GOP: Obama, the socialist, is a capitalist stooge

The clowns in the Republican Party can’t even get their economic doctrines straight (from Dana Milbank at the Washington Post):

Republicans need to make up their minds: Is President Obama a socialist or a corporate stooge?

“The president claims his economic agenda is for the middle class. But it’s actually for the well-connected,” Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, wrote this week in USA Today, rejecting Obama’s latest proposal for a corporate tax cut. “There’s no doubt that it works well for them. But for the rest of us, it’s not working at all.”…

Republican lawmakers seem to think that Americans have short memories and lack Internet connections, for their latest line of attack — that Obama’s health-care and tax policies favor the corporate elite — directly contradicts their previous allegation that Obama was waging “class warfare” with “socialist” policies attacking these very same corporate elites.

So, according to Republicans, Obama is a commie, Nazi, socialist capitalist. How do their heads not explode?

Why does anyone listen to the GOP?

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The NRA owns the Republican Party

The National Rifle Association had its convention in Houston last week. I originally didn’t bother to find out anything about it because I already know what the message is. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution matters other than my right to have any kind of killing machine with a firing pin that I want.

But, I thought I’d take a look at the speakers lineup:

Glenn Beck
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska)
Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R-Arkansas)
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (R)
Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas)
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania)
Gov. Bobby Jindl (R-Louisiana)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin)
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin)

So, the NRA meeting was really the Republican National Convention. And let’s stop pretending that the NRA is a bipartisan group. It’s the militia arm of the GOP.

And while we’re at it, this is not amusing (from Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post):

I read with interest about Adam Kokesh’s outrageous plan for July 4.

The 31-year-old former Marine and radio talk show host wants to lead armed demonstrators on a march across Memorial Bridge from Arlington National Cemetery around the Capitol, Supreme Court and the White House. Kokesh is calling on the thousands he hopes will join him (as of this writing, the count stands at 2,673) to march “with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny.” …

While Kokesh insists that violence isn’t the protest’s aim, the threat of it lurks on his blog.

“This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent. Should we meet physical resistance, we will peacefully turn back, having shown that free people are not welcome in Washington, & returning with the resolve that the politicians, bureaucrats, & enforcers of the federal government will not be welcome in the land of the free.”

We already know these domestic terrorists have a death fetish. They see nothing wrong with shooting up theaters and churches and schools, because the right of a psychopath to have a gun outweighs my right not to be shot by a psychopath with a gun.

I just plan to be somewhere else when this circus comes to town.

 

The GOP and the randy elephant

Apparently, this is what Republicans consider outreach to women (from TPM):

A former intern for Mitt Romney‘s presidential campaign was arrested Tuesday and charged in federal court with cyber stalking and internet extortion for allegedly obtaining nude photographs of young women and using them to blackmail his victims into sending more nude pictures.

Adam Savader, 21, who is also a former intern of Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, contacted 15 victims between May 2012 and February 2013, according to affidavit by FBI Special Agent Michael T. Garland. Savader would allegedly contact his victims via text message from a Google Voice number, telling them he had nude pictures and threatening to send them to their parents or post them online unless they sent him more.

Many of the victims, some of which have not been identified, either went to the same college as Savader or grew up in the same area as Savader, who is from Great Neck, New York.

On Twitter, Savader describes himself as “Formerly @PRyan’s sole intern on @MittRomney’s campaign and a @newtgingrich campaign staffer.” His Twitter avatar is a picture of him with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).

In exchanges with a woman identified in the affidavit as Victim 3, for example, Savader allegedly threatened to send nude pictures of her to the Republican National Committee as well as her parents, sorority, and internship. “Victim 3 estimated that on some days she would receive approximately eighty text messages,” the affidavit reads.

Several of the victims reported that their Gmail accounts had been compromised prior to receiving the threatening messages.

In another example, Victim 4 received the following text message from a Google Voice number on Oct. 30, 2012: “WAIT! Listen to me. If we don’t have a deal I will send the pictures to those people. Is that what u want? remember what’s at stake. do u want ur family and everyone in DC to see ur tits? Just agree to e-mail me a pic of u in a bra.”

No, wait. It gets better!

t1larg.callista-gingrich-elephant.t1larg

We already mentioned Adam Savader, the former intern to Newt and Mitt who hacked naked pictures of female college students and then tried to extort them to give him more nude pictures. Well, by Savader’s account he was frequently the guy in the Ellis the Elephant suit from the book written by Callista Gingrich!

NO, WAIT! IT GETS BETTER!!!

(Is that your trunk, or are you just happy to see me?)

 

Convention speeches: VP candidates

Let’s compare:

Democrat Joe Biden

… vs. Republican Paul Ryan

Well, once you get past the blatant lies, which others have already jumped all over, Paul Ryan does come off a lot better.

Lies: part 5. See how they run

Paul Ryan in an Aug. 22 interview with Hugh Hewitt:

PR: … I don’t run marathons anymore. I just run ten miles or yes.

HH: But you did run marathons at some point?

PR: Yeah, but I can’t do it anymore, because my back is just not that great.

HH: I’ve just gotta ask, what’s your personal best?

PR: Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.

HH: Holy smokes. All right, now you go down to Miami University…

PR: I was fast when I was younger, yeah.

Runner’s World says this on Aug. 31:

It turns out Paul Ryan has not run a marathon in less than three hours—or even less than four hours.

A spokesman confirmed late Friday that the Republican vice presidential candidate has run one marathon. That was the 1990 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, where Ryan, then 20, is listed as having finished in 4 hours, 1 minute, and 25 seconds.

Ryan had said in a radio interview last week that his personal best was “Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.”

In a statement issued to Runner’s World by a spokesman Friday night, Ryan said of his marathon experience:

“The race was more than 20 years ago, but my brother Tobin—who ran Boston last year—reminds me that he is the owner of the fastest marathon in the family and has never himself ran a sub-three. If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three. He gave me a good ribbing over this at dinner tonight.”

Paul Krugman says:

I know, [this] sounds trivial. But I remember the 2000 campaign, when Al Gore was constantly hounded by claims of fibbing on trivial issues — claims that, by the way, were all, as far as I could tell, fabricated. These alleged fibs supposedly showed some deep defect in his character. So if Ryan is making false claims about his physical prowess, this is absolutely fair game.

And John Cole at Balloon Juice sums it up:

It’s an easy mistake to make. Just like saying that when you want to gut Medicare and turn it into a radically underfunded coupon system for the elderly you actually are preserving Medicare for future generations.

Lies: part 2, the Paul Ryan express

Talking Points Memo goes through Paul Ryan‘s acceptance speech and finds a few:

Here are the top five examples:

  • Medicare Ryan forged his reputation in large part by drafting and advancing an unpopular plan to dramatically cut and privatize Medicare. Though he didn’t mention that plan once on Wednesday, he included it in his last two budgets, both of which preserved the Affordable Care Acts cuts to Medicare — taken mostly from overpayments to private insurers and hospitals.Instead, Ryan once again dubiously accused President Obama of being the truethreat to Medicare.“You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”

    Obama did use those Medicare savings — in the form of targeted cuts in payments to providers, not in benefits to seniors — to pay for the health care law. Ryan’s budget calls for using them to finance tax cuts for wealthy Americans, and deficit reduction. But by now calling to restore that spending commitment to Medicare, Ryan and Romney are pledging to hasten Medicare’s insolvency by many years.

  • U.S. Credit Rating Ryan said the Obama presidency, “began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”Standard & Poors downgraded the country’s sovereign debt rating in 2011 because congressional Republicans, of which Ryan is a key leader, threatened not to increase the country’s borrowing authority — risking a default on the debt — unless Democrats agreed to slash trillions of dollars from domestic social programs and investments. Ryan even briefly toyed with the idea that the country’s creditors would forgive default for “a day or two or three or four” as long as Democrats ultimately agreed to GOPdemands.
    • Janesville GM Plant Ryan criticized Obama for — yes — not using government funds to prop up an auto plant in his district.“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,’” Ryan recalled. “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.”Ignoring the inconsistency of a Republican chastising Obama for not bailing out more auto manufacturers, the plant in question closed before Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
    • Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission Ryan chastised Obama: “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.”Ryan sat on that commission. He voted against it. Following his lead, so did the panel’s other House Republicans.
    • Protecting the Poor Near the end of his speech, Ryan claimed the campaign’s top priority is protecting the poor. “We have responsibilities, one to another — we do not each face the world alone,” he said. “And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.”Just under two thirds of the dramatic spending cuts in Ryan’s budget target programs that benefit low-income people. That plan also calls for large tax cuts for high-income earners.

‘Legitimate rape’: more on Todd Akin and the GOP

Take a good look at this picture:

On the left is Paul Ryan. He’s Mitt Romney‘s pick for the GOP vice presidential slot. On the right is Todd Akin. He’s an idiot.

Akin talked about “legitimate” rape yesterday. The Romney camp would like you to believe that it totally disavows Akin and everything he believes in.

But Bloomberg news service points out

No less than Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president, shares his views. Ryan, Akin’s colleague in the House, has sponsored legislation with him that also sought to distinguish between types of rape: Instead of “legitimate,” it used the word “forcible.”

What Akin’s remarks have unleashed is a discussion in the presidential race over social issues that will be hard for Republicans to control. They were reasonably sure they could paper over the differences between Ryan and his running mate, Mitt Romney, on Medicare. On social issues, the problem is the opposite: The difference between Ryan’s views and Akin’s could fit on a Post-it note. …

Yet Ryan and Akin are in the mainstream of the prevailing House Republican view on abortion.

Not only did Akin and Ryan co-sponsor legislation redefining rape, Ryan ran for Congress as a strong pro-lifer and has a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee. “This includes support for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” the committee notes. Last year Ryan and Akin were co-sponsors of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, also known as “personhood” legislation, which would give a fertilized egg the same rights as a human being and would outlaw some forms of birth control.

Actually, calling Akin an idiot is unfair. Because he isn’t an outlier in Republican politics. He just expresses the views of the far-right Tea Bagger wing. The reason he won the nomination in Missouri is because his constituents have fundamentally (and fundamentalist) insane beliefs.

Those beliefs, according to Creative Destruction, include:

– Evolution is false; the earth is actually 6,000 years old and humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time.

– The theory of global warming was created in a conspiracy between environmentalists and climate scientists to destroy the American way of life.

– Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya who got a scholarship to Columbia University as a foreign student.

– The Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. State Department.

– Barack Obama has a plan to confiscate your guns. Part of this plan is the “fast and furious” scandal which the Obama Administration created to gin up support for gun control.

– The United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation.

– Gay people are more likely to be pedophiles than straight people.

– NAFTA is part of a plan to erase the border between the U.S. and Mexico and replace the United States with a federation called the North American Union.

These are just their greatest hits. They’ve got a ton more on the B-side of their album.

The problem is there’s no way to argue with them, because these “facts” have no basis in reality. When one side is dealing with reality and the other is mired in fantasy, there is no convenient “middle ground” to occupy. Wrong is wrong, and accepting an illegitimate point makes the compromise illegitimate.

The Republican voters in Missouri got the candidate they wanted. And his beliefs are their beliefs. To them, it’s just an inarguable fact that a “legitimate” rape doesn’t lead to pregnancy because women’s bodies will shut down the fertilization process. There is no scientific basis in reality for this argument, except in a world where basic science includes the fact that men and dinosaurs roamed the Earth at the same time (i.e. “The Flintstones” as historic documents). What Akin said is the foundation of the right-wing belief system concerning women and sexuality.

Just one other point. The guy who conducted this interview demonstrates why television and newspapers are failing to inform the public. The second Akin came up with his “legitimate rape” comment, the very next thing that should have come out of the interviewer’s mouth was: “Are you serious?”

Instead, he just went on with his list of questions. Interviewers have to listen to what their subjects are saying and then follow up with: “What scientific basis do you have for that?” “Who told you that?” “Do you know others that believe that?”

I probably wouldn’t have been good on the follow-up question, though. My response when I read the initial report on this was: “Are you f—ing kidding me?”

That kind of question ends an interview pretty quickly.