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Paul Ryan as Romney's running-mate
August 11, 2012 5:18 AM   Subscribe

Paul Ryan. Seven-term congressman for Wisconsin's 1st District. Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Architect of the controversial Ryan Budget -- a "Path to Prosperity" [PDF - video - CBO] that would slash trillions from the federal budget, sharply curtail taxes on the wealthy, and transform Medicare into a private voucher system. Proponent (vid) -- and renouncer -- of Ayn Rand 's Objectivism. Social Security beneficiary. Hunter. Weinermobile driver. And as of this morning, the 2012 Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States of America.

Romney's selection of Ryan, widely seen as an overture to his disaffected conservative base, promises an election framed by titanic questions of economic and social equity. President Obama has already declared his vehement opposition to Ryan's policies, saying in April:
"It is a Trojan Horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism. It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everybody who’s willing to work for it; a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last -- education and training, research and development, our infrastructure -- it is a prescription for decline."
It was not the first run-in between the president and the congressman, as the two exchanged sharp words in Obama's visit to the House GOP retreat and the 2010 healthcare roundtable. Ryan also delivered the Republican response to Obama's 2011 State of the Union address.

Though Ryan's plans are celebrated as bold and necessary steps in conservative circles, not all agree with his aims. A wide swath of Georgetown faculty concurred with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in their moral criticism of the Ryan budget, writing:
In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.
Ryan argues his support of Rand is limited to broad individualist ideals, but the implications of the Path to Prosperity echo the harsher rhetoric of the political right in recent years.

After today's VP rollout on the deck of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., comes a swing-state bus tour, the Republican National Convention in Tampa on August 27th, and a looming debate with current veep Joe Biden in September. The race? It is on.

More:
Paul Ryan - On The Issues
Interest group scores
PolitiFact profile
A Reddit-backed effort to defeat Ryan at home
TDS on the Ryan budget (part two)
posted by Rhaomi (1550 comments total) 83 users marked this as a favorite

 
As a democrat, I approve this decision.
posted by futz at 5:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [88 favorites]


Desperate, pathetic.
posted by empath at 5:21 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


"GOP suspends Romney after he admits 'terrible mistake'".
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:22 AM on August 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


Did Romney think Bush won in 2004 because of his safety net privatization schemes? I imagine mimosas are being passed around Chicago and the White House this morning.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:23 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


That guy is a piece of work. I do not have the positive, sunny attitude of my younger years (HA) to think that the idiot brigade section of the electorate will be able to see past his Randian nonsense. Ugh.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:23 AM on August 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


Yeah, I think this is not a good choice for Romney. The more people learn about modern Conservatism, the more they dislike it. Picking the posterboy is as baldly political as Palin.
posted by nevercalm at 5:23 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, they definitely plan to win Florida by cheating?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:24 AM on August 11, 2012 [71 favorites]


It's like he picked Voldemort or a spider to be next in line to the Presidency. Scream or laugh?
posted by angrycat at 5:24 AM on August 11, 2012 [74 favorites]


It's a pretty good pick to shore up his base and build some enthusiasm. He is a competent and intelligent politician who will not self-destruct like a Palin. There wasn't really any point in Romney going to the center, he's already as center as a Republican presidential candidate will get. In the end though, the Ryan budget is going to drag down the ticket. There is just too much to attack there and I imagine the Obama campaign is salivating to get started.

The AARP is already on it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:25 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


So, they definitely plan to win Florida by cheating?

It's not called cheating, it's called: " rebirth — of man's spirit".
posted by Fizz at 5:25 AM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


I figured the military setting in a reddish state meant he was doubling down on right-wing cred. Not sure how Mittens' plans to pump up our military spending jibes with Ryan's cutthroat budgeteering. Also, not sure how this is in any way the bridge-building move to the center that Mittens needs to pick up indies and "Romney Democrats." I can't imagine how BHO won't put the smack on them for being heartless connies who'll push Grandma down the stairs.
posted by the sobsister at 5:25 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Twitter from this morning:

"Romney + Ryan = Bain + Pain. How do you sugarcoat that for independents?"
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:26 AM on August 11, 2012 [29 favorites]


"Path to Prosperity"...that would slash trillions from the federal budget, sharply curtail taxes on the wealthy

One of these things is not like the other.
posted by DU at 5:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and adding a guy who worships at the alter of an atheist to the Mormon ticket should have the more cut throat operators in the south salivating.
posted by empath at 5:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."
Who's that in the White House again? The "Food Stamp President" who lacks an Anglo-Saxon heritage? Well I never.
posted by jaduncan at 5:29 AM on August 11, 2012 [53 favorites]


Ummm, he worships at a Catholic alter regardless of his opinions on Rand.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:29 AM on August 11, 2012


It's the first non-Protestant GOP ticket.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:32 AM on August 11, 2012 [60 favorites]


He could also be forced to moderate his public opinions and end up alienating the tea party set. Will be interesting to see how they balance that.
posted by Bovine Love at 5:33 AM on August 11, 2012


That "On The Issues" link is horrifying. How far right can one go before entering another dimension?
posted by futz at 5:33 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ummm, he worships at a Catholic alter regardless of his opinions on Rand.

It's 'altar'. Also, what is this supposed to mean?
posted by hoyland at 5:34 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


So the GOP 2012 ticket is complete: PENGUIN / SCARECROW.

Will Gotham survive their deadly plans?
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:36 AM on August 11, 2012 [63 favorites]


Hmmm...don't know if this could be considered nth-dimensional chess or some other nonsense, but apparently the GOP didn't want Ryan to be the public face of their plans, so Obama tried (and succeeded) in doing it for them.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:36 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why does this have the be an either/or? I'm no fan of Ayn Rand, but I definitely do not want the federal budget to be influenced by religious doctrine. It's exactly this false choice the produces a Romney-Ryan ticket in the first place, and frustrates the hell out of people like me who aren't thrilled with Obama but cannot stomach voting for the alternative.
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 5:36 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


While I thought it'd be Ryan (given that all the cool kids were jumping off that bridge and urging Mittens to do likewise), on some level I'm surprised it wasn't Christie or some other populist who'd have Palin appeal without the stink of cretin. Christie would've been good for some memorable one-liners, and he definitely would've had the Norm-at-Cheers vibe that might humanize Robo-Mitt. Ryan? Gee, a policy wonk. That should get the crowds roaring.
posted by the sobsister at 5:37 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


*that produces
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 5:37 AM on August 11, 2012


You could shut this ass-clown up pretty quickly about his free market capitalist ideals by asking him about his campaign financing.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:37 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ryan? Gee, a policy wonk. That should get the crowds roaring.

A policy wonk who's spent his entire working life in the government, no less.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


From reddit: ROMNEY/RYAN 2012: Throwing granny under the bus and tying the dog to the top.

and The White House response.
posted by futz at 5:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [102 favorites]


I imagine the arms of the 2012 Obama campaign staff are pretty tired and sore this morning. From all the high-fiving.
posted by jeffehobbs at 5:40 AM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Win or lose this is the death of the conservative movement.
posted by Max Power at 5:41 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney/Ryan 2012-"Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"
posted by dortmunder at 5:41 AM on August 11, 2012 [119 favorites]


Ryan is a lot more Dan Quayle than Dick Cheney. Giving him the VP spot might get his particular brand of economic thought out of the spotlight.
posted by DigDoug at 5:42 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was hoping Mitt would pick Jindal. Now we're stuck with him for the rest of his term.
posted by localroger at 5:43 AM on August 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


I hope we get some ads using the Bishops' remonstrance that his budget is unchristian to the poor.
posted by OmieWise at 5:44 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


"even newt Gingrich called his policies right-wing social engineering"
posted by empath at 5:46 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


I don't even--the speculation stuff yesterday baffled me, but at least I could imagine maybe it wasn't true. Does Mitt Romney really want to be president? Of course the base is going to love Ryan, but the base was going to vote for him anyway. He's not down in polls because of inadequate appeal to the base.
posted by gracedissolved at 5:47 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Giving him the VP spot might get his particular brand of economic thought out of the spotlight.

Oh, it definitely will. Maybe some Americans will finally understand who the real class-warriors are.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:47 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


So... Does this guy pay his taxes?
posted by Artw at 5:47 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Outstanding post, Rhaomi. Really well done.
posted by cashman at 5:48 AM on August 11, 2012 [45 favorites]


This seems about right:

Ryan/Romney -- The economics of Hoover, the ethics of Scrooge, the hair of a JC Penny catalogue. ~ @LOLGOP
posted by Fizz at 5:49 AM on August 11, 2012 [33 favorites]


He can't count on the Catholic vote:

Catholic bishops say Ryan budget fails moral test

Paul Ryan Budget Fails the Moral Test of His Own Catholic Faith Tradition

The Ryan Budget: The Law of the Jungle
posted by madamjujujive at 5:50 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


But zombieflanders' comment upthread on "nth-dimensional chess" does make me wonder what the calculus was for this. Engage Obama in a debate on the minutiae of competing budgetary models? I just don't get where adding Ryan gives Mittens an edge.
posted by the sobsister at 5:51 AM on August 11, 2012


Can I just say that I love the phrase "zombie-eyed granny-starver"?
posted by octothorpe at 5:52 AM on August 11, 2012 [25 favorites]


How many years of tax returns will Ryan release?
posted by ifandonlyif at 5:52 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


PPP: Last year we found Florida voters opposed Ryan plan by 16 points, North Carolina voters opposed it by 23

We did find Ryan had potential to make Wisconsin a toss up though- Obama/Biden 47, Romney/Ryan 46
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Catholic bishops say Ryan budget fails moral test

Catholic bishops and moral tests? Oh do go on!
posted by mattoxic at 5:54 AM on August 11, 2012 [50 favorites]


Is anybody but me worried they might win?
posted by wittgenstein at 5:54 AM on August 11, 2012 [71 favorites]


I'm now more convinced it will be utterly horrible if they do.

On the other hand: how much sense does the American public have?
posted by Artw at 5:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, this really helps him with the human warmth and populism factor he was having trouble with. Heh heh.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Since this Ayn Rand fanboy has been working for the government since he was 20 and has never done anything else I doubt his tax returns are all that juicy
posted by nikodym at 5:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


This shows that Romney still hasn't shored up his base. You never know, but after paying close attention to every election since 1984, Mitt's campaign sure smells like a loser so far.
posted by JKevinKing at 5:57 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


He can't count on the Catholic vote:

Catholic bishops say Ryan budget fails moral test


It's worth noting that Catholics don't vote as a bloc based on the instructions of the Church leadership.

Why does this have the be an either/or? I'm no fan of Ayn Rand, but I definitely do not want the federal budget to be influenced by religious doctrine.

The "Catholic bishops say Ryan budget fails moral test" link says Ryan claimed his budget was influenced by Catholicism. That makes me feel a lot better about the USCCB calling him out. Because, yeah, Ayn Rand is pretty fucking incompatible with Catholicism.
posted by hoyland at 5:57 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I just don't get where adding Ryan gives Mittens an edge.

Realistically, it doesn't; with the swing voters he needs so badly this gives him an anvil instead of a life preserver. But I think this is a perfect example of the Republican perception bubble, within which conservative ideals are destined to prevail and the most dangerous possible thing is the leaking away of the base and the failure of resolve toward core principles.

I am sure that Romney's strategists think this is a brilliant move to shore up the base, and they aren't capable of looking at their own ideas critically enough to understand how badly it hurts them with the center.
posted by localroger at 5:58 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Catholic bishops and moral tests? Oh do go on!

Weak as they may be, he fails even those!
posted by madamjujujive at 5:58 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Is anybody but me worried they might win?

Yes. God yes. They definitely win where I'm from, but that was going to happen as long as Romney didn't pick a black guy.
posted by DigDoug at 5:58 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Warning to The Powers That Be: At some point, the Matrix becomes so absurd everybody just unplugs and goes off to find something else to do.
posted by Karmadillo at 6:00 AM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


If you're bored, enjoy several hundred pages of opposition research on Ryan from American Bridge.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:01 AM on August 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


Not nearly enough, artw. Not nearly enough.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:02 AM on August 11, 2012


The Ryan/Romney ticket is a scary one, indeed.
posted by andreaazure at 6:02 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Catholic bishops and moral tests?

Here's a plus: I can't imagine either of them having functional genitals.
posted by Artw at 6:03 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


May this work out for Ryan like a similar pick worked for Edwards.
posted by drezdn at 6:03 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


localroger, I see what you're saying, but the GOP (generally) doesn't give elections away and especially not this one. This is such a counterintuitive move that sacrifices a lot of their traditional stratagems (red-meat demagoguery; outside-the-Beltway purity; personality-driven politicking) for...a competing vision of economic discipline?

I have to assume the GOP has an ace up its sleeve--compromising photographs, the missing birth certificate--because, facially, this is as bad a misstep as McCain/Palin.
posted by the sobsister at 6:04 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is fucking awesome. This election is no longer about rejecting a rich guy with no convictions except following what the polls say. It's about rejecting Ayn Rand. It's about saying that government can do some things that the private sector very demonstrably cannot. The forthcoming popular rejection of Rand's philosophy will have repercussions for the future of the country that cannot be ignored.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:04 AM on August 11, 2012 [47 favorites]


They definitely have a shot to win, even though a lot of people think that just because Romney is horrible that he will lose easily. To me this is going to be a rocky ride because of the mountains of money that Rmoney has access to.
posted by cashman at 6:04 AM on August 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


I figure that at some point during the primary, the GOP overlords decided that none of their favorite candidates were polling well enough against Obama to stand a chance at actually winning — notice that the smarter, more electable conservatives (Christie, J. Bush, etc) didn't even bother to throw a hat in the ring. So it was decided that Romney would be the sacrificial lamb for this year's race.

Note that this is basically a repeat of McCain's position in 2008 which means... Ryan is this year's Palin? And the latent purpose of the campaign is to set up Ryan as a conservative icon for 2014 and 2016...?

Good post.
posted by FreelanceBureaucrat at 6:04 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


One reason the Ryan budget isn't so bad politically.

Burton and his colleagues spent the early months of 2012 trying out the pitch that Romney was the most far-right presidential candidate since Barry Goldwater. It fell flat. The public did not view Romney as an extremist. For example, when Priorities informed a focus group that Romney supported the Ryan budget plan — and thus championed “ending Medicare as we know it” — while also advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.

Nobody believes anybody would actually be stupid enough to propose it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:05 AM on August 11, 2012 [49 favorites]


You beat me to it fxg. Although I've heard evil in place of stupid.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:07 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Boy, Romney is totally desperate to change the subject from his tax returns. But from tax returns to killing Medicare and privatizing Social Security might be jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

I am totally fascinated that this leaked on a Friday night and is being announced on a Saturday.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:08 AM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


ROMNEY / RYAN 2012 : WE'VE GOT OURS
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:09 AM on August 11, 2012 [48 favorites]


(red-meat demagoguery; outside-the-Beltway purity; personality-driven politicking)

I think you underestimate the GOP feeling that Ryan fulfills those needs. When his hateful budget came out he was feted as if it had never occurred to the GOP that they could actually just codify their hatred. He was seen as a hero for a pretty plebian piece of work.
posted by OmieWise at 6:10 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey girl.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:10 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Folks, remember. The record to best is 5555 comments. (I looked it up.)
posted by wittgenstein at 6:11 AM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


ROMNEY/RYAN 2012: NICE SOCIAL SECURITY YOU'VE GOT THERE/SHAME IF ANYTHING HAPPENED TO IT
posted by drezdn at 6:11 AM on August 11, 2012 [48 favorites]


I am totally fascinated that this leaked on a Friday night and is being announced on a Saturday.

Yes, what the hell? I don't think you can bury this news, guys
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:12 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


THIS IS GREAT NEWS! FOR HAIR PRODUCTS!
posted by drezdn at 6:12 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


And not just any Saturday morning, the weekend of the once every four years Olympic finale.
posted by localroger at 6:13 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


No one better qualified to discussion Repuicans than MeFites
posted by smackfu at 6:14 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, any speculations about Thr timing?
posted by OmieWise at 6:15 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am totally fascinated that this leaked on a Friday night and is being announced on a Saturday.

They're afraid of the Colbert bump.
posted by Stynxno at 6:15 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


I am totally fascinated that this leaked on a Friday night and is being announced on a Saturday

Mitt really really doesn't want to release his tax returns.
posted by drezdn at 6:15 AM on August 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


Yeah, any speculations about Thr timing?

Deny the Dems the nightly news soundbites and set up the party faithful to swarm the Sunday morning shows?
posted by the sobsister at 6:16 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am totally fascinated that this leaked on a Friday night and is being announced on a Saturday.

They're afraid of the Colbert bump.


Yeah, no Stewart or Colbert to deal with, and it's the last Friday night with no Bill Maher available before the election (he returns next week).

So they can get a full weekend without the court jesters poking them with sticks.
posted by hippybear at 6:17 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Deny the Dems the nightly news soundbites and set up the party faithful to swarm the Sunday morning shows?

But people don't pay as much attention to the news on Saturday, plus the Olympics, and Republicans already dominate the Sunday morning news shows.
posted by drezdn at 6:19 AM on August 11, 2012


I think that this pick makes sense for Romney. Romney's problem is that he lacks a core. He really isn't an ideologue. He doesn't really seem to have a strong belief in anything in particular. For Romney, I think becoming president is like stamp collecting. He has all the money so this is the only thing left to do on the bucket list. This is why he is such a bad candidate from a GOP point of view. They keep giving him ideological angles to attack Obama, but he can't pull it off because it isn't honest. He is acting. At best, he is an icy cold technocrat. So in this context, Ryan makes sense as his VP. Ryan will bring that ideological fervor that Romney lacks.

Plus, Ryan apparently does P90X and has killer abs so that might attract the female vote.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:19 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Does Mitt Romney really want to be president? Of course the base is going to love Ryan, but the base was going to vote for him anyway. He's not down in polls because of inadequate appeal to the base.

I think this is basically correct, but it's funny how MetaFilter forgets it when they worry that Obama is going to lose becuse he's not sufficiently appealing to the more leftist half of the Democratic party.

I don't honestly think the choice of Ryan matters that much. He's not (for better or worse) a bombshell choice like Palin. But he's a conservative who's won election after election in a swing district that voted for Obama in 2010. I don't think it's very likely the choice will swing Wisconsin, where Obama's well ahead, and where a big chunk of Ryan's district just tossed out its Republican state senator in a recall election.
posted by escabeche at 6:19 AM on August 11, 2012


Oh my god, the music.
posted by gman at 6:19 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good thing Romeny's recent world tour was so successful because it looks like Ryan's foreign policy experience is a little weak.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


This makes me happy. Romney continues to push rightward, and the harder he pushes, the faster we'll see that this far-right extremist bullshit alienates too many voters to remain a viable approach. It worked with Bush because 9/11, and it works in senate/house races where most voters are apathetic and an obnoxious minority can push their views through, but it's not working here, and all the money in Mitt Romney's purse can't push this nonsense through to the white house.

I'm still betting that this is a pivotal year in which the right realizes it can't entirely convince people to look away from reality, and begins shedding some of its conservative extremism for a conservatism that actually makes some goddamn sense in the 21st century. This nomination makes that even more likely IMHO. We'll see if nutjobbery can really sway most of the country. And if it does, well, then we know it's past redemption and start planning migratory routes.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I just finished the Ryan profile in the New Yorker, so this was well-timed. What a nut-case!

I hope that Mitt keeps getting hammered for his tax records, but in reality most of the Republicans I know are voting against Obama, not for Romney, so it could turn out that he has been blatantly stealing tax dollars for decades and probably not hurt him all that much.
posted by Forktine at 6:21 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is a terrible pick. The downballot races will be a disaster. The entire GOP House delegation voted for his plan. Now they've got to defend those votes.

Some few that didn't like Denny Rehberg are gonna be pressed by this pick hard.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:21 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


The big deal this election will be the congressional races.

While everyone's focusing on the presidential race, in some key districts I imagine the republicans will sweep easily.
posted by zizzle at 6:21 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Its official!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:21 AM on August 11, 2012


Some conservative opinions:

A cautious but clever choice: The sleeper issue of this campaign is Romneycare – the system of healthcare provision that Mitt created in Massachusetts that looks an awful lot like the Obamacare that he professes to hate. By picking Ryan – the congressman most associated with intelligent opposition to Obamacare – Romney probably hopes to neutralise the issue altogether. The Ryan pick leaves no doubts: if elected, Mitt Romney will scrap Obamacare and will pursue a Tea Party-approved alternative. But rational Mr Ryan won’t strike voters as someone who wants to leave people to die without treatment.

Ryan's a terrific pick: ...they can’t combat Romney and Ryan head-to-head on policy. They’ll attack his budget but won’t mention their own failure to pass a budget. They’ll attack him on entitlements but have no real plan to address the problem themselves.

Ryan has the mind, the demeanor, the looks and the energy needed to light a fire under the Romney campaign and is a strong choice that will invigorate the conservative base. His appeal will be broad, crossing all age groups, and his intelligence will be unmatched by his opponent in the vice-presidential debate.


Strong Rapport Between Romney, Ryan Drives Budget Chair to Top: Though Ryan may initially seem like a person unlikely to play second fiddle given his own large aspirations, sources say that the two men share a similar analytical mindset and a love of data, an ability to pivot on their messaging and framing of key issues, and the patience and persistence needed to take the long view in the pursuit of victory. In Ryan’s case, he’s spent years honing an ideology about the country’s fiscal trajectory that has become the House Repubicans’ dominant message, while Romney has shown similar steadfastness in the years he’s spent chasing the presidency.

“They connect on the fact that Ryan is one of the idea guys in our party,” said former New Hampshire Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, who knows both men. “Romney likes people who think out of the box, who are capable of bringing substance.”

posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:22 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


This does nothing to reassure undecided voters, and proposing to end Medicare and Medicaid might just mobilize some previously committed Republican pensioners to jump ship. The prospect of this team winning horrifies me and it should scare the US; tax cuts for the rich and let's take granny out to the ice floe.

This will please Mitt's rich contributors and the TP idealists, but independent voters, not so much. Hope we never see his policies enacted.
posted by arcticseal at 6:22 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


localroger, I see what you're saying, but the GOP (generally) doesn't give elections away and especially not this one...

I have to assume the GOP has an ace up its sleeve--compromising photographs, the missing birth certificate--because, facially, this is as bad a misstep as McCain/Palin.


McCain didn't have an ace up his sleeve; he thought Palin was his ace. Ever since Dubya Senior lost in '92, the GOP has showed a pattern of very short term thinking; this worked for them in '00 and '04 mainly because the Democrats were also in short-term reactive mode.

The GOP is like a poker club where everybody plays crazy and nobody realizes there is a better strategy. Obama is the poker shark who just walked in on their game. He crushed them four years ago and it's obvious, especially looking at this VP pick, that they still have no idea why.
posted by localroger at 6:23 AM on August 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


The big deal this election will be the congressional races.

While everyone's focusing on the presidential race, in some key districts I imagine the republicans will sweep easily.


This will harm the GOP in the congress. Ryan's plan polls atrociously. They all voted for it. It is a giant mistake.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:23 AM on August 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


Oh my god, the music

Oh my god, the irony - "Fanfare for the Common Man"
posted by madamjujujive at 6:24 AM on August 11, 2012 [39 favorites]


So after alienating many women through the GOP primary is and Europe most recently, Romney boldly selects a vice presidential nominee the AARP already doesn't like. It's like they're running a small tent strategy over there.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:25 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


One other side effect of this is it energizes the left to support Obama.
posted by drezdn at 6:26 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh my god, the irony - "Fanfare for the Common Man"

I wonder if Fox made any "communist" comments when Copeland (appalachian spring, IIRC) was played at Obama's inauguration.
posted by drezdn at 6:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I texed a political operative friend when the story broke but forgot to say it was being reported. She thought I was speculating and replied: "He won't do ryan,despite the pressure....that would just make him look like a tool"
posted by Ironmouth at 6:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [31 favorites]


@robdelaney “A dog is a cat!” - Mitt Romney
posted by madamjujujive at 6:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Strong Rapport Between Romney, Ryan Drives Budget Chair to Top: Though Ryan may initially seem like a person unlikely to play second fiddle given his own large aspirations, sources say that the two men share a similar analytical mindset and a love of data, an ability to pivot on their messaging and framing of key issues

"an ability to pivot on their messaging and framing of key issues"

There is literally no way that this could fit more perfectly with the Etch-a-sketch thing. If this was in the British press I'd think it was a polite knifing in the back.
posted by jaduncan at 6:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hahahahaha Romney just said, "Join me in welcoming the next President of the United States."
posted by gman at 6:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


Oh my god, I swear that Romney just said:

JOIN ME IN WELCOMING THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE US, PAUL RYAN.

He might be right!
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Was there a teleprompter? LOL, that was epic.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:29 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seeing them on a campaign trail is going to be agonizing. Both of them don't know what to say or why they're saying it, because they don't know it's like to not have unlimited access to money.

I just wonder if this Ryan pick will finally cause the GOP to split. I can't imagine their sadomasochist relationship between their low and middle income voting bloc is going to last much longer. I still can't believe Romney has the gall to push for tax cuts for people who make millions of dollars every year while trying to cut the tiniest portions of social safety nets and claim that it's more just for the poor to sacrifice what little they have so the rich can add more zeroes to their Swiss bank accounts. And then he nominates the guy who has come up with the most unsupported piece of economic legislation in modern history that was hand-crafted to solidify the underclass and send more people to it.

Mind: blown.
posted by deanklear at 6:29 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I mean next republican president. It won't be Romney)
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:29 AM on August 11, 2012


So, apparently when Paul Ryan was elected to Congress in 1998 his net worth was $413,520 (a one-fifth share of his family trust). It's now at $3,207,000.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:29 AM on August 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


adding a guy who worships at the altar of an atheist

Or as Chris Hayes said this morning, "a fan of Ayn Rand, the atheist Russian philosopher."

"Atheist Russian philosopher." Ha. Ha. Good one, Chris.

The funny thing about this is that Twitter was all over this by about 4 AM EST. I woke up to pee around then and when I came back to bed, Ryan was VP!
posted by octobersurprise at 6:30 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ryan's never even run a state-wide campaign.
posted by drezdn at 6:30 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan being booed by seniors in his own district.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:30 AM on August 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


"an ability to pivot on their messaging and framing of key issues"

Now all they have to do is meet, ideate, incentivize the voters, and leverage this thing going forward.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:30 AM on August 11, 2012 [39 favorites]


What's up Alfalfa?
posted by gman at 6:30 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would love to see Rob Zerban win Ryan's seat. That would be a fitting end to this.
posted by drezdn at 6:33 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm going to say a horrible thing.

I hope Romney and Ryan win.

Because sometimes people have to see evil with their own eyes to recognize it for what it is. There hasn't been true "fuck you" evil in the US since the robber baron era, and everyone alive then is dead now. That's why the left is spineless. No one knows in their bones how bad it can really get.

If it takes another Great Depression to make three more generations of Americans realize that Great Societies are only possible when we all lift each other up (instead of push each other down), then that's what it takes. Twenty years of pain for eighty golden years is probably a pretty good deal.

How do you explain to the middle class republican that the very reason for the existence of their class, job and the infrastructure that made their life and their parent's lives possible was basically due to massive government projects and a huge support system that were put in place as a correction for the disaster of the 20s.

And while WW2 didn't exactly hurt from an economic point of view, most of the damage was already repaired, and the new social stratums in place, by the time the US got into it.

Maybe I'm a bad man for saying it, but damn, it sure is tiresome trying to teach people who just won't listen to logic, reason or history.

Fine: how about you learn by experience.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:34 AM on August 11, 2012 [44 favorites]


I can't imagine their sadomasochist relationship between their low and middle income voting bloc is going to last much longer.

Wow, so there is a real-life relationship similar to 50 Shades of Grey.
posted by localroger at 6:34 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney's problem is that he lacks a core.

I hear that P90X is good for strengthening your core.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:35 AM on August 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Seriously, gman. This was not a victory for hair care products.

Although are you seeing the person who is a dead ringer for Lafayette from True Blood to the left in the background? I keep hearing Lafayette-exclamations in response to every dumbshit thing Mittler and Ayn, Jr say...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:36 AM on August 11, 2012


On the one hand, a bit less likely to win.

On the other hand, that executive team plus a Republican house? My word, things would change (IMO for the worse, YMMV).

It reminds me a bit of the British 1984 Labour election; shooting for their ideological stars and potentially very badly scaring the independent voters. They're probably going to try and make it a referendum on Obama though, which means that if the Euro goes belly up and everyone gets laid off they could get handed a political blank check with a very intensely disciplined party that's far to the right.

I guess Romney got one thing right; nobody left-wing would want to assassinate him.
posted by jaduncan at 6:38 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm going to say a horrible thing. / I hope Romney and Ryan win. / Because sometimes people have to see evil with their own eyes to recognize it for what it is.

We had Bush. He was, apparently, indistinguishable from Gore. And then we re-elected Bush after he started two wars and crippled regulations.

That's how I learned never to hope for that sort of thing.
posted by tychotesla at 6:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [170 favorites]


I'm going to say a horrible thing.

I hope Romney and Ryan win.

Because sometimes people have to see evil with their own eyes to recognize it for what it is.


There's nothing worse than opening the gates of the city to the enemy to "teach your own people a lesson"
posted by Ironmouth at 6:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [110 favorites]


Oooh... new code word for white people: "working Americans."
posted by deanklear at 6:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [21 favorites]


I hear that P90X is good for strengthening your core.

Yes...and it employs a technique called "ideological confusion" to avoid those annoying plateaus.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:40 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Kal Penn's response
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:40 AM on August 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


Fine: how about you learn by experience

Were you asleep for the last 12 years?
posted by empath at 6:40 AM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


@kalpenn: @kalpenn: This is awful. I was hoping it would be Jindal so I could play him in the HBO movie
posted by zombieflanders at 6:41 AM on August 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


From a Wonkette commenter: Mitt shoulda TOLD everybody he picked Ryan, but then, when you click on the link, it's actually Rick Astley.
posted by drezdn at 6:42 AM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Why does he remind me of Damien from the Omen trilogy?
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:44 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This would have been so much more interesting if he'd gone with Jake Ryan.
posted by argonauta at 6:46 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


but then, when you click on the link, it's actually Rick Astley.

That would have required the RomneyTron Model 1928 unit to finally service its defective humor circuit.
posted by localroger at 6:46 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Paul Ryan opposes domestic partnerships and federal funding for syringe exchanges.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:47 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


@TeaPartyCat - Paul Ryan unveiled the #RomneyRyan2012 slogan: "America's Comeback Team". Their second choice-- "Plutocracy's Heroes"-- didn't poll well.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:48 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Don't worry. I'm pretty sure putting an Objectivist in the White House will quickly devolve into Lord of the Flies. They'll be too busy fashioning crude spears out of the Lincoln bedroom furniture to ruin the country.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 6:49 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


This primarily worries me in that it makes Ryan a GOP frontrunner in 2016, if he chooses. I expect Obama to win this time, but if Democratic fatigue sets in by the next election, Paul Ryan could have a good shot at becoming President.
posted by gsteff at 6:49 AM on August 11, 2012 [15 favorites]


Text from a relative in Virginia watching the announcement: "I saw two people of color in the audience and one of them was a secret service person behind the speakers' heads"
posted by argonauta at 6:50 AM on August 11, 2012 [15 favorites]


it's very difficult to see how choosing Ryan helps Romney with the mushy middle of American politics that every presidential candidate needs to win in a general election. Yes it may shore up his base, but that will be balanced out by the shoring up of the hard left base who will come out to vote against him even if they were displeased with Obama's performance.

Ryan doesn't seem to offer much to independents and centrists other than "slash and burn to prosperity!"
posted by modernnomad at 6:51 AM on August 11, 2012


Esquire: Paul Ryan: Murderer of Opportunity, Political Coward, Candidate for Vice President of the United States

NewsDay, Ezra Klein: Klein: Why conservatives like Paul Ryan for VP

The New Republic: Rivlin's Rebuke and Why It Matters

TWS: Excerpts from Ryan's Speech and A First Reaction to the Ryan Pick
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:51 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


And I recommend that everybody read the New Yorker's profile of Ryan, which makes a fascinating portrait of the man as a high school philosopher who hit upon some abstract ideas without living in the real world and insists that living up to those abstractions will make the world a better place after it, you know, falls apart.

It's adorable how brighteyed he seems to be, how youthful his insistence that letting people be free through responsibility by denying them any support whatsoever sounds. It doesn't seem to come from a place of spite or resentment, as it so often does. This is privilege bright and bold, eager and innocent, and it makes me think that watching Ryan this season's gonna be goddamn hilarious. Idealism has a notable weakness against pragmatism, and this man seems to be all ideal.
posted by Rory Marinich at 6:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [34 favorites]


My absolute favorite part of Ryan's broken economic faith is that they think cutting government out of supporting the poor and asking individuals to step up will have better outcomes in the same way that cutting government out of building roads and bridges and having individuals maintain them instead will improve our transportation system.
posted by deanklear at 6:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


So it seems like Romney is going full force after a Republican GOTV strategy base vs base hoping that enough Democratic voters stay home (or are disenfranchised) in order to stay competitive in battleground states.

I don't see how Ryan is anything other than a risky pick. On the off chance that it helps you out in Wisconsin (it won't), it seems like it basically implodes your chances in Florida since Obama/Biden will carpetbomb that state with attack ads.

There are paths to victory that don't involve Florida but they are pretty sketchy and considering the leads that Obama has in most of the battleground states this seems like a dumb pick with limited upside other than helping get out the conservative vote.

Hell I don't even think this pick helps Romney among evangelicals. They surely won't vote for Obama but are they willing to stay home?

Stupid, stupid pick. I can only assume that Romney couldn't beg Rubio to join the ticket.
posted by vuron at 6:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


clavdis has spoken, hail President Romney!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


So, is that the GOP long game? Sacrifice Mittens in hopes that the economy will be so badly gefuckt in '16 that Paul "Ey, Paulie" Ryan will be the told-you-so cavalry?

Question: How many men have been the veep on a losing ticket and come back to take the White House?
posted by the sobsister at 6:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid they're going to get elected by old folks who think that by repealing Obamacare there will be more money for Medicare. Then when they reform Medicare along with Obamacare and everybody's shit out of luck they'll sit around scratching their ass asking "what the hell happened?"
posted by sciencejock at 6:54 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another silver lining in this is that it marks the second time in a row that the GOP nominee has gone with Bill Kristol's VP suggestion. If this works out as badly for Romney as most of us expect it too, hopefully his reputation as a pundit will be ruined in the process.
posted by gsteff at 6:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm afraid they're going to get elected by old folks who think that by repealing Obamacare there will be more money for Medicare.

Old people are keenly aware of where Medicare comes from and what it does. Ryan's budget polls catastrophically with seniors. The only problem is getting people to believe some of its proposals were actually seriously proposed.

R/R's only hope now is to try to hide Ryan's budget in the same box with Romney's tax returns. But it's already out there, and old people are a lot less affected by the sneaky voter suppression crap than poor people and ethnic minorities.
posted by localroger at 6:59 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


hopefully his [Bill Kristol's] reputation as a pundit will be ruined in the process.

Has Kristol ever been right about anything? Useful mouthpiece is useful even when not even as often right as a stopped clock.
posted by localroger at 7:00 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


How strange. I think that Ryan is widely believed to have presidential ambitions; "VP nominee on a losing ticket" probably doesn't help with that, I would think, does it?
posted by Flunkie at 7:01 AM on August 11, 2012


@gsteff Kristol has a rep that isn't already ruined?
posted by Max Power at 7:01 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't see how Ryan is anything other than a risky pick.

It's a desperate pick by a panicked candidate. Ryan's smarter than Palin, but the reasons behind this are the same: sinking candidate seeks celebrity to wow the base and hopes the gimmick catches on.

On the bright side, Ryan's unlikely to scam the RNC out of thousands of dollars of clothes.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:02 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Am I the only one who remembers Ryan is the former husband of a Borg drone?

Jeri Ryan, aka Seven of Nine, made some interesting allegations during the custody trail for their son.

There was a scandal years after they divorced. According to court depositions Ryan "took his wife to sex clubs in New York, New Orleans and Paris in the late 1990's. The documents suggest that Mr. Ryan insisted that they have public sex but that Ms. Ryan angrily refused, and the issue led to the breakup of their marriage."
posted by lurkElongtime at 7:03 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Different Ryan.
posted by dismas at 7:05 AM on August 11, 2012 [24 favorites]


Am I the only one who remembers Ryan is the former husband of a Borg drone?

Jeri Ryan, aka Seven of Nine, made some interesting allegations during the custody trail for their son.


Wrong guy.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:05 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"VP nominee on a losing ticket" probably doesn't help with that, I would think, does it

I'd say both Sarah Palin and John Edwards launched presidential campaigns with a built-in national recognition thanks to their appearances on presidential tickets.
posted by escabeche at 7:07 AM on August 11, 2012


The article refers to a "Jack Ryan" rather than Paul.
posted by the sobsister at 7:07 AM on August 11, 2012


R/R's only hope now is to try to hide Ryan's budget in the same box with Romney's tax returns.

Isn't Ryan's budget the only reason he's in the spotlight? Why would they want to suppress the one thing he's known for?
posted by Think_Long at 7:09 AM on August 11, 2012


Jack Ryan? He seemed like such a stand-up guy in Hunt For Red October.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:09 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


How strange. I think that Ryan is widely believed to have presidential ambitions; "VP nominee on a losing ticket" probably doesn't help with that, I would think, does it?

Ryan just needs to play to the base, who will then blame Romney for being the wrong pick/too centrist. It would have worked well for Palin if she wasn't very obviously barely putting a toe into the intellectual gene pool.

Ryan is smarter about presentational issues, and while he is IMHO wrong on the issues he's able to talk about them at a level above the average American. That's enough.

He'd still get steamrollered by Jindal, Christie or Rubio for the 2016 nom though.
posted by jaduncan at 7:09 AM on August 11, 2012


Damn, my bad.

I bet he doesn't even like Star Trek, though.
posted by lurkElongtime at 7:11 AM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


So, is that the GOP long game? Sacrifice Mittens in hopes that the economy will be so badly gefuckt in '16 that Paul "Ey, Paulie" Ryan will be the told-you-so cavalry?
I thought that was the plan in 2008.

So it seems like Romney is going full force after a Republican GOTV strategy base vs base hoping that enough Democratic voters stay home (or are disenfranchised) in order to stay competitive in battleground states.

Of course. Isn't the plan clearly to steal Ohio and Florida? Again?
posted by fuse theorem at 7:11 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is anybody but me worried they might win?

Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Had Mitt picked an obvious loon, like Jindal, it definitely would have been game-over. Ryan, on the other hand, brings actual solid "ideas" to the campaign. You might be utterly opposed to Ryan's "ideas", as all sane people should be, but you can't fault him for making shit up as he goes, as Mitt seems to do.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:13 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Isn't the plan clearly to steal Ohio and Florida?

Well, this time the plan is to also add Pennsylvania.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:13 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


"In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why does this have the be an either/or? I'm no fan of Ayn Rand, but I definitely do not want the federal budget to be influenced by religious doctrine."


In general, of course, it is a false dichotomy to be asked to choose between philosophy and religion. But, in this case when your religion is diametrically opposed to you philosophy, you can't serve both.

You simply cannot be a sincere Objectivist *and* a good Catholic.
posted by oddman at 7:14 AM on August 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


Galt/Rand 2012: "If you're not rich, is it our fault you're a waste of life?"
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:14 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Edwards did way worse in the 2008 primary than he did in the 2004 primary. Palin didn't even enter the 2012 primary.
posted by Flunkie at 7:14 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nice to see the 2010 "throw the election to show how bad things get then elect a true socialist" plan get trotted out again here. presumably it will be the plan for 2014 and 2018 as well.
posted by Artw at 7:15 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


" I just don't get where adding Ryan gives Mittens an edge."

Mitt's campaign is running almost entirely on the argument that President Obama has failed. That is their message. That's what they want to repeat, over and over.

Adding Ryan to the ticket gets them some degree of youth, and some additional credibility in states like Wisconsin and maaaaybe Ohio, if it spreads across borders... but it is a huge distraction to that message. Moreso than Huckabee would be, frankly.

It puts the future of Medicare -- and the future of the next generation of the Republican Party -- squarely in the spotlight. It also doesn't help that Ryan wants to privatize Social Security too.

It also means that the GOP ticket has *NO* foreign policy experience what-so-ever. But hey, that's okay. He's got a top advisor on foreign policy.
posted by markkraft at 7:17 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Palin didn't even enter the 2012 primary.

She couldn't ever actually do so; she bled support every time she was at a debate. If you're sure to lose, why not stay on Fox and throw bombs for $$$?
posted by jaduncan at 7:17 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this helps Romney immediately. Put aside Ryan's radical policy views (because there really just isn't enough oxygen to waste much time exposing/defining the vice-presidential nominee... unless it's intrinsically entertaining like it was for Palin), at least now Romney isn't just sitting out there by himself. It reminds me of that line from The Departed:
Marriage is an important part of getting ahead: lets people know you're not a homo; married guy seems more stable; people see the ring, they think at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch; ladies see the ring, they know immediately you must have some cash or your cock must work.
posted by pjenks at 7:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


jaduncan, I wasn't suggesting that she should have; I was responding to someone who brought up Palin as an example of having run a presidential campaign with built-in name recognition from having been a VP nominee on a losing ticket. She simply isn't such an example is all I'm saying.
posted by Flunkie at 7:20 AM on August 11, 2012


The funny thing about this is that Twitter was all over this by about 4 AM EST.
posted by octobersurprise


Oh, way earlier than that. 11 am central, midnight latest it was all over twitter. I went to bed happy.
posted by justgary at 7:22 AM on August 11, 2012


Mitt's campaign is running almost entirely on the argument that President Obama has failed. That is their message. That's what they want to repeat, over and over.

Adding Ryan to the ticket gets them some degree of youth, and some additional credibility in states like Wisconsin and maaaaybe Ohio, if it spreads across borders... but it is a huge distraction to that message.


Actually the Ryan budget is a huge part of the argument, and having the architect himself on the ticket shows just how serious they are about actually implementing it. It's not just "Obama failed", it's "Obama failed, and we have a brilliant solution: cutting taxes and spending to the bone, and then the economy will get better because magic." Nevermind that this is the same tired plan that Republicans have been pushing since Reagan, in their minds and message, this still qualifies as cutting edge innovative policy.

It's a failure of our media and Democratic system that no one with any kind of audience will ask tough questions like, "but isn't that exactly what Bush treid to do witht he worst economy in 50 years as a result?" on national television.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:24 AM on August 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


As Grover Norquist said (cite):

They have reconciled themselves to a Romney candidacy because they see Romney as essentially a weak and passive president who will concede leadership to congressional conservatives:

All we have to do is replace Obama. ... We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. ... We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

The requirement for president?

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.


Romney is an empty vessel with Ryan and Norquist in charge. Ryan may not have the level of Machiavellian cunning that Cheyney had, but Ryan will definitely be the "brain" behind the operation, setting the ideological tone. Romney certainly has more intellectual firepower than Dubya, but it makes no difference any more, because he has ceded his brain to Ryan.
posted by jonp72 at 7:26 AM on August 11, 2012 [31 favorites]


From the New Yorker piece:

"I grew up on the block I now live on."

I will never understand the pride people take in their refusal to see what other places are like. The sad thing is, statements like that play well to the conservative base, many of whom have done the same, and mistrust people who've done otherwise.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [32 favorites]


The budget thing makes me wonder if Romney/Ryan can now be successfully linked to the economic harm Republicans have already caused. Be nice to see some blowback from that.
posted by Artw at 7:28 AM on August 11, 2012


While I certainly disagree with Mr. Puckett's opine (he did put in the disclaimer), the inability to talk sense into otherwise smart people is something I can relate to.

It takes an incredible amount of thought to look past the narrative of history about the WW1,2, and Vietnam era, where it is usually noted (please let me know if I am mistaken) that news of the conflicts were broadcast in the theater, on the radio, or on Television to millions of people.

It takes some great level of logic to realize that while millions of people got the gruesome news of the conflicts and fear of the specter of the draft and fighting injected into them, millions of others likely did not get this news, because, as in today's world, the news was too depressing to handle, so they likely came to the theater late, kept the radio news off (if they had one), or kept the TV news off (especially if they were lucky enough to have one).

We can probably use this model of information distribution to explain how people do or do not know the scope of and necessary effort to bring the Economic infrastructure Mr. Puckett refers to in his comment.

Thus we have this dynamic where millions know what asking for something such as the Romney/Ryan ticket means, and millions don't. I suspect that this is the reason that we got Nixon, Reagan, Bush41, and Bush43 in our presidential histories. (because more are likely to take the path of least resistance, or in this case stress of thinking, or just lack of knowledge altogether...)

So we've to figure out this puzzle, simultaneously with the (natural) resource limit conundrum. Focus on that, and even partial solutions should bring great things and hope.

(if this has been thought of on MeFi before, my apologies for the repeat, but key to good communication is repetition, and stuff like this should be, if it is correct, repeated like a song chorus)
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:32 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cartoon Blog: Romney Picks Ryan

Mother Jones: Pandora Campaigns for Mitt Romney on Your iPhone and Romney Picked Ryan!?

The Volokh Conspiracy: Paul Ryan May be About to be Named the GOP Vice Presidential Nominee

CSMonitor: Romney Picks Ryan As His Running Mate

Big Think: Golden Boy or Problem Child?

Al Jazeera report
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:33 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


cutting taxes and spending to the bone

Aka ending Medicare for every senior in Florida and firing every Federal employee in Virginia.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:33 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Things just feel more and more surreal, sometimes. You guys ever play that old '80s Illuminati card game? I sometimes wonder if this whole '12 election is really just a ploy by a playwer with a big media conspiracy to suck cash from whatever player has the Koch Bothers and the Gnomes of Zurich.
posted by tyllwin at 7:33 AM on August 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


Wrong ryan, Lurk.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:34 AM on August 11, 2012


Catholic bishops and moral tests? Oh do go on!

How utterly sinister do you have to be that CATHOLIC BISHOPS are calling you out as evil?
posted by infinitywaltz at 7:35 AM on August 11, 2012 [23 favorites]


> Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.

I'm gonna channel my inner Marge Simpson here: "That's true...but he shouldn't say it."
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 7:35 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


A lot of conservatives seemed to think that GW was some kind of patsy that would do their bidding as well, but he turned out to go in odd directions and implement this and that from various sources, not really implementing their agenda at all. What would induce them to think that Romney would be more pliable? He strikes me as exactly the kind of guy that would be sure sure, let's do it, just get on board and then proceed to do precisely whatever the hell he wanted to. It is practically a requirement for being a CEO. If they think they can control him as president, they would be even dumber then the ones who thought Palin was a good idea.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:36 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Volokh Conspiracy

Those evil bastards must be collectively creaming their pants.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:36 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Romney will get a short term polling boost but once the attack ads vs the Ryan budget get fired up he'll give up almost all those gains.

As if Romney taxes and the Bain stuff weren't ammo enough, Obama gets to run vs the Ryan Budget and the House and they are way, way less popular than Obama is.

I won't say that this is going to be an assured victory for Obama but I honestly don't see how this pick doesn't hurt Romney more than it helps him. Is securing the base so important that you are basically willing to give up any hope of getting the undecided swing voter?
posted by vuron at 7:36 AM on August 11, 2012


Yeah, Ima go back to lurking now.
posted by lurkElongtime at 7:36 AM on August 11, 2012


“They connect on the fact that Ryan is one of the idea guys in our party,”

PAUL RYAN is the IDEA GUY in their party!

PAUL RYAN.

Sorry, maybe I'm too much of a wonk to represent average American viewpoints. But PAUL RYAN.
posted by muddgirl at 7:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


What would induce them to think that Romney would be more pliable?

Maybe it's just the mindset of those whose money traditionally translates to power. These big money interests always assume if they spend enough, they'll get what they want. 'What can't money buy,' they're thinking. 'It's always worked before!'
posted by NationalKato at 7:41 AM on August 11, 2012


You know, these guys could be so cute if you put them in suits that fit and taught them how to move in unison.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:41 AM on August 11, 2012


Isn't Ryan's budget the only reason he's in the spotlight? Why would they want to suppress the one thing he's known for?

For the same reason they are trying desperately to forget that Romney was CEO of Bain Capital after 1999; "business experience" and "created daring budget" both sound good, but both turn out to have appalling details.
posted by localroger at 7:44 AM on August 11, 2012


My best guess as to the Ryan pick is that every time Obama attacks Ryan on the budget, Romney will say 'You never passed a balanced budget! Debt debt debt!'. Obama attacks Ryan about cutting all forms of welfare, Romney calling Obama 'The Welfare President' sticks a little bit better. Obama points of the terrible economic consequences of the Ryan Plan, Romney says 'Look at the economy now? Could it get worse?'

I still think it is a stupid pick, but there is some thought behind it. Everyone has been telling Mit to focus on the economy. This will help with that.
posted by Garm at 7:44 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


How long before the religious right realizes that they got frozen out of this election?
posted by drezdn at 7:46 AM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


A quick check on the freeper right wing reaction shows many are unhappy that neither Allen West nor Sarah Palin were named. But there are some positives:

I heard him called a Tea Party candidate. That's good enough of a resume for me. I think Gov. Palin would be pleased.

Ryan’s a Natual Born Citizen, so that’s a good start right there.

Allen West...Secretary of State or Defense...

A great contrast can be drawn between a Romney Ryan team vs. Obama Biden.
Intellectual heft vs. the dumbest president in history and the gaffe machine
Sophistication vs. the vulgar Chicago crowd
The exceptional achievers vs. the affirmative action appointed

Some see this as good news for the women & metrosexual voters:
Paul Ryan has Paul Newman baby blues, a hairline that rivals Judge Napolitano's, and the clean cut image of the guy you'd love to take home to meet Mom and Dad. That means a lot in the age of superficiality. Two demographics Ryan will appeal to are married women (who would like their husbands to be just like him) and metrosexuals (of either sex). The latter are the young adults who are economically savvy and know what's coming down the pike if something's not done about it soon. I think this group will like and trust Ryan because he's one of them.

...demand pictures each time his name is mentioned...For the younger women of course!

...we gals are swooning...Ryan's a hunk. :)

And there are those who hate Romney and remain unimpressed:
Several more things Romney needs to do ~ fire his staff people. Fire his financial advisors. Get a new tax accountant who doesn't talk to Democrats. Find a new wife ~ just don't like the woman ~ and Mormons get new wives all the time ~ should not be a problem. Finally, step aside from the nomination and let an open convention make the choice ~ without him in the mix. Then we can talk.

My principles will not allow me to cazst a vote for either one of the America hating, pro-gay-movement, pro-abortion, Keynesian socialists at the top of the tickets!
And worse than all that, they're both Yankees!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:47 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


The religious right will still vote Romney, but I can't imagine they're the least bit happy about it.
posted by drezdn at 7:47 AM on August 11, 2012


But it appears that Romney is going to at least partially disavow the Ryan budget especially stuff that will completely piss of seniors so it's not like he's even that fond of what Ryan brings to the table. This seems like a VP pick entirely pushed on Romney from the WSJ types rather than something that actually helps him with the election. Basically the WSJ types want no real surprises and feel like they can just win based upon economic numbers.
posted by vuron at 7:48 AM on August 11, 2012


Ryan is a bit of a hunk (for his age and demographic). So that's accurate.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:50 AM on August 11, 2012


Given that even the people who loathe the ticket seem to toss in that at least Ryan has good hair into their commentary, I feel it necessary to say that his hair is not good. It's short and there is a lot of it, but it is not impressive hair on any appreciable scale. Romney's hair at least shows there's been massive effort put in there to keep the grey just so and ensure there's enough of it to make him look distinguished without making him look old, but Ryan's hair looks like just about every other healthy head of hair that is kept in reasonable shape and has some product tossed into it.

Yes, this is my political commentary because I'm too depressed to make any other sort at the moment.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:51 AM on August 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


That means a lot in the age of superficiality. Two demographics Ryan will appeal to are married women (who would like their husbands to be just like him) and metrosexuals (of either sex). The latter are the young adults who are economically savvy and know what's coming down the pike if something's not done about it soon. I think this group will like and trust Ryan because he's one of them.
Trust me on this, women in general are not going to vote for Ryan over Obama. He's not any more of a hunk and his ideology make him very very unattractive. Maybe racist Christian women will find him more palatable than a black man or a Mormon.
posted by muddgirl at 7:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


So how will the "I'm a private sector messiah" guy run on the same ticket as "I've spent nearly my whole working life in government" guy? Is it like chocolate and peanut butter?
posted by Bromius at 7:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have no super clear idea how this will work in the long run, but Mitt is going to get a little holiday he desperately needs from the pummeling he has been taking in the past couple of weeks. The trip the UK, Israel question, the staffer gaffes, increasing numbers of friendly voices calling for him to answer the tax question and other items all, while not a slam dunk condemnation, have been tapping into the poll data and scuffs are appearing in the armor. Of course, most conservatives will cite Rasmussen which trends conservative as a rule, but the other polls have the candidates a basically level or Obama pulling up to a 10 point leads (without adjustments for margins or error).

Anyway, no matter how you feel about it, this weekend belongs to Mitt. Given that he has been practically silent for what amount to months in the significant announcement department, this actual, verifiable, real live, in the flesh choice is a huge departure for the Romney campaign and is sure to be dissected down to a sub-atomic level for the next couple of days. The real questions start on maybe Monday, probably Tuesday when we actually begin to hear the details as to what exactly Mitt intends to make of this particular choice. So for the next 72 hours or so, it is a honeymoon for the Romney campaign and conservative media sources, bloggers and conversations around the dinner tables. Then real life will catch up and many of the same questions will be asked as well as new ones.

I was all prepared to type out a gloom and doom list for Tuesday, but will let it marinate for another couple of days. I would not be surprised if the Obama campaign will do the same, but I am sure they have a hit list ready to go right now. The Obama campaign, while having made their own mistakes in the past, have proven to be pretty good at assembling possible outcomes and having their plans ready when the moment arises. It will be interesting to see how quick they jump out there.

Mitt is not out of the woods with this pick. He is going to get pummeled, obviously, by the left, but also from a quite fractured conservative movement that is divided between a number of thoughts as to what is the best direction for their party and by extension, the country. Combined with previous Mitt issues and ones on the horizon that may or may not become a big deal (e.g. Son of BOSS) and the lead up to Tampa is going to be quite a combination of comedy, tragedy, melodrama and of course, passion play.

It is going to be a very interesting few weeks.

Oh and for what it is worth, Romney sucks and is not qualified to be president because, rumor has it, he pours milk into his cereal bowl first, then adds the corn flakes. This downright un-American and clearly invalidates his candidacy for POTUS.
posted by lampshade at 7:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


Romney says 'Look at the economy now? Could it get worse?'

The answer to this question is ALWAYS YES.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:54 AM on August 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


Is there some sort of chart showing how much working adults should expect to pay in increased taxes under the Ryan budget, plus how much they should expect to send to their parents every month to make up for the dismantling of Social Security and Medicare?
posted by ifandonlyif at 7:54 AM on August 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


I don't see how this helps Willard capture the middle ~20% AKA "Independents". Sure, Ryan shores up the right wing - but were they voting for Obama as a protest against Willard? No. This was the GOP's chance to shake the etch-a-sketch, but instead they seem to be trying to make the picture permanent.

Yes, it moves the conversation away from taxes for a while, but eventually it's going to be the "Mormon/Ayn Rand" vote versus "stay the course." The "I'm a businessman/I've only worked for the government" ticket is going to send some mixed messages.

Let's just check out the 538 blog in a few days to see how things are shaping up. As of yesterday Obama basically had it locked up.

And, every day we're not talking about how bad the economy is, Obama wins. Today we're discussing the VP's atheism/Ayn Rand/hair, so another day for Obama.
posted by Farce_First at 7:55 AM on August 11, 2012


Ryan as hunk:
http://heygirlitspaulryan.tumblr.com/post/22294625714/h-t-betsy-who-omg-we-didnt-even-know-this-existed
posted by k8t at 7:55 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I cannot be the first to comment on the irony of Ryan being announced on the deck of a decommissioned boat? Blows my mind and reminds me that some folks don't see the military as a pretty perfect definition of a big government work program.
posted by T10B at 7:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


They have reconciled themselves to a Romney candidacy because they see Romney as essentially a weak and passive president who will concede leadership to congressional conservatives

This.
Even an Obama victory isn't necessarily a loss for conservative, given how well they've managed to stonewall things since the mid-terms. A Romney victory would simply be icing on the cake, freeing them to proceed full-steam on their wants.

What's really going to matter in this election are the House and Senate contests, especially the Senate, where Republicans stand a very good chance of gaining majority.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


"I've spent nearly my whole working life in government" guy?

"Career Politician" never seems to stick to Republicans. NEWT GINGRICH complained about "career politicians." NEWT GINGRICH!
posted by drezdn at 7:57 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blows my mind and reminds me that some folks don't see the military as a pretty perfect definition of a big government work program.

Don't forget all that socialized healthcare. Which even my 'libertarian' colleagues aren't too principled to turn down.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:57 AM on August 11, 2012


So what can we do to keep Romney/Ryan from getting elected? (I am Canadian, living in Canada, but have strong ties to the U. S. Is there anything I can do to help?)
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:58 AM on August 11, 2012


Magical Thinking
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 8:00 AM on August 11, 2012


Anyone thinking Ryan is going to get votes for hunkiness is obviously forgetting who he is competing against.
posted by Flunkie at 8:02 AM on August 11, 2012 [11 favorites]


For years ago I wrote like 400 words on Palin. This time all I can muster is hahahahahahaha oh holy shit no way.

Congrats in advance to Obama for carrying Florida.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:13 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


And now, a message from Paul Ryan on what inspired him to become a career politician:

" I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we’re engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that’s what I tell people..you know everybody does their soul-searching, and trying to find out who they are and what they believe, and you learn about yourself.

I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are. It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well.

But the reason I got involved in public service by and large if I had to credit one thinker or one person I would credit Ayn Rand. . ."

"I think that if we win a few of these (fights) right now, moving healthcare to a consumer based individualist system, moving social security to an individually pre-owned, pre-funded retirement system, these two things will do so much..."

Paul Ryan, 2005, speaking at The Atlas Society's 2005 “Celebration of Ayn Rand” event.

And now, another quote by Paul Ryan:
"I reject (Ayn Rand's) philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview."
Paul Ryan, 2012, speaking to The National Review.
posted by markkraft at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


One other side effect of this is it energizes the left to support Obama.

I'm actually more inclined than ever to finally vote Green Party actually. I don't think Obama needs help defeating this pair of bozos.


I'm going to say a horrible thing.

I hope Romney and Ryan win.

Because sometimes people have to see evil with their own eyes to recognize it for what it is.


I wouldn't count on it. This is a country that re-elected Dubya, elected a bunch of Tea Party clowns to Congress, and then blames Obama for the state of the economy. This is a country that thinks "evil" is universal healthcare, dudes marrying other dudes, and people with funny foreign names in the Oval Office.
posted by Foosnark at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


how will the "I'm a private sector messiah" guy run on the same ticket as "I've spent nearly my whole working life in government" guy? Is it like chocolate and peanut butter?

I'm thinking more wacky buddy movie, especially since the Romney compaign is now touting Ryan's job as an Oscar Mayer salesman in Minnesota, driving the Wienermobile and peddling Lunchables to supermarkets as valuable private-sector experience.

(Paul Ryan, still peddling baloney.)

this weekend belongs to Mitt

No, dude. This weekend belongs to Michelob.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:17 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Scene inside Democratic National Committee headquarters as the Romney campaign announced Paul Ryan as running mate.
posted by futz at 8:22 AM on August 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


Question: How many men have been the veep on a losing ticket and come back to take the White House?

FDR did okay
. I am having a hard time coming up with a second name for this list, though.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:22 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney's toast in the electoral vote count right now. (Or 10 hours ago.)

He needs to not only capture every reddish, split and blueish state, he needs to nab at least one state where Obama leads by over 5 points.

One of the potential nabs for that final state is Ryan's Wisconsin at +5.5. And Scott Walker just over a month ago won Wisconsin in a recall election by about the margin Obama leads. Given that a VP normally provides about a 3-point bump in the state he comes from, this might be enough to make WI purple for the presidency - or even swing it into the red given the recall results/polling.

So it gives Romney a shot at winning.

Now he just crosses his fingers for a souring economy and waits.
posted by pokermonk at 8:26 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Because sometimes people have to see evil with their own eyes to recognize it for what it is.
Humanity's capacity for suffering and denial is inexhaustible. Looking the other way is what we do.
Idiocy is frustrating, but ignorant and informed both starve just the same.
posted by fullerine at 8:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


So it gives Romney a shot at winning.

Now he just crosses his fingers for a souring economy and waits.


Or an Israeli attack on Iran, Eurocrisis.

Those are the two greatest worries I have. Otherwise, I think Romney just turned an election that could have been about a wretched economy into a philosophical debate on entitlements.
For all their bitching about government handouts, most Americans really like their government handouts. Will be interesting to see if the "bootstrappers" in the electorate put their money/votes where their mouths are.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:32 AM on August 11, 2012


Question: How many men have been the veep on a losing ticket and come back to take the White House?

FDR did okay. I am having a hard time coming up with a second name for this list, though.

Nixon?

Re the announcement, Andy Borowitz is on it.

Fark is on it too
.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:33 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


That confirms it. Mitt Romney is indeed a liberal mole. He's infiltrated the GOP and is executing his plan with precision.
posted by foggy out there now at 8:34 AM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Question: How many men have been the veep on a losing ticket and come back to take the White House?

FDR did okay. I am having a hard time coming up with a second name for this list, though.

Nixon?


Oh yeah, that guy. He was awesome.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:37 AM on August 11, 2012


This was what I posted on LJ upon finding out the news:

"Of course - Paul Ryan. Dickwad.

I wish if you had to run for one office, you had to quit the other, so we could finally be rid of his bullshit antics once and for all. That little smug piece of shit douchebag. I guess he's perfect for Romney - can you IMAGINE how hard you'd be choking on that narcissism when you entered a room with the two of them?"
posted by symbioid at 8:37 AM on August 11, 2012


Or an Israeli attack on Iran, Eurocrisis.

Those are both positives for Obama. Obama got Osama, wound down Iraq, etc. Neither R has any foreign policy cred and Mitt demonstrably made a fool of himself overseas.
posted by localroger at 8:42 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Google Ryan, Paul?
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:43 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ryan's a terrific pick: ...they can’t combat Romney and Ryan head-to-head on policy.

How far inside the bubble do you have to be to actually believe this?

The Obama campaign has already telegraphed pretty clearly that they intend to absolutely go bare-knuckle on policy. The frontal assault on the pocketbook implications of Romney's tax plan will obviously be replicated on the Ryan budget. Every swing-state media market with seniors is going to be fucking carpet-bombed over the next few months with ads about what premiums and co-pays would be like under a privatized Medicare. If the Republicans think that's a battle they've already won, they're simply deluding themselves.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 8:43 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Nixon?

Did Nixon ever lose the vice presidency, though?
posted by drezdn at 8:45 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


You've overlooked the fact that congressman brings the letter "a" to the Romney /Ryan ticket. Still missing are "u" and "I" but we know the ticket isn't getting those votes anyway.
posted by humanfont at 8:45 AM on August 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Oh, and if you're a career politician who wants to call your adoration of Ayn Rand "an urban legend", repudiating her morality and beliefs, it helps not to release campaign videos praising her morality and beliefs.

Congrats, Paul Ryan. You've been the VP nominee for a few hours. Welcome to your Rev. Wright moment.

Have a lovely time campaigning against yourself.
posted by markkraft at 8:45 AM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Guernsey Halleck: "In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why does this have the be an either/or? I'm no fan of Ayn Rand, but I definitely do not want the federal budget to be influenced by religious doctrine. It's exactly this false choice the produces a Romney-Ryan ticket in the first place, and frustrates the hell out of people like me who aren't thrilled with Obama but cannot stomach voting for the alternative.
"

I'm ok with the Jesus Christ Budget, but I'm NOT OK with the Catholic Church (or any other Church) budget, given I think Jesus' budget would be pretty awesomely "socialist" (in the social-democrat sense).
posted by symbioid at 8:48 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney's toast in the electoral vote count right now. (Or 10 hours ago.)

He needs to not only capture every reddish, split and blueish state, he needs to nab at least one state where Obama leads by over 5 points.


Unfortunately no election map is going to be able to factor in the effects of widespread vote suppression. There's a good chance that 10-20% of registered Democrats in PA and OH will not be able to vote, plus however many in FL get illegally purged over the next 3 months. Flip one of those states and the path to Randianism looks a lot more winnable.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:52 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


pokermonk: Romney's toast in the electoral vote count right now. (Or 10 hours ago.)

There's time for September Snag-ups AND October Surprises. Such current electoral vote count estimates are nice, but no reason to rest easy. Paul Ryan was just publicized as the VP for Romney, and there's plenty of time for terrible quotes from both sides, dumb actions and past skeletons (though Obama has already had 5+ years of that, and survived).

Right now is a very different time from the end of October.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just did some video hunting on YouTube, only to find this:

Gee... Guess Republicans might have to write off a third of that Christian vote, and concentrate on the racists in the pews instead.
posted by markkraft at 8:54 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


but I'm NOT OK with the Catholic Church (or any other Church) budget, given I think Jesus' budget would be pretty awesomely "socialist" (in the social-democrat sense).

The catholic church and Catholics in general support leftist economic policies for the most part, especially outside of the US. Argue with them if you like on social issues, but I think liberals would be wrong to reject their help on economic policy.
posted by empath at 8:55 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Question: How many men have been the veep on a losing ticket and come back to take the White House?
FDR did okay. I am having a hard time coming up with a second name for this list, though.
Nixon?
No, Nixon never lost a VP election. He lost a presidential election.
posted by Flunkie at 8:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm a Wisconsin resident, and I think this choice was canny. Obama won in Wisconsin by 12 percentage points in '08; his lead here last month was six points. Meanwhile, something fascinating (and from my perspective, depressing) has happened in public opinion here. Poll results show that at the same time that residents' assessments of the state economy have gotten significantly more pessimistic, the likelihood that residents said the state was "going in the right direction" increased, and was driven by political party affiliation. That is, despite feeling their lives had gotten worse under Governor Walker, Republicans rallied around him, and moderates swung toward him. My thought is that the onslaught of pro-Walker ads funded by PACs ($33 million, more than six times spent by pro-recall groups) explains this counterintuitive situation. In this setting, it's possible the addition of Ryan to the ticket could swing the state.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's experience with the failed Walker recall shows that when both parties are energized by an ideological battle that hits people at home in their wallets (I'm one of those who has seen his paycheck shrink 13% as a state employee under Walker), the influx of money from corporations and wealthy ideologues can determine who wins.
posted by DrMew at 8:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think this will resonate with independents better than most people here seem to think, because for the first time in, well, two decades or so at least, Republicans now have a guy that actually Has A Plan. I think there's a widely shared perception that America is all fucked up and that we cannot continue on our current fiscal path. Ryan's plan is a way off of that path.

It is not the way off of the path I want, and I hope a majority of voters will agree with me.

But I'm imagining conversations like this:

Someone like me: "What do you think of Paul Ryan as a running mate?"

Theoretical Independent Voter: "I like that he seems to have a plan."

SLM: "But you know that plan is ruinous, right?"

TIV: *shrugs* "Yeah, but at least he's got one. I'm tired of how things have been these last several years."
posted by MoonOrb at 8:57 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Ryan wasn't selected some while back, what with Americans for Prosperity running a $25 million anti-Obama ad campaign, without endorsing Romney or his until now unnamed VP. It's ALL about the deficit, and I see it 2-3 times in the evening news here in New Mexico, which carried Obama a 15 point four years ago, but Republicans carried the state in 2004 and elected a new governor in 2010.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:58 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


And though Ryan has formerly (tried to) cut his ties from Ayn Rand, I'll re-post this --

The sad end to Ayn Rand: reality couldn't be held at bay forever. She died of lung cancer, after denying that cigarettes were carcinogenic; and she collected Social Security and Medicare payments under the name of Ann O'Connor (her husband was Frank O'Connor), after a life of claiming that such institutions would drag people down.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:01 AM on August 11, 2012 [22 favorites]


Romney-Ryan ticket: Mittens sews up anti-gay, cat food manufacturer and billionaire vote

10 Defining Videos Of Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

How Paul Ryan could be a drag on Mitt Romney in Florida

Five Things to Know About Ryan—and Romney

Dick Cheney: 'I worship the ground Paul Ryan walks on'
posted by madamjujujive at 9:03 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've been trying to get the nerve to discuss politics at home with my parents-in-law. MIL is a pretty staunch Republican, for reasons I still don't understand, but FIL voted for Obama. He is upset because Obama didn't do enough in his term, even when the Democrats held majority, calling Obama "too much of a politician." Choosing Romney didn't seem like the lesser of two evils, but instead the unknown candidate over the known disappointment.

I'm not sure if he's really looked at Romney, even though he follows economic-focused media daily. Now that Ryan is VP, how can you say Romney/Ryan are less political than Obama?
posted by filthy light thief at 9:06 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is why picking Ryan is a giant gamble, by analogy:

Sometimes when you're defending a criminal case, you don't actually mount a defense. The prosecution makes their case, the defense pokes holes in it and then rests instead of calling their own witnesses. This way the question before the jury is whether the prosecution has proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If the defense makes their own case and calls their own witnesses, then the jury starts to compare the cases of the prosecution and the defense. They might find the defendant guilty because the defense had the weaker case, not necessarily because the prosecution had a strong one.

I really thought having vanilla, white bread Mitt Romney was a big advantage for the Republicans. Since Romney's spent 6 years making every effort to not make specific policy proposals, the election was going to be a referendum on Obama's first term, which is not a terribly good thing for Obama with the jobs numbers being what they are.

But now voters aren't giving a thumbs up/thumbs down on Obama. Ryan has very clearly laid out his vision for America with specific policies and numbers. Voters get to choose between Obama's America and Ryan's America. And that might be enough for Obama.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:06 AM on August 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Choosing Ryan seems to me like a pretty explicit statement that this election is about race. Romney could have had Rubio -- and Florida. He could have had Jindal. Even Chris Christie is more ethnic than Paul Ryan. Sure, Ryan is Catholic, but he's the most whitebread Catholic I ever saw. And yeah, Romney is Mormon, but at least he's got glittery teeth and shiny hair.

The Republicans only had two protestant choices in the primaries: Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. But Newt is Catholic, and so is Santorum. Ron Paul probably secretly taught his son to worship Aqua Buddha.

So this election is not about religion -- Obama is, after all, a protestant. It's about two pretty white boys against a black man/secret Muslim and an aging train fanatic hippie.

It's going to get ugly.
posted by brina at 9:09 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Obama team is fast: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: Back to the Failed Top-Down Policies - "back to the failed top-down policies that crashed our economy"
posted by madamjujujive at 9:13 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Charles P. Pierce: Paul Ryan Is Not a Vice President. Paul Ryan Is a Fake.

Paul Ryan: Murderer of Opportunity, Political Coward, Candidate for Vice President of the United States
posted by homunculus at 9:15 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Sophistication vs. the vulgar Chicago crowd"

What is this I don't even ... this was one of the primary complaints against Abraham Lincoln in 1860: unsophisticated, vulgar Illinois rube. This still carries any weight?

I think those who are hoping for a Romney "just sign the legislation like you're told" presidency are mistaken; Romney has been a very wealthy, very powerful man for so long that, like many wealthy long-time executives, he has a hard time being told what to do, or conceiving of the idea that people won't do as he tells them. I honestly think that's a lot of what's behind the tax return issue; he's having a hard time imagining that people won't just drop it because he told them to, and he's not letting his advisors tell him what's best here.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:18 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Obama team is fast: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: Back to the Failed Top-Down Policies - "back to the failed top-down policies that crashed our economy"

From the Youtube comments on that: We need healthcare, not wealthcare.
posted by peacheater at 9:19 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


That doesn't really matter, since there's a 99.99% overlap between what Romney wants and what the GOP congress wants.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:21 AM on August 11, 2012


My UK conservative associates are split between loving and hating this, which is amusing.
posted by knapah at 9:26 AM on August 11, 2012


I wonder if anyone in the press will ask if Romney campaign will release Ryan's tax returns.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:26 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan being booed by seniors in his own district yt .

I hope they're taking their blood pressure medication.
posted by homunculus at 9:26 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I showed my significant other a picture of Paul Ryan, and he said, "Wow, he looks like the guy Arrested Development would hire if they needed someone to play a Republican."

I tend to agree. I think the optics are going to hurt Romney. Romney and Ryan both have a way of looking self-satisfied and well-manicured, and they don't sound much better. That's not a good look to have, given their platform(s). You have to look like a humble boy, if you want to slash programs that help the poor.
posted by meese at 9:30 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


Paul Ryan’s non-budget policy record, in one post
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:35 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Starting to wonder if the GOP has found a method of turning poor people into oil.
posted by Legomancer at 9:35 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


"two dudes who never served in the military (one who actively avoided it via deferrments) using a warship as political backdrop is horseshit "
posted by inigo2 at 9:36 AM on August 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


Why couldn't they have picked someone more likable? like a wedge of sharp cheddar or something.
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Readers may recall that I tend to think running-mate choices fall into one of three categories: Augusts, Novembers, and Januaries. If a nominee picks a January, he or she is looking for someone who can help govern once inaugurated. If he or she picks a November, the nominee is picking a running mate intended to help win the general election. And if the candidate picks an August, he or she is trying to bring a party together and satisfy intra-party demands.

Paul Ryan is an August. Romney, who never quite made the transition from the primaries to the general election, has been subjected to heavy pressure from conservatives to choose the right-wing House member, and it appears the lobbying campaign was successful. The Republican nominee still feels the need to satisfy the demands of his base, and Romney isn't in a strong enough position to disappoint them.

As a result, both the left and right have the Republican running mate they hoped for -- Romney has picked the architect of a radical, Medicare-crushing budget plan, debated by the least popular Congress since the dawn of modern polling. Indeed, it's fair to say the radical Ryan budget helped make this Congress so widely disliked, which makes his VP nomination that much more remarkable.

posted by gerryblog at 9:38 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ghidorah: "From the New Yorker piece:

"I grew up on the block I now live on."

I will never understand the pride people take in their refusal to see what other places are like. The sad thing is, statements like that play well to the conservative base, many of whom have done the same, and mistrust people who've done otherwise.
"

It makes perfect sense if you're running to represent a specific district to say that you live there, you know what they're wants and needs are (of course, you know, that just lovingly assumes that your experience as a candidate in one tiny part of a district that is really larger than it representationally should be is accurately aligned with all your constituents, and not just the one little socio-economic enclave you inhabit). But in theory, sure, whatever, you livin' with your homies who elect you to represent them, better than having an "outsider" represent you...

But it's really a horrible thing when you're claiming to represent ALL of America, then yeah, definitely a shitty thing.
posted by symbioid at 9:38 AM on August 11, 2012


no regrets, coyote: Dead on analysis. I think this pick is as good as Romneys going to get as I bet most comers said no.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:39 AM on August 11, 2012


The Whelk: "Why couldn't they have picked someone more likable? like a wedge of sharp cheddar or something."

FUCK YEAH CHEESE! THE REAL WISCONSINITE.
posted by symbioid at 9:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


A formerly-Floridian friend of mine just observed:

"Well, the campaign just became about Social Security and Medicare. Which means -- Romney just lost Florida."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Horse and sparrow, folks, horse and sparrow.
posted by notsnot at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2012


Why couldn't they have picked someone more likable? like a wedge of sharp cheddar or something.

I think a can of easy cheese wins this hands down too. Maybe even a Kraft single that fell off a burger onto the grill.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:41 AM on August 11, 2012


Dick Cheney: 'I worship the ground Paul Ryan walks on'

So, no Old Man Fight over Ryan? Phooey. Palin was more entertaining, at least.
posted by homunculus at 9:42 AM on August 11, 2012


Maybe Romney's the manchurian candidate being run by that Texan guy that did all the busing around of people for the anti-Obamacare meetings that morphed into organisations under the banner of the tea party and that this pick of Ryan is really about getting $$-enthusiasm for downticket superconservatives to warp society's fabric from the bottom up because they know they've always been fucked everywhichway in leading from the front or playing fair, even in 8+% unemployment, with Obama around. Or not.
posted by peacay at 9:42 AM on August 11, 2012


My final word on this nomination.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:45 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


homunculus: "Charles P. Pierce: Paul Ryan Is Not a Vice President. Paul Ryan Is a Fake."

Faul Ryan?
posted by symbioid at 9:49 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Catholic bishops: We'll protect child molesters, but these guys are sick!
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 9:49 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oddly enough, the mansion Paul Ryan lives in once belonged to the scion of Parker Pens, a Janesville company that outsourced production oversees.
posted by drezdn at 9:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since anyone with half a brain in the GOP is sitting this one out, I almost want to think this entire election cycle is a way to clean house of the unelectable crazy but that seems like ascribing too much planning to what I'm sure is more muppet like flaying around and wailing.
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Great set of links, Rhaomi. I wish I share the optimism in this thread that the electorate will see Ryan for the creep he is, but between voter suppression and general ignorance of the true harm of Randian politics, I'm scared of what November will bring us.
posted by Phire at 9:55 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd like to believe these two douchebags don't stand a chance, but anything's possible in The United States Of Voting Against Your Own Interests:

"The rusty stains on Shirley Carter’s home are a permanent reminder of her fight with the local steel mill, just down U.S. Highway 17 near the boat docks. No matter how many cans of industrial-strength acid she went through, the red tint on her property never seemed to go away. In 1998, Carter and her neighbours sued Georgetown Steel, then owned by the company Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney co-founded, Bain Capital. They sought millions in cleanup costs and accused the mill’s owners of leaving their historic Southern neighbourhood looking like it had been hit by a “chemical bomb.” State officials determined the mill was largely to blame for the pollution. As the lawsuit dragged on for years, the steel mill filed for bankruptcy and the plant ultimately settled with the residents.

In the end, Bain walked away with more than $30 million in profits. Carter got $800.

“That wasn’t even enough to paint the house,” said Carter, who is a Romney supporter this election."


*facepalm*
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 9:56 AM on August 11, 2012 [66 favorites]


Anyone else looking forward to the VP debates? I mean, Biden v. Palin was kind of a disappointment, but it seemed to be the principle of "don't hit girls on television" that kept it from being a riot. And that clearly doesn't matter here.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:57 AM on August 11, 2012


Whenever Ryan speaks he just comes off as insufferably smug. Considering Romney often comes off as smug (when he's not coming off as hopelessly clueless) it seems like it's just doubling up on some of the same character issues.

I think Biden plays the clown too much but I totally expect him to play rope a dope with Ryan in the VP debate(s). Considering Obama is liable to trounce Romney in the presidential debates (Romney will stick to message but tends to gaffe when he speaks off the cuff, Obama tends to be able to react strongly to any gaffes made by the opposition).

It really won't be hard for Obama-Biden to engage in negative branding on Ryan and in contrast it really doesn't matter how much Romney spends as the Republicans have been trying (largely unsuccessfully) to negative brand Obama for 4 years and it just doesn't get much traction.

The more and more I read it just seems like this is entirely a Veep selection imposed by Republican money men that are bankrolling Romney. Basically they think that they can double down on deficits as the boogeyman but I just don't see cutting entitlements as a big sell.

I guess this could drive enthusiasm on down ticket races in terms of firing up the base but does Ryan actually represent tea party populism?
posted by vuron at 9:57 AM on August 11, 2012


ROMNEY/RYAN 2012: WE PICKED THE WRONG PAUL.
posted by drezdn at 9:58 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


GOOGLE WRONG PAUL
posted by drezdn at 9:58 AM on August 11, 2012 [81 favorites]


Hey girl
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


LOL - Romney is already distancing himself from the Ryan Budget - which the Obama campaign is already referring to as "the Romney-Ryan Budget".
posted by Flunkie at 10:05 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Conservatives thrilled by Paul Ryan pick as Democrats see opportunity.
posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on August 11, 2012


I don't know; maybe it will take electing the functional equivalents of Palpatine and Sauron for people to realize that when choosing whether to vote for your personal interests or society's interests, you always go with society's interests - because as goes society, so go you.
posted by Mooski at 10:09 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


But Sauron seems like the kind of guy I could have a beer with!
posted by The Whelk at 10:10 AM on August 11, 2012 [30 favorites]


How long before the religious right realizes that they got frozen out of this election?

Well, this girl figured it out months ago.

My husband likes this guy, but I don't know if he knows about the Ayn Rand connection. I still have my work cut out for me when my friends quote her; too, too many of them don't realize that she is diametrically opposed to our Christian beliefs. As for my spouse, he was horrified when I clued him in a few years back.


So tempted to grab a shovel and head to California, but I don't think Nancy would appreciate my recall effort.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:11 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also Ryan looks like he's 12.
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 AM on August 11, 2012


I'm actually more inclined than ever to finally vote Green Party actually. I don't think Obama needs help defeating this pair of bozos.

I'd like to introduce you to me, in the year 2000.

But seriously, it totally depends on what state you live in. Please check your state's poll numbers first.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:12 AM on August 11, 2012 [13 favorites]


Romney/Ryan 2012: Who would Mormon/Catholic Jesus give financially insufficient health-care vouchers for senior citizens to?

Honestly, my lame 12th dimensional chess insight is that maybe this is all about grooming Ryan for 2016.

Because in terms of 2012, it's a shit-tastic pick for a desperately shit-tastic party.
posted by bardic at 10:13 AM on August 11, 2012


So tempted to grab a shovel and head to California, but I don't think Nancy would appreciate my recall effort.

I like the idea that one must dig in order to reach California, like it's a part of a Hollow Earth or something.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:13 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sticherbeast, think "zombie Reagan" not "journey to the center of the earth."
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:14 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought she was going to smack someone in the head with a shovel.
posted by desjardins at 10:15 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


pokermonk, that's a great visualization tool you linked to. Thanks.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:16 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP (SLYT Onion)
posted by lampshade at 10:17 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sticherbeast, think "zombie Reagan" not "journey to the center of the earth."

Ha, I re-read your post and the meaning comes more fully to light. There you go.

Reagan would be considered a radical leftist by modern GOP standards. These are weird times we live in.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:17 AM on August 11, 2012


I thought republicans hated greedy welfare queen single mothers and their spawn?
posted by The Whelk at 10:17 AM on August 11, 2012


Catholic Bishops Say Ryan Budget Fails Moral Test.
posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on August 11, 2012


I wonder if Evangelicals will finally get the message here. With the Ryan pick, the GOP leadership is flat out saying it doesn't give shit one about abortion or gays, just Wall Street. As usual, they're being played as suckers, but maybe this time they'll finally wake up to it. (And do what, I don't know.)
posted by Legomancer at 10:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "Why couldn't they have picked someone more likable? like a wedge of sharp cheddar or something."

Well, that would have helped carry Wisconsin about the same...
posted by notsnot at 10:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This country depresses me sometimes, just reading the story above of the person shafted by Bain, who wants to vote for their executive, is mind-numbing.
posted by maxwelton at 10:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe they are just counting on rigging the whole fuckIng thing.
posted by Artw at 10:22 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Also Ryan looks like he's 12.

Eddie Munster, Eddie Haskell, or The Courtship of Eddie's Father?
posted by octobersurprise at 10:23 AM on August 11, 2012


Direct line tunnel from North Carolina to California cuts the cross-continental travel time down to about 42 minutes, with a top speed of about 18,000 miles per hour!
posted by Flunkie at 10:23 AM on August 11, 2012


Maybe they are just counting on rigging the whole fuckIng thing.

Maybe, but why do it for Romney? If you "know" your side is going to win, why not go with the absolute best representation of your side?
posted by drezdn at 10:25 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


A few things pulled from reddit; going to try to find sources on all these (and hopefully more recent #s), but some Ryan related numbers:

   Rated 13% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
   Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
   Rated 36% by NAACP, indicating a mixed record on affirmative-action. (Dec 2006)
   Rated 8% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes. (Dec 2003)
   Rated 30% by CURE, indicating anti-rehabilitation crime votes. (Dec 2000)
   Rated 0% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
   Rated -3 by AAI, indicating a anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)
   Rated 11% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record. (Dec 2003)
   Rated 0% by the AU, indicating opposition to church-state separation. (Dec 2006)
   Rated 10% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record. (Dec 2003)
   Rated 3% by the League of Conservation Voters (environmental issues)
   Rated 13% by the Humane Society Legislative Fund
posted by inigo2 at 10:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


So it could go - Syria proxy war -- Europe collapse -- Romney/Ryan win -- end of the world.

It's sort of like anticipating what is going to go down with the White family this season on Breaking Bad, only it's sort of all humanity.
posted by angrycat at 10:30 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


From the New Yorker article: "He proposed ending Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor, and replacing it with a lump sum for states to use as they saw fit." Oh, I bet that would work - never.
posted by tizzie at 10:32 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just throwing this out there as a service to others because apparently I have never before tried hard enough thinking about these clowns to realize it but: Rand Paul and Paul Ryan are not the same dude.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 10:32 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Why are we talking about how many votes Ryan brings in or loses, when the presidency will be determined by the efficacy of the disenfranchisement program being waged against likely Democratic voters? The Republicans haven't won a national election since 1988.

Maybe they are just counting on rigging the whole fuckIng thing.
posted by Artw at 12:22 on 8/11
[2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Yep.
posted by samofidelis at 10:35 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]



Direct line tunnel from North Carolina to California cuts the cross-continental travel time down to about 42 minutes, with a top speed of about 18,000 miles per hour!

It'd be my luck to make a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

On the other hand, even Elmer Fudd is starting to look better than what we have now.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:38 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Romney to pick Lolo Jones. Even when he gets trounced the media will act like he won and ignore his superior African American opponents."
posted by inigo2 at 10:39 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


To the idea of Romney/Ryan winning teaching the right the failure inherent in their ideas... If they were to win and everything fell apart, the remaining right wing floating brain orbs would say that "Obama had wrecked the US to the point in couldn't be saved." They have an excuse like this for everything from 9-11 to the housing crisis.
posted by drezdn at 10:42 AM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Such current electoral vote count estimates are nice, but no reason to rest easy.

Yes. But the point is this: looking at the map right now, Romney needs to move a few of Obama's pieces to his side to have a shot.

Adding Paul Ryan to his ticket does not necessarily have to do anything for him nationally: In theory it puts Wisconsin into play, which puts the safely-Obama electoral votes below 270. That means it's back to being a coin toss based on what happens in the next few months.

Anything can happen. But on paper this selection might be the best move Team Romney could have made to affect a difference that keeps him in the game.
posted by pokermonk at 10:43 AM on August 11, 2012


This is good news for John McCain.

I got to that one first?
posted by bardic at 10:45 AM on August 11, 2012


Nate Silver ran the numbers on 14 potential VP picks, including Ryan, before the selection was announced. Ryan is the second worst pick of the lot as far as helping the ticket.

August, not November.
posted by localroger at 10:46 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Daily Show's straightforward takedown of Paul Ryan's 'Path To Prosperity' budget plan.

Basically, repealing the Bush tax cuts would accomplish most of what Ryan's plan (gutting Social Security and Medicare) would do.

Share it like the survival of Social Security and Medicare depend on Romney losing...
posted by Davenhill at 10:47 AM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Always adorable to see cons trot out zombie Reagan, a guy who raised taxes multiple times, cut and run from Lebanon, and was quite cozy with the Dem congressional leadership.

Reagan would, at best, have squeaked out a marginal victory against a Teabagger primary challenge ca. 2012. Odds are he'd simply have been drummed out of the modern-day GOP by now.

But keep on fappin'.
posted by bardic at 10:47 AM on August 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


The tea party loves Ryan... Do they realize he voted for the bailouts?
posted by drezdn at 10:51 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Him?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


I feel like there might be a good RINO joke in here somewhere.
posted by box at 10:55 AM on August 11, 2012


Some Paul Ryan photoshops.
posted by drezdn at 10:56 AM on August 11, 2012


Kind of curious what dhartung will say about this.
posted by drezdn at 11:01 AM on August 11, 2012


Paul Ryan was voted "Biggest Brown-Noser" in High School.
posted by futz at 11:04 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


From pollster wizard Nate Silver
When is it rational to take a big risk?

When the status quo wasn’t proceeding in a way that you felt was favorable. When you have less to lose. When you needed — pardon the cliché, but it’s appropriate here — a “game change”.
posted by Bonzai at 11:05 AM on August 11, 2012


It is sad to see the decline of the GOP party. When you look at Kennedy vs Nixon, they agreed on a lot because they came from a similar American values system. At the time, both parties had no problem carpet bombing Southeast Asia. But take a look at Nixon's positions on some other major issues:
LAMB: Have you always been for strict gun control?

NIXON: Oh, yes. Let me be quite direct about that. I’m known as a conservative Republican, and I am conservative. But on the other hand, on some issues I take a different point of view. Gun control — I feel strongly about it. I have many friends — Joe Foss, who served with such distinction in World War II. I met him when I was in the Pacific. He was a great fighter pilot — 25 Japanese planes shot down. He’s the head of the organization [N.R.A.], but I am for strict gun control. Let’s just look at the figures. During the Persian Gulf War, during that war, 20 times as many people were murdered in the United States as were killed on the field. That’s unacceptable. Gun control, I think, could have some positive effect in controlling that and seeing that doesn’t happen in the future. So, in gun control, I figure that way.
Nixon and Kissinger, of course, are responsible for a good deal of evil across the world outside of the United States, but at least at that time they could agree with Democrats on policies that would help Americans become better people through the assistance of government.

The GOP has lost their soul and ability to reason, and it's harming the entire nation as a result.
posted by deanklear at 11:06 AM on August 11, 2012 [29 favorites]


ROMNEY/RYAN 2012: GO BANANA!
posted by drezdn at 11:08 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


He drew his biggest reaction on Saturday when he said that "our rights come from nature and God, not from government."

Nature? He's a climate change denier.

Meet Paul Ryan: Climate Denier, Conspiracy Theorist, Koch Acolyte

posted by futz at 11:12 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's kind of remarkable that the country is so inured to white and male supremacy as an operating principle that it's basically seen as NBD to run two white guys on a presidential ticket. It's completely ridiculous. As brina pointed out above, the racial message is loud and clear.
posted by threeants at 11:14 AM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Counterpoint!Wait, did I say "counterpoint"?
posted by Flunkie at 11:16 AM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


"Son, son, son, let's leave decision-making to the wh-- the grown-ups."
posted by threeants at 11:18 AM on August 11, 2012


Mittens standing on things. Is 6' 2" not enough for him?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:19 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Our rights come from nature and God, not from government."

This is solid evidence that Ryan has never spent very much time thinking. Which God gives us our rights? There's a reason the Deists who founded our country used the phrase "Creator" and still formed a government to protect our rights from religions and their Gods and followers.
posted by deanklear at 11:20 AM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


"Our rights come from nature and God, not from government."

Under this thinking, there are rights in the constitution that have no religious basis. For example the fourth and fifth amendments.
posted by drezdn at 11:23 AM on August 11, 2012


FOREVER PLAID
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 AM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ryan is a great pick for Mitt. Young, handsome and passionate, he's the perfect for anti-Obama votes.

So far, Mitt hasn't polled anywhere near 270 electoral votes, while Obama easily has. Ryan will give Mitt a chance, but I'm still betting on Obama.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know it's just a video screencap, but holy hell does Romney ever look baked in that photo.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 11:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Krugmans gotta be bummed he's on vacation.
posted by JPD at 11:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney in a fine red check?

There goes my candy-striper fetish.

I hate you Mittman Rom.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:30 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Whelk: "FOREVER PLAID"

I'll give those creepy bastards that one. It's solids, stripes, plaid or paisley. What, do you figure they'd wear *paisley*?
posted by notsnot at 11:32 AM on August 11, 2012


"he's the perfect for anti-Obama votes"

Who are these mythical creatures that, three months before the election, haven't decided whether or not they like Obama yet and are eagerly awaiting to be swayed by a guy with a nice haircut?

Ryan brings nothingburger to the overall picture. Arguably, he loses Florida for the GOP via very easy to make attack ads re: killing Medicare. If he tips Wisconsin red, well, whoopty-fucking-doo.
posted by bardic at 11:33 AM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oldie but goodie. If 2009 can be considered old...

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
posted by futz at 11:37 AM on August 11, 2012 [40 favorites]


Intrade currently shows Obama chance at 58.5%
posted by bukvich at 11:39 AM on August 11, 2012


Compiling that "Counterpoint!" list left me with a taste for some Buddy Holocaust.
posted by Flunkie at 11:43 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's kind of remarkable that the country is so inured to white and male supremacy as an operating principle that it's basically seen as NBD to run two white guys on a presidential ticket. It's completely ridiculous. As brina pointed out above, the racial message is loud and clear.

Perhaps the more worrying thing (in terms of the social standing of Americans who aren't white men) is that I'm thinking it's a fairly big deal that the Republican Party is running a Mormon and a Catholic.
posted by hoyland at 11:44 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Representative Ryan, how many years of tax returns did you provide to the Romney campaign in the vetting process?"
posted by notsnot at 11:51 AM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Intrade currently shows Obama chance at 58.5%

Is that popular vote or actual chance of winning the electoral vote? If the latter, that's just a little better than flipping a coin. As bad as Romney/Ryan is, that's pretty surprising.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:51 AM on August 11, 2012


FOREVER PLAID

Omigod Paul that shirt is like seventeen sizes too big for you.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:53 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Come to think of it, someone mentioned near the start of the comments that this is the first non-Protestant* Republican ticket. But I think it's the first non-Protestant presidential ticket. (If you assume one of them would have to be Catholic (by the numbers, not a bad guess), it is.)

*I'm a little uncomfortable with not calling Mormons Protestants (given that it clearly forked Protestantism) because of the 'refusing to call Mormons Christians' thing, but it says so on some tiny corner of the LDS website, so I guess I'll stop worrying.
posted by hoyland at 11:55 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is that popular vote or actual chance of winning the electoral vote? If the latter, that's just a little better than flipping a coin. As bad as Romney/Ryan is, that's pretty surprising.

The Intrade stock is whether Obama wins reelection or not, so-- electoral vote. But 538 has Obama at 72% chance for reelection, and they have an actual model rather than Intrade's crowdsourced gut-feeling-ing.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:57 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Intrade has also been around 60% since March or so. Very little variation.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 12:03 PM on August 11, 2012


I'm still betting that this is a pivotal year in which the right realizes it can't entirely convince people to look away from reality, and begins shedding some of its conservative extremism for a conservatism that actually makes some goddamn sense in the 21st century.

So they'd just have to become the Democrats?

I will never understand the pride people take in their refusal to see what other places are like.

Probably true in this case but not if Jonathan Richman said it.
posted by juiceCake at 12:10 PM on August 11, 2012


There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.

Ayn Rand’s “The Lord of the Rings”
posted by homunculus at 12:11 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


FOREVER PLAID

Nothing more manly than the red and black white lumberjack, with the slouch to match.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 PM on August 11, 2012


The Whelk: "FOREVER PLAID"

It looks like they've successfully installed Romn-E's new Farmville upgrade.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:23 PM on August 11, 2012


He drew his biggest reaction on Saturday when he said that 'our rights come from nature and God, not from government.'

That's basically correct (well, except for the God part). Our rights do not come from the government. The Constitution and Bill of Rights protect our natural rights from the government. "A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." -- Thomas Jefferson
posted by kirkaracha at 12:30 PM on August 11, 2012


Yes, our rights are inherent and inalienable. That doesn't mean Ryan isn't a crackpot.
posted by Justinian at 12:31 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


bardic: Honestly, my lame 12th dimensional chess insight is that maybe this is all about grooming Ryan for 2016.
Except that a losing V.P. candidate has gone on to become President only once in the modern era.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:46 PM on August 11, 2012


The Romney/Republican campaign will be the biggest blanket-advertising campaign in history (with the extra advantage that Romney's ads can say things about Obama that Coke is not allowed to say about Pepsi). Ryan seems quite marketable.

'our rights come from nature and God, not from government.'
Yes, but in my 55-year lifetime, most of the times my rights have been taken away from me, it was by private entities... corporations and individuals whom I had no more opportunity to avoid dealing with than I could immediately move to another country. The government should be protecting our natural rights from them.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:48 PM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Oldie but goodie. If 2009 can be considered old...

Total derail, but I was working a gig with an intern and we stumbled across some old paperwork. He looked at it and said, "Whoa, dude! This thing is from 2007!" Then I realized in five years he'd gone from high school freshman to college sophomore, and I had been working similar jobs in front of similar rectangular screens. What a drag it is getting old.

posted by deanklear at 12:50 PM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm going to say a horrible thing.

I hope Romney and Ryan win.

Because sometimes people have to see evil with their own eyes to recognize it for what it is. There hasn't been true "fuck you" evil in the US since the robber baron era, and everyone alive then is dead now. That's why the left is spineless. No one knows in their bones how bad it can really get.

If it takes another Great Depression to make three more generations of Americans realize that Great Societies are only possible when we all lift each other up (instead of push each other down), then that's what it takes. Twenty years of pain for eighty golden years is probably a pretty good deal.

How do you explain to the middle class republican that the very reason for the existence of their class, job and the infrastructure that made their life and their parent's lives possible was basically due to massive government projects and a huge support system that were put in place as a correction for the disaster of the 20s.

And while WW2 didn't exactly hurt from an economic point of view, most of the damage was already repaired, and the new social stratums in place, by the time the US got into it.

Maybe I'm a bad man for saying it, but damn, it sure is tiresome trying to teach people who just won't listen to logic, reason or history.

Fine: how about you learn by experience.


Easy for you to say when you're not fighting your civil rights battle.

I don't doubt for a second that if this ticket wins they will immediately start trying to roll back the clock and shove me in the closet. And I am telling you I am not going.

It's not even about the economy for me anymore. This is personal. I live in San Francisco and I actively worry about what would happen if Romney gets elected.

So no. I'm not okay with this viewpoint. It's so far beyond cutting your nose off to spite your face. I wasn't around during the 80s when Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis, but I know enough history to know this would be the worst thing for the LGBT community since that.

If nothing else, vote for Obama so we can keep someone in the office whom we can be assured won't stand idly by as the Christian right tries to move this country down the path towards genocide.
posted by spitefulcrow at 1:00 PM on August 11, 2012 [47 favorites]


Meet the new second fiddle, same as the old second fiddle

Tea party claims 'seat at the table' with Romney's Paul Ryan pick for VP

At Union Rally, DNC Chair and Labor Chief Launch Broadside Against Paul Ryan

Romney raises $1.2 million off Ryan pick in 4 hours

Romney: Always Choose Wealthy Parents

Ryan and the spirit of 2010

Paul Ryan's Guru Ayn Rand Worshipped A Serial Killer Who Kidnapped And Dismembered Little Girls

The Return of the 'Next President' flub

George W. Bush: 'This Is a Strong Pick'

Paul Ryan Is The Kindest, Bravest, Warmest, Most Wonderful Congressman I've Ever Known
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:01 PM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


John Scalzi: The Paul Ryan Pick
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:06 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is anybody but me worried they might win?

Yes. Indeed, yes.

My fear is that the citizens will vote for something different for the sake of voting for something different because things are very bad for so many of them.

If we are lucky, the people who were tuning out from disgust and not planning on voting in this go around (and there seems to be quite a few of these) will wake up and consider just what havoc a Romney + Paul administration could wreak.

Alas, I'm not feeling lucky.
posted by cool breeze at 1:09 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP

John Barnes' Raise The Gipper! covers exactly that scenario, and is a fun, silly read.
posted by mrbill at 1:11 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well....

I guess Romney was tired about people talking about him.

Romney say: We are not going to run on Ryan's budget.

What the fuck you going to run on then? What else is Ryan known for other than his eugenic "reform" budget? What else is Romney known for other than Bain and Romneycare?

It is wise to be concerned that Romney will win the race, but he has a hell of a hole to climb out of before we start setting fire to our hair.
posted by edgeways at 1:12 PM on August 11, 2012


All I'm hearing is that Romney has appeased the hard right wing of his party and that he's put on the ticket the guy whose budget plan Romney himself was not skilled enough to defend. It seems to me that Romney had a real opportunity of showing that he was his own man. Instead, he's basically confirmed that he has no real vision of his own, or at least none he's actually willing to stand up for, and that he really is Grover Norquist's pen.

I'm looking forward to the rest of election campaign. As it would appear is President Obama.

And so we begin.
posted by Bokmakierie at 1:22 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


WTF is right. What possible reason is there to put Ryan on your ticket other than his budget? That's all he is known for. It's obviously just damage control; throw red meat to the base while lying to everyone else about what you want to do with SS and Medicare.
posted by Justinian at 1:27 PM on August 11, 2012


Zombie Reagan Raised From Grave To Lead GOP

John Barnes' Raise The Gipper! covers exactly that scenario, and is a fun, silly read.


Obligatory Onion.
posted by pashdown at 1:30 PM on August 11, 2012


The Egregious Frum imagines The Coming Democratic Attack Barrage, concluding with, That ad will draw blood and will—as Henry Kissinger used to say—have the additional merit of being true.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:31 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does anyone else imagine Biden making Ryan cry at the VP debate?
posted by ifandonlyif at 1:41 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


Is anybody but me worried they might win?

Yup...lots of people.

At issue is not that R&R are such bad or good candidates, but that people have been fed such hatred toward Obama over the last 4 years they want to have any person but him in the WH.

Sure Obama has had his issues, but many of the problems were exacerbated and the lack of resolution is due to a completely dysfunctional governing body that decided the election process is more important that the governing process. This is why we have hundreds of bills from the past few years that address politicians need to win voters’ approval as opposed to passing bills that improve the operation of the country.

The end result is that is that the blame is laid squarely on Obama when in fact, it was in large part due to the house stymieing every effort to make anything work. Coupled with the fact that Obama was not a bull in the china shop early on, did not take advantage of the early majority he had when he took office and the false narrative of an ineffectual administration is easy to play out. Finally, the GOP is simply better at smear and it has taken Obama a few years to get his skin thickened.

The damage was done but not irreparable. Quite fortunately, the GOP is fielding a junior varsity candidate against, while not a super duper first string varsity player, is still a quarterback that can throw the long bomb or scramble with the ball in a broken play. Romney is no dummy but he is not a team player ultimately and Ryan is going to be the sacrificial lamb for a while Mitt gets his bearings back after a very difficult few weeks.

The problem is that I am absolutely sure Team Obama had a play book already written for this scenario. When the announcement happened last night/this AM, it was less of a group surprise at Obama HQ and more an announcement in a meeting of, “OK people, turn to page 3, section a for the game plan under the title R&R”.

Yeah, it is not a shoe in by any means, but Mitt has some serious work ahead of him and he and Ryan should bookmark the Curad® and Ace Bandage® websites.
posted by lampshade at 1:42 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


'I'm sick to my stomach': anger grows in Illinois at Bain's latest outsourcing plan. The Sensata plant in Freeport is profitable and competitive, but its majority owner, Bain Capital, has decided to ship jobs to China – and forced workers to train their overseas replacements
posted by homunculus at 1:44 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Paul Ryan's Guru Ayn Rand Worshipped A Serial Killer Who Kidnapped And Dismembered Little Girls

Oh my god. I didn't know about this. I certainly hope this gets put out there for everyone to see. I knew Ayn Rand was a hateful human being, but I didn't know she was a hateful monster. Wow. Really puts a new light on all those who worship at her altar.

Thanks for sharing this.
posted by marsha56 at 1:48 PM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


The problem is that I am absolutely sure Team Obama had a play book already written for this scenario.

And the dozen or so other possible scenarios. This is how Obama rolls. Even with the announcement at snooze AM on a Saturday the Obama campaign had a statement ready within minutes. You can bet there were similar statements ready for all the other likely possibilities.

It was probably a good thing to have the champaigne and orange juice concessions at the White House this morning.

The thing about the dangers of the economy and Obama getting the blame is that so far people don't seem to be blaming Obama for the economy; they know who screwed it up, and all the polls, even Rasmussen, are trending toward Obama. Don't forget that in the last election Obama beat a better connected, funded, and known primary candidate and then after that fight went on to defeat a better connected, funded, and known Senator and military hero in the general.

And this time he's been President for four years, has passed several very important laws despite well known intransigent opposition, and he has OBL's head on a pike. Whereas Romney has ... an Etch-a-Sketch and Ryan's starve-grandma budget. Right.
posted by localroger at 1:58 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


>> anger grows in Illinois at Bain's latest outsourcing plan.

This is the thing that kills me not so much about Bain, but that people worship the original architect of the company, Mitt Romney.

What is so appealing to people that they idolize a supposedly great CEO who created a company that has at its core, at least a penchant for running companies out of business. Sure, many of these companies are (or were) in difficult times, but is not Bain supposed to be the group that "saves" business? So given that, why all the plant closings as opposed to creating newer profitable environments? And if the company was destined to fail, why take on the job in the first place?

Yes, there are a lot of "two-way street" issues in play. The bottom line though, is that it seems that Bain Capital enjoys a folk hero status with people who appear to have little compassion for those who lose their jobs at the hands of greedy boards and vulture capital firms. And by extension, they have now conferred that status onto what makes for a good president. Nothing could be farther from the truth, yet Romney supporters seem completely content sticking their heads in the sand until November to avoid looking at the obvious.

So much for the idea of compassionate conservatism huh?
posted by lampshade at 2:01 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do the people that think Ryan is hot also find Eddie Munster attractive?
posted by elsietheeel at 2:15 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


It has to be frustrating to be

(1) part of demographic that people accuse of voting for someone just because of their looks

and

(2) being a person that people assume only gets votes because of their looks.

It's not like policy disputes get settled Zoolander-style.
posted by ifandonlyif at 2:25 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


[replace and with or]
posted by ifandonlyif at 2:26 PM on August 11, 2012


My sole worry over this election is the GOP plan to steal PA, OH, and FL. They have no other shot against Obama, especially with Ryan on board.

There is going to be backlash against the GOP and Tea Party this election and the only hope they have is to cheat. I am sitting here in red state ND, in the heart of oil country and right now I see far more bumper stickers for the Democratic senate candidate than the Republican slime ball that's opposing her. Most polls have this douche behind by 6-8 points and voting for the Ryan budget in the house is costing him dearly. And here in oil country I've seen local Republican businessmen grouse about the boy they have in the governor's office. If that's what's happening in a red state like this, it's not going to be pretty anywhere else.
posted by Ber at 2:29 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regarding the "our rights come from nature and God, not from government." comment...

Then why is he in government? Go out into the woods or more preferably Death Valley and wait for god to help him. Practice what you preach.
posted by futz at 2:31 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is a total Objectivist ticket. Seriously, Mitt named his son Taggart. Ryan has already state his love of Ayn Rand. If I had to say how the chess moves go it will be actually setting up a Ryan and Rand Paul ticket for 2016/2020. If Mitt wins, great, if not, then the calculations are in play for the Objectivists again in 2016.
posted by jadepearl at 2:32 PM on August 11, 2012


Yesterday: Picking Paul Ryan Would Turn Desperation Into Disaster. Whoops.
posted by mek at 2:41 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Then why is he in government? Go out into the woods or more preferably Death Valley and wait for god to help him. Practice what you preach.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
Again, Ryan holds some out-there beliefs. But this is not one of them; it is one of the foundational beliefs of our nation.
posted by Justinian at 2:43 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney/Ryan...Barbara Walter's worst nightmare.
posted by schyler523 at 2:46 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]



It's not like policy disputes get settled Zoolander-style.

Well, why the hell not?
posted by The Whelk at 2:47 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Think about this: in 2012 the GOP candidates for President and Vice-President are 1) a Non-Christian and 2) A Roman Catholic.

This is social progress, regardless if anybody wants to admit it or not.
posted by Avenger at 2:48 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eli Lake on the match:
" ... kind of like putting Eddie Van Halen in REO Speedwagon. Yes, it makes REO Speedwagon rock a lot harder, but it totally ruins Van Halen."
posted by octobersurprise at 2:48 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

aka, government.
posted by futz at 2:48 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


aka, government.

What? No! It is saying that government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. As opposed to, you know, divine right of kings or whatever. But our rights are innate and inalienable. Government doesn't grant them. It doesn't create them. It either recognizes and protects the rights we already have or it oppresses the people and, thus, loses its legitimacy and should be replaced by a government that does recognize our rights. By means peaceful or no.

Are you American? Didn't you ever take a civics class aka social studies?
posted by Justinian at 2:54 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Think about this: in 2012 the GOP candidates for President and Vice-President are 1) a Non-Christian and 2) A Roman Catholic.

Mormons are Christians by any reasonable definition. The idea that they're not is perpetuated by anti-Mormon evangelical groups.
posted by chrchr at 2:55 PM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


Note the implication that people in, say, North Korea actually have most of the same rights everyone else has. The government simply doesn't recognize them. That's an important corollary of rights being innate an inalienable; government's which oppress their people become illegitimate on those grounds alone.
posted by Justinian at 2:55 PM on August 11, 2012


Governments are instituted to protect rights that we have inherently by nature of being human. That's a foundational principal of every democratic form of government since the enlightenment. Ryan might be an asshole, but he's not wrong about that.
posted by empath at 2:56 PM on August 11, 2012


Yeah, it's two non-Protestants.
posted by muddgirl at 2:56 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Charles P. Pierce: Paul Ryan Is Not a Vice President. Paul Ryan Is a Fake.

Loved this.
Then, a few months later, he’s at it again. And even some putatively liberal commentators shrug and tell themselves that, at least, Paul Ryan is a Serious Person. He gets credit for sincerely wanting to “reform” entitlements, when his entire career makes it quite plain that he doesn’t believe in the concept of entitlements, let alone the ones we actually have. He gets a pass on obvious mendacity that none of us would buy from, say, Herman Cain. (In a way, it’s not dissimilar to all those valentines to the mighty intellect of Newt Gingrich that we read back in the early 1990’s, until everybody figured out that Newt’s default position on almost everything was being a thoroughgoing creep.) Outside of the very real possibility that it’s all being done to give Paul Krugman a stroke, I don’t get it.
posted by ndfine at 2:59 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mormons are Christians by any reasonable definition.

This depends on whether you think they think Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ is the more important figure. Islam acknowledges a lot of Christian concepts, but the pre-eminence of Muhammad's additional teachings makes it not Christianity. Most Christians of other denominations, each of whom mostly accept the others as Christian, feel LDS goes over the line in significant ways with Smith, the golden tablets, and many of the shall we say fascinating things those tablets told Smith to say.
posted by localroger at 3:00 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Between Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and Rand Paul, I have trouble remembering which one was the villain in Bioshock.
posted by Riki tiki at 3:03 PM on August 11, 2012 [36 favorites]


P.S. I have myself made the point on occasion that to someone whose religion is sufficiently different, such as a Hindu or Taoist, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all really the same religion. It's a point you would have a lot of trouble getting most Christians, Muslims, and Jews to agree with though.
posted by localroger at 3:03 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Between Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and Rand Paul, I have trouble remembering which one was the villain in Bioshock.

That was Ann Coulter.
posted by localroger at 3:04 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


This depends on whether you think they think Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ is the more important figure.

What? No. I'm not the biggest fan of Mormonism, but as far as I know, they do not teach that Joseph Smith was the Messiah. Islam does not accept that Jesus Christ was the Messiah - that's why they're not Christians. Mormons do, as far as I'm aware.
posted by muddgirl at 3:04 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Under the Ryan plan, Mitt Romney's tax rate would be 0.82%. Possibly not the best comparison for Mitt at the moment.
posted by gerryblog at 3:06 PM on August 11, 2012 [16 favorites]


But this is not one of them; it is one of the foundational beliefs of our nation.

It seems clear from the context in which that statement was made that Ryan is using that wording not in reference to the material in civics lessons taught in elementary school, but as a dog whistle for Republicans who aren't happy with the idea that rich people should be taxed like the rest of us. Basically all the things a candidate can't openly say in public about "liberal" policies are boiled down to those sorts of catchphrases about "founding principles" etc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:07 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Between Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and Rand Paul, I have trouble remembering which one was the villain in Bioshock.

I wish we could combine them all and just get Paul Rand.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:09 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


kind of like putting Eddie Van Halen in REO Speedwagon. Yes, it makes REO Speedwagon rock a lot harder, but it totally ruins Van Halen

A clever line, but it needs a serious qualification. As it is, it implies that the John Boehner Congress could in some way be construed as the Van Halen of David Lee Roth and "Running with the Devil" and "Panama." What it needs to say is that Ryan makes REO Speedwagon rock harder, but it totally ruins Sammy Hagar's Van Halen. Which isn't much of a loss, really.
posted by gompa at 3:12 PM on August 11, 2012


Paul Rand and Ayn Coulter have a daughter. The daughter and her father get into a car accident and are rushed to a hospital. The surgeon is about to operate to save the daughter's live and says "Oh my god! I can't operate on her! She's my child and I don't have health insurance!"
posted by ifandonlyif at 3:13 PM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Paul Ryan’s Extreme Abortion Views: Mitt's VP pick is a known fiscal conservative, but his social ideology is at least as radical. Michelle Goldberg on Ryan's insinuations that women who choose abortion could be jailed.
posted by homunculus at 3:13 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


muddgirl, I'm not up on the details but as I understand it Islam started out with Muhammad being inspired by a sort of hacked-up fringe Christianity, and I believe it does recognize Jesus as being a rather special avatar of Allah who had an important mission. Whether their conception is sufficiently equal to any of the many varying Christian conceptions of Jesus' role is largely a matter of semantics. Lots of Christian denominations are less than impressed with each others' interpretations of the same thing.

LDS adds a significant modern prophet who added many layers of ritual and dogma which are not present in any other Christian liturgy. It's sufficiently different and unique that most other Christian denominations which (if grudgingly) accept one another think it is a New Thing, not an incremental modification.
posted by localroger at 3:13 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Islam does not accept that Jesus Christ was the Messiah - that's why they're not Christians.
Yes, they do. They believe that Jesus was the "Masih", i.e. "the Anointed One", which is the same thing that both "Messiah" and "Christ" mean.
Islam acknowledges a lot of Christian concepts, but the pre-eminence of Muhammad's additional teachings makes it not Christianity.
I might be wrong about this, but I believe that standard Islamic belief is not that Muhammad's teachings take precedence over those of Jesus, but rather that the teachings of Jesus as Christians today know them are not the actual teachings of Jesus, and that the actual teachings of Jesus are on an equal footing with those of Muhammad.
posted by Flunkie at 3:15 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish we could combine them all and just get Paul Rand.

Paul Raynd?
posted by jason_steakums at 3:20 PM on August 11, 2012


"Mormons are Christians by any reasonable definition. The idea that they're not is perpetuated by anti-Mormon evangelical groups."

Actually, the most reductive, broad definition of "Christian" used by many (not all!) scholars is either "professes the Nicene Creed" or "1) Trinitarian God; 2) Jesus as savior; 3) two-testament Bible." Mormons fit neither of those definitions and scholars who study Christian sects mostly talk about Mormons as "Christian-derived" or "Christian-related" or something along those lines. Similar edge cases include Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Rastafarians.

Such line-drawing and defining is pretty arbitrary -- how much does a liberal Episcopalian have in common with an evangelical Baptist, even if they're both "Christian"? -- but if people are saying Mormons aren't Christians in an effort to understand better who Mormons are and what they believe, that's great! If people are saying Mormons aren't Christians as a form of value judgment, that's crappy and lazy. If people are saying Mormons aren't Christians as code for a bigoted dogwhistle, that's immoral. But any of those three are possibilities, so you have to figure out where someone's coming from with it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:20 PM on August 11, 2012 [21 favorites]


My apologies - I apparently don't know WTF I'm talking about when it comes to Islam.

One big difference (I looked this up on Wikipedia) is that Muslims generally do not accept that Jesus was crucified, died, and rose from the dead, while Mormons do.

So to summarized, Mormons are Christians because they say they're Christians. Muslims aren't because they say they aren't. That's good enough for me.
posted by muddgirl at 3:20 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I think that a lot of Muslims would say that the reason they're not "Christian" is the same reason they're not "Mohammadans" -- which is a term that was actually applied to them for a long time by Westerners, and which (at least many of them) have objected to, for the following reason (which seems basically reasonable to me):

They don't worship Mohammad. They're therefore not Mohammadans.

They also don't worship the Anointed One. They're therefore not Christians.
posted by Flunkie at 3:22 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


My limited understanding is that the main difference is that Islam recognizes Muhammad as a true prophet and Christianity does not. The emnity of today wasn't always there; Islam refers to Muslims, Christians and Jews as "people of the Book".
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:22 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Think about this: in 2012 the GOP candidates for President and Vice-President are 1) a Non-Christian and 2) A Roman Catholic... This is social progress, regardless if anybody wants to admit it or not.

You'd be correct, if they had any good moral values to speak of. Social progress will be when both parties can state publicly that government should help the poor and not be accused of being communists. Social progress will be when both parties have candidates that can say they the government should give equal rights to all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and religion — or lack thereof. As I stated above, I would consider it social progress if the nominee for the GOP held some of the same basic principles as Richard Nixon.

Romney and Paul publicly display a lack of basic human decency and compassion for the suffering of others because they think that will give them access to votes and power. They call themselves Christian, but ignore large parts of the Gospel because mainstream American Christianity has very little to do with the words of Christ. The fact that they are members of formerly persecuted religious minorities is somewhat meaningless in the shadow of that stark reality.

They have a singular goal in their quest for the Presidency: less taxes and more power for the rich. Since most Republicans (and Democrats) are good, honest, hard working people who do believe in accountability, the value of hard work, charity, better schools, and less violence, the Romney campaign can't talk about issues like Romney's business practices or tax returns, or about Paul's economic plans. So they will focus on two talking points: America is suffering economically, and the only person to blame is Barack Hussein Obama. They're going to turn up coding and revive the Southern Strategy — fighting for the rights of "working Americans." They're going to try and convince people that abortion and defeating gay marriage are the only issues that matter, despite the long record of Romney saying otherwise.

Paul is the poster child of thoughtless conservatism, and he's meant to give credibility to Romney, who has governed a state in the interest of the middle class. It's that record of sensible governance, dug up in the primaries, that will be his undoing. Romney will lose the ultra-conservatives because the GOP has spent years programming tens of millions of people to consider anyone who supports a woman's right to choose, or two adults in their right to marry whom they choose, as nothing less than the devil incarnate. They spread this lie because it won elections. But now the independents aren't buying it, and they can't "flip flop" back to reality, so they're stuck trying to sell a traditional conservative as something else, and thankfully, I don't think it's going to work. But they will try.

They will try to make Obama seem more evil than Romney. They'll drum up fears of communism, terrorism, and racism. They'll get every state legislature under their control to introduce as many barriers as they can to voting, in a sick homage to poll taxes and other Jim Crow laws.

So, no, there's no social progress from the GOP. Just more dirty politicking for more power.
posted by deanklear at 3:24 PM on August 11, 2012 [29 favorites]


Actually, the most reductive, broad definition of "Christian" used by many (not all!) scholars is either "professes the Nicene Creed"

(When I was a mainstream protestant I used to accept this definition, but what about the Christians pre-381? Are they pre-Christians?)
posted by muddgirl at 3:24 PM on August 11, 2012


Paul is the poster child of thoughtless conservatism

Exactly - that's why I scoff at the idea that he's an Ideas Man - he doesn't have ideas, he has ideology. If he's the leading ideas man in any party, the rank and file should be feeling really REALLY nervous.
posted by muddgirl at 3:25 PM on August 11, 2012


Oh good gravy, a million and one Christian movements came out of the Second Great Awakening. Mormons are Christian, they're just not Protestant.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:27 PM on August 11, 2012


So, is that the GOP long game? Sacrifice Mittens in hopes that the economy will be so badly gefuckt in '16 that Paul "Ey, Paulie" Ryan will be the told-you-so cavalry?

Paul Ryan and the right’s long game: The V.P. selection of conservative dreams is about a lot more than boosting the GOP's chances this fall
posted by homunculus at 3:27 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thing about religious beliefs, how different beliefs relate to each other historically and theologically, is that they are very abstract. You don't get to test hypothesis about who is praying to the same God by having different groups pray to their God and seeing which prayers get answered by which Gods. It's a social construct, so we have to be socially responsible it talking about it. Eyebrows McGee makes an excellent point by considering what people are trying to say through subtext. Muddgirl makes an excellent point by considering what people identify as, what they present themselves as.
posted by ifandonlyif at 3:29 PM on August 11, 2012


Also, how could he have been chosen BOTH Biggest Brown-Noser AND Prom King? The story doesn't add up. Release your records, Mr. Ryan!
posted by gerryblog at 3:30 PM on August 11, 2012


Thank you Blazecock Pileon.
posted by futz at 3:30 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Muddgirl makes an excellent point by considering what people identify as, what they present themselves as.

Yes, but if I have a club and it has rules and you don't follow the rules and I kick you out and you go around town loudly telling everyone you're a member of my club, you don't get to show your shocked face when I call you out on it.
posted by localroger at 3:32 PM on August 11, 2012


(When I was a mainstream protestant I used to accept this definition, but what about the Christians pre-381? Are they pre-Christians?)

Presumably that's a definition of Christianity which only applies in a historic context. Much in the way that Thompson and Ritchie's original UNIX looks nothing like any modern Linux/OpenBSD/Solaris box and Depeche Mode retroactively became a Goth band in the 1990s. Or something.
posted by acb at 3:32 PM on August 11, 2012


Yes, but if I have a club and it has rules and you don't follow the rules and I kick you out and you go around town loudly telling everyone you're a member of my club, you don't get to show your shocked face when I call you out on it.

A label applied to oneself from inside and a label applied to someone else from outside are not the same label, even if they are the same word. Case in point: "hipster".
posted by acb at 3:33 PM on August 11, 2012


(When I was a mainstream protestant I used to accept this definition, but what about the Christians pre-381? Are they pre-Christians?)

A lot of them were tortured to death by the newly Christianized Roman Empire for the horrible sin of not quite being the right kind of Christian, by Christians who were the right kind of Christian. It was particularly dangerous to be a Gnostic for the following millennium and change.
posted by localroger at 3:35 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I was a mainstream protestant I used to accept this definition, but what about the Christians pre-381? Are they pre-Christians?

For the people who care enough to vote on it, they probably even have a more strict definition, but I wouldn't mind seeing more complements on the GOP's embrace of non-mainstream Christianity from the secular left.
posted by empath at 3:35 PM on August 11, 2012


Maybe we should have a Metatalk if people want to continue this derail about who really counts as a Christian.
posted by chrchr at 3:35 PM on August 11, 2012 [17 favorites]


(When I was a mainstream protestant I used to accept this definition, but what about the Christians pre-381? Are they pre-Christians?)
Until you get a Arian running for President, I wouldn't worry about it. But do watch out for those Pelagians, they're everywhere nowadays...

posted by Jehan at 3:35 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


What an interesting question, muddgirl! I'm pulling this guess out of thin air, but maybe they would think:

Someone who agrees/agreed with the tenets of the Nicene Creed is/was a Christian, while someone who doesn't or didn't wasn't or isn't.

So for example (at least in the world view of a person who accepts this as the definition of Christianity), presumably the Apostles were Christians, because they (again, presumably) agreed with all the tenets of the Nicene Creed, despite those tenets not yet having been formalized into the Creed itself while they were alive.

But (say) the Ebionites, who didn't believe a lot of the things that eventually wound up in the Creed, weren't Christians, and the fact that the Nicene Creed didn't exist when they were alive doesn't let them off the hook.
posted by Flunkie at 3:35 PM on August 11, 2012


localroger, that's true to an extent, but people can always appeal to a a different authority. Your club has abandon the rules of our founding member, so you can't speak for true members of our club! You, the founding member of our club, have lost yours ways accordingly to the principles you have shared with us! There's always another source of legitimacy for the outcast.
posted by ifandonlyif at 3:37 PM on August 11, 2012


Please cut it out with the debating over who's a Real Christian and who is not.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:37 PM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


When I google for "council churches" and similar terms I cannot find any obvious organizations which include (Catholics, Baptists, Orthodoxes, Methodists, Presbyterians) AND Mormons, whereas I do find organizations which include the former grouping and NOT Mormons, for what it's worth.

The Mormons I know do not make a big deal about Jesus. This is also true about the Catholics I know. I have no opinion about the Christianity or Un- of the Mormon religion.
posted by bukvich at 3:40 PM on August 11, 2012


For the people who care enough to vote on it, they probably even have a more strict definition, but I wouldn't mind seeing more complements on the GOP's embrace of non-mainstream Christianity from the secular left.

The GOP embraces anyone that worships money. The diversity of sects are somewhat irrelevant, and in my opinion, not worthy of much praise. Now, is it progress to move to exclusion based on wealth and property and sexual orientation instead of exclusion based on race and creed? Perhaps, but again, not worthy of many complements.
posted by deanklear at 3:43 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Pulease, no more stuff about Christians.
posted by Artful Codger at 3:44 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


One of my favorite tweets today:

Romney's the guy who fires you. Ryan's the guy who denies you unemployment insurance or health coverage. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/11/opinion/paul-ryans-cramped-vision.html#commentsContainer

https://twitter.com/jedlewison
posted by dave78981 at 3:45 PM on August 11, 2012 [12 favorites]


Another vote to stop the christian debate in this thread.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:45 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


If Romney wins, expect him to be assassinated shortly afterwards in order to put his VP in charge.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:48 PM on August 11, 2012


It would be nice to see a flow chart: "So You Got Laid Off By Bain"

Underneath it is the question: "Who is in the White House?"

With the options: "Obama/Biden" and "Romney/Ryan"

You can imagine the rest.
posted by ifandonlyif at 3:50 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Since one of the largest loyal Republican affinity groups is Evangelical Christians, the perceived inclusion or exclusion of the Mormon sect is one of the most pertinent issues in the election. Will Romney get a big Evangelical turnout? Bush did. Romney may well not. If he does not, that election day map could be very very blue.

Romney himself might well be the biggest fan of not talking about this in the entire country.
posted by bukvich at 3:52 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another vote to stop the christian debate in this thread.

You might want to leave the TV turned off until November, because this is already a significant topic in some circles and it isn't going away.

The important questino isn't "is LDS Christian," it's "do 'other' Christians think LDS is Christian?" And the consensus answer to that is a resounding no.

Down here in deep Redneckistan I already know several fundamentalist types who are planning to stay home because they won't vote for the Mormon. It's probably not enough to turn Louisiana blue but it's a very real thing.
posted by localroger at 3:53 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


[A high-stakes political thread is probably not the best place for an extended derail about historical Christianity. It might make a good FPP topic; otherwise, please move on. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:54 PM on August 11, 2012 [7 favorites]


I wonder if Fox made any "communist" comments when Copeland (appalachian spring, IIRC) was played at Obama's inauguration.

It gets better. Copeland was a gay communist. Let America Be America Again redux.
posted by spitbull at 3:59 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


Paul Ryan's First Speech As VP Candidate Highlights Challenge Of Selling Policy To Mainstream.
posted by ericb at 4:01 PM on August 11, 2012


Gay communist jew, just to be complete.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:03 PM on August 11, 2012 [9 favorites]


Romney tries to define Ryan before Democrats do it for him.
posted by ericb at 4:03 PM on August 11, 2012


Rejoice! It’s Ryan! -- "Conservatives are thrilled by Romney’s VP pick. So are Democrats. One camp is very wrong."
posted by ericb at 4:09 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


First, Romney walked out to the soundtrack from Air Force One, which increased his foreign policy experience by nearly 75%. He was very happy to be able to announce Paul Ryan as a game-changer policy wonk Young Gun political outsider thing. Paul Ryan is a 14-year Congressman who has basically not stepped foot outside of the District of Columbia since he could rent a car without a co-signer. Romney awkwardly introduced Ryan as “the next President of the United States,” but then smoothly corrected himself by putting his arm around Ryan’s shoulder and grinning through a really painful explanation of how Romney made a mistake, but not in selecting Paul Ryan, because (chuckle), um, because ... *
posted by ericb at 4:15 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Paul Ryan is the reverse of Sarah Palin. She was all right-wing flash without much substance. He’s all right-wing substance without much flash. ... More than any other politician today, Paul Ryan exemplifies the social Darwinism at the core of today’s Republican Party: Reward the rich, penalize the poor, let everyone else fend for themselves. Dog eat dog. "
Robert Reich: The Ryan Choice.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:16 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is also the first election in modern history where there is not at least one candidate (either party, president or vice) who is a veteran.
posted by ColdChef at 4:23 PM on August 11, 2012 [18 favorites]


This pick will probably enthuse Romney's base, but his base isn't enough to get him elected. Polls this week show independents increasingly favoring Obama, and I don't see the Ryan pick enticing many independents.

On the off chance that it helps you out in Wisconsin (it won't), it seems like it basically implodes your chances in Florida since Obama/Biden will carpetbomb that state with attack ads.

I don't think Wisconsin will go to Romney. I have Florida going to Romney on my map (which I'm trying to keep cautious), but I think Obama has a shot, especially now. I'd trade Florida's 29 electoral votes for Wisconsin's 10 any day.

This is also the first election in modern history where there is not at least one candidate (either party, president or vice) who is a veteran.

Romney's a draft dodger.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:36 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is also the first election in modern history where there is not at least one candidate (either party, president or vice) who is a veteran.
When was the last time? After a brief scan of Wikipedia, maybe 1932? FDR, John Nance Garner, Hoover, and Charles Curtis? I might have missed a military reference in their bios, or maybe even Wikipedia just doesn't mention one despite it existing.

Incidentally, I never previously knew that we had a Vice President (Charles Curtis) who was almost half Native American. Apparently he even spent a significant amount of his childhood on a reservation. This strikes me as surprisingly progressive for 1928.
posted by Flunkie at 4:43 PM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


Man, NBC is making Ryan look like an amazing young man. Prom king, successful deer hunter, "child prodigy" because he's only worked in politics since he's been out of college.

Fans of Romney are fans of Ryan, the crowd chanting "USA! USA!"

They're not really tough on him at all, and they actually make Obama's team sound like the jerks for being critical of Ryan as the VP choice. The only thing that sounded less than stellar: Ryan's wife quit her work ambitions for family. That might stick out for working mothers, or maybe working women.

They're promising an hour of "Who is Paul Ryan" tomorrow. We'll see what they say.

One thing for Ryan: he's the polar opposite to Palin. Not an outsider, nor a "rebel" of any sort. His danger comes in terms of his far-right ideals, not for saying stupid things.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:47 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, tons of thoughts about this, many half-formed, been reading the thread all day and just caught up.

1. What about Florida? I mean, I know this feels like yesterday's news already, but seriously. WHAT ABOUT FLORIDA? When the GOP has won (or stolen, depending on your view) the state in the recent past it has been nail-bitingly close, and that was with voter-purges of minorities and without a guy who the AARP hates on their ticket. What does Ryan possibly get them that is worth tossing out the biggest swing-state in the election?

People have mentioned that the Obama campaign will carpet-bomb Florida with attack ads now, but if I'm thinking smart for that campaign I actually wait and see. The AARP is very good at direct-mailing the seniors and might do the job for them, leaving them more money for other key states.

2. Does he actually provide a real bump even in Wisconsin? He's popular in his own district, much less popular elsewhere in the state, and I can't imagine that the people who like him there were on the fence about the general anyway, considering how extreme Ryan is.

3. The "I live on the same block I grew up on," thing seems more like a play to one's district than for national appeal, unless one reads it as a dog-whistle to the birthers. Romney's mormonism might make him feel uncomfortably "exotic" to certain voters, but this bit can make the ticket seem more "real American," so there's that, I guess.

4. Why pick the guy if you're going to have to distance yourself from his plan? And when the best thing you had going economically was not being in charge right now and having no clear plan written down anywhere? In case you've been living away from any media recently, the Obama campaign's big tool right now is their "tax calculator," pitting Obama's plan against what can be discerned from what Romney has said, but now that gets to be replaced with the most draconian, feed-the-rich-on-the-broken-backs-of-everyone-else plan imaginable.

5. The rumor-mill here in DC has it that Obama is going to put Marriage Equality on the platform at the convention. I'm wondering if this pick makes that more or less likely. Seemingly (from a very craven point of view) the move would take advantage of national numbers somewhat more in favor of SSM than opposed to it, and put out a wedge issue that keeps the focus away from the economy, but would still be risky. Now that the economic debate is one of "struggling to recover" vs. "plan from hell," they might not want to move it after all.

6. The Veep Debate will be premium viewing again, because this time Biden will have no reason not to swing for the fences. Smug high-school philosophy idealism vs. numbers and a ridiculous amount of experience. The biggest issue won't be keeping Biden away from any gaffes, but about keeping from smiling too hard.

7. Finally, I don't know how big a role religion will play in the end, but I've known congregations who don't consider Catholics to be "Christian," so that'll surely become an awful and tiresome debate soon if it hasn't already.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:57 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Easy for you to say when you're not fighting your civil rights battle.

I don't doubt for a second that if this ticket wins they will immediately start trying to roll back the clock and shove me in the closet. And I am telling you I am not going.

It's not even about the economy for me anymore. This is personal. I live in San Francisco and I actively worry about what would happen if Romney gets elected.

So no. I'm not okay with this viewpoint. It's so far beyond cutting your nose off to spite your face. I wasn't around during the 80s when Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis, but I know enough history to know this would be the worst thing for the LGBT community since that.


I agree with you, but note how everything you say remains true if I slightly rewrite to focus on another group Romney/Ryan directly threaten:

Easy for you to say when you're not fighting a battle to keep your civil rights.

I don't doubt for a second that if this ticket wins they will immediately start trying to roll back the clock and shove me back in the house and kitchen. And I am telling you I am not going.

It's not even about the economy for me anymore. This is personal. I live in Seattke and I actively worry about what would happen if Romney gets elected.

So no. I'm not okay with this viewpoint. It's so far beyond cutting your nose off to spite your face. I wasn't around for the earliest stages of the women's right's movement, but I know enough history to know this would be the worst thing for women since then.

posted by bearwife at 4:58 PM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Uh, sorry. Seattle, not Seattke.

Also, here's the video the Obama campaign already had in the can for Ryan's pick to run for VP.
posted by bearwife at 5:02 PM on August 11, 2012


@BarackObama FACT: Paul Ryan voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which helps women fight for equal pay for equal work.

@BarackObama FACT: Paul Ryan cosponsored a bill that would ban many common forms of birth control, including certain birth control pills.

@BarackObama FACT: Paul Ryan would ban all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:07 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


What about Florida?

I think one way to think about Ryan is as Mitt's down-with-the-ship moment: the moment he decided to be a beautiful loser. Ryan will help downballot, and maybe save Mitt's reputation after November.
posted by gerryblog at 5:08 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


"‏@TedNugent Paul Ryan is a great American bowhunting BloodBrotherwith the vision of good positive productive American families-Godspeed"

I think we can all agree that Nuge is a voice of sanity.
posted by howfar at 5:09 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is the same Nuge who in his autobiography described how he dodged the draft by doing something VERY awkward at his physical? That same Nuge? Yeah....
posted by jadepearl at 5:11 PM on August 11, 2012


The same Nuge who has to be made to support his illegitimate children by court order. He's a family man, he likes them so much he has several.
posted by howfar at 5:14 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oops, he denies the poop but he does say meth later on. Citation here.
posted by jadepearl at 5:14 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


@BarackObama Does the fact that I'm trying to do it, do it for you?
posted by defenestration at 5:16 PM on August 11, 2012


@BarackObama

What does it mean when you post something prefixed with that? It's not at all clear to me.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:21 PM on August 11, 2012


I've known congregations who don't consider Catholics to be "Christian," so that'll surely become an awful and tiresome debate soon if it hasn't already.

These kinds of internecine battles between believers always make me want to sit in some kind of giant spinning chair, steeple my fingers, and laugh maniacally, and maybe pet a cat when not finger-steepling.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:23 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


4. Why pick the guy if you're going to have to distance yourself from his plan?

The link below is a bit thin, but this question seems to be getting some traction. I know I am wondering too, but also know that this is pretty much classic Mitt. Do a thing, observe the landscape, walk it back to whatever degree necessary to obscure the issue and prepare for the big denial.

Mitt Romney: I’m Running With Paul Ryan, But Not On The Ryan Budget (TalkingPointsMemo)
posted by lampshade at 5:23 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney walked out to the soundtrack from Air Force One

Mitt Romney: I’m Running With Paul Ryan, But Not On The Ryan Budget

He should have picked the soundtrack from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City:

"And I ran, I ran so far away.
I just ran, I ran all night and day.
I couldn't get away."
posted by iviken at 5:25 PM on August 11, 2012


I'm seriously juiced for a Biden v. Ryan debate, if only there could be three or four. Ryan will have no idea what hit him, he can't out-regular-guy Joe Biden and that is his primary soft-shoe schtick. It will be Bentsen/Quayle redux, I tell you, and Biden will get his "You're no John Kennedy" moment. Mark my words.
posted by spitbull at 5:25 PM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


drezdn: "Maybe they are just counting on rigging the whole fuckIng thing.

Maybe, but why do it for Romney? If you "know" your side is going to win, why not go with the absolute best representation of your side?
"

Ok, I got this: See, they elect Romney and Ryan, but then then Romney mysteriously dies. Ryan becomes President. John Boehner gets appointed as VP. America has just been hand wrapped and delivered to the corporate squids and the zombie eyed granny starvers.
posted by dejah420 at 5:26 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


My apologies, benito.strauss - I should have used a link.
My references were quotes from the Barack Obama twitter feed.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:26 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


@BarackObama

What does it mean when you post something prefixed with that? It's not at all clear to me.


That the poster considers Twitter to have value as a communications medium.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:26 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


That the poster considers Twitter to have value as a communications medium.

Even keeping the rest of their vile agenda that same, I might consider voting for R2 if they promised to destroy twitter with the cleansing fire of an atom bomb. Secondary casualties would be acceptable.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:31 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan V.P. Choice Caves to Kochs, Tea Party – The Rise of American Fascism

"Mitt Romney’s selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as his V.P. running mate today, a deal brokered to appease the John Birch Libertarians, puts American fascism potentially within a heartbeat of the most powerful job in the world. While this announcement will be strategized and analyzed for its superficial impact, the bottom line is a Neocon admission that Karl Rove has failed, and that their Civil War is over: The Libertarians’ coup of the GOP is complete."
posted by madamjujujive at 5:33 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


It will be Bentsen/Quayle redux, I tell you, and Biden will get his "You're no John Kennedy" moment.

VP Quayle got the last laugh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:34 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


VP Quayle got the last laugh.
Was there a funny monkey on the tee vee?
posted by Flunkie at 5:36 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


Finally, I don't know how big a role religion will play in the end, but I've known congregations who don't consider Catholics to be "Christian," so that'll surely become an awful and tiresome debate soon if it hasn't already.

Were it not for the politics of the person who lived across from me my first year of college, I would say all the 'Catholics aren't real Christians' people will invariably vote Republican no matter what. But, yeah, the first person I heard say that crap was a Democrat. It seems to be a reasonably common thing in evangelical circles.

(Coincidentally, that someone would think that, never mind say it (in front of Catholics, no less) blew my mind. I only had an abstract notion that people didn't like Catholics and assumed it was in the past. Turns out, no, I'm just from Chicago. Apparently it's alive and well elsewhere in places without a zillion Catholics.)
posted by hoyland at 5:38 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Appeasement for the Ron Paulites. Can't even get on the RP forums right now, probably too busy.
posted by telstar at 5:39 PM on August 11, 2012


Ew. As a person who was planning to vote for Romney... EW.
posted by Night_owl at 5:52 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


The woman Paul Ryan beat. Spottswood: Don't underestimate the "business agent for the 21st century robber barons"
posted by homunculus at 5:55 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


The rumor-mill here in DC has it that Obama is going to put Marriage Equality on the platform at the convention.

It's already there. "The national Democratic Party’s platform committee endorsed gay marriage [today] for the first time and called for the repeal of a federal law that recognizes marriage as between a man and a woman."

Same-sex marriage is on the ballot in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:58 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


I forgot one thing I wanted to say, probably the most important thing:

"our rights come from nature and God, not government."

While I agree that this line of thinking bears some resemblance to Jefferson, it bears some context in that Jefferson was talking about the inalienability of rights - that they are not granted to us because a government said so, but rather ours by birth, and that a government made up of the people shall be designed in such a way as to not grant those rights, but rather protect them. Because Jefferson was a democrat, before that word had party affiliations.

It means something different when talking about someone who opposes GBLT rights and promotes corporate personhood (i.e. "I can tell you what rights God has given you.") and who opposes things such as equal pay for women, etc. Or perhaps more generously, it becomes a lot more clear within the objectivist philosophy that nature has given us the right to take all we can grab, and government only serves to impede the individuals from grabbing what is rightfully "theirs."

In any case, they mean different things. Jefferson was creating a new government, of the people, by the people, and for the people. Ryan is trying to neuter and/or destroy that.

Leaders in a democracy (or republic) have accountability. Financial barons do not, save for what accountability the leaders of the democracy or republic put upon them, lest they become kings.

Put another way, the entire purpose of a democratic government is for the people to protect themselves from people like Mitt Romney.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:00 PM on August 11, 2012 [21 favorites]


The woman Paul Ryan beat. Spottswood: Don't underestimate the "business agent for the 21st century robber barons"

Yep. Ryan's a believer, in the sense that he projects the feeling that he fervently believes what he's talking about, which people respond to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:00 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


What? Darth Vader wasn't available?
posted by newdaddy at 6:23 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Veep Debate will be premium viewing again, because this time Biden will have no reason not to swing for the fences.

Eddie Munster: Can I call you Joe?
posted by ericb at 6:30 PM on August 11, 2012


What? Darth Vader wasn't available?

Dick Cheney's 71. Romney probably perceived him as too old.
posted by chrchr at 6:34 PM on August 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


The link madamjujujive provided is interesting and had some good points, though it is somewhat ineloquent: the power inside of the GOP has shifted to the major contributors, who are now libertarians.

Think about the last two elections: two reasonably moderate, likable conservative candidates who both retracted all of their sensible positions to line up with libertarian talking points during the primaries. The GOP voters see a moderate, recognizable face with similar views: pro-gun, anti-abortion, but not too much crazy. The extremely libertarian candidates can't win in an actual election, so the funders get to pick the VP, and both times they have picked people with views entirely outside of mainstream conservative politics. It sunk McCain, and it will probably sink Romney. So the question is, when will the establishment kick out the tea partiers, or is the GOP about to split?
posted by deanklear at 6:36 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whoa! I did nine cable tv/modem installs in eight hours (including telephone pole climbing), was home early for any day in my job, especially during student rush, and have read almost all of these comments! We all get to find out where our hearts really are in this election. It has always been an easy choice for me. IMO, if you feel Romney Hood, and Ryan Rand, are walking death to this BEAUTIFUL system of government, then you, my friends, should be happy. If you are even iffy, in any way, about these guys, then I feel sorry for your mother. The end of the world as we know it, on one side, and...an African American(most would think) on the other. I see the confict in the smarter republicans at my job, it's great! It reminds me of that scene with Thandie Newton and Matt Dillon, in crash (the burning vehicle), and my co-worker's fears are just-as-well-written-a-work of fiction. I happen to believe that (barring a civil war) dems will hold the executive branch through 2023, if we win this one. This has been well worth my three hours of free time on a Saturday night. You all are so freakin smart here! We (in Wisconsin) have Scott, Paul, Reince, Rebecca and others... We could use John Constantine. ObamaNow, Clinton16.
posted by Flex1970 at 6:38 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


We could use John Constantine.

he wouldn't be in the office, he'd just be controlling them from the shadows, with blackmail and the blood of angels. ;)

(and the world would probably be a much better place for it, actually)
posted by usagizero at 6:47 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney knows he's going to lose, he just doesn't want to come out being blamed by the right for losing for not being conservative enough. He's sugar coating his inevitable loss, not playing to win.
posted by delmoi at 7:05 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


So they will focus on two talking points: America is suffering economically, and the only person to blame is Barack Hussein Obama. They're going to turn up coding and revive the Southern Strategy — fighting for the rights of "working Americans." They're going to try and convince people that abortion and defeating gay marriage are the only issues that matter, despite the long record of Romney saying otherwise.

And it is already working.

Remember four years ago? Remember this story?


Yeah, not anymore. My Catholic mother just slathered her Facebook wall with love for Paul Ryan. And she and my father are seniors who rely on Medicare and are not uber-rich, but would take a big hit under a Paul Ryan-like tax scenario. I don't get it. But there you have it. Faced with four more years of what we have, and swallowing a poison pill, they are choosing the pill.

Perhaps it is the Tea Party and GOP riling up their base with the most insanely scary stories of HOW MUCH WORSE it's going to be in an Obama second-term, that he's been "holding back, that he will unleash teh Communism." No, I'm serious. They are really believing this.

I once doodled a little picture for my mom on the back of an envelope (I wish I were a better cartoonist). It was Obama/Biden pushing an old car labeled "U.S. Economy" out of the ditch of 2004 to 2008. The GOP are standing off to one said complaining bitterly about how Obama/Biden are pushing it too slowly. And in the background, the EU has crashed into a light pole and the front end is totally smashed up.

That is my parents. Bitterly complaining that things aren't happening fast enough, accepting the revisionist history that Obama--not Bush--is to blame (or sometimes just stating that Bush was a blip, a mistake, a RINO). They are believing the hype.

So, no. This will not be a cake walk. The Dems have nothing locked up. I'll be honest. I'm terribly disappointed in Obama and felt, in a way, that he failed my interests. I wish I had the energy to campaign for him, but I'm busting my butt fighting the charter school proliferation that is threatening to gut our neighborhood school and which his boys Arne and Rahm are completely behind. I appreciate that we aren't in the Bush Ditch any longer, but Obama hasn't made it easy for me to defend him or work for him this time around because of what he HASN'T done for public education.

There is no wave, no turning tide, no mass of eager volunteers like there was in 2008. Don't count the votes too soon.

I don't want Romney/Ryan to win. Beating the GOP because Romney chose Ryan is by NO means a slam dunk.
posted by jeanmari at 7:07 PM on August 11, 2012 [30 favorites]


Even keeping the rest of their vile agenda that same, I might consider voting for R2 if they promised to destroy twitter with the cleansing fire of an atom bomb. Secondary casualties would be acceptable.

Throw Facebook in there and you got yourself a deal! Put 'er there!
posted by the painkiller at 7:08 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why I Love Paul Ryan -- He’s what a Republican should be: an honest, open-minded, solution-oriented fiscal conservative. [William Saletan, Slate]
Screw the polls. Republicans will be on the right side of the spending debate. They’ll be on the right side of the substance debate, too. Instead of bickering about Romney’s tax returns and repeating the obvious but unhelpful observation that the unemployment rate sucks, we’ll actually have to debate serious problems and solutions. That’s great for the country.

I’m not saying Ryan is the nation’s savior. He has serious flaws. His discipline on spending isn’t matched by restraint on tax cuts. He was wrong to oppose the Simpson-Bowles plan. Democrats will hammer him on the tax side, and he’ll deserve it. But that, too, will make the debate productive: Each side’s dogmas will be exposed, with fiscal responsibility as the governing standard. And unlike many of his colleagues, Ryan isn’t a wanker or a hater. He’s in it for solutions, not spite. He’ll be the best kind of debater, open to criticism and amenable to compromise.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:20 PM on August 11, 2012


madamjujujive's comment about these two Republican Yankees and her later link to the article about the Libertarian elite now running the Republican Party prompted these thoughts:

The only neo-Confederate remaining is Ron Paul and his Paulbots. This suggests that the Republican money-men have more or less decided to take the South for granted. This is pretty much what they did to the Christian Right after Paul Weyrich died.

This is pretty strange since the Nixon's Southern strategy and the Reagan re-alignment were founded on the Dixiecrats switching parties from the Dems to the Republicans. I think the last all Yankee Republican ticket was Dole/Kemp in 1996. Now they are kissing off Dixie.

Secondly, you kids don't really know what fun VP picks can be if you haven't experienced the delight of George Wallace unveiling Gen. Curtis LeMay as his Veep for the AIP run in 1968. In exactly 7 minutes (a British correspondent timed it) Wallace's third party campaign went from a serious threat to Nixon to a smoking hole in the ground.

I can't find video of the Wallace/LeMay press conference on the web, but perhaps someone else can do better than I.
posted by warbaby at 7:27 PM on August 11, 2012 [8 favorites]


Dick Cheney's 71. Romney probably perceived him as too old.

Nonsense. Dick Cheney's Alive!
posted by homunculus at 7:29 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


His discipline on spending isn’t matched by restraint on tax cuts.
BobbyVan, I think that Mr. Ryan's voting record will show that this simply isn't true. No Congressperson who voted for Medicare Part D can claim to be disciplined on spending. (I recognize that you were quoting not advancing such an argument yourself.)
posted by wintermind at 7:40 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


bardic: "maybe this is all about grooming Ryan for 2016"

Ryan Vs. Clinton : I'll take that fight.
posted by Bonzai at 7:57 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


unlike many of his colleagues, Ryan isn’t a wanker or a hater. He’s in it for solutions, not spite. He’ll be the best kind of debater, open to criticism and amenable to compromise.

Does…does "wanker" have some kind of political meaning in the US that I'm missing? In the UK it would mean you were more of a mass debater.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:02 PM on August 11, 2012 [19 favorites]


Ryan Vs. Clinton : I'll take that fight.

As a weird data point, the one friend of mine who really likes Romney is excited to hopefully vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:06 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


wanker = masturbator
posted by annsunny at 8:08 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here are a few more nuanced definitions.
posted by annsunny at 8:09 PM on August 11, 2012


The Ryan Plan famously exploded the US deficit.

Funny how Republicans associate tax cuts for Paris Hilton with deficit reduction.

This is the opposite of reality.
posted by bardic at 8:18 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a weird data point, the one friend of mine who really likes Romney is excited to hopefully vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Losing the nomination is the best thing to ever happen to Hillary, really. Obama gets stuck with Bush's mess and meanwhile the Clintons approval rating skyrockets as voters fondly remember the boom-time 90s. Nobody blames Bill for the whole deregulation mess he started - somehow it's all now Obama and Bush's fault. Regardless of who wins in 2012, Hillary will be ready to run on a platform of glorious nostalgia in 2016, amidst what will probably be ongoing economic and environmental disaster.
posted by mek at 8:18 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


wanker = masturbator

I think the question is whether the term is being used in a political figurative manner, rather than a simple insult. If a Briton described a politician as a "wanker", it would simply be a suggestion of idiocy, unpleasantness or incompetence. The use of the term in that article suggests something a little bit more specific than that, but it's hard to know if the word has actually acquired a new nuance on its transatlantic holiday, or whether the writer is just a wanker.
posted by howfar at 8:21 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Honestly, my lame 12th dimensional chess insight is that maybe this is all about grooming Ryan for 2016.

In that case, here's hoping he and Palin have at it in the primaries. Whoever loses, we win?
posted by Apocryphon at 8:23 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


William Edward Hickman for president.
posted by telstar at 8:28 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paul Ryan V.P. Choice Caves to Kochs, Tea Party – The Rise of American Fascism

So fascism has only arisen now, as opposed to when the pundits heralded it with McCain/Palin, the Bush presidencies, Reagan, Nixon, McCarthy...? Please, give us another hyperbolic analysis about how this party or that personality fits with your precious criteria.
posted by Apocryphon at 8:29 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


the bottom line is a Neocon admission that Karl Rove has failed, and that their Civil War is over: The Libertarians’ coup of the GOP is complete.

The thing is, Rove isn't even trying. He's basically been on vacation ever since Obama was elected. The Koch/TP faction is doing so well mainly because they inherited a basically abandoned party - well, not entirely abandoned, but it was being run by Michael Steele.

I interpret the GOP campaigns of 2008 and 2012 as the real power base of the Republicans rightfully determining mainstream sentiment post-Bush as making any further looting too difficult to bother, therefore they adopted a policy of total obstructionism and let whatever doofus was stupid enough to spend the money take the Presidential ticket and crater their career. (Good opportunity to eliminate undesirables and rogue politicians, for that matter.) The real action is going on at the state and local level, where the War on Women and voter disenfranchisement efforts are systematically preparing for the next generation of GOP dominance.
posted by mek at 8:39 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.

That was the year that I read Voyage from Yesteryear, and it turned me into an anarchist communist (I got better - my husband assured me that I'm now more right wing than the Cultural Revolution). I seem to recall that the literary quality was about the same as Rand, but there was far more humour to leaven it.

But looking back, I would have been better off reading Terry Pratchett, even if Vimes is a little too republican.
posted by jb at 8:40 PM on August 11, 2012


There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.

See, those were the years when I was reading The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps.
posted by Chekhovian at 8:45 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


And Fuck Rand, and Fuck Tolkein. Both are trash.
posted by Chekhovian at 8:45 PM on August 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


I did read Yvegeny Zamiatin's We a few years later, which reinforced the anarchist side, but is also definitely of great literary quality. That's the book I give to literary snobs who don't believe that SF can also be brilliant literature.
posted by jb at 8:49 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama gets his target with pick of Ryan.
posted by ericb at 8:55 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan V.P. Choice Caves to Kochs, Tea Party – The Rise of American Fascism

So fascism has only arisen now, as opposed to when the pundits heralded it with McCain/Palin, the Bush presidencies, Reagan, Nixon, McCarthy...? Please, give us another hyperbolic analysis about how this party or that personality fits with your precious criteria.


What's interesting about the possibility of American Fascism, if it is in fact rising (or has been rising and just now is actually within possibility of taking hold), is that it will end up being a uniquely American brand of fascism.

Typically fascism would find some measure of comfort in a certain level of social support program (as long as it's for the RIGHT sort of people) and would find the corporate oligarchy troubling (because the wealth of the nation should be for THE PEOPLE as a collective [that is, the RIGHT sort of people]).

But if American Fascism is going to come to pass, it will involve a huge amount of social and market darwinism mixed into its exclusionary policies. And all this will be combined with some kind of "return to God" religious mentality. So we'll find that those with the right amount of money who belong to the right kind of church will be part of the In Crowd who are the fasces bound together into the strong bundle, and everyone else will be The Other, left to rot in their own poverty, disease, pollution, etc.

It is an interesting concept which I've seen explored through various means in the past decade or so, the most powerful of which was Year Zero, the album and ARG by Nine Inch Nails. The reality created there, spun out through fictional websites sent back from the future, depict a US which has been "born again" (hence the declaration of "year zero"), and in which strictures have been placed on everything from child bearing and raising to travel, with heavy population surveillance and drugs in the water supply to create a compliant population as major components of daily life.

Exactly how likely this kind of scenario is, is debatable. But if there's one thing that Reznor and the writers of the ARG did well, it was to look at the trends in US society and use them as springboards for their futuristic projections. While it didn't exist then, the Tea Party movement certainly feeds part-and-parcel into this vision. So does the creeping religiosity in the military. And any number of other things which have arisen in US culture and politics in the past decade.

I'm not going to subscribe to a mindset which says that American Fascism is rising with these particular candidates on this particular ballot. But I think it's important to recognize troublesome undercurrents in our popular and political culture and to be aware of their potential if allowed to carry their plans out to their logical end. There's so much going on in US culture right now which has the potential to tip over into an exclusionary "us and not them" mindset, for varying values of "us" and "them"... The sad thing, in my mind, is how many people in the US seem to have lost sight of the ideal that the "us" includes everyone who lives here, and who are far too willing to draw stark lines about the "them", even (or perhaps especially) if that includes people living on the same block.
posted by hippybear at 8:59 PM on August 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


(I read Lord of the Rings when I was 10, so take that, Ideas Man.)
posted by muddgirl at 9:02 PM on August 11, 2012


But if American Fascism is going to come to pass, it will involve a huge amount of social and market darwinism mixed into its exclusionary policies. And all this will be combined with some kind of "return to God" religious mentality. So we'll find that those with the right amount of money who belong to the right kind of church will be part of the In Crowd who are the fasces bound together into the strong bundle, and everyone else will be The Other, left to rot in their own poverty, disease, pollution, etc.

With the exception of the return to God aspect this is pretty much already the case in many instances and is brilliantly portrayed in The Wire.
posted by juiceCake at 9:05 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Multicellular Exothermic: So what can we do to keep Romney/Ryan from getting elected? (I am Canadian, living in Canada, but have strong ties to the U. S. Is there anything I can do to help?)

No foreign money is allowed in any American campaign, PAC, or other spending vehicle designed for elections.

However, you are welcome to come knock doors or make phone calls. One of your American friends might be able to convince a local Obama organizer to create a phone from home login for you.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 9:06 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.

@JPBarlow - Unlike Paul Ryan, I got over Ayn Rand about the same time I got over giving girls "The Prophet" as a seduction opener.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:06 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


His discipline on spending isn’t matched by restraint on tax cuts.

His discipline on spending isn't matched by anything, because it's non-existent. He spent like a drunken sailor during W's reign, back when deficits didn't matter, and now lamely claims he was just being a team player - so much for conviction.

Saletan is such a sucker. Furrow your brow and spout some numbers and he gets faint. Will, we're not going to get a serious policy debate when one of the policies in question isn't serious.
posted by schoolgirl report at 9:08 PM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


man AARP HATES Ryan
posted by edgeways at 9:09 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama quick video on the Romney/Ryan ticket
posted by edgeways at 9:16 PM on August 11, 2012


But I think it's important to recognize troublesome undercurrents in our popular and political culture and to be aware of their potential if allowed to carry their plans out to their logical end.

These things have been around for as long as Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Gerald L.K. Smith, if not earlier. I fail to see how this generation will somehow be more reactionary than all of the ones that followed.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:18 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


These things have been around for as long as Huey Long, Father Coughlin, Gerald L.K. Smith, if not earlier. I fail to see how this generation will somehow be more reactionary than all of the ones that followed.

Not saying that this generation will be more reactionary, but you're entirely ignoring the rise of one of the most powerful connective tools ever created by mankind, which is a major development in human society since the lifetimes of those you've mentioned.

That's a pretty major difference between then and now.
posted by hippybear at 9:28 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


No foreign money is allowed in any American campaign, PAC, or other spending vehicle designed for elections.

Hollywood Upstairs Medical College, I'm curious. How was it that Mitt Romney was able to hold a fundraiser dinner in Israel?
posted by iurodivii at 9:33 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


How was it that Mitt Romney was able to hold a fundraiser dinner in Israel?

Only American citizens were allowed to attend. There are plenty of American citizens in Israel (duel citizens or otherwise).
posted by mightygodking at 9:41 PM on August 11, 2012


Republicans have a pretty well-known anti-human bias. It would be great if Democrats started to run on this. "How exactly does the Path To Prosperity protect us from the Robot Army you plan to send to Earth? How do tax cuts to the 1% save us from your spider-hornets? I'm a bit concerned about the wind-snakes you genetically engineered, how do your polices minimize their threat?"
posted by ifandonlyif at 9:46 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


filthy light thief: "One thing for Ryan: he's the polar opposite to Palin. Not an outsider, nor a "rebel" of any sort. His danger comes in terms of his far-right ideals, not for saying stupid things."

No, he says stupid things with regularity. The problem is that they're not superficially stupid like the things Palin or Bush said. You have to actually know a bit of background to realize that he's talking out of his ass.
posted by wierdo at 9:47 PM on August 11, 2012


iurodivii: How was it that Mitt Romney was able to hold a fundraiser dinner in Israel?

An American citizen can donate, it's dependent on who writes the check, not where they met up for wine and cheese. Green card holders can also donate.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:06 PM on August 11, 2012


The foreign money ban also applies to downticket state and local elections (it's a federal statute).

An Australian company was slapped for donating to Virginia state legislators, who can under state law take direct corporate contributions.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:11 PM on August 11, 2012


(duel citizens or otherwise)

Those people must have the COOLEST passports.
posted by Chekhovian at 10:12 PM on August 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


Imply otherwise and it's pistols at 20 paces.
posted by Artw at 10:21 PM on August 11, 2012


Those people must have the COOLEST passports.

Yup. Black and red, with a stamp for every different kind of weapon you've employed.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:24 PM on August 11, 2012


How was it that Mitt Romney was able to hold a fundraiser dinner in Israel?

Only American citizens were allowed to attend.


He did the same thing in London fwiw.
posted by edgeways at 10:40 PM on August 11, 2012


Romney knows he's going to lose, he just doesn't want to come out being blamed by the right for losing for not being conservative enough. He's sugar coating his inevitable loss, not playing to win.

I wonder if Romney is swinging for the fences. It's easier to go big when Democrats act smug, thinking its in the bag. Can't say I'll be happy with a Romney win, but the progressive part of me almost hopes for a Democrat loss. Maybe four more years of oligarchy would finally push people to an FDR-like progressive in 2016.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:41 PM on August 11, 2012


Steve Kornacki on Salon, who wrote Paul Ryan and the Rights long game (linked upthread by homunculus) also wrote The Smell of Panic: "If this summer had gone the way Mitt hoped it would, he'd never be teaming up with Paul Ryan today"
posted by filthy light thief at 10:44 PM on August 11, 2012


No foreign money is allowed in any American campaign, PAC, or other spending vehicle designed for elections.

But when that money is put into a SuperPAC, isn't it completely anonymous and untraceable? And possibly foreign in origin?
posted by Chekhovian at 11:00 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you're a transhuman upload/corporation somewhere in LEO and you're donating cash froma libertarian space future where America no longer exists is that still allowed?
posted by Artw at 11:03 PM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was aware Ryan was an economic conservative, but I had no idea his social conservatism ran so deep. From FiveThirtyEight:
Various statistical measures of Mr. Ryan peg him as being quite conservative. Based on his Congressional voting record, for instance, the statistical system DW-Nominate evaluates him as being roughly as conservative as Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota.

By this measure, in fact, which rates members of the House and Senate throughout different time periods on a common ideology scale, Mr. Ryan is the most conservative Republican member of Congress to be picked for the vice-presidential slot since at least 1900. He is also more conservative than any Democratic nominee was liberal, meaning that he is the furthest from the center.
The accompanying chart pegs him as more right-wing than Nixon, Kemp, Dole, Quayle, and even Cheney (and further to the right than Ferraro, Mondale, and FDR veep Garner were to the left).
posted by Rhaomi at 11:17 PM on August 11, 2012 [14 favorites]


Don't ever think that Obama is a shoe in.
Be ready for anything.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:42 PM on August 11, 2012 [10 favorites]


I'm kind of curious now. At what point does it count as a foreign donation?

Since corporations are allowed to donate an unlimited amount, and many multinationals make large donations, what's the fundamental legal difference between a multinational corporation donating and a foreigner donating? Is it a percentage issue? Because I'm sure if it were legal people would love to do a 70%/30% domestic-foreign price match to make their donations go further...
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:49 PM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Crooked Timber: The Grandfather Clause (repost), or Paul Ryan's Plan to Exempt 55-and-up from Medicare/SS cuts.

538: Will Ryan Pick Move The Polls?

The Weekly Standard: The Obama Campaign Lies About Medicare Reform and Obamacare Makes VP Ryan Possible

CSMonitor: Paul Ryan Bold, Risky Pick for VP(video) and Political Combatants Weight In

Reason: Wherein the NYTimes Decides Catholic Bishops Are Not Partisan Because Its Time TO Tear Down Paul Ryan

Mother Jones blog, Kevin Drum: My Reaction to the Ryan Reaction
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:07 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's an interesting comment thread on the main philosophy blog asking for information about philosophical critiques of Rand.
posted by painquale at 3:55 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


the progressive part of me almost hopes for a Democrat loss. Maybe four more years of oligarchy would finally push people to an FDR-like progressive in 2016.

I'm wondering how, exactly, you think that will happen, considering that there's already plans to federalize the various voter suppression laws, and there would be at least one more SC justice friendly to the idea of overturning large parts of the Voting Rights Act.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:25 AM on August 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Didn't we already do the whole "lets hope things go to hell, cause surely this" thing upthread?
posted by cashman at 4:36 AM on August 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


If by "upthread" you mean "upthread, and also between 2000 and 2008, and, after the midterms, between 2010 and 2012"...
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:40 AM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Didn't we already do the whole "lets hope things go to hell, cause surely this" thing upthread?

Hope springs eternal?
posted by OmieWise at 4:43 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


shoe in

It's "shoo in", NOT "shoe in".
posted by telstar at 5:31 AM on August 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


This front page article from the AARP isn't exactly hating on Paul Ryan.

Ryan’s budget plan, approved by the GOP-controlled House largely along party lines, would give newer Medicare enrollees the option of receiving vouchers that they could use to buy health insurance on their own.

Ryan also advocates allowing younger workers the option of investing part of their Social Security contributions in the stock market.

Republicans have hammered Democrats for $500 billion in cuts in Medicare — the cuts are in payments to providers, not in benefits--


See, fellow seniors? Ryan's not so bad!

The language is not exactly calling for his head.
posted by jeanmari at 5:38 AM on August 12, 2012


It's easier to go big when Democrats act smug, thinking its in the bag.

And when has Obama acted smug, thinking it's in the bag? This is not what he does. He got the nomination precisely because Clinton thought it was in the bag and sailed through Super Tuesday while Obama fought hard for every district where he had a chance for a handful of delegates. He's where he is now because he's been campaigning vigorously, unearthing Romney's weaknesses and broadcasting them relentlessly. He knows he faces an anonymous money hammer and he's brilliantly leveraging the internet and social media to get people and news media to spread his message for him.

I guarantee you Obama has had people working on each possible VP pick, which is why he was ready within minutes with a statement even though it was announced on a Saturday morning. Obama doesn't take things for granted and he doesn't get taken by surprise. If you think otherwise you weren't paying attention four years ago.

Romney isn't swinging for the fences. What he's doing is ... look. Back in the 90's there were a lot of blackjack tournaments on the gulf coast. In tournament blackjack you play with play money for say 30 hands and whoever leaves the table with the most play money wins. Now often you find yourself in a situation where it's the last hand of the round and your only chance to win is to win more than a maximum bet, so no matter what hand you get you must split or double. You got dealt hard 13? You double. Hard 19? You double. Hard 20 and you don't have enough cash to split? You double and pray for an ace. That's what Romney is doing here.

To his credit, Romney realizes he is in trouble and knows he has to do something. Just don't make the mistake of thinking a necessary desperation move is a sign of strength.

And if you're winning but someone who bets before you does that and gets their ace, you bet what you have to to leapfrog them. You can make bank that Obama will do that as necessary. Obama has pulled off a few of those improbable double-downs himself (race speech, much?) but for the moment he's the one riding the moment and waiting for the other side to make its move.
posted by localroger at 5:54 AM on August 12, 2012 [13 favorites]


But was it more than two?
Included in the data collected by Myers and her team: congressional voting records, an exhaustive questionnaire and "several years" of tax returns -- she did not say how many. Romney has come under fire from Democrats and many in the media for his refusal to release more than two years of returns, despite reports he released several times that amount when he himself was vetted as a possible ticket-mate for John McCain in 2008.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:42 AM on August 12, 2012


AARP is not an advocate for Seniors interests, it's an insurance broker that sells its name on "gap" policies, which cover some of the difference when Medicare won't cover the entire cost of care (along with various other AARP branded insurance).

So if Ryan's plan reduced what Medicare vouchers would pay for, logically more people would need to buy gap policies out of pocket, and AARP would benefit directly. Of course they're carrying water for the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:44 AM on August 12, 2012 [10 favorites]


Romney/Ryan will defeat Obama/Biden. Ryan is an exciting pick for the conservative base.
posted by RedShrek at 7:08 AM on August 12, 2012


Ryan is an exciting pick for the conservative base

So was Palin and looked how that turned out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:16 AM on August 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm still perplexed by the SuperPAC issue. They can spend unlimited multinational corporate money. Were I Obama, every speech would include a line like:

"My opponent, whose SuperPAC is spending with millions of dollars from foreign countries to buy this election, doesn't believe in ________ (say saving the american auto industry as an example). So what are those foreign donations buying?"

I would totally play the xenophobia card to beat superpac money.
posted by Chekhovian at 7:26 AM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


@Brandon Blatcher

Things are a little different this time. I don't agree with him but Ryan is very good at coming off as reasonable and sensible. I think this pick will energize the conservative base. Obama's base is not as energized and as potent as it was in 2008.
posted by RedShrek at 7:37 AM on August 12, 2012


It's already there. "The national Democratic Party’s platform committee endorsed gay marriage [today] for the first time and called for the repeal of a federal law that recognizes marriage as between a man and a woman."

Same-sex marriage is on the ballot in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.


I know it's late, but I just wanted to point out that the ballot item in MN this November seeks to amend the constitution to define marriage as only one man and one woman, not to legalize gay marriage*. Even if we beat it and vote it down, same-sex marriage will still be illegal statewide.

*Please donate here or sign up to volunteer! We're pretty close to losing this one, memail me if you want to get involved.
posted by Think_Long at 7:39 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chekhovian, so far Obama hasn't needed that gun. I tend to be in the camp that thinks Obama has a whole series of attacks ready, and your suggestion being one of the more potent might be one of the last to roll out. Remember that one person who knows where all his skeletons are buried is Romney himself, and he might have a much better idea than we do what well-executed oppo research might have turned up against him.

Redshrek, the conservative base is a minority of whack jobs and loons, and the more you pander to them the more clear it will be to the centrists (without whom winning the general is flatly impossible) that you too are a whack job and loon. It is essentially this that tanked McCain in 2008. Also don't forget that this pick will also energize Obama's base by clarifying the danger of the alternative. And while Ryan does give good speech, it's only good until you start thinking hard about what he actually said and Obama is very, very good at making those associations clear.

Also don't forget that at some point Obama debates Romney. I don't think having Abe Lincoln on the ballot would be enough to take the sting out of that.
posted by localroger at 7:43 AM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't agree with him but Ryan is very good at coming off as reasonable and sensible. I think this pick will energize the conservative base. Obama's base is not as energized and as potent as it was in 2008.

I agree that Ryan is great choice for getting conservatives excited. However, pretty much every current model has Obama easily winning the electoral college, while Romney is struggling to reach the required 270. Keep in mind that Ryan will get the Democrats excited also, so it doesn't look like much of a win, win for Romney. He's a mediocre candidate, performing astonishingly bad. His campaign almost doesn't sense, considering how bad he's running.

The only thing I can currently think of is that Romney's team have been deliberately making mistakes so that they can be seen as the underdog and Mitt pulls a "comeback kid" routine. I don't think he or his team are that smart.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:49 AM on August 12, 2012


Romney, Ryan together on "60 Minutes" tonight
posted by futz at 7:51 AM on August 12, 2012


@ Brandon Blatcher and localroger,


I am not so sure about Obama's base. Looking at progressive forums like Firedoglake, Obama isn't very well liked by some progressives. I also don't know that he is doing as well with independents based on the poor jobs situation we are experiencing at the moment.
posted by RedShrek at 8:04 AM on August 12, 2012


As for Ryan himself, to begin with, what policies turned Clinton-era surpluses into Bush-era deficits? In large part, two tax cuts, two wars and a massive prescription drug benefit, and Ryan voted for all of them. (He also voted for TARP, by the way; his fiscal rectitude only included actually voting against massive expenditures once President Obama took office.) His “serious” debt-reduction plan doesn’t balance the budget until 2040. By contrast, the House Progressive Caucus budget, whatever else you think of it, balances the budget within a decade.
posted by futz at 8:07 AM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


You should really read the polling sites RedShrek, especially FiveThirtyEight, for more info on exactly how those issues and many others are being rated.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:08 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looking at progressive forums like Firedoglake, Obama isn't very well liked by some progressives.

True, he isn't. But progressives are not likely to say "hey, I really don't like Obama, so I'm going to vote for Romney instead". They're going to either not vote or bite the bullet and pull the lever for Obama.

The hard part is the not voting bit. If enough progressives are turned off by Obama that they simply don't come to the polls in November, then we might see a Romney victory.

Funny how not voting can actually be the same in effect as casting a vote. But there you have it.
posted by hippybear at 8:12 AM on August 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Also don't forget that at some point Obama debates Romney.

If there's one thing I've learned since 2000, it's that Presidential debates only hurt the Democratic candidate, or at very best prevent him from losing ground, primarily due to the "balanced" approach the American media takes to reporting on national politics.

The Republican strategists have done the exact same thing in every election since Bush v Gore, and it works well each time. Immediately before the debate, they will plant stories and comments about how the Democratic candidate is an extremely sharp debater and how their candidate will essentially earn himself a win by holding his own. Neither the American media nor people who consider themselves moderates will point out the fact that a couple weeks prior to the debate and in every moment following it, the Republicans argue that the D candidate is dumber than a box of rocks.

With that storyline line planted and then amplified up by people who claim to be fair, all the R candidate has to do is not drool or stutter too much during the debate. He can look lost, he can flub his points, completely fail to answer the question, whatever -- just as long as he manages to complete at least two coherent sentences.

Immediately afterward, the R's will flood the media with talking heads and columnists who reiterate the talking point that the D is one of the most skilled debaters ever, so the fact that he didn't utterly crush the R candidate totally counts as a victory for the Republicans, in their completely unbiased and objective opinion. This will then be picked up and perpetuated by people who frequently and loudly proclaim their neutrality on the subject.

Some days I wonder if it's utterly boring be a Republican Presidential candidate. You don't even really have to try. The media and officials in charge of elections treat you like the team favored by corrupt FIFA or NBA officials: they do everything in their power to keep it close and give you all manner of unearned advantages, and then when your opponent loses, people who consider themselves above the fray will say the other guy(s) simply should have played harder. ("Gore/Kerry should have run a better campaign!" sound familiar to anyone?)
posted by lord_wolf at 8:52 AM on August 12, 2012 [18 favorites]


SuperPAC is a term that applies to independent expenditure committees (IEs) that cannot coordinate with campaigns. They can take unlimited money but it must be disclosed.

The term SuperPAC is also erroneously applied to the 501(c)(4) "social welfare" organizations. These are the only organizations that can take anonymous money.

They cannot spend more than 50% of their funds on "electioneering", though the line between electioneering and issue advocacy is thin and controversial. C4s can take foreign funds but cannot spend them on electioneering. (The difficulty in enforcing this is a little obvious, so far no one has proven any wrongdoing.)

The difficulty in crafting the attack is that both c4s and IEs cannot legally coordinate with candidates they support. Sure, the chummy links between the staff of these organizations (many IEs and c4s are run by people who once worked with the candidate) might seem suspicious, but in my experience this "firewall" is often taken pretty seriously to the point where IE/C4 canvassing teams run straight into candidate teams hitting the same neighborhood. It is pretty flimsy, though.

The vast constellation of IEs, C4s, candidate committees, leadership PACs, and party committees merits its own FPP, they all have different rules and limits. The rules for donating directly to a campaign have not changed, those donations are still limited. However, there are now vehicles for either disclosed or undisclosed unlimited donations that cannot be controlled by the candidate themselves. Thus, this year, candidates have less control of their message and are at the mercy of these huge groups that they can't legally talk to.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 8:55 AM on August 12, 2012


If there's one thing I've learned since 2000, it's that Presidential debates only hurt the Democratic candidate, or at very best prevent him from losing ground, primarily due to the "balanced" approach the American media takes to reporting on national politics.

IIRC, in 2008 Obama was seen as the "winner" of the debates by both the press and voters.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:56 AM on August 12, 2012


House style here is that we don't use the @ sign when talking to people.
posted by winna at 9:15 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like than Ryan is an anagram of Ayn R. It's like the ideologies are linked and scrambled on every level. The truth is better and worse than the fictions of their referents.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:17 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


IIRC, in 2008 Obama was seen as the "winner" of the debates by both the press and voters.

That real-time reaction meter they had at the bottom showed that the voters were clearly predominantly behind Obama, as did the polls afterward, but my recollection was that the press put their usual dampers on everything in their reporting, doing their usual "both men made some good points, both flubbed some questions, neither one really won or lost."

IIRC, the main thing that hurt McCain during the debates was his not looking at Obama and that whole "that one" kerfluffle -- in a surprise to me, the media didn't even try to put their "both sides are essentially the same" filter on those things.

I'm curious to see if Romney can avoid those kinds of disrespectful gaffes, which doesn't seem likely given how flustered and angry he can get when he doesn't feel he gets sufficient obeisance from someone. If he can, it'll be a lot easier for the Republican operatives to stick with the "it was at best a draw for the Democrat" playbook.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:19 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand Fan, Brings Writer's Philosophy To Presidential Stage.
posted by ericb at 9:20 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney Campaign Examined Tax Returns Of Potential Veeps -- “Several” years required, Myers says.
posted by ericb at 9:22 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'll bet you $10,000 you're wrong, lord_wolf.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:23 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


C4s can take foreign funds but cannot spend them on electioneering

You're missing my point. Multinational corporations aren't exactly foreign fund sources, but they're not exactly baseball and apple pie american either. There's no way to disentangle what's foreign and what's not when they donate money to a campaign.
posted by Chekhovian at 9:23 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan's Jack Abramoff And Tom DeLay Connections Likely To Draw New Scrutiny.
posted by ericb at 9:23 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


:-)

If I had $10K in discretionary cash like you and Rmoney, I'd take that action.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:25 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wish I had $10K in cash. That was a joke based on this exchange during the GOP primary debates.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:27 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pr-Obama super PAC American Bridge has already unveiled an opposition research book about Paul Ryan.
posted by ericb at 9:27 AM on August 12, 2012


Federal spending is helping drive recovery of Paul Ryan’s hometown:
[I]t’s worth pointing out that Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisconisn, where he still lives, is recovering economically in no small part because of money from the stimulus and other federal grants.

The relevant info is buried in Ryan Lizza’s recent New Yorker profile of Ryan. As Lizza put it, “government spending programs” are “at the heart of his hometown’s recovery.”

Lizza reported that several major economic development projects financed by federal money are underway in Ryan’s hometown. There’s the Janesville Innovation Center, which will “provide entrepreneurs with commercial space in which to launch their ideas.” This is being funded by a $1.2 million stimulus grant, Lizza notes.

That’s not all. As Lizza notes, the federal government is contributing over $10 million to a new facility in Janesville that will produce a medical tracer that used to be made outside the U.S. The new plant could employ some 150 people.

John Beckford, the head of a local economic development group and Ryan supporter, explained to Lizza how Janesville is reinventing itself after a GM plant closed in the town. The town — which is near a ring of major cities like Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, Des Moines, and Minneapolis — is remaking itself as a “redistribution hub for major companies,” Lizza reported. One key to making this work is a major infrastructure project that Ryan has encouraged: I-90 around Janesville will be expanded from four to eight lanes, which “will be financed as part of a billion-dollar federal and state highway project.”
posted by zombieflanders at 9:29 AM on August 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yeah I think lord_wolf got the joke. I'd take that bet too! That's precisely what is going to happen. And I recall it like lord_wolf, except for McCain's zombie moment after the one debate.

I basically settle for knowing how things truly went, because the "balanced" thing lord_wolf talks about is totally what occurs here. Well that and Fox reports from like a moon of Saturn or something.
posted by cashman at 9:29 AM on August 12, 2012


"And I think a lot of people would observe that we are right now living in an Ayn Rand novel, metaphorically speaking." (Ryan quote, from ericb's HuffPo link)

Ha. Haha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I can't even begin to start to open with commencing saying something. Using words, that is. So I'll just keep laughing at it's completely unintentional perfection.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:32 AM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just wish he had put a 'literally' somewhere in the first part of the sentence.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:41 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


GOP CHAIRMAN: ROMNEY IS NOT READY TO LEAD ON DAY ONE WITHOUT RYAN | Appearing on Meet The Press on Sunday, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus admitted that Romney would only be ready to lead “on day one” with Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) by his side. “Combined, these guys are ready on day one,” he said, suggesting that without Ryan, Romney would not be prepared to assume the responsibilities of the office on day one.

That is the whole article so don't bother clicking unless you want to see the video.
posted by futz at 9:43 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


On Day One Romney will bring down the Price of Pizza.
posted by ericb at 9:49 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ryan's Medicare plan dominates Sunday talk shows.
posted by ericb at 9:50 AM on August 12, 2012


"I just wish he had put a 'literally' somewhere in the first part of the sentence."

"And I literally think a lot of people would observe that we are right now living in an Ayn Rand novel, metaphorically speaking."
posted by iamkimiam at 9:50 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I just wish he had put a 'literally' somewhere in the first part of the sentence."


Oh wait, even better:

"And I think a lot of people would observe that we are right now living in an Ayn Rand literally novel, metaphorically speaking."
posted by iamkimiam at 9:51 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


It really is stunning that any American would give these guys a pass on their absolute disconnection from even the idea of foreign policy experience being relevant to the presidency. Stunning. In time of war, no less. I find it a bit hard to believe, and I wonder if one good foreign crisis that raises that point forcefully would not change the narrative. I'm not hoping for that crisis, but if it comes it will be fascinating to see how Romney/Ryan respond to it.

By the way, funniest graphic I've seen uses a Rolls Royce hood ornament, with the carmaker name and double-R logo replaced by Romney/Ryan. Awesome.
posted by spitbull at 9:54 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


By the way, funniest graphic I've seen uses a Rolls Royce hood ornament, with the carmaker name and double-R logo replaced by Romney/Ryan

Link?
posted by jeffen at 10:03 AM on August 12, 2012


I'm partial to "... metaphorically speaking literally."
posted by Flunkie at 10:04 AM on August 12, 2012


spitball -- here ya' go.
posted by ericb at 10:04 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Link.

Sorry, should have put that in my original comment.
posted by spitbull at 10:07 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoops, so nice you get to see it twice. Two hosts.
posted by spitbull at 10:07 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh wait, even better:

Maybe we could start using "literally" as an emphatic interjection. "Ayn literally Rand!" You know, like "Jesus fucking Christ!"
posted by stebulus at 10:13 AM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like the one with Ryan's head on the infamous non-Palin's rifle-wielding, USA-bikini-clad body.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 10:13 AM on August 12, 2012


meta-literally-phorically speaking.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:24 AM on August 12, 2012


"Appearing on Meet The Press on Sunday, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus"

Not really any comment on your link, but just about anything that comes out of Priebus's mouth goes right into the Head-Shake & Smirk folder. The only thing that I take from what he says is not the content is that important, but that it is a window into what the people pulling the strings on his back want to say whenever he babbles on about the new outrage du jour. Maybe it could be seen as an indicator of what the persons who are really in charge of the party are intending to be hammering on in a couple of days, but he also looks so damn uncomfortable on screen.

I actually feel a bit sorry for Priebus. He gets pushed around to go out and speak a script, which in some ways, he does OK with. But it must suck to be such a bobble-head pawn for somebody else everybody else.
posted by lampshade at 10:25 AM on August 12, 2012


"A recent AARP survey shows that worries about retirement security are the main reason for economic anxiety among voters 50 and older."*
posted by ericb at 10:31 AM on August 12, 2012


The lack of foreign policy experience won't matter to the GOP base; they don't care what happens outside their borders, as far as they are concerned the map may as well say "Here be dragons illegal aliens who want in".
posted by arcticseal at 10:34 AM on August 12, 2012


The lack of foreign policy experience won't matter to the GOP base

Correction: It doesn't matter unless a Democrat lacks foreign policy experience.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:37 AM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Paul Ryan Budget Would Slash Romney's Taxes Almost To ZERO.
posted by ericb at 10:37 AM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pick of Ryan for VP Slot Tells Us More About Romney Than His Campaign Speeches.
posted by ericb at 10:39 AM on August 12, 2012


zombieflanders - you're right, in bizarro GOPland, it only counts as a weekness if the other guy has it.
posted by arcticseal at 10:45 AM on August 12, 2012


Mitt Romney found the one guy in America who wants to cut Mitt Romney's taxes more than Mitt does.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:04 AM on August 12, 2012 [18 favorites]


What Paul Ryan’s budget actually cuts — and by how much
posted by zombieflanders at 11:35 AM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan: Randian poseur -- "Mitt Romney couldn't have chosen a better example of the fakery at the heart of today's GOP."
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM on August 12, 2012


ericb, is this the link you meant to post about the Abramoff and DeLay link?
posted by annsunny at 12:04 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the one with Ryan's head on the infamous non-Palin's rifle-wielding, USA-bikini-clad body.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 10:13 AM on August 12 [+] [!]
I'm not sure what you're referring to, but I'm pretty sure with your difficult username, this is about as close to eponysterical as you can get. Savor it well.
posted by Llama-Lime at 12:06 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I bet they will tap into Cheney for foreign policy - ahem - cred. However, they may not be able to send him on any foreign trips.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:17 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I keep thinking of Paul Ryan as Andrew Ryan. It makes surprising little difference to his policies.
posted by Justinian at 12:27 PM on August 12, 2012


I wonder if we may be underestimating how much people want to believe that if you cut taxes, good things happen. I think it's a difficult to get people to change their position on this belief for a few reasons.

First, it's got a facial logic to it, so it's not enough just to dismiss it with "Yeah, but it's not true." But that leads to the second problem, which is that people aren't likely inclined to take an objective look at the evidence, since they so badly want to believe this. I think this is why, even in the face of evidence, counterarguments like (for example) "The economic boom of the 90s was wholly a result of the rise in technology developments, and had Clinton kept taxes lower we would have been even more successful"/"The reason things went bad in the 2000s was because of 9-11 and housing, and would have been even worse had Bush not cut taxes" are persistently believed by people. People want to believe them, and there's enough logic to them that they'll choose to ignore contrary evidence even when the evidence should be compelling.

In any case, I think there are a sufficient number of undecided voters who really want to believe what Paul Ryan is saying is true that they'll see his addition to Romney's ticket as a plus.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:31 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I keep thinking of Paul Ryan as Andrew Ryan.

I think the real problem here is that he probably thinks that he is Jack Ryan, probably as a superposition of the Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford types, with no portion of the Ben Affleck type.
posted by Chekhovian at 12:34 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to say that while I wasn't ever likely to vote for Romney, I wasn't *deeply* worried about the prospect of him winning the election. My suspicion was that I'd likely end up happier with a Romney term than a lot of people who are going to vote for him, particularly from the current Republican base.

Ryan as a VP choice has changed that for me. I'm actually a bit shocked at it. There's a lot of things I could tell myself before about a kind of pragmatism driving Romney's campaign, but personnel represent something of a commitment to policy. And even with the limited nature of the VP office, I can't ignore the probability that this is a signal that Romney himself is part of the increasing portion of the Republican party that seriously views any federal office as an opportunity to basically sell off the entire apparatus of state to private interests.

I don't know why I'm surprised. That's Romney's private-sector career in a nutshell.

Over the weekend I've donated to both the Obama campaign and the Zerban campaign (Rob Zerban is a challenger for the house seat Ryan currently holds, and for which Ryan is running for re-election).
posted by weston at 12:48 PM on August 12, 2012 [17 favorites]


Local Wisconsin reporters say that as the national media begins to scrutinize Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) life and career following his selection as Mitt Romney's running mate, they may overlook details such as his inside-the-Beltway focus, the high level of unemployment in his hometown, and his family connection to the natural gas industry.

"The way to understand him is he is Dick Cheney, he is a guy who went to Washington as soon as he could, rooted himself in the establishment, got himself elected as soon as he could and became a major player," said John Nichols, an associate editor at the Capital Times in Madison. "He is Dick Cheney with very good hair."...

Angus, a 21-year editor of the paper, added, "He has lived here, but he has not worked here much, he has been in Washington working on his career path. I think a lot of people are surprised because he has always said his plans were not to rise to national office. He never had any elected office until he was elected to Congress."...

Columnist Dan Bice of the Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee, offered a similar view, saying "His hometown has been hurt economically, GM pulled out of there and some have said he has not done a lot to help out. The recession has hit Janesville as much as anywhere."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics data on Janesville finds unemployment spiked to more than 15 percent when the plant closed and was above 10 percent as recently as February.

posted by futz at 12:50 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


It really is stunning that any American would give these guys a pass on their absolute disconnection from even the idea of foreign policy experience being relevant to the presidency.

War is merely a corporate product anymore, no "statesmanship" needed.
posted by telstar at 12:54 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


Glenn Greenwald: The Right's Brittle Heroes
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:19 PM on August 12, 2012


ericb, is this the link you meant to post about the Abramoff and DeLay link?

Yes. Thanks. Major HTML linking fail on my part.
posted by ericb at 1:19 PM on August 12, 2012


"...those states receiving the most federal dollars relative to their tax revenues are more likely to vote Republican in presidential elections, according to research conducted by government professor Dean Lacy."

Research from Dartmouth

posted by iurodivii at 1:26 PM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


Looking at progressive forums like Firedoglake, Obama isn't very well liked by some progressives.

Yeah, there are a few purists who will stay home or vote for the Green candidate, but the key word there is few. They are what pass for extremists on the Left, and they are about as numerous as those who will stay home instead of voting Republican because Romney is LDS.

The bigger problem is apathy, and that's going to be more than offset now by seniors fleeing the GOP in droves on news of what Ryan's plan does to their Medicare.
posted by localroger at 1:30 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the Grandfather Clause issue may be important there, localroger. Given recent history, I suspect the 55-and-older crowd may be perfectly happy to throw all the rest of us under the bus. They really need to be convinced that that's not a sustainable situation.
posted by gerryblog at 1:33 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


No, Paul Ryan is not ‘courageous’
posted by homunculus at 1:34 PM on August 12, 2012


gerryblog: I suspect the 55-and-older crowd may be perfectly happy to throw all the rest of us under the bus.

That's obviously what the GOP thinks, but it hasn't worked out that way when the idea has been floated before real seniors.

See, Gram and Gramps don't just want to be comfortable as they slide on off this mortal coil; they know they are sliding off this mortal coil and they want their legacy to be protected too. That legacy would be us, their children. They are most definitely not on board with throwing their own kids and grandkids under the bus. "I got mine fuck you" is a fine and common sentiment until "you" is your children, which may soon be all that is left of you.

This is a point where the sincere Randian schtick really bites these fools in the ass. They simply cannot comprehend the idea of caring so much about someone else that you'd willingly sacrifice for them. Saint Ayn actually said that was destructive and evil. Yet it is far more common, particularly along generational bloodlines, than pure selfishness.
posted by localroger at 1:47 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Who you gonna vote for, rich guys who inherited their wealthy status and want to keep it that way, or guys who lived the American dream, working their way up from the bottom? Tough choice.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:48 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


My suspicion was that I'd likely end up happier with a Romney term than a lot of people who are going to vote for him, particularly from the current Republican base.

Romney used to be a somewhat moderate politician of the Republican stripe, but he now wants to be president so badly he will say or do nearly anything to accomplish that goal. And I'm afraid he has so many IOUs now that he will be forced to follow through on some policies that the old Romney would have found odious.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:52 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


ETCH-A-SKETCH
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


See, Gram and Gramps don't just want to be comfortable as they slide on off this mortal coil; they know they are sliding off this mortal coil and they want their legacy to be protected too.

That may be true for some segment of the senior population, but the elderly in my family are all voting for Romney to "protect" me from Obama's "socialist medicine" and his "gutting of Medicare". Of course, Romney winning will have the exact opposite effect on my life, as I would still continue not having health insurance (and thus no actual healthcare) and I'd be on my own in my old age, since I'm not quite yet 55. Explaining this to them does no good, because the message they have been getting is that ACA is socialism and Obama is gutting Medicare (for them and everyone). Most of them will likey be dead and gone before I end up destitute and 65, and they are incapable of imagining that outcome.
posted by Orb at 2:07 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


And I'm afraid he has so many IOUs

What is even more worrying is that he seems to be running his campaign on credit. It seems that every handshake is from a person who has a clear agenda that is counter to existing policy. It is like he is using a possible win in November as collateral to get contributions and endorsements.

Like a Pay-Day Loan for the presidency
posted by lampshade at 2:12 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Orb, it's true that there are a fair number of seniors like your relatives, but the thing is you only need a substantial minority (and I think it's more of a solid majority) who are as I described to destroy Romney's chances. I have seen several videos of seniors being promised that "don't worry, YOU won't be affected" only for the room to erupt in outrage. There are always people who will vote against their own interest, but it's still a finely balanced electorate and Romney can't afford to lose even part of a formerly dependable base bloc.
posted by localroger at 2:14 PM on August 12, 2012


ETCH-A-SKETCH

Romney's whole career has been a slow-burn Kaufman-esque prank by a heavily made-up Chevy Chase.

FLETCH-A-SKETCH
posted by cortex at 2:15 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Romney used to be a somewhat moderate politician of the Republican stripe, but he now wants to be president so badly he will say or do nearly anything to accomplish that goal.

This used to comfort me. "He's just saying all that -- if he somehow won, he'd go back to pushing policies like they got in MA." I didn't want hm to win, and the idea of him in the White House with Republicans in both houses made me feel sick to my stomach... But I figured he probably wouldn't be so terrible, himself.

But now, I think it's pretty clear what relationship Romney has to the Tea Party faction. They own him. He's not going to get away with just saying the words they want to hear. Instead, it seems clear that his deal with the devil involves becoming a mere figure head allowing them to enact their agenda. Maybe he thinks he's just using them, but they've clearly turned him into their pawn.
posted by meese at 2:16 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


"There's no one more reliable than a man whose loyalty can be bought for hard cash." Or, in Romney's case, pure power.

Seeing Romney jump on Paul Ryan's business shows you how what he values and why. He governed Massachusetts as a moderate, because that's what you need to stay in power in MA. Now that he's moving onto the national stage, he longer has to play to what plays in the Northeast.

Romney is even worse than he looks for this very reason.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:40 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course, Romney winning will have the exact opposite effect on my life, as I would still continue not having health insurance (and thus no actual healthcare) and I'd be on my own in my old age, since I'm not quite yet 55.

I'm a liberal by nature and disposition, so my political decisions are rarely about me. But the last 4 years have been really tough. I lost my job in December 2008, after working (white collar) in the construction industry for 26 years. My whole industry basically imploded and disappeared. I've been under- and self-employed since. Barely hanging on to my house. Scratching by, life savings spent. And I'm 51; old enough to worry but young enough to get royally screwed if Rmoney and Ryan get their way. Part of me says "don't worry, these clowns don't have a chance in hell.". The other part says, "Be worried. Be very, very worried."
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:41 PM on August 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Here is a link to download the PDF of that Dartmouth research by Dean Lacy I mentioned above.


Why do red states vote republican while the blue states pay the bills?

posted by iurodivii at 2:50 PM on August 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


(The charts starting on page 35 of the above PDF are quite illustrative of the point.)
posted by iurodivii at 2:56 PM on August 12, 2012


I don't know, why do politicians who were draft dodgers puff themselves up like military heroes so they can start wars, why do politicians who have closeted sex lives become homophobic ranters, how do people fall for the cowboy schtick from a scion of the ruling class, why are those who are most adamant about the rule of law clearly rely on its perversion?

Is someone going to ask Mitt and Paul (as they did to little comment during the GOP primary debates) whether they accept the theory of evolution? Or the reality of climate change? Are the media going to let them get away with once again completely denying the patent reality in which most of us presume we operate?

American politics is one great bowl of denial soup. Fuck Paul Ryan. And fuck Mitt Romney. Obama came along too late anyway. Bring on Caligula.
posted by spitbull at 3:23 PM on August 12, 2012


iurodevil, thanks for that article. That's fascinating. I can imagine that if you're a red state resident, what you'd learn is that in spite of having low taxes, the level of services that you enjoy more or less stays about the same (or at least the cuts are not as deep as they are in other parts of the country). So, this whole "cut taxes and things will be good" thing seems to work pretty well, or you could at least defend that conclusion based on the circumstances that you can observe in your own state.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:29 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


@BarackObama FACT: Paul Ryan cosponsored a bill that would ban many common forms of birth control, including certain birth control pills.

Umm. Is this restriction of contraception a thing in US politics now (less contraception equals less abortions?) I guess when I say this I mean what. the. fuck?
posted by jaduncan at 4:12 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like a Pay-Day Loan for the presidency

If Romney loses I wonder how much money will have been sunk into nothing by millionaires trying to buy this thing. I hope it's a lot, but I suspect it's barely enough to hurt them.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on August 12, 2012


Umm. Is this restriction of contraception a thing in US politics now (less contraception equals less abortions?)
A significant portion of the people who think that abortion should be outlawed also seem to think something along the lines of "sex is inherently evil and should only be done for procreation within the bounds of a holy marriage".
posted by Flunkie at 4:17 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


What Flunkie said. The entire House of Reps motion since 2010 has proven their 'small government' claim to be ridiculous, unless they mean 'government so small it can monitor the collective uterus of the women of America'.

Somewhere there's a bathtub for Grover Norquist, is all I'm saying.
posted by mephron at 4:21 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much money will have been sunk into nothing by millionaires trying to buy this thing.

Tax write-off.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:27 PM on August 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


What Wisconsin Journalists Want You To Know About Paul Ryan
posted by madamjujujive at 4:30 PM on August 12, 2012


Umm. Is this restriction of contraception a thing in US politics now (less contraception equals less abortions?) I guess when I say this I mean what. the. fuck?

Yes, there is a concerted Republican effort to shut Planned Parenthood down and to restrict access to contraceptives. Pandering to the extreme religious right. Efforts are stronger in some states than others. The Republican War on Contraception.

I never thought it could get as far as it has. It's freaking scary.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:35 PM on August 12, 2012 [7 favorites]


MoonOrb, that's a succinct way to put it. I hadn't thought about the perspective from the inside like that. I was just looking at it from the top down. But, of course you are going to keep voting red if your taxes are buying more federal services for your dollar. Because, hey, cutting taxes worked for me!
posted by iurodivii at 5:28 PM on August 12, 2012


You ever wonder how much it would benefit the economy and the Federal budget if all the money millionaires and billionaires spent on campaign contributions for the sake of avoiding taxes were spent just paying taxes instead?

I mean, if, say, between Romney's campaign, single-issue advocacy groups, PACs and super-PACS, how much is going to get thrown down in aggregate? 10-15 billion dollars? They could practically buy us a bomber with all that cash.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:37 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Watched part of the interview with mittens and Ryan. They arent on the same page, and tried to immediately use that, saying they will be campaigning separately. Ryan seems solid, Mitt seems like the guy in the drinking contest in Raiders of the Lost Ark. He has that permagrin but he's about to fall over, wasted. Romney Ryan can get exposed, its just a matter of doing it and maximizing it.
posted by cashman at 6:20 PM on August 12, 2012


Romney Ryan can get exposed, its just a matter of doing it and maximizing it.

Ewwww. Eww eww eww.

Seeing an exposed Romney Ryan would be bad enough. But then maximizing it?

EWWWWW.
posted by hippybear at 6:22 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


President Ryan — the truth behind Mitt’s flub: Romney's slip aside, it’s not a stretch to say Paul Ryan would be “the next president” if the GOP ticket wins
posted by homunculus at 6:27 PM on August 12, 2012


That's pretty smart. No one likes Romney, but the idea of voting for Ryan should appeal to many TPers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:41 PM on August 12, 2012


Hey, did you know that Romney and Ryan played characters on Deep Space 9? (via Twitter)
posted by desjardins at 6:50 PM on August 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


They arent on the same page, and tried to immediately use that, saying they will be campaigning separately.

Whaaat does this even mean? Did they just straight up admit that Romney is going to swerve back to the center and let Ryan continue to appease the base?
posted by muddgirl at 7:19 PM on August 12, 2012


They tried to make it seem like time was short and so they were splitting up to cover more ground. You know, because that totally works in horror movies.
posted by cashman at 7:21 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


They tried to make it seem like time was short and so they were splitting up to cover more ground. You know, because that totally works in horror movies.

I hope this election takes more of a Cabin In The Woods approach.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:30 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh sweet we get killer mermaids.
posted by The Whelk at 7:39 PM on August 12, 2012


Mer-MAN!
posted by Artw at 7:44 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ethel?
posted by hippybear at 7:54 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I am a proud American. I am a hardworking businessman and job creator. I am a faithful Christian.

And I am Palestinian."

A great read - The Palestine Romney doesn’t know:
Palestinians have no say in our economic development. Every resource — water, land, soil, minerals, airspace, humans — is controlled and commandeered by Israel, which then deigns to sell us back a small portion.

In the West Bank, for example, Israeli settlers consume on average 4.3 times the amount of water as Palestinians. In the Jordan Valley alone, some 9,000 settlers in Israeli agricultural settlements use one-quarter the amount of water consumed by the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank, about 2.5 million people.

Palestinians have no control over our borders. This means we cannot import or export without being subject to discriminatory measures by our occupier. It also means that, without Israeli permission, we cannot hire experts to enhance our employees’ skills or send employees for overseas training.

Worse, we are restricted within the territories ostensibly under our “control.” At any given time, there are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks and other barriers to movement within the occupied West Bank — an area smaller than Delaware — hindering Palestinians and their goods from moving between their own towns and cities and the outside world.

Palestinian development of all kinds is severely hindered by the Israeli occupation. Yet Palestinians have not given up. Palestine has one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world. Our youth continue to graduate from our universities, opening businesses and gaining skills. Our private sector innovates and grows.

All of this is happening on the 22 percent of historic Palestine that is the West Bank and Gaza. If Romney had any historical perspective, he would dispose of his racist judgments about Palestinian culture and instead imagine our potential without Israel’s imposed hindrances.
Zahi Khouri is a Palestinian American businessman and founder of Palestinian National Beverage Co. [via]
posted by cashman at 8:12 PM on August 12, 2012 [8 favorites]


Also, buried in the 90 days/90 reasons thread, was this:
I had great health for most of my life. Then in my 60s, cancer pulled the rug out from under me. Five surgeries, four rehabilitations, you don't want to know. I was lucky to have good employment-based insurance. I maxed it out. Medicaid came to the rescue. Many people don't have any insurance at all, and many companies are laying off insured older workers and hiring younger ones who are not being offered a health plan.

One important reason I will be voting for Obama is his health plan. "Obamacare" is a first step along the way to the kind of universal health care provided by all advanced countries, except for ours. In writing about this issue I have heard so many heartbreaking stories of lives lost, families destroyed, treatment deferred until it was too late.

What bothers me about Romney is that he denies the success of his own "Romneycare" in Massachusetts. It was his signature program. Now it's as if he's never heard of it. We need health care in this country. I suspect many of those opposed to it have never had to go through a health ordeal like mine. They may think they are well off and can handle their own expenses. They have no idea.

—Roger Ebert
 Urbana, Illinois
posted by cashman at 8:16 PM on August 12, 2012 [20 favorites]


Mitt, Venn and Now - some excellent and Mitt charting going on
posted by madamjujujive at 8:19 PM on August 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is probably a good place to put:

A friend of a friend works at a DC restaurant. Recently Romney came in, ordered a 20 dollar plate, complained that it was too expensive, and then didn't tip on the bill.
posted by codacorolla at 8:53 PM on August 12, 2012


A friend of a friend was a waiter at a very nice restaurant. He said that one day John Kerry came in, ordered a kir royale, excused himself, and then promptly (and accidentally) locked himself in the bathroom.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:59 PM on August 12, 2012 [6 favorites]


desjardins: "Hey, did you know that Romney and Ryan played characters on Deep Space 9? (via Twitter)"

You know, we laugh about our political leaders being related somehow to Star Trek, but let's not forget that King Abdullah II of Jordan did actually appear in an episode of Voyager.
posted by wierdo at 9:00 PM on August 12, 2012


I usually don't like using little incidents to determine someone's overall character; we all have bad moments. Plus it's usually hard to verify them. But here's actual footage of Romney insulting the cookies that people brought to a meet-the-candidate sit-down. I'm doubling down on my bet that he somehow got a copy of The Pick-Up Artist, and thinks he can neg his way into the Oval Office.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:14 PM on August 12, 2012 [9 favorites]


(enter Romney in a top hat with goggles in it)
(he subtly touches America's shoulders)
(he adopts an alpha pose)
(asks, "hey, did you see the big fight outside?")
(and then asks if America's nails are real)
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:30 PM on August 12, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hey, did you know that Romney and Ryan played characters on Deep Space 9? (via Twitter)

Republicans and sci-fi? Nothing new.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:11 PM on August 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, we laugh about our political leaders being related somehow to Star Trek, but let's not forget that King Abdullah II of Jordan did actually appear in an episode of Voyager.

And of course Iggy Pop actually appeared on DS9. He's the king of something right?
posted by juiceCake at 11:36 PM on August 12, 2012


Republicans and sci-fi? Nothing new.

Indeed. We all remember Cheney's impression of Davros at Obama's inauguration.
posted by juiceCake at 11:39 PM on August 12, 2012


long list:

Weaponized Debate - Conservative positions as strategy

A view of Ryan from Florida, Politico

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Daniel Altman, Sabotoge: How the Republican Party Crippled America’s Economic Recovery and Republican mainstream flirts with brief default via Brad DeLong's blog

DeLong has been hitting it hard with the links:

Fired workers should have taken a time portal forward in time and space to get Romneycare, Paul Ryan Denies Ayn Rand Thrice, Noam Scheiber Continues to Push His Interpretation of the Romney Pick and In Which I Disagree With Josh Barro On Paul Ryan

Saletan on Ryan: Why The Love?, a counter to Saletan's Slate piece


Mitt Romney's Astoundingly Cynical Medicare Strategy:
Yes, the Affordable Care Act includes substantial cuts to Medicare. But Ryan's own budget, which nearly every House Republican voted to pass and which Romney has said he would sign as president, leaves those cuts in place and uses them to finance other priorities. In other words, the Romney campaign is attacking a proposal that Romney and his allies endorse.
NRO: Brief Note on what Ryan-Wyden Actually Does, but Wyden says that's 'nonsense.'

CSMonitor: Things you probably didn't know about Ryan and We know Paul Ryan is a budget hawk. But what about other issues?

And MSNBC's cartoon blog is running all over the selection of Ryan.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:00 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is wise to be concerned that Romney will win the race, but he has a hell of a hole to climb out of before we start setting fire to our hair.

Yes, it's only August. We will have plenty of holes and hair.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:33 AM on August 13, 2012


Romney has holy hair. He is also wholly heir.
posted by telstar at 1:45 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Being the only MeFite from Janesville, or at least who attended the same high school as Ryan, I feel like I should be contributing something here, but actually I've been too busy helping a local city councilman get elected to the state assembly (to counter Scott Walker, etc.). The fun part here is that the campaign manager's house is one block from Ryan's (and the campaign photographer is one block in another direction).

I will say that Rob Zerban is a fantastic candidate, right out of central casting, with a smart approach, an even temper, and a resume that blows Ryan's out of the water from the right (started two businesses, got rich, retired at 40). But he's still progressive. I won't direct link but if you want to google his ActBlue I will love you long time. He's constantly hitting our end of the district and has a great ground game. Combined with Tammy Baldwin -- who is actually beating most of the GOP candidates in the polls -- and local candidates we have a fantastic slate for the general and a lot of motivated GOTV people.

Ryan was lucky to have middling competition most of his career thus far -- well-meaning progressives with no money and no hope, or this one goofy doctor that seemed to be somewhere between sacrificial lamb and vanity project. It was just one of those things that we couldn't scare up a decent candidate -- I mean, we sometimes did, but the doctor would beat them in the primary based on name recognition. So Ryan racked up a number of landslide victories, largely our fault. He would even win the primarily blue wards of Janesville.

A small footnote I'd like to see revived: In 2005, Ryan debated Dean Baker on stage here over Social Security. I don't know where to find a recording, but it could have some interesting statements.
posted by dhartung at 2:16 AM on August 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


Washington Post blog: What Paul Ryan’s VP pick means for his House seat: 'According to state election law, Ryan would not have to sacrifice his spot on the congressional ballot even though he is also running for vice president. He would appear on the ballot twice.'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:18 AM on August 13, 2012


ROMNEY on Ryan- "And throughout his legislative career he's shown the ability to work with members of both parties to find common ground on some of the hardest issues confronting the American people."

THE FACTS: Not exactly. Ryan enjoyed a reputation as a consistent, if occasionally plucky, conservative before Obama took office in 2008. Ryan was known for occasionally bucking his party on social issues and foreign policy. In 2007, for example, he voted with Democrats for a bill prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. He has also enjoyed a lifelong friendship with former liberal Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, whose father worked in the same office as Ryan's father in Janesville, Wis.

But particularly since Obama's election, Ryan's been something of a no-compromise-congressman: He's emerged as a leading intellectual force in the conservative opposition to Obama, joined unanimous blocks of Republicans in opposing Obama's biggest pieces of legislation and given little ground in negotiations over the budget and the deficit. Budget blueprints he released in 2011 and 2012 as House Budget Committee chairman were viewed as anathema to rank-and-file Democrats because of their cuts to social programs, not as carrots designed to get bipartisan consensus. In 2011, he criticized the work of a bipartisan group of senators, known as the Gang of Six, who were working on a budget compromise of their own.

Ryan did work with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon in 2011, on a proposal for changes to Medicare that would allow private plans to compete with Medicare. But Wyden was the only prominent Democrat to support that plan and, in the end, Wyden himself did not support Ryan's larger budget plans, which included the Medicare component, when they were released later in 2012.

posted by futz at 3:29 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Politico:

Forget the budget: Paul Ryan is hot!
posted by octothorpe at 3:44 AM on August 13, 2012


The bigger problem is apathy, and that's going to be more than offset now by seniors fleeing the GOP in droves on news of what Ryan's plan does to their Medicare.

Have you hung out with any groups of seniors lately? Especially those who crossed over and voted Obama in 2008? They have been ridiculed into submission by their retiree neighbors and church friends, and they are ANGRY that the Obama that they thought they were voting for did not turn out as expected. They took it very personally because they are embarrassed. They are NOT fleeing the GOP in droves, friend. Even when it is against their self-interests.
posted by jeanmari at 4:39 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Forget the budget: Paul Ryan is hot!

Forget real journalism: think of the page views!
posted by jaduncan at 4:42 AM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


A friend of a friend works at a DC restaurant. Recently Romney came in, ordered a 20 dollar plate, complained that it was too expensive, and then didn't tip on the bill.

And a girl I know saw him pass out at 31 Flavors afterwards...
posted by BobbyVan at 5:45 AM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Five Things to Know about Paul Ryan's Plan
posted by zombieflanders at 6:17 AM on August 13, 2012


Reihan Salam adds important context to debate over Paul Ryan's support for Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefit) in National Review:
One aspect of the coverage that is particularly frustrating is that Ryan’s critics are pointing to his support for the Medicare prescription drug benefit as a sign that he is unserious about reform. What is not very well understood is that the Medicare prescription drug benefit was originally linked to an earlier version of premium support.
posted by BobbyVan at 6:22 AM on August 13, 2012


In the 60 minutes interview last night, it's interesting that R/R's medicare plan changes nothing for those over 55, but "gives more choice" to those under 55. "Gives more choice", of course, means vouchers, which in turn means reverse arbitrage as insurance costs outstrip COLA increases. Plus, when I'm retired I do NOT want to deal with insurance companies. They suck *hard* for a health nut in his 30s.
If this "choice" is so fuckin' great for those under 55, then why aren't today's seniors going to get the "opportunity" to experience the system? Hmmmm?
posted by notsnot at 6:27 AM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Interesting fact: The voters of Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, who have sent Paul Ryan to Congress as their Representative since 1999, chose Barack Obama in 2008 by a four-point margin.
posted by BobbyVan at 6:36 AM on August 13, 2012


Vanity Fair: The Rise of Karl Rove: 'Not long ago, Karl Rove seemed toxic: the brains of a disastrous presidency, tarred by scandal. Today, as the mastermind of a billion-dollar war chest—and with surrogates in place in the Romney campaign—he’s the de facto leader of the Republican Party. But in Rove’s long game, 2012 may be just the beginning.'
In the immediate aftermath of the ruling, thousands of articles were written calling Citizens United a truly historic development in the American electoral process, but one voice was conspicuous by its absence. Karl Rove did not mention the subject in his Wall Street Journal columns. Karl Rove did not mention it during his appearances on Fox News. In fact, not a word from Karl Rove on the subject was to be found in any major media. This, despite the fact that he was indisputably a leading expert on the subject and that three out of the five conservative justices voting in the majority—Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito—had been given lifetime appointments by his patrons, George H. W. and George W. Bush, and, most important, despite the fact that he would become arguably the single greatest beneficiary of the ruling.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:37 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Karl Rove is probably the man more people owe their careers to than any other person in Washington. That plus large sums of money is going to buy pretty intense levels of influence.

As you say, around 40% of the Supreme Court owe him at least a little for their lifetime ambition being fulfilled.
posted by jaduncan at 7:00 AM on August 13, 2012


What is even more worrying is that he seems to be running his campaign on credit. It seems that every handshake is from a person who has a clear agenda that is counter to existing policy. It is like he is using a possible win in November as collateral to get contributions and endorsements.

Like a Pay-Day Loan for the presidency


This comment reminded me of the scene from Murphy Brown where Wallace Shawn realizes it is payback time for all that campaign money he took without paying much attention to its sources:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0-FWweJLRc

"Why stop at illegal immigrants? Let's get rid of the legal ones too. Unless a person is 7/8 Caucasian they should take an IQ test to determine if they stay in this great country of ours."

"I was running a campaign out of my living room. I didn't have time to figure out where every $600,000 check was coming from!"
posted by mikepop at 7:08 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


From the Bain thread (h/t Pope Guilty): Paul Ryan traded on insider information to avoid 2008 crash
It should probably come as no surprise to anyone that someone like Paul Ryan would trade on inside information gained through his position as a congressman to line his pockets, but this particular instance is especially egregious. Ryan attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, Bush's Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on September 18, 2008. The purpose of the meeting was to disclose the coming economic meltdown and beg Congress to pass legislation to help collapsing banks.

Instead of doing anything to help, Ryan left the meeting and on that very same day Paul Ryan sold shares of stock he owned in several troubled banks and reinvested the proceeds in Goldman Sachs, a bank that the meeting had disclosed was not in trouble.
Or as Matthew Yglesias points out:
This kind of trading might be illegal now, but was definitely kosher back then when insider trading rules didn't apply to congress at all. My guess is that it's probably fine even under today's rules, since even though it fits the ordinary language meaning of "insider information" it doesn't actually make Ryan an insider to the companies in question in a legal sense. But it's about as clear an example of a public official trying to use his office to obtain personal benefits as you're likely to find.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:41 AM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Paul Ryan's "Individual Mandate"
Under both provisions, the result is the same: People who choose to carry health insurance have a lower tax bill than they would if they chose not to. In terms of their respective potential impact on individuals' bank accounts and tax liability, the manner in which they affect individuals' financial incentives, and hence the constraining effect on individuals' financial choices to either buy or forgo health insurance, the two "mandate" provisions are identical. (Indeed, in most cases, the financial difference for the individual taxpayer made by the Republican tax credit would be greater—i.e., more "coercive"—than the ACA tax penalty.)
The Ryan Role
So why does Saletan believe otherwise? Has he crunched the numbers himself? Of course not. What he’s doing – and what the whole Beltway media crowd has done – is to slot Ryan into a role someone is supposed to be playing in their political play, that of the thoughtful, serious conservative wonk. In reality, Ryan is nothing like that; he’s a hard-core conservative, with a voting record as far right as Michelle Bachman’s, who has shown no competence at all on the numbers thing.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:43 AM on August 13, 2012


Hey girl, @PaulRyanGosling is on Twitter.
posted by mkultra at 7:48 AM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Paul Ryan, deficit-cutter? Here are his votes on the Wall Street bailout, Bush tax cuts and Iraq War

Serious deficit hawkery right there!
posted by tonycpsu at 7:52 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan traded on insider information to avoid 2008 crash

This looks more like a dollar cost averaging strategy that began in June 2008 (and not September as the blog posting and article would lead you to believe). Trades were completed at about the same part of the month for four successive months (June 16, 2008; July 17, 2008; August 18, 2008; September 18, 2008).
posted by BobbyVan at 7:53 AM on August 13, 2012


futz: That is the whole article so don't bother clicking unless you want to see the video.

7 minutes in, and I want to punch Reince Priebus, Chairman of the RNC, in the face, metaphorically speaking. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, what does Ryan plan to do? At least David Gregory isn't letting the fact that Reince is weasling out of answers slip, but he is allowing him to spin on about how Obama will ruin the nation, and how Romney/Ryan "offer something better." WHAT IS IT? TELL US, MAN!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:55 AM on August 13, 2012


> Because sometimes people have to see evil with their own eyes to recognize it for what
> it is. There hasn't been true "fuck you" evil in the US since the robber baron era,
> and everyone alive then is dead now. That's why the left is spineless. No one knows in
> their bones how bad it can really get.

seanpuckett says "Now I think about it, that Bush guy really wasn't so bad after all wuzzee?"
posted by jfuller at 8:14 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really? Women will vote for a pretty face? Jesus that canard was trotted out as an excuse for not giving women the vote at the turn of the last century.

And on the issue of birth control, limiting birth control access is just as important for men as women. Single, married, it doesn't matter, without birth control pills your choice as a man come down to:

Abstain
Use a rubber
Get a vasectomy
Screw old broads
Screw guys
Spend more money on child support

So my question is this, how is it possible to reconcile Libertarian views-- where each person pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps-- with birth control prohibitions? It's making my head hurt. I would think taking control of the number of children you support would be one of the wisest financial decisions any person could take. And speaking of which, how in the hell did the Ryans have only 3 kids in 12 years of marriage if they don't use birth control? Do they not sleep together? Did they just get really lucky on the rhythm method? Low sperm count? They should share their secret with the rest of us. (And I am only half kidding.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:21 AM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Screw old broads

Ok.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:23 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps

If they banned birth control I''d have to pull myself up by my own bootstraps pretty much every day.
posted by howfar at 8:50 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ryan was lucky to have middling competition most of his career thus far -- well-meaning progressives with no money and no hope, or this one goofy doctor that seemed to be somewhere between sacrificial lamb and vanity project.
posted by dhartung


So, was Ryan the one running campaign ads (in 2010, I think, but maybe 2008) that featured a simpering voice ridiculing his opponent, "Mr. Millionaire Doctor?" Because every time I visit my wife's family in the Fox valley, I marvel at how much more bare-knuckled Wisconsin political ads are, but the "Mr. Millionaire Doctor" thing just blew my mind at basically being aimed at resentful children who could somehow vote. If that was Ryan... well, that figures, I guess.
posted by COBRA! at 9:11 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


From the USNews link above:

This is the product of a July that saw an unceasing assault on Romney—both making Bain toxic and the details of the Romney tax returns the greatest national mystery since the JFK assassination—from Obama and his allies, as well as a bungled trip to Europe.

So I guess for Obama, there was treasure...

[sunglasses]

... at the end of the Bain row.
posted by Anything at 9:12 AM on August 13, 2012 [18 favorites]


Anything: "Row" in the sense of "conflict" is pronounced as R + ow (the sound you make when you stub your toe).

/pedantic killjoy
posted by dhens at 9:20 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


shit
posted by Anything at 9:21 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


After sitting on it a few days and seeing how the reaction plays out and thinking about it: a few reasons why Ryan may be a poor choice:

- You pick Ryan because of his famous Budget Proposals.
- Only once doing so Romney has spent a disproportionate amount of time saying (essentially) he doesn't WANT to talk about Ryan's budget proposals
- You pick a VP candidate that will not upstage you
oops
- You pick a VP candidate that people will be excited about
brand new poll has the Ryan pick just about as popular as Quayle, the bounce from this pick may be a flatline


Romney has picked a candidate out of desperation to shore up his base, rather than expand it. He traded WI for FL and has made it that much harder to appeal to senior citizens a bloc that tends to vote in high numbers and which has tended to break for the GOP in the past


Still acknowledging it is a long time till election day, and nothing is in the bag until it is in the bag I gotta think on the whole Ryan was a mistake
posted by edgeways at 9:21 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well I guess if the pun was any good, the sunglasses...

[sunglasses]

... wouldn't fit.
posted by Anything at 9:25 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Re: the allegation that Ryan participated in insider trading, I'm reposting my comment from the Bain thread here:
It also appears that the fateful September 18 meeting in the US Capitol occurred at 7:00 p.m. -- AFTER the end of the trading day. This insider trading theory is bunk.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:34 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Barack Obama Has Passed Actual Legislation to Control Medicare; Paul Ryan Just Talks About It
posted by zombieflanders at 9:38 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a good chance that Paul Ryan was involved in last year's redistricting mess, which is in its infancy as a scandal in Wisconsin.
posted by drezdn at 9:46 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


BobbyVan: "Reihan Salam adds important context"

I believe you mean distracting blather. Ryan has already spoken poorly of his pre-2009 record. Not surprising that there are folks out there trying to rewrite history, though.
posted by wierdo at 10:04 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


And don't forget:

Hey girl, @PaulRyanGosling is on Twitter.
posted by mkultra at 7:48 AM on August 13 [3 favorites +] [!]

posted by Mental Wimp at 10:04 AM on August 13, 2012


Re: the allegation that Ryan participated in insider trading, I'm reposting my comment from the Bain thread here:

It also appears that the fateful September 18 meeting in the US Capitol occurred at 7:00 p.m. -- AFTER the end of the trading day. This insider trading theory is bunk.


So if he made the trades at market open the next day, 12 hours after attending a 7pm meeting where impending doom was disclosed, it wasn't improper? Good to know.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:09 AM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


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

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

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

But Team Romney is wrong if it believes that low name recognition makes the polling irrelevant. It’s the opposite: Picking someone unknown — and someone who is very young and doesn’t have the conventional credentials (whether reasonable or not) for presidential nominations — is very much a potential problem for the team.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:12 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


So if he made the trades at market open the next day, 12 hours after attending a 7pm meeting where impending doom was disclosed, it wasn't improper? Good to know.

What's your point? The trades were in fact made on September 18th (and August 18th, July 17th, and June 16th). Why are you positing facts not in evidence?
posted by BobbyVan at 10:13 AM on August 13, 2012


It also appears that the fateful September 18 meeting in the US Capitol occurred at 7:00 p.m. -- AFTER the end of the trading day. This insider trading theory is bunk.

I'm pretty sure Ryan couldn't have known about after-hours trading, could he?
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:15 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Per your link, Mental Wimp, "After-hours trades may be placed and eligible for execution between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday."

The doomsday meeting in the US Capitol started at 7 p.m.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:20 AM on August 13, 2012


BobbyVan: "This looks more like a dollar cost averaging strategy that began in June 2008 (and not September as the blog posting and article would lead you to believe). Trades were completed at about the same part of the month for four successive months (June 16, 2008; July 17, 2008; August 18, 2008; September 18, 2008)."

Ok, so he was extraordinarily lucky. No inside information and he happens to liquidate his holdings in failing banks and buy the one that's planning to flip the switch on the entire financial sector. I bet he would win the $40,000 prize on the Powerball simulator long before the million dice throws I've gone through so far.
posted by wierdo at 10:23 AM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Is it possible they received any briefing documents beforehand that would have tipped them off before the after hours trading window closed? The Ryan financial disclosures don't tell when the trades were executed, is there a way to verify that?
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:29 AM on August 13, 2012


Is it possible they received any briefing documents beforehand that would have tipped them off before the after hours trading window closed? The Ryan financial disclosures don't tell when the trades were executed, is there a way to verify that?

According to this Frontline report, Congressional leaders did not receive briefing documents ahead of the meeting:
Sen. CHRISTOPHER DODD: I had no idea I was going to hear what I heard, sitting in that room with Hank Paulson saying to us in very measured tones that, "Unless you act, the financial system of this country and the world will melt down in a matter of days." There was literally a pause in that room where the oxygen left.

NARRATOR: Paulson carried an emergency plan his staff had drafted.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The trades were in fact made on September 18th (and August 18th, July 17th, and June 16th). Why are you positing facts not in evidence?

I couldn't find a single trade where this happened. There's a couple where there's two in a row, but most of them have either non-consecutive transactions that don't fit a pattern, or have somewhat consecutive transactions but are outside normal automated date ranges (i.e. more than a weekend plus federal holiday).
posted by zombieflanders at 10:45 AM on August 13, 2012


‎"The more Democrats attack the choice of a “radical” running mate, the more they contribute to Romney’s rebranding. Indeed, the more widely Dems denounce Ryan as an extremist, they more they undercut the very telling line of attack that Romney is a man without convictions who will say and do anything to get elected. The more this looks like a gutsy, bold and ideological choice, the more Mitt Romney looks like a bold and principled leader rather than a flip flopping politician." - The American Interest
posted by stoneweaver at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The doomsday meeting in the US Capitol started at 7 p.m.

And he left almost right after it started.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2012


According to this Frontline report, Congressional leaders did not receive briefing documents ahead of the meeting

It says nothing of the sort. It only says they didn't know the severity of it. The toxicity of the loans and the banking industry was at least somewhat apparent after the September 7-8 Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac fiasco, and it's not unreasonable that someone would have leaked information. There's a reason the STOCK Act was proposed.

‎The more Democrats attack the choice of a “radical” running mate, the more they contribute to Romney’s rebranding. Indeed, the more widely Dems denounce Ryan as an extremist, they more they undercut the very telling line of attack that Romney is a man without convictions who will say and do anything to get elected. The more this looks like a gutsy, bold and ideological choice, the more Mitt Romney looks like a bold and principled leader rather than a flip flopping politician.

Which would make sense if the narrative was being pushed as he says it is. They're not painting him as a flip-flopper to the voters, that's pretty much an inside-the-Beltway thing. The ads and the speeches from Obama and other Democrats have been portraying him as an ideological extremist for months now.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:53 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


And he left almost right after it started.

Do you have a cite for that? And why duck out early? Seems he could have missed some important decisions that might have occurred later in the meeting.

I couldn't find a single trade where this happened. There's a couple where there's two in a row, but most of them have either non-consecutive transactions that don't fit a pattern, or have somewhat consecutive transactions but are outside normal automated date ranges (i.e. more than a weekend plus federal holiday).

You're correct that he didn't make each trade on each of those dates. But he started buying Goldman stock in January, and continued to make purchases of GS in March, June and September. He started selling JP Morgan stock in January, and did it again in July and September. He started selling Wachovia stock in January, and did it again in March, August and September. The bottom-line fact is that this trading strategy started long before this "smoking gun" meeting you're pointing to, and the idea that he rushed from a meeting to make the same trades he'd been making for months, only in less liquid/more volatile after-hours trading is fanciful nonsense.

It says nothing of the sort. It only says they didn't know the severity of it.

Not once in all the accounts I've seen have any advance documents been mentioned ahead of the 9/18/2008 meeting. The Hill leaks like a sieve, and it would have been highly irresponsible to send a TARP PowerPoint or white-paper in such a politically charged and economically volatile environment. Please, just move on from this conspiratorial nonsense.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:59 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The more this looks like a gutsy, bold and ideological choice, the more Mitt Romney looks like a bold and principled leader rather than a flip flopping politician

Yes, but Romney's record on flipflopping is so well established that at this point he looks both like a flipflopper and someone with an ideologue as a running mate.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:59 AM on August 13, 2012


Michelle Bachman is a gutsy, bold and principled lunatic, and the people rejected her. I, for one, feel they can do the same here.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:08 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Instead of doing anything to help, Ryan left the meeting and on that very same day Paul Ryan sold shares of stock he owned in several troubled banks and reinvested the proceeds in Goldman Sachs, a bank that the meeting had disclosed was not in trouble.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:08 AM on August 13, 2012


I'm sorry, you'll need to do better than somebody's personal blog.
posted by BobbyVan at 11:11 AM on August 13, 2012


I'm sorry, you'll need to do better than somebody's personal blog.

Kanjorski Reveals Paulson's Closed-Door TARP Threats (emphasis mine):
It was about September 18th [sic]. … On Thursday at about 11 o’clock in the morning the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous drawdown of, uh, money market accounts in the United States to the tune of $550-billion was being drawn out in in a matter of an hour or two.

The Treasury opened up its window to help, and pumped in $105-billion into the system, and quickly realized it could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close down the operation, to close down the money accounts. … If they had not done that, in their estimation, by 2 PM that afternoon $5.5-trillion would have been withdrawn and would have collapsed the U.S. economy and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed. We talked at that time about what would have happened. It would have been the end of our economic and our political system as we know it.
Five to eight hours is plenty of time for something to leak.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:21 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oops...link here (skip to 2:20).
posted by zombieflanders at 11:22 AM on August 13, 2012


National Journal: Why Ryan Could Make a Romney Victory Harder.
posted by ericb at 11:29 AM on August 13, 2012


Switching gears, huh? It's not the 7pm meeting at the Capitol, but the money market crisis and emergency actions taken by the Fed.

So what, I say. The crisis in money markets was no secret. See this report from NPR on September 17, 2008, for instance.
Investor confidence in money market funds, which many people use like a savings or checking account, was shaken this week when one such fund said its value fell below the industry benchmark of $1 per share.

This unprecedented turn of events marks the first time that individual investors in a money market fund are at risk for losing some of their principal.
Oh, and around 3:14 am EDT on September 18 (well before markets opened), the Federal Reserve announced "coordinated central bank action to ease money market stress" to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

Look, I know you'd love to believe that Paul Ryan engaged in insider trading, but the facts aren't there. Take off your partisan hat for a moment.
posted by BobbyVan at 11:31 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paul Krugman: Paul Ryan Budget Proposal 'Just A Fantasy, Not A Serious Policy Proposal'.
posted by ericb at 11:32 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a Research Associate at the National Bureau for Economic Research: Reflections on Paul Ryan's Transactions in Individual Bank Stocks in 2008.
"The impression I get from these 27 transactions in individual bank stocks in 12 months, 17 of which involve not net injections or withdrawals but rather switches between banks, is of a guy who simply does not know what he is doing.

... I don't want to hire as my vice president and federal budget czar somebody who uses Congressional inside information to profit by switching his portfolio back and forth between Citigroup and Goldman five times a year: I want somebody with better ethics.

I don't want to hire as my vice president and federal budget czar somebody who investing very part-time with no analytical support and without inside information switches his portfolio back and forth between Citigroup and Goldman five times a year: I want somebody with a better brain."
posted by ericb at 11:36 AM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


President Ryan — the truth behind Mitt’s flub: Romney's slip aside, it’s not a stretch to say Paul Ryan would be “the next president” if the GOP ticket wins

"The more Democrats attack the choice of a “radical” running mate, the more they contribute to Romney’s rebranding. Indeed, the more widely Dems denounce Ryan as an extremist, the more they undercut the very telling line of attack that Romney is a man without convictions who will say and do anything to get elected. The more this looks like a gutsy, bold and ideological choice, the more Mitt Romney looks like a bold and principled leader rather than a flip flopping politician." - The American Interest

Yes, this now turns into a race between Obama and Ryan. I don't know about Rmoney looking like a bold and principled leader, it seems to me he just becomes less relevant and can remain the 'say anything they want to hear' Mitt-bot without being pinned down on his lack of convictions or other human qualities.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:47 AM on August 13, 2012


As long as we're citing DeLong as an authority, NB this section from the same article (emphasis mine):
Did Paul Ryan run from his Paulson-Bernanke briefing to his phone to call his broker and trade on inside information? I doubt it. It is certainly not a potential conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest but rather an actual conflict of interest for a Congressman receiving Fed and Treasury information on the health of banks to be buying and selling individual bank stocks. But late-mid-month -- the 16, 17, 18, 20 -- is a "normal" time for Ryan to be trading (38 percent of trading days are in that 17 percent of the month) and for Ryan to switch out of some banks into another (usually Goldman Sachs) was a common thing for him to do: once every two months.
So all we're left with is the much less potent charge that Ryan is unfit to be VP because he's a bad stock picker who invests "very part-time with no analytical support and without inside information." I think we're about done with this one.
posted by BobbyVan at 11:47 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuck it, Capitol Gains should be taxed at minimum 50%. Talk about unearned income.
posted by edgeways at 11:48 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


-al
posted by edgeways at 11:49 AM on August 13, 2012


You were right either way.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:59 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Republican Candidates Tip-Toe Around Ryan’s Medicare Plan
posted by zombieflanders at 12:31 PM on August 13, 2012


More Krugman:
[The Ryan pick] is about exploiting the gullibility and vanity of the news media, in much the same way that George W. Bush did in 2000.

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

So whence comes the Ryan reputation? As I said in my last post, it’s because many commentators want to tell a story about US politics that makes them feel and look good — a story in which both parties are equally at fault in our national stalemate, and in which said commentators stand above the fray. This story requires that there be good, honest, technically savvy conservative politicians, so that you can point to these politicians and say how much you admire them, even if you disagree with some of their ideas; after all, unless you lavish praise on some conservatives, you don’t come across as nobly even-handed.
This has already been said of course, in comments here and elsewhere, but there you go.
posted by cashman at 12:40 PM on August 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


Mitt Romney's constitutional amendment would bar Paul Ryan from the presidency

Three years ago, Mitt Romney proposed a constitutional amendment that would say "the president has to spend three years working in business before he becomes president of the United States. Then he or she would understand that the policies they are putting into place have to encourage small business to grow."

...

To be clear about the point here, I think this reflects how dumb Romney’s proposed constitutional amendment is, not Ryan’s fitness for the presidency.


I was going to post more pull quotes but that would be the entirety of the (short) WaPo blog post and I didn't want myself or MeFi to get in trouble. Take a look, it's... mind-boggling.
posted by dhens at 12:49 PM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Paul Ryan Gosling ‏@PaulRyanGosling
Hey girl, I voted against equal pay for women. But you don't need heat to keep you warm when you have me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:59 PM on August 13, 2012


Mitt Romney's constitutional amendment would bar Paul Ryan from the presidency

I heard him quote a fellow businessman. I did not hear him seriously propose such an amendment.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:01 PM on August 13, 2012


Obama hits Ryan on farm bill.
posted by ericb at 1:05 PM on August 13, 2012


The President shouldn't be hitting people while standing on a farm bill.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:08 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney cancels Florida campaign event due to exhaustion.

Jesus, if he can't survive the grind of the campaign how can we trust him to survive the demanding job that is President of the United States?
posted by Mick at 1:10 PM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Romney Touts Constitutional Amendment Disqualifying Eisenhower, Roosevelt and McCain From Being President.
posted by ericb at 1:12 PM on August 13, 2012


Romney Accuses Obama Of Running Campaign Of 'Smear,' 'Dirt,' 'Deception'.

Romney Campaign Falsely Accuses Obama Of Gutting Welfare In Another New Ad.
posted by ericb at 1:14 PM on August 13, 2012


Mitt Romney cancels Florida campaign event due to exhaustion.

Must be tough for an old man who's never had to work for a living before.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:20 PM on August 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


They're just abandoning Florida entirely then?
posted by mek at 1:23 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're just abandoning Florida entirely then?

Looks like he's headed to St. Augustine. Where I'm sure he'll make a corny Fountain of Youth joke. Oh wait, those events already happened a few hours ago. Did he make the joke?
posted by cashman at 1:27 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney cancels Florida campaign event due to exhaustion.

Pretty clear evidence he knows he's going to lose. Hard to keep up the pace when you know it's futile.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:33 PM on August 13, 2012


Maybe he needs another weeklong vacation to re-freshen up for the campaign.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:34 PM on August 13, 2012


I'm sorry, you'll need to do better than somebody's personal blog.

Also note that you can buy and sell stock using your mobile phone, either through a phone call (unlikely) or through an app (very likely).
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:36 PM on August 13, 2012


This account of Romney's activities today in St. Augustine is hilariously typical. Speaking about Ryan: "He’s come up with ideas that are very good," Romney said, though he didn’t elaborate further."
posted by cashman at 1:36 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


This campaign is getting more like the 'Year of the Bastard' storyline from Transmetropolitan every day.
posted by howfar at 1:40 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


"The Presidential Debate Commission announced Monday that PBS’s Jim Lehrer, CBS’s Bob Schieffer and CNN’s Candy Crowley will moderate the three presidential debates, while ABC’s Martha Raddatz will moderate the lone vice presidential debate between Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

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

PBS’s Gwen Ifill moderated vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008."

Full debate schedule:
Presidential debate No. 1 (domestic policy):

Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor of the PBS NewsHour

Wednesday, Oct. 3, University of Denver, Denver, Colo.

Vice presidential debate:

Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ABC News

Thursday, Oct. 11, Centre College, Danville, Ky.

Presidential debate No. 2 (town-meeting style):

Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN and Anchor, CNN’s State of the Union

Tuesday, Oct. 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.

Presidential debate No. 3 (foreign policy):

Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News and Moderator, Face the Nation

Monday, Oct. 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, Fla.
posted by cashman at 1:42 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Ryan Family's History of Fakery
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:45 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Matt Yglesias takes the high road.
Let me apologize. I originally had a too-credulous item here linking to a piece at The Richmonder alleging that Paul Ryan has sold bank shares after a closed door meeting with Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke on the financial crisis in 2008. As Eric Platt explains he certainly seems to have sold the shares on the same day as the meeting, but the meeting happened in the evening by which time the markets would have been closed. One can perhaps construct a scenario by which the Richmonder's theory of the case holds up, but they don't have the goods and I shouldn't have passed their analysis on with no qualification and so little scrutiny of my own.

As Brad DeLong writes, for one reason or another Ryan did quite a lot of trading of individual bank stocks in 2008 so the timing of this particularly transaction isn't particularly noteworthy when put in that context. For posterity's sake the original item is below now in strikethrough.
posted by BobbyVan at 1:49 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rmoney is currently taking reporter questions in Miami, trying to explain why his plan differs from Ryans. And his response was to talk in generalities and get mad at Obama.
posted by cashman at 1:52 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


cashman: "Rmoney is currently taking reporter questions in Miami, trying to explain why his plan differs from Ryans. And his response was to talk in generalities and get mad at Obama."

You say that like it's going to hurt him in some way with his target demographic of "people who talk in generalities and get mad at Obama."
posted by tonycpsu at 1:54 PM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yes, but Romney's record on flipflopping is so well established that at this point he looks both like a flipflopper and someone with an ideologue as a running mate.

And don't forget the weird dance Romney's doing, trying to distance himself from Ryan's extreme economic plan. "Here's my running mate, who is known for his extreme position, who is known for nothing BUT that extreme position! And I don't support that extreme position!"
posted by meese at 1:57 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ryan gets heckled in Iowa today by the same folks who provoked the "Corporations are people" response.
posted by edgeways at 2:00 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ryan gets heckled in Iowa today by the same folks who provoked the "Corporations are people" response.

An initial report suggests more than heckling. Per Reuters: "police said one of the protesters 'punched a volunteer' at the event."
posted by BobbyVan at 2:04 PM on August 13, 2012


The choice of Ryan energized the Republican campaign and won the support of conservatives who have often been wary of former Massachusetts governor Romney.
It has been literally one business day since the announcement was made - it seems a little early to be claiming that this 'energized' the campaign (especially since Romney is cancelling events due to exhaustion), but then again that's probably what it said on the GOP talking points memo.
posted by muddgirl at 2:16 PM on August 13, 2012


Republicans Make A Play For The Latino Vote

Ryan and Romney's Really Awkward Moment and Paul Ryan Already Polling Badly

Biden Invokes Ryan's Dead Father To Question Candidate's Values

Paul Ryan, Mentoree to the Zombie-Eyed Bishop-Killing Elliott Abrams

Could Ryan Tip Wisconsin?

Obama Campaign: 'Meet Paul Ryan, who is actually the worst'

The Paul Ryan Origin Story Is A Heaping Pile

Robert Reich (Guernica): The Ryan Choice

Paul Ryan, the anti-Palin

Recent campaign cartoons

Paul Ryan's speech in support of TARP
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:20 PM on August 13, 2012


The Talented Mr. Ryan

Paul Ryan Love Charts

First Romney-Ryan Interview, from 60 Minutes

What Are Paul Ryan's Chances Of Becoming President?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:34 PM on August 13, 2012


That debate schedule is interesting. Starting off with domestic policy as the topic of the first debate could give Romney a chance to get an early win, or at least a draw, with Obama being in a tough position trying to defend 8% unemployment in thirty second rebuttals. Biden should be able to keep Ryan at arms length in the VP debate with his superior wit and his foreign policy chops, but Ryan will probably land some blows on the economy, since there are no fact-checkers to call B.S. when he makes outlandish claims about how cutting taxes on job creators will create economic growth.

I think everyone would expect Obama to soundly handle Romney in the town hall meeting style format due to Romney's lack of comfort in relating to, speaking to, or being in the same room as carbon units, and then they close it out with foreign policy, which could very well be a knockout punch for Obama at that point. My guess is Team Romney would have preferred to get foreign policy out of the way early and close with the domestic policy debate just a couple weeks before the election. Both sides have to agree to these terms, right?
posted by tonycpsu at 3:01 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, how weak is it that we had to sit through, what, twenty GOP primary debates, but when it comes down to the choice between the actual participants in the real election, all we get is four?
posted by tonycpsu at 3:02 PM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Real Ryan Record: 2 Minor Bills, Lots of High-Profile Talk, Gridlock

After looking at his record, I'm going to have to agree with Jonathan Chait, who writes that Ryan's "public persona is a giant scam" that marks him as a "skillful pol" -- and also someone who ought not to be underestimated. But there's a big difference between manners and character, between ideologically rigid political posturing and a substantive commitment to the difficult work of creating positive change within a pluralistic and diverse democratic society. If people can no longer tell the one from the other it's because we now live in an age, as Ta-Nehisi Coates has so memorably noted, where "where counter-intuitive bullshitting is valorized, where the pose of argument is more important than the actual pursuit of truth, where clever answers take precedence over profound questions."

Mitt Romney said Sunday that Ryan's "career ambition was not to go to Washington." But Ryan did go to Washington, D.C., arriving as an intern in 1991 and spending the entire rest of his career here after graduating from college.

posted by futz at 3:23 PM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also:

That's not to say he has never co-sponsored successful legislation or resolutions affirming a sense of the House. A review of every bill he's co-sponsored that did not fail provides a picture of what Ryan has contributed to the nation over his years in public office.

Ryan served as co-sponsor on eight bills that successfully provided for the issuance of new commemorative coins. These coins celebrated: American veterans who are disabled for life; the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center; the Boy Scouts of America Centennial; the San Francisco Old Mint; Jamestown's 400th Anniversary; Benjamin Franklin; American Bald Eagle recovery; and the American buffalo (which, we can all agree, is a truly majestic animal).

Ryan has honored Wisconsin as a co-sponsor of efforts that celebrated: the 100th anniversary of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; the Wisconsin Badger football team for an outstanding season and 2011 Rose Bowl bid; that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Wis.; and also the renaming of several Veterans Administration and Post Office buildings in the state.

Speaking of post offices, in addition to sponsoring the renaming of one after Les Aspin, Ryan successfully co-sponsored the renaming of U.S. Post Office branches in Schertz, Tex.; Dixon, Ill.; and Madison, Wis., giving us the Robert M. La Follette, Sr. Post Office Building.

Ryan has co-sponsored five successful resolutions honoring Ronald Reagan. These measures: established the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act; renamed a post office in Dixon, Ill., the "President Ronald W. Reagan Post Office Building"; authorized the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic Site; recognized the 90th birthday of Ronald Reagan; and provided for "the award of a gold medal on behalf of the Congress to former President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy Reagan in recognition of their service to the Nation."

Ryan has co-sponsored successful legislation banning animal crush videos.

What about all that budgety substance we keep hearing about? Well, none of the recent budgetary control measures Ryan has sponsored -- such as the six he'd laid out so far this year -- have become law, because they are all too extreme to pass.

posted by futz at 3:29 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ryan has co-sponsored successful legislation banning animal crush videos.

I had to look up what this meant and WTH? This is a thing?? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:38 PM on August 13, 2012


I had to look up what this meant and WTH? This is a thing?? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?

There's a very interesting Supreme Court case about the application of that law to dogfighting videos.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:40 PM on August 13, 2012


I gotta think on the whole Ryan was a mistake
Who wouldn't have been a mistake? It seems like virtually all major Republican politicians are either nitwits, crazy, hateful, or some combination thereof, and the few who aren't are therefore unacceptable to the Republican base.
posted by Flunkie at 3:40 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry to jump in late, but I saw this:
So my question is this, how is it possible to reconcile Libertarian views-- where each person pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps-- with birth control prohibitions?
Here is what is obvious at this point: the GOP base is fracturing into some very extreme camps, and they are playing a game of Twister that seems impossible to win. Paul Ryan is a practicing Catholic who has spent the last ten years talking about how glorious and untouchably brilliant Ayn Rand's philosophy is. How did he meld one philosophy, in which Christ commands everyone to help the poor and avoid the evil and selfishness of power, with another philosophy in which a militant atheist decries the very idea of helping the poor because the only way towards justice is selfishness?

I don't know. There really are only a few options in this case: he either isn't a Catholic (in the sense that anyone would recognize that he has Catholic values) or he isn't an Objectivist, or he just says whatever gets him votes. Ignorance is a fourth option, but since he began distancing himself from Rand, I think that one is out.

I just finished listening to an interview of a Planned Parenthood advocate saying that Ryan and Romney won't talk about their opposition to abortion and contraception in mainstream settings, just the little barn-storming tours that excite their base. I think that's a very good observation: you're going to see very different rhetoric on the campaign trail than you will in the televised debates, because even if Romney and Ryan held the same values as their base, they're rarely stupid enough to say them out loud where independents might hear them.
posted by deanklear at 3:48 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


From an astute commenter at the Esquire blog:
Well, jeez, you can't be a Catholic about EVERYTHING
posted by muddgirl at 4:05 PM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Paul Ryan anagram: Lunar Yap
posted by telstar at 4:12 PM on August 13, 2012


Crowley is the first female moderator for a presidential debate since ABC’s Carole Simpson . . .

Let's just overlook that she is one of the most blatantly GOP-biased news correspondents in the business and not working for Murdoch. Ugh.

It could be worse. They could have brought in David Gregory, and allowed him to keep in the earpiece that feeds words from Karl Rove right into his head.
posted by spitbull at 4:29 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


where each person pulls themselves up by their own bootstraps

Whenever I see this phrase I think of something Adam Kotsko said on Twitter: how fitting for the neoliberal age that a phrase originally coined to describe something impossible is now simply what is expected of everyone.
posted by gerryblog at 5:13 PM on August 13, 2012 [20 favorites]


Admit It, I Scare The Ever-Loving Shit Out Of You, Don't I?
BY PAUL RYAN
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.

Yup, you should be scared shitless of me, because guess who isn’t? The people of Wisconsin. They love me. Republicans and Democrats there love me. Hell, I get Democrats to vote for me even if my policies make zero sense when it comes to their livelihoods. Do you know why? Because they like me. They like my story. Young, good-looking kid who pulled himself up by his bootstraps to make something of himself. Christ, I'm a storybook candidate. I balance out this ticket so well it’s almost too perfect. The people of Ohio are going to think that. And seniors in Florida—the state we supposedly lost when Mitt picked me—won’t be so scared as soon they know that my mother lives in Florida, and that all I want to do is reform the health care system so she can receive care that makes good fiscal sense.

Boy, I’m going to sell the shit out of that talking point. And I’m going to do a great job of it. Why? Because I’m Paul Ryan. That’s what I do.

And if we’re having trouble getting Pennsylvania on board, just wait until I absolutely wipe the floor with Joe Biden in the vice presidential debates. Don’t think for a second that I don’t know you’re terrified of us facing off, because in the back of your mind you know it could be a bloodbath up there.

Well, that’s 77 electoral votes, and by my math that means you can kiss your golden boy goodbye after four short years. All that promise. All that energy. All that potential. Gone in one November night.

I’m your worst fucking nightmare.
Sure, it's just the Onion. But then again, they did write this. In January 2001.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:32 PM on August 13, 2012 [15 favorites]


Apologies in advance for the way belated derail (i've been away for the weekend):

muddgirl, I'm not up on the details but as I understand it Islam started out with Muhammad being inspired by a sort of hacked-up fringe Christianity, and I believe it does recognize Jesus as being a rather special avatar of Allah who had an important mission.

I won't dispute the first half even if that's untrue if you ask any Muslim (because that explanation may be coming from a real-world political/historical angle which of course doesn't privilege the in-group explanation), but the second half is patently not factual by any measure. Muslims simply believe that Jesus, like Moses, Abraham and finally Mohamed, is a prophet in a long line of prophets. There's no special position accorded to him that they don't accord to the other major prophets. He is special in the sense that his lineage is only recognised from Mary/Maryam because of the virgin birth (hence Isa bin Maryam, or Jesus son of Mary).

Ok, now this non-American will be butting out of the conversation. But good luck guys.
posted by cendawanita at 5:41 PM on August 13, 2012


Holy fuck that Onion piece was prescient:

"Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close," House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. "Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton's America."
posted by MoonOrb at 5:42 PM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Muslims simply believe that Jesus, like Moses, Abraham and finally Mohamed, is a prophet in a long line of prophets. There's no special position accorded to him that they don't accord to the other major prophets
I think you're very wrong.

I believe that Muslims (generally) believe, for example, that Jesus is going to come back and kick the ass of evil (in particular, the ass of the Antichrist), to usher in an era of (post-ass-kicking) peace on earth.

He really is a big deal in Islam. Not that, say, Moses is not, but even comparatively. As far as I understand.
posted by Flunkie at 5:48 PM on August 13, 2012


What bootstraps? He was born to upper middle class luxury.
posted by humanfont at 5:55 PM on August 13, 2012


Upper middle class luxury is the new log cabin.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:22 PM on August 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


It has been literally one business day since the announcement was made - it seems a little early to be claiming that this 'energized' the campaign (especially since Romney is cancelling events due to exhaustion), but then again that's probably what it said on the GOP talking points memo.

Over the weekend and today I've been getting a lot of Dem fundraising email talking about how the Ryan pick has not only "energized" the Romney campaign, it's increased fundraising for it too (and my understanding is that Romney had already outpaced Obama significantly since the ACA ruling).

Here's a quote:
"Yesterday’s Romney-Ryan rally in North Carolina pulled in an overflow crowd of 15,000 people.

There’s no spinning that number. It’s a LOT of people, and the Republican base in energized.

And that’s not all. Since the VP announcement, Romney’s campaign has brought in over 70,000 donations from his Tea Party base."
And judging by some facebook comments, the movement conservatives in my social circles were indeed pretty excited.
posted by weston at 6:32 PM on August 13, 2012


If so, that's the second Presidential election in a row where they went from all upset at the RINO straight to fawning over how great the VP pick is. I wonder how many such elections it's going to take before they come to understand they're being played like a fiddle.
posted by Flunkie at 6:35 PM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


(I wouldn't trust Dem fundraising emails for accurate campaign analysis any more than the throwaway paragraph in a Reuters article cribbed from the GOP talking points.)

Yesterday’s Romney-Ryan rally in North Carolina pulled in an overflow crowd of 15,000 people.

Wouldn't this event have been planned in advance of the actual announcement? I'm not really doubting that a VP pick will temporarily jump-start a campaign. But the wording of that paragraph is pure campaign press release.
posted by muddgirl at 6:45 PM on August 13, 2012


More from that Onion piece:
Bush concluded his speech on a note of healing and redemption.

"We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two," Bush said. "Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."
Frighteningly spot on. Whoever wrote that is a hell of a futurologist.
posted by Superplin at 6:57 PM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don't think that rally size is a good indicator of electoral strength. Palin pulled huge crowds too.
posted by octothorpe at 6:58 PM on August 13, 2012


I had that Onion article taped to my office door at work for years until I realized how horrifyingly true it had become and ripped it off and crumpled it up in disgust.
posted by octothorpe at 7:00 PM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Good thing Romeny's recent world tour was so successful because it looks like Ryan's foreign policy experience is a little weak.

Have Obama and Romney Forgotten Afghanistan?
posted by homunculus at 7:53 PM on August 13, 2012


"It's not easy to get up in the morning, training them to do your job so that you can be made unemployed," said Bonnie Borman, pictured, a mother of three who has worked for 23 years at the Sensata auto sensors plant.

Borman knows her eventual fate in the stricken economy that surrounds Freeport, Illinois. "I am going to be competing for minimum wage jobs with my own daughter," she said.

Such scenes have been common in America as manufacturing has fled abroad in search of cheaper wages.

But, in the midst of the 2012 presidential election, Freeport is different. For Sensata is majority-owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once led by Mitt Romney, that has become a hugely controversial symbol of how the modern globalised American economy works. Indeed, Romney still owns millions of dollars of shares in the Bain funds that own Sensata.

So as Sensata strips out costs by sacking American workers in favour of Chinese ones, the value of Romney's own investments could rise, putting money into the pockets of a Republican challenger who has placed job creation in America at the heart of his bid for the White House."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/10/illinois-workers-bain-outsourcing
posted by cashman at 8:48 PM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sensata is majority-owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once led by Mitt Romney, that has become a hugely controversial symbol of how the modern globalised American economy works. Indeed, Romney still owns millions of dollars of shares in the Bain funds that own Sensata.

So as Sensata strips out costs by sacking American workers in favour of Chinese ones, the value of Romney's own investments could rise, putting money into the pockets of a Republican challenger who has placed job creation in America at the heart of his bid for the White House."


I'm find myself getting frothed up into a spittle flecked rage whenever I hear speculation about when Romney did or didn't leave Bain. They never seem to follow up with the obvious point that it doesn't matter. He still profits massively from their practices even if he isn't calling the shots.

It's baffling to me that this isn't the first question out of anyone's mouth when the subject comes up.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:29 PM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


I just attended the Ryan speech at the Iowa State Fair. These articles play up the hecklers but there were only two of them, and one of them was too frail to make his voice heard. So it was really only one heckler (who made a hell of an effort). The Romney supporters were essentially tea party types who did everything they could to resist the heckler(s). There was a small amount of blood. After the speech a 200 pound bully tried to physically intimidate an 80 year old man. I got in a shoving match with him and suddenly found the crowd turning on me. I learned I am everything from a paid CNN shill to a MoveOn plant to a Socialist who's going to weep bitter tears when Romney takes my government handouts away. I'm also disrespectful, apparently.

There were a number of politicians stumping in the same venue. Ryan had four times the showing that any Democrat did. They were vigorous and energized, and there were many young people in the mix. The majority of Ryan's activist base appears to be in their early twenties. The Des Moines Register corn poll had Romney beating Obama by a 10% margin. The corn poll accurately predicted the Obama victory four years ago.

Barack fucked up and he is going to lose this thing. Get ready for Bush III.
posted by clarknova at 11:39 PM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Superplin: "Frighteningly spot on. Whoever wrote that is a hell of a futurologist."

No, just literate and smart enough to realize that it's hard to go wrong assuming that whatever comes out of a politician's mouth is a lie if it's in conflict with the campaign's written policy proposals.
posted by wierdo at 11:44 PM on August 13, 2012


538: Polls Have Middling Reviews for Ryan

NRO: Paul Ryan and the American Character and Paul Ryan: Mitt Romney's Line in the Sand and Obamacare Changed Everything

TNR: Paul Ryan Hearts Unemployment

Reason: VP Paul Ryan Would Not Be VP Ayn Rand

CSMonitor: The Paul Ryan Budget: Your Guide To Whats In It

The Economist: Is Paul Ryan A Hyopcrite? - lots of sophistry in this one.

Mother Jones: Just How Libertarian Is Paul Ryan?

TWS: DNC Chair: 'Ryan in the White House Would Be a Nightmare'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:04 AM on August 14, 2012


Guardian: What Democrats Can Learn From Romney-Ryanonomics

NYTimes: Everything Wall St. Should Know About Ryan
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:30 AM on August 14, 2012


Republicans concerned Ryan could cost party House and Senate seats
posted by octothorpe at 4:16 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Two Dark Money Groups Outspending All Super PACs Combined

Excerpt: "Crossroads GPS, or Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, and spent an estimated $41.7 million. Americans for Prosperity, credited with helping launch the Tea Party movement, is backed in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and spent an estimated $18.2 million.

Campaign-finance reform advocates say the spending by the two organizations highlights the role anonymous money is playing in this election, which will be the most expensive in history."
posted by madamjujujive at 4:29 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ayn Rand absolutely hated Ronald Reagan
Mr. Reagan is not a champion of capitalism, but a conservative in the worst sense of that word—i.e., an advocate of a mixed economy with government controls slanted in favor of business rather than labor (which, philosophically, is as untenable a position as one could choose—see Fred Kinnan in Atlas Shrugged, pp. 541-2). This description applies in various degrees to most Republican politicians, but most of them preserve some respect for the rights of the individual. Mr. Reagan does not: he opposes the right to abortion.
The campaign spending is frightening when put in perspective like that. The good news is they're clearly as clueless about what their money will achieve as we are. Acting like Karl Rove has a master plan is great and scary, but Rove is a clever, sadistic opportunist, not a mastermind, and looking at the work of his CrossroadsGPS it's pretty damn lackluster.

Money only talks to a certain extent. We'll find out just what that extent is, but I'm still putting faith in things turning out all right.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:57 AM on August 14, 2012


The good news is they're clearly as clueless about what their money will achieve as we are. Acting like Karl Rove has a master plan is great and scary, but Rove is a clever, sadistic opportunist, not a mastermind, and looking at the work of his CrossroadsGPS it's pretty damn lackluster.

At this point I think they've only spent 10%, maybe even less, of the $1b-plus that they've promised Romney. Plus, we're not even at Labor Day, the usual marker for when things really count, let alone the October home stretch. And we have no idea how much of that money is going to down-ticket races, where the effect of even a couple thou a week can be many many times more effective than it is for the Presidential race.

In other words, don't start to discount Rove et al just because their plans don't look like they've worked out during the primaries and early general.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:28 AM on August 14, 2012


The Forgotten History of Ryan's Medicare Reform
Mr. Enthoven's reform models were the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, created in 1959, and Calpers, the California health-insurance program for public employees. He used premium support when he designed the Stanford faculty health plan.

Mr. Enthoven's ideas won some support in the Carter administration. Deregulation czar Alfred Kahn publicly endorsed them. Missouri Democrat Dick Gephardt, of all people, pushed them in Congress.

In the 1990s, premium support's chief advocates were Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution and Bob Reischauer of the Urban Institute. Neither shop is known as a hatchery for conservative ideology. (Mr. Aaron has since recanted.) President Clinton's 17-member Medicare commission, chaired by Louisiana Democrat John Breaux, endorsed the reform in 1999.
posted by BobbyVan at 6:42 AM on August 14, 2012


Except that most of the architects of "premium support" have said the Ryan's notion of "premium support" is not the same thing as their original concept.
posted by JPD at 6:47 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, Co-Chair of President Obama's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, praises the Paul Ryan budget:
"Have any of you all met Paul Ryan? We should get him to come to the university. I’m telling you, this guy is amazing. I always thought I was okay with arithmetic, this guy can run circles around me. He is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did by four trillion dollars…The president came out with his own plan. And the president, as you remember, came out with a budget. And I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously. The Senate voted against it 97 to nothing."
posted by BobbyVan at 6:53 AM on August 14, 2012


Ooh, I can play this game too!
The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends. The crony capitalists of K Street already own more than enough Republican votes to stop that train before it leaves the station.

In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.
--David A. Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:03 AM on August 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


1) He's kind of out alone there.

2) He's parroting the GOP talking points about the budget that have already been proven false, even by other conservatives.

3) It's worth noting that less than two months later Ryan voted against the recommendations of the Commission.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:05 AM on August 14, 2012


Erskine Bowles has recently heavily criticised Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's budget plan for claiming we could sharply cut taxes without increasing revenue elsewhere. (Although I also don't necessarily agree with Bowles's claims that we can further cut tax rates and still gain revenue by cutting 'tax breaks', unless those tax breaks are on capital gains).
posted by muddgirl at 7:07 AM on August 14, 2012


Also: Erskine Bowles to Romney: You're no Bowles or Simpson
This month, Romney said that his tax reform proposal is “very similar to the Simpson-Bowles plan.” How I wish it were. I will be the first to cheer if Romney decides to embrace our plan. Unfortunately, the numbers say otherwise: His reform plan leaves too many tax breaks in place and, as a result, does nothing to reduce the debt.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:07 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah yes the Erskine Bowles Appeal to Authority Gambit. My conservative friends like that one a lot.
posted by JPD at 7:07 AM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Stockman criticism is nonsensical and hilariously axiomatic. "I hate Paul Ryan's budget because it would require closing popular tax loopholes supported by K Street crony capitalists. It doesn't stand a chance of passing."
posted by BobbyVan at 7:22 AM on August 14, 2012


3) It's worth noting that less than two months later Ryan voted against the recommendations of the Commission.

You are wrong. Bowles made his remarks in September 2011, per the caption in the video. Ryan announced his opposition to the Bowles-Simpson recommendations in December 2010.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:25 AM on August 14, 2012


The Stockman criticism is nonsensical and hilariously axiomatic.

and so is this
Videos surface of Dems, including President Obama, praising Paul Ryan
posted by clavdivs at 7:25 AM on August 14, 2012


(I note that, as far as I can see, Bowles doesn't offer any specific praises for the Ryan budget save that it cuts the same amount of deficit that Bowles' budget does. I can't watch the video, but based on the news reports floating around, Bowles wasn't exactly praising Ryan's budget, but pointing out that Gosh Golly Gee Whiz, no one payed any attention to Bowle's sensible, straightforward, honest, and serious budget!)

Videos surface of Dems, including President Obama, praising Paul Ryan

Calling someone 'serious' and 'honest' does not mean you agree with their ideas. I don't understand the point of all the press about how people think Paul Ryan is a serious, honest, or likeable person. So am I! Why don't I get to put forward a budget filled with progressive pie-eyed dreams?
posted by muddgirl at 7:28 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am open to the idea that Rmoney has screwed the pooch on two fronts here: He's turned the election into a real choice instead of just a referendum on Obama, and he's put Florida into play in a way he didn't have to.

My fear is this, though: How many people are going to just treat this as a referendum, anyway? Issues be damned, we don't care about issues, anyway! We just hate Obama and the liberal,commie Dems.

Unfortunately, I'm sensing a nailbiter no matter what. Somebody please talk me down.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:34 AM on August 14, 2012


Calling someone 'serious' and 'honest' does not mean you agree with their ideas.

My takeaway is that Bowles calls Ryan's budget "sensible, straightforward, honest [and] serious," and contrasts that with Obama's budget, which he says no one took seriously and was rejected by the Senate 97-0.
posted by BobbyVan at 7:35 AM on August 14, 2012


Sensible: it makes *sense* if you're trying to drown the Federal government.
Straightforward: Granny's gotta pay more and more of her Medicare.
Honest: Doesn't hide that it wants to eliminate captial gains taxes completely.
Serious: Heart attacks are serious, too.
posted by notsnot at 7:39 AM on August 14, 2012


The Stockman criticism is nonsensical and hilariously axiomatic. "I hate Paul Ryan's budget because it would require closing popular tax loopholes supported by K Street crony capitalists. It doesn't stand a chance of passing."

Well, yes, if you ignored the entire paragraph above it that criticizes the loopholes, not the lobbyists.

Videos surface of Dems, including President Obama, praising Paul Ryan

I especially like these parts from Bowles:
North Carolina's News & Observer newspaper dug up the rest of that speech, finding that at one point, Bowles also called Ryan's controversial Medicare overhaul "a pretty radical change" that he'd rather avoid.

But in a March 29, 2012, PBS interview, Bowles said that Ryan's plan to offer government payments to buy private insurance should nevertheless remain an "option" going forward. He even said "you would want to consider" a newer version of the Ryan plan that lets people keep traditional Medicare as an alternative.
And this one from Obama:
"One of the things I like about Paul Ryan is he's demonstrated over his years there an ability to work across the aisle to find people who have common purpose who may disagree on some issues but find enough common ground to get things done," Romney said Monday. "And, for instance, him coming together with a plan to save Medicare for future generations, no change to current Medicare beneficiaries or people near retirement but for future beneficiaries, he and Sen. Wyden have come together. This is the kind of bipartisanship we need more of, not less."
Yes, the same plan (actually a policy paper) that Wyden is now calling Romney and Ryan's reading of "nonsense".

My takeaway is that Bowles calls Ryan's budget "sensible, straightforward, honest [and] serious," and contrasts that with Obama's budget, which he says no one took seriously and was rejected by the Senate 97-0.

Then your takeaway is on shaky ground. As I already pointed out, it wasn't "taken seriously" because it had been supplanted by another budget and was a showboat vote from the GOP. And as pointed out by muddgirl just a few posts ago, Bowles disagrees with the implementation of large parts of Ryan's plan, including the specific tax cuts and the Medicare portion.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:43 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Videos Surface"? What crack are these people on? This video is on Paul Ryan's own YouTube page from 2010. Such a pitiful nonstory there. I mean it's FoxNews, so why am I surprised, but come on. Go ahead and grasp at those straws man.
posted by cashman at 7:53 AM on August 14, 2012


clarknova: "Barack fucked up and he is going to lose this thing. Get ready for Bush III."

OK, I'll bite.

Here is an electoral college map based on the current state projections at FiveThirtyEight. I don't think Romney's going to lose 332-206, but that's where things are, projecting all close races in the direction they're leaning based on the polls right now.

Let's assume, based on your anecdotal experience at the state fair, that Iowa's in the bag for Romney now, with its massive haul of six electoral votes. And, hey, let's throw Wisconsin's 10 votes in the Romney column, despite the fact that Ryan is strongly disliked in the state outside his home district. Here's the map for that one.

Still not looking good. In fact, with that map, Obama could lose Florida and still coast to victory.

How is Romney going to close that gap, especially with an uphill climb in Florida with the zombie-eyed granny starver having to massage his message to assure Florida's elderly population that he's only out to take their children and grandchildren's Medicare away from them, not theirs?

Look, it's perfectly fine to say that there's going to be some economic calamity that's going to push Obama's strength in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, etc. down, but to say that Romney getting Iowa and/or Wisconsin somehow signals the end of times for the Obama campaign is just silly.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:56 AM on August 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well, yes, if you ignored the entire paragraph above it that criticizes the loopholes, not the lobbyists.

If Stockman criticizes the loopholes that Ryan's plan would close, what's his argument? That Republicans don't have the "gumption" to follow through with it? By that logic, if the GOP proposed slashing defense spending and imposing a VAT (Stockman's preferred policy), Stockman might attack the plan as cynical and dishonest because it would go against the K Street bogeymen he hates.

Interesting historical fact, Stockman left the White House in 1985. One year later, the White House and Congress agreed to a historic tax reform that did a couple of things: lowered marginal rates and closed loopholes... something quite similar to what Romney and Ryan are proposing today.

As to your Wyden point, please see this article in the The Washington Post:
“Governor Romney is talking nonsense,” Wyden said in a statement to reporters Saturday night. He based most of his objection to Romney’s remarks on semantics, saying his proposal with Ryan was not legislation but “a policy paper.”

That is not an explanation that his fellow Democrats find persuasive.
And finally, of course Bowles isn't going to agree with everything Ryan has proposed. But there's no denying that these words, spoken by the leading Democrat on the fiscal commission, are politically potent: "sensible, straightforward, honest, serious."
posted by BobbyVan at 7:57 AM on August 14, 2012


What's the point of the Bowles tangent?
posted by dirigibleman at 7:57 AM on August 14, 2012


dirigibleman: "What's the point of the Bowles tangent?"

The village media has decided that Erskine Bowles is somehow an important thinker in Democratic circles, despite the fact that the commission he co-chaired couldn't get the necessary votes to implement any of the recommendations, and despite the fact that he has never held an elected public office.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:03 AM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Three days ago: Will Erskine Bowles be our next Treasury Secretary?
posted by BobbyVan at 8:06 AM on August 14, 2012


Typical two-faced conservative. It would be laughable if it weren't so desperately cynical:

Ryan sought stimulus funds while decrying program
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:11 AM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


If Stockman criticizes the loopholes that Ryan's plan would close, what's his argument?

He's not really criticizing the closing of loopholes, since those aren't made clear, but rather the tons of unpaid-for tax breaks (e.g. capital gains and dividends) and

Interesting historical fact, Stockman left the White House in 1985. One year later, the White House and Congress agreed to a historic tax reform that did a couple of things: lowered marginal rates and closed loopholes... something quite similar to what Romney and Ryan are proposing today.

Which isn't really comparable. For starters, the 1986 bill was a tax reform bill, not a budget. Second, it wasn't looking to replace Medicare and all but kill off Medicaid. Third, Ryan and Romney want to cut the corporate tax rates rather than raise them. Fourth, Ryan doesn't really say what loopholes he will close, so until he does so we don't know what (if any) savings they will provide. And finally, lowering marginal rates is the biggest criticism of the bill apart from the Medicare, and may be one of the largest contributing factors to income inequality in the US (the top 1% of earners received 8.4% of national income in 1984 as opposed to 13.5% in 1989).

As to your Wyden point, please see this article in the The Washington Post

Seems like that was actually a misreading of Wyden:
Wyden fired back Saturday evening that Romney is "talking nonsense."

Added the Oregon senator:
Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not ‘co-lead a piece of legislation.’ I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. Governor Romney needs to learn you don't protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments today sure won't help promote real bipartisanship.”
[...]

Wyden has repeatedly said that the Medicare plan that Ryan pushed through the Republican-led House is different from the "policy paper" that he produced with Ryan.

Ryan's legislation proposed that seniors eventually be given a fixed amount of money to purchase health coverage. The Wyden-Ryan approach saw giving seniors a choice between traditional Medicare coverage or expanded and revamped private coverage.
That sounds less like "semantics" and more like "specifics" to me.

And finally, of course Bowles isn't going to agree with everything Ryan has proposed. But there's no denying that these words, spoken by the leading Democrat on the fiscal commission, are politically potent: "sensible, straightforward, honest, serious."

Potentially, but Bowles could very easily point out how his words are being twisted, since he's done it before.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:27 AM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


GOP pros fret over Paul Ryan.
posted by ericb at 8:35 AM on August 14, 2012


Ryan is clearly not serious about closing loopholes given that he proposes to make the biggest one yet by eliminating the capital gains tax. He thinks people like Mitt Romney should pay no tax at all. If that's not unserious, I don't know what is.
posted by wierdo at 8:37 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


BobbyVan: "Three days ago: Will Erskine Bowles be our next Treasury Secretary?"

Obama floating an obvious trial balloon of Bowles to replace Geithner changes nothing on election day. Romney/Ryan aren't running to be the President and VP of the DC cocktail party circuit. Adding Paul Ryan to the ticket might impress the six people who care about what Erskine Bowles thinks, but actual voters are going to be more concerned with the plan to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits to finance a tax cut for the highest earners.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:37 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney struggles to get square with Ryan's Medicare plan -- "Stumping here on Monday, Mitt Romney told reporters he couldn’t think of how he differs from running mate Paul Ryan when it comes to their views on Medicare."
posted by ericb at 8:38 AM on August 14, 2012


He's not really criticizing the closing of loopholes, since those aren't made clear, but rather the tons of unpaid-for tax breaks (e.g. capital gains and dividends) and

That just takes us in circles. The tax cuts can be "paid for," but Stockman refuses to believe that the other "popular" loopholes could be closed.

As to some of your other points:

-The budget vs. tax law point is distinction w/o real difference. We talk budgets first (an overall strategy), then we move to tax legislation (which implements the revenue aspects of a budget). The discussion of a budget necessarily includes tax legislation.

-Who in the world thinks we should raise corporate tax rates? Even Obama has proposed cutting corporate taxes.

-Ryan has actually moderated his views on Medicare, working with Wyden on the policy paper after the adoption of his budget. Ryan would agree that his joint proposal with Wyden is different from the version included in his budget. This shows that Ryan can compromise, no?
posted by BobbyVan at 8:41 AM on August 14, 2012


ericb: "Romney struggles to get square with Ryan's Medicare plan
"We haven't gone through piece by piece and said, `Oh, here's a place where there's a difference,'” Romney said of his running mate's plan. "But my plan for Medicare is very similar to his plan, which is `Do not change the program for current retirees or near-retirees but do not do what the president has done and that is to cut $700 billion out of the current program.'"
Yo, Mitt, Imma let you finish, but Paul Ryan’s budget keeps Obama’s Medicare cuts. Full stop.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:47 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who in the world thinks we should raise corporate tax rates?

Any sensible person does. Conflating nominal rates and effective rates is the right's stock-in-trade these days. The US has the highest nominal rate in the industrial world, but one of the lowest effective rates.

Lowering the nominal rate while closing loopholes is actually raising the effective rate.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:48 AM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Jon Stewart Mocks Fluffy Paul Ryan Media Analysis (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 8:51 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan Worth Millions Thanks To Wife's Wealth.

Janna Ryan, Paul Ryan's Wife, Lobbied For Cigar, Nuclear, Pharmaceutical Industries.
posted by ericb at 8:54 AM on August 14, 2012


he's put Florida into play in a way he didn't have to

Florida's already trending toward Obama. So is Ohio, and Obama is holding leads in Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:54 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paul Ryan Budget Forces Some Republican Candidates Into Awkward Position.
posted by ericb at 8:55 AM on August 14, 2012


That just takes us in circles. The tax cuts can be "paid for," but Stockman refuses to believe that the other "popular" loopholes could be closed.

There's no evidence that the tax cuts can be paid for, regardless of your interpretation of Steadman. Now, if you're putting paid for in quotes because there's no actual way to pay for it except for pretty much killing off most everything that isn't defense, then you've got a case, but that wasn't what Steadman said.

The budget vs. tax law point is distinction w/o real difference. We talk budgets first (an overall strategy), then we move to tax legislation (which implements the revenue aspects of a budget). The discussion of a budget necessarily includes tax legislation.

For law, yes. For bills, no.

Who in the world thinks we should raise corporate tax rates?

The 1986 tax plan you just offered as evidence of "something quite similar to what Romney and Ryan are proposing today"?

Ryan has actually moderated his views on Medicare, working with Wyden on the policy paper after the adoption of his budget. Ryan would agree that his joint proposal with Wyden is different from the version included in his budget. This shows that Ryan can compromise, no?

Which is besides the point, and in terms of other factors such as the deficit doesn't address his plan actually being good (hint: the Ryan-Wyden plan actually worsens the deficit).
posted by zombieflanders at 8:59 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's no evidence that the tax cuts can be paid for, regardless of your interpretation of Steadman. Now, if you're putting paid for in quotes because there's no actual way to pay for it except for pretty much killing off most everything that isn't defense, then you've got a case, but that wasn't what Steadman said.

WSJ: Mathematically Possible

The 1986 tax plan you just offered as evidence of "something quite similar to what Romney and Ryan are proposing today"?

OK, that's a fair quibble.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:20 AM on August 14, 2012


Ryan Starts with Approval Numbers Worse than Any Running Mate Since Dan Quayle
posted by octothorpe at 9:22 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney/Ryan 2012: Mathematically Possible!
posted by tonycpsu at 9:24 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


WSJ: Mathematically Possible

Right above the title: TOP STORIES IN Opinion, no author is provided, and cites as the only piece of evidence a summary of a conservative think-tank's theories.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:30 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here's a link to the AEI study the WSJ opinion piece refers to. Since you said "there's no evidence that the tax cuts can be paid for," I'd humbly suggest the burden is on you to refute the AEI analysis or retract your claim.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:44 AM on August 14, 2012


The second aspect of the report that could be modified is that TPC defines the rich just like the Democrats have chosen to do, with those earning more than $200,000 being called “high income” and those earning below that being called middle-class or poor. This arbitrary definition matters a lot to this analysis. If the definition of “high-income” were placed at, say $150,000 rather than $200,000 (which to me seems quite fair since both are many times my income), then the plan might appear to be a transfer from rich to poor rather than the other way around, or at least closer to neutral. In my dream report, it would be nice to see the break-even point for each of the different combinations of base-broadeners that TPC analyzes.

Just let that soak in. Let that logic run over you like a hot bubble bath.

(it means the bulk of the burden lies on the 150k-200k group)
posted by JPD at 9:52 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Paul Ryan Is A Great Choice

Don't Believe The Hype About Paul Ryan

Focus: Who Is Paul Ryan?

Ryan Supports Pro-Life Law That May Criminalize Romney's Kids

What Paul Ryan Wonders He Should Have Told Romney

Us vs. Them: A Romney/Ryan MO Rolls Out

Paul Ryan: Admit It, I Scare The Ever-loving Shit Out Of You, Don't I?

Smart Republicans Not Happy About Going Down With The Paul Ryan Ship
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:54 AM on August 14, 2012


That's not an AEI study it's a blog post that says that maybe, but not certainly, there could be some flaws in the TPC study, if you believe the right subset, but not all, economists. If they actually added 2+2 together and ran the numbers, put their assumptions onto paper, that would be evidence. Assertions, of "I think something might be true," or questions like "I wonder what would happen if there were a completely different economic model" are not evidence, particularly when somebody else has tried to provide evidence that it could be true but come up short.

And for the record, opinion pages are not fact-checked, not fact-based, and not reliable for anything other than rabble-rousing. It's about the art of rhetoric, and some pages like the WSJ's have particularly little connection to reality.
posted by Llama-Lime at 9:55 AM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just let that soak in. Let that logic run over you like a hot bubble bath.

That logic is totally irrelevant if Romney closes two loopholes to raise $90 billion, thereby preventing $86 billion in additional taxes on lower or middle income earners.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:01 AM on August 14, 2012


No its totally relevant because its soaking the rich for the benefit of the richer. But yet the AEI is trying to spin that like its progressive.
posted by JPD at 10:04 AM on August 14, 2012


Wait, so your critique of the Romney budget is that it soaks the rich to benefit the richer? Even if that's true (and we don't know because much of this is speculative), it's such a pathetic complaint.

Regardless, it's pretty clear that this claim -- "there's no evidence that the tax cuts can be paid for" -- cannot be supported.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:08 AM on August 14, 2012


Here's a link to the AEI study the WSJ opinion piece refers to. Since you said "there's no evidence that the tax cuts can be paid for," I'd humbly suggest the burden is on you to refute the AEI analysis or retract your claim.

As I said, it's not an analysis, it's a summary of hypothetical situations that require specifics the Romney campaign refuses to actually make. But I'll let them tell you that:
Fortunately, with a few simple additions, a follow-up report—let’s call it my dream study—could clear up much of the confusion and build on the authors’ hard work in a way that would be very useful for the tax debate.
And even then it runs into several problems:
The first aspect that stands out is that Governor Romney has yet to detail what tax expenditures he’d repeal, but TPC assumes that many items are either “on the table” or “off the table.” While some of these assumptions make a lot of sense, others make less.

For example, a couple of items that TPC assumes are off the table are the exclusion of interest on tax exempt bonds and the exclusion of interest on life insurance savings.
Actually, the CBPP report specifically states that "the exemption from tax on the increase in the value of life insurance policies as people age" is something that "primarily benefit[s] lower- and middle-income households, [and] including them would not meaningfully affect the results."
The second aspect of the report that could be modified is that TPC defines the rich just like the Democrats have chosen to do, with those earning more than $200,000 being called “high income” and those earning below that being called middle-class or poor. This arbitrary definition matters a lot to this analysis.
Do they mean the "arbitrary" definition that is used as the official definition of high-income by the IRS?
Lastly, TPC’s report offers scant documentation on how the different pieces of the tax reform are modeled and how individuals in different income groups would behave. Although it may take a little work, my dream study would provide results for a wide variety of these assumptions, or, at the very least, include a fat appendix that details the assumptions they use.
Except they actually did that.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:11 AM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


What loopholes are going to be closed under this plan?
posted by Talez at 10:14 AM on August 14, 2012


New Obama web ad: What do Floridians think about the Romney-Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it?
posted by ericb at 10:17 AM on August 14, 2012


No loopholes have been specified. My cynicism thinks that means there wouldn't be any at all.
posted by annsunny at 10:18 AM on August 14, 2012


Wait, so your critique of the Romney budget is that it soaks the rich to benefit the richer?

No, only that specific issue.

Regardless, it's pretty clear that this claim -- "there's no evidence that the tax cuts can be paid for" -- cannot be supported.

You know what? You're right, there's evidence that the tax cuts can be paid for in two ways. First, by taxing the shit out of the middle class:
To help Romney, the center did so under the most favorable conditions, which also happen to be wildly unrealistic. The analysts assumed that any cuts to deductions or loopholes would begin with top earners, and that no one earning less than $200,000 would have their deductions reduced until all those earning more than $200,000 had lost all of their deductions and tax preferences first. They assumed, as Romney has promised, that the reforms would spare the portions of the tax code that privilege saving and investment. They even ran a simulation in which they used a model developed, in part, by Greg Mankiw, one of Romney’s economic advisers, that posits “implausibly large growth effects” from tax cuts.

The numbers never worked out. No matter how hard the Tax Policy Center labored to make Romney’s promises add up, every simulation ended the same way: with a tax increase on the middle class. The tax cuts Romney is offering to the rich are simply larger than the size of the (non-investment) deductions and loopholes that exist for the rich. That’s why it’s “mathematically impossible” for Romney’s plan to produce anything but a tax increase on the middle class.
Or, by basically killing most domestic programs and support for anyone who's not rich:
Romney will have to cut federal spending by between $6 and $7 trillion over the next decade to hit those targets. But he also promises that there will be no changes to Social Security or Medicare for those over 55, which means neither program can be cut for the next 10 years. So he’s going to have to cut between $6 and $7 trillion without touching Medicare or Social Security, and while increasing spending on defense.

As my colleague Suzy Khimm has detailed, those budget promises already require cuts far in excess of what even Paul Ryan’s budget proposes. Now he’s taking more than $700 billion of the Medicare cuts Ryan relies on to meet his budget targets and wiping them off the table. So Romney somehow has to make that money up, too.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities indulged this idea back in May. If Social Security and Medicare are spared from cuts, then to get federal spending under 20 percent of GDP while holding defense spending at four percent of GDP, “all other programs — including Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, education, environmental protection, transportation, and SSI — would have to be cut by an average of 40 percent in 2016 and 57 percent in 2022.”
But, hey, what's a little widespread American suffering for the middle and lower classes when you can cut taxes for people who have already been taking more and more of the nation's income for the past several decades?
posted by zombieflanders at 10:19 AM on August 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wait, so your critique of the Romney budget is that it soaks the rich to benefit the richer? Even if that's true (and we don't know because much of this is speculative), it's such a pathetic complaint.

No that's the defense your AEI article is putting up, and yes it is pathetic.
posted by JPD at 10:22 AM on August 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


Why don't we all just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, get rich, stop worrying, and quit arguing about this?
posted by TheTingTangTong at 10:24 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Get 'filthy' rich, at that!
posted by ericb at 10:28 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"They have tried to sell us this trickle down fairy dust before. And it did not work then and it won't work now."
posted by cashman at 10:31 AM on August 14, 2012


Wow, zombieflanders, I am genuinely amazed at the misleading quote from the TPC report you threw at me:
Actually, the CBPP [sic] report specifically states that "the exemption from tax on the increase in the value of life insurance policies as people age" is something that "primarily benefit[s] lower- and middle-income households, [and] including them would not meaningfully affect the results."
You make it sound like the TPC said that the life insurance exemption primarily benefits lower- and middle-income households. Here's the full paragraph from the TPC report:
The largest of these provisions are the tax exclusion for “imputed rent,” (the value of the housing services that homeowners obtain from living in their own homes) and the exemption from tax on the increase in the value of life insurance policies as people age. Smaller provisions include the exclusion from taxable income of combat pay, veterans’ benefits, and benefits for low-income families; previous reform proposals have excluded most of these smaller items. Moreover, because they are small, and because many primarily benefit lower- and middle-income households, including them would not meaningfully affect the results.
You see how the TPC makes a distinction between large provisions and smaller provisions? And then it describes the small provisions as benefiting lower- and middle-income households?
posted by BobbyVan at 10:32 AM on August 14, 2012


In any case, the WSJ opinion piece does include one important fact: Romney economic advisor Greg Mankiw says that the closing the life insurance and municipal bond loopholes are "on the table" -- which undercuts central claim of the TPC study that $86 billion would need to levied on lower and middle income earners to pay for other tax cuts. I look forward to the TPC releasing a revised study taking that fact into account.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:42 AM on August 14, 2012


WSJ: Mathematically Possible

Which just serves to prove that the RomneyRyan plan is just so much bullshit until the specifics are specified. And when they are, there is going to be howling from all corners, because everyone will suffer (except the wealthy, of course).
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:42 AM on August 14, 2012


You see how the TPC makes a distinction between large provisions and smaller provisions? And then it describes the small provisions as benefiting lower- and middle-income households?

In any case, the WSJ opinion piece does include one important fact: Romney economic advisor Greg Mankiw says that the closing the life insurance and municipal bond loopholes are "on the table" -- which undercuts central claim of the TPC study that $86 billion would need to levied on lower and middle income earners to pay for other tax cuts. I look forward to the TPC releasing a revised study taking that fact into account.

The first sentence of the paragraph is "The tax expenditure for imputed rent on owner-occupied homes and certain smaller hard-to eliminate exclusions from income cannot or will not be eliminated." Then later, in footnote 18 they say this:
This conclusion would be unchanged by the inclusion of the tax expenditures we considered off the table, like the exclusion of veterans and military benefits. The reason is that, with the exception of the imputed rent, these items collectively provide relatively small benefits to households making over $200,000. As a result, eliminating them for those households would add relatively little additional revenue and thus not avoid the tax increase on middle-class families. To the degree these expenditures were limited for households with incomes below $200,000 they would change the composition of tax expenditure reductions for these households but not the average tax increase they faced.
And neither the WSJ nor AEI addresses the huge cuts to services that Romney's plan asks for that I pointed out above, of which $90 billion is a drop in the bucket.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:00 AM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


That footnote says nothing about the life insurance exemption, which the section I quoted included among "the largest of these provisions."
posted by BobbyVan at 11:07 AM on August 14, 2012


Florida's already trending toward Obama. So is Ohio, and Obama is holding leads in Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Whee, some of the major voter disenfranchisement states!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:07 AM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Whee, some of the major voter disenfranchisement states!

By pure coincidence...
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:09 AM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


That footnote says nothing about the life insurance exemption, which the section I quoted included among "the largest of these provisions."

The implication is that it's among the "certain smaller" and "these items collectively" portions.

And you're still avoiding the question of how and why the huge cuts to services are a good way to pay for tax cuts for the rich, regardless of middle- and lower-class taxes.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2012


Romney visits struggling Iowa farmer... who's a multi-millionaire with an in-home art gallery
posted by chrchr at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


zombieflanders: " And you're still avoiding the question of how and why the huge cuts to services are a good way to pay for tax cuts for the rich, regardless of middle- and lower-class taxes."

To supply-siders, cutting taxes for the rich is its own reward. Tax cuts for the wealthy never need to be paid for, but tax cuts for the middle class do.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:33 AM on August 14, 2012


Mitt Romney's Miami Campaign Stop Host a Convicted Cocaine Smuggler

I guess if you're going to lose the elderly on Medicare, you need to find the votes where you can find them.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:38 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney's Miami Campaign Stop Host a Convicted Cocaine Smuggler
Job creator! Small business owner!
posted by Flunkie at 11:58 AM on August 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Sen. Wyden: Romney’s plan hurts the ‘poorest and most vulnerable seniors’
posted by zombieflanders at 12:23 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


National Catholic Reporter (op-ed): Obama more pro-life than Romney
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:25 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Then, a few months later, he’s at it again. And even some putatively liberal commentators shrug and tell themselves that, at least, Paul Ryan is a Serious Person.

Paul Ryan, Capitol Hill's Most 'Serious' Man
If there's one word that's become associated with Wisconsin Representative and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan over his long tenure in Washington, D.C., it is "serious." Ryan is credited, up and down, with being a "serious" man. His reputation for seriousness precedes him in every fresh encounter on Capitol Hill and every booking on Sunday morning's political chat shows. And more amazingly, that reputation lingers long after those encounters have ended, despite each new pile of evidence to the contrary. He's as pure a product as the Beltway Bubble has ever produced.

... This is the biggest gift that Ryan has given the Bubble People. He's infused the race with a set of notions that extend to everyone a permission to look past and gloss over our present calamitous circumstances, and to do so with the assurance that they are really working hard to contend with all the 'substance-like substance' that Ryan brings to the race. To be sure, the Beltway Bubble media cut and run from the American people and their lingering suffering a long time ago. There's no currency, after all, in having access to poor people. Ryan's entry into the race, however, allows them to feel just as Serious and as Brave and as Tough as he is. As opposed to feeling like failed cowards. For that, their gratitude to Ryan will be fulsome, in every sense of the word.
posted by ericb at 12:45 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


BobbyVan: "I'd humbly suggest the burden is on you to refute the AEI analysis or retract your claim."

I humbly suggest you not cherry pick the literature.
posted by wierdo at 12:48 PM on August 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


To be sure, the Beltway Bubble media cut and run from the American people and their lingering suffering a long time ago.

Pretty much explains why the AEI has been able to devolve the conversation into just how "possible" it is to abandon the needy in order to keep taxes as low as possible for the wealthy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:57 PM on August 14, 2012


On a lighter note.
posted by annsunny at 1:14 PM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just got a rather interesting anonymous text: "Voter #xxxxx: Paul Ryan is an atheist, don't vote for Godlessness! Do your research Spread the word!"

Is this an early indication of Republican infighting, or...?
posted by vorfeed at 1:16 PM on August 14, 2012


I vote or
posted by cashman at 1:25 PM on August 14, 2012


My test of whether Obama's doing okay is gonna be how loudly BobbyVan protests that he's not.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:32 PM on August 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


My test of whether Obama's doing okay is how much I can bench press.

...AND IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE DOING ALRIGHT, O-FUNCTION

(I kiss my monster guns as Obama heaves a quiet sigh of relief)
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:36 PM on August 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


I vote or

Well, upon Googling I found some Republicans who seem to think the text is "Obama voter fraud", which seems bizarre given that it's a conservative talking point being applied to Paul, rather than anything the Democrats would care about. Weird to see Romney's campaign hoisted on this particular petard, is all.
posted by vorfeed at 1:37 PM on August 14, 2012


Whatever it is, it's weird, and it's wrong to do.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:41 PM on August 14, 2012


Ryan Sponsored Abortion Bill That Would Make Romney's Kids Criminals

What isn't so well known about Ryan's record, though, is that one piece of legislation he supported is so extreme that it would have turned Romney's children into criminals.

The Sanctity of Human Life Act, which Ryan co-sponsored, would have enshrined the notion that life begins at fertilization in federal law, thus criminalizing in vitro fertilization—the process of creating an embryo outside of a woman's womb. In IVF, doctors typically create multiple embryos and then only implant the healthiest ones in the woman. Some of them stick and become babies, and some don't. The embryos that don't make it to the womb are either frozen for later use or destroyed. The Sanctity of Human Life Act, if passed, would make all those embryos "people" in the legal sense, so if they aren't used or don't become babies after being implanted, they would essentially become murder victims under the law.

...

In May, Romney's son Tagg became father of twin boys thanks to help from IVF and a surrogate mother. Tagg's son Jonathan was also produced this way. Two of Tagg's brothers reportedly have struggled with infertility issues and resorted to IVF as well.

posted by futz at 1:47 PM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Excerpts from Ryan's Speech at the Atlas Society
It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are. I always go back to, you know, Francisco d’Anconia’s speech (at Bill Taggart’s wedding) on money when I think about monetary policy. And then I go to the 64-page John Galt speech, you know, on the radio at the end, and go back to a lot of other things that she did, to try and make sure that I can check my premises so that I know that what I’m believing and doing and advancing are square with the key principles of individualism…
Rob Zerban is Paul Ryan's Other Election Battle

Ezra Klein: The Massive Policy Gap Between Obama And Romney
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:31 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Paul Ryan VP pick rattles congressional campaigns.
posted by ericb at 2:49 PM on August 14, 2012


Is Paul Ryan harming congressional candidates?
posted by ericb at 2:50 PM on August 14, 2012


Is Paul Ryan a Ticking Time Bomb as Mitt Romney’s Running Mate? -- "The congressman is getting glowing press, but journalists are just starting to examine his record. Howard Kurtz on the long paper trail that could alienate moderate swing-state voters just getting to know Paul Ryan."
posted by ericb at 2:54 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fox News: Ryan budget will increase taxes on poor, middle class.
posted by ericb at 2:55 PM on August 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


GOP strategist calls Ryan "Sarah Palin with a PowerPoint presentation"
In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives — old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike — the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.

... The most cutting criticism of Ryan, shared only by a handful of strategists, is that Ryan isn’t ready to be president — or doesn’t come across as ready. A youthful man who looks even younger than his 42 years, Ryan could end up labeled as Sarah Palin with a PowerPoint presentation, several operatives said.

“He just doesn’t seem like he can step into the job on Day One,” said the strategist, who professed himself a Ryan fan.

And that’s just what it does to the Romney-Ryan ticket. Forget how it plays in close House and Senate races.

“Very not helpful down ballot — very,” said one top Republican consultant.

“This is the day the music died,” one Republican operative involved in 2012 races said after the rollout. The operative said that every House candidate now is racing to get ahead of this issue.

Another strategist emailed midway through Romney and Ryan’s first joint event Saturday: “The good news is that this ticket now has a vision. The bad news is that vision is basically just a chart of numbers used to justify policies that are extremely unpopular.”
posted by ericb at 2:59 PM on August 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


I was interested to see how the fundamental and Evangelical Christians were feeling about the Mormon question. Even though this is Paul Ryan's thread, I'm sticking this here because I thought it was interesting to read some of the reactions. VisionForum is an Evangelical non-profit run by Doug Philips based in Texas that promotes Patriarchal Biblical Fundamentalism though packaged vacations, toys, books, movies, etc.

TL,DR? Dougie is not voting for Romney and the general consensus among those who posted is that it would be better not to vote for anyone and thereby show their displeasure at not being given a Christian candidate. One comment:
Amen Doug! Not only can I not vote for a Socialist but neither can I vote for a man accursed by God. To those Christians wanting to vote for Romney, Romney preaches and teaches a different Christ and therefore is accursed by God.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:49 PM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah SLoG that's a definite thing with the evangelicals. In Louisiana and Mississippi I've already run into a few folk who know my politics and who have basically conceded that while they won't vote for my guy, they can't vote for "theirs" either. Of course these folks are concentrated in areas so red that they may not flip a state, so they may count as "safe" protest votes. But I don't think they're bothering to check about that before making up their minds.
posted by localroger at 4:12 PM on August 14, 2012


Obama is the lesser of two evils.
Still not convinced? A hardcore Romney fan? Here are a few questions you might try answering: 1) Why is the Romney energy policy almost identical to Obama’s? 2) Why is Romney being supported by the Global Warming alarmist crowd? 3) Why does Romney support McAmnesty? 4) Why can’t we trust Romney to appoint strict constructionist judges to the federal and Supreme Court benches? 5) Why was the Massachusetts Republican Party in such bad shape after his four years in office?

No answer? Or, do you not like the answers you’re finding?

Either way, there you have it. Point by point, issue by issue, Romney is politically left of our current Commander-in-Chief. So, if your argument for voting for him is that he’s the lesser of two evils, well… play that record again, Sam.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:15 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good Lord, SLoG, reading that site is like being told to imagine up is down and my ears are on my knees.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:30 PM on August 14, 2012


Wow. This is news to me: if Romney is elected 1 million souls will join the Mormon cult and be lost for eternity.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:33 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


SLoG you might want to consider a trigger warning on links like that, even though I deal with these people in person pretty regularly and thought I knew what I was getting into I passed out half-way through that essay and woke up with foam on my lips frantically hoping to find a spray can of UBIK.
posted by localroger at 4:38 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was unpleasant. It's like debating against someone, trying to show the logical problems with their argument, and then someone else comes up beside you, claps you on the shoulder, and says "You tell 'im. Besides, he's a jew bastard."
posted by benito.strauss at 5:07 PM on August 14, 2012


Can someone try to explain to me why socialism is untenable to Christians (or certain Christians)? It seems like it directly addresses a lot of Jesus' teachings, doesn't it? Maybe not Republican Jesus' teachings, maybe.
posted by maxwelton at 5:13 PM on August 14, 2012


"Christianity" in this case is pretty much a 19th century right wing American cult that is deeply jealous of all possible rival social structures.
posted by Artw at 5:25 PM on August 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Relevant Tea Party Jesus.
posted by logicpunk at 5:30 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]



Can someone try to explain to me why socialism is untenable to Christians (or certain Christians)?


Because socialism is the same as Marxism which is strongly associated with atheism, and communist/Marxist regimes have been actively hostile to religious groups in the past.
posted by chrchr at 5:31 PM on August 14, 2012


frantically hoping to find a spray can of UBIK

UBIK? Uber-Buddha Instant Karma?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:50 PM on August 14, 2012


UBIK
posted by localroger at 5:57 PM on August 14, 2012


The empire certainly never ended for these fuckers.
posted by Artw at 5:58 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's Acts of the Apostles all the way down.
posted by localroger at 6:00 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can someone try to explain to me why socialism is untenable to Christians (or certain Christians)? It seems like it directly addresses a lot of Jesus' teachings, doesn't it? Maybe not Republican Jesus' teachings, maybe.

Christian socialism is actually a thing.

Why wasn't it a thing in the US? Presumably for the same reasons socialism wasn't a thing. The short version of that was that the New Deal happened and killed socialism in its tracks. (Basically, Roosevelt managed to fold a lot of the, uh, competent socialists into the Democratic party.)

To a certain extent, left wing politics were the domain of certain groups of (then) recent immigrants, a good number of whom were Catholic, which wasn't going to endear them to the Protestants who had been in the US longer. (Of course, the Catholic Church is not actually down with socialism either, presumably because it's somehow seen as a challenge to Church power, but that doesn't matter all that much--socialism is alive and kicking in a lot of Catholic countries.)

On the other hand, if you look at an awful lot of European countries, you see some sort of socialist/social democratic party and some sort of centre-right party with 'Christian' in its name (who are often Christian democrats).

And then there's Tony Blair.
posted by hoyland at 6:05 PM on August 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, fuck Tony Blair.
posted by Artw at 6:12 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can someone try to explain to me why socialism is untenable to Christians (or certain Christians)?

I had a conversation with a devoted born again Christian friend (right wing), and he agreed that socialism was very similar to some Christian teachings on how to organize their community. He even mentioned some passages which I forget. There have been Christian socialists: The Catholic Worker Movement, left-leaning Methodists.

Maybe fear of the government having more power over people and culture is the primary reason. Communists have not been very friendly to the Catholic Church (Spanish Revolution for example).

You might want to check out Max Weber, The Protestant Work Ethic. The Reformation and the rise of Capitalism were pretty intertwined. I wonder if it wasn't just the psychological affects of separating from the Catholic mother ship that Weber talks about, but the economic impact on protestant communities being entirely dependent on themselves for survival that lead to more self-reliant values, whereas the Catholic Church may have provided more social assistance.
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:12 PM on August 14, 2012


Man, fuck Tony Blair.

Coming straight from the underground.
posted by cashman at 6:16 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


He's a soulless murdering traitor fuck who beleives in nothing but his own piety. Bastards have come and gone since, but fuck that guy forever.

Actually he reminds me a little of $ TEAM RICH ASSHOLE $, to bring things back on point.
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on August 14, 2012


Coming straight from the underground.


Labour got it bad; but he ain't Brown.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:21 PM on August 14, 2012


[Comment removed, tone it down please.]
posted by cortex at 9:36 PM on August 14, 2012


Damn, that shit was dope.
posted by cashman at 9:36 PM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney surrogate to CNN host: ‘Put an Obama bumper sticker on your forehead’:
“You know, let me tell you something,” [Soledad] O’Brien said. “There is independent analysis that details what this is about. … And name calling to me and somehow by you repeating a number of $716 billion, that you can make that stick when [you say] that figure is being ‘stolen’ from Medicare, that’s not true. You can’t just repeat it and make it true, sir.”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:53 PM on August 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


maxwelton: "Can someone try to explain to me why socialism is untenable to Christians (or certain Christians)? It seems like it directly addresses a lot of Jesus' teachings, doesn't it? Maybe not Republican Jesus' teachings, maybe"

From an old FPP:
In a five part series he wrote a few years ago, blogger J. Brad Hicks breaks down how, in the mid-1960s, the Republican party made a conscious decision to rebrand themselves as the party of Christians, and in doing so, how they had to shift the ideology of the churches to what he calls a "false gospel".

Part 1: The False Gospel

Part 2: The Republicans and fear of the Communists

Part 3: Homosexuality versus the "Holiness Code"

Part 4: Abortion and Contraception

Part 5: Public prayer and Conclusion.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:59 PM on August 14, 2012 [15 favorites]


“You know, let me tell you something,” [Soledad] O’Brien said. “There is independent analysis that details what this is about. … And name calling to me and somehow by you repeating a number of $716 billion, that you can make that stick when [you say] that figure is being ‘stolen’ from Medicare, that’s not true. You can’t just repeat it and make it true, sir.”

Wait, what? Someone in the media (CNN, no less) calling out a spokes-head for trying to force a point into truthiness through repetition without any support for the claim?

Oh, if only this were to somehow become the full-time job of everyone in the news business!
posted by hippybear at 10:03 PM on August 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


Rachel Maddow Nails Politifact On Romney/Ryan Abortion Stance Without Trying
posted by homunculus at 11:06 PM on August 14, 2012


So is Politifact basically Snopes for people who Want To Believe?
posted by Artw at 12:09 AM on August 15, 2012


Bill Black: Romney Takes His Political Inspiration from Europe’s Worst Mistakes

Republicans go on Medicare Offensive

Malkin: Brother Biden
Yes, Biden is rattling chains like an extra in Roots. This is the same politician of pallor who cracked jokes about Indians who work in 7-Elevens and who referred to his now-boss as “clean” and “articulate.” Yet Biden’s demagoguery was met with approving hoots and hollers. Or, rather, hollas.
Mitt Romney Still Unprepared for Questions About Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan

A Republican 'Economists for Romney' letter.

Has Mitt Romney Given Up On The Latino Vote?

Why The Rush?
TAKE a deep breath, pundits. If history is any guide, Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan will have very little effect on the presidential election. Mr Romney's pick was unusual, though, in that it came 16 days before the Republican convention. That's the second earliest a pick has come in (relative to the candidate's convention) dating back to 1976.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:28 AM on August 15, 2012


Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.


There's no way anyone could actually read the Bible thoroughly and use it to defend the wealthy and modern capitalism.

Rhaomi, thanks for the link to the old FPP. I've never seen that before but that's a subject very near to my ex-fundie heart.
posted by honestcoyote at 12:29 AM on August 15, 2012


I don't think this passage is about rich people.
Motheaten garments? Rusty gold and silver? Lived in pleasure on the earth?

Sounds more like welfare queens and other not working Americans.
posted by sour cream at 2:25 AM on August 15, 2012


Lived in pleasure on the earth? Sounds more like welfare queens

Never been on welfare, I gather?
posted by maxwelton at 2:52 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's no way anyone could actually read the Bible thoroughly and use it to defend the wealthy and modern capitalism.
All sorts of people can, have, and do read the Bible thoroughly and use it to defend all sorts of things.

In the case of "Capitalist Jesus" Republicans, they claim that the parts which you or I would interpret as anti-rich are actually anti-specific rich people, who behave in a certain way (i.e. putting money before god).
posted by Flunkie at 5:00 AM on August 15, 2012


For the most part, tea party candidates got thumped in the Wisconsin primaries yesterday. If anything is going to help Romney here, it's 4 term former (out of touch) Governor Thompson being on the Senate ticket.
posted by drezdn at 5:12 AM on August 15, 2012


Yet Biden’s demagoguery was met with approving hoots and hollers. Or, rather, hollas.

Goddamn, Malkin's a real piece of shit, isn't she?
posted by empath at 5:26 AM on August 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


Look, empath, if that "politician of pallor" hadn't been rattling those chains, she would not feel obliged to speak up about it.
posted by mkultra at 5:31 AM on August 15, 2012


Goddamn, Malkin's a real piece of shit, isn't she?

Being able to uncivilly attack uncivility is a gift.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:27 AM on August 15, 2012


At first I thought she said 'like an extra in The Roots' and I wasn't sure what to make of it and some perverse part of me wanted to believe she was making a sly reference to Bamboozled.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:32 AM on August 15, 2012


Aug. 14: The Fog of Polling — and Ryan’s ‘Bounce’ So Far
So there’s something of a consensus in the polls, showing a net gain for Mr. Romney of between zero and two percentage points since the announcement of Mr. Ryan.

The consensus is not quite as robust as it looks — we’re mostly relying on data from just two polling firms — and whatever signal there might be is competing against statistical noise.

I can’t rule out the possibility that, a few days from now, we’ll be talking about a significant bounce for Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan — or about how there seems to be none at all.

But this seems to be our best guess: that they’ve gained a percentage point, or perhaps two. If so, it would constitute a below-average bounce for the Republican candidates.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:45 AM on August 15, 2012


In the case of "Capitalist Jesus"...

No no no, you mean "Supply Side Jesus".
posted by Chekhovian at 6:47 AM on August 15, 2012


Ryan Begins Attacking Romney's Record As Massachusetts Governor
posted by tonycpsu at 7:08 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Boehner: Ryan not a knuckle-dragger like other conservatives.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:19 AM on August 15, 2012


Homeboy can not take a punch.

Romney Sharpens Old Message: Obama Runs On ‘Hatred’

Romney's Outrageous Outrage at Made-Up Obama Rage

If you're trying to work the refs at this point, you're losing. I guess Mitt doesn't remember how the press / electorate responded to John Kerry's complaints about the unfairness of the Swift Boat attacks.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:08 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ryan Begins Attacking Romney's Record As Massachusetts Governor

god dammit there needs to be some kind of greasemonkey script that lets me know in advance whether something is from the onion because it's getting harder to tell from the title
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:12 AM on August 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


Devo to Release Song About Mitt Romney's Dog
posted by homunculus at 9:42 AM on August 15, 2012 [6 favorites]


Other than tax returns, 'there's nothing we're hiding'
Ann Romney sat down with NBC's Natalie Morales and when the subject turned to the still-hidden tax returns, the Republican became quite agitated. Romney insisted that her husband's campaign has done "what's legally required of us," which is true, but fails to meet accepted norms, standards, and expectations.

She added, "There's going to be no more tax releases given." I assume that means outside of the 2011 returns Mitt Romney has promised to release, but has not yet disclosed, though Ann Romney didn't elaborate.

She went on to say, "There's nothing we're hiding." Except the tax returns, the tax rates paid, and the explanation for the Swiss bank account, the shell corporation in Bermuda, and the cash in the Cayman Islands. Other than hiding all of that, they're not hiding anything.

And why will the Romneys refuse all additional calls for disclosure, even from Republicans? According to Ann Romney, it's because Democrats might use the materials to make Mitt Romney look bad.

I continue to marvel at this deeply odd argument. As Dahlia Lithwick and Raymond Vasvari recently explained, "[Romney] isn't actually claiming that his opponents will lie. He's claiming he's entitled to hide the truth because it could be used against him.... These are tax returns. Factual documents. No different than, say, a birth certificate. But the GOP's argument that inconvenient facts can be withheld from public scrutiny simply because they can be used for mean purposes is a radical idea in a democracy."
posted by zombieflanders at 9:56 AM on August 15, 2012 [9 favorites]


Aug. 14: The Fog of Polling — and Ryan’s ‘Bounce’ So Far

Intrade shows a 2-3% bounce.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:33 AM on August 15, 2012


I wonder how much the polls would have recovered a bit for Romney without the Ryan news. He had been taking a little bit of a recent beating, no doubt due to the confluence of the attacks on Bain, refusal to provide tax information, and his awkward comments on his overseas trip. It's not like the polling has been really up and down over the last few months, so he may have been due to revert to the mean, anyway, even without Ryan. I wonder if some of the Ryan "bounce" would have been a "reversion to the mean" bounce in the absence of the VP announcement.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:37 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bear in mind that Intrade reflects the odds of winning the election, not the poll numbers so if my understanding is correct this represents an even smaller bounce in poll numbers.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:37 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's Intrade's track record like on picking winners?
posted by codacorolla at 10:54 AM on August 15, 2012



Can someone try to explain to me why socialism is untenable to Christians (or certain Christians)?

Because socialism is the same as Marxism which is strongly associated with atheism, and communist/Marxist regimes have been actively hostile to religious groups in the past.


First, it's not all Christians, just right-wing nut-job Christians. You know, the loud, obnoxious Christians.

Second, for many of them, I think it might be more nuanced than that. Or, at least, the stated reasons are. No less crazy, however.

My brother is "one of those." He and his wife, though Roman Catholic by affiliation, are very much evangelic by word and deed, angrily dismissing liberal thought and promoting their version of true American values. When I challenged them about feeding the poor, helping the sick, etc., their response was that if the government does it though mandated taxes, then there is no room for redemption through individual actions and that is the who point of feeding the poor and helping the sick. In other words, in their minds, the poor and the sick are just props for them to show how good they are. The actual feeding and healing are merely by-products of their demonstrating their worthiness to the magic sky man.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:12 AM on August 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think I like Corey Robin's explanation best: it's a conservative unwillingness to give up private modes of power to public institutions. Charity and socialism are fine if individually done by private actors, it's the entrenchment of those mechanisms of distribution into government which is opposed.
posted by mek at 11:21 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


The next frontier in the case against Paul Ryan
Dems are now going to launch a new offensive hammering home a simple point: Under the Romney/Ryan plan, health care costs for current seniors do go up.

In an interview, Rep. Chris Van Hollen pointed out that the Romney/Ryan agenda constitutes far more than just Ryan’s plan to quasi-voucherize Medicare. It also includes the repeal of Obamacare — which, if done successfully, will drive up care costs up for seniors. Van Hollen — who is playing a key role plotting party strategy — says Dems need to broadcast this point far and wide.

Separately, Chuck Schumer is circulating a memo to fellow Dems, advising a more frontal attack on Ryan as a phony deficit hawk.

“This definitely needs to be emphasized: It is simply untrue that the Ryan-Romney plan will have no immediate effect on Medicare beneficiaries,” Van Hollen told me just now. “It will immediately raise the costs for seniors with high prescription drug burdens. It will immediately raise costs for preventive health care services under Medicare.”

Van Hollen noted that repealing Obamacare would get rid of its provision closing the Medicare “donut hole,” that that seniors with high prescription drug costs “will immediately get hit hard under their plan.” Obamacare also eliminated the co-paytments for preventive services under Medicare, to encourage seniors to seek care before their conditions worsen and become more expensive.

“The Romney Ryan plan would immediately increase those costs,” Van Hollen said.

Finally, there is the disputed $716 billion itself — the Medicare savings Obama secured, which are being mischaracterized as a “cut” to beneficaries. Romney’s camp has taken to claiming that Obama “raided” Medicare of this money to pay for Obamacare. But the above cost savings for seniors in Obamacare are partly paid for by that money, Van Hollen notes. What’s more, Van Hollen points out, if the program’s cost goes up, seniors’ premiums — a share of overall cost — go up with it.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:22 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan’s Polling Problem -- "Polls suggest Paul Ryan was a dubious strategic choice."
posted by ericb at 11:25 AM on August 15, 2012


Paul Ryan Will Talk About Tax Policy 'In The Light Of Day' -- After The Election.
posted by ericb at 11:26 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan Will Talk About Tax Policy 'In The Light Of Day' -- After The Election.

Please buy this pig in a poke. Please.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:33 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here’s why Romney pounced on Biden's "chains" gaffe: He’s losing
“If the election were held today,” writes former Romney advisor Steve Lombardo, “Obama would win.” After months of harsh attacks on his record and background, Mitt Romney has emerged with the lowest favorability ratings of any presidential candidate in twenty years. He has trailed in the large majority of head-to-head polls since winning the Republican presidential nomination, and he remains behind in every swing state. The Real Clear Politics average puts Obama up 3.5 points, and Nate Silver gives Romney a less than 30 percent chance of winning.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:34 AM on August 15, 2012


All sorts of people can, have, and do read the Bible thoroughly and use it to defend all sorts of things.

Hmm...sounds familiar. "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:36 AM on August 15, 2012


Romney/Ryan are counting on the GOP War on Voters to disenfranchise enough young/minority/elderly voters (about 5 million) to hand them the swing states they need for victory. The right-wing talking heads are out there ginning up outrage over vote fraud to muster support from their base for these laws, but the truth is, there are only 10 cases of voter impersonation (the only vote fraud the voter ID laws could prevent), for 14.6 million voters.

If they win, this will be how, barring October Surprises, etc.
posted by notashroom at 11:39 AM on August 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


It’s not clear what Romney would actually cut to make his budget add up
Here’s how it breaks down: In fiscal year 2012, the federal government spent $1.42 billion on Amtrak, $444 million on PBS, and $146 million on the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities. Getting rid of all these subsidies would have saved the government about $2 billion this year — chump change relative to the scale of cuts that Romney wants.
The fact that Romney's throwing out these nickel and dime wingnut bugaboos when asked what he'll cut is damn near proof positive he doesn't have the goods. It would be political malpractice of the highest order for the Democrats to let him get away with this shell game.

I'm so old, I can remember those halcyon Clinton years, when balanced budgets were considered dangerous for the economy because we weren't using our budget surpluses productively enough.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:02 PM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's Intrade's track record like on picking winners?

The Wharton School of Business has found that Intrade has a margin of error of 1-1.5%. This margin of error is approximately half that of comparable Gallup Polls which has been a benchmark of accuracy in predicting the outcome of US presidential elections for many years.

Is it reliable? Yes and no. The site’s collective wisdom tends to be more reliable than than the cadre of professional pundits when it comes to forecasting election reults. (And, yes, we are including ourselves in the “professional pundit” category — for better and worse.) In 2008, bettors got only two states wrong — Indiana and Missouri. Bettors thought Indiana would go Republican and Missouri would go Democratic. Neither prediction was right. Those two states canceled each other out, however, keeping the site very close to the actual electoral college total. In 2004, the site got every state right.
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:04 PM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mitt Romney Unwittingly Tells Spanish Language News Outlet that He Loves Vagina
posted by homunculus at 12:16 PM on August 15, 2012


Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched With Millions From Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities
posted by mek at 12:19 PM on August 15, 2012


Well, now there's a second thing me and Mitt Romney share, beyond being carbon-based life forms.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:25 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


You have financial ties to death squads?!
posted by homunculus at 12:27 PM on August 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


Me too. My dad's a Republican.
posted by notashroom at 12:33 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


You have financial ties to death squads?!

Well, I pay my taxes.

/The one time I don't bother to explicitly cite, and this happens!
posted by benito.strauss at 12:46 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


How can Ryan be considered serious when he wants to increase defense spending? The United States spends over $700 billion a year on defense, more than the next 15 countries combined (and almost all of those countries are US allies). The US spends 4.7% of GDP on defense, considerably more than any other country on the list except Saudi Arabia.

By the way, Romney says Russia is "without question, our number one geopolitical foe" even though China spends $143 billion per year on defense to Russia's $71.9 billion, and China has 2,285,000 active military personnel to Russia's 1,027,000.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:24 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]



> Jesus, if he can't survive the grind of the campaign how can we trust him to survive the
> demanding job that is President of the United States?

Really no shortage of solutions to that one. Obama: vacations. Eisenhower: golf. Reagan: naps.
posted by jfuller at 1:30 PM on August 15, 2012


Bush: Brush clearing.
posted by drezdn at 1:45 PM on August 15, 2012


Well, Bush pretty much left everything to Cheney and chums, so...

Oh. Oh dear.
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Krugman: Reasonable Republicans?

Pennsylvania voter ID law: Key swing states tinker with Election 2012 rules

Nate Silver on the Senate, because there is more than one election happening this November.

Will Democrats Keep Control Of The Senate Because Of Paul Ryan? - objection, assuming that Dems DO have 'control' of the Senate.

Ryan Rocks Vegas, Doesn't Fight Culture Of Dependency
In keeping with Mr. Adelson's penchant for staying below the radar, Romney aides refused to say who attended the meeting with Mr. Ryan, though the location (a private room at one of Mr. Adelson's hotels) and leaks from the Romney camp left little doubt. And in keeping with laws that prohibit elected officials from explicitly asking donors for super PAC money, aides to Mr. Romney insisted before the event that the meeting was not a fund-raiser.
But who is Sheldon Adelson?

NYTimes:
Mr. Adelson spent $20 million to prop up Newt Gingrich’s failed candidacy for the Republican nomination. Now, he has given $10 million to a Mitt Romney super PAC, and has pledged at least $10 million to Crossroads GPS, the advocacy group founded by Karl Rove that is running attack ads against Mr. Obama and other Democrats. Another $10 million will probably go to a similar group founded by the Koch brothers, and $10 million more to Republican Congressional super PACs.

That’s $60 million we know of (other huge donations may be secret), and it may be only a down payment. Mr. Adelson has made it clear he will fully exploit the anything-goes world created by the federal courts to donate a “limitless” portion of his $25 billion fortune to defeat the president and as many Democrats as he can take down.

Guernica and Pro Publica:
Las Vegas Sands denies any wrongdoing. But it has told investors that it is under criminal investigation for possible violations of the U.S. anti-bribery law. Adelson declined to respond to detailed questions, including whether he was aware of the concerns about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when he directed payment of the bill from Alves’ law firm.


Previously on Metafilter: Casino Economy
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:48 PM on August 15, 2012


@firvethiryeight: Romney's Ryan bounce across 11 polls thus far: +5, +5, +2, +2, +2, 0, 0, 0, -2, -2, -2. So, take your pick. +0.9 on average.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:52 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


TwoWordReview: "+0.9 on average."

Woo! Feel the Ry-mentum!
posted by tonycpsu at 2:01 PM on August 15, 2012


More like the Ry-nertia.
posted by localroger at 2:21 PM on August 15, 2012


Scrutiny for Casino Mogul’s Frontman in China
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:37 PM on August 15, 2012


Uh @firvethiryeight should obviously read @fivethirtyeight
(Edit Window and/or More Coffee needed)
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:44 PM on August 15, 2012


(flunkie, I've memailed you)
posted by cendawanita at 2:51 PM on August 15, 2012


"The president's campaign has put out a campaign that's talking about me and attacking me. I think it's just demeaning to the nature of the process, particularly when we face the kinds of challenges we face."

-- Mitt Romney, in an interview on CBS News.

What a wimp, there's no crying in baseball.
posted by Mick at 2:57 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh my god, Wait Wait is going to have a Ryan-related limerick pun this week, isn't it.
posted by Phire at 3:17 PM on August 15, 2012


I think he's just laying the groundwork for a scorched earth SuperPAC ad campaign, Mick. "I didn't do it first, but my opponent has left I and my fellow travelers no choice but to basically buy out all of broadcast television between now and the election so that we can fight fire with fire."
posted by Fezboy! at 3:24 PM on August 15, 2012


America Deserves Better:
President Obama's campaign and his surrogates have made wild and reckless accusations that disgrace the office of the Presidency. Another outrageous charge came yesterday in Virginia. And the White House sinks a little bit lower.

This is what an angry and desperate Presidency looks like.

President Obama knows better and promised better; and America deserves better.

Sign the petition if you agree President Obama should take his campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.

Help me, that angry black man keeps talking about me.
posted by octothorpe at 3:52 PM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am still somewhat concerned about Republican SuperPAC money being able to swing the race (in conjunction with blatant efforts to disenfranchise voters in battleground states) but I think 4 years of near constant dog whistles about Obama have pretty much chipped away what they can from Obama's favorability numbers. I think Romney is complaining about Obama and affiliated SuperPACs playing rough because the Obama campaigns attacks have continued to resonate with the electorate.

Almost all of Romney's "strengths" have been effectively reduced to negatives. His tenure as a "job creator" at Bain has been transformed into a negative due to the cost cutting measures typically employed. His vast personal wealth is seen as him being elitist and too good to pay his own share of taxes. Even his attempts to wrap himself in Olympic glory have basically gotten him nowhere.

The Ryan pick will probably give a short term boost (that is going to rapidly diminish), the RNC convention will give another boost (that is generally negated by the DNC convention). I don't think anyone expects the debates to give Romney a significant boost.

Basically Romney needs to smear Obama with a ton of negative advertising (his positive ads don't seem to be resonating) while hoping that Obama has to take his foot off his neck (either because of public outrage or because the burn rate is too high). Honestly neither one is going to happen.

The Chicago crowd that are around Obama know how to win elections and they are not going to screw this up this close. Basically Romney needs a massive economic meltdown to be able to pull this off.

However I do think that it's going to be a major uphill for the democrat in 2016 to compete vs this Republican machine. Clinton and Biden are too old to run IMHO, so it's going to need to be someone that can compete with at Ryan or Rubio and most of our up and comers aren't there yet.
posted by vuron at 3:57 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just wondering how effective TV ads are these days. I haven't watched live TV in, I don't know, 7 or 8 years and most of the people I know TiVo stuff or watch TV shows on-line, etc. in order to skip the commercials. If I screen my calls, don't watch TV, don't read magazines and throw away junk mail how are they going to reach me with their negative ads? Skywriting?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:01 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


octothorpe, I was thinking about posting that because I heard the audio and it was nauseating. Romney doesn't even sound like he believes his own words while he's saying it. His cadence is so manufactured and sanctimonious that it begs credulity. He really is reduced to (not that I thought any different) trying to appeal to a very specific voter. He is an empty shell of a candidate. I am almost embarrassed for him but mostly I am gleeful. The republicans are reaping what they have sown and Robot Flip Romney is the result. Watching him is like watching an overly self important fifth grader trying to win the office of class president. I think that this will go down in history as the most pathetic presidential campaign in history. This is how low some people sink.
posted by futz at 4:15 PM on August 15, 2012


I'm just wondering how effective TV ads are these days.

The ads help determine the agenda. The candidates respond to them, they come up in the debates and other media, papers, blogs etc. So they could be a big influence opinions even of those that don't watch them personally. The fact that tax evasion and Bain Capital has been in the media more than "jobs" and the economy could be partly due to ads -- and Harry Reid I guess.
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:16 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does Paul Ryan google himself (from 2007).
posted by drezdn at 4:21 PM on August 15, 2012


As far as that SuperPAC spending, the Obama campaign has been doing a brilliant job of getting its ads disseminated for free by news organizations and social media. If Obama gets a lot of ad space (and much of that with people who don't watch TV even) for free, and Romney's ads (and the *cough* uncoordinated superpac ads) don't resonate with voters, then those billionaires are really just throwing their money away.
posted by localroger at 4:30 PM on August 15, 2012


It's not advertising as much as it is GOTV efforts.
posted by Mick at 4:46 PM on August 15, 2012


Speaking of SuperPACs: Should Judges Be Taking Campaign Contributions from Super PACs?
posted by homunculus at 5:23 PM on August 15, 2012


Paul Ryan's Father, and Al Smith's: Two American Centuries
posted by homunculus at 5:26 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first rule of taking the high road is don't talk about how you're taking the high road.
posted by chrchr at 12:14 AM on August 16, 2012


Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: Tilting At Windmills

Mother Jones: Mitt Romney's Great Tax Loophole Scam

Naked Capitalism: Lynn Parramore: Revealed – Romney Campaign’s Attempts to Deny Paul Ryan’s Insider Trading Don’t Add Up
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But if you’re a member of Congress, the odds are curiously in your favor. As I reported on AlterNet several months ago, in-depth research undertaken in 2004 considered to be the baseline work in the field revealed that from 1993-1998, US senators were beating the market by 12 percentage points a year on average. Corporate insiders only beat the market by a measly 5 percent. Typical households, in contrast, underperformed by 1.4 percent
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:30 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Ultimate Romney Flip-Flop Collection(Youtube)
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:27 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, Romney's surrogates really don't like Soledad O'Brien.

Tim Pawlenty asked her if she understood English yesterday.:
During an interview on Wednesday, O'Brien told Pawlenty that one of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate's ads falsely claimed that President Barack Obama had cut $716 billion from Medicare -- but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had determined that it was actually reduction in spending, not benefits.

"Isn't that just patently untrue in that ad?" she asked the former Minnesota governor.

"No, that's not correct, Soledad," Pawlenty replied. "It is absolutely beyond factual dispute that [Obama] has cut $716 billion out of the money that was projected to be spent on Medicare over the next 10 years."

"But, sir, it's not a cut in Medicare, right?" O'Brien observed. "Let me just read from the CBO. It's a 'permanent reduction in the annual updates to Medicaid's payment rates.' It's a cut in the spending -- future spending. And it's cut that actually goes to insurers, right? I mean, it's not cuts to individuals."

"No matter how you say this, it's a cut to Medicare," Pawlenty insisted. "You can't even with a straight face, look your viewers in the eye and tell [them] that it's not a cut to Medicare."

"Well, I can't look viewers in the eye from where I am," O'Brien pointed out. "I'm saying the way the CBO puts it. ... That is a savings."

"Do you know what that is in English?" Pawlenty quipped.

"I speak English incredibly well, sir, as you know," O'Brien shot back. "So, tell me what it is in English."

"In plain speaking is this -- and I just mean in compared to the mumbo jumbo in the bureaucracy in the CBO -- what they're saying is that Medicare was going to go up by X and now it's going to go up by X minus $716 billion. There is no question that is a cut in where current law was before Obamacare was passed. There is no way you can present that in any other way."

"Or you can call it a savings, is actually the other way to present that," O'Brien explained.
Wonder if Romney will be called on to apologize for his surrogates' behavior or if anyone who's very definitely non-partisan and completely objective about this election cycle will note the nasty tone they take when questioned about basic things like truthiness. Ha ha, yeah right!
posted by lord_wolf at 8:45 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm hoping next time around, Soledad O'Brien gets tapped to moderate one of the debates. Assuming we're still having presidential debates and not just outright selling the position to the highest bidder, that is.
posted by notashroom at 8:55 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ezra Klein: Romney's budget plan is a fantasy : Part I & Part II.
posted by peacay at 8:57 AM on August 16, 2012


I was all ready to get all outraged about Tim Pawlenty saying to the daughter of an immigrant, "Do you understand English?" but I don't think that's what he said. I read his statement to be a commentary on the language used by the CBO: the CBO describes something as a "savings," and Pawlenty apparently thinks that whatever CBO wants to call it, it's still a "cut." His comment read to me similar as someone reading something out of a statute and then being asked, "Can you explain that in English, please?"

Anyway, that interpretation of Pawlenty's comment is uncharitable, and rather unfair, I think.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:57 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


@MoonOrb

it is still utterly condescending. Soledad O'Brien identifies herself as a black/biracial latina. you don't think we blatinas get that "don't you know english" crap on a daily basis, no matter how many nerd-o-meters we break?
posted by liza at 9:05 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regardless of what Tim Pawlenty may have meant by his little quip, it was a less than great idea to make a crack about being able to understand English to someone who identifies as non-Caucasian. It's just WAY too easy to assume that he's being a racist dick, because frankly that sort of treatment of non-whites is something we're coming to expect from the GOP. Timmy done stepped in it, I'm afraid, and it's his own damn fault.
posted by palomar at 9:17 AM on August 16, 2012


liza,
What I'm saying is that my reading of his conversation was that he wasn't directing the comment at her ability to speak or understand English, he was directing the comment at the idea that it's the CBO who is (from his point of view, I'm not taking a position on it) mangling the English language to turn a "cut" into a "savings."
posted by MoonOrb at 9:21 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read Tim Pawlenty's comments as deliberately trying to confuse the issue; it's savings, not cuts as he states. The "Do you know what that is in English?" was also deliberately offensive and designed to play to his base.
posted by arcticseal at 9:21 AM on August 16, 2012


MoonOrb, I think it's a little different than your "Can you explain that in English, please?" example. I agree with liza that it's condescending. Even if we leave aside the racial/ethnic implications of his response, I think we could make the case that he comes across as saying that O'Brien has been mislead by the CBO's complicated language -- b/c she lacks his acuity -- whereas if they expressed it in a simple (not simpler) terms, she would see things his way.

His phrasing makes her the one who fails to understand, whereas if I say "Can you explain that in English?" when someone says or quotes something complicated, I'm making myself the one who fails to understand.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:24 AM on August 16, 2012


Man, Pawlenty (sounds like Slack-Jawed Cletus's pronunciation of "polenta") finally shows the tiniest smidgen of personality, and it's 100% asshole.
posted by notsnot at 9:28 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's a really uncharitable reading of what he said. He was just trying to say that 'savings' is your typical Washington doublespeak for 'cuts'. He wasn't saying that o brien didn't understand English, he was saying that it wasn't written in English, but in beaurocratic doublespeak that needed to be translated into English.
posted by empath at 9:33 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bureaucratic...gah...
posted by empath at 9:34 AM on August 16, 2012


Even with the most charitable reading possible to what T-Paw said, he still comes off as a dick, because with the charitable reading he's inferring that Ms. O'Brien is too stupid to understand what she's reading.
posted by palomar at 9:38 AM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


Exactly. He's offering to mansplain it to her. She should have shot the camera the same look Eddie Murphy gives in Trading Places when they condescendingly explain that he can find bacon in a BLT sandwich.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:54 AM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, but Tim Pawlenty coming off like a dick isn't news. Saying "Tim Pawlenty "asked [O'Brien] if she understood English" is a much different thing entirely, and, based on reading his actual comment in context, misleading.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:56 AM on August 16, 2012


He's offering to mansplain it to her.

Oh, horseshit, that was dead standard political phraseology when talking about Washington bureaucratese.
posted by empath at 10:01 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


"In English, please" in response to seeming technobabble is such a hoary old cliche that I have problems perceiving it as an explicitly racist dog whistle.

My lay opinion is that it falls more generally under "mansplaining, "being a choad," and "high school debate team tactics to try to turn around a losing argument."
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:08 AM on August 16, 2012


Rachel Maddow: Romney record in Massachusetts not much to run on

What the hell is it with Republican governors and tuberculosis?
posted by homunculus at 10:09 AM on August 16, 2012


What the hell is it with Republican governors and tuberculosis?

The desire to return to the 19th Century.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:12 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, the thing about the GOP and their talking points is that one can usually hear the exact same phrasing coming out of a dozen different mouths, all on the same day. So far, the only person I've heard about saying this has been Tim Pawlenty, and he was directing it at a person of color. So go right ahead and call it horseshit if you want. From where I'm standing it certainly does reek.
posted by palomar at 10:21 AM on August 16, 2012


Romney: ‘I Never Paid Less Than 13 Percent’ In Still-Unreleased Tax Returns

It's not shocking that the floor of his last 10 years in taxes is 13%, though I do think a lot of people with far less wealth would have been thrilled to have a single year at 13%.

What I'm absolutely floored by is this: how do you spend months and months refusing to release your tax returns, and then the day after your wife says on the teevee that you're not going to release the returns, you decide to give the media and the electorate more fuel for the fire by making an unsubstantiated claim about what's in the returns you refuse to release? Especially given Romney's history of being caught in a lie during the MA gubernatorial election about where his residency was on his tax returns, and having to "retroactively" amend those returns to match the lie he told, this is a major mistake that's going to have reporters smelling blood in the water.

I don't know what made them think throwing this out there would quiet the calls for the release of the returns, but it's not going to work.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:32 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


13% of what?
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Artw: "13% of what?"

Yeah, that's one of many, many questions that he's going to get hammered with now. What an unforgivable own goal by the Romney handlers.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:47 AM on August 16, 2012


Paul Ryan Opposes His Own Medicare Cuts
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:52 AM on August 16, 2012


"Obama for America spokeswoman Lis Smith released the following statement on Mitt Romney’s claim that he never paid less than 13 percent in taxes at any point over the past decade:
Mitt Romney today said that he did indeed ‘go back and look’ at his tax returns and that he never paid less than 13% in taxes in any year over the past decade. Since there is substantial reason to doubt his claims, we have a simple message for him: prove it. Even though he’s invested millions in foreign tax havens, offshore shell corporations, and a Swiss bank account, he’s still asking the American people to trust him. However, given Mitt Romney's secrecy about his returns, coupled with the revelations in just the one return we have seen to date and the inconsistencies between this one return and his other financial disclosures, he has forfeited the right to have us take him just at his word."*
posted by ericb at 10:53 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, Pawlenty (sounds like Slack-Jawed Cletus's pronunciation of "polenta") finally shows the tiniest smidgen of personality, and it's 100% asshole.

I live in MN and it's been apparent for over a decade that Timmy is a weasely asshole.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:54 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney: 'Paul Ryan And My Plan For Medicare Is The Same, If Not Identical'.
posted by ericb at 10:55 AM on August 16, 2012


Jon Stewart Blasts Republicans For Divisive Hypocrisy (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 10:56 AM on August 16, 2012


The really nasty thing here is that the GOP wants the debate to be precisely what Soledad and Tim were arguing about (should it be called a cut or a savings), rather that the actual issue, which is that the Obama reductions are not reductions in benefits but rather in payments to third parties. Of course, this will indirectly affect the availability of benefits if it induces providers to refuse service, but it isn't a cut in benefits they way Ryan's and Romney's plans are. The GOP would like that difference to be reduced to a semantic quibble about "cuts" vs. "savings" and as we see here they are being fantastically successful.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:58 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, now that we have Mitt Romney's word that he paid at least 13% in federal taxes every year, I guess that pretty much puts the issue to bed, doesn't it?
posted by MoonOrb at 10:58 AM on August 16, 2012


I live in MN and it's been apparent for over a decade that Timmy is a weasely asshole.
posted by Mental Wimp


Yeah, I do love his continued always-a-bridesmaid, never-a-bride debasement. Since he's still campaigning for Romney after being snubbed for VP, I guess he's holding out hope to be named Secretary of Being a Smug Prick.
posted by COBRA! at 10:59 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


What an unforgivable own goal by the Romney handlers.

Like Palin, Mitt may believe he is so smart he doesn't need handlers. I think this is the reason why he commits so many gaffes.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:00 AM on August 16, 2012


Complete hypothetical - but if I were Romney and I had

a) understated income in various ways and paid 13% on what is declared;
b) taken advantage of the 2009 IRS amnesty for undeclared foreign holdings and privately admit previously undeclared income and assets;
c) carryed on paying the correct amount, but with a clear indicator of tax evasion hitherto...

I would avoid showing my tax records in that case.
posted by jaduncan at 11:05 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mental Wimp: "The really nasty thing here is that the GOP wants the debate to be precisely what Soledad and Tim were arguing about (should it be called a cut or a savings), rather that the actual issue, which is that the Obama reductions are not reductions in benefits but rather in payments to third parties."

Right. Every day this isn't a discussion about Romney/Ryan changing Medicare from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan is at least a draw for the Romney folks, if not an outright win. I know the Obama camp doesn't want to concede that their cuts are cuts in the same way the Romney/Ryan cuts would be, but it might be better to just return fire with "there will be no Medicare to cut if you elect these jabronis" instead of trying to defend the cuts.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:05 AM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


*carried
posted by jaduncan at 11:06 AM on August 16, 2012


"And it's cut that actually goes to insurers, right? I mean, it's not cuts to individuals."

It seems O'brien was saying the cuts were coming out of insurance profits and administrative costs, not out of individual benefits and expenses. They should articulate this better if it's somewhat true and axe the "saving" not "cuts" semantics.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:23 AM on August 16, 2012


Paul Ryan: 'I Never Asked For Stimulus' Money, Contradicts AP Report.
posted by ericb at 12:05 PM on August 16, 2012


Paul Ryan Got Earmark For Hometown Project.
posted by ericb at 12:06 PM on August 16, 2012


Paul Ryan: 'I Never Asked For Stimulus' Money, Contradicts AP Report.

The headline is a softball compared to the facts as presented in the article. It should read "Paul Ryan: 'I Never Asked For Stimulus' Money, Contradicts AP ReportHis Own Letters."
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:14 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Keep going.

'I Never Asked For Stimulus' Money, Paul Ryan Contradicts AP ReportHis Own Letters. Lies"
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 1:08 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, Romney looks like life on the road is taking a toll on him in that 13% video. I thought maybe it was a problem with the video format until I saw the picture in the Washington Post story on the subject.
posted by peeedro at 1:10 PM on August 16, 2012


Paul Ryan’s former Catholic priest is ‘worried’ about his Ayn Rand-inspired philosophy
posted by homunculus at 1:29 PM on August 16, 2012


Romney Swiftboating of Obama Begins

a new video by the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc accuses Obama of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:43 PM on August 16, 2012


Harry Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson:
"We'll believe it when we see it. Until Mitt Romney releases his tax returns, Americans will continue to wonder what he's hiding. Romney seems to think he plays by a different set of rules than every other presidential candidate for the last thirty years, all of whom lived up to the standard of transparency set by Mitt Romney's father and released their tax returns."
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


a new video by the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc accuses Obama of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.

I'm skeptical that this type of attack will persuade many undecided voters. People who are likely to find this type of thing important will have already locked in their votes.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:50 PM on August 16, 2012


Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc

I wonder how many of the actual SEALs that actually nabbed OBL are actually in this group. My bet is none.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:51 PM on August 16, 2012


Golden Eternity: "Romney Swiftboating of Obama Begins "

I haven't watched the 22 minutes of propaganda, but wasn't the real damaging feature of the Swift Boat attacks the fact that several of the guys who were doing the swift-boating were actually on board the Swift Boat contemporaneously with John Kerry? Were any of these people involved in the Bin Laden raid? If not, seems more FAILBOAT than Swift Boat to me.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:51 PM on August 16, 2012


It's nice to see CNN are starting to call BS when they see it
Smith said the ad campaign pays no heed to political affiliation, and the organization describes itself as nonpartisan and says its focus is on protecting intelligence agents and special operations officers, not on politics.

But it shares an office with two Republican political consulting firms in Alexandria, Virginia. Its spokesman Chad Kolton worked for the Bush administration as a spokesman for the Director of National Intelligence.

Taylor has run for the Republican nomination for Congress in Virginia; Smith said he is a registered Republican but votes independently.
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:11 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden

Clearly GWB deserves 90% of the credit, because his incompetance and stupidity lulled OBL into a false sense of security. Romney himself should get 9%, because he gave OBL the impression that the census was that no american force would ever unilaterally enter Pakistan to hunt him down.
posted by Chekhovian at 2:24 PM on August 16, 2012


And when you're talking about GWB, incompetence has to spelled as incompetance, because GWB had a specially double recursive form of it. He wasn't just ordinarily incompetent, he was specially incompetant.
posted by Chekhovian at 2:26 PM on August 16, 2012


Surely you mean malcompetent?
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:38 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


GWB was in Dunning-Kruger territory.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:08 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks like the TPC has their refutation up of various attempts to poke holes in their analysis of Romney's plan, which among other things includes the alleged savings from AEI discussed upthread.

Spoiler: They're not anything near what AEI claimed.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:08 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


David Simon, best known as one of the creators of "The Wire," tears into Mitt "13%" Romney.
posted by shiu mai baby at 3:12 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


So Ann Romney's interview airs tonight, and the LA Times has another excerpt, and she is just dripping with wealth and privilege. She is aghast at the idea that they should disclose their taxes beyond the two years they are currently doing.
“We have been transparent to what’s legally required of us,” Romney said. “But the more we release, the more we get attacked, the more we get questions, the more we get pushed. We have done what’s legally required, and there’s going to be no more tax releases given. And there’s a reason for that. And that’s because of … what happens as soon as we release anything. Mitt’s financial disclosures when he was governor were huge.

“The other thing you have to understand is that Mitt is honest, his integrity is, is just golden. We pay our taxes .... Beyond paying our taxes, we also give 10% of our income to charity. So we have no issues that way, and the only reason we don’t disclose any more is, you know, we just become a bigger target.”
Reading that whole article, she just seems to think Mitt is going to be King, and how dare the peons suggest that they do what the lower class presidential hopefuls do. I had previously thought they were letting this drag on, and then I thought that Mitt would never release them, and now I'm starting to wonder if these people actually believe that they are simply too royal to be scrutinized. After you get the best of the best everywhere you go and you have people falling at your feet because of your millions, it seems you can't shake that attitude. I'll have to watch the interview clips to check out her demeanor, but it certainly doesn't look good in print.
posted by cashman at 3:22 PM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


When Romney says he never paid less than 13% " and if you add in charity, it goes to well over 20%", he meant the LDS Church and its affiliated efforts, such as fighting marriage equality, right?
posted by notashroom at 3:36 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


LDS requires a 10% tithe, without which you cannot be a member in good standing.
posted by localroger at 3:46 PM on August 16, 2012


Ann Romney makes the same claim in her interview that was excerpted in cashman's link -- she specifically said that they donate 10% of their income to charity. Does that actually count as charity? Will someone in the media please call them out on this bullshit?
posted by palomar at 3:46 PM on August 16, 2012


The Vast Majority Of Mitt Romney's Charitable Donations In The Past Two Years Have Gone To The Mormon Church
In 2010, Mitt Romney took $3 million in charitable deductions on his tax return, against adjusted gross income of $22 million. In 2010, therefore, Romney gave third parties (other than his foundation) a total of $2.1 million, with a total of $1.7 million going to the church. 78% of Romney's donations in 2010, therefore, went to the church.
posted by peeedro at 3:53 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


“I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent.

Wow that is just so close to something you read in the Onion that I am actually grinning. So I love that a) we are supposed to believe him and b) he went back and looked at his taxes as though he was a neutral third party. "Yes. Everything is fine here! So that's enough chit-chat about my taxes. Let's talk about how this country will be ruined if I am not elected president.. You like my hair?"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:05 PM on August 16, 2012


Wow that is just so close to something you read in the Onion that I am actually grinning. So I love that a) we are supposed to believe him

Of course we are! His honesty, his integrity is, is just golden!

Probably literally.
posted by cashman at 4:21 PM on August 16, 2012


we also give 10% of our income to charity.

Wait, does she mean their tithe? Is that usually considered charitable giving? I'm sure some of it does go to charitable causes, but isn't a tithe considered a religious obligation separate from giving to charity (which one should also do)? I'm suspicious, but also a bit ignorant here.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:21 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


apparently I blanked on a few comments there, nevermind
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:22 PM on August 16, 2012


Wait, does she mean their tithe? Is that usually considered charitable giving? I'm sure some of it does go to charitable causes, but isn't a tithe considered a religious obligation separate from giving to charity (which one should also do)? I'm suspicious, but also a bit ignorant here.

I'm not an expert on the Mormon church, but from what I can tell, they are surprisingly non-charitable for a church their size. They run NO hospitals. They have a university and business college, and a huge real-estate/building arm. They have a big missionary program and do some limited relief work. Not impressive, in my book.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:34 PM on August 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Over at DailyKos, Hunter's regular feature The Chronicles of Mitt really nails Mitt's lack of personality. Each entry starts off with the same greeting:

"Hello, human diary. It is I, Mitt Romney, your better. "
posted by localroger at 4:48 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


isn't a tithe considered a religious obligation separate from giving to charity

As long as your church is classified as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt religious organization, which LDS is, then all of your donations including mandatory tithes are tax exempt.
posted by localroger at 4:51 PM on August 16, 2012


They have a big missionarymarketing program and do some limited relief work.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:08 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


That seems somewhat disingenuous, characterizing giving millions to the LDS Church as charity. But then, that would be in character with the guy who considered snacking with the mentally ill to be charitable work during prep school.
posted by notashroom at 6:21 PM on August 16, 2012


Can anybody link those Maddow segments? Just crushing Romney and Ryan with facts and journalism. I rarely watch her show, but she ate them alive.
posted by cashman at 7:06 PM on August 16, 2012


Yeah, tonight's Maddow was brutal. Deservedly so.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:09 PM on August 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


a new video by the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc accuses Obama of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden

"It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person." -- Mitt Romney
posted by kirkaracha at 9:33 PM on August 16, 2012


Yeah, tonight's Maddow was brutal.

Wow, Mitt is flip-flopping at an Olympic gold-medal pace. I'm looking forward to him bringing the time between completely contradictory statements down below the 24 hour mark.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:15 PM on August 16, 2012


538: Why I'm Not Buying The Romney Rally

Rolling Stone: Tom Morello: 'Paul Ryan Is the Embodiment of the Machine Our Music Rages Against' Rage Against the Machine's guitarist blasts Romney's VP pick and unlikely Rage fan

NYTimes: Pursuing the Elusive Swing Voter: Why 98% of us don't count

Reason: Four Myths Both Parties Want To Maintain Through The Election

Stop Comparing Paul Ryan to Sarah Palin

Charles Pierce, Esquire blog: Romney's Angry-Black-Man Strategy Is No Surprise and How Not To Figure Out Republicans
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:27 PM on August 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Libertarians Sue to Have Romney Kicked Off Washington Ballot
posted by futz at 3:56 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. I get that a particular strain of libertarianism is all about ideological purity, but surely Ryan as VP is the closest thing to a Libertarian United States government they can possibly get this election cycle?
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:06 AM on August 17, 2012


surely Ryan as VP is the closest thing to a Libertarian United States government they can possibly get this election cycle?

Don't Believe the Hype About Paul Ryan: 'Ryan was a loyal soldier throughout the free-spending George W. Bush years, and a big government conservative under Obama.'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:18 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Huh. I get that a particular strain of libertarianism is all about ideological purity, but surely Ryan as VP is the closest thing to a Libertarian United States government they can possibly get this election cycle?

Where objectivism equals spending lots of money then kicking poor people without cutting the defence budget? Come on, even libertarians have standards (and I say that not being one).
posted by jaduncan at 4:21 AM on August 17, 2012


Huh. I get that a particular strain of libertarianism is all about ideological purity, but surely Ryan as VP is the closest thing to a Libertarian United States government they can possibly get this election cycle?

There's actually a bit of bad blood between some groups of "Capital L", party member Libertarians and Objectivists that may come into play in that group's perception of Ryan. The Ayn Rand Cult gets into it a bit, having been written by such a Libertarian.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:35 AM on August 17, 2012


Paul Ryan Insists He Didn’t Take Stimulus Money, Then Realizes He Totally Did
posted by cashman at 9:03 AM on August 17, 2012


U.S. House Elections May Turn On Paul Ryan's Budget.
posted by ericb at 9:49 AM on August 17, 2012


Lentrohamsanin: " There's actually a bit of bad blood between some groups of "Capital L", party member Libertarians and Objectivists that may come into play in that group's perception of Ryan. The Ayn Rand Cult gets into it a bit, having been written by such a Libertarian."

I haven't read the book, but color me skeptical that this supposed dissatisfaction with Ryan amongst libertarians (or Libertarians) would be widespread or even measurable in opinion polling. I can imagine some traditional Libertarian types taking issue with the cult of personality that developed around Ayn Rand herself, but the tenets of Objectivism overlap so closely with the tenets of most branches of modern libertarian thought that bickering about a Randroid being a heartbeat away from the Presidency would probably be seen as looking a gift horse in the mouth by the libertarian community. To paraphrase Rick Pitino, neither Murray Rothbard nor F.A. Hayek are walking through that door, folks.

I understand that libertarianism has various branches within it that emphasize different aspects of liberty (social, economic, etc.) but I really don't see much daylight between Rand's teachings and the philosophic core of libertarianism.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:02 AM on August 17, 2012


Romney Adviser: It's 'Politically Unwise' To Campaign In Specifics.
posted by ericb at 11:19 AM on August 17, 2012


Being completely vague about everything certainly is one way to avoid being accused of flip-flopping. The other is don't flip-flop on everything, but that's not an option for this candidate.
posted by Artw at 11:21 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney Adviser: It's 'Politically Unwise' To Campaign In Specifics.

This is 100% true. It is literally textbook for challengers to incumbents to not present specifics, barring some exceptions here and there. I remember reading that in this exact textbook, Political Campaign Communications.

You are supposed to make concrete complaints against the incumbent's positions, yes, but if you lay out your own platform too specifically, then you'll gain little and lose much. You'll give your opponent an opportunity to concretely attack your own positions, which is bad, and most voters can't be bothered to read (or understand) your entire proposal in detail, which is also bad, and it also makes you vulnerable to accusations of flip-flopping even after you take office, because if you wind up passing is substantially different, you'll look like someone who breaks campaign promises, plus you'll also lose the bargaining tactic of proposing more than what you'd actually agree to, and so on and so forth.

So, yeah. I have no love for the Romney campaign, but I can't fault them for following Electioneering 101.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:30 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan’s High Threshold for Hometown Pain: How the vice-presidential nominee has gotten away with policies devastating his Wisconsin district
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM on August 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't know, Sticherbeast. It's one thing to follow Electioneering 101. It's another thing to unambiguously state you're following Electioneering 101. Putting it in a quotable soundbite lends itself to attack ads calling in to question your motivation for running for office. Something like
[scratchy audio of Foo saying details are for suckers and dummies]
[fade to theremin-heavy music]
Foo doesn't like what is happening now. Foo says we need change.
[ominous key change]
But Foo doesn't know what he wants to when he gets here. Or maybe Foo wants to do things so unspeakable after winning office that he cannot tell you now because he knows it is the wrong thing to do for you.
[key change to Cmaj].
Bar knows what needs doing. Bar has shown you what he wants to do for you. Vote Bar and keep heading in the smart direction.
posted by Fezboy! at 12:03 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know, Sticherbeast. It's one thing to follow Electioneering 101. It's another thing to unambiguously state you're following Electioneering 101.

Oh, I agree entirely. It's about as unwise as announcing which negotiation tricks you're using, as you use them. I was just defending the general idea that it's unwise to lay out specifics.

There are much better ways to brush off demands for specific platform proposals. The best is to craft an argument where you are very clear about what the incumbent is doing wrong, you are very clear about why your candidate and his/her values are better, and how you're able to unite those concepts. Give out some details here and there, but really focus on the big picture, and scoff at accusations of vagueness by saying that you can't possibly put up an entire proposal in detail before you get a chance to work out solutions with the legislative branch.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:22 PM on August 17, 2012


Running from Ryan and his Medicare plan
posted by zombieflanders at 12:32 PM on August 17, 2012


What the hell is it with Republican governors and tuberculosis?

The desire to return to the 19th Century.


Will the Candidates Tell Us about Their Policies on Pandemics and Biosecurity?
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM on August 17, 2012


This is all surely a complete hoax and the convention is actually going to nominate Rubio, right?
posted by stoneweaver at 1:21 PM on August 17, 2012


This is all surely a complete hoax and the convention is actually going to nominate Rubio, right?

ROMNEY AND RYAN SHALL BE NOMINATED...

...TO PRESENT RON PAUL WITH THE CROWN
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:25 PM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


An I the only one who hears "biosecurity" and gets a flash of it as the new right-to-lifer codeword?
posted by Artw at 1:29 PM on August 17, 2012


The problem with Romney pre-Ryan was two-fold. First in the attempt to pander to whatever audience he was speaking to he'd say that he was for a policy and then later on seem to suffer from amnesia about that position. That just makes you look like a political opportunist at best and a flip-flopper at worst. Taking an unpopular position and sticking with it can hurt but being a flip-flopper just makes you seem weak. The second major problem was that the base just doesn't trust Romney to not be a RINO that will govern the US like he governed Massachusetts. The base didn't trust McCain in 2008 and he was seen as way more reliable than Romney. The result is that in order to help GOTV efforts Romney has to continue to tack to the right to increase turnout (in case the fundamentalists decide to stay home - they aren't voting for Obama). The problem is that positions that resonate with the base are deeply unpopular with the swing voters that Romney needs to court to win battleground states.

Apparently the advisors surrounding Romney are more concerned about Republicans staying home than they are concerned about the idea of Ryan antagonizing potential voters. Basically they are pursuing a base election strategy rather than a centrist model which is pretty risky. Basically they have to hope that democratic and independent vote totals are way reduced from the 2008 numbers. I think that can work in non Presidential years but I can't imagine voter turnout is going down to the level needed by Romney. It will be reduced some because Obama is no longer seen as a transformational leader but it should still be relatively high simply because the differences between the two parties are so stark.
posted by vuron at 3:05 PM on August 17, 2012


Recognizing Paul Ryan's Tell
posted by OmieWise at 3:06 PM on August 17, 2012


What Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Would Mean for an Average Family :
With all exemptions and credits removed, that turns the $3,810 tax bill that Ryan's plan proposed as a net savings for you into a $2,160 tax hike.

Admittedly, this is an extreme scenario. However, Ryan has said his tax code revision would be revenue neutral -- and based on his explanation of how to get us there, the only way the math adds up is if all our tax breaks get the ax.
Ryan Opposed Debt Reduction Plan Romney Used as a Model
Representative Paul Ryan was a pivotal figure in killing the 2010 Bowles-Simpson agreement, which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney now points to as a model for putting America’s fiscal house in order.

The 18-member panel needed 14 votes to send a 10-year plan for trimming the debt to the U.S. Congress for a vote. As his party’s top member on the House Budget Committee, Ryan led a bloc of three House Republicans who denied the additional votes needed.
Medicare, Paul Ryan, and beyond: a primer

Krugman: Ryan: The First Decade

David Brin: Romney's 13% Solution

The Economist: Romney's Returns

CSMonitor: FAQs about recent analysis of Romney's tax plan
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:39 AM on August 18, 2012


NYT - Conservative Elite in Capital Pay Heed to Ryan as Thinker .. Mr Thinktank himself.
posted by peacay at 3:38 AM on August 18, 2012


Here we go - Why Mitt won't release his tax returns - because it could prove he committed a felony by voter fraud. [The Guardian]
Romney appears to have escaped relatively unsinged from the apparently unrelated revelation that he may have committed voter fraud in January 2010, when – despite not owning a house in Massachusetts and having given every appearance of having moved to California – he registered and voted in the Massachusetts special election to replace the deceased Senator Ted Kennedy.
The article has a timeline of where Romney moved and the places he lived, then this:
If Romney's 2008 return (filed in 2009, shortly before the January 2010 special election) didn't give Tagg's basement as his address, then Romney clearly didn't consider Massachusetts his home in that year. If Romney's 2009 return (filed in 2010) gives a non-Massachusetts address, despite the fact that he claimed to be a Massachusetts resident earlier that year and had bought a house in Massachusetts in July, then Romney clearly didn't consider Massachusetts his home in that year either. If Democrats hit the daily double – in other words, if Romney declared La Jolla, California to be his home in both years – then Massachusetts prosecutors likely will have no choice but to take a hard second look at their ex-governor. (The Obama campaign's new focus on obtaining only three more years' returns – 2007, 2008 and 2009 – may suggest they're focusing in on this possibility as well.)

A felony voter fraud charge could expose Romney to fines and/or imprisonment, jeopardize Romney's standing with the Michigan State Bar, and – worst of all, in the political sense – would be a mortal embarrassment on the campaign trail, both to himself and to downticket Republicans (especially Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who won the special election in question but is locked in a tight, highly-publicized race against the popular Elizabeth Warren to retain his seat).
posted by cashman at 7:47 AM on August 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Can the IRS investigate that even if Romney doesn't make his returns public?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:58 AM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


That David Bring article makes some good points, including this one:
[...] Mitt knew the nomination would likely fall in his lap in 2012 - as it has - so why did he not get ready, so that at least 4 years of tax records would be pristine and ready for public scrutiny? Isn't the presidency worth sacrificing some tasty tax dodges? Given all that, if there are any embarrassments in those returns, what does that say about the intelligence and foresight of a man who is urging us to "make me commander in chief"?

Considering the available evidence, that 1) Romney refuses to release more than two years tax returns, as all major party presidential candidates have done since his father set the leading example of 12 years, 2) Romney has (post-2009's IRS overseas income amnesty) accounts in both Cayman Islands and Switzerland, which are extremely difficult to explain as anything other than tax dodges/"shelters", 3) Romney has been caught lying about his taxes before, when he was running for governor of Massachusetts and said (paraphrasing), "Trust me, everything is fine", 4) Romney claims to have paid "at least 13%" on his AGI for the last 10 years, a figure only legally achievable because of GOP giveaways on capital gains tax rates, 5) Romney, according to his wife, gives only the LDS mandatory 10% of his income in "charity" to the church itself, not even donating an additional point or two to right-wing-approved causes, 6) Romney has been running for president for 6 years, and knew his tax returns would be requested, if not demanded, and was almost certainly given advice regarding optics by McCain's team which ought to have enabled him to prepare and release at least those 6 years' worth of returns, I think Romney has a problem.

Not a problem of transparency or of perception, but a problem akin to gambling addiction, a compulsion to hoard money no matter what the cost. The man is addicted to money, unable to discipline himself to surrender the tiniest bit of it to achieve his goal of being POTUS. He has no foreign policy experience, very little in creating actual jobs, a failed record as chief executive of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, no military or diplomatic experience, but these are all irrelevant to his goal, because his purpose is single-minded: increase his own wealth, feed his addiction.
posted by notashroom at 8:16 AM on August 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


*David Brin
posted by notashroom at 8:18 AM on August 18, 2012


Maybe. But I'm just as easily satisfied imagining that this obstinacy over the tax returns is just part of the whole entitlement-syndrome and you fucking vultures will never ever ever be allowed to get your grubby hands on the details of my success! FUCKING GIVE ME THE FUCKING PRESIDENCY YOU FUCKING PEASANTS!!!
posted by peacay at 8:35 AM on August 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


so why did he not get ready, so that at least 4 years of tax records would be pristine and ready for public scrutiny?...

The man is addicted to money


I think it's a little deeper than that. Unlike his father, Romney has never known want. He has spent his life surrounded by sycophants who tell him how smart and right he is. He has never been challenged, and he probably honestly thought that the combination of his natural stature and Democrats' historic willingness to assume the fetal position when challenged would allow him to sail over any bumps of this nature in the campaign. He has easily received everything else he ever felt entitled to, so why not this too?

It's not so much that he is addicted to money as that he sees life as a game, and how much money you have is one of the most important ways of scoring your position. Romney wants to maximize his net worth because he has no concept of other scoring factors; he was born on the self-actualization rung of the Maslow hierarchy and he has no clue that anything else exists. Security, attention, and basic needs being met are not important to him because he has never lacked for any such thing he wanted.

As hard as it is to conceive, you have to remember that in the circles where Romney runs he is not really all that rich. This comes out sometimes in public. Poor people are an abstraction to him, as you can easily tell when he is forced to try to interact with them. He does not understand their motivations. Real people do not mow their own lawns or do their own budgets where food and rent compete for attention. They are merely game pieces to be manipulated. Their only hope of achieving a respectable score is to win the lottery.

And among these real people whose scores are respectable Romney probably feels somewhat mediocre; Bain capital was a great scam but he has no other game to run. He doesn't have the skill or imagination to create something like Apple or Microsoft, and he didn't inherit enough money to be a Koch or Soros. So instead of enjoying his millions he feels like a bridesmaid standing in the shadows of the billionaires who are really in a position to win the game of life.

And I think this gets to the core of why he wants to be President. It's not so much that he craves the power or even feels it's the best opportunity to maximize his money score; it's that it's a special scoring trinket, a thing that Ballmer and Gates and the Koch brothers and Soros won't have even if they're much richer than he will ever be. Being President is like having a blank square at Scrabble. It means he will be known and remembered and respected in ways he couldn't otherwise buy.

And that's why he must never be allowed near the office; his etch-a-sketch shakes so often because he really doesn't care about any of those policies he keeps changing. Being President is his endgame. Once he's been President he can stand with dignity even beside those billionaires whose fortunes eclipse his.
posted by localroger at 8:57 AM on August 18, 2012 [22 favorites]


If we're free-form psychoanalyzing now (and I'm all for it), can I suggest "making Daddy proud by doing what he couldn't do"?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:27 AM on August 18, 2012


Either Paul Ryan doesn't remember when the Janesville plant closed, or he's lying about it to place the blame on Obama.
posted by drezdn at 9:42 AM on August 18, 2012


can I suggest "making Daddy proud by doing what he couldn't do"?

I don't think Mitt cares so much about making Daddy proud as showing Daddy up, which he's already done by making more money than George ever had. In fact, I went to Wiki to look up dear old Dad just to make sure, and this stuck out:
[AMC]'s stock rose from $7 per share to $90 per share,[29] making Romney a millionaire from stock options.[94] However, whenever he felt his salary and bonus was excessively high for a year, he gave the excess back to the company
I rather suspect that instead of being proud of his old man and wanting his approval, Mitt considers him a loser who cared too much about things that don't matter (because, of course, Mitt never learned to appreciate those things).
posted by localroger at 10:10 AM on August 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ezra K interview: Rep. Chris Van Hollen: ‘The Romney-Ryan Medicare plan would have immediate cost increases for seniors’.
posted by peacay at 10:45 AM on August 18, 2012


Localroger, I don't disagree with any of your points. They all make sense in context of Romney's life, and I suspect there's a lot of truth there. I don't think, however, that negates in any way, my guess at an addiction to money.

Another man from Romney's exact circumstances might still have had the foresight and discipline to have cleaned up his act for the last 5 or 6 years sufficiently to credibly present to the peonage of America a series of tax returns showing hey, he had a lot of money and he didn't pay as high a tax rate as the average middle-income wage-earner, but he by gosh invested it in the United States and gave to charitable organizations with broad appeal, like the Kidney Foundation or the Red Cross or Make-A-Wish or Susan G. Komen.

He's far from the only wealthy man to run for the office, though he is the wealthiest to presumably make major party nominee. Neither Bush had any significant ripples over their tax returns, and they are certainly wealthy men who could have hedged and hidden and had tax shelters out the wazoo. John Kerry and Steve Forbes are also extremely wealthy men who ran for president without any uproar over the contents of the tax information they released. Romney's been running for 6 years and was likely inclined toward running at least a year or two before that. He's had plenty of time to craft unremarkable tax returns for a man of his bracket, but has failed to do so. It looks like either he is blinder and stupider by a significant margin than the Bushes, Forbes, Kerry, et alia, or he is driven by compulsion.
posted by notashroom at 11:14 AM on August 18, 2012


Either Paul Ryan doesn't remember when the Janesville plant closed, or he's lying about it to place the blame on Obama.

Listen: Paul Ryan has come unstuck in time.
posted by homunculus at 11:17 AM on August 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


It looks like either he is blinder and stupider by a significant margin than the Bushes, Forbes, Kerry, et alia, or he is driven by compulsion.

We're kind of talking past one another. My point was that I would fall on the blinder and stupider side here, rather than the compulsion side.

Romney isn't exercising the foresight other wealthy candidates did because he's never had to exercise foresight before in his life. Likewise, I don't liken him to an addict who, given a choice between getting high and going to a movie will get high because the unnatural rush is more fun than other entertainment; he's more like a person who gets high because he doesn't know there is a movie playing and literally does not occur to him that there's anything else to do.

This is why I think he's such a dangerous candidate (as if the Ryan pick didn't cement this); it's not that he thinks making more money is more fun than helping the poor or growing the economy for the benefit of others; it's that he thinks helping the poor and growing the economy are not fun pursuits worth doing at all.

He shows a similar disinterest in most of the duties of the job he seeks; consider the mess he made in such a short time on his overseas adventure. Reagan at least appointed people who were interested in those duties, and mostly at least nominally competent and interested in keeping things together for their own self-interest; Dubya at least appointed people who were interested in those duties even if they were ideological whack-job amateurs.

Romney simply has no interest in those duties. He will appoint whoever pays him the most money or gains him the most respect (for example, perhaps by having a billionaire answering to him in a cabinet position as his subordinate). And inasmuch as he ever makes a decision himself because nobody else in his circle cares enough to schmooze him, if there is no selection that clearly benefits him personally, he will basically act at random.
posted by localroger at 11:32 AM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think the handlers are stupid enough to think he can't release tax forms until the election. I think he's making the attempt to hold out on the returns until after the Republican convention, given the amount of possibly faithless electors.

Which makes me *really* curious what's in there.
posted by jaduncan at 12:02 PM on August 18, 2012


Today's Up with Chris Hayes spent some time today discussing Paul Ryan's history of benefiting significantly from government programs prior to becoming a Randroid superstar. The whole episode is worth watching, but in this segment in particular, Hayes hones in on the really disturbing part of Paul Ryan's addition to the GOP ticket, reminding viewers that Ayn Rand herself was happy to draw government benefits when she was eligible, and that Charles Koch tried to convince none other than F.A. Hayek himself to come to the US to suck on the government teat back in the 1970s.

Hayes goes on to say:
Liberals like myself, of course, delight in pointing out these inconsistencies and leveling the charge of hypocrisy: do as I say, not as I do. But I'm not sure hypocrisy is really the right word, here. It's a little like when right-wingers point out that folks at Occupy Wall Street were using iPhones which are, hey! a product of the same global capitalism they distrust. The response for both Occupiers and Rand devotees is that we are all embedded in the world as it is, a capitalist economy with a system of social insurance (inadequate as it may be) and few of us can individually withdraw fully from either.

So it's not hypocrisy that bothers me so much as the ridiculous self-serving selective vision of those who have benefited from personal privilege, social connections, family name and, yes, the welfare state, constantly hectoring others to swim or sink on their own and taking determined, effective steps to destroy policies that give other folks some of the same cushion they had.

That's a problem much bigger than Paul Ryan. One of the most insidious aspects of the culture of success in the U.S. is the way in which it invites those who are successful to write for themselves a story of their own personal overcoming of the odds, their own sink or swim moments, the ways in which their success was produced by some very special, personal individual achievement, conveniently erasing the role that privilege, luck, connections and society played in all of it.
I really like Hayes' perspective on this. Just as it's nearly impossible for someone who's concerned with corporate greed to avoid taking actions that will benefit corporations, it's nearly impossible for someone who believes that government programs should be destroyed to not at some point benefit from a government program. The difference is that it takes a very special type of sociopath to use the government ladder to get to the top, try to kick the ladder out, and then go the extra mile and criticize the people who continue to use those ladders to improve their own situation.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:05 PM on August 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


it's that he thinks helping the poor and growing the economy are not fun pursuits worth doing at all.

There's been a pretty strong Calvinist theme running through Republicans since Reagan that helping the poor is a waste of resources and/or keeping them from reaching for those bootstraps. Helping the poor has been unpopular in the GOP for decades, but this is beyond that. It's a level of disengagement from broader society humanity that seems indicative of pathology. I may be wrong on the particular pathology involved -- he may be simply so privileged he's incapable of seeing past his nose, or he may be sociopathic, or addicted, or something else entirely -- but he would clearly be a dangerous man to have in the oval office.
posted by notashroom at 12:14 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Personally I think the poor should just cut their damn bootstraps off and hurl them at the nearest Republican representative. Unfortunately, there may come a time in the future when they may need to eat their own bootstraps.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:22 PM on August 18, 2012


Calvinist theme ... that helping the poor is a waste of resources

As you suspect, Mitt's problem goes much deeper than this though. He doesn't think helping the poor is wrong; he thinks it's boring. He could get behind a scheme to soak the poor, not because he thinks they deserve it or because he sadistically enjoys the idea of creating so much pain, but because it improves his score. He doesn't really care one way or the other what happens to mere game pieces like us.

I don't think he's a sociopath, because he doesn't really exude that almost supernatural air of confidence that sociopaths have. (I've known a few of the genuine article.) Mitt seems to be a normal enough person biochemically; he's hesitant at times and obviously capable of being embarrassed. But he missed a lot of formative experiences that are common to most other people. As Robin Williams put it, he's like an alien who didn't read the whole "how to be human" manual. He's probably biologically capable of caring, but nobody ever taught him how.

Colin Wilson pointed out in A Criminal History of Mankind that such an historically monstrous figure as Nero showed no early inclination toward cruelty or malice; rather, the experience of simply being the emperor, of being able to have whatever he wanted without cost or consequence, formed him into a person incapable of caring about the feelings or fates of others. This is what I think happened to Mitt Romney. He has never known the passion of want or deprivation of loss; he has always gotten whatever pleasures he sought, such as the power of posing as a policeman in his college days, with such little cost or risk that the thrill was probably meager. It probably baffles him that his campaign is doing so poorly, since he has never been denied anything so important that he wanted before.

With so little to feel, what motivates a person? In Mitt's case I think a lot of it was to break his father's towering shadow by making more money than he ever did. But while George Romney sought to strengthen his country and his industry and the company he ran, to score high by leaving a public legacy, Willard can't see that part of George's score and sees his father only as a person who didn't play the part of the game he does understand optimally. So Mitt buys the company and sends the jobs to China if that benefits him, or shutters a profitable plant if there's more short-term profit to be had selling the assets. He certainly doesn't give back what he's earned in any spirit of fairness or goodwill. You don't win that way!

Mitt doesn't want the Presidency to show up his father; he's already done that. He wants the Presidency so he can feel the thrill of a new thing. The sad thing is that most of us can get what Mitt really wants out of this campaign just by reading a novel or taking a vacation or earning a promotion at our steady normal job. But Mitt never learned to take pleasure in such small things, and so he must make his gambit on a scale most of us consider ridiculous.
posted by localroger at 12:49 PM on August 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney doesn't exude the same sort of confidence or easy charm of my axe-murdering ex-brother-in-law, so he may not be a classic sociopath in the same sense, but he would seem a decent candidate, from a distance anyway, for a score of 25 or higher on Hare's Psychopathy Checklist. There's surely a debate to be had regarding psychopathic behavior patterns versus psychopathic neurobiology, as well as one about how psychopathy manifests at difference levels of privilege, but when the symptoms look alike, I'm not sure how much that matters to those of us who are merely pawns.
posted by notashroom at 1:14 PM on August 18, 2012


One of the most insidious aspects of the culture of success in the U.S. is the way in which it invites those who are successful to write for themselves a story of their own personal overcoming of the odds, their own sink or swim moments, the ways in which their success was produced by some very special, personal individual achievement, conveniently erasing the role that privilege, luck, connections and society played in all of it.

And this goes back to that whole out of context quoting of Obama, as Obama is trying to make the point that society as a whole plays a part in all of our individual successes. It's telling that Rmoney twisted that particular point (which Obama has been making for years upon years) and tried to use it as some kind of rationale for expressing success stories in ways that indeed erase the role that privilege, connections and society play in all of it.

I think just how far away from anything working class or relatable was evident when they showed him going to a hardware store and they asked what he got, and he said "Hardware stuff".

"Hardware Stuff". I mean that's fine if you don't know anything about going to the hardware store. But don't front like you do, and come out with a bucket full of things you have no idea what they are, for a complete photo op. Rmoney is just lost in his wealthy lifestyle, and just seems to have no idea how to move around in the regular world.
posted by cashman at 1:29 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how much that matters to those of us who are merely pawns.

This is a good point. I find it interesting to examine exactly what is wrong with people like Mitt because, in addition to fine differences in how they might behave in a given situation, if it turns out that a sociopath who randomly happened to be born into wealth but rather a creation of the way he was raised, almost certainly in contrast to what his parents would have consciously wanted, then it says vast and important things about how human society is organized and its long-term viability.

Another observation from Colin Wilson, this time about the emperor Commodus:
Commodus was probably the worst thing that ever happened to Rome. It was not that he was worse than Caligula or Nero; only that the empire was bleeding to death and could not afford another madman. It had once been a privilege to be a citizen of Rome; now it only meant paying heavy taxes to a series of generals who managed to fight their way into power.
posted by localroger at 1:33 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


argh, if it turns out that he wasn't a sociopath who randomly etc.
posted by localroger at 1:34 PM on August 18, 2012


if it turns out that [he wasn't] a sociopath who randomly happened to be born into wealth but rather a creation of the way he was raised, almost certainly in contrast to what his parents would have consciously wanted, then it says vast and important things about how human society is organized and its long-term viability.

Indeed. Mitt Romney is more like Andrew Carnegie's nightmare:
Carnegie believed that the sons of prosperous businesspersons were rarely as talented as their fathers. By leaving large sums of money to their children, wealthy business leaders were wasting resources that could be used to benefit society. Most notably, Carnegie believed that the future leaders of society would rise from the ranks the poor. Carnegie strongly believed in this because he had risen from the bottom. He believed the poor possessed an advantage over the wealthy due to their receiving more attention from their parents, and were taught better work ethics.
posted by notashroom at 1:52 PM on August 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


George Romney seems to have been a lot like Carnegie. If Mitt ever gets visited by three ghosts I have the feeling his own Dad will volunteer for the role of Christmas Future.
posted by localroger at 2:29 PM on August 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt Romney: Rich taxpayers will pay their share.

It’s not clear what Romney would actually cut to make his budget add up.
" ... eliminating federal supports for Amtrak and cultural programs would barely save any money. Repealing Obamacare would actually add to the deficit, given the net savings that are in the health-care law. And the savings that Romney projects for tying federal compensation to private-sector levels seem to be overblown, according to recent figures from the Congressional Budget Office. Overall, the cuts that Romney specifies would just be a drop in the bucket, and they still don’t explain how his budget would produce the savings that he promises."
posted by ericb at 2:31 PM on August 18, 2012


Romney surrogate to CNN host: ‘Put an Obama bumper sticker on your forehead’

Speaking of Sununu: The most brilliant palindrome of all time?
posted by homunculus at 3:49 PM on August 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh wow, Sununu's gonna be immortal. And not in a good way :-)
posted by localroger at 4:01 PM on August 18, 2012


homunculus: " Speaking of Sununu: The most brilliant palindrome of all time?"

Not quite as brilliant, but "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan" is an anagram for "My Ultimate Ayn Rand Porn".
posted by tonycpsu at 4:04 PM on August 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Study: CEOs and Incorporated Americans Sure Benefiting From Tax Code They Wrote
posted by homunculus at 5:05 PM on August 18, 2012


Romney and Bain profited from massive Medicare Fraud
posted by zombieflanders at 5:14 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sununu
posted by homunculus at 5:58 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


As hard as it is to conceive, you have to remember that in the circles where Romney runs he is not really all that rich.

This is something that has been bugging me for a while. Mitt's wealth is usually pegged at around $250 million dollars. Given the business that he was in, and the supposed success that he had in that arena, it seems like he should be worth a lot more than that. Not that 250 mil is anything to sneeze at. But the way the wealth at the top of the economic food chain has skyrocketed over the past 30 years, it seems fishy. We're living in a day and age where 1 billion dollars barely gets you on the Forbes 400, and quite a few of the billionaires at the bottom of that list have had less illustrious careers than Romney has supposedly had.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:04 PM on August 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


When Reid stated that Rmoney hadn't paid taxes, he also said the Rmoney was worth a lot more. Take that for what it's worth.
posted by annsunny at 11:10 PM on August 18, 2012


Mitt's wealth is usually pegged at around $250 million dollars. Given the business that he was in, and the supposed success that he had in that arena, it seems like he should be worth a lot more than that. Not that 250 mil is anything to sneeze at. But the way the wealth at the top of the economic food chain has skyrocketed over the past 30 years, it seems fishy.

That's a good point. In the game that Rmoney is playing, how are points apportioned? Some must be based on visible wealth, but perhaps others are accrued according to the money under the table or by what percentage one can hide from taxation. I'd be interested in seeing a set of rules for Financial Quidditch so we peons can follow along on the scorecard.
posted by notashroom at 7:26 AM on August 19, 2012


That's a good point. In the game that Rmoney is playing, how are points apportioned?

You know, at first I thought it's a typo, and I'm kinda embarassed that this joke actually came up 12 times in this thread (and who knows how often I've seen it elsewhere) before I finally got it: It's a clever play on Mitt Romney's name! By switching the letters "o" and "m" it spells MONEY! Because Mitt Romney, as we all know, has a lot of money!
posted by sour cream at 8:48 AM on August 19, 2012


Paul Ryan Defended Stimulus -- When George W. Bush Wanted It In 2002 (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 8:58 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney's 2010 Tax Disclosure May Be Lacking 'Unrelated Business' Form.
posted by ericb at 9:02 AM on August 19, 2012


Washington Post: Mitt Romney Tax Plan 'Garbage'.
posted by ericb at 9:05 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Upthread mek linked the HuffPo article about Bain starting out with funding from the same folks who ran Salvadoran death squads. This is not only potentially shady, it is the basis for the whole public side of Mitt's fortune.

If Romney is really hiding a substantial shadow fortune, a lot of obvious questions -- Where did he get it, where's it parked, why is he hiding it -- cannot have good answers. Paying no taxes through accounting trickery would look bad, but could be at least nominally legal. But if he's hiding a substantial fraction of a billion dollars from his balance sheets, you have to start wondering if there is more of a Tony Soprano angle to it all.
posted by localroger at 9:43 AM on August 19, 2012


Song of Mitt's Self
posted by homunculus at 10:42 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The openly racist GOP now can't even be bothered hiding that it wants to rig the election if it can't buy it. Assholes.
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


sour cream: By switching the letters "o" and "m" it spells MONEY!
Mitt Romney 'Rmoney' Photoshop Kind Of Says It All, The Huffington Post, Feb. 6th, 2012
posted by ob1quixote at 12:13 PM on August 19, 2012


Artw, there have been several examples of Republicans admitting pretty much exactly that.
posted by notashroom at 12:27 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder if admitting to suppression is itself a tactic -- both to discourage potential voters ("Why bother? My vote doesn't count anyway") and to fire up the base ("No holds barred/don't retreat, reload/we're not going down without a fight!").

Also possible it's just some kind of meltdown, though.

(Rare as such things are in the Republican party these days, of course.)
posted by weston at 1:09 PM on August 19, 2012


I dunno, Weston. To me, it seems more likely a combination of cockiness and a feeling that "this is just between us, so I can be forthright." The cockiness is, after all, fairly justified, with the successful gerrymandering in the last redistricting or two, the GOP team-player Secretaries of State in several swing states, right-wing judges in critical positions, the GOP-owned voting machines, and the voter suppression laws.

They know that 2012 is a really, really big deal, because their base is shrinking. They have been doing everthing they can to hold on to power despite that, and so far they've been successful.
posted by notashroom at 1:42 PM on August 19, 2012


And now the GOP is doubling down on the anti-women thing with it's Senate candidates spouting weird pro-rape sentiments. I'm terrified to think what this means if it *doesn't* hurt them at the polls.
posted by Artw at 2:07 PM on August 19, 2012


How Todd Akin And Paul Ryan Partnered To Redefine Rape
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]



From ArtW's link: Aug 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm. Earlier today, Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) claimed that “legitimate rape” does not often lead to pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

I remember this same claim being made earlier this year. This fucking nonsense needs to stop. There are ignorant, sexist buffoons out there right now who think it couldn't possibly be rape if the woman ends up pregnant because....raped woman can somehow magically stop themselves from getting pregnant. Like rabbits I guess.

The idea that Todd Akin is a representative in the United States Congress should make us all ashamed. Anyone who works with him or who voted for him should be ashamed. His mother should be ashamed for not teaching him right, his wife should be ashamed that she sleeps with such a fool, his children should be ashamed that they have someone so ignorant as their father. I'm terribly ashamed and I've never heard of him until today.

From now on whenever the words Todd Akin are typed, the words embarrassing buffoon should immediately follow.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:56 PM on August 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


Dan Savage on Akin...
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on August 19, 2012


Todd Akin, embarrassing buffoon, has recanted: "In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it's clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:07 PM on August 19, 2012


Note that it's an unpology: He still means it, he just wishes he'd seemed more empathetic.
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on August 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Two deleted posts (at least) and counting on that BTW. Probably needs a nice solid multilink one covering the history and reactions.
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on August 19, 2012


Yeah, I guess you are right-- he has empathy for someone who has been raped but that doesn't mean that he thinks they can get pregnant.

When you spread this insidious lie it is dangerous because if a woman does get pregnant, then ipso facto she was not raped.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:15 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Todd Akin

legitimate rape
posted by homunculus at 4:32 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault.

Victims of sexual assault characterized as "the most vulnerable in our society" really squicks me out coming from this man. That combined with his apparent belief in vagina dentata and his acceptance of rape as long as it's not too violent makes me feel like he's the kind of guy who would commit date rape, or be a john pros would warn each other about.
posted by notashroom at 4:38 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


If it wasn't exactly what he had meant, then he shouldn't have been able to say it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:43 PM on August 19, 2012


I'm pretty sure "the most vulnerable in our society" is a dog-whistle for fetuses, and rape victims are an afterthought.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:06 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know if that's better or worse.
posted by notashroom at 5:11 PM on August 19, 2012


His apology did not retract the initial fabrication. It's worse.
posted by mek at 5:22 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The "apology" is basically there so he can say he's addressed it and get huffy if people press him on it, but isn't actually an apology or retraction or anything.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wanted to see if this was really as much of a bloodbath for Akin as Facebook and Twitter (where #LegitimateRape is a trending topic right now) were making it seem. So I searched for sites supporting Akin. All I found was this "Democrat Math" proto-meme and similar stories on Twitchy, which is Michelle Malkin's "ground-breaking Twitter curation site."

I just—I don't know, y'all. I look at that and I just don't know. What are we supposed to do when rational objections to the very idea of "Legitmate Rape" are met with derision of the I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I variety?
posted by ob1quixote at 8:18 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looks like Ryan sent out at least five letters requesting stimulus funding for a constituent despite railing against it (and saying he didn't in the first place). His defense is, (paraphrase) "I can't remember doing so, and It's basically my office's fault". Looks like he actually hand signed them. Guess this is the Ron Paul defense, my name is on it and it came from me and/or my office, but it wasn't me.
posted by edgeways at 9:20 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I really hope the press grills him on that. Completely fair and completely deserved.
posted by cashman at 9:30 PM on August 19, 2012


Krugman is back from vacation and on the warpath:
An Unserious Man
posted by Chekhovian at 10:25 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Krugman is back from vacation and on the warpath

Krugman is the cavalry? Does he ride?
posted by homunculus at 12:04 AM on August 20, 2012


Todd Akin: Wrong, but Not Alone.

"God's Little Shield": A Short History of The False No-Pregnancy-From-Rape Theory (in the GOP).

"Legitimate Rape" Was Not a Misstatement. It was a Worldview.
posted by Phire at 8:16 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, This Isn't The Nastiest Campaign Ever
The truth? Not only is this not the most negative campaign ever — it’s not the most negative campaign of your lifetime, unless you happen to be three years old.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:59 AM on August 20, 2012


Virginia Republicans Call for Armed Revolution if Obama Wins in November

In the Virginia Republican Committee newsletter, there is nothing to imply that protecting Americans from the “prey of the rich on the poor” is the reason for calling for armed rebellion. According to the newsletter, President Obama, is a “political socialist ideologue unlike anything world history has ever witnessed or recognized,” and that the only option is “armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November:” If one is confused as to what Republicans consider is a “political socialist ideologue,” the newsletter claims President Obama “shuns biblical praise, handicaps economic ability, disrespects the honor of earned military might,” and that under Obama, “the government is out of control, and this opportunity, must not be forsaken for we shall not have any coarse (sic) but armed revolution.”
...
Throughout all of the violent rhetoric, there has not been any condemnation by leading Republicans, and after the Virginia Republican Committee newsletter, it is easy to see why. Apparently, they are serious about armed rebellion against the United States government with an African American man as President. In fact, leading Republicans have been complicit in stirring up resentment against President Obama by accusing him of promoting “European-style socialism” and not being an American. Willard Romney and his campaign have used the “not an American” meme to portray the President as “not one of us” and “foreign to American principles.”

posted by futz at 9:30 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Of course they threaten that about every six months.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


BTW there's a new thread about Todd Akin, embarrassing buffoon.
posted by homunculus at 9:59 AM on August 20, 2012


Virginia Republicans Call for Armed Revolution if Obama Wins in November

Maybe the Justice Dept. can get these yahoos classified as a hate group. I thought the whole idea of democracy was that if you failed at the ballot box, you advanced a better candidate & platform and waged a more persuasive campaign the next time around. "If we don't win, we'll shoot the place up" is terroristic. What a bunch of sore losers.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:03 AM on August 20, 2012


How Nonprofits Spend Millions on Elections and Call it Public Welfare

How Some Nonprofit Groups Funnel Dark Money Into Campaigns
posted by homunculus at 10:06 AM on August 20, 2012


Maybe the Justice Dept. can get these yahoos classified as a hate group.

Or maybe public pressure from hate groups will cause the government to disband their entire domestic terrorism department.
posted by kaspen at 10:07 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


18 USC § 2385 - Advocating overthrow of Government

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

posted by futz at 10:17 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


G.O.P. Packaging Seeks to Reveal a Warm Romney

The campaign aides are determined to overcome perceptions that Mr. Romney is stiff, aloof and distant. So they have built one of the most intricate set pieces ever designed for a convention — a $2.5 million Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired theatrical stage. From its dark-wood finish to the brightly glowing high-resolution screens in the rafters that look like skylights, every aspect of the stage has been designed to convey warmth, approachability and openness.
posted by futz at 10:22 AM on August 20, 2012


How Nonprofits Spend Millions on Elections and Call it Public Welfare

Democracy Now: "Nonprofits" Tied to Karl Rove, Koch Brothers Spend Millions on Elections and Call it Public Welfare
posted by homunculus at 10:29 AM on August 20, 2012


Spending more money is clearly the solution to the perception that he is a money-bot with no soul!
posted by Artw at 10:31 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ryan worsens Romney's tax problem(s)
Paul Ryan waited until very late on Friday afternoon, when his aides assumed no one would be paying any attention, to release his tax returns for the last two years (fewer than he made available to Team Romney). Did we learn anything scandalous? It doesn't look like it -- Ryan and his family paid 20 percent of their adjusted gross income in federal income taxes in 2011 and 15.9 percent in 2010, on income of $323,416 last year and $215,417 the year prior.

There were no Swiss bank accounts, shell corporations in Bermuda, or stashed cash in the Caymans.

But the developments were nevertheless interesting. For one thing, we're reminded that Mitt Romney pays a much lower tax rate than his own running mate, despite Romney's vast wealth. Even Bill Kristol said this morning, "I think it just seems kinda weird that he pays a lower rate than an awful lot of middle-class people."

For another, Ryan's disclosure keeps the focus on the tax-return issue itself, and Romney's unyielding secrecy.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:47 AM on August 20, 2012


Esquire blog: Humanizing the Romneybot

Slate: Confessions of a Romney Wife: 'Yes, my husband works for Mitt’s campaign. But I still have my own opinions.'

Mother Jones: Niall Ferguson Finally Renders Me Speechless
What a bizarre spectacle we have today between Paul Krugman and Niall Ferguson. In the latest issue of Newsweek, Ferguson wrote that Barack Obama broke his pledge that healthcare reform wouldn't increase the federal deficit. In fact, says Ferguson, the CBO concluded that it will increase the deficit. Krugman shot back that CBO said no such thing: "Anyone who actually read, or even skimmed, the CBO report knows that it found that the ACA would reduce, not increase, the deficit — because the insurance subsidies were fully paid for."

Krugman is right, of course, and I was curious to know how Ferguson would respond. I'm gobsmacked to learn that this is Ferguson's defense:
Brad DeLong: (links inside) Martin Wolf Explains What Is Very Wrong with Paul Ryan--and Mitt Romney--in Words of One Syllable

Bloomberg News: Private Market Tooth Fairy Can't Cut Medicare Costs
The vast bulk of health-care costs arise from an extremely small share of patients, whose insurance will inevitably bear a substantial share of their expenses. That’s why competition in health care doesn’t work as well as in other sectors, and it’s also why the key to keeping costs to a minimum is to encourage providers to offer better, less costly care in complex cases.
Reason: The Wrong Side Absolutely Must Not Win: 'The past several weeks have made one thing crystal-clear: Our country faces unmitigated disaster if the Other Side wins.'

CSMonitor: Romney's Attacks on Obama Deemed False By Fact Checkers

Washington Post blog: Why Romney Keeps Lying About Obama and Welfare

DailyKos: If it was the staff's fauly, why did Ryan sign the letters?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:49 AM on August 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


the man of twists and turns: " DailyKos: If it was the staff's fauly, why did Ryan sign the letters?"

The charitable interpretation is he signs anything that crosses his desk. The more likely interpretation is that he's a lying, hypocritical sack of shit.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:19 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bill Kristol: Mitt Romney's Low Tax Rate Is 'Kinda Weird'.
posted by ericb at 11:31 AM on August 20, 2012


the man of twists and turns: Mother Jones: Niall Ferguson Finally Renders Me Speechless
Sullivan re Ferguson: Fisking Ferguson I, The piece is sadly so ridden with errors and elisions and non-sequiturs it will require a few more posts.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:50 AM on August 20, 2012


James Fallows, re: Ferguson: As a Harvard alum, I apologize.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:01 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Americans for Inequality to Endorse Mitt Romney for President
posted by homunculus at 12:16 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Ferguson is like some clever middle schooler who thinks he's made a terrifically shrewd point by inserting 'insurance coverage provisions' into his sentence so that he can later argue that it's technically correct if anyone calls him on it."

Niall Ferguson: 'The real point of me isn’t that I’m good looking. It’s that I’m clever’
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on August 20, 2012


Niall, the British Empire is over. Accept it.
posted by homunculus at 12:35 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


He made some fun and interesting counterpoints to my deeply held beliefs that made me fond of him, if not exactly in agreement with him, back in the day, but boy is that op-ed a steaming pile.
posted by Artw at 12:39 PM on August 20, 2012


Yeah, Niall Ferguson gave up intelligence and integrity a bit ago. Using "since January 2008" as a start point for the Obama administration is especially bad.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:47 PM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


How bad is the Ryan-Akin anti-abortion bill?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:40 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Evolutionary rape defense came up last year and my friend wrote a critique that pretty much covers my reaction.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:32 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rachel Maddow: War excluded from campaign talk as Romney fires Bush Iraq spokesman
posted by homunculus at 9:57 PM on August 20, 2012


Where "fires" = "hires".

Edit window!
posted by homunculus at 10:02 PM on August 20, 2012


homunculus: "Where "fires" = "hires". "

Thanks for the correction. I thought for a second that Dan Senor had finally reached the GOP's lifetime cap on the number of times one can fail upward, but then I remembered that we had eight years of George W. Bush as president, so of course there is no such cap.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:12 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ryan Plus One Week: No Bounce
posted by zombieflanders at 6:18 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney Gains Huge Cash Advantage Over Obama
posted by homunculus at 9:30 AM on August 21, 2012


So I have a question, what is all this money being spent on? Where does it go?
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 AM on August 21, 2012


Well obviously: he's going to asset strip the country to line the pockets of rich people, they're investing in that.
posted by Artw at 9:37 AM on August 21, 2012


So I have a question, what is all this money being spent on? Where does it go?

They're probably holding onto it for at least another couple of weeks, if not until October. Then they and their SuperPACs blanket the airwaves with 5+ ads to each of Obama and his much smaller SuperPACs. Whether or not it works, who knows? It's not really moving the needle so far, but then again they've only spent something like 5% of a $1.5b-$2b warchest. I assume they'll also throw quite a bit of it towards organizing and other GOTV infrastructure. Those votes aren't going to suppress themselves!
posted by zombieflanders at 10:09 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "So I have a question, what is all this money being spent on? Where does it go"

You can probably get a good idea by looking at Obama's 2008 spending breakdown.

About 50% ads, 25% administrative, 25% everything else.
posted by Perplexity at 10:20 AM on August 21, 2012


GOTV infrastructure

For them it's KOTV infrastructure: Keep Out The Vote.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:35 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another Paul Ryan vulnernability: Education cuts
While there’s a ton of discussion about the political implications of the Ryan budget’s Medicare reforms, Dems also view its education cuts as a major target.

Dems see the Ryan plan’s impact on education as absolutely central to their efforts to portray the GOP ticket’s priorities as dangerously out of whack for everyone but the wealthy. It’s also key to Dem hopes of winning over key swing constituencies, such as independents, Latinos and non-college “waitress moms,” and central to firming up support among the “Rising American Electorate,” the Dem coalition of minorities, young voters and unmarried women.

A good window into the thinking of Dem strategists can be found in a July poll on the Ryan budget done in July by the Dem firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, whose findings are widely respected by top Dems.

The poll, which tested various messages about the Ryan plan, found that one of the leading voter concerns about the Ryan budget is cuts to education, particularly among key constituencies, and that those cuts raise serious doubts about Romney when voters are told that he supports the Ryan agenda.

Among white non college women, 66 percent say the education cuts raise serious doubts about Romney. Among Latinos the number is 67 percent. Among independents it’s 61 percent.

“There’s a lot the voters don’t like about the Ryan budget, but education is at least as important to voters as the Medicare piece is,” Andrew Baumann, vice president of Greenberg Quinlan, tells me.

“Education is a core concern for middle income and working class voters that gets underestimated,” Baumann continued. “The idea that Romney and Ryan would gut education programs that those voters see as important to pay for more tax cuts for millionaires illustrates whose side they’re on.”
posted by zombieflanders at 10:53 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


"This is really well done: "The real Mitt Romney stands up and reflects on who he is, what he believes and why he is running for office."
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Enough of all this seriousness in the thread: In 1768 a ship was sent by the British to collect their tax on the colonists, the tea tax. What was the name of that ship? The HMS Romney.
posted by caddis at 1:51 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the Strapping Young Bucks Buying T-Bone Steaks Files:
It could open Romney up to criticism that he is injecting race into the campaign and seeking to boost support among white, working-class voters by charging that the nation's first black president is offering a free pass to recipients of a program stereotypically associated with poor African-Americans.
Or, you know, what jaduncan said above.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:13 AM on August 22, 2012


Paul Ryan On Abortion Exception In 2000: 'Wide Enough To Drive A Mack Truck Through It'.
posted by ericb at 10:17 AM on August 22, 2012


Ryan Today: 'No Splitting Hairs Over Rape'... Last Year: Split Hairs With 'Forcible Rape' Bill.
posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on August 22, 2012


Paul Ryan Pick No 'Game Change,' New Poll Says.
posted by ericb at 10:19 AM on August 22, 2012


Harry Reid Could View Romney Tax Returns, With Help From Senate Republicans.
posted by ericb at 10:20 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jump on the Rand Wagon! How Ryan Resurrected Ayn: How everyone’s favorite spouse-swapping, godless pulp novelist and dorm-room doyenne became the Tea Party’s new mascot
posted by homunculus at 10:22 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sullivan goes nuclear: Akin's Position Is The GOP's, The Dish, 22 Aug., 2012
Until this incarnation of the Republican party is destroyed at the polls, we live in its thrall. We have in this election an opportunity not just to re-elect a president capable of making the Grand Bargain we all need; but to punish and humiliate the most extreme, irrational, hateful version of Republicanism that now stalks the land, led by a brazen liar and fathomless cynic.

It's an opportunity of a lifetime: to use this election to try and destroy the fundamentalist insanity that has effectively destroyed any American conservatism worthy of the name. Former Republicans, Independents and all non-fundamentalists, Christians and Jews and Muslims, have a chance to excise this metastasizing cancer from our politics.
I'm not optimistic that Georgia, or any of the ex-Confederate states for that matter, will oust religious conservatives in large numbers.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:10 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Grand Bargain cometh. Pray for gridlock.
posted by mek at 1:47 PM on August 22, 2012


The Strange World of Romney-Ryan Fan Fiction
posted by COBRA! at 2:56 PM on August 22, 2012


Virginia Republicans Call for Armed Revolution if Obama Wins in November

Texas Judge Wants Tax Increase To Help Law Enforcement Fend Off Obama’s U.N. Takover
posted by homunculus at 6:17 PM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


One semi interesting states to keep a half eye on is TN. Now I don't think it'll actually be competative, but right now Mittens is only up by 3 in the poll aggragate. That seems only a few missteps away from being in play, or at least being a swing state. I'd find it funny if suddenly RnR (Richie Rich, anyone?) Had to defend Tennesse of all places.
posted by edgeways at 9:00 AM on August 23, 2012


...it'll actually be competative...

It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:10 AM on August 23, 2012


Competitive
posted by edgeways at 9:15 AM on August 23, 2012


I'm not optimistic that Georgia, or any of the ex-Confederate states for that matter, will oust religious conservatives in large numbers.

We won't, and we're not voting on Senate races this time around anyway (speaking for Georgia specifically). Isakson and Chambliss are safe for now.
posted by notashroom at 9:53 AM on August 23, 2012


Akin's Position

It occurred to me this morning that Akin's argument is the ultimate "true Scotsman" fallacy.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:01 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


RnR (Richie Rich, anyone?)

I like "Rack n' Ruin."
posted by octobersurprise at 10:04 AM on August 23, 2012


Well, Scotsfetus maybe.
posted by cortex at 10:07 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It occurred to me this morning that Akin's argument is the ultimate "true Scotsman" fallacy.

It also makes rape tantamount to a trial by ordeal. The accused is subjected to an ordeal -- such as fire, drowning, etc. -- and if they are unharmed then they are judged innocent, and they are injured or dead, it is evidence of guilt.
posted by chrchr at 10:16 AM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gawker is releasing 950 pages of raw data about Romney's Cayman island accounts. They are asking people to help review them.
posted by annsunny at 11:24 AM on August 23, 2012


chrchr, I'm pretty sure that in the case of witches at least trial by ordeal worked the other way around -- if you were harmed you're judged innocent, but if you were unharmed it meant you must have magic powers of evasion and should therefore be put to death. FWIW.
posted by localroger at 11:37 AM on August 23, 2012


Floating indicated witchcraft in ordeal by water, but people were usually pulled out before drowning. In "classic" trial by ordeal innocence was indicated by escaping unscathed.
posted by howfar at 11:43 AM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


One semi interesting states to keep a half eye on is TN. Now I don't think it'll actually be competative, but right now Mittens is only up by 3 in the poll aggragate.

Where are you seeing this? The polls I see for Tennessee are ancient (back in February mostly!) and have Romney up by a comfortable though not huge margin. It would be surprising if Romney doesn't win Tennessee by double digits.

If Obama wins Tennessee it means the race has shifted enough that Obama also wins a dozen other states currently contested or considered out of play. It would indicate a landslide of gargantuan proportions.
posted by Justinian at 11:54 AM on August 23, 2012


Mitt Romney Campaign Attacks Military Cuts Paul Ryan Supported.
posted by ericb at 12:38 PM on August 23, 2012


Floating indicated witchcraft in ordeal by water, but people were usually pulled out before drowning. In "classic" trial by ordeal innocence was indicated by escaping unscathed.
posted by howfar at 2:43 PM


Ooo ooo ooo Medieval law! I know this one.

There were two basic types of trial by ordeal: water and fire.

Water was thought to be pure so the person on trial was bound (there were different ways, in Germany they tied the thumbs to the big toes) and thrown in a body of water. If the person on trial floated that meant the pure water rejected him or her and therefore they were guilty. If they were accepted by the water (i.e. sank) then they were pure.

In the fire test, an iron bar was heated to red hot and the person on trial was forced to hold the bar and walk a certain number of paces. Then their hand was rubbed with oil and wrapped up. After 3 days the hand was unwrapped and if the hand was healing, he or she was judged innocent. However if the wound was infected then that person was judged guilty.

In both cases the clergy were the judges and in Britain records show that the water trial results ran about 50/50. Often the person on trial confessed beforehand in order not to undergo the trial and obviously the results were open to interpretation. In order to remove the clergy from the process of judgement Ordeal by combat was introduced. The accused and his accuser squared off with cudgels, knives, or swords depending upon their status.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:41 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney Campaign Forbids Reporter From Asking About Todd Akin, Abortion.
posted by ericb at 1:46 PM on August 23, 2012


I really wish American journalism worked differently so that people could just tell a campaign with preconditions to an interview to fuck off. I'm not surprised Romney would do this, he can get away with it.
posted by OmieWise at 2:43 PM on August 23, 2012


Paul Ryan, "I'm proud of my record (on abortion -- no exceptions of any kind). Mitt Romney's gonna be president and the president sets policy. His policy has exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother ...."

God forbid if Rmoney were impeached and Ryan became president.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:40 PM on August 23, 2012


-derail-

We have a local road named Witchduck Road. From a local history:

In the 1700s, Virginia Beach area farmers found themselves in the midst of various unfortunate events. The cotton fields were wastelands and the cows had dried up. Not to mention the fact that an excessive amount of men were being unfaithful.

There didn’t appear to be any sort of rhyme or reason to these ill-fated incidents. So, the blame was placed on the shoulders of Grace Sherwood. According to the local women, Mrs. Sherwood’s familiarity with herbs and her pretty looks were a bad combination, and they deduced that she must be a “witch.” To that end, Sherwood was sentenced to be tried as a witch by “ducking.” This event is responsible for the name of Witchduck Road to this day, as it led to the area where Sherwood’s thumbs were tied to her big toes and she was ducked into the Lynnhaven River on July 10, 1706. Sherwood was the first person to be tried as a witch via ducking in the state of Virginia.

Grace Sherwood freed herself from her ties and swam to shore in an effort to save her life. The town concluded that an innocent person would have simply sunk and would not have been able to escape. She was confirmed as a witch and was sent to jail for several years. When she was released, she lived out her days with her three sons on her Pungo farm. She died at the age of 80 in 1740.


-/derail-
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:51 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think it’s probably a good sign that Obama is so desperate just to get the base Democratic voter — stupid, single women — to vote for him.

Ronald Reagan managed to win two landslides without winning the women’s vote, but it is as you say, it’s striking, it’s not the women’s vote generically, it is the single women’s vote. And that’s because single women look to the government to be their husbands and give them, you know, prenatal care, and preschool care, and kindergarten care, and school lunches.


-- Ann Coulter

posted by Golden Eternity at 4:57 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it’s probably a good sign that Obama is so desperate just to get the base Democratic voter — stupid, single women — to vote for him.

Ronald Reagan managed to win two landslides without winning the women’s vote, but it is as you say, it’s striking, it’s not the women’s vote generically, it is the single women’s vote. And that’s because single women look to the government to be their husbands and give them, you know, prenatal care, and preschool care, and kindergarten care, and school lunches.

-- Ann Coulter


Stunning level of self-hatred, there.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:12 PM on August 23, 2012


C'mon now that means accepting that Coulter is a human being and not wheat crackers in the shape of a woman.
posted by The Whelk at 5:16 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Not that it matters, but she's really only talking about single mothers (or single women who anticipate being single mothers), since childless single women shouldn't care any more about prenatal are, preschool care, kindergarten care, and school lunches than anyone else.

So unless she believes that all single women are single mothers or single mothers to be, she can't account for why the "single women's vote" favors Obama. Not that I expect her to make sense. But even if you accept her stupid premise she's not making sense.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:30 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


C'mon now that means accepting that Coulter is a human being and not wheat crackers in the shape of a woman.

Are we accepting it's real wheat?
posted by jaduncan at 5:30 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Grown by Monsanto!
posted by The Whelk at 5:33 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are we accepting it's real wheat?

Let's ask Sandy Duncan.
posted by ericb at 5:36 PM on August 23, 2012


"Universal Soldier 2: when biotech goes bad"
posted by jaduncan at 5:38 PM on August 23, 2012


C'mon now that means accepting that Coulter is a human being and not wheat crackers in the shape of a woman.

Where "wheat crackers" means Cabernet Sauvignon?
posted by OmieWise at 6:05 PM on August 23, 2012


Awww you don't understand. Every single woman is looking to become a single mother and have the state pay for everything. It is the Secret Single Woman Agenda.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:35 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


No no, you guys don't understand. Ann Coulter is talking about stupid single women. She's obviously not one of those.
posted by clarknova at 7:04 PM on August 23, 2012


must... not... make... obvious joke...

errrahhhh

ok, I'll modify it.


Ann Coulter is talking about stupid single women. She's obviously not one of those.

Which one? Stupid, Single or Woman?


uff, I apologize, I really don't mean to impune her womanhoodness, it's more the play on syntax than anything else, hand to god I swear in all sincerity.
posted by edgeways at 7:37 PM on August 23, 2012


I wonder if she actually believes this stuff or just says to get attention and stay relevant.
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:46 PM on August 23, 2012


Wait is that even a question? No she's wheat crackers, say anything to get onto the talk show circuit, it's naked and strange and she's never sober for interviews and in world war Z she was all fucking bill mahr while being eaten by zombies.
posted by The Whelk at 8:53 PM on August 23, 2012


Which one? Stupid, Single or Woman?

Ohhhh snap!
posted by clarknova at 9:29 PM on August 23, 2012


Which one? Stupid, Single or Woman?

Ohhhh snap!

it's naked and strange and she's never sober for interviews

Even the likes of Hannity keep her at arms length in those. In '04 there was a great bit on his show where she didn't notice he was being condescending. She did her self-pr thing with bared teeth ad white knuckles; everything irrelevant was over her head.
posted by clarknova at 9:41 PM on August 23, 2012


God forbid if Rmoney were impeached and Ryan became president.

Ohhh, nice move, pick your VP to give you impeachment immunity. That has a nice flavor.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:48 AM on August 24, 2012


Bovine Love: " Ohhh, nice move, pick your VP to give you impeachment immunity. That has a nice flavor."

obligatory (NSFW language)
posted by tonycpsu at 7:55 AM on August 24, 2012


We should probably consider a republican vp as more important than usual because of their recent history with Cheney. I would not at all be surprised to see cheneys cohort of neoconservatives set up shop in Paul Ryan's office.
posted by empath at 8:02 AM on August 24, 2012


empath: " I would not at all be surprised to see cheneys cohort of neoconservatives set up shop in Paul Ryan's office."

Yeah, about that...
posted by tonycpsu at 8:13 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:36 AM on August 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Same hour as Trump makes a birther tweet, nonetheless. Oh,but Romney's comment was ok because he was
just talking about being born in MI... so says one of his random programers
posted by edgeways at 10:43 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born," he said. "Ann was born at Henry Ford hospital, I was born at Harper hospital. No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."
What the fuck. Seriously? What the fucking fuck? You absolute fucking racist-enabling prick, Romney. Fuck off and die. I have nothing more constructive to say about this.
posted by jaduncan at 10:52 AM on August 24, 2012 [10 favorites]


Less class than McCain when it came to the crunch about this. And he picked fucking Palin.
posted by jaduncan at 10:54 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah McCain actually checked people a time or two and said no, Obama is a good man and an American, we just have different ideas. Fuck Mitt Romney. That birther shit coming from him is just horrible. What a classless punk.

It wasn't a joke, it was a classless statement. A way to further try to "other" people who aren't like him. Fuck this clown.
posted by cashman at 11:00 AM on August 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Of course someone should ask to see that long form bc afterall, mittens may have been an "offshore" deposit. Boy oh boy how many tasteless jokes can I make in a 24 hr period
posted by edgeways at 11:01 AM on August 24, 2012


He just lost both of his black votes.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:02 AM on August 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


Good response to it would be, Obama: Well no one has asked to see my non American offshore accounts--- douchbag (without the douchbag bit)
posted by edgeways at 11:08 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hell,even Rush, that paragon of insightfullness, saw it for what it was.
posted by edgeways at 11:11 AM on August 24, 2012


Nah, I'm pretty sure Allen West and Clarence Thomas will still be voting for Romney.
posted by notashroom at 11:11 AM on August 24, 2012


Nah, I'm pretty sure Allen West and Clarence Thomas will still be voting for Romney.

I stand corrected -- he only lost half of his black votes.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:18 AM on August 24, 2012


"Ann was born at Henry Ford hospital, I was born at Harper hospital. No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised."
That racist fuck. Romney must be delighted to believe that he's going to his Mormon childhood whites-only Heaven.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:22 AM on August 24, 2012


Why race is still a problem for Mormons

The Mormon church didn't give equal rights to black members until 1978! "It doesn't make a particle of difference," the Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie proclaimed a few months later, "what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year, 1978."

Though the church apparently started out egalitarian, Smith episodically opposed slavery and tolerated the priesthood ordination of black men, at least one of whom, Elijah Abel, occupied a position of minor authority.

It was Smith's successor, Brigham Young, who adopted the policies that now haunt the church. He described black people as cursed with dark skin as punishment for Cain's murder of his brother. "Any man having one drop of the seed of Cane in him cannot hold the priesthood," he declared in 1852. Young deemed black-white intermarriage so sinful that he suggested that a man could atone for it only by having "his head cut off" and spilling "his blood upon the ground." Other Mormon leaders convinced themselves that the pre-existent spirits of black people had sinned in heaven by supporting Lucifer in his rebellion against God.

And I guess Mormon chuch finally stopped believing in this kind of thing officially in 1978! Wow.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:26 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Todd Akin Is Not Alone: Outrageous Statements About Women (VIDEO).
posted by ericb at 11:27 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney's Culture War Distraction: How A Job-Centric Campaign Got Sidetracked.
posted by ericb at 11:28 AM on August 24, 2012


And I guess Mormon chuch finally stopped believing in this kind of thing officially in 1978! Wow.

Wasn't that around the same time the Catholic Church finally declared that Jews were no longer evil?
posted by zombieflanders at 11:30 AM on August 24, 2012


Straight (in public) White Males only! Everyone else should find a different party and probably shouldn't be voting anyway.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


You forgot land-owning.
posted by cashman at 11:33 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everyone else should find a different party and probably shouldn't be voting anyway.

And if you are still voting, we're working on making that illegal.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:36 AM on August 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dave Weigel: Four Laughable Explanations for Mitt Romney's Birther Joke
posted by tonycpsu at 11:44 AM on August 24, 2012


Matt Yglesias "If your joke is based on a longstanding racist conspiracy theory, you didn't build that."
posted by octobersurprise at 11:48 AM on August 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


Straight (in public) White Males only! Everyone else should find a different party and probably shouldn't be voting anyway.

Seriously. Anti-choice, anti-feminist, given up on the gay vote, given up on the black vote, anti-immigrant, and want a tax cut for the rich that impoverishes the poor or pushes up the deficit.

The polls are still this: 50.6% Obama, 48.3% Romney.

And yes, I calmed down from HULK SMASH. Sorry about that.
posted by jaduncan at 11:48 AM on August 24, 2012


"This is a good point: Robots don't have birth certificates."
posted by ericb at 12:56 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


From today's NYT article about the now-available Bain documents:
Bain private equity funds in which the Romney family’s trusts are invested appear to have used an aggressive tax approach, which some tax lawyers believe is not legal, to save Bain partners more than $200 million in income taxes and more than $20 million in Medicare taxes.

Annual reports for four Bain Capital funds indicate that the funds converted $1.05 billion in accumulated fees that otherwise would have bee