Friday, August 31, 2012

Ryan Seals The Case Against Voter ID

Over at The Political Environment blog, I noted that Ryan in his acceptance speech absolutely nailed the case against Voter ID:
If rights, as he tells the convention, come from nature and God, then government cannot abridge the right to vote with voter ID laws.

Birth Of A Nickname

Lyin' Ryan.

From PolitiFact, right after Ryan's acceptance speech:

Says President Barack Obama broke his promise to keep a Wisconsin GM plant from closing.

Paul Ryan on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 in a speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa

Did Barack Obama break a promise to keep GM plant open?


Why is Paul Ryan hot?

According to Milwaukee political cartoonist Stuart Carlson, here's the reason:

A terrible day for Paul Ryan in the NY Times

A one-two punch for Paul Ryan in today's New York Times.

Front page headline: Paul Ryan's speech contained a litany of falsehoods

Then, on the op ed page, Ryan nemesis Paul Krugman, leads his column with:
Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night may have accomplished one good thing: It finally may have dispelled the myth that he is a Serious, Honest Conservative. Indeed, Mr. Ryan’s brazen dishonesty left even his critics breathless.
It gets worse from there:
But Mr. Ryan’s big lie — and, yes, it deserves that designation — was his claim that “a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.” Actually, it would kill the program.
Read it all here.

Wisconsin media getting wise to Paul Ryan lies

After weeks of near-coronation of home-state-pol-gone-bigtime Paul Ryan, criticisms are finally creeping into Wisconsin media's coverage in the wake of his widely panned, lie-filled speech to the RNC on Wednesday.

Shortly after the speech, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel PolitiFact reviewed three statements from Ryan's RNC talk and a fourth Ryan assertion, giving the bunch two "false" ratings, one "mostly false" and one "half true."

The paper's editorial this morning, while focused more on Mitt Romney's speech ("Romney's shifting record remains a problem for him"), noted in euphemisms for "lying" also cropping up in other media, that:

"...his (Ryan's) speech was littered with loose was marred by how often he shaded the truth."
Is the bloom starting to come off the Ryan Rose at the state's biggest paper? Nice to see some fact checking and critical thinking of homie Ryan finally.

Over in Madison, in the Wisconsin State Journal, a conservative daily, a story carried the headline, "Fact flub in speech calls Ryan's credibility into question," noting:

""The risk for Rep. Ryan is he's a new face, to be sort of caught in those misstatements, it will raise questions about his character, and whether he's ready to play at this level,' said Joel Goldstein, a law professor at St. Louis University and an expert on the U.S. vice presidency."

And the reliably liberal (and mostly online, not print, these days) Cap Times, found that Romney trumped Ryan in his speech -- in the number of lies he told:

"But anyone who thought that Paul Ryan was going to win the liar's contest at the convention wasn't counting on Mitt Romney."

Clearly the Romney/Ryan machine, with its Wisconsin Walker allies, will work the media, try to spin Ryan back into their good graces. As will the smooth-talking Ryan himself.

But with the avalanche of national criticisms of Ryan's speech-a-lyin', and non-partisan fact checks ripping his speech, perhaps Wisconsin media will put aside its milk-colored glasses and keep reporting the truth of what Ryan is saying.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Merry Christmas 2008!

FU Paul Ryan and your band of blind followers!

Cap Times Editorial Slams Paul Ryan For GM "Lie," Using "Hometown as a Prop"

Blistering stuff this morning from the Cap Times on wonky "hard-truth"-teller Paul Ryan's cavalcade of lies in front of the Tea Party faithful in Tampa last night:

Ryan’s clear suggestion that Obama — or his policies — had something to do with the plant closure was a lie.

The government that was not there to support the Janesville workers was the administration of George W. Bush. GM announced and implemented the closure of the plant during Bush’s presidency.

When a newly elected President Obama rushed to save the domestic auto industry, and perhaps to renew the prospects of shuttered plants like the one in Janesville, the man whose campaign Ryan is now propping up wrote an op-ed titled: “Let Detroit (and, presumably Janesville) Go Bankrupt.”

And since we’re on the subject of government failing the workers in Paul Ryan’s hometown, surely it is relevant to bring up the congressman’s repeated votes for free-trade agreements that members of Janesville’s United Auto Workers Local 95 warned would undermine and ultimately shutter their workplace.

A man who would use his hometown as a prop and then try to deceive the country about the causes of its circumstance has a certain appeal to Republican delegates who cut their political teeth making the case for trickle-down economics and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But Wisconsinites, at least those who can remember 2008, will not believe him.

Nor should discerning voters in the rest of the republic.

Press seems to be turning on Ryan nationally. Full editorial here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fact-check time for Lyin' Paul Ryan's big speech

Lots of fact checking about to be done of Lyin' Paul Ryan's big speech tonight at the RNC -- we hope. We caught a ton of outright whoppers -- see our @paulryanwatch livetweets -- and the smart folks on MSNBC identified many others tonight.

We are especially impressed to see this analysis of lies written in real time during Ryan's speech and posted already by Think Progress.

With Wisconsin suddenly a swing state thanks to Ryan's Janesville ties, it's especially important that Wisconsin newspapers start covering the lies. The big question: Will they? Will the state's talented political reporters, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert, Dan Bice, Patrick Marley and others across Wisconsin be unleashed by their editors to truly check and report the facts? Or will the papers just print more Paul Pablum and keep their customers and state residents in the dark?

Fact checkers and media in general have an unusual problem with Romney/Ryan, according to this great Washington Post piece: How to report the "the epic dishonesty of Romney’s campaign." The piece, entitled, "Call out the lies right in your headlines,"starts with this:
This doesn’t happen every day, but good for the Los Angeles Times for calling out the ubiquitous falsehood about Obama supposedly waiving welfare reform’s work requirement right in its headline: 
"Rick Santorum repeats inaccurate welfare attack on Obama"  
As Kevin Drum says: “it’s about time reporters and copy editors started putting this stuff front and center.” And, indeed, the LA Times does this, in its headline and with this highly placed sentence: “In fact, Obama did not waive the work requirement.
Here's hoping for some tough Wisconsin reporting -- despite the challenge of an unprecedented blizzard of lies and the natural tendency to boost the local guy. Let's get beyond the fact that Ryan is from Wisconsin. Let's get the facts about what he says and has done, and let the facts fall where they may. Let voters know what's true and what's not -- and let them decide who Wisconsin will choose in November. 

Watergate thug is Paul Ryan's longtime friend and campaign chairman

Steve King, a thug who manhandled Martha Mitchell to keep her from talking to the press about Watergate,  took the stage at the Republican National Convention to nominate his buddy Paul Ryan.

It was just another moment in the spotlight for Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which spends full-time promoting Paul Ryan these days.  This is just one of two stories about King's role, both by longtime political reporter Craig Gilbert, who's been around long enough to know King's story.
Paul Ryan’s name will be placed in nomination for vice president Tuesday by Wisconsin’s Steve King, a longtime friend and a member of the Republican National Committee.  [That's him pictured in an old photo.  He seems to stay away from photographers.]
“Essentially, we’re trying to introduce Paul to the world,” said King. “It’s my three and half minutes … I’m going to try to personalize it.” 
King, 71, and Ryan go back to before Ryan’s time in Congress. Paul Ryan volunteered on King’s unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate in 1988.
“He was an envelope stuffer,” says King.
And King has chaired all of Ryan’s House races (Ryan was elected to Congress in 1998). King is a former state chairman of the Wisconsin GOP, and a former business associate of Ryan’s brother, Tobin.
And now, the rest of the story (apologies to Paul Harvey, wherever he is):

King was deeply involved in helping Richard Nixon cover up the Watergate scandal during the 1972 presidential campaign, Martha  Mitchell's biography says. King, a former Wisconsin Republican Party chair, ran for the US Senate in 1988.

King, an ex-FBI agent, was working as a security man for the Committee to Reelect the President, known as CREEP, in 1972. He was assigned as personal security escort for former Atty. Gen. John Mitchell, the head of CREEP, and his outspoken wife, Martha, when the Watergate burglary became public. King later became head of security for CREEP, replacing his boss, John McCord, who was one of the Watergate burglars who broke into the Democratic Party's national headquarters.

The Mitchells were in California when the break-in occurred, but John Mitchell soon left for Washington to deal with the crisis, leaving Martha and King in California. When Martha was unable to reach him by telephone the next two days, the biography says:

Periodically, she'd go tell Steve King and Lea Jablonsky (John Mitchell's secretary) about the dirty tricks she knew had been instigated by the Nixon Administration and the Committee (CREEP), hoping to learn more from them.
She wanted her husband to quit CREEP and get out of politics and left that message with a Mitchell aide in DC. She also told the aide she was going to call the press and tell them about her ultimatum to John. She called Helen Thomas of UPI and was telling her about her disgust with politics when, she said:
Steve King rushed into her bedroom, threw her back across the bed, and ripped the telephone out of the wall.
She tried to call from another room:
Again, she said, she was thrown aside while the phone was disconnected. Steve then shoved her into her room and slammed the door.
She tried to climb from the balcony in her villa to the one next door, but
Steve King ran out and pulled her back inside. She claimed he threw her down and kicked her.
King stood guard outside her door. The Nixon and CREEP people began to spread stories that Martha was crazy, an out-of-control alcoholic, or had had a breakdown. The next day
...King was no longer guarding her door. She slipped downstairs, planning to escape, but King spotted her just as she reached a glass door. In the ensuing scuffle, Martha's left hand was cut, so badly that six stitches were required in two fingers.
When a doctor came to treat her hand, she was highly agitated and, with the help of two or three security people, he injected her with a sedative as she resisted. Before it took effect, she tried to get away, but
According to Martha, King saw her dashing toward the door and ran over and slapped her across the room.
Martha left the next day, agreeing to stay with friends in New York state, but instead checked into the Westchester NY Country Club and called UPI to say she had been held a political prisoner in California. When the story moved on the wire, reporters swarmed the country club, but only a NY Daily News crime reporter, Marcia Kramer, got into to see Martha.
As a crime reporter, Marcia says it was her opinion that Martha was a "beaten woman" and that the "incredible" black and blue marks on Martha's arms looked like they were a "totally professional job."
Martha eventually agreed to rejoin John in Washington, on condition that he resign from CREEP and that King and Jablonsky be fired. Mitchell resigned, but Martha found out later that rather than firing King, one of the last things Mitchell did at CREEP was to promote King to head of security -- presumably for a job well done. A few months later, in a letter to Parade magazine, a national Sunday newspaper supplement, Martha told columnist Walter Scott that:
Steve King ... "not only dealt me the most horrible experience I have ever had, but inflicted bodily harm upon me."
King, no doubt, will dismiss all of Martha's claims as untrue, the ravings of a drunken lunatic. But Winzola McClendon, who authored the biography, tells of a conversation she had later with John Mitchell, in April 1973:
We discussed the California incident. I asked if Martha really had been held down and sedated, and he said everything she told me was "essentially true." Why did Steve King and Lea Jablonsky -- a young woman Martha considered her friend -- let this happen? "These kids were scared to death ...They thought they were protecting me," he answered.
After Nixon won the election, King was rewarded with a job as special assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz. That, of course, was before it all came tumbling down and Nixon was forced out of office on Aug. 8, 1974.

Quotes and excerpts are from Martha: the Life of Martha Mitchell, by Winzola McLendon, published in 1979 by Random House. Ms. McLendon, a journalist and White House correspondent, met Martha Mitchell while interviewing her in 1970 and became a friend and confidant while continuing to work as a reporter.


Paul Ryan, Social Security and Survivor's Benefits

My father died when I was five years old. He was about 36, younger than I am now. When he was still healthy enough to work, he worked at a local lumber mill and before that, as a surveyor for the county. There's frankly no way he had personally earned enough in his adult life to cover survivor's benefits for me and my sisters, aged three and 16, from then until each of us turned 18.

But that's what my family received, and it meant that my religiously inclined stay-at-home mom with almost no adult history of paid employment (or paying into Social Security, obviously) didn't lose the house. When she remarried, she was able to continue staying home with us.

Consider it a stark illustration of the difference between defined benefit vs. defined contribution programs.

In other words, Social Security allowed my working class family to live the kind of traditional nuclear family lifestyle that you practically have to be a Romney, a Ryan, a Palin, or a Santorum to afford anymore in a two-parent household. In traditional conservative circles, they'll still make working class men feel like failures because their stagnant wages don't cover a multi-person household anymore, and make working class women feel like failures as wives and mothers for not being true to their 'proper' roles, but that only goes so far. Guilt pays no one's rent. Even very conservative denominations like my parents' church have had to increasingly tolerate the fact that most married women have to seek paid employment at some point.

Ryan knows something about this sort of situation himself, since Paul Ryan also received survivor benefits when his father died, and was able to use them to finance his public university education. I feel bad for him losing a parent at a young age, but I also feel especially qualified to despise that he would turn around and pull the ladder up behind him for all the other families whose incomes don't cover private life insurance plans if they should die young.

Because Paul Ryan wants to cut Social Security to the bone and replace it with individual investment accounts, turning it into a 401(k)-style defined contribution program that would enrich Wall Street, with even smaller defined benefits going to the mostly working class recipients.

Just as Ryan's hero, Ayn Rand, used Social Security and Medicare, just as Mitt Romney can hardly seem to find a business community spokesperson who hasn't been a government contractor or gotten government support, Republicans are always stating their certainty that government help will surely destroy the moral character of any recipients they don't personally know.

Which is why, no doubt, Romney has embraced Ryan's budget plan. Romney's said doesn't think it would really hurt anyone to cut the social safety net, and maybe he really doesn't know better. Paul Ryan could tell him differently, but won't, because ... well, why does it matter?

It's purely vile to take help when you're in need and then turn around and ruin that help for others facing similar hardships. The motivation doesn't really enter into it as a mitigating factor, in my opinion, presuming that the truth of that motivation were even possible to determine.

Social Security takes care of people who are too old or sick to work anymore. It takes care of the widows and orphans of people who didn't live long enough to reach that state. In short, quietly and efficiently, without requiring membership in a church or big charity banquets where the donors are lavishly praised and celebrated, this country has been living the theoretically Christian ideal of taking care of the least of those among us at a level that no society in history had ever done before through private charity, with credit owing to even the lowest paid workers in the country.

Ostentatious Bible-thumpers like those running the Republican Party right now should appreciate that, because I know from my youthful readings that those ideals were pretty high on the list of things Jesus was said to care about. Unlike abortion or gays, which he didn't discuss, the Jesus of the Bible could barely stop talking about taking care of the poor and sick and disadvantaged. Dude could not shut up about it. Paul Ryan, who belongs to a church whose clergy have often been targeted for assassination in developing nations for helping the poor, should appreciate that. Paul Ryan, who was an orphan himself, should be able to bring some small fraction of the compassion he lauds for a 10-cell zygote to his public policy work if he's going to try and trade on a 'pro-life' aura derived from the faith he trades on.

The Republican Party has done well for themselves taking on the mantle of a lay ministry tending to the souls of change-averse whites. They've gotten all kinds of undeserved moral authority by playing semi-spiritual figures hawking God for secular political leverage. Though when you're also a transparent shill for aristocrats like Mitt Romney who simply want all the money to themselves and their VIP friends, there's only so far that a political performance art homage to the Carpenter of Galilee should really be able to take you before you can't open your mouth anymore without being laughed at.

Paul Ryan - Career Politician!

According to his brother who always thought one day that Paul would get a real job.

Why work for a living when you have figured out a way to become rich on the taxpayers dime? Let them do your work for you!

Paul Ryan - Bringing Back The Good Old Days of the 1920's

More Here!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Does it really cost $100,000,000 for Paul Ryan?

Cross Posted @ Cog Dis!

According to an embedded republican insider, David Koch bough the Vice Presidency for Paul Ryan (R - Ayn Rand).

 H/T Cenk Uygur and Current TV

Paul Ryan(R - Wall St.) is master of the oldest profession in the world....

It also goes to show how completely incapable Paul ryan is, that it takes $100 Million to get him on the ticket and nothing to get Sarah Palin on the ticket!

 I wonder who Mitt really wanted??

Ryan As Omen

It was just fifteen days ago that Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan for the campaign co-pilot seat, and they've been in rough skies ever since.

Ryan spent the first few days saying he wasn't really trying to kill Medicare as we know it, then burned up part of a week by denying, then admitting that, yes, he had solicited funds from the very federal stimulus program he'd repeatedly condemned.

And just as that fire was put out, sort of, Ryan's legislative far-right pally Todd Akin burst on to the scene with his now-infamous screwy suggestion that raped women could magically prevent their pregnancies and thus were not entitled to abortions - - misogynist cruelty on par with the proposal Akin and Ryan had endorsed in the House of Representatives to limit federally-funded abortions to only women who had been raped "forcibly."

Ryan had become the Dick Tracy comic strip character with a personal rain cloud over his head - - and just as Ryan was to jet off for the Tampa Convention a bigger, legitimate storm - - Hurricane Isaac - - took aim at the Florida Gulf Coast and has already cut at least one day off four days of GOP hoopla there.

They say national party nominating conventions are intentionally superficial and scripted, but this one won't escape some discussion of changing climate extremes - - Ryan voted against measures to stem greenhouse gas emissions (see a report on Ryan's record, p. 136) - - even if the Tampa event puts more climate change deniers under one roof than attended the last ALEC reunion.

And as Florida first responders are pressed into action with the approaching hurricane, Romney may wish he hadn't said the lesson of Scott Walker's recall election win was that we didn't need more firefighters and police officers. 

Tampa had already heavily borrowed police from across Florida to help with convention security, and that was before Isaac began to bear down on the convention city.

Nothing has gone right for the the GOP since Ryan loped into an oddly-choreographed early Saturday morning news conference/photo op on the dock off the USS Wisconsin, now a museum ship permanently tied up in Virginia.

It's still a long way to November 6th - - but shorter by two weeks, and counting, then when Ryan joined Team Romney.

Rocky takeoff for sure, in part because Ryan didn't use those two lost weeks to show us he's ready to sit in the Captain's seat.

In fact, he hasn't looked much different than Dan Quayle, 2.0.

Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Convention Preview: Ryan A Tool In GOP Election Buyout

A guide to the Tampa Convention and subsequent campaign:

The Convention outcome:

Mitt Romney is nominated because the GOP (Greedy Old Party) has found and embraced the wealthiest person ever to run for President on its ticket - - though former rival New Gingrich's anti-Romney ads during the primaries documented that much of that wealth had been made at the expense of other people.

Paul Ryan is nominated because he is the architect of a budget plan that keeps the tax code working to protect and enhance the Romney niche wealth - - again at the expense of other people.

The Campaign strategy:

After the nominations, with the help of Super PAC's and the Citizens United decision, Republicans will spend about a half-billion dollars convincing all the other people that Romney and Ryan are working for them.

Romney-Ryan will count on the power of wealth already disproportionately showered by the tax code on the 1% to achieve the unabashed commercial flim-flamming of the electorate  - - greased by swing-state voter suppression laws - - in the most cynical and corrupt political act in American history.

Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

Paul Ryan-- Brown Noser Extraordinaire

Paul Ryan's high school class voted him biggest brown-noser in school. A former classmate from Joseph A. Craig High School in Janesville told us he was "always kissing up and kicking down. He was very popular in a superficial-- prom king and jock and student council president-- way but not really someone anyone trusted."

Most people who have followed Ryan's career in Washington have noticed the same patterns-- always kissing up and endearing himself to the rich and powerful. One of his Wisconsin colleagues told us that he "sold himself out to K Street and Wall Street faster than any Member had ever done in the history of Congress." Even when David Obey-- who was in Congress when Ryan was still brown-nosing in high school-- was Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Ryan had sailed past him in terms of contributions from Wall Street. The Financial/Insurance/Real Estate sector has given more in legalistic bribes to Ryan than to any other politician-- including senators-- in the history of Wisconsin. And that happened even before Boehner appointed him Budget Chairman! This morning, Politico took a deep look into how Ryan clawed his way to the top of the House foodchain, vaulting over a whole generation of ambitious Republican politicians. Ever wonder how Ryan got the word "serious" attached to his name? It sure made serious economists like Paul Krugman scratch their heads in absolute wonder. Politico hones right in on Ryan's ability to blow smoke up the asses of the media.
190 times. That’s how often the Wisconsin lawmaker’s name appeared in the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal between Election Day 2008-- when a Republican rout at the polls left the conservative intelligentsia urgently looking for a new star-- and the day this month when Mitt Romney tapped Ryan his running mate.

Another revealing number: Ryan and his plans for overhauling the federal budget drew at least 72 mentions in the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, according to a Politico count. There were at least as many references in the equally influential National Review.

These billings, in turn, helped Ryan drive an even bigger number: 1,050 is how many times Ryan and the Ryan budget were talked up on Fox News.

There are legions of smart and ambitious politicians who could never dream of this kind of publicity who can testify that numbers like this do not just happen by accident.

In Ryan’s case, say people who have worked closely with him, they are the result of a years-long effort to cultivate relationships with a small but influential corps of commentators, policy intellectuals, and impresarios of the conservative movement.

Ryan invites these people to off-the-record dinner briefings to talk about ideas and his policy proposals. He calls them to say how much he liked their articles. He attends their going-away parties and hires young people from their staffs. Above all, he has made clear that he takes these people seriously and wants to be taken seriously by them.

And these Washington and New York influentials-- including writers Bill Kristol and Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard, and Rich Lowry of National Review, and policy provocateurs like Bill Bennett and Pete Wehner-- have repaid the favor. In the process they have helped Ryan illuminate a path to power much different than the traditional strategy of bill-passing, logrolling, and above all loyal time-serving that historically was the way to win influence on Capitol Hill.

“Ryan developed a fan base outside of Congress,” explained conservative editor Yuval Levin. “He seems to be taken seriously by people who other members take seriously.”

“Public policy and intellectual types are susceptible to flattery and the bar is not particularly high,” quipped Ramesh Ponnuru, a National Review writer who knows and admires Ryan.

The GOP, long a royalist party that rewards those who wait their turn, has been upended in recent years by powerful ideological and technological forces, and nobody better symbolizes the new ways in which power is obtained than Ryan.

He even managed to ingratiate himself to fellow Wall Street-oriented Democrats to so powerful an extent that he has never to this day been seriously challenged for reelection by the DCCC despite representing a swing district filled with Democratic legislative leaders, a district that Obama won in 2008. Even now, when Ryan has a formidable grassroots challenge from Rob Zerban, Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz have sent out the word that Ryan is not to be touched. One of the DCCC's biggest donors and fundraisers told me she would throw an event for Zerban in her home and the next day she told me "Steve told me not to waste my time or money. He said Zerban won't even win the nomination." That seemed odd to me since the DCCC hadn't even put up an opponent and no other Democratic opponent had come forward. But it was just Steve Israel doing what Wall Street whores like him-- and it is a requirement of the DCCC chairmanship that you be a Wall Street whore (think Rahm Emanuel and Chris Van Hollen)-- had always done: protect Paul Ryan.

But being president-- the position Wall Street wants him in-- is very different from being president of a fraternity or a junior high school class. We'll soon see if the American public is as gullible and susceptible to his charms as Rich Lowry, Bill Kristol and Stephen Hayes.

And, by the way, please visit the Stop Paul Ryan page if you'd like to do something about saving America from this venal brown-noser.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paul Ryan & Women - Top 5 Facts

The Ryan Bounce


Paul Ryan may have finally gone too far for Wisconsin voters

Check this out, Packer Nation. Paul Ryan is no friend of Wisconsin. Forget Medicare and abortion for a moment. He's abandoned us for the the Steelers!

He's a typical politician: Says whatever he thinks will help him get a vote.

Paul Ryan Learns National Media Doesn't Play Fox/Talk Radio Patty-Cake

Wherein Dana Milbank of The Washington Post gets the last word and re-directs Paul Ryan's clumsy spin.

But let's not get ahead of the story...

Ryan has been in The Todd Akin Avoidance Bunker this week ever since Ryan's reliable Missouri anti-abortion clone commandeered the national conversation with a weird lecture about rape and female physiology that threw science, base-line respect for 51% of the population and the entire Romney-Ryan campaign game plan under the bus.

So Ryan, who strongly opposes abortion even in cases of incest and rape, and supports the total abortion ban implicit in the so-called Personhood legislation he and Akin have backed, eventually had to face the media traveling with him and explain the contradiction he'd come to represent without looking like a fool or a hypocrite:

Walk that far-right line to keep the Tea Party and Right-to-Life movement satisfied - - the reason he is on the ticket - - while at least appearing to defer to Papa Bear Romney, who has said he supports abortion exceptions in rape and incest cases.

So he abandoned the fatally-toxic Akin, but muffed the scene because he couldn't tell the complete truth about just how Akin-like he really is.

So reporters pressed Ryan - - unlike the obsequious talk show hosts who let Ryan and his ilk prattle on without a challenge - - about the qualitative difference between Akin's signature, offensive stance on "legitimate rape" and the "forcible" rape language Ryan and Akin wanted added to federally-permitted abortion funding to narrow the exception.

The Washington Post's Dana Mil;bank nicely-framed Ryan's failed effort to mislead the media; the episode will be remembered when Ryan wanders off script or the Fox 'News' set where real reporters might be able to interview him:
“Look, I’m proud of my record,” he told reporters on his plane, but “Mitt Romney is going to be president, and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction.”

Does he now regret his sponsorship of legislation that made a distinction between “forcible rape” and other kinds — a position eerily similar to Akin’s “legitimate rape”?

“That bill passed, I think, by 251 votes,” Ryan replied. “It was bipartisan.” He neglected to mention that it passed after removal of the “forcible” language.
Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Maureen Dowd on Paul Ryan

From today's Maureen Dowd column in The New York Times:

"Paul Ryan, who teamed up with Akin in the House to sponsor harsh anti-abortion bills, may look young and hip and new generation, with his iPod full of heavy metal jams and his cute kids. But he’s just a fresh face on a Taliban creed — the evermore antediluvian, anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-gay conservative core. Amiable in khakis and polo shirts, Ryan is the perfect modern leader to rally medieval Republicans who believe that Adam and Eve cavorted with dinosaurs."

We have nothing to add.

CNN's Malveaux and Bash: Paul Ryan Only a Fiscal, Not Social, Conservative

Today, during CNN's 1:00 PM Newsroom hour, anchor Suzanne Malveaux had senior congressional correspondent, Dana Bash, on to talk about how Todd Akin's appalling comments were affecting the Romney-Ryan ticket ...

At about the 3:50 mark, Malveaux and Bash switch from talking about the situation generally to helping Romney and Ryan create exactly the sort of distance from Akin that Republicans have directly told Bash they need to create in order to support their campaign communication goals.

Malveaux: We know that Romney and Ryan, obviously they're trying to focus on the economy & jobs, but now Republicans getting themselves caught up in this abortion issues. How much of this, Dana, do you think reflects the party's split, within the Republican Party, between the power of the fiscal conservatives, like a Ryan and a Romney, and the social conservatives, like, you have this gentleman [Todd Akin] who's running in Missouri?

Bash: It definitely reflects the fact that there are a lot of Republicans who have very strong anti-abortion views. And Paul Ryan is known as a fiscal conservative, but this has put a spotlight on his social views, as well. He certainly would never go as far, and has denounced the terminology that Todd Akin used, but he has supported some anti-abortion bills with him in the past. To answer your question, Republicans are very candid about it, that I've talked to, that this is very damaging to them. They've been trying to focus on the economy and they've been trying to get more women into the fold.

I just talked to two women who are down in Tampa getting ready for the convention, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who is anti-abortion, and a Republican who is for abortion rights, and both of them, both of them admitted that this is going to be very problematic for getting those swing voters. The other thing they pointed out, very interesting, is that women tend to be the last to decide who to vote for. That is not good if they don't separate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and other Republican candidates from Todd Akin."

Since when are Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney not also social conservatives? Particularly Ryan, who's never run as anything but a conservative on every measure it's possible to be?

More responsible coverage from around the nation today pointed out that Ryan has supported not just "some" anti-abortion bills with Todd Akin in the past, but all of the same anti-abortion measures during the time they've jointly served. Ryan even co-sponsored yet another bill that used the "forcible rape" terminology that he's now running away from as fast as he can with his recent declarations that there shouldn't be any hair-splitting over types of rape.

But no, Ryan is "known" as a fiscal conservative, a point Bash emphasized in her comments. So if he's known, to Dana Bash and Suzanne Malveaux, as a fiscal conservative, they're happy to help the Romney campaign, Marsha Blackburn, and a pro-abortion Republican who will remain anonymous, make that useful separation to win over independent women that everyone admits are really turned off by extreme social conservatism ... of exactly the type Paul Ryan built his career on.

Ryan's abortion extremism is big news nationally, but Wisconsin readers are blacked out

Ryan is featured in the photo accompanying the NY Times story on abortion controversy.

Paul Ryan is all over the national news stories about the Republican anti-choice agenda, since Todd Akin made the mistake of saying what he really thinks. Today's front page NY Times story, headlined Akin Controversy Stirs Up Abortion Issue in Campaign features Ryan prominently:
That agenda — largely eclipsed for two years by a protracted fiscal crisis and the fight over how to manage the federal deficit — has wedged its way, for now at least, to the center of the 2012 campaign. It is focusing attention on an issue that helped earn Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a reputation as a flip-flopper, threatening the Republican quest for control of the Senate, and leaving Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Mr. Romney’s vice-presidential pick, in the uncomfortable position of distinguishing himself from Mr. Akin, with whom he has often concurred... 
In an anti-abortion measure once sponsored by Mr. Akin, Mr. Ryan and scores of other Republican lawmakers, an exemption was made for victims of “forcible” rape, though that word was later removed... 
Mr. Ryan’s more conservative views, which have been reflected in votes that would restrict family planning financing overseas, cut off all federal funds to Planned Parenthood and repeal President Obama’s health care law, have come into sharp relief as Mr. Akin struggles for his political life. 
Mr. Akin and Mr. Ryan each have voted in this Congress for 10 abortion-restricting measures as well as those that limited other family planning services. Both Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney have earned praise for their positions from the National Right to Life group and other anti-abortion organizations. “The right-to-life Romney/Ryan ticket is now complete,” wrote Barbara Lyons and Sue Armacost, executive director and legislative director for Wisconsin Right to Life, on the organization’s Web site.
But this story, incredibly, continues to be missing from Wisconsin media coverage of the campaign.  Ryan's role, his views on the issue, his phone call to Akin, their joint sponsorships of many far-out pieces of anti-abortion legislation -- scarcely a mention.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel certainly isn't ignoring Ryan or the race.  Some very competent reporters -- Craig Gilbert, Don Walker and Dan Bice among them -- are covering the race and writing about it.  But we keep  reading "Local Boy Makes Good" stories and little or nothing about the controversy swirling around Ryan.

We are inclined to blame their editors, who must not be encouraging --if not actively discouraging -- their people from doing the real reporting they are capable of.  That's a shame, as Wisconsin, a battleground state, gets a sanitized version of the news from its biggest circulation newspaper.

Paul Ryan: Health Exception For Women Just A "Loophole"

"... This is not a political issue, this is a human issue. ... The health exception is a loophole wide enough to drive a mack truck through. The health exception would render this ban virtually meaningless. ... There is no medical necessity for this abortion procedure. ..." - Paul Ryan in 2000, via Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed

Much of a given politician's claim to moderation these days in abortion politics is whether or not they believe in loopholes for rape, incest or the life of the mother. Believing in exceptions for the health of the mother is considered ridiculously generous, particularly in the case of late-term abortion bans, in spite of the fact that they're both rare and the safest medical option for removal of non-viable fetuses with terminal defects.

And sure, the procedure (Intact Dilation & Extraction, aka, a D&X,) sounds gross, but so would a graphic description of a hip replacement.

Paul Ryan's contemptuous statement that a D&X is never medically necessary should really be translated thusly:

'Injury to a woman's cervix and future fertility, uterine puncture and dangerous bleeding, vaginal delivery of a hydrocephalic fetal head 2-3 times normal size, maternal blindness, maternal kidney failure, or forcing a c-section delivery of a non-viable fetus are all preferable outcomes to allowing a medical procedure performed fewer than 3,000 times per year, because I am a religiously-motivated control freak.'

See? Fixed it for you.

But in practice, in countries where blanket abortion bans are supposedly softened by these health exceptions and women are entirely at the mercy of a system that tightly guards the procedure, Ryan is dead wrong about what those exceptions mean. Health exceptions in countries that ban abortion are often all but meaningless, as these examples from Latin America, courtesy of Amanda Marcotte at Slate and the Center For Reproductive Rights, demonstrate:

L.C. [13 years old] attempted to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of a building next door to her house. Neighbors discovered her and rushed her to the hospital. But even though doctors concluded that her spine needed to be realigned immediately—and even though abortion in Peru is legal where the mother’s health and life are at risk—they refused to operate on L.C. because she was pregnant.....

K.L., a 17-year-old, was pregnant with an anencephalic fetus. Although Peruvian abortion law permits abortion when the life or health of the mother is in danger, K.L. was denied an abortion and had to deliver the baby and breastfeed her for the four days she survived.

Rape exceptions really don't work in practice either, for many of the same reasons. L.C., a raped 13 year old whose health was clearly at risk and who ended up miscarrying, will be partially paralyzed for the rest of her life.

That could happen here, in the United States, very easily. It isn't like 13 year olds never get raped or become pregnant here. All it would really take is for that young woman to then get seriously injured and land in a hospital under the control of doctors who feared the opinions of politicians like Paul Ryan, or vindictive local prosecutors, more than they cared about the life of the woman in front of them.

And there's already a case of a pregnant woman who attempted suicide in the US being prosecuted for feticide following her miscarriage, who faces up to 65 years in jail if convicted. L.C.'s story of rape, paralysis and miscarriage in Paul Ryan's America could very well have closed out with a conviction for feticide and a life spent in jail.

That's just what happens when you criminalize abortion. Women end up injured, dead, in jail for the crime of not wanting to be pregnant, or some combination thereof. I think that's horrific. Paul Ryan thinks it's a big, crazy loophole that tragically decreases the meaningfulness of his favorite attack on women's rights.

Today's Headlines: Ryan Dodging "Forcible Rape" Questions

After having co-sponsored every extreme anti-abortion bill introduced during his time as a Congressman, Paul Ryan has been just a bit more reticent to discuss those positions since being named to the ticket. Reporters are taking notice. Take a look at some of the national headlines this morning:

Jonathan Easley in The Hill:

Ryan dodges question on ‘forcible rape’ language in House bill
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday wouldn’t discuss his co-sponsorship of a bill that initially had language limiting federally funded abortions to cases of “forcible rape.” Pressed by an interviewer on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill he co-sponsored that initially denied funding for abortions except in specific cases, such as “forcible rape,” Ryan demurred.

Catalina Camia in USA Today:

Paul Ryan won't explain 'forcible rape' language
GOP vice presidential contender Paul Ryan declined to explain what is meant by "forcible rape" in abortion legislation he co-sponsored with embattled Rep. Todd Akin.

Jake Tapper for ABC News:

Ryan Refuses to Explain “Forcible” Rape as Dems Attempt More Akin-izing of the GOP Ticket
In an interview to air this morning in Pittsburgh on KDKA,Ryan refused to even engage in a discussion of what “forcible” rape — as opposed to other kinds, such as statutory rape — meant.

Roy Orbison-inspired Paul Ryan hit: Lyin'

Apologies to Roy Orbison. Lyrics by Jon Heckenlively, who ran against Ryan for his House seat in 2010. Performed by Sean Cranley.

Paul Ryan Would Only Let You Die At A Catholic Hospital, Because Of The Respect

Turns out that Rep. Paul Ryan has co-sponsored every extreme anti-abortion bill introduced during his tenure in the House, as noted by Kate Sheppard in Mother Jones.

A comparison of Ryan's record to Rep. Todd Akin's positions, meanwhile, left David Grant of the Christian Science Monitor concluding that they were very similar, with one exception. Grant asserts that Akin doesn't want there to be exceptions on an abortion ban even in cases of danger to the mother, while Ryan would allow that.

How generous.

Or not. Because as Mother Jones could tell you, Ryan supports dropping the requirement that hospitals unwilling to perform abortions in life-threatening circumstances provide transfers to a willing provider. Which means that if a woman experiencing a medical emergency that required treatment showed up at a Catholic hospital (and there are a lot of those, you've noticed,) needing treatment that posed a risk to her pregnancy, they could refuse either to treat, transfer or refer her to another facility.

So, under some conditions, Paul Ryan is an enthusiastic supporter of letting highly trained medical professionals stand idly by and watch women die. Because that's what the founders meant by freedom of religion.

It's okay to let women die if God tells you so.

The main difference between Ryan's and Akin's records, according to Timothy Homan and Steve Walsh of Bloomberg, is really that Akin has introduced legislation restricting women's health care access, while Ryan has voted for and/or co-sponsored all of it.

But let's be real about what would happen if Ryan's favored zygote/fetal personhood law is passed. You know, the one that was uncontroversially approved as part of the Republican Party's platform yesterday for sending on to the convention. This would happen:

A pregnant 16-year-old in the Dominican Republic took center stage in the abortion debate when she died last Friday of leukemia complications amid reports that doctors had delayed chemotherapy out of fear that it could terminate her pregnancy. The Dominican Republic has a strict anti-abortion law. ... Article 37 of the Dominican Republic's constitution prohibits abortion, claiming "the right to life is inviolable from conception until death."

The right to life being inviolable for a fetus, but not to a woman acting as its ... what, life support machine? When such laws are clearly meant to punish abortion, in country after country, the mother's right to life usually isn't worth much at all in comparison to her doctors' fear of prosecution.

Because it isn't a mystery to anyone that abortion restrictions are punitive judgements on women's independence and rights to make decisions for ourselves. They're laws that make pregnant women effective wards of the state and medical professionals.

Women's health care decisions: better leave them to Todd Akin & Paul Ryan. Strong, Christian men, who know when it's the right thing to do to let a woman suffer, or maybe die.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

276 pages of everything you wanted to know about Paul Ryan

How much do you want to know about Paul Ryan?

American Bridge has just posted online a 276-page research book on his background and political career. It's the kind of book often done for political campaigns, but they're seldom shared with the general public.

 Knock yourself out.

  Here it is.

  Quite a video collection, too.

Medicare: Still Popular. Ryan Plan: Not So Much.

Only 36 percent of the public supports Paul Ryan's Medicare plan, while 45 percent oppose it.

When asked specifically about replacing guaranteed coverage with vouchers, that support drops to 19 percent.

Ryan's plan to gut Medicare and the rest of the social safety net to save a recession-battered federal budget is the whole basis of his press image as a serious policy expert. Though as Paul Krugman pointed out recently, Ryan's plan isn't merely unpopular, it's a bluff:

"... What Mr. Ryan actually offers, then, are specific proposals that would sharply increase the deficit, plus an assertion that he has secret tax and spending plans that he refuses to share with us, but which will turn his overall plan into deficit reduction. ..."

It would be a shame if any public confusion remained about who introduced this disastrous idea. The Romney campaign has so far been able to obfuscate the fact that their vice presidential pick is the leading champion of ending Medicare as a guaranteed health coverage program and turning it into the world's biggest Groupon discount for private insurance.

The Party Of Forced Pregnancy

In the ongoing spirit of not letting Romney and Ryan get away with using Rep. Todd Akin's more grotesque rape comments to bypass the issue of their support for forced pregnancy, let's start by noting the Republican Party's years worth of rape apologia, forced pregnancy enthusiasm and myth spreading, leap to Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) support for Akin today, and continue with a key highlight of their 2012 party platform.

A party platform is necessarily the work of many hands, and this year, as usual, those hands include representatives from the Family Research Council and the Eagle Forum. If you're keeping score at home, the Family Research Council, an officially designated hate group, continues to support Akin and the Eagle Forum has long been a leading opponent of protections against domestic violence and spousal rape. What their abortion plank is, specifically, is a constitutional fetal personhood amendment, of the sort that Paul Ryan has previously endorsed and that Mitt Romney has already promised to sign:

"Faithful to the 'self-evident' truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed," the draft platform declares. "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."

Zygote/fetal personhood laws, such as the one Paul Ryan co-sponsored in the House last year, declare that a fertilized egg is a person. This means no IVF, as each instance of discarding excess fertilized eggs could count as a murder. It would criminalize both IUDs and the birth control pill, which act to prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs. It would open the door to, if not logically require, criminal investigations of all miscarriages, an idea that proved too controversial to enact last year when a Georgia Republican introduced it to the state legislature.

Not only did Ryan's cherished bill have dozens of House co-sponsors, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tried to attach a similar fetal personhood amendment to a vote on flood insurance, holding an uncontroversial disaster relief bill hostage for several days in his attempt to undermine female personhood.

It isn't like it's a mystery to Republicans that these types of laws would ban several widely-used types of birth control, nor do any of them seem to have been bothered by 2012 Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum's belief that contraception is a danger to the country. They don't mind championing the rights of employers to unilaterally exclude contraception from health coverage, and they plainly don't care what women think about that. Certainly, birth control must be a bigger danger than letting rapists have parental visitation rights, which none of them ever seem to have been bothered about.

Again, Rep. Todd Akin is business as usual for the Republican Party, including rank-and-file Missouri Republicans.

Forced pregnancy, including for victims of rape and incest, has been a staple of the Republican Party's platform since the Reagan era, and this crew isn't going to walk away from that just because they've been talking about it so long among themselves that they sometimes slip and say it out loud during election season.

Today's Republicans just don't believe that women have the self-evident right to determine the use of our own bodies when it comes to sex and reproduction. It's that simple. I can only hope that having Akin's partner in misogyny on the national ticket makes it harder for Mitt Romney to pretend otherwise.

Update: links added.

Monday, August 20, 2012

CNN Says GOP Drafting Platform Without Abortion Rights In Rape/Incest Cases

So why are GOP leaders and financiers trying to kick Todd Akin off the Senate ticket in Missouri when they are just as misogynistic as he is - - minus one adjective - - by endorsing Paul Ryan's long-standing position in their convention platform?
Tampa, Florida (CNN) - The Republican Party is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for "a human life amendment" to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion without making explicit exemptions for rape or incest, according to draft language of the platform obtained exclusively by CNN late Monday.

Rape Isn't Always Rape, 235 House Republicans, Including Ryan, say

Following the links in the previous post, you may have come across this number: 227.

That's how many co-sponsors, including Rep. Paul Ryan, there were for last year's bill that would have narrowed rape exceptions for abortion to cases of "forcible" rape. By my count, there were 12 Democratic co-sponsors, leaving the total of sitting Republican members of Congress co-sponsoring the bill at 215.

When the House voted on the bill, it got 251 'yes' votes, 6 abstentions, and 175 exclusively Democratic 'no' votes. Excluding 16 of the reasons why I prefer to make political donations to individual campaigns, that leaves Republican votes for passage of the bill at 235.

As @DanSolomon asked today, "How pathetic is it that "rape is rape," coming from the President, sounds like a radical statement?"


Mitt Romney isn't wrong that millions of people are offended by Rep. Todd Akin's cruel ignorance, which is why he's got to pretend that it doesn't reflect a nearly unanimous worldview among elected Republicans about women's value and place in society. Because the interesting thing about Akin isn't his ignorant belief that women can magically decide when we get pregnant, but the casual cruelty and insufferable bigotry with which he thinks it's his right to second guess the decisions we do make.

It isn't just a couple of jerks, it's the years-long track record of the Republican party as a whole. It's ...

  • ... at least 235 sitting House Republicans who'd like to distinguish between different kinds of rape when narrowing the compassionate grounds on which they'll allow a woman to make her own medical decisions.
  • ... hundreds of Republican state legislators, who tripled the number of state abortion restrictions enacted from 2010-2011, after introducing hundreds of restrictive measures around the country.
  • ... the Republican attorneys general suing to repeal mandatory contraception coverage and the Republicans defending this intrusion into women's health care on religious freedom grounds.
  • ... the 31 Republican Senators who voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act of 2012 because they thought it protected too many victims of violence of whom they didn't approve.
  • ... a party whose leading intellectual lights include people who don't believe in spousal rape.
  • ... Paul Ryan's opposition to in-vitro fertilization, on account of wanting to offer greater precedence and peronhood to fertilized eggs than to adult women.

Rep. Akin isn't an outlier; embarrassing biological ignorance, be damned. His views on there being a hierarchy of rapes and rape victims, his lack of either compassion or respect for women who want to make their own decisions about reproductive healthcare, are entirely mainstream among influential and elected Republicans. If Mitt Romney thought the rest of the country was ready yet, they'd be his views, too.

Rep. Akin is the GOP's normal. He's got 234 House colleagues to back him up on that, including Rep. Paul Ryan.

Still Waiting For Paul Ryan's Statement About House Colleague Akin

They haven't put Paul Ryan in front of a microphone about the Akin Outrage, but how could they?

Ryan supported House legislation to limit federal abortion funding to cases of "forcible" rape.

As did Akin.

And historically opposed abortion in cases of rape and incest, despite his Romney-ordered, post-Akin flip on some abortions.

And supports "personhood" legislation that would outlaw all abortions - - as did Akin.

Ryan already sand-bagged the ticket by lying about his solicitation of funds from the Obama stimulus plan he had repeatedly attacked.

I think he's the new Wisconsin political train wreck.

Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

More on Ryan and Akin, anti-women soulmates

While Lyin' Paul Ryan may be hoping no one notices his history of close ties to anti-abortion and anti-women soultmate Rep. Todd Akin, the record doesn't lie.

Ryan and Akin: Soulmates in extremism
The question: Will the media in Wisconsin pay attention?

Our friends at Daily Kos report that the two extreme right wingers have co-sponsored eight anti-abortion bills, not just the one to create a category of "forcible rape" (read: abortion shouldn't be allowed for rapes that don't fit this ridiculous definition).

As Daily Kos wrote:
You can try to run from Rep. Akin, Rep. Ryan, but you won't succeed. You have cooperated on 8 different anti-abortion bills during the 112th Congress. It is safe to say that his views are your views on this topic.
ThinkProgress has additional, powerful info on how Ryan and Akin have worked together to deny women the right to choose an abortion.

Maureen Dowd, in her Sunday column which was in print before Akin made his comments, brought up Ryan's "forceable rape" fetish. (She also covers the Ryan waterfront on issues like Rage Against the Machine, being "way way out there" like former Veep Dick Chaney and criticisms from his own former parish priest. Read the column for all of this.)

None of this made the Milwaukee Journal's Monday print edition. Will the media in Wisconsin starting writing about the connection between the two extremists?

We recall that these same papers haven't been shy about writing about connections between other politicians and extremists -- ever hear of Obama's neighbor, Bill Ayers?

Ryan, like Akin, thinks 'gentle' or 'friendly' rape is OK???

Johnson, Ryan and Romney yukking it up

U.S Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI,  Monday called on GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri to "step aside" after the congressman said victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant, WisPolitics reports.

"Todd Akin’s statements are reprehensible and inexcusable," Johnson tweeted today. "He should step aside today for the good of the nation."

It's remarkable that Johnson didn't applaud Akin.  Someone must have clued him in.

But does Ron Johnson -- known as RoJo the Clown to Wisconsinites for his inability to understand or articulate even the most simple issues -- think Paul Ryan should "step aside" from the national ticket?

Ryan, you see, shares Akin's view that there are different kinds of rape.  There's "forcible" rape, and then there's whatever other kind he imagines.          

Kaili Joy Gray explains on Daily Kos:
Ryan  co-sponsored HR 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" bill in which Republicans tried to redefine rape so that it only applied to "forcible" rape so those fake rape victims would stop exploiting loopholes to cash in on fabulous gifts and prizes. Republicans pulled that part out of the bill so everyone would stop criticizing them, and then they tried to sneak it back in anyway.
So Akin is really aligned with Ryan, who's been a hard liner on  banning abortion for rape victims -- even "forcible" rape victims as opposed to those subjected to "gentle" rape or "friendly" rape or whatever those guys think the alternative is.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Takes a "crony capitalist" to allege one...

Lyin' Paul Ryan recently complained about President Obama's alleged "crony capitalism." Really? Lyin' Ryan, the same guy who has taken more than $100K from the GOP-supporting Koch Brothers? Lyin' Ryan, the same guy who in his first few days as VP nominee raced to Vegas to meet with Sheldon ("I'm Going to Buy This Election No Matter What It Takes") Adelson (Adelson have at least $10M to Romney's superPAC so far). That Lyin' Ryan is claiming someone else is involved in "crony capitalism"?

Mitt Romney talking to another former Bain Capital exec, Tobin Ryan -- yes, he's Lyin' Paul Ryan's brother.

Is the Janesville mansion Ryan lives in, once owned by the Parker Pen magnate, a glass house? Has Mr. Ryan been throwing stones? Because there's a saying...

An investigation by The Telegraph newspaper (of London -- and shamefully not the New York Times, Washington Post or Ryan's congressional district's papers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Janesville Gazette, Kenosha News or Racine Journal Times) reveals what may be a major financial scandal involving Romney, Bain -- and Ryan's brother, Tobin, who worked at of all places, Bain Capital, at the time.

As the paper (The Telegraph, and not the other U.S. papers listed above who also have journalists covering the candidates, as far as we know) reported:
The Republican presidential candidate appears to have profited from a marketing company that was contracted by the state of Massachusetts after receiving $5 million (£3.2 million) in financial backing from Bain Capital, Mr Romney’s investment firm. 
One of his vice-presidential candidate's brothers, who is a former Bain consultant, was at the time of the investment a senior executive at the marketing company, Imagitas, which was co-founded by another former Bain executive.  
Both Mr Romney and Tobin Ryan, who omits his work at Imagitas from his corporate biography, also apparently stood to benefit from the $230 million (£146 million) sale of the company in 2005, while Mr Romney remained in office.
Massachusetts law requires that all state employees divest themselves of financial interests in private sector contracts with state agencies. At the time, failure to do so could have resulted in a $2,000 (£1,273) fine or a 2.5-year prison sentence. The potential punishments are now stronger.
The Telegraph story is sure to set off investigations by journalists living right here in these 50 states. Great, they're on it. After they nail this one, they might want to keep a better eye on Ryan and his capitalist cronies. Here's a hint -- the guy who cries "crony capitalist" probably is one.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ryan Revealed He Wanted to "Break Up" Medicare in 2011

At an April 2011 town hall in Lake Geneva, WI, Paul Ryan answered an audience member's question about his support for the 2003 Medicare prescription drug benefit bill.

One of the reasons he said supported the bill? That it would give the country "new ideas about how to break up the Medicare monopoly"(0:35):

"What I liked about  [Medicare Part D] versus the alternative that would have made it into law: … it gave us new ideas about how to break up the Medicare monopoly, so we can get choice and competition in the program."
This was not a gaffe -- the description of Medicare as an ineffectual monopoly that needed to be broken up has been a standard line in Ryan's rhetoric going back years. Matt Yglesias wrote of another Ryan appearance in May 2011 where he voiced his support for breaking up "the Medicare monopoly."

And in 2009, Ryan said this at an event at the National Press Club:
Government-monopolized health service contradicts everything America stands for. It conflicts with our people’s character…it conflicts with moral principles…it conflicts with market freedom…it conflicts with democracy…and it conflicts with American health care excellence that still draws patients from socialist utopias for medical treatments in this country.
Let's substitute "Medicare" for his term of "government-monopolized health service." Because that -- along with the public option -- was what Ryan was talking about collectively in his speech:
[Medicare] contradicts everything America stands for. It conflicts with our people’s character…it conflicts with moral principles…it conflicts with market freedom…it conflicts with democracy…and it conflicts with American health care excellence that still draws patients from socialist utopias for medical treatments in this country.
There's no shortage of similar statements Ryan has made over the years about wanting to end Medicare -- fire up YouTube or C-SPAN video search or Google News or Lexis Nexis and they'll be found. Going back and looking at them might help give the media a better sense of the truly radical nature of Ryan's ideology -- and why even Republicans were and still are running away from it in droves.

"R" Is For Ryan, Fellow Resisters

"R" is for Republican, but when it comes to full disclosure by Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, "R" is for resister.

*  Tommy won't release his tax returns.

*  Romney and Ryan, other than two years' worth, won't disclose more.

*  Ryan finally admitted that he indeed sought Obama stimulus funds after first denying that he had.

No wonder there is pressure on Romney to release more tax returns.

His assurances about fair taxes paid are undercut by Ryan's coming clean on seeking stimulus program funding- - a program he'd blasted for political purposes - - and Ryan's amnesia about a family trust.

Ann Romney's statement that releasing additional returns would only provide the opposition with more "ammunition" raises fresh suspicions about tax payments, and about income, and about deductions used to reach bottom line obligations.

I'm surprised Ryan, Romney and Tommy are giving Democrats campaign freebies made exceptionally relevant by the rough economy.

And in a campaign where Republican candidates are backing plans to give more tax breaks to upper-income filers - - like Ryan, Ryan and Tommy.

These pols know politics ain't beanbag, but do they really think hide-and-seek is a better game?

Cross-posted at thepoliticalenvironment,

Lyin' Ryan Caught on Medicare Lies

Great article catching Lyin' Ryan in five lies on Medicare. The piece also provides the facts that his lies tried to cover up "as he sought to transform his unpopular Medicare plan into a political asset."

Bonus: If you haven't seen this video depiction of Ryan's plan, complete with a Lyin' Ryan lookalike, thank us later...

Ryan's Onion op ed: "Admit it! I scare the ever-loving shit out of you, don"t I?'

The Onion nails it.  Or did Paul Ryan really write this piece?

I’m young, I’m handsome, I’m smart, and I’m articulate. And that scares the ever-loving shit out of you. You can pretend like you have this thing in the bag, but you know good goddamn well that this race just got real interesting, real fast. 
It’s okay to admit it. You’re frightened to death of me. It might actually be healthy for you to face your fears now rather than later, when Mitt and I are leading by a few points in the polls and it looks like this thing might end badly for you. Face it: I’m not some catastrophe waiting to happen, like a Sarah Palin or a Dan Quayle. On the contrary, you have the exact opposite fear. I’m a solid, competent, some might say exceptional, politician.
 Did you get nervous when you read that last sentence? Is it because you know in your heart of hearts that it’s 100 percent true? Is it because, even if you strongly disagree with my beliefs on Medicare, Social Security, women’s rights, and marriage equality, you know my talent as a speaker and my well-thought-out approach to these issues—no matter how radical and convoluted you find them—might just be enough to win over independent voters? 
Do you get chills just thinking about how strong my appeal actually is? 
I have another question for you: How scared are you that I can convince people I’m right? Because I’m good at it. No, I’m really good at it. You see, I know how to turn up the charm and charisma without putting people off. Then I back up what I’m saying with arguments that, when they come out of my mouth, sound completely accurate and well-reasoned. And I do it with such passion that people automatically recognize me as a man with deep convictions he will stand up for, no matter what. 
The American people love that shit. They love it. 
Passion, intellect, and a magnetic personality. Pretty damn intimidating combo, if I say so myself. You want to talk about polish? Man, I’ve got polish for miles. Oh, and by the way, I’ll go ahead and say this next thing because, if we’re being honest, why the hell not, right? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m white. Hoo, brother, am I white.
Read the rest: Admit it! I scare the evert-loving shit out of you, don't I?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ain't No Way to Hide Ryan's Lyin' Eyes

Ryan the Liar. Lyin' Ryan.

The rhymes are becoming a meme, and for good reason.

Story after story in the national media has been published about the would-be VP lying to them -- and getting caught. (Hello, Wisconsin media -- are you listening?).

There's even a Twitter hashtag tracking the lies -- #lyinryan. If you're on Twitter, please use it. (Speaking of Twitter, our humble The Paul Ryan Watch just joined the Twitterverse -- please follow us at @PaulRyanWatch.)

Here are few of the more interesting stories from just the last few days on lies he's been caught in since the national media finally began paying attention to what he says.

- Matt Miller in the Washington Post writes about, as the headline says, "Recognizing Paul Ryan's 'tell' when he is trying to avoid something." As Miller writes, "It's worth parsing Ryan's tactics in this exchange because it shows the brand of disingenuousness we're dealing with." Miller links to and analyzes a tough video interview with Fox (!) showing Ryan as dissembler.

- Daily Kos reports that Lyin' Ryan blames President Obama publicly for the 2008 closing of the Janesville, Wisconsin, GM plant. Only problem: George W. Bush was president when the closing was announced, not Obama. As Daily Kos writes: "Bottom line: Without the benefit of facts, Ryan's story sounded compelling, but once you learn what really happened, you quickly realize Ryan was telling a tall tale that was just too perfect to be true. And with that kind of thing starting to become a pattern with Ryan, it's no wonder that Mitt Romney likes him so much."

- The headline of a story says it all: "Busted: Paul Ryan Left $1-5 Million Trust Off Disclosure Forms Until He Was Vetted." From the story: "As he was being vetted, Mr. Ryan pulled a Romney and retroactively amended his disclosures on June 6, 2012 in order to include one of the couple’s largest assets — the $1-5 million income producing trust Janna Ryan inherited from her mother."

- And finally, as the Boston Globe reported, Lyin' Ryan lied to reporters about applying for millions in Obama stimulus money despite calling the stimulus legislation a "wasteful spending spree." He was forced to fess up after being confronted with four letters he wrote seeking the money.

Lyin' Ryan pulled it off when he was just a Wisconsin congressman, but he's not slick enough to keep the tall tales going now that he's truly in the biggest of big national spotlights. Keep an eye out for Ryan's lies. And keep watching Ryan's Lyin' eyes.