Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread |

Good Morning, Everyone! See the RNC thread for videos of the LYING SPEECHES.

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61 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Thursday Open Thread |

  1. rikyrah says:

    From The Daily Dish:

    The Speech; The Huge Lie

    What we have been allowed to see is so spectacularly vacuous, I really don’t know what to say. There is also a huge lie to start with:

    Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections. We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.

    In the middle of the worst recession since the 1930s, in his first weeks in office, the GOP monolithically voted against his stimulus, including the third of it which was tax cuts. They even opposed tax cuts because Obama proposed them! Mitch McConnell said the following out loud:

    “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

    Americans did not come together. One party, Mitt’s, set out from the get-go to destroy Obama’s presidency, regardless of the impact of the recession, which they helped intensify by slashing public sector jobs across the country and blocking any new stimulus after 2010. Then this lie about the situation in early 2009:

    Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team. Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future. This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits.

    Again, this is surreal. As the country was losing jobs at a rate of what can only be called free-fall, did everyone expect a sudden immediate boom, the best years of their lives? Was that the time when we should have suddenly started cutting spending? Romney knows this line of argument is premised on a fantasy. It’s as if Romney cannot address the actual reality and propose solutions, but chooses to invent an entire alternative universe in which he can invent dreams no one in February 2009 had, listening to an Inaugural Address that told them that affairs were grim and foreboding and difficult. This also makes no sense to me:

    If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn’t you feel that way now that he’s President Obama? You know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as president when the best feeling you had, was the day you voted for him.

    I don’t think people expect to feel as exhilarated at the end of a first term as they were at the start. I sure don’t. But then I was aware we were facing the worst global economic meltdown of my and my parents’ lifetimes. I think many people were aware. Romney is asking us to believe that Obama inherited Clinton’s economy. He inherited Bush’s – a name we have yet to hear in prime time once.

    We are testing a hypothesis. Can a campaign be based on lies that are premised on a deeper invention of the past – and still win? Has Ailes successfully created a new reality? We will find out. But what is at stake is the very empirical basis of our democratic debate. Are we about to live in a post-truth world? Is the Republican belief-system about to replace reality?

    • Ametia says:

      I am watching the RNC, and the slave-catchers are out tonight, saying how authentic Mitt Romney is. I you got to stand before thousands of folks, predominately white and tell them how AUTHENTIC Romney is….. SMGDH

  2. rikyrah says:

    ‘Roughing It Easy’ on the Road

    The president of a black RVers’ association talks cross-country travel.
    By: Lynette Holloway|Posted: August 28, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    With all the talk about soaring gas prices, the last vehicle travelers are likely to consider when they’re thinking about going on a road trip is a recreational vehicle. But Elbert Smith Sr., president of the National African-American RV’ers Association, says that travelers should think again because the vehicles are not the same as the Winnebagos of yesteryear — you know, those wending, side-winding gas-guzzlers.

    He says that today’s RVs are sleek-bodied vehicles that can easily serve as home away from home. Some even have washers and dryers, four-door stainless steel refrigerators and freezers, flat-screen televisions, bed and baths and living quarters.

    “If you plan your trip wisely and maintain your vehicle properly, RV travel does not have to be hard on the wallet,” Smith told The Root. “Travelers can also save on food and lodging. I’m not saying they are cheap, because they aren’t, but they are a great way to travel.”

    Smith suggests that travelers rent a few RVs before taking a long trip to determine what best suits them. After that, travelers who can afford it may get a yen to own one of their own, he says

  3. rikyrah says:

    Your Romney Drinking Game: A choice between drunk or sober…

    By Dennis G. August 30th, 2012

    I’ve been thinking about a simple Romney Drinking game. I have it narrowed to a choice between two options.

    In choice A, you take a drink every time he lies. And in choice B you take a shot when he tells the truth.

    But there is a problem.

    One of these choices will drain every bottle of booze in the house, while the other will keep you dry all night long.

    Perhaps there are some other options.

    Any ideas?

  4. Ametia says:

    RIKYRAH, CHECK YOUR E-MAIL, please. :-)

  5. rikyrah says:

    August 30, 2012 12:53 PM
    Blazing New Trails

    By Ed Kilgore

    This morning, after publishing a “fact-checking” piece on Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech, WaPo’s earnest wonk Ezra Klein felt compelled to pen a subsequent column noting that something really new is going on with the Romney/Ryan campaign:

    The Republican ticket, when it comes to talking about matters of policy and substance, has some real problems – problems that have nothing to do with whether you like their ideas. Romney admits that his tax plan “can’t be scored” and then he rejects independent analyses showing that his numbers don’t add up. He says — and Ryan echoes — that he’ll bring federal spending down to 20 percent of GDP but refuses to outline a path for how well get there. He mounts a massive ad assault based on a completely discredited lie about the Obama administration’s welfare policy. He releases white papers quoting economists who don’t agree with the Romney campaign’s interpretations of their research.

    All this is true irrespective of your beliefs as to what is good and bad policy, or which ticket you prefer. Quite simply, the Romney campaign isn’t adhering to the minimum standards required for a real policy conversation. Even if you bend over backward to be generous to them — as the Tax Policy Center did when they granted the Romney campaign a slew of essentially impossible premises in order to evaluate their tax plan — you often find yourself forced into the same conclusion: This doesn’t add up, this doesn’t have enough details to be evaluated, or this isn’t true.

    I don’t like that conclusion. It doesn’t look “fair” when you say that. We’ve been conditioned to want to give both sides relatively equal praise and blame, and the fact of the matter is, I would like to give both sides relatively equal praise and blame. I’d personally feel better if our coverage didn’t look so lopsided. But first the campaigns have to be relatively equal. So far in this campaign, you can look fair, or you can be fair, but you can’t be both.


    Why is this happening? My theory is simple: Paul Ryan is a truly radical ideologue who is used to disguising his radicalism; that’s how someone who still seems to leaf through a dogeared copy of Atlas Shrugged for inspiration has survived so long. And Mitt Romney is, even according to his friends and admirers, a chameleon who has constantly changed his policies and rhetoric to reflect the changing contexts in which he was trying to “succeed,” his supreme “value.”

    When Romney chose Ryan as his running-mate, we all had theories of what this surprising move represented. It didn’t occur to me, anyway, that the real bond between the two men was a practiced affinity for lying about themselves and their opponents without any apparent moral struggle: Romney because he truly does think himself uniquely capable to serve as president (his campaign slogan should probably be Pontius Pilate’s announcement of Christ upon delivering him to “justice:” Ecce Homo!); Ryan because he aims at liberating the American people from the far greater “lies” of collectivism and altruism.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Many Suspected Ineligible CO Voters US Citizens


    Published: August 29, 2012 at 9:05 PM ET

    Nearly a third of people whose citizenship and right to vote were questioned by Colorado’s secretary of state are actually U.S. citizens, election officials said Wednesday, prompting Democrats to question the motives behind the effort to clean up voting rolls as a tightly contested presidential election approaches.

    Earlier this month, Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler sent letters to nearly 4,000 people questioning their citizenship as part of a plan to have them voluntarily withdraw or confirm their eligibility to vote.

    State officials were able to run 1,400 of those names through a federal immigration database and found that more than 1,200 were U.S. citizens. Verification of the remaining names is still pending, but so far, the search hasn’t turned up any non-citizens registered to vote.

    Martha Tierney, an attorney for the Colorado Democratic Party, told election officials during a meeting Wednesday that they were wasting their time on a small group of voters instead of focusing on ensuring a fair and accurate fall election.

    “This is a witch hunt and you should be embarrassed that you’re going down this road,” she said.

    Gessler’s office plans to release updated figures Thursday detailing how many of the 4,000 people responded directly to affirm their citizenship or withdraw their voter registration. He said no further action will be taken involving people who did not respond to the letters.

  7. rikyrah says:

    August 30, 2012 4:40 PM
    Voting Rights Tempest

    By Ed Kilgore

    So another shoe drops in the brewing judicial tempest over voting rights: a three-court panel of federal district judges in DC ruled unanimously that Texas’s new voter ID law does not pass muster under the Section 5 review required by the Voting Right Act. Rick Hasen of Election Law Blog has a good summary:

    [T]he court concludes that Texas, which bears the burden of proof in a section 5 case, cannot prove its law won’t make the position of protected minorities worse off. And the court suggests this was a problem of its own making: Texas could have made the i.d. law less onerous (as in Georgia, which the court suggests DOJ was probably right to preclear) and Texas could have done more to produce evidence supporting its side at trial, but it engaged in bad trial tactics.

    Now Texas will appeal to the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the ruling so that it can use its new Voter ID system on November 6, but it’s unlikely the Court would overturn a finding of fact without some deliberations. On a separate track, Texas has asked the District Court to consider the constitutionality of Section 5—a subject already certain to make its way to the Supremes from several directions. It’s worth remembering that in a separate decision earlier this week, a DC District Court panel struck down Texas’ congressional and state legislative redistricting for this cycle on Section 5 grounds, though it probably won’t keep the new lines from being used on November 6.

  8. rikyrah says:

    OK, Ryan. Let’s Talk About Janesville And the Auto Industry.

    Paul Ryan is getting all kinds of grief today for misleading the public about a General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. He deserves it. If you don’t believe me, read Dylan Matthews and Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, who have done the legwork to get the full story of how and why the plant closed.

    But I also wonder: Why does the Ryan campaign want to make the auto industry a focus of attention? I’m asking because, if I’m sitting at Obama headquarters in Chicago right now, I’m not angry that Ryan started talking about GM. I’m positively thrilled.

    Some history, for those who have forgotten: In late 2008, with Wall Street in crisis and the economy grinding to a halt, General Motors and Chrysler revealed they were on the brink of collapse. They’d been struggling for years, paying the price for poor decisions by management and labor, but now things were much worse: They simply didn’t have the money to keep operating. In normal times, the carmakers could have filed for bankruptcy, obtained financing to reorganize and renegotiate contracts, and then emerged as leaner, stronger companies. But these were not normal times. The financial industry was in no position to offer that kind of assistance. Had the companies gone into bankruptcy, the likely result would have been liquidation.

    And that would have been catastrophic. Closure of Chrysler and General Motors would have forced many of their suppliers to shut down. The economic shock wave would have rippled through the Midwest and quite possibly destroyed Ford, a relatively healthy company that nevertheless depended on the same firms to produce parts. Estimates from the Center for Automotive Research suggested that the cumulative job losses could have reached three million. That was the worst-case scenario, but even substantially fewer job losses would have been devastating.

  9. rikyrah says:

    August 30, 2012 4:04 PM
    How Will Obama Respond To Ryan?

    By Ed Kilgore

    By the weekend, efforts by both progressives and by the MSM to illustrate the extraordinary mendacity of Paul Ryan’s attacks on Obama (and misrepresentations of his own background and agenda) will have either had an impact, or will have failed. A complicating factor, of course, is that a new pack of lies may rise into the airwaves from Tampa with a powerful smell of brimstone tonight, before or during Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech.

    But next week, of course, Democrats will have their convention, and it’s possible to speculate how they will parry both the attacks and the presentation of the Romney-Ryan agenda as a brave answer to the nation’s challenges that happens not to affect anyone negatively except maybe those people who live on welfare and/or hope to benefit from ObamaCare or other “income redistribution” schemes.

    WaPo’s Greg Sargent has a good prediction of where Team Obama will likely go:

    The crux of Ryan’s argument was that the GOP ticket will have the courage and responsibility to level with the American people about the difficult choices required to salvage the nation’s ecomomy and finances.

    Obama and Dems will respond by trying to transform the debate into one about priorities, seizing on the priorities undergirding the Romney/Ryan plans to lampoon their idea of what constitutes tough and courageous choices.

    Obama and Dems will point out that it is not tough or courageous to cut taxes in ways that hugely benefit the rich, even as you promise to tackle the deficit. They will point out that it’s not tough or courageous to promise everyone an across-the-board tax cut hugely benefitting the wealthy without saying how it would be paid for — especially since it will require doing away with loopholes and deductions that will likely hike the middle class’s tax burden. They will point out that it’s not tough or courageous to cut spending in ways that disproportionately hurt those who can least afford it. They will point out that it’s not tough or courageous to reduce the sacrifice the rich make towards deficit reduction in ways that will increase the sacrifice of everyone else.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:47 PM ET, 08/30/2012

    By Greg Sargent

    Many news outlets have done a good job in debunking the falsehoods and distortions in Paul Ryan’s speech. That said, you should watch this video compilation that TPM has posted, in which news anchors just don’t seem all that bothered by Ryan’s dishonesty, or even try to explain away the importance or significance of it:

    It’s probably not fair to say this is representative, but it’s pretty eye-opening stuff. You really have to love the tone of surprise some of these folks bring to the idea that Ryan just might have been less than truthful here and there. Haven’t they been paying attention to this campaign at all?

    This sort of thing, by the way, is exactly what the Romney campaign is banking on: that influential reporters and news outlets will prove unable to keep up with the sheer scope and volume of falsehoods the campaign uncorks daily, or just won’t care enough to reckon with what’s actually going on here. Again, this is a test: what should media figures do when one campaign has decided that there is literally no set of boundaries it needs to follow when it comes to the veracity of the assertions that form the foundation of its whole argument?

  11. rikyrah says:

    The Return Of Cheneyism, Ctd

    “Four years ago, the Mitt Romneys of the world nearly destroyed the global economy with their greed, shortsightedness and – most notably – wildly irresponsible use of debt in pursuit of personal profit. The sight was so disgusting that people everywhere were ready to drop an H-bomb on Lower Manhattan and bayonet the survivors. But today that same insane greed ethos, that same belief in the lunatic pursuit of instant borrowed millions – it’s dusted itself off, it’s had a shave and a shoeshine, and it’s back out there running for president,” – Matt Taibbi.

    More to the point, nine years ago, the Mitt Romneys of the world (including me) nearly destroyed America’s fiscal, strategic and moral standing in the world by an ill-conceived war in a Muslim country in the Middle East. And now, Mitt Romney is pledging a full-out war against Iran. They can learn nothing because they are never wrong – and the past is always wiped clean. The GOP has become the nemesis of conservatism: a hermetically sealed ideology that applies the same 1981 solutions whatever the problem, whatever the circumstance, whatever the date. It’s a religious movement, not a political party. And it has fused its religious fundamentalism with economic fundamentalism.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Romney’s Government Handout

    Tim Dickinson unearthed new documents on Bain through a FOIA request:

    The federal records…reveal that Romney’s initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster – leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had “no value as a going concern.” Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds.

    Dickinson speculates on Mitt’s motivations in the negotiations:

    [T]he FDIC documents on the Bain deal – which were heavily redacted by the firm prior to release – show that as a wealthy businessman, Romney was willing to go to extremes to secure a federal bailout to serve his own interests. He had a lot at stake, both financially and politically. Had Bain & Company collapsed, insiders say, it would have dealt a grave setback to Bain Capital, where Romney went on to build a personal fortune valued at as much as $250 million. It would also have short-circuited his political career before it began, tagging Romney as a failed businessman unable to rescue his own firm.

    “None of us wanted to see Bain be the laughingstock of the business world,” recalls a longtime Romney lieutenant who asked not to be identified. “But Mitt’s reputation was on the line.”

    • rikyrah says:

      Romney’s Government Handout, Ctd

      A reader writes:

      This seems like a pretty big deal to me. If you read the Rolling Stone article in its entirety, it’s clear that Romney blackmailed the FDIC into settling Bain debt at pennies on the dollar by threatening to remove what remaining cash assets Bain had that were owed the US government as bonuses rather than paying down the debt – and later following through on it. In other words, he screwed the American taxpayer out of millions of dollars while giving his buddies (and maybe himself) bonuses rather than paying Bain’s debts.

      This is Gordon Gecko at his worst.


      So Mitt Romney … didn’t build that?

  13. rikyrah says:

    The Janesville falsehood
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:05 PM EDT

    The list of falsehoods Paul Ryan told at the Republican National Convention last night isn’t short, but there’s one, in particular, that seems to be generating the most attention.

    “My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

    “A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008.

    “Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”

    For regular readers, the anecdote may have sounded familiar — Ryan has incorporated the anecdote into his speeches before, I took it apart two weeks ago.

    To their credit, plenty of campaign reporters immediately recognized one of the major flaws in Ryan’s attack — the GM plant in Janesville was shut down before Obama took office. Take a look at that photo included above, and then notice the date on the banner. GM’s press release announcing the closing of the plant was issued in June 2008. One of the local papers ran this headline in December 2008, the month before Obama’s inauguration: “Hugs, tears as GM workers leave Janesville plant for last time.”

    Republicans are going to great lengths to argue that Ryan didn’t actually mislead the country. They’re wrong; Ryan’s argument was obviously and deliberately deceptive. The truth matters, and Ryan’s version of reality isn’t it.

    • Ametia says:

      This falsehoold, distortion, untruths bullshit is Romney & Ryan are LIARS

      Rikyrah, please check your email. Thanks!

  14. Ametia says:

    They Love the Lies Paul Ryan Tells
    John Nichols on August 30, 2012 – 12:28 AM ET

    It fell to Mitch McConnell, arguably the lousiest public speaker ever to practice the political craft, to sum up everything that can or should be said about the Republican National Convention.

    Opening the “We Can Change It” themed second night of he convention with a call to remove President Obama, the Senate minority leader declared that it was time to put “Mitt Ryan” in charge of the republic.

    Forgive McConnell.

    He just said what everyone at the convention seemed to be thinking: Wouldn’t it be cool if Paul Ryan were topping the ticket?

    Republicans did everything they could during the long campaign for the party’s 2012 nomination to signal that they wanted Anyone But Romney. They got themselves all excited about Michele Bachmann, and Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich (seriously). They even voted for Rick Santorum, again and again and again. The Ron Paul people never gave up.

    When all was said and done, Romney’s money bought him the nod. That did not mean, however, that Republicans ever could or would come to love him.

    But they do love Paul Ryan.

  15. Ametia says:

    Bush Administration Praised Closure Of Auto Plant That Ryan Now Blames On Obama

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) claimed during his convention speech Wednesday that President Obama is responsible for the closure of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin. However, as many media outlets have noted, GM announced plans to close the plant in June ’08 — long before Obama was even elected — and it ceased major operations in December of that year.

    For proof, just ask one of the more prominent supporters of the Janesville plant shutdown — the George W. Bush Administration. After all, the closure was part of a broader GM restructuring initiative that the then-President supported. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino even praised it as evidence of GM “adapting well:”

    The White House called the announcement a sign that the auto giant was “adapting well” to market shifts.

    “It’s a sign that Detroit continues to adapt and evolve and address the change in consumer tastes and attitudes. And I think that they’re adapting well,” spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

    “And they’ll make these changes, and hopefully be able to pull themselves up out of what has been a rough several years,”

  16. rikyrah says:

    I realize the Romney campaign is concerned about its profound unpopularity among Latino voters. I also realize the campaign can’t send Romney to do outreach to the community, since so many Latinos simply don’t find the Republican credible.

    That said, the underlying challenges notwithstanding, dispatching Ann Romney to do outreach may not have been a smart move.

    Ann Romney’s convention speech was directly aimed at wooing female voters, but at a lunch event Wednesday she changed her focus and pitched her husband to Hispanic voters, a voting bloc that is especially important in this battleground state, urging them to get past the “biases … from the Democratic machine.” […]

    “You’d better really look at your future and figure out who’s going to be the guy that’s going to make it better for you and your children, and there is only one answer,” Mrs. Romney said, giving a harsher pitch than we usually hear from the woman who wants to be the next first lady.

    Ann Romney added, “I know what it’s like to be the daughter of immigrants.”

    Yeah, because few have suffered in American like … the Welsh?

  17. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 08/30/2012
    Will Paul Ryan’s dishonesty matter to voters?
    By Jamelle Bouie

    The verdict for Paul Ryan’s convention speech has been close to unanimous. It was a strong articulation of conservative values and a forceful indictment of President Obama. It was peppered with excellent lines, and Ryan’s earnest demeanor will likely play well to swing voters.

    That said, everyone also agrees that it was a stunning display of dishonesty. In the twelve hours since Ryan gave his address, Slate, Bloomberg, New York Magazine, the Boston Globe, the New Republic, the New Yorker and the Associated Press have run scatching critiques.

    The leading fact checkers — Politifact, and the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler — have followed suit. The former gives a “false” rating to Ryan’s claim that Obama broke his promise to keep a Wisconsin General Motors factory from closing, and a “mostly false” rating to his claim that Obama “funneled” $716 billion from Medicare “at the expense of the elderly.” Both Kessler and took a more comprehensive approach, detailing Ryan’s claims and showing the extent to which few were based in reality.

    His claim that the stimulus failed to help Americans? False. $230 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act took the form of tax cuts, to say nothing of the more than two million jobs saved by the stimulus, and its role in keeping us out of a second Great Depression.

    His claim that Obama is responsible for the U.S’ credit downgrade? False. The Standard & Poor’s downgrade was the result of brinksmanship from the congressional GOP, including Ryan, refused to raise the debt ceiling unless Obama would agree to massive spending cuts. It was this political dysfunction that led S&P to lower our credit rating.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:06 AM ET, 08/30/2012
    The Morning Plum: How Obama will respond to Paul Ryan’s speech
    By Greg Sargent

    The core message of Paul Ryan’s convention speech is that he and Mitt Romney can be counted on to make the tough choices Obama wouldn’t. That message is tailored to public anxiety about the economy and the deficit, and while Ryan spent a fair amount of time attacking a version of Obama that may not exist in the minds of many swing voters, the speech seemed like a political winner for the GOP.

    But it’s also worth noting that it has provided Obama and Democrats an opening for a potentially effective response at their own convention.

    The crux of Ryan’s argument was that the GOP ticket will have the courage and responsibility to level with the American people about the difficult choices required to salvage the nation’s ecomomy and finances.

    Obama and Dems will respond by trying to transform the debate into one about priorities, seizing on the priorities undergirding the Romney/Ryan plans to lampoon their idea of what constitutes tough and courageous choices.

  19. rikyrah says:

    A pass-fail test
    By Steve Benen – Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:27 AM EDT

    At the Republican National Convention last night, Paul Ryan told so many demonstrable lies, he raised important questions about his character and what’s left of his integrity. What matters next, however, is whether anyone notices.

    It’s come as something of a relief to see so many media professionals go after Ryan for his dishonesty last night. The Huffington Post homepage this morning featured an all-caps headline that read, “Paul Tales: Ryan Misleads Again & Again.” The AP ran a decent fact-checking piece; the center-right Washington Post editorial board raised concerns about Ryan’s “misleading” rhetoric; and the center-left Boston Globe editorial board said Ryan’s lying “may hurt his own credibility.”

    I’m well aware of the fact that the vast majority of Americans will never see any of this scrutiny, but other reporters, editors, and producers will, and if a consensus begins to emerge that Romney/Ryan is fundamentally dishonest, this is likely to influence the public’s perceptions of the race.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Appeals court rejects Texas voter-ID law
    By Steve Benen – Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:00 PM EDT.129

    This is an important setback for Republicans’ voter-suppression tactics.

    A federal court on Thursday barred Texas from implementing a controversial voter identification law, saying the measure would likely curtail the ability of minorities to vote.

    A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said the evidence showed the law’s impact would “fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty.”

    The law, passed by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature in 2011, required voters to present one of six forms of photo ID before casting their ballots.

    The entire ruling is online here (pdf).

    As Bloomberg News noted, today’s decision “marks the first time a U.S. court weighed in on the Obama administration’s effort to use the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to block a state from requiring photo ID to vote.”

  21. Ametia says:

    Romney’s Campaign Wedge: Taxpayers vs. Welfare Queens
    Thursday, August 30 2012, 9:57 AM EST
    by Imara Jones

    The issue of taxes is the Republican Party’s dog whistle on race. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan—engaged in a nail-biting political fight—have resorted to blowing it loudly and unashamedly. Combined with their new drumbeat on welfare—which amplifies race-signaling on taxes—their approach could work. No doubt Romney will be wielding that whistle tonight. If GOP history is any guide, he’ll use it to conduct an “us vs. them” conversation without using explicit racial terms.

    The target is white women. According to Gallup, white men are already largely pro-Romney by a whopping 26 percentage points. With the GOP having alienated half of the electorate in its year-long War on Women—reignited last week by Todd Akin—Romney’s lead amongst white women is three times smaller at 8 percent.

    Obama has a tremendous advantage amongst people of color. The only way that Romney can overcome it is to get his support amongst white women into the double digits. The campaign surely knows it and seems to have concluded that racial wedge issues are the surest way to get ahead. Neck and neck in what should be a runaway election year for the GOP, given the state of the economy, Romney and Ryan are paving their road to the White House with racial animosity.

    But the one-two punch of taxes and welfare to transmit race signals is not new. Ronald Reagan did so with devastating effect in 1980. He coasted to reelection four years later. Romney is merely bringing the party back to where it started 30 years ago.

    Romney’s Problem with Whites

    Romney is not favored by enough white voters right now to win in November.

    As Andrew Romano reports in The Daily Beast, “Romney’s white support currently lingers in the low 50s. This would have been bad news for a Republican 25 years ago; in 2012 it could be fateful.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    Huckabee reads tax returns
    By Steve Benen – Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:18 AM EDT

    I’m going to resist the urge to scrutinize every speech from the Republican National Convention last night, but there were a few things about Mike Huckabee’s address that stood out for me.

    couldn’t help but laugh, for example, when Huckabee said, “Mitt has been loyal to his wife, his sons, his country, his employees, and his church.” After taking a good, long look at Bain Capital, and the thousands of American workers Romney laid off, “loyal” isn’t the first word I’d use to describe his relationship with “his employees.”

    Huckabee also described President Obama as a “self-professed evangelical” — as if the president’s faith is in doubt — and argued that Obama “believes that human life is disposable and expendable … even beyond the womb.” Does Huckabee believe the president is some kind of murderer?

  23. rikyrah says:

    GOP-supporting bigot: “It’s about time we got a First Lady who looks like a First Lady…”

  24. Ametia says:


  25. Ametia says:

    Federal court rejects Texas voter ID law

    A federal court on Thursday struck down Texas’s controversial new voter ID law, ruling that the state could not demonstrate that the law would not harm the voting rights of minorities.

    The Justice Department had blocked the law in March, contending that it would violate the 1965 Voting Rights Act and disproportionately harm Hispanic voters.

    Read more at:

  26. Ametia says:

    How Romney Keeps Lying Through His Big White Teeth
    By Robert Reich

    “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” says Neil Newhouse, a Romney pollster.

    A half dozen fact-checking organizations and websites have refuted Romney’s claims that Obama removed the work requirement from the welfare law and will cut Medicare benefits by $716 billion.
    Last Sunday’s New York Times even reported on its front page that Romney has been “falsely charging” President Obama with removing the work requirement. Those are strong words from the venerable Times. Yet Romney is still making the false charge. Ads containing it continue to be aired.

    Presumably the Romney campaign continues its false claims because they’re effective. But this raises a more basic question: How can they remain effective when they’ve been so overwhelmingly discredited by the media?
    The answer is the Republican Party has developed three means of bypassing the mainstream media and its fact-checkers.

    The first is by repeating big lies so often in TV spots – financed by a mountain of campaign money – that the public can no longer recall (if it ever knew) that the mainstream media and its fact-checkers have found them to be lies.


    • Ametia says:

      THIS: The answer is the Republican Party has developed three means of bypassing the mainstream media and its fact-checkers.

      The first is by repeating big lies so often in TV spots – financed by a mountain of campaign money – that the public can no longer recall (if it ever knew) that the mainstream media and its fact-checkers have found them to be lies.

      The second is by discrediting the mainstream media – asserting it’s run by “liberal elites” that can’t be trusted to tell the truth. “I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans,” Newt Gingrich charged at a Republican debate last January, in what’s become a standard GOP attack line.

      The third is by using its own misinformation outlets – led by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and his yell-radio imitators, book publisher Regnery, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, along with a right-wing blogosphere – to spread the lies, or at least spread doubt about what’s true.

      Together, these three mechanisms are creating a parallel Republican universe of Orwellian dimension – where anything can be asserted, where pollsters and political advisers are free to create whatever concoction of lies will help elect their candidate, and where “fact-checkers” are as irrelevant and intrusive as is the truth.

  27. Ametia says:

    Workers Feel the Pain of Bain
    By Amy Goodman

    Four hardy souls from rural Illinois joined tens of thousands of people undeterred by threats of Hurricane Isaac during this week’s Republican National Convention. They weren’t among the almost 2,400 delegates to the convention, though, nor were they from the press corps, said to number 15,000. They weren’t part of the massive police force assembled here, more than 3,000 strong, all paid for with $50 million of U.S. taxpayer money. These four were about to join a much larger group: the more than 2.4 million people in the past decade whose U.S. jobs have been shipped to China. In their case, the company laying them off and sending their jobs overseas is Bain Capital, co-founded by the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

    We met the group at Romneyville, a tent city on the outskirts of downtown Tampa, established by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in the spirit of the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. A couple hundred people gathered before the makeshift stage to hear speakers and musicians, under intermittent downpours and the noise of three police helicopters drowning out the voices of the anti-poverty activists. Scores of police on bicycles occupied the surrounding streets.

    Cheryl Randecker was one of those four we met at Romneyville whose Bain jobs are among the 170 slated to be off-shored. They build transmission sensors for many cars and trucks made in the United States. Cheryl was sent to China to train workers there, not knowing that the company was about to be sold and the jobs she was training people for included her own. I asked her how it felt to be training her own replacements after working at the same company for 33 years:

  28. Ametia says:

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    Click here to take the quiz — and don’t forget to share your score when you’re done.

  29. Ametia says:


    Joe Scarborough says Chris Matthews must shape up if he wants to come back to Morning Joe
    Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:22 PM PDT
    by quaoar

    Scarborough was especially displeased. During a luncheon at the Poynter Institute in Tampa after that show, Scarborough laid down the law for Matthews’ continued appearances on his show:

    Scarborough said he was upset that “Morning Joe” “wasted five minutes of the audience’s time” during Matthews’ outburst by doing “absolutely nothing to illuminate the conversation.”

    “We love Chris, Chris loves us, Chris comes on the show all the time, and we want him back again,” Scarborough said. Nevertheless, he doesn’t support political outbursts like Matthews’.

    “If people come on our show and do that, they’re not going to come back on our show until we’re certain they’re not going to do it,” Scarborough said. “The problem is, that people who do that, whether it’s on cable TV or online … they are rewarded by either the extremists on the far right or the far left.”

  30. Ametia says:

    Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 09:41 PM CDT
    Wasserman Schultz fires back at Huckabee

    After the former Arkansas governor insults her on the stage of the Republican National Convention

    Mike Huckabee started his speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention not with a shot at Barack Obama, but, oddly, a shot at Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

    “Tampa has been such a wonderful and hospitable city to us,” Huckabee said. “The only hitch in an otherwise perfect week was the awful noise coming from the hotel room next door to mine. Turns out it was just Debbie Wasserman Schultz practicing her speech for the DNC in Charlotte next week. Bless her heart.”

    In a statement, Wasserman Schultz’s national press secretary, Melanie Roussell, replied to the former Arkansas governor and Fox News host’s insult:

    Perhaps Mr. Huckabee should pay more attention to the company he keeps, such as Todd Akin, instead of taking potshots at the Chairwoman for applause lines. While Huckabee continues to promote the extreme Akin plank, the Chair will defend women’s rights to reproductive health free from dictation by men who don’t know fundamental biology

  31. Ametia says:

    Paul Ryan Is the Newest New Nixon, a Moocher Belied
    By Charles P. Pierce

    TAMPA, Fla. — I think it was when he went to tears, one dab at each eye, while talking about his mother, that it became extraordinarily clear to me that there’s a lot of old Dick Nixon in young Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Janesville, Wisconsin. It was always floating around the edges of my perception as I listened to his well-crafted, competently delivered, and virtually substance-free acceptance speech on Wednesday night. There was the crass connection to “the working men and women,” like himself. The way his voice drops and his eyes glow when he starts talking about the America in which he grew up, where he flipped burgers and washed floors and dreamed very big dreams. There is the obvious effort to… connect, a gift for a simulacrum of empathy that is just inches away from actual sincerity, but which sells on the screen like someone who truly cares about you, his fellow struggling Americans. But it wasn’t until he started tearing up that it all came together for me.

    The difference, of course, is that Nixon was deeply, authentically marked by deep and authentic poverty and deprivation. He came by his ultimately self-destructive neuroses honestly. He earned every wound that he imagined the smart people of the world — the Jews, those damn Kennedys — had inflicted on him. He actually worked a job outside of government, and outside the Washington universe of government-dependent think tanks. He once actually had to earn a living. Paul Ryan hasn’t lacked for a job since he left college as the golden child of Wisconsin Republican politics, riding his family connections into a job with then-Senator Bob Kasten.

    When Paul Ryan is really working Nixon’s side of the street, he talks about how his father died when he was a teenager, and about how his mother rode the bus to Madison, and he’s trying to wring the same notes from the biographical tin-piano that Nixon could play like Van Cliburn. However, when Ryan turns the phrase, “I still live on the same block where I grew up,” he doesn’t mention that he happens to live in a 5,800-square-foot mansion that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. No good Republican cloth coats in the Ryan closet, that’s for sure. Richard Nixon would have resented this upstart on sight, and not just for stealing his act. He’d have had Bob Haldeman on Ryan’s ass by morning.

    It was a good, solid debut for Ryan, who benefitted tremendously from a hall that had gone rapturous over an earlier speech by Condoleezza Rice, whose career as a studious non-politician came to a definitive end last night. (I say this in all sincerity: The woman has the finest diction of any public speaker I have heard anywhere. She may have been the last college student ever who paid attention in Public Speaking class.) Condi even had the considerable cheek to mention 9/11, the greatest national-security failure a national-security adviser ever had, right off the top. The house loved her, though, and she completely energized what had been a weird, disjointed ragbag of an evening full of speeches that went from an Old-Timer’s Game — John McCain, Mike Huckabee — to a speechifying contest among the entire roster of vice-presidential runners-up. John Thune and Rob Portman showed why they didn’t get the gig, and Tim Pawlenty told some really bad jokes and did everything but leave his resume on the podium for Willard Romney to pick up later. But it was Rice who put the charge in the place and gave Ryan something on which to build. Which he did, even though his performance was interrupted early on by protestors holding a banner reading, “Vagina: Can’t Say It, Don’t Legislate It.” And shouting, “Health care, not warfare,” and “My body, my choice.” Frankly, it was about time somebody in the hall mentioned abortion.

    The rest:

  32. rikyrah says:

    Why (and How) Romney is Playing the Race Card

    A few months ago, I returned to my hometown of Detroit to understand why the American Dream is more alive for minorities than it is for blue-collar whites. I drove through my old eastside neighborhood, below 8 Mile Road, and into Macomb County, a racially charged suburb long identified with so-called Reagan Democrats.

    At Linda’s Place at 9 Mile Road and Harper, where $2.99 gets you two eggs, hash browns, bacon, and an honest conversation about racial politics, I chatted with Detroit firefighter Dave Miller and his pal, contractor Benson Brundage. As it turned out, that breakfast-table conversation helps explain why (and how) Mitt Romney is playing the race card with his patently false welfare ad.

    “Let’s talk about your polling,” Benson said. He grabbed from my hand an Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor survey showing that middle-class blacks and Hispanics are far more optimistic about their children’s future than are whites of the same economic status. “What do you think the unemployment rate is among blacks? In Detroit, it’s probably 40 percent. If the unemployment rate is that high, why is it that they are so optimistic about their future and the future of their children?”

    Benson paused, heard no reply, and answered his own question.


    There it is. The Macomb County buzz word for welfare, a synonym that rests on the tongues of the white middle class like sour milk. Men like Miller and Benson don’t use the N-word and they don’t hate (disclosure: I grew up with Miller, who now lives in Macomb County): For a five-figure salary and overtime, Miller risks his life fighting fires in a black neighborhood just south of 8 Mile Road. But Benson casually overestimated the black unemployment rate in Detroit by more than 10 percentage points, and both he and Miller will talk your ear off about welfare cheats.

    “It’s a generational apathy,” Miller said, “and they keep getting more and more (apathetic) because they don’t have to work. If they sleep all day and free money …”

    “ … Comes in the mail,” Benson said.

    “… not in the mail anymore,” Miller said, “It’s in a magic card they can swipe.”

    They poked at their egg yolks until Miller broke the silence. “I feel like a fool for not jumping on that shit and getting some (welfare) myself,” Miller said. “But I couldn’t sleep at night.”


    A poll this spring by the Pew Economic Mobility Project underscored how minorities and whites see their divergent economic trajectories. Whites earning between $25,000 and $75,000 per year were more than twice as likely as blacks in the same income range—and nearly twice as likely as Latinos—to say they had already achieved the American Dream. A majority of Latinos and a plurality of African-Americans say they expect to be making enough money 10 years from now to live the lifestyle they desire. A majority of whites consider that a pipe dream.

    Working-class whites, in other words, are already more prosperous and secure than working-class minorities, but they’re less optimistic because they don’t believe they’re climbing anymore. They’re simply trying to hold on to what they’ve got, and see others grabbing at it.

    Thanks to Romney, they see minorities grabbing at their way of life every day and all day in the inaccurate welfare ad. It opens with a picture of Bill Clinton (a man obsessed with Macomb County and Reagan Democrats) signing the 1996 welfare reform act, which shifted the benefits from indefinite government assistance to one pushing people into employment and self-reliance.

    A leather-gloved white laborer wipes sweat from his forehead. “But on July 12,” the ad intones,” President Obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send your welfare check and “welfare to work” goes back to being plain old welfare.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    August 29, 2012 5:00 PM
    Who’s Zoomin’ Who On Abortion?

    By Ed Kilgore

    I noted yesterday that in an effort to dial back the abortion policy speculation unleashed by the selection of Paul Ryan as his running-mate, exacerbated by Todd Akin’s unhelpful comments on “legitimate rape,” Mitt Romney seemed to be saying abortion wasn’t really an issue in the campaign and was a judicial issue anyway.

    Somebody must have given him a poll showing vulnerability on this subject, because now we have his sister giving an interview and promising us all that nothing would endanger abortion rights in a Romney Administration:

    Mitt Romney’s eldest sister, who has backed prominent Democrats for office and is in Tampa showing support for her brother, had some reassuring words Wednesday for women concerned about the Republican Party’s hard line on abortion.

    Mitt Romney would never make abortions illegal as president, Jane Romney said when National Journal asked her about the subject after a “Women for Mitt” event. “He’s not going to be touching any of that,” she said. “It’s not his focus.”

    Wonder if anyone’s told that to the antichoice commissars who would have undoubtedly found a way to veto Mitt’s nomination if he had vouchsafed such views during the primaries.

  34. rikyrah says:

    From The Daily Beast:

    Michael Tomasky on Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech and His Web of Lies
    by Michael Tomasky Aug 30, 2012 12:35 AM EDT

    Paul Ryan pushed American politics into new territory with his convention speech, effectively daring Democrats and the media to call him out on his string of blatant falsehoods.

    It just boggles the mind to imagine how Paul Ryan can stand up there and lash Barack Obama for abandoning Bowles-Simpson when he did exactly that himself. Or for taking $716 billion out of Medicare that Ryan’s own budget also removes from Medicare. Or try to blame him for the closing of a GM plant that actually closed while George W. Bush was president. Those three lies are just the beginning of a cavalcade that followed. I can’t in clear conscience call such a speech “good” or “effective.” But I will acknowledge that Ryan can spin the goods like nobody’s business, and that his presence on the stage Wednesday night and on the ticket going forward does put new pressure on the Democrats, because Republicans have never really fought on quite this terrain in quite this way.

    For many decades, the parties basically sort of ceded certain matters to each other. Democrats argued with Republicans about defense spending, for example; but with a few exceptions they rarely tried to say that they were the people you should really trust on defense. They knew they’d lose that argument, and they changed the subject. Republicans did the same on many social issues, or the idea of compassion. They knew they couldn’t compete. Jack Kemp and Newt Gingrich changed this a little. They went around saying that their plans for poor people were superior. No one really bought it, but it did become a standard GOP talking point. Ryan is Kemp on steroids. (It was no accident that he invoked Kemp tonight). No Republican has ever tried to take it to Democrats on the issues they’ve owned for, in the case of Medicare, nearly 50 years.

    Analysis of the fact that Ryan can lie the way he does requires the skills of a psychologist. All I can say is that we’re in new territory—a Republican trying to own a Democratic issue, and doing so on the basis of a couple of lies so blatant that he’s practically saying to the Democrats and the media: “Fuck you, come and get me. You can’t touch me.”

    Ryan is glib and smooth and has a certain charm. He delivers one-liners very well. He really knows how to package, and where to go and where not to go. He talked a lot about spending, but he didn’t talk much about taxes, because he knows that he can’t really defend his position on taxes, which is slash them for the rich, so don’t even open that door. Open only the doors that lead to free shots at Obama. Many of those too are lies. He’s done far more to add to the debt than Obama has—voting for Bush’s tax cuts and wars and Medicare expansion as a congressman. This is true. But he can make it sound as if no sane person could possibly believe it.

  35. rikyrah says:

    The 5 Biggest Lies in Paul Ryan’s RNC Acceptance Speech

    By: Jason Easley

    Paul Ryan took the stage in Tampa and peppered his speech with lies, falsehoods distortions and exaggerations. There were many to choose from, but here are the five biggest lies.

    1). Ryan accuses Obama of closing down the GM plant.

    What Ryan Said, “A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”

    The Truth: The GM plant closure was announced in June of 2008, when George W. Bush was president. Barack Obama took office in January 2009.

    2). Ryan Claims Taxpayers Got Nothing Out of the Stimulus.

    What Ryan Said, ” What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted. Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.”

    The Truth: The stimulus added 3.3 million jobs, cut unemployment by 1.8%, and grew GDP by 4.1%. Nothing is what the country got when Ryan and his fellow Republican obstructed the American Jobs Act.

    3). Ryan Accused Obama of Putting the Federal Government in Charge of Healthcare.

    What Ryan Said, “Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care. Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.”

    The Truth: What would a Republican gathering be without a hat tip to the ugly step child of death panels? Obamacare doesn’t federalize healthcare. In fact, it does the opposite.

    As pointed out, “The health care law does set new minimum benefits packages, but that’s more a matter of coming between patients and their insurance companies, rather than patients and their doctors…he health care law doesn’t come close to establishing a government-run system like those of Britain or Canada. While Medicaid will be expanded to more people, most Americans will continue to get their insurance through a private carrier. To the dismay of many liberals, a proposal to include a government-run “public option” to private health insurance was dropped during the legislative process.”

  36. rikyrah says:

    The most dishonest convention speech EVER?

    You’re going to read and hear a lot about Paul Ryan’s speech on Wednesday night. And I imagine most of it will be about how Ryan’s speech played—with the party loyalists in Tampa, with the television viewers across the country, and eventually with the swing voters who will decide the election.

    I’d like to talk, instead, about what Ryan actually said—not because I find Ryan’s ideas objectionable, although I do, but because I thought he was so brazenly willing to twist the truth.

    At least five times, Ryan misrepresented the facts. And while none of the statements were new, the context was. It’s one thing to hear them on a thirty-second television spot or even in a stump speech before a small crowd. It’s something else entirely to hear them in prime time address, as a vice presidential nominee is accepting his party’s nomination and speaking to the entire country.

    Here are the five statements that deserve serious scrutiny:

    1) About the GM plant in Janesville.

    Ryan’s home district includes a shuttered General Motors plant. Here’s what happened, according to Ryan:

    A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.

    Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

    It’s true: The plant shut down. But it shut down in 2008—before Obama became president.

    By the way, nobody questions that, if not for the Obama Administration’s decision to rescue Chrysler and GM, the domestic auto industry would have crumbled. Credible estimates suggested that the rescue saved more than a million jobs. Unemployment in Michigan and Ohio, the two states with the most auto jobs, have declined precipitously.

    2) About Medicare.

    Ryan attacked Obama for “raiding” Medicare. Again, Ryan has no standing whatsoever to make this attack, because his own budget called for taking the same amount of money from Medicare. Twice. The only difference is that Ryan’s budget used those savings to finance Ryan’s priorities, which include a massive tax cut that benefits the wealthy disproportionately.

    It’s true that Romney has pledged to put that money back into Medicare and Ryan now says he would do the same. But the claim is totally implausible given Romney’s promise to cap non-defense spending at 16 percent of gross domestic product.

    By the way, Obamacare’s cut to Medicare was a reduction in what the plan pays hospitals and insurance companies. And the hospitals said they could live with those cuts, because Obamacare was simultaneously giving more people health insurance, alleviating the financial burden of charity care.

    What Obamacare did not do is take away benefits. On the contrary, it added benefits, by offering free preventative care and new prescription drug coverage. By repealing Obamacare, Romney and Ryan would take away those benefits—and, by the way, add to Medicare’s financial troubles because the program would be back to paying hospitals and insurers the higher rates.

    3) About the credit rating downgrade.

    Ryan blamed the downgrading of American debt on Obama. But it was the possibility that America would default on its debts that led to the downgrade. And why did that possibility exist? Because Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling, playing chicken not just with the nations’ credit rating but the whole economy, unless Obama would cave into their budget demands.

    4) About the deficit.

    Ryan said “President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him” and proclaimed “We need to stop spending money we don’t have.” In fact, this decade’s big deficits are primarily a product of Bush-era tax cuts and wars. (See graph.) And you know who voted for them? Paul Ryan.

    5) About protecting the weak.

    Here’s Ryan on the obligations to help those who can’t help themselves:

    We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves. … We can make the safety net safe again.

    The rhetoric is stirring—and positively galling. Analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that 62 percent of the cuts in Ryan budget would come from programs that serve low-income people. And that’s assuming he keeps the Obamacare Medicare cuts. If he’s serious about putting that money back into Medicare, the cuts to these programs would have to be even bigger.

  37. rikyrah says:

    A Cheneyesque take on the ‘war on women’
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:59 PM EDT.

    Liz Cheney appeared on Fox News yesterday, and said she’s “fed up” and “at the end of [her] rope” when it comes to Democratic talk of a Republican “war on women.”

    “It’s completely condescending and really offensive as a woman,” Liz Cheney said. “The Democrats are sort of sidelining women on to these issues. Frankly, we’ve worked for decades and decades to become equal, it looks to me like the Democratic Party, frankly, is the party trying to take us backwards.

    I’ve read that quote a few times, trying to make sense of it. I seem to have misplaced my far-right decoder ring again, so I’m afraid Cheney’s complaints seem a little incoherent.

    Consider the proposals we’ve seen from Republican officials this year: restricting contraception; cutting off Planned Parenthood; requiring state-mandated, medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds; forcing physicians to lie to patients about abortion and breast cancer; fighting equal-pay laws; and delaying the Violence Against Women Act. When it came time for House Republicans to pay for lower student loan interest rates, GOP officials decided to get the funding by cutting access to breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Rice the partisan player
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:35 PM EDT.

    Condoleezza Rice appears to have a reputation for relative high-mindedness, especially when compared to her colleagues in the Bush administration. But before she addresses the Republican National Convention tonight, I’d remind the political world that Rice is a far more aggressive partisan than is generally appreciated.

    It went largely overlooked at the time, but in 2004, Rice was the first National Security Advisor in memory to hit the campaign trail, giving Republican stump speeches in battleground states, despite serving in an office that’s supposed to be nonpartisan (especially during two wars). More recently, Rice “electrified” Republicans with a “surprisingly partisan”speech at an exclusive Romney fundraiser. BuzzFeed reported, “One surrogate said he was surprised by the red meat rhetoric employed by Rice.”

    But while Rice is ostensibly hoping to give Romney some credibility on foreign policy — one of his more dramatic weaknesses — she hasn’t quite honed her talking points yet, as was evident on CBS this morning.

  39. rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan stands on a foundation of lies
    By Steve Benen
    Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    At a basic level, what bothers me about politicians who lie, especially at a national level, is that the deceptions are insulting. A candidate who knows the truth, but makes a deliberate decision to deceive, is working from the assumption that Americans are suckers.

    And last night, Paul Ryan made painfully clear that he thinks we’re all profound idiots who’ll believe an endless string of lies, so long as they’re packaged well and presented with conviction. Jonathan Cohn suggested last night’s address may have been the “most dishonest convention speech” ever delivered, and I can’t think of a close second.
    It was a truly breathtaking display of brazen dishonesty. Paul Ryan looked America in the eye and without a hint a shame, lied to our face.

    Ryan lied about President Obama’s auto-industry rescue, blaming the administration for a plant closing orchestrated by President Bush. Ryan lied about Medicare, falsely accusing Obama of undermining the system. Ryan lied about the debt downgrade, falsely blaming the president for a downgrade caused by Ryan and congressional Republicans.

  40. Ametia says:

    Obama ENDORSES Bernie Sanders’ Constitutional Amendment to OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED

    During a Reddit IAmA chat, President Obama made some big news today by announcing that he supports a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

    During his Reddit chat, Obama touched a topic that very few elected politicians will go near. The president not only discussed the role of money in politics, but he also endorsed a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

    The president said,

    Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress – to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”

  41. Ametia says:

    Have a great day, Everyone! I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE DNC IN CHARLOTTE, NC.

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