Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread


Where’s Paul Ryan today? Not Florida.


Happy Monday, folks! This Week 3 Chics features artists of the Nineties. Why? Because try as I might, I can’t find any music worth my ear’s attention these days. So there!


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76 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Monday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Lawerence O’Donnel just put it out there to the 4 debate moderators.

    Jim Lehr, Candy Crowley, & Bob Schieffer for presidential debates and Martha Raddatz for the VP Debates. Ask Mitt Romney if he gave John McCain 23 yrs of tax returns to John McCain, why hasn’t he released same for his own campaign?

    For VP candidate, ABC’s Martha Raddatz ask Paul Ryan if he had to release 2 years of his tax returns during the vetting process, why shouldn’t Mitt Romney release his tax returns so that Americans can see whether he is fit to be president?


  2. Ametia says:

    Lawrence O is ready to STICK IT to Romney-Ryan, the COUPON CRAZY-ZOMBIE-EYED fool.

  3. rikyrah says:

    How Obama Will Cash In on Paul Ryan: Medicare, Taxes, Education & More
    by Robert Shrum Aug 13, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

    Romney’s choice of running mate accelerates the move away from the 2012 election as a straight-line referendum on the economy. Now it is unmistakably and irretrievably a decision about the future, says Robert Shrum.

    Never pick a man with a plan—at least not Paul Ryan’s kind of plan.

    After every quadrennial vice-presidential audition, another cautionary guideline emerges. A spectacular example: post–Sarah Palin, any potential choice will be tested for minimum passable competence in foreign policy.

    Ryan is an articulate, informed, self-proclaimed purveyor of “bold” ideas that also happen to be very bad, both substantively and politically. By the time the Obama campaign finishes with him, his specter, like hers, will become a red flag—in his case, a warning against selecting anyone who doesn’t conceal or soften his enmity to economic and social justice, but explicitly repudiates the safety net and basic protections for the middle class.

    Mitt Romney put Ryan on the ticket. But the Democrats will put him through a thorough examination. More than any other vice-presidential nominee ever, he will be a front-and-center target. Romney, who so resembles T.S. Eliot’s “hollow [man] … headpiece filled with straw,” will dissolve into the image and ideology of his running mate. Soon they will look like the Ryan-Romney ticket. Need proof? Check out Bob Schieffer’s 60 Minutes interview with the two last night. Ryan already seemed to be talking down to Romney.

  4. rikyrah says:

    FYI on Job openings

    Great jobs for young men who aren’t in college and strong young women also! This is Obama money for “infrastructure” the jobs are located all over, paid training in Atlanta. This is an awesome opportunity, please pass this on. These jobs pay good wages.

    Training: You will attend two or three weeks of training at the Railroad Education & Development Institute in Atlanta , GA. CSX will pay for travel, lodging and meals as required by collective bargaining agreement.

    Track Worker-030702 Job Summary: Work as a member of a crew to install new railroad track, maintain existing track and right-of-way. Replace or repair track switches with specific components. Slide and align tie plates. Drill holes through rails for insertion of bolts and tighten or loosen bolts at joints that hold ends or rails together. Correct deviations in track surface, alignment and gauge Cut rails to specific lengths etc.

    Pay Rate Entry Rate $19.36/hour Full Rate $21.52/hour Promotional/ Advancement Opportunities: Under Maintenance of Way Collective Bargaining Agreement, Track Workers may be considered for advancement or promotion to other positions within the Engineering Department if qualified.
    Machine Operator $23.25 – $24.81/hour
    Welder Helper $21.93/hour
    Bridge Tender $21.93/hour
    Bridge Mechanic $22.65/hour
    Foreman $22.71 – $25.53/hour
    Track Inspector $23.98 – $25.14/hour
    Qualifications: High School diploma/GED;18 years of age or older; Valid Driver’s License

    At CSX, two of the company’s core values are People Make The Difference and Safety Is A Way of Life. We are committed to offering our team members the most competitive compensation and benefits package available, unlimited opportunities for development and growth throughout an exciting and rewarding career, and the safest work environment possible. CSX is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer that supports diversity in the workplace.

    Apply online to this and other positions:

  5. rikyrah says:

    as for those who suggested that the Dems slide away from Vouchercare and start calling it COUPONS, Patrick Gaspard of the DNC did exactly that today on tv .

    • Ametia says:

      See new post for COUPON. Ryan will be running back to Janesville with his head between his legs, by the time the Obama camp’s done with him.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Found this in the comments at Balloon Juice

    mclaren Says:

    This is my problem with Romney: He is a decent man…

    Where’s the evidence to support that claim?

    I never strapped a dog in a cage on top of my car and kept driving for 5, 6, 7 hours straight until the dog shat itself.

    I never bought out companies and then offshored all their jobs and fired all the workers and walked away as they lost their pensions and health care and livelihood.

    I never referred to Obama using racist code phrases.

    But Romney does all these things. He’s a textbook sociopath—zero empathy, flattened emotional affect, unable to relate to other people except by manipulating and controlling them, consumed with narcissism and obsessed with the desire for personal power.

    Sociopath is as sociopath does. Romney’s actions define him as a classic sociopath. The only reason Romney hasn’t gone on a killing spree with an automatic weapon is that he’s rich and he can fire thousands of people and destroy their lives instead—which he probably finds more satisfying, since it takes them longer to die that way.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Republican Candidates Tip-Toe Around Ryan’s Medicare Plan

    Eric Kleefeld-August 13, 2012, 3:03 PM

    We want this fight,” blared a Monday email from the National Republican Congressional Committee, pushing back on the idea that Democrats are salivating at the prospect of running against Paul Ryan’s budget in races up and down the ballot.

    But not every Republican candidate appears to have gotten the memo.

    Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is locked in an incredibly tight race with Democrat Elizabeth Warren, detailed his opposition to Ryan’s 2011 proposal to privatize Medicare in a Politico op-ed: “While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started, I cannot support his specific plan — and therefore will vote ‘no’ on his budget.” Instead of drastically changing Medicare in a manner that would impact seniors, Brown said the focus should be on making improvements to the existing program.

    Brown’s camp wouldn’t quite give a direct answer on Ryan Monday. Brown’s spokesman, Colin Reed, told TPM in a statement:

  8. rikyrah says:

    August 13, 2012, 1:54 pm

    Romney/Ryan: The Real Target

    So, let me clarify what I believe is really going on in the choice of Paul Ryan as VP nominee. It is not about satisfying the conservative base, which was motivated anyway by Obama-hatred; it is not about refocusing on the issues, because R&R are both determined to avoid providing any of the crucial specifics about their plans. It is — as Jonathan Chait also seems to understand — about exploiting the gullibility and vanity of the news media, in much the same way that George W. Bush did in 2000.

    Like Bush in 2000, Ryan has a completely undeserved reputation in the media as a bluff, honest guy, in Ryan’s case supplemented by a reputation as a serious policy wonk. None of this has any basis in reality; Ryan’s much-touted plan, far from being a real solution, relies crucially on stuff that is just pulled out of thin air — huge revenue increases from closing unspecified loopholes, huge spending cuts achieved in ways not mentioned. See Matt Miller for more.

    So whence comes the Ryan reputation? As I said in my last post, it’s because many commentators want to tell a story about US politics that makes them feel and look good — a story in which both parties are equally at fault in our national stalemate, and in which said commentators stand above the fray. This story requires that there be good, honest, technically savvy conservative politicians, so that you can point to these politicians and say how much you admire them, even if you disagree with some of their ideas; after all, unless you lavish praise on some conservatives, you don’t come across as nobly even-handed.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Seriously: Ryan Is A Radical Who Doesn’t Care Who Gets Hurt

    By Anne Laurie August 13th, 2012

    … as long as it’s not him, of course. Jonathan Cohn, at TNR, spells out Six Things to Know About Ryan (and Romney):

    Many millions of working-age Americans would lose health insurance. Senior citizens would anguish over whether to pay their rent or their medical bills, in a way they haven’t since the 1960s. Government would be so starved of resources that, by 2050, it wouldn’t have enough money for core functions like food inspections and highway maintenance. And the richest Americans would get a huge tax cut.

    This is the America that Paul Ryan envisions. And now we know that it is the America Mitt Romney envisions.

    Of course, we should have known that already. Romney committed himself to the Ryan agenda during the presidential primaries, both by embracing the Ryan budget rhetorically and specifically proposing key features of Ryan’s agenda, starting with a tight cap on federal spending. But if anybody doubted that Romney was serious about these commitments, the Ryan pick should put those doubts to rest. Maybe Romney sincerely believes these ideas are right for the country and maybe he feels that endorsing them is necessary to please his party’s base. It really doesn’t matter. It’s the way he intends to govern…

    1. Ryan really believes in ending Medicare as we know it…
    2. Ryan really believes in ending Medicaid as we know it…
    3. Ryan really pushed for privatization of Social Security….
    4. Ryan really would decimate government funding, to the point it could no longer carry on many routine operations…
    5. Ryan really does want the biggest transfer of wealth, from poor and middle class to rich, in modern U.S. history…
    6. Ryan really holds an extreme position on abortion rights, even relative to other conservatives….

  10. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    August 13, 2012 4:54 PM

    Another Reminder: Medicaid, Not Medicare, Biggest Target For Conservatives

    By Ed Kilgore

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record on this subject, I devoutly hope that in their rush to tie Mitt Romney to Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal, progressives don’t forget that there has never been much space between the two running-mates on the national health care program Ryan’s budget would really destroy: Medicaid. Wonkblog’s Suzy Khimm has a reminder today:

    Paul Ryan’s Medicare overhaul may be the most controversial part of his budget.But the proposed cuts to the program are not the biggest cuts in the plan.

    As Ezra notes, Ryan’s cuts to Medicare “are only 60 percent as large as the cuts to Medicaid and other health-care programs.” What’s more, his biggest change to Medicare wouldn’t kick in until 2023—the start date for his voucher-based premium support program. By comparison, Ryan’s cuts to Medicaid are more drastic, and they start sooner: Between 2013 and 2022, it would make nearly $1.4 trillion in cuts to Medicaid that “would almost inevitably result in dramatic reductions in coverage” as well as enrollment, according to the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

    Over the next 10 years, the Ryan plan would cut Medicaid by $642 billion by repealing the Affordable Care Act and by $750 billion through new caps on federal spending—a 34 percent cut to Medicaid spending over the next decade, according to Edwin Park of the Center and Budget and Policy Priorities.

    Who would that impact? First, by overturning the ACA, the Ryan plan would prevent 11 million people from gaining Medicaid coverage by 2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimates….

    If states maintained their current level of spending for each Medicaid patient, 19 million more people would have to be cut from the program in 2021 because of Ryan’s block-grant reform, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. If states managed to curb health-care spending growth in Medicaid, 14 million beneficiaries would still lose Medicaid coverage under the Ryan plan. And that’s on top of the 11 million Americans who would lose Medicaid coverage because the Ryan plan would repeal Obamacare. So all in all, Ryan’s cuts could mean as many as 30 million Medicaid beneficiaries lose their coverage

  11. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    August 13, 2012 5:39 PM
    Vote For Me, Though I Wish You Couldn’t

    By Ed Kilgore

    I don’t know exactly what it is with Arizona Republicans these days, but likely Senate GOP nominee Jeff Flake has achieved a whole new level of weirdness: appealing for votes even as he supports the idea of taking the vote away in U.S. Senate elections. As TPM’s Nick Martin reports:

    Jeff Flake, the Republican Arizona congressman who is running for U.S. Senate, would prefer if the voters of his state didn’t have the chance to cast a ballot for him this year.

    Instead, he said at a recent campaign stop, he wishes the Arizona legislature, which is dominated by a Republican super majority, would get to choose who represents the state in the Senate.

    Flake made the comments last week in response to a question at an event in Payson, Ariz. The local newspaper, the Payson Roundup, first noted the response on Friday.

    In doing so, Flake came out alongside hardcore Tea Party candidates who favor the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which was adopted in 1913 to let voters pick their senators. But even some Tea Party candidates have said repealing the amendment would be a step too far for them

  12. rikyrah says:

    One never gets a second chance to make a first impression
    By Steve Benen

    Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:27 PM EDT.

    This was briefly mentioned earlier, but just to flesh the story out a bit, the new poll numbers for Paul Ryan aren’t exactly good news for the Republican ticket.

    Americans don’t believe GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney hit a home run with his choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, with more of the public giving him lower marks than high ones.

    Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is seen as only a “fair” or “poor” choice by 42% of Americans vs. 39% who think he is an “excellent” or “pretty good” vice presidential choice.

    That’s a net of -3%, which wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the fact that Ryan is the first running mate from either major party to have a net-unfavorable response since Dan Quayle in 1988.

    The response from Team Romney is that the right-wing congressman is not yet well known by most of the public. There’s certainly some truth to that, but as Kevin Drum noted, “Among non-political junkies (i.e., normal people) Jack Kemp wasn’t very well known. Cheney wasn’t well known. Biden wasn’t very well known. And Palin wasn’t well known. But initially, they all polled better than Ryan.”

    The same poll asked whether Ryan is qualified to be president — a relevant consideration given that the VP is “one heartbeat away” — and the Budget Committee chairman fared better, with 48% saying he is qualified. That’s the good news. The bad news is, there have only been three VP nominees who failed to reach 50%: Paul Ryan, Palin, and Quayle. That’s not good company.

  13. Ametia says:


    Romney says only Obama has cut Medicare

    Politifact Rated Romney’s Claim About Obama And Medicare “False,” Noting That Romney Falsely Implied That Obama Cut Benefits When In Reality, The Affordable Care Act Increases Benefits For Seniors.“Romney said, ‘only one president has ever cut Medicare for seniors in this country and it’s Barack Obama.’ The statement gets it wrong on every front. The Medicare belt was tightened in 1981 and 1982 under Reagan, in 1989 under the first President Bush and again in 1997 under Clinton. So Obama is in no way the only president to cut the program. Further, by specifying that Obama cut Medicare ‘for seniors,’ Romney seems to mean that the president slashed benefits, not just the program’s spending. That’s even more egregious. Other presidents have made changes to Medicare that reduced benefits for seniors, while the health care law Obama signed actually increases them. That’s a lot of inaccuracy in a single sentence. We rate Romney’s statement False.”

  14. Ametia says:

    Bob “Transvaginal Ultrasound” McDonnell PEDDLING THE LIES

    Transcript from Andrea Mitchell showt:

    MITCHELL: Moving in to the subject of some of the possible pitfalls that we have seen already. The Florida newspaper front pages were heralding the Medicare cuts in the Ryan budget, and we should point out that there were two Ryan budgets and he lifted the cap on some of the paybacks in the second budget, but it’s still pretty severe. Do you have concerns about that and about the possibility of losing Florida, losing seniors, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, other states where you have a lot of senior citizens?

    MCDONNELL: First, I’d say that the program that Paul Ryan put together on Medicare reform was one he put together with Ron Wyden, Democrat from Oregon. They put this together, together. Secondly, I would say that President Obama’s taken about $700 billion out of Medicare for the funding of Obamacare so I don’t think we need to be lectured by the president when he’s done some things to Medicare.

    • Ametia says:


      The budget resolution developed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would make significant changes to Medicare. It would replace Medicare’s current guarantee of coverage with a premium-support voucher, raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, and reopen the “doughnut hole” in Medicare’s coverage of prescription drugs. Together, these changes would shift substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries and (with the simultaneous repeal of health reform) leave many 65- and 66-year olds without any health coverage at all. The plan also would likely lead to the gradual demise of traditional Medicare by making its pool of beneficiaries smaller, older, and sicker — and increasingly costly to cover.
      READ ON

  15. Ametia says:

    Obama, Biden link GOP rivals to Congress
    By Ken Thomas and Steve Peoples
    Associated Press
    Monday, August 13, 2012

    COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — President Barack Obama and Joe Biden moved quickly Monday to link GOP rivals Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to House Republicans who Democrats blame for causing gridlock in Washington and pressing policies to protect the wealthy.

    Obama, campaigning in Iowa, accused Ryan of blocking a congressional farm bill, seeking to link Romney by extension to a Washington stalemate that could help Midwestern voters cope with a crippling drought.

    “If you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities,” Obama said. “We’ve got to put politics aside when it comes to doing the right thing for rural America and for Iowa.”

    Biden sought to break through Romney’s efforts to put some distance between his proposals and Ryan’s austere budget plans, which Democrats believe could give them an opening with seniors fearful of his proposed overhaul of Medicare.

    “Let’s cut through all of this,” Biden said during a rally in North Carolina. “They are running on what the Republican Congress has been promoting for the past four years.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Romney/Ryan Empathy Deficit
    By Bernard Finel August 13th, 2012

    I came into 2012 quite pessimistic. The economy was weak, most liberals I knew were committed to voting for Obama, but less enthusiastic than in 2008, while on the other side, the right-wingers were virtually bouncing off the walls with manic energy borne of hatred of Obama. Weak economy + enthusiasm gap = problems for Obama.

    And obviously, this was the Romney calculus as well. Make the election a referendum on Obama, sit back, and profit.

    But I think neither I, nor they, realized what a God-awful politician Mitt is. Now, there are a lot of skills that make for a good politician, of course. And it isn’t all about being personable. But you do need to make a connection.

    Nixon was a miserable SOB, but had a long, extraordinary career because even though no one could ever imagine having a beer with the guy, there were a lot of people who identified with him. He was a surly, angry, insecure jerk, which made him a perfect standard bearer for a movement based on resentment.

    GW Bush was an arrogant frat boy, but somehow managed to convey the impression that he’d be a nice guy to have a beer with. And unquestionably, a lot of people felt he had their interests at heart.

    But Romney. He’s just devoid of a personal touch. He’s not really angry either. I mean, why would be he be? You don’t want to have a beer with him, nor can anyone see him as their standard bearer for some sort of resentment based crusade.

    Romney could, I guess, have run as a genuine technocrat… but of course you can’t in today’s GOP since actual facts and logic are anathema.

  17. rikyrah says:

    The Return Of The Tax Returns
    by Patrick Appel

    Stan Collender predicts it:

    In the immediate aftermath of the Ryan announcement, some analyses indicated that, if enacted, the tax portion of the Ryan plan would mean that Romney would pay no federal taxes whatsoever. That’s a PR nightmare for the Romney campaign that obviously wants to change the story away from Romney’s taxes because of the damage it has done to the campaign in recent weeks. Now, instead of changing the Romney tax story, Ryan is far more likely to reinvigorate it or, in journalistic terms, give it “legs.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Was Ryan Involved In Insider Trading?
    by Chris Bodenner

    A look at the circumstantial evidence:

    [Paul Ryan] sold shares in a number of financial companies including Citigroup, General Electric, Wachovia, and JP Morgan Chase on the same day as then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke held a closed meeting with congressional leaders during the financial crisis. … According to The New York Times, the meeting was held in the evening, which raises significant doubt if any member in attendance would have been able to act on the conversation. Ryan’s 2008 financial disclosures, which are publicly available on [pdf], were analyzed by Business Insider (Via The Richmonder).

    Even if Ryan did act on secret information gleaned from Paulson et al, it would not have been illegal at the time. But ethically dubious no doubt, and right in line with Romney’s legal but despicable 13.9% tax rate. Speaking of which, the IRS just released [NYT] some shocking new info about the taxes paid by the 400 wealthiest Americans in 2009:

    Not even Mr. Romney, with reported 2010 income of $21.7 million, qualifies for membership in this select group of 400. But the data provides a window into the financial lives and tax rates of the superrich. Since the I.R.S. doesn’t release data for the tiny percentage of Americans at Mr. Romney’s income level, the 400 are the closest proxy.

    And that data demonstrates that many of the ultrarich can and do reduce their tax liability to very low levels, even zero. Besides the six who paid no federal income tax, the I.R.S. reported that 27 paid from zero to 10 percent of their adjusted gross incomes and another 89 paid between 10 and 15 percent, which is close to the 13.9 percent rate that Mr. Romney disclosed that he paid in 2010. (At the other end of the spectrum, 82 paid 30 to 35 percent. None paid more than 35 percent.)

  19. rikyrah says:

    August 12, 2012
    Is our conservatives learning?

    I enjoyed Maggie Haberman’s short post in Politico: “It appears as Ryan’s appearance in [Florida] alongside Romney, planned for tomorrow, was redirected to Iowa.” And so the fallout begins.


    Could be. Not sure about that. But here’s what we do know, Paul, and you obviously do not. Without raising payroll taxes by even a fraction of 1 percent, just lifting the income cap on Social Security contributions would virtually eliminate the program’s coming deficit.

    As for Medicare, its administrative cost is about 2 percent of revenue, whereas private health insurance used to run as high as 30 percent (now capped at 15 percent by President Obama’s infamous ACA–oh, and consumer rebates are in the mail).

  20. rikyrah says:

    found this comment at BooMan Tribune:

    Re: The Veep Choice Matters (none / 0)
    by mainsailset on Mon Aug 13th, 2012 at 01:55:13 PM EST

    Listening to Obama’s stump speech in Iowa this morning I got the feeling that a new angle of attack was just opened up…the Farm Bill.

    In Iowa, with crops failing under the onslaught of drought, the message is powerful. The Farm Bill is an imminent tie to middle America’s heart and soul, her jobs, her environment and thus her economy. Obama is jumping into this new angle of attack importance while Romney/Ryan are tangled up with Medicare and now they’ll have to multi task on the defensive. Oh yeah, and Global Warming is on the ground in Iowa.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The Veep Choice Matters
    by BooMan
    Mon Aug 13th, 2012 at 10:35:54 AM EST

    First Read makes an observation:

    “By selecting Paul Ryan as his running mate on Saturday, Mitt Romney did something that Walter Mondale, Bob Dole, Al Gore, and John McCain did in previous presidential contests: They used their VP pick to try to shake things up. Trailing in the summer, they chose a running mate — be it Geraldine Ferraro, Jack Kemp, Joe Lieberman, or Sarah Palin — to change the fundamentals of the race. These picks all worked in the short run, but only once (with Lieberman) did it serve its purpose for the rest of the campaign. (Gore, after all, was able to battle back to where he actually won the popular vote.)”

    Lieberman wasn’t selected to help Gore win Connecticut. He was picked to reassure big donors, to provide some moral cover for Bill Clinton’s peccadillo, and to boost turnout among the Jewish community in Florida. It not only helped Gore win the popular vote, it also helped him to win Florida, the Electoral College, and the election. If not for a confusing butterfly ballot in Palm Beach County that led to a ton of overvotes and a bunch of mistaken votes for Pat Buchanan, Gore would have been president.

    Even with the butterfly ballot fiasco, an honest recount would have shown Gore and Lieberman to be the real victors. And, in that case, we might all be dealing with a President Lieberman today. That’s why selecting a vice-president matters. Think back to Eisenhower’s choice of Richard Nixon. When it comes to changing history, few things have as much potential influence as plucking someone out of obscurity and putting them on the presidential ticket. Other examples: Teddy Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson.

    Also, Geraldine Ferraro, Dan Quayle, John Edwards, Sarah Palin, and Paul Ryan.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:52 PM ET, 08/13/2012
    Paul who? Romney’s choice lags in first polling
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    The first polls are out on Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan for running mate, and the reaction isn’t very positive. A USA Today/Gallup poll finds a plurality of Americans think Ryan is a “fair” or “poor” choice, while only 48 percent believe he’s qualified to be president.

    According to Gallup, the overall evaluation is the worst since Dan Quayle’s selection in 1988, while the number believing Ryan is qualified is lower than all but Quayle and Sarah Palin in 2008 (from polling that goes back only to 1988; via Nate Silver). A Washington Post/ABC News poll found an immediate jump in Ryan’s positive ratings — but only to a lukewarm 38 percent favorable, 33 percent negative plurality. This does not appear to be a pick that’s getting immediate rave reviews from voters.

    The Romney campaign told USA Today that the lousy numbers reflect mainly that Ryan isn’t well known, and that’s probably correct. It probably didn’t help that the rollout happened early on a Saturday morning during the Olympics (and the “60 Minutes” interview opposite the Olympics closing extravaganza? Who but the most intense Republican partisans are going to pick Romney/Ryan with Bob Schieffer over the Spice Girls?)

    But Team Romney is wrong if it believes that low name recognition makes the polling irrelevant. It’s the opposite: Picking someone unknown — and someone who is very young and doesn’t have the conventional credentials (whether reasonable or not) for presidential nominations — is very much a potential problem for the team. Specifically, if Ryan stumbles early on, he could easily solidify a reputation as unqualified or unready for the presidency. It’s true that Ryan has one asset that neither Quayle nor Palin had: He’s well-known and generally well-liked by the political media. But then again, Quayle did have normal presidential credentials. And for what it’s worth, while Quayle was not nearly as important in Congress as Paul Ryan, he did have morelegislative accomplishments than Ryan.

  23. rikyrah says:

    don’t hate the playa

    hate the game


    Pirates grow wealthy — and get own letterhead
    In 2011, Somali pirates reportedly earned some $160 million in ransoms

    Welcome to the Pirate Action Group. Pirate commander Jamal wishes to congratulate you on being hijacked. Kindly speak to his negotiator about your ransom, bearing in mind that his demands are similar for every vessel he seizes.

    This is not an absurd joke — this is how the pirates of the African coast do business, and it’s a serious matter for the companies that have to pay out.

    In 2011, Somali piracy cost the world economy $7 billion and earned the pirates some $160 million in ransoms, according to a recent report by the International Maritime Bureau.

    Piracy is receding of late, but it is still a threat. The maritime bureau reported 69 hijacking incidents by Somali pirates between January 1 and July 12, down 32 percent from last year.

    Rogues though they may be, these pirates in many cases are surprisingly well-organized, down to having their own packets of paperwork — on letterhead — for their victims.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 08/13/2012
    On social issues, there’s no daylight between Ryan and the far right
    By Jamelle Bouie

    For the right wing, Paul Ryan is the perfect representation of their budgetary priorities — low spending on social services, high spending on defense and the slow unraveling of entitlements for younger Americans. What goes under the radar, however, is his commitment to right-wing cultural values, which is just as strong as his disdain for the welfare state.

    On abortion, Ryan is in the far-right of his party. As Michelle Goldberg explains for the Daily Beast, he doesn’t believe that women have any right to terminate a pregnancy, even if the circumstances are dire. To wit, he co-sponsored the Sanctity of Life Act, which declares that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” It would criminalize all abortion, as well as in vitro fertilization and some forms of birth control. Indeed, it stands as one of the most extreme anti-abortion measures currently floating in Congress.

    On gay rights, he’s just as reactionary. He supports amending the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, and voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004 and 2006. He supports the Defense of Marriage Act and in 2003, approved of a bill that would prevent federal courts from considering DOMA and possibly overturning it. He voted in 1999 to keep same-sex couples from adopting in the District of Columbia, he opposed last year’s effort to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and when the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act came up for a vote in 2009, Ryan placed his name in opposition. At most, he supported the 2007 version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Memo to Democrats: How To Attack Paul Ryan
    Categories: Headline Article, MItt Romney
    By Bob Cesca August 13,2012

    The smartest thing about the choice of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate is that in order to criticize him, Democrats will have to get wonky about it.

    There’s nothing wrong with being wonky, of course, but details about policy — especially budget and economic policy — don’t tend to resonate as well with casual observers of news and politics who simply tune out halfway through the word “fiduciary.” Meanwhile, there’s clearly no legitimate way to say he’s a doofus who can’t talk without choking on his own tongue, as Democrats could with Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin. It would be a stretch to paint him as an evil supervillain narrative as was done with Dick Cheney.

    So where are Paul Ryan’s most accessible weaknesses?

    Primarily, Ryan is cut from a similar cloth as Romney. Both ends of the ticket hold current positions that are in direct conflict with their previous leadership roles, and since this is an existing problem for Romney, it’s not a stretch to exploit Ryan’s weakness here as well.

    We know for sure that Ryan will be an attack dog on the president’s record regarding the stimulus, government spending, the deficit and the debt. But as a member of the House, it’s extraordinarily difficult for him to justify the fact that part of his job — written into the Constitution, in fact — is to vote on appropriations (one of the reasons why hardly any members of the House are successful presidential candidates). So he has a considerable record of voting for legislation and policies that literally created the current deficit and debt.

    Let’s do the list of the biggies.

    TARP. Surely the Republicans will continue to demonize the “bailout” in 2008, otherwise known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008) and inexplicably blame it on the Democrats even though it was the Bush White House that proposed the bailout. Paul Ryan voted yes for the bill and, with his vote, $700 billion was handed over to the nation’s financial institutions in order to keep them in business.

    AUTO BAILOUT. Paul Ryan also voted for President Bush’s 2008 $14 billion bailout of the auto industry (separate from President Obama’s subsequent $60 billion bailout).

    THE 2008 BUSH STIMULUS. What the hell? You mean Bush passed a stimulus? Why, I thought “stimulus” was horrible trespass against conservatism! Oh, and Paul Ryan voted for that one, too. It turns out that prior to January 20, 2009, presidents of both parties routinely passed stimulus programs to jump-start economic growth. Contrary to modern conservative dogma, stimulus plans aren’t just the purview of commie Kenyans.

    MEDICARE PART-D. Ryan also voted for President Bush’s Medicare Part-D prescription drug program, which, like most of Bush’s policies, wasn’t paid for — the fiscally responsible thing to do. Instead, he voted for $16 trillion in unfunded spending added to the national debt. (The Republicans appear to have only discovered the existence of the national debt on January 20, 2009. Prior to that, and based on 2000-2008 spending habits, I’m not sure they were aware of the concept.)

    THE IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN WARS. Yes, Paul Ryan voted for both wars and all of the various supplemental spending bills along the way. At least $1.5 trillion in deficit spending without any budget offset or pay-as-you-go legislation that ultimately accounts for around 10 percent of our long-term national debt. Paul Ryan voted yes all along the way.

    THE BUSH TAX CUTS. And of course Paul Ryan voted for the Bush tax cuts. As of last year, the tax cuts for the wealthiest five percent of Americans cost the government $1,034,424,338,581 in revenue, thus significantly contributing to deficit and the debt. If the Bush tax cuts are renewed for the richest Americans, they’ll be the largest contributor to the deficit and debt by 2019 — by a trillions of dollars, more than all of the other debt-drivers combined.

    Everything here, minus President Obama’s stimulus, has contributed to most of the current deficit and national debt. And regarding the president’s stimulus package, Paul Ryan voted against it, and yet by every economic indicator (short of the slow-to-recover unemployment rate) it absolutely worked. GDP, job creation, the stock market, housing and so forth have all rebounded as a direct result of the economic recovery sparked by the stimulus.

  26. rikyrah says:

    There is only ONE SELF-MADE MAN running for President.

    President Barack Hussein Obama

    Willard was born on third and these dumb muthafuckas think he should be worshipped cause he passed home plate.

    But, they gotta cling to that WHITENESS.


    The stories white guys tell themselves

    Joan Didion wrote, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” I’d modify that slightly for this presidential election year and say, we tell ourselves stories in order to vote. Which is why Mitt Romney maintains a huge lead in the polls among blue-collar white men.

    The differential is staggering. Non-college-educated white men give Romney a 37-point advantage over President Barack Obama according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. Why would struggling wage earners support a candidate who would give tax cuts to the top 1 percent, a group that controls 43 percent of the wealth in the country, while adding to the tax burdens of people at the lower end of the income scale? Racial issues aside — and I’m not discounting the significant “black president” factor, it comes down to the power of myth and story.

    White men have been fed the myth of the rags-to-riches, self-made man, the quintessential American narrative that says hard work and perseverance will equate to success. The idea cemented in the male cerebral cortex is that people who start from nothing can work themselves from the Horatio Alger mailroom to the corner office.

    The unflattering flip side of this is that failure is a character flaw. If you don’t succeed, you didn’t work hard enough. As the story goes, anyone who takes government help falls into this category.

  27. Ametia says:

    Presidential debate moderators announced: Crowley is first woman in 20 years
    Posted by Aaron Blake at 10:55 AM ET, 08/13/2012
    The WashingtonPost

    The 2012 presidential debates will feature a female moderator for the first time in 20 years.
    The Presidential Debate Commission announced Monday that PBS’s Jim Lehrer, CBS’s Bob Schieffer and CNN’s Candy Crowley will moderate the three presidential debates, while ABC’s Martha Raddatz will moderate the lone vice presidential debate between Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

    Crowley is the first female moderator for a presidential debate since ABC’s Carole Simpson, who was both the first female and first African-American to land the gig in 1992.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Obama Casts Ryan As Face Of Do-Nothing Congress

    Evan McMorris-Santoro- August 13, 2012, 11:09 AM 9143Rep. Paul Ryan’s inclusion on the ticket gives Democrats a chance to talk endlessly about Ryan’s budget plan, a prospect they relish. But President Obama is also seizing on another opening: congressional Republicans are immensely unpopular, and he is already using Ryan as an opportunity to highlight the House GOP’s refusal to pass major legislation.

    It’s a point Obama will hammer Monday during an appearance in swing-state Iowa, where he’ll lambast Ryan for “standing in the way” of a farm bill that would bring much-needed drought relief (emphasis added):

    “Right now folks here in Iowa and across the heartland are suffering from one of the worst droughts in 50 years. Farmers and ranchers depend on a good crop season to pay the bills and put a roof over their heads, and I know that things are tough right now. “The best way to help these states is for leaders in Congress to pass a farm bill that not only helps farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters, but also makes necessary reforms and gives them some long-term certainty. But right now, too many members of Congress are blocking that bill from becoming law. Now, I’m told Governor Romney’s new running mate might be around Iowa these next few days. And he’s one of those leaders of Congress standing in the way. So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. It’s time to put politics aside and pass it right away.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Mission Accomplished: Romney Alienates the Last Demographic Support He Had
    By: Rmuse
    August 12th, 2012

    When a particular course of events follow through to their logical conclusion, it seems odd that people are surprised, or excited at the end result. When Willard Romney announced he had chosen Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate and candidate for vice president, it should not have surprised any American who has followed Republican politics over the past two years. Romney’s choice was a desperate attempt to woo the far right and demonstrate his conservative bona fides, but it was not the least bit surprising for several reasons. Romney had a bad week and needed a major distraction to shift attention away from his record as a vulture capitalist, failure to release his tax returns, and tenure as Massachusetts’ governor, and for a day or so there will be a wealth of analysis of Ryan’s record in Congress. However, what people need to understand is that Romney is the presumptive nominee and Ryan is nothing more than a complement to support his agenda of tax cuts for the rich and austerity for the rest of the population. What Romney did by picking Ryan though, is alienate another demographic that makes his bid for the presidency more difficult.

    Romney has spent the past six months estranging immigrants, women, the working-class, and poor Americans from the Republican Party, and choosing Paul Ryan added senior citizens to the list. When Ryan first introduced the Heritage Foundation’s budget, Path to Prosperity, his plan to privatize Medicare infuriated elderly Americans who paid into the system their entire working lives and expected the Medicare coverage they paid for only to learn Ryan proposed giving them a voucher to buy health insurance coverage on the open market. Romney supports privatization as a matter of course, so choosing the face of privatization made perfect sense from a philosophical point of view. In fact, Romney and Ryan are the perfect pairing for the GOP ticket even though pundits were calling his choice political suicide. So why choose Ryan? It is highly likely that Romney was following the Heritage Foundation’s directions to prepare America for a Ryan presidential bid in 2016.

  30. rikyrah says:

    So much for the Etch A Sketch
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:04 PM EDT.

    There was a widely-held assumption that once the Republican nominating phase was over, Mitt Romney would, as he’s done several times before, simply shed this skin for another. When his chief strategist promised the candidate would shake the “Etch A Sketch,” it stuck because it reinforced suspicions: as a general-election candidate, we’d see a whole new Mitt (again).

    But it’s worth pausing to appreciate just how wrong these assumptions were. There are 85 days until Election Day, and Romney is still pandering to the right as if the Iowa caucuses were right around the corner. There’s been no effort to move towards the mainstream at all, and Paul Ryan’s appearance on the GOP ticket is a critical part of this dynamic. As Nate Silver explained over the weekend:

  31. rikyrah says:

    A poor choice in props
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:00 PM EDT

    .Rachel appeared on “Up with Chris Hayes” on Saturday morning, and made an interesting observation about the setting in which Mitt Romney introduced Paul Ryan as his running mate.

    If you missed it, Romney and Ryan effectively used the USS Wisconsin, a decommissioned battleship, as a campaign prop. It’s hard not to wonder how the political world would have reacted if two Democrats who never wore a uniform tried to pull a stunt like this.

    And yet, Romney and Ryan, who combined have exactly zero experience in the military, national security policy, and/or international affairs — strange bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands notwithstanding — found this appropriate, and faced very little pushback.

    I’d just add one related thought on this. Ryan isn’t just lacking in military experience, he’s also one of the very few politicians in Congress who has attacked the integrity of American military leaders.

  32. rikyrah says:

    Doubling down on the welfare lie
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:18 PM EDT.

    Consider a brief series of events. Step One: Mitt Romney lies in an attack ad, falsely claiming that President Obama “gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements.”

    Step Two: Romney watches fact-checkers go berserk, condemning the ad for being demonstrably false.

    Step Three: Romney expresses amazement that President Obama “keeps on running” ads, even after “the various fact-checkers” deem the spots “inaccurate.”

    Step Four: Romney launches a new attack ad accusing Obama of “quietly ending work requirements” in the welfare law — an accusation that has no connection to this plane of reality.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Don’t fall for the fraud
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:30 AM EDT.

    When campaign observers ponder whether various VP possibilities will be chosen for their party’s ticket, we tend to consider their natural constituencies. One potential running-mate might help with women voters; maybe another would help in the South; another still might help with Latinos; etc.

    Paul Ryan doesn’t help with any obvious demographic except one: political pundits. Commentators tend to love the right-wing congressman, routinely praising him for being “honest,” “serious,” and “courageous.”

    I assumed I wouldn’t have to wait too long for a good example of this, and sure enough, on Saturday morning, William Saletan explained why he “loves” Ryan.

    Ryan is a real fiscal conservative. He isn’t just another Tea-Party ideologue spouting dogma about less government and the magic of free enterprise. He has actually crunched the numbers and laid out long-term budget proposals.

    I realize I’m tilting at windmills here. The political/media establishment has decided, practically by edict, that Paul Ryan is a credible wonk whose work must be respected. Proof to the contrary doesn’t matter; this characterization is now accepted fact. Why? Because the establishment says it is thus, so stop asking questions.

  34. rikyrah says:


    First Lady Michelle Obama AND Gabby Douglas on Jay Leno TONIGHT!!!

  35. Ametia says:

    74% of the Elderly DISAPPROVE of Ryan Plan

    The age group that Obama has the lowest support in DISAPPROVES strongly of the Ryan plan, to the tune of 74%. And Conservative Elderly DISAPPROVE at the level of 54%.

    Read on here:

  36. rikyrah says:

    The GOP’s down-ballot anxiety
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:40 AM EDT.

    When a party’s presidential ticket comes together, one of the first considerations is whether that ticket has a better chance of winning in November. But what about the candidates a little further down on the ballot?

    …Republicans in and outside of Washington also privately expressed concern that [Paul Ryan] gives Democrats an all-too-easy way to make the 2012 election about a set of conservative ideas that have faced decidedly mixed results at the ballot box. Ryan’s wonky appeal may have won over the Beltway, but selling a Medicare overhaul to voters in, say, Florida, is an altogether different task.

    “We might as well have just picked a random Heritage Foundation analyst,” said one GOP strategist involved in the 2012 campaign. “The good news is that this ticket now has a vision. The bad news is that vision is basically just a chart of numbers used to justify policies that are extremely unpopular.”

    National Journal also reported that some Republican congressional campaigns have already conceded they expect to be playing defense in the fall as the political debate begins to focus tightly on still relatively obscure details of Ryan’s plans to slash public spending.”

    A moderate Republican congressional candidate in Massachusetts responded to the Ryan news by distancing himself from the Ryan plan. Soon after, a GOP candidate in New York did the same thing, issuing a statement saying, “It has always been my position that I do not support the Ryan budget and its proposals regarding Medicare.” In Connecticut, Senate hopeful Linda McMahon said something similar.

  37. rikyrah says:

    An election about Medicare
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:13 AM EDT.

    There’s an awful lot wrong with Paul Ryan’s congressional Republican budget plan, but there’s one flaw in particular that tends to stand out: it would end the existing Medicare program, replacing it with a voucher scheme. The American mainstream tends to consider this a very bad idea.

    It’s also why Democrats were so pleased when Mitt Romney made Ryan his running mate — Dems are eager to tell voters, “Don’t vote for the ‘Kill Medicare’ ticket.”

    Team Romney, of course, are well aware of the problem, but have a plan to address it: muddle the waters and hope voters can’t tell the difference. Democrats will say, “The Romney-Ryan plan guts Medicare”; Republicans will say, “Nuh uh, Obama’s plan guts Medicare”; and the electorate (if the GOP strategy works) won’t know who to believe.

    Indeed, this fight got underway on Saturday morning, when Romney, in his speech introducing Ryan, said President Obama “cut Medicare funding by $700 billion.” The former governor pushed a similar line last night on “60 Minutes.”

    Both sides claim to be helping Medicare, and both sides say their rivals are hurting Medicare. Only one is being cynically, breathtakingly dishonest, but since it’s easy to get confused, let’s set the record straight.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan, culture warrior?
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:25 AM EDT.

    By mid-day Saturday, the front page of the New York Times’ website said Paul Ryan’s addition to Mitt Romney’s ticket meant a renewed focus on “fiscal” issues. This struck me as odd, in part because of Ryan’s lack of fiscal credibility — more on that later this morning — but also because the right-wing congressman has far broader interests.

    Sure, Ryan has a reputation within the establishment for a focus on budgeting, but his interest in the culture war is real, if underappreciated.

    [O]n abortion and women’s health care, there isn’t much daylight between Ryan and, say, Michele Bachmann. Any Republican vice presidential candidate is going to be broadly anti-abortion, but Ryan goes much further. He believes ending a pregnancy should be illegal even when it results from rape or incest, or endangers a woman’s health. He was a cosponsor of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a federal bill defining fertilized eggs as human beings, which, if passed, would criminalize some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

    The National Right to Life Committee has scored his voting record 100 percent every year since he entered the House in 1999. “I’m as pro-life as a person gets,” he told the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack in 2010. “You’re not going to have a truce.”

  39. rikyrah says:

    Too late for Romney to disown Ryan plan
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:00 AM EDT.

    Within a few hours of Mitt Romney introducing Paul Ryan as his running mate, campaign officials were letting reporters know that the presidential hopeful won’t fully embrace the congressman’s budget plan as his own. Last night on “60 Minutes,” Romney was a little more explicit on this point.

    Bob Schieffer: There’s no question your campaign has been trying to make this election a referendum on Barack Obama. Now, some people are saying you are making it a referendum on Paul Ryan’s budget plan.

    Mitt Romney: Well, I have my budget plan as you know that I’ve put out. And that’s the budget plan that we’re going to run on.

    It’s worth noting that Romney claiming to have “put out” his own “budget plan” isn’t quite right. We’ve seen a vague, right-wing blueprint with numbers that don’t make any sense, but incomplete outlines do not a budget plan make.

    But the larger point here is that we’re way past the point at which Romney can credibly distance himself from Paul Ryan’s radical congressional budget plan. The former governor has endorsed the Ryan agenda several times, and just yesterday, Ed Gillespie, a top Romney campaign advisor, told a national television audience, “[I]f the Ryan budget had come to his desk as a budget, [Romney] would have signed it, of course.”

  40. rikyrah says:

    Tax returns for me, not for thee
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:25 AM EDT.

    When Mitt Romney was considered for John McCain’s ticket in 2008, he turned over 23 years’ worth of tax returns as part of the vetting process. In 2012, Romney has disclosed returns for one year, and assures us that one more is on the way eventually.

    Why is he ignoring calls for more disclosure, even from his fellow Republicans? Romney won’t say.

    But when it comes to evaluating others, Romney and his team have a different standard. Beth Myers, who oversaw the vice-presidential search, conceded she’d obtained “several years” of income tax returns from those being considered. The subject also came up on “60 Minutes” last night. Tricia posted a fuller clip earlier, but this excerpt stood out.

    Bob Schieffer, interviewing Romney and Paul Ryan together, asked the VP nominee how many years of tax returns he turned over to the campaign. The congressman said it was “a very exhaustive vetting process,” and he shared materials going back “several years.”

    So, when American voters are evaluating a candidate, they’re entitled to look at one or two years’ worth of returns, but when Romney is evaluating a candidate, he’s entitled to more. Hmm.

    Also note, Ryan went on to say he would only share with the public returns for two years, even though he gave more to Team Romney, and by way of explanation, the Wisconsin Republican changed the subject.

    I don’t think this issue is going away anytime soon. Even Bill Kristol, who actively lobbied to add Ryan to the Republican ticket, has said, “It’s crazy. You’ve got to release 6, 8, 10 years of back tax returns.”

  41. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan Dumped A Bunch Of Bank Stocks The Same Day As Congressional Leaders Met With Hank Paulson During The Crisis
    Eric Platt

    Republican Vice Presidential Pick Paul Ryan sold shares in a number of financial companies including Citigroup, General Electric, Wachovia, and JP Morgan Chase on the same day as then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke held a closed meeting with congressional leaders during the financial crisis.

    At issue are the sale of troubled banks like Wachovia and Citi, as well as General Electric’s struggling capital unit, dated on September 18, 2008 — the same day as the meeting with Bernanke and Paulson according to the Associated Press.

    Ryan’s 2008 financial disclosures, which are publicly available on, were analyzed by Business Insider (Via The Richmonder).

    The sales total as much as $60,000 — although they could be considerably less. The House disclosure forms do not require specific values from members. estimates Ryan has a net worth between $927,100 to $3,207,000.

    Ryan’s disclosure also shows the purchase of shares in Goldman Sachs, which was considered a relatively safer bank at the time.

    Wachovia was later purchased by Wells Fargo after it neared failure at the end of 2008.

    Attendance at closed door meetings are not tracked by the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, which keeps records of voting by members.

    We’ve reached out to Paul Ryan’s Congressional office to see if he was also at the meeting.

    Read more:

  42. rikyrah says:

    ‘Blood on his hands’
    By Steve Benen – Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:00 AM EDT

    .Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday and largely stuck to the pre-scripted soundbites, but there was a moment that stood out for me.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, host David Gregory brought up Paul Ryan’s plan to replace Medicare with a voucher system. The RNC chairman pushed back, arguing, “Medicare is going broke. Every person in America watching this now knows that that’s true. This president stole — he didn’t cut Medicare — he stole $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it’s Barack Obama.”

    Even for Priebus, this is remarkable. The notion that President Obama “stole” from Medicare is absurd, but even if we put that aside, notice the incoherence of the RNC’s argument — we need to address Medicare financing, which means necessary cuts, which Obama made, which means Obama’s wrong. That doesn’t make any sense.

    Moreover, Gregory didn’t follow up on the point, but the fact is, Paul Ryan’s budget plan adopted all of the Medicare savings Obama included in the Affordable Care Act. In other words, these “cuts” Republicans are pretending to be outraged by have been included in the Republican agenda. If Obama’s policy is so awful, why did Paul Ryan embrace it?

  43. Ametia says:

    Aug 13, 2012
    USAT/Gallup Poll: Paul Ryan gets low marks for VP

    Americans don’t believe GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney hit a home run with his choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, with more of the public giving him lower marks than high ones.

    Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is seen as only a “fair” or “poor” choice by 42% of Americans vs. 39% who think he is an “excellent” or “pretty good” vice presidential choice.

  44. Ametia says:

    Romney Welfare Attack Shows He Lacks The Principles We Need In A PRESIDENT
    Posted on August 7, 2012 by Ametia

    President Obama promotes welfare reform, GOP launches false attacks


  45. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney’s FALSE (LIES) Welfare Attack: What People Are Saying About | MEDIA-BLOG ROUND UP:


    Politifact: “By granting waivers to states, the Obama administration is seeking to make welfare-to-work efforts more successful, not end them. What’s more, the waivers would apply to individually evaluated pilot programs — HHS is not proposing a blanket, national change to welfare law.”

    Time’s Joe Klein: “How incompetent is the Romney campaign? They keep coming up with these stupid gambits–the last was the lie that Obama opposed early voting for members of the military in Ohio–that are shot down instantaneously (everywhere but in Fox-Rush land)… But there is a larger question here: How stupid does he think we are? Every day brings a mind-boggling act of untruth-telling.”


  46. Ametia says:


    CUTTER: The facts are about Mr. Ryan’s budget is that it really does balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and the needy. And that’s not a pro-growth policy. And don’t take it from me, take it from independent economists who have studied this budget and said that if we enacted the drastic cuts that Paul Ryan wants to put in place and Mitt Romney wants to put in place, because this is now his budget too, that it would actually contract the economy. It could mean up to a million jobs we could lose. So don’t take it from me, take it from independent economists: this is not a pro-growth document, this is an ideological document.

  47. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan’s Voting Record
    Posted on August 12, 2012 by politicol

    When Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan for his running mate he inherited Ryan’s voting record that can be used by the democrats against the republican ticket.

    Paul Ryan has a long history of voting against beneficial to American society reforms including but not limited to: environmental laws, civil rights, gun laws, healthcare, education voting record and it is abysmal and also wrong for America.

    Ryan’s voting records show he is a GOP and most notably his yes vote for the TARP program that bailed out the banks, but not the auto industry in late 2008 under then President George Bush. During 2003, Paul Ryan voted for a new Medicare prescription drug benefit and he was criticized for it by his fellow Conservatives.

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      Basically Lil Eddie M. has voted against any and everything he and his family have benefited from, but doesn’t want other AMERICANS to have their SLICE OF THE PIE.

      What a TURD.

  48. rikyrah says:

    New book details GOP’s early opposition to Obama stimulus
    By Russell Berman – 08/12/12 04:10 PM ET

    A new book provides fresh details about the level of early Republican opposition to President Obama’s economic stimulus package, which set the stage for the partisan retrenchment that has persisted throughout his term.

    “The New New Deal,” authored by Time Magazine’s Michael Grunwald, quotes Vice President Joe Biden as saying seven different Republican senators had told him before the Obama inauguration that the GOP would oppose Obama’s agenda en masse, and it reports that then-House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) surprised members of the GOP leadership team by vowing in a private meeting that no Republicans would support the Democratic recovery plan.

    The account is the latest deep-dive into what is now understood to be a pivotal moment of the young Obama administration – when congressional Republican leaders decided to aggressively fight the president’s first major piece of legislation.

  49. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan: Mitt Romney’s VP Pick Used Racist Term In 2011
    August 12, 2012
    By: Zenophon Abraham

    U.S.Congressman Paul Ryan might be a numbers guy, but he’s also has no problem using racist terms where illegal immigration is the subject.

    Rep. Paul Ryan (Wisconsin) was named to be the vice presidential running mate for GOP Presidential Nominee, Governor Mitt Romney. Ryan, the 1st District Wisconsin congressman, has carved a name for himself as a “budget hawk,” proposing a radical alteration in the US Budget that would cut entitlement programs to dramatically low levels. But ‘Paul Ryan Budget Guy’ is only part of the story of who Rep. Ryan really is. The other side of him shows a man who welcomes conservative views, even to the point of racism, but shouts down anyone who dissents with that point of view.

    That was certainly the case at a series of town hall meetings in 2011, but the one that is most notable was held April 26, 2011. There, Ryan took a statement – question from a man who described himself as “an ex-marine, retired.” This is what he said:

    “I’m a Master Sergeant, United States Marine Corp, retired. I want to make a suggestion that’s kind of controversial. Most people don’t broach the subject for fear of being called a racist. But a, we can save billions – and I mean billions of dollars – on illegal immigration. I put five months of the year down in Southern New Mexico, and middle of the month, and the end of each month, the post office is loaded with people who don’t speak english and have Mexican plates on their cars – and they’re fancy cars. A, mainly because they have anchor babies – they come across sneak across the boarder, and drop a baby and call that an American citizen. And this child has all the benefits until its 18. We just built a new school in Columbus, New Mexico, and cost $16 million and at 100 percent capacity with 97 percent of the children from Mexico. If we could cut (Ryan: “You mean they cross everyday?”).. Oh, yes sir. Buses down at the boarder pick the kids up and bring them three miles to the school. And when the kids get older, they hit the boarder, they take the buses from Deming, New Mexico 30 miles north. And they take the high school kids, feed em, and take them back down. We’re hemorrhaging money down on our boarders. We have Area 51, where they’ll shoot Americans if they try to cross into dreamland over there. But our boarders are pourous and the United States Government’s not doing much about it. Our boarder agents down there are overworked – they do what they can – it just, uh, the government’s not behind them. The places that have fences, tall fences, have worked to stem the tide. But it’ just pourous, they walk right through. But there’s billions we waste every year on this program.”

  50. rikyrah says:

    In Major Gaffe Paul Ryan Says He Wants to Eliminate Romney’s Tax Shelters

    Paul Ryan welcomed himself to the Romney campaign by claiming on 60 Minutes that he wants to eliminate the same kind of tax shelters where Mitt Romney hides his money.

    In Major Gaffe Paul Ryan Says He Wants to Eliminate Romney’s Tax Shelters
    By: Jason EasleyAugust 12th, 2012see more posts by Jason Easley

    Paul Ryan welcomed himself to the Romney campaign by claiming on 60 Minutes that he wants to eliminate the same kind of tax shelters where Mitt Romney hides his money.

    Here’s the video:

    Transcript from 60 Minutes:

    Bob Schieffer: You say of course the wealthiest people pay the larger share, but don’t they also pay at a lower rate? When you figure in capital gains and all of that?

    Mitt Romney: Well, it depends on the individual, what their source of income is. But if you look at the top one percent or five percent or quartile, whatever, they pay the largest share of taxes. And that’s not something which I would propose making smaller.

    Paul Ryan: What we’re saying is take away the tax shelters that are uniquely enjoyed by people in the top tax brackets so they can’t shelter as much money from taxation, should lower tax rates for everybody to make America more competitive.

    Welcome to the Romney campaign, Paul Ryan. You just proposed eliminating Mitt Romney’s tax shelters.

    Mitt Romney has his money scattered all over the world, so that he can avoid paying taxes. Do you really think for one second that if elected Romney, a man who lives to financially enrich himself, is actually going to get rid of the tax shelters that keep his tax burden so low

  51. rikyrah says:

    thought of a slogan…..

    The Romney/Ryan Budget

    Where Mr. 1% pays less than 1% in Taxes

  52. Ametia says:

    In key swing state Florida, Paul Ryan a virtual unknown
    By Stephanie McCrummen, Published: August 12The Washington Post


    ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A conservative rock star in the marbled halls of Congress, Paul Ryan — his ideas, his politics, his very name — was just barely beginning to register at the Spot Cafe off State Road 16 here Sunday.

    Rick Paul, said one diner, was a brilliant vice presidential choice. Mike Ryan, said another, would surely boost Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and help “save the country.” At last, said Jim Smith, 74, Romney made a decision that solidifies his conservative credentials.

  53. Ametia says:

    How Obama Will Cash In on Paul Ryan: Medicare, Taxes, Education & More
    by Robert Shrum
    Aug 13, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

    Romney’s choice of running mate accelerates the move away from the 2012 election as a straight-line referendum on the economy. Now it is unmistakably and irretrievably a decision about the future, says Robert Shrum.

    Never pick a man with a plan—at least not Paul Ryan’s kind of plan.

    After every quadrennial vice-presidential audition, another cautionary guideline emerges. A spectacular example: post–Sarah Palin, any potential choice will be tested for minimum passable competence in foreign policy.

    Ryan is an articulate, informed, self-proclaimed purveyor of “bold” ideas that also happen to be very bad, both substantively and politically. By the time the Obama campaign finishes with him, his specter, like hers, will become a red flag—in his case, a warning against selecting anyone who doesn’t conceal or soften his enmity to economic and social justice, but explicitly repudiates the safety net and basic protections for the middle class.

    Mitt Romney put Ryan on the ticket. But the Democrats will put him through a thorough examination. More than any other vice-presidential nominee ever, he will be a front-and-center target. Romney, who so resembles T.S. Eliot’s “hollow [man] … headpiece filled with straw,” will dissolve into the image and ideology of his running mate. Soon they will look like the Ryan-Romney ticket. Need proof? Check out Bob Schieffer’s 60 Minutes interview with the two last night. Ryan already seemed to be talking down to Romney

    Read on

  54. Ametia says:

    Romney camp cancels Orlando stop scheduled in Florida tour due to exhaustion

    (VULTURE/VOUCHER TEAM haven’t even begun to KNOW EXHAUSTION)
    Source: ABC

    Presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney will be touring the state of Florida today, but he is no longer visiting Orlando, his campaign announced late Sunday night.

    Romney is said to be exhausted after 48 hours of promoting his new vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

    Romney’s Florida tour begins in St. Augustine, before heading to Miami this afternoon.

    However, his new vice president running mate Paul Ryan will be in Iowa attending the Iowa State Fair.

    Democrats suggest Ryan’s presence on the ticket could hurt Romney among Florida voters because of Ryan’s well-known budget proposals.

    Read more:

  55. Ametia says:

    Understanding the Ryan plan= GROVER NORQUIST PLEDGE
    By Matt Miller, Published: August 12The Washington Post

    The striking thing about Paul Ryan’s ascent is the gulf between his proposals and the way the media have characterized them. Since Mitt Romney named Ryan to the ticket on Saturday, the news has been filled with talk of the “ fiscal conservative ” (NPR) “ intent on erasing deficits ” (New York Times) who has become “ the intellectual heart of the Republican Party’s movement to slash deficits” ( The Post). All of this is demonstrably false. Ryan’s con has succeeded largely because Democrats haven’t sensed the political salience of assailing his plans from the right ; instead, they’ve chosen to slam only Ryan’s regressive priorities and Medicare scheme.

    This strategic error allows the presumption that Ryan, and thus Romney, are the true apostles of fiscal responsibility in this race, a value important to the voters who will decide November’s outcome. But the con has worked in part because budgets make journalists’ eyes glaze over, and once the phony Ryan meme took hold two years ago it became hard to dislodge.

    Now that Ryan is on the ticket, however, the stakes are too high not to expose the fraud. In that spirit (and at the risk of taxing readers who’ve heard my Ryan fetishes before), I offer one wonk’s guide to what every citizen should know about Ryan’s plans. Otherwise, like the talented Mr. Ripley, Ryan will continue to get away with (fiscal) murder.

  56. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    The jackals ae spinning for Romney-Ryan this morning. Let’s go DEMS! Keep a the VULTURE/VOUCHER TEAM!

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