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Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Unsinkable Mitt Romney

 

So, it’s Paul Ryan.

Color me not particularly surprised.

I’m reminded of Gene Hackman’s line to Will Smith in Enemy of the State:

You’re either incredibly smart or incredibly stupid…

In preparation for Tampa, Mitt Romney announced that he was tapping Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan as his running mate.

In requisite conservative Chicken Hawk fashion they made the announcement in front of a war machine to the sound of crackling American flags and martial music. Hooray! I can think of no more appropriate setting than to make the announcement in front of the battleship Wisconsin.

If that’s not the very epitome of the modern GOP, I don’t know what is.

Two men who never served themselves, who have never ever put themselves in harm’s way, standing in front of a symbol of military might. They represent the very face of a political apparatus that embraces the proud tradition of sending other people’s kids off to fight and die in foreign lands – and then denigrates their service when they come home, because they don’t happen to belong to that same ideology. People like me, for instance. Oh how Republicans love the trappings of war, tanks and battleships and patriotic music and the roar of fighter jets overhead. They love the words, strategy and tactics and battle. They love to put targets on their enemies and they love to talk about returning fire. They love guns and they love to drive Humvees and they love to declare war, war on this and war on that. They just don’t like going to war themselves. Funny how neither Romney or Ryan, standing in front of the World War Two battleship, Wisconsin, made mention of how Mitt managed to avoid military service during Vietnam by taking the Mormon to France or how Ryan went into politics in high school and has been firmly lodged there ever since.  Neither of these men served a single day in their entire lives, and yet there they were, beating the military drum.

Yes, how utterly appropriate.

If they could have dug up Dick Cheney and his five draft deferments, they would have had a complete set. The men who came from across the nation, republicans and democrats in equal measure, and crewed that warship during our nation’s darkest hours should be disgusted. But I digress.

Mitt Romney, the man born with a golden spoon in his mouth and who increased his fortune a hundredfold by liquidating American businesses and sending American jobs overseas, standing in front of the nation and telling us that we need to buckle down, stop sucking off the government teat, get jobs and get to work.

Paul Ryan, the man who started out as a high school class president and who has never had an actual adult job outside of government, a man who as a boy would have been on the street after the tragic death of his father but for Social Security and government safety nets, loudly embraces the selfish screw you philosophy of Ayn Rand and thinks other people should get real jobs and stop sponging off the government.

Oh yes, making the announcement in front of the battlewagon Wisconsin was absolutely appropriate.

I can think of few other settings that would so perfectly summarize the hypocrisy of the modern GOP.

Today, the media is hyperventilating into a paper bag, all full of excited and feverish speculation about what the addition of Paul Ryan means to this election year’s monkey fest. What does it mean? Oh, America, what could it mean?

I’ll tell you what it means: Mitt Romney is doubling down. 

He’s embracing the failed tactics of his predecessors, only more so. Exactly like his party goes to war.

He’s pulling a John McCain.

Romney was faced with a simple choice, go big or go home.  Polls in recent weeks clearly show President Obama with a distinct and and increasing lead. CNN Opinion Research has Obama up by seven points and Fox News itself has Obama leading by a full nine percentage points.  Fox’s hysterical Chicken Little panic is obviously designed to terrify conservatives into action, but it’s telling that even a unashamedly biased mouthpiece like Fox News gives Obama the lead.

Now it’s a sucker’s bet to call an election this far out, but it would appear from both liberal and conservative perspectives that Romney is lagging.

There’s a reason for this.

The simple truth of the matter is that nobody likes Mitt Romney.

Face it, he’s a stiff. He looks like he popped out of his mother’s womb at a precisely scheduled time with a full head of perfectly coiffed hair, wearing a perfectly pressed Armani suit, and toddled off to a board meeting before his eyes were even focused.  HIs idea of looking like a regular Joe is to don a pair of brand new thousand dollar designer blue jeans ironed with military creases by the help – he looks like a CEO awkwardly trying to mingle with the peons at a company picnic. His spontaneously unscripted moments are scripted.  He’s the kind of guy who relaxes by reading Forbes and quarterly earnings reports.  Those robots in Disney’s Hall of Presidents are more lifelike and have more personality than Mitt Romney. Romney is a guy who was born rich and made himself richer by liquidating American businesses and putting working class folks in the unemployment line. He’s the guy who lives in the big house. The economy tanked and regular folks lost their homes and shirts and livelihoods, Mitt Romney bought a vacation house with a car elevator in the garage and his wife took her horse to London. No matter how you slice it, that’s who he is.

The problem with Mitt Romney is that Mitt Romney looks and acts exactly like a cliché of what he actually is, a rich white guy.

He’s a bored rich guy who doesn’t have to work for a living and has run out of things to do, he doesn’t have the chops to be Batman so he decided to run for President.

Mitt Romney is literally the rich preppy asshole upper classman from every single John Cusack 80’s teen movie. 

This guy has absolutely nothing in common with ninety-nine percent of America – most especially the light beer swilling, tractor-pulling, NASCAR watching, gun humping, Jesus worshiping, tea partying GOP base.

So why is he the GOP nominee apparent?

Seriously, out of all the choices, why is the average out of work, down on his luck conservative going to vote for the guy least like them? Why? Because (leaving aside the obvious color issue) twenty years ago they were told that a rising tide raises all boats, that’s why. A bunch of rich white guys from Wall Street, people just like Mitt Romney, relieved themselves on the American public and told them it was a summer rain shower. Oh they gave it a nice official sounding name, Trickle Down Economics, but warm whiz is what it was.

Mitt Romney is the poster child for Reaganomics.

See, here’s the thing, a rising tide is great – if you happen to be a member of the yacht club.

But if you don’t own a boat and you can’t afford a ticket as a passenger, well then your only hope is to get hired on as crew otherwise you’re left treading water. And that’s fine, not everybody is a Captain. As long as there are enough boats you’ll stay above water. Problem is, Mitt Romney and the other captains did what a lot of rich yacht owners do, they registered their boats overseas for tax purposes and got themselves some cheap foreign deckhands. It’s twenty years later, but a lot of conservatives still seem to think that sooner or later the rich folks sailing past will throw them a lifeline. Instead, those same rich folks are standing at the rail enjoying the view with a glass of tax free champagne, and they’re pissing over the side – and if we all shuffle together down here between the waves, well we might be able to enjoy a brief warm trickle in the cold, cold ocean. Thanks rich people. Thank you, Ronald Reagan.

The problem with trickle down economics is one of proportion. Without some very specific regulations and enforcement, the rich folks benefit enormously from a booming economy, the middle class does all the deck work and gets a modest lifestyle on credit, and the poor get put away down in steerage with the rats where they’re out of sight and out of mind.  Every once in a while, if they behave, Mitt Romney will put on his thousand dollar jeans and ladle them out some soup – because not only is that tax deductible it buys rich people a place in Heaven.

And then when it all hits the iceberg, well then the rich bastards jump in the paltry few lifeboats and motor away, leaving everybody else to drown.

When John Thain, the last President of Merrill Lynch, crashed his company and lost his job, he got a multi-million dollar golden parachute. Everybody else, employees and investors and the American public, got screwed and left to go down with the ship.  That’s exactly what I’m talking about, people like John Thain take risks with our entire economy and when their greed and lousy leadership result in a massive economic collapse they just get richer while everybody else ends up broke and swimming for their lives. And if that isn’t enough, Thain, after he destroyed Merrill Lynch and sold what was left off to Bank of America asked the board of directors to give him another ten million.

Mitt Romney and his boy wonder along with every other member of the Republican Party keep telling us that people like John Thain shouldn’t pay taxes because they create jobs. Seriously? You have to wonder what these people are smoking. Thain destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs, literally hundreds of thousands of jobs, directly like those at Merrill Lynch and indirectly by contributing to the economic collapse though careless and unscrupulous business activities. Thain made hundreds of millions of dollars in salary and bonuses doing it and that money came directly from people who are now paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars in bad mortgages and will be for the rest of their lives.

Thain literally bought himself a gold plated toilet with that money. You want to talk about pissing on the rest of us?

People like John Thain have enjoyed Bush Era Tax Cuts for ten years now, so where are the jobs?

No seriously, where are they?

And now? Now Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want you to believe that we somehow owe John Thain more money.

The rich are always outraged when the ship of state springs a leak. Sure. Of course it wasn’t their fault, never is, right? Bad crewing is what it was. It was those parasites down in steerage, yeah, those bastards. Funny that the rich aren’t outraged when there aren’t enough lifeboats for all, costs must be kept to a minimum and profits maximized after all – just as long as there’s enough lifeboats for them.

What people like Mitt Romney want is to convince you that being beholden to the government is bad, but being beholden to rich people is somehow desirable.  The reason, and what those folks never tell you, is that the government is answerable to the people, the rich emphatically aren’t, QED.  If you’re depending on the largess and compassion of people like Mitt Romney and John Thain, well, you’re an idiot.

Case in point, Saturday morning, Romney hired himself a First Mate who wants to increase profits by getting rid of the life preservers.

Mitt Romney needed somebody who can carry that message, somebody who can convince the slaves to fight for the Confederacy, somebody who can convince the crew to help the rich folks into the lifeboat and then go down with the ship with a smile on their faces.  He needed somebody young, dynamic, pretty, and – and given the lessons learned from McCain’s mistake – intelligent and well spoken. In short, just like McCain he needed a running mate that would offset his image as an old stodgy rich white guy pissing on the rest of us.  What he really needed, was somebody who could look the crew and passengers right in the eye and convince them that lifeboats are just for the owner of the shipping company and anything more is really just a waste of deck space. Trust me, the ship will never sink.

What you’re seeing here is the same philosophy that these same folks use to wage war. We’ll never lose. They’ll cheer us in the streets. It’ll be over in a month. We don’t need body armor.  God loves us best of all, he’d never let us down so we don’t need a backup plan or safety nets. Besides, we could stand to shed some of the riff raff. Trust us. More champagne? It’s imported.

Somebody managed to finally convince Romney that Latinos aren’t going to vote for him no matter what – not even the ones that conservatives think can’t tell the difference between Mexicans and Cubans. It’s just not possible for the GOP to court the Latino vote when every conservative worth his genuine Ben Franklin powdered wig is loudly blaming immigrants for everything from acne to the price of lettuce and demanding to see their papers.  When you’ve got Joe Arpaio stomping around the Southwest in his hobnail boots, there’s no point in bringing onboard Marco Rubio.

The GOP is already chock a block with loud corn-fed white guys who hate minorities, gays, the poor, non-Christians, and Barack Obama. They’ve got that part covered in detail. Chris Christie would have been redundant.  Besides, Christie would have had to start watching his mouth, and even if he wasn’t from New Jersey that’s just not going to happen.

Rob Portman was too damned boring. Romney’s already boring, adding Portman to the ticket gains him exactly nothing except another stiffy in a tie.  If you don’t live in Ohio, you don’t know Rob Portman from Natalie Portman. Conservatives, despite their recent glum show of enthusiasm, are already not excited. For them, this isn’t about putting Romney in the White House, it’s about getting Barack Obama out. Then once they’ve righted the world and fumigated the Oval Office, like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt they’ll go around chipping the stinky black guy’s image off of everything. Given that the school books are printed in Texas, I figure it’s only a matter of time until Obama’s name, like that of Chuck Darwin  and Marty King Jr, will disappear from our history. Remember, Folks, the only science that matters is creation science and the only true blue oppressed civil rights leader you need to know is Dan Cathy. Once a Republican is back in the White House the economy will magically rain down sugar coated happiness and manly non-gay rainbows, the tide will come in, the boats will rise … and all the undesirables will drown just like Jesus intended. Amen.

And the guy with the plan, the plan that rains down magic sugar frosted rainbows, is Paul Ryan.

Fox News hailed the selection of Ryan as evidence that Romney is focused on the economy.

Heh heh, right.

If Romney was focused on the economy, if Romney actually had a plan that he could sell to the masses, well then he wouldn’t need Paul Ryan now, would he?

Bringing Ryan onboard lets Romney claim to be focused on the economy and jobs while spending all of his time talking about conspiracy theories and how Obama sucks giant liberal donkey balls. Right from the start, Romney and his former competitors have attempted to make this election into a referendum on Obama, selecting Ryan as his running mate lets Romney continue to do so.

You’re either incredibly smart, or incredibly stupid.

If Romney plays the staid conservative game, he will certainly lose.

And if he takes a big risk, which is what Ryan is, he just might lose even bigger. But he just might win too.

It depends on whether the Ryan Budget Plan will galvanize the Tea Party and the undecided vote in favor of Mitt Romney to a larger degree than the threat of Ryan’s Ayn Rand Utopia will goad disillusioned democrats and independents into getting off their teary asses and going to vote for Obama again.

And Ryan should scare the bejebbers out of both sides. 

Conservatives have been shitting themselves blind for the last three years, gibbering in black panic over what, exactly, Obama meant by “change.” As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan’s plan outlines nothing short of a complete reordering of the national tax code and a massively radical change in federal spending priories for the next century.  Ryan’s plan would drastically shrink the US Government and would, for all practical purposes, remove almost all of the safety nets ninety-nine percent of Americans, the entire middle class, i.e. pretty much the entire Tea Party among others, depend on.

For example, Paul Ryan’s plan will convert Medicare into a voucher program. 

What that means is that every middle class senior citizen, and the others who depend on Medicare, will be given government checks so that they can go buy privatized health insurance.

Think about that.

No. Stop. Really think about that and what the implications are.

First you’re basically looking at government subsidized health insurance.  Oh you can whore it up all you like, but that’s what it is, and it’s something that Ryan’s Tea Party pals and conservatives denounce as hated socialism.  

Second, for a voucher system to work you have to implement some pretty strict regulations on the insurance industry.  We’re talking about old people here, right? That’s who uses Medicare.  Old people usually have a lot of pre-existing medical conditions, they usually require increasingly expensive prescriptions, lots of them. Hundreds of dollars a month. They need expensive procedures and treatments and hearing aids and eye glasses and physical therapy.  Old people are expensive, they cost a lot of money when it come to healthcare and they typically can’t pay much in the way of premiums and deductibles.

Private health insurers hate old people the way auto insurers hate drunk drivers. That’s why we ended up with Medicare in the first place and why it costs so much.

Now, how are you going to guarantee that private health insurance will cover old people?

What?

What’s that you say?

Why there’ll have to be strict government regulation?

Yes, there will. Insurers will be forced to take people with pre-existing conditions. They’ll be prevented from dropping people with increasingly serious medical conditions and people who are absolutely guaranteed to develop serious medical conditions. There will be strict limits on what insurers can charge and what they must cover.  And so on. 

That would be sort of exactly like Obamacare, wouldn’t it?

Because if you don’t don’t have those kind of regulations in place when Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get rid of Medicare, well then you’ll looking square into the face of actual de facto no shit death panels, aren’t you?

That’s just the start. You run into the same problems when you start talking about the privatization of Social Security and other government safety nets which were put into place specifically because private businesses can’t or will not cover the problem. The Ryan budget plan, if implemented, would cut roughly six trillion dollars from projected federal spending for the next ten years and it would also cut revenue by another four trillion dollars. It will radically change the government more than anything Barack Obama or the democrats have ever attempted in any fashion whatsoever.

And where exactly do you think that money is going to come from? Out of the Koch Brothers’ pockets? Out of the defense budget?

No, it’s going to come from people just like us.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, something must be done.  Federal spending and the federal deficit must be brought under control.  But when the ship is taking on water you don’t burn the lifeboats.

As the Tea Party’s fair haired accountant and as the head of the House Budget Committee, Representative Paul Ryan wields considerable power and influence – far more than he should.

But, and here’s the really ironic part, if Romney wins the White House this fall, he effectively takes Paul Ryan out of the picture and strips him of all his power.

The US Vice President has little influence and no authority when it comes to executive policy.

The Vice President has no authority when it comes to legislation, other than maybe casting a tie breaking vote in the Senate should it come down to it.

Right now Paul Ryan is a member of the club, one of the movers and the shakers, but should he change from legislative to executive, he’s persona non grata on the Hill. There is nobody less influential than the Vice President (Well, OK, sure, there was Dick Cheney, you’ve got me there).

But no matter how you slice it, for the next several months, until November at least, Paul Ryan is effectively out of congress or at best working part time – i.e. during one of the most critical budget negotiation periods in recent memory the conservative Chairman of the House Budget Committee is out on the campaign trail instead of wielding the gavel.

Romney is either incredibly smart, or incredibly stupid.

Time will certainly tell.

147 comments:

  1. Hi Jim - I agree with you completely. It is difficult to imagine two white guys more completely disconnected from the other 99% of Americans and the nation's actual needs for recovery.

    The other day Mittens went to a hardware store in NH, just like a regular guy doing weekend chores. Loading up the Escalade with a bucket filled with some things, Mitt was asked what he had bought and he said "Hardware stuff." He is so achingly in touch with the commoners.

    The checkout scanner probably threw him off too. Just like a previous blue blood Prez candidate. Tommy D

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  2. I'm with you.

    Ben Franklin didn't wear powdered wigs, it was one of the things the French found charming. It made the leading intellectual of his day, seem more backwoodsy and simple.

    Washington, Adams yes, Franklin no. Go borrow a $100 from Mitt, Ben is balding.

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    1. See, Warner, nobody knows what really happened back then, so my version of history is as good as, oh say, actual historians.

      :)

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    2. Didn't know you were from Texas.

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    3. Ben also made a point of bringing some of the most rustic clothing he could...
      it tended to disarm people when the "folksy backwoods american" made those incredibly pointed and sharp edged remarks.

      he was rather the predecessor of will rogers in that respect.

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  3. "Mitt Romney is literally the rich preppy asshole upper classman from every single John Cusack 80’s teen movie."

    Excellent. Just excellent. You have a way of boiling off all the froth and presenting pure pith.

    PS Small quibble - it's "beholden to", not "beholding to".

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  4. It is of course still too far out to predict which way Romney's choice of Ryan as his running mate will swing things, but seniors and anyone on permanent Disability like me need to be afraid. VERY VERY afraid. I rely on SSDI as my sole income and Medicare/Medicaid to cover my medications, which are numerous and extremely costly and without which I will end up in a mental hospital and eventually dead.

    Romney swears the first thing he would do as President would be to repeal the ACA which was based on the Massachusetts model for which HE was largely responsible. Guess what's OK for MA isn't OK for USA.

    That man is an amoral sociopath who lies with an insouciance that can only be described as breathtaking, and now he has allied himself with a man who is so lacking in conscience that he would yank the safety net out from thousands of Americans who would die without it and he couldn't care less so long as the wealthy get their tax breaks.

    And yet they both like to yammer about their "Christian faith" while pursuing policies right out of Ayn Rand. Someone should tell them that the Bible and ATLAS SHRUGGED cannot be used together.

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    1. I'm in the same leaky boat as Scott. I can tell you that no one else in my family ever took government assistance. Even now I am forbidden to refer to the fact that I am on SSDI.

      I worked at a fast-paced, high-stress job and loved it, paid taxes and disability into the system and never thought I'd end up like this. By the time I was 33 I had saved up $75,000 in cash, stocks, and bonds for retirement, due to disability it was gone in 3 years. Being disabled in America is already an extremely expensive proposition.

      Ryan wants to yank the one remaining safety net out from under the poorest and weakest members of society. I thought the measure of civilization of a society was how it treated its poorest and most disenfranchised members. By that standard, we are failing badly.

      Thank you for your articulate and impassioned essay. I have shared on Facebook, per your link, above.

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    2. Eisenhower didn't talk about guns and war like that does. The republican party has changed.

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    3. sociopath says it all, what a ass, no way can he buy his way to acheve the presidency, people are too smart to let it happen...

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  5. "We’re talking about old people here, right? That’s who uses Medicare. Old people usually have a lot of pre-existing medical conditions, they usually require increasingly expensive prescriptions, lots of them. Hundreds of dollars a month. They need expensive procedures and treatments and hearing aids and eye glasses and physical therapy. Old people are expensive, they cost a lot of money when it come to healthcare and they typically can’t pay much in the way of premiums and deductibles."

    Exactly - and here we are back in the King James approximation to the First Testament:

    "12 ¶ Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy dayes may bee long vpon the land, which the Lord thy God giueth thee."

    That's not by accident. It is so easy to do away with old people, even this (at least) 2500 year old law had to have provisions for preventing exactly that.

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    1. It isn't just old people who use Medicare. See my post above.^^

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  6. fucking priceless.

    "Given that the school books are printed in Texas, I figure it’s only a matter of time until Obama’s name, like that of Chuck Darwin and Marty King Jr, will disappear from our history. Remember, Folks, the only science that matters is creation science and the only true blue oppressed civil rights leader you need to know is Dan Cathy."

    just a little grammatical correction: champagne, I think, is the drink you're naming. ;)

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  7. You really do have a way of exposing the pith from the hardwood. Excellent post Jim!

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  8. "Mitt Romney is literally the rich preppy asshole upper classman from every single John Cusack 80’s teen movie." is f'in brilliant, not to mention spot on.

    A nitpick: "Besides, we could stand to lose shed some of the riff raff." I think either lose or shed is redundant.

    Why a former insurance advertising guy turned whistleblower thinks Ryan's Medicare plan is a Bad Idea(tm): http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=75256 (reprinted from iWatch, where there are lots more of his columns).

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  9. No other blog has more spell checks and typo crew than you Jim! And your so kind to them all!

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    1. Hey, free proof-readers, like I'm gonna turn that down.

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    2. I used to run a rather large Web site, and I LOVED it when people sent messages telling me about mistakes.

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    3. I know/knew(?) the difference for that one John, just not at the moment I hit publish.

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    4. The publish button actually adds in typos. That's totally true, you can look it up on the internet.

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    5. John Thain's name is misspelled. As long as I'm commenting at all, I'll just say that I have only just found your site very recently, and like it very much.

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    6. Thain. Urf. Thanks. It's fixed.

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  10. Interesting take... ya didnt mention that the current President and VP never served... oh... The President never held any private sector job for more than 3 years. Ya didnt mention the priceless VP president Obama selected... but fortunately the VP doesnt make policy... neither will Ryan if elected.

    Business, jobs and manufacturing is what this country needs... not more government. I think the current President lied to all the American people to get into office and now we are screwed with his crazy spending... Dont know about you but when my bank account is low... I stop spending. President Obama is a charismatic speaker... but I dont trust him... at all. I think we will agree to disagree on your discussion.

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    1. You're free to disagree, John, but the difference regarding your first comment is that neither Obama nor Biden spend their time talking about invading Iran, restarting the Cold War, or staying in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has spent three years ending this war, a war I fought for whatever that's worth. The use of the term "Chicken Hawk" should have been your first clue.

      As to your second observation, I never said that this country needed more government. Never. Nowhere, in this post or any other. What I actually said was "Now, don’t get me wrong here, something must be done. Federal spending and the federal deficit must be brought under control. But when the ship is taking on water you don’t burn the lifeboats." I think the size of government could stand to be trimmed, I just don't think that it should be in programs that demonstrably keep people alive. If you need to make budget cuts in a hospital, you cut administrators and the cleaning staff, not turn off the fucking life support equipment. Until Republicans start talking about making significant reductions in the defense budget, you'll not convince me that they're serious. Ditto taxes, if you're really worried about the debt our kids are going to inherit, then the right thing to do is raise taxes now and pay that dead horse off. We elected these people, it's our responsibility.

      As to Obama lying to get into office. Please. Be more specific. All politicians make promises, all of them are likely sincere when they do, few keep them when the realities of the job become apparent. Obama doesn't have the market on that, and if you don't trust him for that reason you damned sure shouldn't trust a bunch of self centered bastards reading from the Ayn Rand playbook.

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    2. Why is it that everyone thinks running a business is the same as running a government, when there are two entirely different motivations at stake? A business is built on the profit motive; screw everyone for a piece of the pie, a la Corporate America. A modern government, at least in theory, is built on the motivation of the public good.

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    3. John Rizzi -- Just the facts, man. Ryan's budget would put us in much worse position than Obama's.

      http://www.factcheck.org/2011/05/ryans-budget-spin/

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    4. VP Biden's son served in the military, just like Romney's sons... oh wait, Romney's sons served their country by helping their dad get elected president. I got confused......

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    5. John Rizzi

      "He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004" so working as an attorney and teaching at the University of Chicago are public jobs?

      Has somebody told them about this?

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    6. Let's be clear about exactly WHO dismantled American Manufacturing and jobs. Conservatives. If you paid any attention at all to the reality based world, its the Mittens and Ryan's who destroyed our manufacturing base so that they could deliver higher profits to their shareholders. Damn their employees or their customers. And guess what, not a liberal in sight. You seem to have blinders on, for someone who reads blogs, pay attention to the details

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    7. You've probably crawled back into your hole by now, but Obama/Biden 2008 made their announcement at the Old State Capital - the same place Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) did. Jim's point was using the USS Wisconsin as a backdrop was a poor idea for folks that haven't had the honor of serving in the military.

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  11. "...disillusioned democrats and independents..."

    I believe that should be big D democrats.

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  12. I'm sorry just don't get you. Do you really think Barack (Barry) is going to fix these problems? He and his moranic friends in the Senate haven't offered 1 solution except "Social Communism" As a Tea Party Patriot I take offense to your comments. We are hard working Americans who are seeing our Constitution trashed everyday, and you served to protect and preserve it? I ?? that. Romney and Ryan might not be my choice but Obama who I believe is a true Socialist..Communist will destroy this country and you my dear sir will not have a free forum to voice your opion.

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    1. Why do you people always insist upon calling him "Barry?" Were you the guy at the Tea Party rally with the sign that read "Get a Brain Moran?" Because you moron, you misspelled moronic. You just had to come here didn't you, because you can't get an intelligent discussion in YOUR forums. Sorry Jim.

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    2. Glenn, Glenn Beck is that you?

      And really, thanks for making the connection for me between "Barack" and "Barry." Maybe next time you could work in a "Hussein" too.

      And really, thanks for questioning my military service. You can be all the offended you like, Tea Party Patriot that you are, but you and your powdered wig are exactly who I'm talking about. Exactly. To a Tea.

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    3. @Emily: The "Barry" thing comes from some ludicrous Tea Party conspiracy theory that has to do with Obama's father being different from his step-father and their names being different, and therefore he's from Kenya... Or something. I honestly don't pay attention to that level of wack-a-loon.

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    4. Well, to be honest I sort of enjoy the Barry thing. It's convenient, as soon as I hear it I know I can stop listening.

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    5. I don't have the time to address everything that is wrong with your reply, and others have done for other issues already but I jut want to point out for what to me seems the millionth time, that socialism IS NOT COMMUNISM!

      Even if Obama were a socialist, and I'm not saying he is, that does not make him, by default, a communist. If you would just look up some of the words you throw around, then at least you would be able to abuse them consciously rather than as a result of ignorance.

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    6. You're pissing into the wind there, B_Proud, but I guess I'm right there with you.

      Socialism also isn't fascism. Socialism also isn't Marxism. Nor isn't it Nazism. Nor zombies, terrorism, or gay. Funny thing, the Constitution does not in point of fact actually specify what type of economic or social system we have. We have the one we do because that's what we have, but it's not specified in our founding document. Socialism therefore is as "American" as any other system. And why does it always have to be socialist communism? Why can't it be socialist capitalism? Socialist is a modifier, not a noun.

      The real problem is of course, the Boogeyman. What people like anonymous are really afraid of are words. If it's "change" from a democrat, it's social fascist Nazis come to eat our babies, if it's "change" from Paul Ryan it's as American as Apple Tarts. However...

      Well, like I said, pissing into the wind.

      Delete
    7. Thank you @Shades of Gray, It actually sounds less ethnic, so I never understood. It's so disrespectful, it's like our president is three-fifths of a person. And BTW, "shades of gray" are something these people aren't capable of.

      And I agree with Jim, when I see someone pull out "Barry" or "Hussein" I know I can tune out because it's just going to be "moranic" and hateful.

      Delete
    8. True, but to be fair, a hell of a lot of people - including me on this website - routinely refer to the previous conservative president by a variety of derogatory terms.

      Delete
    9. Just thought I'd point that out before somebody else does.

      Delete
    10. She mutters quietly "guilty." But this is racial, and Shrub really was a "moran." :-)

      Delete
    11. Now you're being insulting to morons.

      I think that the difference, in general, is this: There was never any concerted push to paint George The Pinheaded as unAmerican or a usurper or other or as some alien reptile in a rubber human suit. George might have been an asshole, but like it or not, he was our asshole. The Right has consistently striven to paint Barack Obama as not an American, not one of us, he doesn't belong. That's the very heart of the Tea Party movement right there, and of Birtherism and all the rest of it. They can't stand the fact that he's as American as the rest of us, so he must be marginalized at every turn. Period. Hence the diminutive, Barry.

      Delete
    12. As a Special Ed teacher, don't make me bring the definition of "moron" in the past. It really isn't proper to use it even to describe a monumentally ignorant person, without also denigrating some very sweet and loving souls as well. I will react the same way to the word "retarded" also.

      Delete
    13. Sometimes I have to think comments like these are posted by those thousand or so people who were hired by the Koch family to post propaganda on the internet.

      They also get paid to phone in to radio shows and pretend to be conservative wackaloons.

      Delete
    14. In point of fact the "Barry" has some basis in reality. It was his nickname at Harvard as an undergrad. Somehow that got twisted by the fervent tea party types into, as you so astutely observe, something that points to him not being "one of us". A lot of us had college nicknames or ones that only close friends use like "Babs" or "Skippy" or "Ty" or "Peapod" or even "Johnny" for "Johansen". But see, that's white so it's ok to have called someone like me "Marc" instead of "Marek" my Polish real name (and yes I was born here, I have proof like Mr Obama). But "Barry" indicates some sleight of hand, doncha know.

      Delete
    15. Another paranoid Republican

      Delete
    16. I am challenging Anonymous at 1:42 to name ONE way in which the Constitution is trashed EVERY DAY.
      Go watch Fox News and leave us alone.

      As for the "Barry" business, do none of you remember the Bushies screaming about liberals disrespecting the office of The President and being traitors for having the gall to disagree with GWB during his term?

      Delete
    17. I have always felt that The Patriots Act pushed through congress by GW did more to trash the US Constitution - especially our Bill of Rights --than ANYTHING ever proposed by President Obama.

      The last 2 men with ACTUAL military service in a war zone who ran for President on the Democratic Party ticket, saw their service totally trashed.

      Delete
    18. Pamela Lee...yes, the Patriot Act is a great example. And don't forget lying us into Iraq! That's kind of a biggie too.

      To Anonymous...I don't usually reply to people who don't feel strong enough in their position to use their name...but, we survived 8 years of Bush/Cheney. You'll survive 8 years of Obama/Biden. Or, you could move to Canada!

      Delete
    19. Yes. Canada. Where gay marriage is legal. Where there is national healthcare. Where there are gun control laws. And the Queen is still their Queen.

      These people will fit right in. I will help them pack.

      Delete
    20. Sheila, who is not lurking todayAugust 14, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      Pamela Lee and Deni,

      Canada has been a very good neighbour to the States for a long, long time.

      Why would you wish a pestilence upon the Canucks?

      Delete
    21. Why would you wish a pestilence upon the Canucks?

      Why? Two words: Celion Dion

      Delete
    22. Anonymous..There is no such thing as a "Tea Party Patroit" it's TeaPublicon. Funny thing is that the TeaPublicon's keep forgetting is that all your deregulation dreams and personhood wishies are already in place and working!!! You should all move to your UTOPIA !!!! SOMALIA !!!!

      Delete
    23. It's all part of a set piece, Anonymous@8:46.

      Just as Tea Party Patriot uses "Barry" to dismiss and diminish the president's legitimacy, he uses "patriot" in reference to himself to diminish my patriotism and service to country. When these people call themselves Patriots, they're implying directly that I, and you, are not.

      Patriot's statement, "We are hard working Americans who are seeing our Constitution trashed everyday, and you served to protect and preserve it? I ?? that" (emphasis mine) is unnecessary, his or her labeling of himself as a "Patriot" already implies the question about my fidelity to my oath. But then Barack (Barry) is also redundant, this seems to be a habit with Tea Party Patriots in general.

      It's the Bush doctrine, the philosophy of Ayn Rand - i.e. you're either with us or against us. There is no middle ground, if you're not my friend, you're my enemy and by extension not a real American. Therefor you cannot be trusted. You are other.

      Delete
    24. Anonymous,

      Give us a specific example of how Mr. Obama is socialist or communist. Also, just so you know, socialism and communism mean different things. Also, it's moronic, like the entire tea bagger movement is.

      Delete
    25. I thought the Barry thing was because he went by that at one point many years ago, and insisting on using it now was some kind of attempt at diminishment, since it is basically using a childhood diminuative that he long since left behind. I didn't realize it was *gasp* part of the Birther Mythology. Learn something every day. Much of it depressing.

      Re derogatory names for political figures: at a political discussion board I run we long ago decided to forbid the twisting of names (of anybody, not just political figures) since it usually served to refocus the discussion on namecalling. But I have to admit, I had a hard time lowering the boom on "Chimpy McFlightsuit." It was just so...perfect. :):):)

      Delete
    26. The full metal wingnuts go for "Barry Soetoro", not only for the sneering putdown of using a child's diminutive but to flog their fevered claim that (a) he was legally adopted by his mother's second husband while in Indonesia, which (b) thereby made him an Indonesian citizen and thus (c) even more ineligible to be president than the whole Kenyan birth thingie.

      Delete
    27. Could I point out that Michele bat sh-t crazy holds dual citizen ship, and nobody seems to think that disqualifies her. And she did it as an adult, not as a child.

      Delete
  13. Jim, trying to be helpful (but I ain't a fucking English major:)

    >to avoid military service during Vietnam by taking the Mormon to France

    I think you wanted a word - Mission? Pilgrimmage? after Mormon.

    >Besides, we could stand to lose shed some of the riff raff.

    I think you want either lose OR shed?

    >You either incredibly smart, or incredibly stupid.

    I think you misquoted your earlier line. :) (YOU'RE either...)

    >Mitt Romney needed somebody who can carry that message, somebody who can convince the slaves to fight for the Confederacy, somebody who can convince the crew to help the rich folks into the lifeboat and then go down with the ship with a smile on their faces.

    OK, this ain't grammar. But, while there are assholes who still argue, lying through their teeth, that thousands of slaves fought for the Glorious Lost Cause, and maybe that's your reference, I think (?) the historical analogy you want is,

    "somebody who can convince the [poor dumb bastards who never even OWNED slaves] to fight for the Confederacy"

    or maybe not.

    Everything else - fuck, man, keep kicking 'em where it hurts - right in the truth.

    My favorite bits,

    "He’s a bored rich guy who doesn’t have to work for a living and has run out of things to do, he doesn’t have the chops to be Batman so he decided to run for President."

    and

    "Then once they’ve righted the world and fumigated the Oval Office, like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt they’ll go around chipping the stinky black guy’s image off of everything."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I fixed the "you either..." and "lose shred" typos. The rest is as I intended.

      Delete
  14. Romney was a rich, entitled frat boy, but I think his whole personality problem stems from the fact that he was never "cool" and never really accepted, except for his money. He seems dull and disenfranchised, but rich, therefore accepted by those that he "hangs" with. He's just a dweeb with money.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I don't get all the talk about Ayn Rand. I'm sure she's the woman who made money writing those apalling S&M rape fantasies about amoral psychopaths and their pathetic female worshipers. called Atlas shrugged me off, or the Fountaining head or something like that. What's any of that 4th-rate crap got to do with politics?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ryan has cited her as his guiding light is why she shows up I think....

      Old Navy Comm O

      Delete
    2. Anonymous@3:55, in addition to the two and a half shitty scifi novels she wrote, Rand also espoused an economic philosophy she termed "Rationalism." She wrote several books on that as well, and founded a movement that has become nearly a religion for some folks. Rationalism is easily summed up as "Fuck you all, I got mine." This is not surprising given Rand's selfish, self centered bitter outlook on life. A rather significant number of folks, chiefly conservatives but also a few liberals, have embraced Rand's philosophy as their guiding principle - which is fairly ironic for conservatives given Rand's well known and loudly outspoken hatred of both Christianity (all religion, but especially Christianity) and war of any kind for any reason.

      Paul Ryan is an outspoken Rationalist and dedicated follower of Ayn Rand's economic ideas. So is John Boehner. So is Michelle Bachmann.

      More on this subject and in detail here: Ayn Rand and the Zombies from outer space

      Delete
    3. Jim, you forgot that as someone who preached against social safety nets, Ayn Rand found herself reliant on them at the end of her life.

      Delete
    4. I remembered, Kat, that's covered in the link posted in my previous comment, right above yours.

      I still get daily email from the Ayn Rand zealots because of that post. The vitriolic hatred warms my flinty black heart.

      Delete
    5. i use Ayn Rand as an easy litmus test for anyone out of early college.

      if you still think she and her "principles" are god guiding ethics and/or morals once you have finsihed being al rebellious and cool and more intellectual and etc...
      then i consider myself warned and do not ever let myself be alone with you without my back to a good hard point and a weapon in hand.

      be it a vote or a hand gun

      Delete
    6. Let's not forget that Old Al Greenspan sat at the heels of Ayn Rand,shamelessly lapping up every word as it were ,of her uninspired musings by her chain smoking smoke infused "rationalizations" and incorporating it into his own life style and his future failure of reading the American economy and business as the chairman of the Federal Reserve .All the while she was a cougar , playing patty cakes with a younger married man. Her husband finally figured out that being cuckold by her was not worth squat and he wandered off to a better life leaving her ,as her "lover" eventually did to. It makes me wonder why these chowder heads revere her so darned much as she has done so little other than to blather on some what like Nietzsche and the Uberman philosophy.Must be hard for Republicans to find decent heros....Keep writing the good stuff Jim

      Delete
    7. recent interview about ayn rand and paul ryan, good background, including why rand came to the conclusions that she did. primarily, she grew up in the 20's in russia, had her family's property seized by the state, and was paranoid ever after about governments being too powerful. empathy without endorsement, as it were.

      http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2012/aug/14/

      similarly related non sequitur: this quote, which is actually henry ford, not jefferson, is something i see misattributed a lot recently, during these ayn rand discussions:

      http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/government-big-enough-to-give-you-everything-you-wantquotation

      Delete
  16. brilliant. as always :) so glad my bus Rich and Rob introduced me to your blog!!

    also... found another one at the top: "You’re either **incredible** smart or incredibly stupid…"
    should the first one be incredibly as well? me thinks so ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jim...

    Wonderfully written as always. I am so sorry for the Tea Party trolls that have surfaced thus far, but such is our free society...even the trolls get to talk...preferably with rules that keep them civil.

    Anyway, thought I would throw in my two cents for as yet uncaught typos. And will hope to make none myself...nothing more frustrating...well, maybe close to nothing...

    Third paragraph...I think you mean Will Smith, not Wil.

    Fourteenth paragraph..did you mean that you can think of no other setting?

    Twenty fourth paragraph...no typo, just kudos on getting the accent mark...not everyone takes the time.

    I think that's it. Except I loved the line about Ryan, the man with the plan that rains down sugar frosted rainbows...just perfect!

    Many thanks, Jim, and keep them coming!

    Old Navy Comm O

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am beginning to wonder if conservatives actually realize that the federal government spends more than they receive in "red states" than they do in "blue states" and that a broad-based reduction in government spending will be far more damaging to conservative states than it will be in liberal states? Based on both their platforms and their actions, I am becoming convinced that they truly DON'T really know this, nor do the conservative rank and file in the deep south who have been the principal beneficiaries of Gingrich's "Red State Socialism" plan that began in 1995.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anyone who'd like a fairly concise explanation of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman thinks about Ryan's "budget" can find it here:

    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/08/ryans-budget-the-most-fraudulent-proposal-in-american-history.html

    Will Durst had an excellent line about Romney & Ryan and their exciting little show in front of the Wisconsin "after which the audience was warned not to attempt to operate heavy machinery".

    Well done as usual Jim, and thanks also to most of the folks who wrote comments, with one illiterate fool most definitely NOT included.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ South Jersey Doc: thanks for the link.

      Delete
    2. C'mon, Doc, the Repubs don't need no stinking Nobel Prize winners trying to tell them how to think... just a bunch of elitist snobs with "edumacation."

      Keep 'em poor and stupid, that's the Republican way.

      Delete
    3. You're most welcome.

      Delete
  20. Beware of the snollygaster. Vote Obama.
    Look it up, it's a real word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I DID look it up, ran into an interesting link or two and found that either: it's a mythical monstrous beast that looks remarkably like drawings of the Jersey Devil or that it's a politician devoid of scruples (Obviously from the Department of Redundancy Department).

      Delete
  21. "The problem with Mitt Romney is that Mitt Romney looks and acts exactly like a cliché of what he actually is, a rich white guy.

    He’s a bored rich guy who doesn’t have to work for a living and has run out of things to do, he doesn’t have the chops to be Batman so he decided to run for President.

    Mitt Romney is literally the rich preppy asshole upper classman from every single John Cusack 80’s teen movie."

    I think you just pegged why the man made my skin crawl the first time I saw him, before he ever opened his mouth.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jim, great take on Ryan and Romney. I think your typos and other misplaced and misspelled words are part of your "art" of blogging. It is kinda like a slight limp while walking, after a while no one really notices that you limp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny you should say that, most people notice my slight limp right away. Do we know each other in meat space?

      Delete
    2. But do people notice the hump???

      Delete
    3. If I answer, "Hump? What hump?" do we start quoting from Young Frankenstein? Please say yes.

      Delete
    4. "Walk this way..."

      "For what we are about to see next, we must enter quietly into the realm of genius"

      Delete
    5. Nice knockers...

      Delete
    6. Taffeta darling....

      Delete
    7. Roll, roll, roll in the hay!

      Yes! He vas my boyfriend!

      Delete
    8. "Frau Blücher..."

      Nei-i-igh!

      Delete
    9. You people are sick! Funny as hell, but sick. Mel Brooks RULES (but only as Jim's Second in Command).

      Sedagives? SEDAGIVES?!?

      Delete
  23. I have always had the impression that Mitt Romney is not very bright, willing to compromise on anything, and has absolutely no empathy. I think the episode with his dog fully illustrates it. The Romneys have told two different stories about what happened to Seamus. Here's a link that is well-referenced: http://skydancingblog.com/2012/04/17/late-night-what-really-happened-to-seamus-romney/

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm heading out to a family reunion and wedding next weekend where I will have to face the Short Bus set of my family. I am preparing for my Righty sister and her husband drilling me on what I think about Mitt and Paul, and Obama and the wars and how he's ruined every single decent American thing and is about to seize all their guns and confiscate their pets, and stuff.

    When Sis says "Obama has tripled US spending and debt", I will say "That's a fact" and let it go. When she harps on Sharia Law creeping across the US, I will affirm that fact. When Sis says "Obama kept Osama's head to clone", I will also say "That's a fact." Upon stating that Obama HATES America and Romney LOVES his country, I cannot doubt that.

    I figure that if I just agree that every bizarre, mouth breathing Repub, sci-fi Tea Party fantasy statement is true, my sister and her tribe will eventually leave me in peace. Failing that, under continued questioning I will just scream "Wolverine!" or "America, FUCK YEAH!" after every Righty statement. That will calm them down. Tommy D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Y'all just gotta check out TBogg on Romney/Ryan resurfacing the Cheney/Bush "Israel First" and "War is always the answer..." crowd.

      http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2012/08/13/bill-kristol-is-getting-the-band-back-together-again/

      Jim Wright and TBogg. My two favorite men after Steve Redgrave and Sting in a diaper. Tommy D

      Delete
    2. Thank you Anonymous @2:48. Now I have the perfect response set for a co-worker's Tea Party blatherings. Seriously. Thanks.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, busting out laughing in their faces never has a positive reaction from my experience. But if I yell, "America! Fuckin' A!" and THEN bust out laughing....I might get away with it, especially if I wave a beer around while shouting.

      Delete
  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  26. Dead on, Jim.
    I did have some fun with the Romney thing with my Tea Party, only my Church is really Christian fundamentalist right wingnut Dad though...
    I asked him which he was going to vote for, the Muslim or the Mormon?
    The inarticulate strangling gargle from the other end of the phone was just priceless.
    I'm probably going to the special hell for that one. (and deleted and re-posted to fix a typo that was just too glaring)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bwwaaahahaaha!!! I know just who to use that one on! Bwwahahaha! Special Hell, here I come!

      Delete
    2. the Muslim or the Mormon? BWHAHAHA

      Thank You! Thank You!

      I'll use this for the next few weeks with some family members.

      The inarticulate strangling gargle will be music to my ears.

      Delete
  27. Actually he has had a job outside of government. According this CNN report he drove the Oscar Wiener mobile one summer.

    http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/politics/2012/08/11/sot-paul-ryan-on-weinermobile.cnn#/video/politics/2012/08/11/sot-paul-ryan-on-weinermobile.cnn

    That pretty much says it all in my book. Talk about qualified.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why I used the phrase "adult job."

      Delete
    2. That pisses me off to no end. The Weinermobile is my dream car.

      Delete
  28. thank you for this piece... it sums up my thoughts fairly well.

    ReplyDelete
  29. FYI- Basic info re: Ayn Rand at
    http://www.salon.com/2012/08/13/ryans_ayn_rand_obsession_salpart/

    ReplyDelete
  30. One of your best, Jim.

    John Nance Garner ("Cactus Jack") may or may not have said, "The Vice Presidency isn't worth a pitcher/bucket of warm piss/spit;" but I think we can safely say that this particular Vice Presidential candidate has about the same worth to the country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cactus Jack actually refused to run with FDR in 1940 for some good reasons. "He broke with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in early 1937 over the issue of enlarging the Supreme Court, and helped defeat it on the grounds that it centralized too much power in the President's hands. Otherwise he played a minor role in politics while Vice President." That may have been far more important than we realize. It in no way compares with Ryan.

      Delete
  31. Hey, the residents of Paris were damn glad Mitt was there to defend them from the Viet Kong....
    Just as the patrons at the Brown Derby were kept safe from the Nazis by General St. Ronny. My dad was a little off put by having to spend the same war touring the skies over France and Germany, but he loved the gipper just the same.
    Being the same age as the current occupier of the White House, we both dodged the draft by disguising ourselves as children...crafty and diabolical. It's not the champagne division of the National Guard..or just straight up "5 deferment Dick" but it got the job done.

    ReplyDelete
  32. First off, I repeatedly mentioned that I thought Rommo would pick Portman to run with. Crow, it's what's for dinner.
    Ryan is scary. I still think Portman would have been a better pick for the GOP. Ohio will be a swing state again. So will Wisconsin, of course. Ryan is more off-putting, more divisive. Less presidential.
    Ryan isn't as stupid as Palin, and comes off better personally.
    He's is even nuttier is the problem.
    Now it's down to what people want. A middle class, or a slaveocracy.
    Tough choice, apparently.
    We knew the job would be dangerous when we took it.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I almost weep with happiness to read your columns. Straight talk; bizarre humor; and real facts, not fiction.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anyone else see the resemblance between Ryan and Niedermeyer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "A pledge pin! On your uniform?"

      Delete
    2. "You're all worthless and weak!"

      Delete
  35. G'day Jim Wright. Spot on and very well written - loved it and have linked it in a comment here :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/13/the-zombie-eyed-granny-starver/comment-page-1/#comment-431373

    with key paragraph example from it. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Time will tell, indeed. I vote for cunning but not terribly bright. We'll see.

    ReplyDelete
  37. As a Veteran of the US Navy, this I find Offensive. Neither of these "Men" served in any military service yet they seem to find it necessary to consistently wrap themselves in the Flag.
    I'm sorry. Unless you are POTUS or a US Veteran You don't get the privilege of such a backdrop. Especially after taking great pains to avoid said service.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wonderful blog post, Jim.

    Your depiction of the Romney/Ryan 2012 Yacht Tour put me so in mind of my favorite Far Side cartoon, in which the full life boats are being rowed to safety, and the guy in a chef's hat on the sinking ship ponders, "I wonder if that's really true...The cook always goes down with the ship?" And how on earth are they convincing so many *cooks* to go along meekly agreeing, anyway?

    These guys are so out of touch with the realities of life in a flailing economy; the fact that they would like to make it worse if elected scares the bejesus out of me.

    Lorraine

    ReplyDelete
  39. Very possibly the best thing I've read of yours. I was kind of surprised that you had that much material as I kept scrolling down and it was all good. I would have been happy with a third of it. I know summer in Alaska is short and sweet but I've missed your regular blog posts. Thank you very much for this.

    ReplyDelete
  40. In a piece that has too many pitch-perfect, brutal characterizations of Romney for this math-challenged lawyer to count, I think my favorite might be "he doesn't have the chops to be Batman so he decided to run for President". Just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I live in Janesville, WI the same town as Paul Ryan and he is my congressman. This is a small district and basically if he can carry his home town he has a good chance to win his district. If you talk to a lot of us here the reply you will get is "I don't like his politics, but I think he is a nice guy." It is that reason he keeps getting re-elected. I don't think that will pass the test on a national election. I do not see him having success on the national stage with his far right message. The other real negative for me is that I have to dodge seceret service agents when I want to go for a run or walk my dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  42. The only grace-note I would add is that the Wisconsin is emblematic of the GoP in another telling way: formidable in its day, it is now an obsolete and expensive war machine that is merely symbolic of great things and which has been stripped of its crew and animating force -- but which is still potentially deadly.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Jim, if I wasn't already happily married, I'd ask you to marry me. Wonderful post. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I started reading Stonekettle Station a few months ago when I found a link in another blog. I have admired much of the writing, but this piece captures the character of Romney and Ryan better than anything else I have read. Yours is some of the best work I have seen in a long time.

    I am not a veteran. Now age 60, I served 21 months of civilian alternate service as a conscientious objector from 1972 to 1974. I am agnostic, and yet I hope there is a special circle of hell for chicken hawks like these guys.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have agreed that with some folks that we should not have socialized medicine in the US, so let's eliminate the VA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The VA isn't socialized medicine.

      Care provided by the VA is no more socialism than the medical care troops receive from the base clinic or the combat medic while on active duty.

      The VA provides, among other benefits, medical care to veterans for service-connected medical problems. That care is part of the legal and binding contract entered into between the citizens of the United States and each member of the US military. Veterans pay for that care through their service - it is part of their pay and benefits. Some pay more than others, some pay a lot more - in body parts. The American tax-payer (of which, by definition, are all active duty military members and most veterans) foots the bill for that care as part of their portion of the contract. There's nothing socialist about it.

      That said, the people of the United States, through the agent of their government, reserve the right to change or modify that contract any damned time they feel like it. And do. We active duty and veterans on the other hand, don't get such an option, we're required to live up the contract - even if you change it.

      If you want to eliminate the VA, or more specifically medical care to veterans, by all means contact your elected representative and suggest as much. There's nothing stopping you, we fought to give you the inalienable right to renege on your debt to America's military and to screw us, so have at it.

      As a thought experiment, I'd be interested in seeing how long any politician who advocates the elimination of medical care for combat returned troops lasts, in office or out.

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    2. Jim,
      The same argument can be made for not cutting (most) public sector worker's benefits. I'm not talking about the rare but egregious cases of managers making high 6-figures or making more in retirement than while working. I'm talking about the abuse being heaped upon local workers like teachers, police, and firefighters for negotiating good benefits in exchange for lower salaries and lousy or dangerous working conditions. (The same can be said for federal government workers.) They're being called greedy or lazy when the reality is their unions signed contracts similar to what most workers used to have before private industry killed pensions, killed vacations, killed health insurance, killed the retirement plans that replaced pensions, blocked minimum wage increases for a decade and then demonized unions and anyone who demanded a decent life in exchange for a lifetime of work, all so a tiny minority of the population could keep all of the profits produced by everyone else. Minimum wage working poverty with no job benefits a la Walmart is the new normal, only if you're an idiot with no memory of anything better. The mouth-foaming "job-killing feminazi commie-socialism" idjits calling to eliminate VA benefits are the same GOP/Tea Party/Libertarian/Ayn Randian crowd. They have fallen for the big lies about tax cuts for 'job creators', when most of the millionaires who would benefit have either inherited their money or made it through gaming stock options at glorified temporary management jobs. 97% of small businesses make under $250k, not millions. Sorry, I'm going off on a rant here, but the vast majority of these people objecting to the VA and fair wages and benefits have never seen a million dollars in their lives. The way they vote, they are guaranteeing they never will, but protecting the Paris Hiltons of the world while cutting their own throats. Signing off now, before I get really pissed off (not at you, Jim). regards, Jerry
      p.s. The Right Wing Assh- I mean Authoritarians and their politicians are already calling for eliminating VA benefits. They're just doing it in stealth mode, because it wouldn't look good for their chickensh- hawk wrapped in a flag carrying a cross image to be honest about it. Ryan's budget protects the active military (bases, weapons & contractors, anyway) but everything else has to go to hit his fantasy number targets. Where do the "savings" go? Not deficit reduction, but tax cuts at the top. -JA

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  46. This site was referenced in another blog that I like to frequent, and I'm glad it was, I just wished it was introduced to me sooner, you're a riot, and I mean that in a good way.
    To get on topic, Rubio could never have been seriously vetted for VP. To nominate him would have deflated one of the Teapubs most famous arguments for Obama's ineligibility for office, his father's citizenship. If Obama is ineligible because his father wasn't a natural born citizen, than Rubio sure as hell isn't, neither of his parents were.
    What I find funny, is not one Republican, that I can recall, please correct me if I'm wrong (have a funny feeling I will be..lol) jumped up and banged that drum, while all the rumors were swirling about Romney's VP candidates. Where oh where were all the birthers then?
    I'm not sure what the Republicans are hoping to gain this election, but I don't think it's the Presidency, not with this lot, not with this platform.
    It's also refreshing to hear a service man acknowledging the fact that we need to cut military spending. When did it become our job to rebuild nations? And why is that money being funneled through the DOD and the Army? If we choose to give aid to these countries, after we, rightly or wrongly, bombed the hell out of them, let that money be approved through Congress like the rest of it.
    I concur, let them start making cuts to their pet projects, then I will take them seriously and start contemplating letting them regulate my reproductive rights, after all, my womb has the capacity to create a lot of jobs and balance the national deficit...lol

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  47. Actually Ryan worked for his family's construction business for a number of years after college.

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    1. Ah, you mean the family road construction business built on government contracts? That one?

      Ryan worked for Ryan Inc. for a very brief period, less than a year, in 1997 as a "marketing consultant" while he was between government gigs - and for most of that period he was running for congress. Ryan left employment with Senator Sam Brownback's Office in 1997 and was elected to Congress in 1998.

      His family company gave him a paycheck, but he didn't really do much to earn it other than fill out the appropriate tax forms and printout campaign posters.


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    2. Don't forget the hard work he did saving up Social Security survivor benefits after his father died, which is how Ryan got through college. My family used the SocSec money after my father died to put food on the table and not lose our house. I guess we squandered it, so according to Ryan, other people shouldn't get it in the future. But I forgot, he's a self-made career politician.

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  48. I admire your salty and aptly descriptive lingo, Jim. Hey, I even learn a few new spicy terms I didn't pick up in Navy days to describe the GOPs daring duo w/ their putrid social agenda.. Yes the ship of state has these starched Titanic plutocrats who shout on the old 1MC: " CEOs and CFOs to the life boats and bring your Remy Martin."Just wish Joe Biden could get away with a few quips like,let's see, 'hairy donkey balls." Love it. Might wake up some of the dozing off non voters sitting around scratching their groins and wondering, shuckeedarns, just who IS this Romney dude, and what is his grand plan to er " bring back all those overseas jobs."
    Horsehockey and horsepuck have been the theme for so long, I am wondering what parallel universe stable we live in. So. Keep up with the spicy verbal spitballs,we need them and your sound analysis now as never before. Aloha

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  49. While your description of trickle-down economics is apt, the sad reality is that it's a doctrine utterly-dependent upon a voter base that is unschooled in even the most fundamental principles of basic economics. Little wonder that the perennial darling child of Republican budget cuts is education.

    Supply-side is an economic 'theory' that would have people believe the only reason buggy whip manufacturers aren't hiring more people is because the poor factory owner is taxed into some weird hiring stasis. No. The reason why more Americans aren't industriously churning out buggy whips is because some inglorious bastard named Henry Ford went & introduced the abomination known as the automobile to the masses. You can't sell buggy whips anymore.

    HP wasn't started by two guys trying to decide what to do with the millions of dollars they had just lying around; it was started by two nearly-broke guys in their garage because they were certain the market was ready to buy the product they were seeking to produce. That is the reason for the existence of every business, company or corporation in the entire history of mankind. You want to see your lawn care guy hire more people? Don't give him a tax break, give him fifteen more customers. He'll get around to hiring after he gets tired of working 20-hour days.

    Jobs are the result of market demand for the products & services the new employees are to produce. Shifting tax burden from a handful of rich people onto millions of middle-and-working-class (read: the people who comprise the market for goods & services) will do nothing to increase demand for goods. It will result in lower demand and more layoffs.

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    1. Exactly. I've been saying for years that it's not "Supply and Demand", it's "Demand and Supply". As more people "demand" a certain product or service, more business people will have to "supply" more of the product or service, which obviously means they have to hire more workers, who now can buy more, which means more hiring. (sigh) It's really rather simple when you think about it.

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  50. i just want to tell you how much i admire you for being able to rip these people and their effed up ideas to shreds so beautifully. i get so enraged i feel like my head will explode and anything i utter comes out completely inarticulate. plus, you have a certain street cred on account of actually having served in the military, which doesn't hurt.

    and having majored in economics in college, i <3 your description of trickle-down economics so hard it hurts.

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  51. I think Romney is not incredibly smart or incredibly stupid, but rather, as you suggest, took a chance because he must. Beating an incumbent isn't an easy game to play.

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  52. Excellent post Jim! I admire your ability to articulate your ideas in a way that is both poignant and humorous; I only wish I had your level of skill. I agree with the point that Kenneth Head made, “…utterly-dependent upon a voter base that is unschooled in even the most fundamental principles of basic economics.” I see that as the greatest threat, the fact that people are willing to watch the “news” and take whatever they say at face value without questioning the source and the inadvertent or intentional slant with which they report. I’m skeptical by nature and “take it on faith” is not something that I do well. Ok, really, it’s worse than that, I’m horrible at it. On the other hand, it appears that a large percentage of my fellow countrymen have no issues with it at all.

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  53. @Jim Wright, I know you are already married, but this post has made me fall in love with you. You are one of the most prolific writers I have read in a long time. Your unique perspective and comments are AMAZING! Thank you for serving the American people twice, once in the military and again with this blog. You sir have my utmost respect and appreciation. Thank you again. :-)

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  54. You did leave out the most compelling qualification that Mitt Romney possesses in this election cycle.
    He is not Barack Obama.
    Based on some of the arguments that I have heard and read from people on the internet (including some of my Facebook friends), the only thing that matters this electoral cycle is Getting Rid Of Obama. That being the case, the GOP could nominate a dead treestump for President and those people will vote for it. I suspect that a lot of Romney supporters are not exactly enthused by him, but right now, the only thing that matters is that He Is Not Obama. (They wouldn't admit that anyway if you challenged them on it).

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  55. You did leave out the most compelling qualification that Mitt Romney possesses in this election cycle.
    He is not Barack Obama.
    Based on some of the arguments that I have heard and read from people on the internet (including some of my Facebook friends), the only thing that matters this electoral cycle is Getting Rid Of Obama. That being the case, the GOP could nominate a dead treestump for President and those people will vote for it. I suspect that a lot of Romney supporters are not exactly enthused by him, but right now, the only thing that matters is that He Is Not Obama. (They wouldn't admit that anyway if you challenged them on it).

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  56. The main reason that many people seem to like Mitt Romney has nothing to do with his qualities as a person or what he would do as POTUS if elected.
    It is because He Is Not Barack Obama.
    Remember Mitch McConnell's statement "our strategy is to make Barack Obama a one-term President"? That encapsulated the entire attitude of the GOP and many of their followers. A treestump could be nominated by the Republicans for President and they would vote for it, because That Damned TreeStump Is Not Obama.
    The whole GOP proposition is nihilism writ large.

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