what he said to a Tea Party crowd in Shepherdsville: "In the latter days of Rome, the economy was crumbling, the emperor ... would placate the mob with bread and circus -- food and entertainment to placate them since the economy was in shambles and dwindling around them," Paul told several hundred people gathered for the rally in a Bullitt County park.   "Now in our country, as our economy is in shambles, they give us Cash for Clunkers and a stimulus check and they tell us to go to the mall and spend your money and everything will be OK ... That's not how you become prosperous as an individual or a country," he told the crowd of supporters. And the crowd cheered wildly, I’m sure. (“Yay! The USA is falling apart. Yay! Let’s go to Shoney’s afterward to browse the salad bar!”) Comparing the USA to the declining Roman Empire is as sensible as equating President Obama to Adolph Hitler, the latter of which right wingers (like Glenn Beck) seem to do ...

Despite Fox News hype, tax day protests are duds

JISHOU, HUNAN — The national TEA Party protests flopped. The anti-tax/anti-Obama rallies — Taxed Enough Already Parties — were supposed to represent a coming “revolution” against the sitting president’s policies and the “overtaxation” of the American populace, like the Boston Tea Party of 1773. In that famous incident, the protest was against the Tea Act, which imposed tariffs on tea bound for Britain. The Boston Tea Party was a spontaneous protest against taxation without representation, one of the main complaints of the colonists. By comparison, the modern day TEA Parties were hardly impressive. Fox Noise’s Sean Hannity hyped the parties on the air, and other right-wingers predicted a groundswell of grassroots activism against the Obama administration’s attempts to stimulate the economy by spending government money. Instead, local rallies had puny attendance. Here are some estimates I pulled off news sites. New York Times 16/4/09 Philadelphia, Penn. 200 Pensacola, Fla. 500 Austin., Texas 1,000 Houston, Texas 2,000 Boston, Mass. 500+ Newsday 15/4/09 Massapequa, NY 300 CBS News 15/4/09 Declan McCullagh blog San Francisco “a crowd of hundreds” USA Today 15/4/09 Des Moines, Iowa 1,000 Cincinnati, Ohio 4,000 Lansing, Mich. 4,000 Hartford, Conn. 3,000 New Haven, Conn. 1,000 Montgomery Ala. 1,000+ Frankfort, ...
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