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Romney Recruits Ryan

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According to an anonymous source within the Republican party, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is the Republican choice for vice president in the upcoming November election. Ryan, notorious for his plans to cut government health programs for the elderly and poor, student loans, food stamps and similar programs has a stated aim of cutting $5.3 trillion dollars from national spending. Ryan has spent most of his life as a Washington insider.

Following his early work as a Hill intern and aide, Paul Ryan briefly returned to his home state of Wisconsin and was subsequently elected to Congress in 1998. Rep.Ryan is currently in his seventh term and serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee. He has authored tax and spending blueprints that have been a source of consternation to the Democratic opposition. Ryan knows his way around the Capitol, and is a favorite of the far right conservative Tea Party.

At this writing, presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to introduce Ryan aboard the battleship USS Wisconsin, docked in Norfolk, Virginia at 9 AM today, August 11. Romney’s agenda would include upgrading the American defense capacity, and construction of an increased number of military battleships. It hardly seems coincidental that the USS Wisconsin is named for Congressman Ryan’s home state.

Ryan is a young man, at 42, still known for his fierce workouts and personal devotion to fitness. Romney is considerably older, at 65. The men joke and carry on. In April, as an April Fools prank, Ryan directed Romney to what Romney believed was a campaign event. As Romney was about to make his entrance to the hall, he heard Ryan’s introductory remarks calling Romney “the next president of the United States.” Imagine the Romney chagrin as he entered and found himself in a near-empty room. On other occasions, media coverage provided photos of the two comradely eating hamburgers.

Ryan is a champion of a reduced federal government, and stronger rights for individual states. Ryan’s budgetary approach would mean far greater expense for the elderly and the poor, who would receive vouchers to help them buy private insurance, or allow them to rely on fee-for-service help options.

Recent polls from numerous sources show Romney falling behind Obama, in a campaign revolving almost entirely around economic issues. Republicans have resisted every plan from the administration, and they hope that their criticism of jobs, unemployment, and the American economy will propel them to the White House. In addition Romney, who has little diplomatic experience, has made several gaffes in recent weeks, possibly costing him votes. He was critical of the London handling of the Olympics. Responding to the Wisconsin temple shooting, he mispronounced Sikhs (“Sheiks”, he said). Romney stands firmly behind any decision that the state of Israel makes, up to and including a unilateral attack on Iran. He is openly hostile to the people and government of Palestine.

Congressman Ryan and his wife have three children, and had been preparing for a week-long vacation in Colorado.

Photo credit: Mitt Romney.com

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • http://www.lunch.com/JSMaresca-Reviews-1-1.html Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

    Very little can be done with regard to reducing expenditures for health care until junk food addressed forthrightly. Also, read my lips. No new wars. This country needs to keep the defense budget within 3.5% of the GDP or face very ugly financial and social consequences for years to come.

  • Igor

    Why would anyone think that Ryan is an expert on budgets or economy? He has no degree in economics and has never started or managed a company.

    I don’t think he’s ever held a job, other than on the federal payroll.

  • Clav

    I don’t think he’s [Ryan} ever held a job, other than on the federal payroll.

    Not unlike Obama.

    We’re plagued with the useless bastards…

  • Igor

    Well, Clav, did you rage against Obama?

  • Igor

    And therefore, Clav, will you rage against Ryan?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    But what the “he’s never held a real job” crowd often doesn’t get is that there’s a BIG difference between running a business and running a government – they’re two completely different paradigms. One runs a business to make money. One runs a government for the betterment of the people. One requires the profit motive, while the other requires the utter lack of the profit motive.

    It’s nice if a politician understands business – just as it’s nice if a politician understands military service – but it’s absolutely crucial that said politician knows how to govern…and CEO’s do not govern.

    So I won’t berate Ryan for never having had a ‘real job’…I’ll just berate him for the idiotic positions he holds.

  • Clav

    Tsk, tsk, Igor. Where on earth do you come up with these goofy ideas? If I disagree with the principles (or lack thereof, as the case may be, and usually is) of one individual, why would you expect me to pledge to disagree with another who opposes him? Do the Democrats ever find merit in the Republicans? Vice versa? If, during WWII I opposed Hitler, would that obligate me to oppose Churchill as well?

    My opposition (or approval) of any politician of whatever stripe hinges on my perception of his ideas and actions, not on whether or not it’s his turn to receive my disapproval, and although I have a low opinion of all American politicians, even they, like a broken clock, are right occasionally.

    Sorry, Igor, you’re once again not making any sense.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    At the risk of starting another argument with you that I’m sure to lose (if my 0-2 record with you is any indication), I’d like to point out two things:

    1 – There are good politicians, even great ones, in any nation – including America. Yes, they all have feet of clay and no mistake, but we still have the responsibility of picking out the diamond from the haystack of cubic zirconias.

    2 – You said, “Do the Democrats ever find merit in the Republicans?”. I have on many occasions…but of course the BC conservatives never seem to recognize it when I do. By the same token, I’d love to see even one BC conservative speak well of any Democratic president even a quarter as often as I have of certain Republican presidents. But they won’t, and they really don’t see the problem perpetuated by their refusal to do so.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You said, “Do the Democrats ever find merit in the Republicans?

    I did? Wow. I really don’t remember that.

    And right now, I am not even sure why I said it. I am filled with disgust at a terrible racist ‘joke’ email from my husband’s sister, who is a conservative, right-winger whose spent most of her adult life in Georgia. Maybe you have seen this crap.

    Now, I will get over it. I just never discuss politics with her. I did that one time for about 5 minutes and I told her we must never ever discuss politics ever again because I don’t want to jeopardize our good relationship.

  • Clav

    I did? Wow. I really don’t remember that.

    Prolly coz you didn’t, Cindy. I did.

  • Zingzing

    Cindy, pertaining to your sister-in-law’s “joke,” don’t you love it when someone complains about someone else not knowing English, then in the very next line, screws up the possessive for the plural (in “daddy’s”)? I’m sure they know better, but the irony is making me all wet in my nethers.

  • Zingzing

    Clavos, I think you can see igor’s logic, even if you pretend not to. It’s weird how so many claim he’s got no experience, but is a political insider as well. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t I suppose.

  • John Lake

    I may be wrong, but am of the impression that those on public aide, and on unemployment are required to submit proof they are regularly seeking employment and/or taking courses to make them more employable. Wow. That should be in “There! I just said it!”

  • Zingzing

    Actually, although it may differ from state to state, here in NY, the standards appear to pretty lax. My friend’s restaurant closed a few years ago and he was on unemployment for a few weeks, and other than an initial meeting with a city (or state) employment agent, he said he just had to confirm that he was looking for work every week when he made his claim online every week (a check box). I know for a fact that he wasn’t looking for work much, if at all.

  • Clav

    My friend’s restaurant closed a few years ago and he was on unemployment for a few weeks, and other than an initial meeting with a city (or state) employment agent, he said he just had to confirm that he was looking for work every week when he made his claim online every week (a check box). I know for a fact that he wasn’t looking for work much, if at all.

    Thanks for the perfect example of why entitlement programs are ripoffs to the taxpayers.

    Cut, Ryan, cut.

  • zingzing

    nah, clavos. they just need to actually follow up and make people prove that they’re actually looking for work. and he did find work, and very quickly (unemployment benefits are shitty, and you don’t want to suffice on them for too long, especially around here). luckily, the restaurant industry in nyc has incredible turnover, what with the average lifespan of a restaurant being less than a year in this city.

    what do you want? a bunch of homeless people? times is tough out there. it’s not gonna get better if everyone out of work is forced to do things you’d rather they didn’t just to survive.

    what you call for is a recipe for disaster. and everyone knows that this economy runs on demand. every dollar of unemployment benefits paid out pays more than that back into the economy. it lets people pay their bills, for one.

    christ, clavos…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    So…Clavos –

    Could you tell us once again why it is that all – ALL – the first world nations do have such entitlement programs to help the poor, while very few third world nations have such entitlement programs?

    Here’s a clue – the rich are NOT the “job creators”…and on a macroeconomic scale, except for money that is spent outside of the nation, very few taxes are truly wasted. Why? Because the tax dollars taken from the taxpayers go directly back into the economy to keep up demand…which keeps the economy going.

    Think about it – every giant corporation has its roots in one garage, or one storefront, or one webpage. With the exception of the financial giants – which, by definition, must be started by someone rich – all our business was started by the middle or lower classes. The idea that the rich are job creators is a BIG LIE.

    Give a rich guy a bunch of money and what will he do with it? Stash it in the Caymans where it does ZERO good for the American economy. Give someone in the middle class a chance and he’ll build a real, honest-to-goodness business just like the Adult Family Home that my wife and I started August 1st of this year, and we’re making money on it now. Did we worry about taxes when we started our business? Hell, no! We worried about doing what we needed to do to make the business run, and we’re doing it. That’s what middle class entrepreneurs do.

    But back to my original question – why is it that ALL the first world nations have those entitlement programs, yet they’re still first world nations? Because those same entitlement programs (as long as they’re not taken beyond the pale as Greece did) help the middle class grow, and help the economy as a whole grow.

    Or do you think it was an accident that America’s poverty rate was cut in half after LBJ instituted Welfare? You might not like it, Clavos, but it WORKS.

  • Clav

    Could you tell us once again why it is that all – ALL – the first world nations do have such entitlement programs to help the poor, while very few third world nations have such entitlement programs?

    Why is it that half the first World nations, including and especially the “god damn” USA are going broke? Could it be too many entitlements? Nah, must be those few thousand rich bastards who are only paying 40 percent of all the income tax revenues — they should be paying 100 percent, maybe 125 percent, then all the rest of us could live on the dole and not have to work; thereby also eliminating the problem of jobs going overseas. Obama’s right: make them rich pieces of shit pay for everything, assholes.

    Or do you think it was an accident that America’s poverty rate was cut in half after LBJ instituted Welfare?

    Oh really, Glenn? Census data shown here indicates that, from 1950 on, poverty rates were plummeting until LBJ began the infamous and wasteful War On Poverty, at which time the percentage of the population living below the poverty line leveled out and has remained level since. The obvious conclusion that can be drawn from this data is that welfare and other poverty programs do not relieve poverty, they subsidize it, and thus perpetuate it.

  • Zingzing

    Clavos, your first paragraph is useless hyperbole and you know it. Your second paragraph doesn’t take into account any history (meaning the depression, the war, america’s new position as the world power, the fluctuation problem endemic to capitalism, etc)… It would be great if poverty went less than 10%, but come on… What was it like in the previous 50 years? The previous 100?

  • Zingzing

    Clavos–how are your stepsons doing with that metal band?

  • troll

    Glenn Contrarian – every time you use your 1st world argument you set my teeth to hurting…the 1st world model of development is neither sustainable nor one to be recommended to folks in ‘lesser’ worlds imo

  • Clav

    Good point, troll. Plenty of “third world” people will tell you they have no desire to emulate “first world” countries like the USA, and with good reason.

  • Clav

    Clavos, your first paragraph is useless hyperbole and you know it.

    Not the first sentence, zing, and you know that. As for the rest of the first graph: It’s just my way of pointing out that even if we were to relieve the rich of every penny they own, we still wouldn’t come close to paying for all the entitlements already in place. The fact is there are limits, even here in lala land, but somehow the liberal mindset seems to have concluded that the USA’s pockets are bottomless. They aren’t.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    Here’s the thing about “sustainability”, friend. The only way – repeat, the only way – that humanity will ever have even a ghost of a chance at a sustainable existence on this world without destroying our habitat through overpopulation is to dive head-first into technological progress. That’s the only way, sir.

    Ever spent time in a third world nation? Maybe you have, and I invite you to go do so again. Why? Because in most (but not all) poor third-world nations, you’ll find skyscrapers and McDonald’s and lots and lots of cars…in other words, the third world is unsustainable, too, but just not nearly to the point that the first world is. That’s the end result of overpopulation times trade plus peace, to whatever exponent would be represented by modern media and the internet.

    The solution, then, is technological and societal progress. Why? Because short of pandemic, genocide, or terrible famine, that’s the only way to stop population growth. Feel free to check your history – I don’t think you can argue differently. And it’s only through technological progress and the hope that it brings for solutions to the mess we’re making of this world that we might, just might keep from going over some type of cataclysmic cliff, whether that cliff be Malthusian, Orwellian, or something all too reminiscent of Soylent Green.

    And one more thing, as to whether life in the first world is to be recommended. That’s a “grass is greener on the other side of the fence” kind of thing. Why? My youngest son just returned from spending a couple years in the Philippines, then found to his dismay that his “buds” here stateside were still stuck in the same high-school stoner mode they’d been in when he’d left, and he now realizes he’s outgrown them. He wants so badly to go back to the Philippines – he loves it there – basically because the younger people there are obviously more into planning for their lives and getting a good education. On the other hand, if you ask almost anyone who’s grown up there, they’d MUCH prefer to live in almost any first-world nation, preferably America, with somewhere in the Commonwealth running a close second.

    So the ‘recommended’ part of your retort definitely depends on your personal point of view.

    Thanks for letting me make your teeth hurt! Next time I watch “Little Shop of Horrors”, I’ll feel a bit more camaraderie with Steve Martin’s character!

  • troll

    Glenn Contrarian – comrade

    …what technologies will make the human relationships on which the 1st world depends sustainable – printable guns?

    that does seem to be where many technological advances go (historically speaking that is)

    imo while technology is nice and all the the most likely way forward is to redefine ourselves as essentially communal cooperative beings

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Glenn,

    Could you please tell me about your Adult Family Home? Here is my interest:

    I would like to try to work in a group home for the elderly so that I can learn about what it takes to create this sort of thing. You know where there is a house with elderly people living out in the community instead of a nursing home.

    Does your Adult Family Home have anything to do with this? Have you any advice for me?

    Thanks.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Why is it that half the first World nations, including and especially the “god damn” USA are going broke?

    Okay, so why is it that all three times that Republicans have slashed the top marginal tax rate, that we’ve wound up in economic calamity, namely, the Great Depression, the 1982 Recession, and the Great Recession?

    And if you were paying attention, even The Economist pointed out in a recent issue that America’s economy is doing quite well compared to Europe’s. In fact, here’s a little something that ANY Republican president would be crowing about in a reelection campaign:

    [In his first state of the union address], the president unveiled a new goal: to double U.S. exports over the next five years. It would be an increase the president said would “support 2 million jobs in America.”

    Most economists dismissed the pledge at the time as somewhat quixotic, but two years later, the U.S. is on pace to meet that goal. American exports are up 34 percent since the president gave that speech, and the number continues to rise.

    And you can’t point to Europe to prove how bad taxes are. Why? Because of a little something called the “Euro”. If your contention about high taxes were true, then explain why Canada and (AFAIK) Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea never went through the Great Recession despite the fact that their tax rates would – according to conservative orthodoxy – surely cause any economy to crash and burn. Ya gotta watch that correlation/causation fallacy, y’know?

    Oh really, Glenn? Census data shown here indicates that, from 1950 on, poverty rates were plummeting until LBJ began the infamous and wasteful War On Poverty, at which time the percentage of the population living below the poverty line leveled out and has remained level since.

    You really should check your sources, because that graph points at 1968, while the Great Society was implemented in 1964. Furthermore, you know very well that there’s no way we could rid ourselves of all poverty, that there will always be a poor underclass. Sadly, you seem to think that since we can’t get rid of it all the way, that it’s somehow unAmerican to try to minimize it as much as possible.

    By the way, on your recent trip to Italy, how many people did you see standing on the street corners begging for food or money? Just wondering, since they’re under a crushing tax burden and Italy’s surely about to economically crash and burn.

    Good point, troll. Plenty of “third world” people will tell you they have no desire to emulate “first world” countries like the USA, and with good reason.

    Really? Gee, that’s funny, because all of my wife’s family (counting first cousins and their kids, it’s well over a hundred) is from a third world nation, and one hundred percent of them – repeat, one hundred percent of them – would LOVE to come here to live…never mind that I keep telling them that in many ways, it’s better to live there. The grass is greener on the other side of the fence, y’know?

    It’s just my way of pointing out that even if we were to relieve the rich of every penny they own, we still wouldn’t come close to paying for all the entitlements already in place.

    Now I know it probably doesn’t seem problematic to you that the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame has as much money as the bottom 40 percent of Americans, but while the $102.7 Billion-with-a-capital-B they have together would certainly not pay for our entitlements even for one year, this ONE family’s wealth WOULD pay for quite a few of those “evil guv’mint acronyms” that y’all want to get rid of, not for just one year, but for quite a few years.

    No, I don’t want to take all their money, Clavos – but just like that other famous socialist named Thomas Jefferson, I think it makes perfect sense that those who have benefited the most in America should pay the most taxes. Besides, look back at YOUR reference showing that precipitous drop in the poverty rate. You do realize, of course, that the entirety of the drop came at a time when our top marginal tax rate was SEVENTY percent, right?

    Think about that, friend.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I am thinking about founding a Church (which avoids paying taxes for wars) that houses both the elderly and could also take older children and a few stray animals.

    Meetings, speakers, bringing the community in and getting out to do good deeds and working within the community are things I envision. Maybe I will call it The Church of Heaven on Earth. ;-)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    imo while technology is nice and all the the most likely way forward is to redefine ourselves as essentially communal cooperative beings

    Cindy and I have argued about this, and while I was forced to agree with her that this can work, do you really think that such could be made to work, given the “more is better” attitude of the world? To go from today’s world to such a communal/cooperative world would require a social upheaval on a scale never seen before…and that’s hardly a guarantee that such would successfully result in the kind of world you envision.

    What kind of technologies could lead to such solutions? Fusion, if we could ever get it to work. Worldwide access to birth control. Vat-grown meat, for those of us like myself who are too addicted to meat for our own good. 30% of Germany’s homes, I understand, have solar panels on them – why can’t we do the same?

    There’s many, many technologies, troll, and you’re at least as aware of them as I am. But the first order of business to bringing those to reality is to keep idiots out of office.

  • Clav

    Okay, so why is it that all three times that Republicans have slashed the top marginal tax rate, that we’ve wound up in economic calamity, namely, the Great Depression, the 1982 Recession, and the Great Recession?

    Because the spending wasn’t even slowed, let alone stopped. You can’t cut income without also cutting expenses. We desperately need to stop the Democrats from continuing their decades-long vote-buying programs, aka entitlements.

    And you can’t point to Europe to prove how bad taxes are. Why? Because of a little something called the “Euro”.

    And why is the Euro effed? Because, in order to pay entitlements for which they don’t have the money, they keep printing more, and even Econ 101 students know where that ends.

    …all of my wife’s family (counting first cousins and their kids, it’s well over a hundred) is from a third world nation, and one hundred percent of them – repeat, one hundred percent of them – would LOVE to come here to live.

    And of course, your wife’s family speaks for, and is representative of all the populations of all the world’s third world countries. Fallacy of composition, Glenn. One of the fallacies of distribution, aka arguing from the specific to the general.

    Now I know it probably doesn’t seem problematic to you that the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame has as much money as the bottom 40 percent of Americans…

    Finally, you’re right: I don’t see it as problematic; they didn’t steal it, and they pay plenty of taxes on it. They have it because Sam had a better idea than anyone else in retail. What I DO have a problem with is your obvious implication that their wealth should be redistributed; an idea I find not only repugnant and tantamount to legalized theft, but unAmerican as well.

    I think it makes perfect sense that those who have benefited the most in America should pay the most taxes.

    And they (the rich collectively) do, Glenn. They already do — substantially more than all the rest of us put together.

    It sorely grieves me that we have a president so unAmerican, power hungry and stupid that he actively is fomenting class warfare in the very country he is supposed to be leading. He’s scum in my opinion, and I will be glad to see him go in November.

  • Clav

    …the first order of business to bringing those to reality is to keep idiots out of office.

    Agreed. Let’s start with the idiot in the White House.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    Starting an AFH ain’t easy. First of all, one needs lots of experience in taking care of the elderly and/or disabled. Working in a nursing home (ugh!) is probably the best way to get such experience. Working as a nurse for several years is another way.

    Second, one needs to go to the state to see what the requirements are. I believe that most states (like Washington) would have a type of orientation where those requirements are detailed. For instance, in Washington the rooms have to be of such-and-such a size, the windows must be so big and within such a distance from the floor, the access ramp must meet code…it’s a pain in the kiester, really, but worth it.

    Also, one must be willing to wipe old, dirty butts and clean shit off the bed and floor. Sorry, but that’s the business. Here’s a hint: learn to breathe through your mouth when doing so. Sure, there’s the ick factor, but that way you don’t smell it and it’s going to your lungs anyway.

    Private-pay residents (who pay their own way) pay more than public-pay residents who rely on Medicaid…but private-pay residents expect more for their money, like private rooms, their own televisions, et cetera.

    And staffing is a huge concern – this is NOT a business you can do by yourself. You must, repeat, MUST have support from nursing aides to help you, or you WILL burn out, to your detriment and to the detriment of your residents. The only reason we can do this is because my wife and I work very well together. You’ve got to be able to schedule time not just for errands, but particularly for yourself to get away to the mall, to the movies, or whatever.

    Also, I recommend concentrating on either men or women, but not both. Why? Ask anyone who works in a nursing home and they’ll tell you that the old folks still are sexually active, with all the good and ill that implies. Strangely enough, they say that this really does happen a lot more often when there’s a full moon.

    It ain’t easy, but it is rewarding – but do NOT sacrifice your own health or sanity to make this business happen.

  • http://www.rosedigitalmarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Cindy, if you want the organisation you set up to continue doing its work after you die, you might want to look into creating a foundation rather than a church. I’d suggest looking at Panama rather than the USA if you want to check it out.

  • troll

    …social upheaval is something of an historical norm – 1st worlders and other historical actors with stuff and the power to take more don’t generally play well with others

    I think it’s naive to believe that technology will ‘trickle down’ or ‘lift all boats’ etc without an accompanying (dialectically related if you want) transformation of world societies…

    and isn’t the iron law of idiots the first corollary of the iron law of oligarchy?

  • Igor

    16-Zing is right, it is DEMAND not investment capital that drives the economy.

    This is a CONSUMER economy. 70% of the economy is consumer money. When you cut consumer discretionary spending you are cutting the throat of the economy. You are weakening THE major component of our economy. And our best consumers are the poorest and least wealthy because they have the largest Marginal Propensity to Spend, which creates a large Economic Multiplier. Every dollar that goes to the poor results in 2 to 3 dollars increase in total cash flow.

    Giving money to the rich does not help the economy, in fact it hurts the economy because investors with no good investment opportunities simply save the money, which results in that money lying fallow. We have a huge problem with over-capitalization in this country (as any regular reader of business magazines knows), there are too many empty new office buildings, too many car and truck fleets standing parked in storage yards, too many machines sitting unused. We are WAY overcapitalized. So giving more money to capitalists is like pushing a rope. They cannot usefully employ that investment money so it goes into savings and is unemployed.

  • Zingzing

    Clavos… Your #23 is more pointless hyperbole, as is the end of #30… Just because Obama doesn’t want them paying less taxes doesn’t mean much. And they are paying historically low taxes. He’s not trying to take all their money away. Why you’d call that class warfare, I don’t even know. Seems to me that the rich are getting their bitching done for them (even though they shouldn’t be bitching and they know it,) by a bunch of poor yahoos. Or suckers. Whatever.

    Anyway, quit it with the hyperbole. It’s ridiculous.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    troll –

    There’s social upheaval and then there’s social upheaval. What America went through during the 1960’s, as traumatic as it was, really wasn’t that bad in the big picture – we were lucky. Russia wasn’t in 1917. Neither was China in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Then there’s Vietnam’s, and Cambodia’s.

    There’s social upheaval and then there’s social upheaval, and those in power very rarely go gently into that good night. Careful what you wish for, friend.

  • Clav

    Hyperbole it may be to you, but it’s a fact that there already is a palpable hatred of the rich in this benighted land. A hatred whose flames are being assiduously fanned by the demagogue in the White House and all his empty suit sycophants in the time-honored tactic of despots throughout history: divide and conquer.

    Some gems to fan the flames of class hatred from the mouth of the nonentity:

    At a certain point, you’ve made enough money

    Raise capital gains tax for fairness, not for revenue (The Founders are spinning in their graves!)

    If you’ve got a business-you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

    I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody (A seemingly worthy sentiment, but not if the “spreading ” is done by force of government)

    Oh, and zing, you say:

    Your #23 is more pointless hyperbole, as is the end of #30…Anyway, quit it with the hyperbole. It’s ridiculous.

    Sorry, zing, but your request is denied; when I feel the urge to wax hyperbolic, I will continue to do so.

  • Zingzing

    Well, do what you want, clavos, but hyperbole doesn’t serve much of a purpose. It’s misinformation and it makes you look a fool. I’d like to see the context for your quotes, as I know that the third one is making a far different point than your cherry-picked choice of words would make it seem (and don’t act like you don’t know it). If anyone’s tryingi to create class hatred, it’s the right, with exactly the kind of hyperbolic nonsense you’re spouting in this thread. Good job, clavos. Keep up the good work…

  • Zingzing

    First quote is also out of context. He was describing wall street and their shady practices, and immediately followed up with a big “but,” which changes the point completely from how you present it. Bad form, clavos.

  • Zingzing

    I’m not sure what the founders said about capital gains, but I assume it’s akin to Jesus’ teachings on homosexuality.

    As for your fourth one… “spreading the wealth around” is just taxes, and taxes are pretty damn low, so… I dunno what you’re complaining about. Maybe you live in a country where the president really is a despotic, racist class warrior (a self-hating one at that,) bent on your country’s destruction, or maybe you’re just confused by reality and spouting off nonsense and decontextualized quotes and pleas for the founders to rise from their graves and get us back to the good old days of 1782 or 1955 or whenever life was golden and new and not at all like you’d like to remember it.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    I can quote out of context too:

    “Divide and conquer” – Clav.

    “[A] worthy sentiment … if the ‘spreading’ is done by force of government.” – Clav.

    “Your … choice of words … [is] trying to create class hatred” – zing.

    Fun, innit?

  • Clav

    As for your fourth one… “spreading the wealth around” is just taxes…

    Yes, it’s “just” taxes, but it’s taxes used to implement policy, which isn’t really the function (or shouldn’t be) of taxation; there are procedures with checks and balances for proposing and enacting laws in place for that. And yes, I know that using taxes to implement policy has happened previously in our history, but it wasn’t right then and isn’t now.

    And anything done by force of government is worthy as long as you approve of the government and what it stands for, isn’t it? Of course, the corollary is also true if you disapprove of the government.

    OK, zing, here’s the full quote:

    We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.

    The problem with that statement is that it’s not up to Obama (or any president) to decide when people have made enough money. That’s a statist point of view which endorses too much power for the government, which is my original point about Obama’s attitude, especially since it isn’t the responsibility of business and business owners to “grow our economy.” Their responsibility is to grow their own “economy,” and that of their shareholders. And just what the hell does “success that’s fairly earned” mean? I .”am reminded of the old saying, “one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.

    Obama’s attitude, as expressed by the full quote, is disturbing. He uses the royal “we” to explain his vision for America, and it appears that its implementation, if he has his way, will take place without input from the people.

    And Doc, “out of context” does not necessarily distort meaning. I don’t think my quotes did that.

  • Igor

    The fact is that the more money gravitates to the rich the more the economy shrinks, and we need an expanding economy.

    The surest way to expand the economy is for more money to gravitate toward the least wealthy in society.

  • Igor

    Taxes are a good way to move money from the rich (who are inefficient consumers) to the poor and middleclass (who are very efficient consumers) in these times when we have a DEMAND drought and a Capital excess.

    For the last 10 years we’ve done exactly the opposite: moved money from the bottom half of the economy to the top half, and we’ve suffered for it.

    The test of experience proves that it is best to level out financial access, and especially to get money into the hands of people with high Marginal Propensity To Spend.

  • Zingzing

    Clavos, “success that’s fairly earned” doesn’t mean the types of predatory practices that got wall street and the world economy in all this trouble. And the “we” refers to the people working on financial reform, ie, the congressmen and politicians and lawyers who were actually working on it. It’s got nothing to do with the royal we. At the very least it refers to his administration, and has nothing to do with your great reach towards “the people.”

    As for the problem you have, Obama does make it clear that it’s not up to him to decide when someone’s made enough money either. I don’t know how you missed that.

    Maybe you’d like to explain your thing about taxes and policy a little bit more because it seems to me that you can’t use tax money for anything without running afoul of your rules.

    And yes, you severely distorted the meaning of that third one, and, to a lesser degree, the first one. Context is important. I thought we used to care more about such things, but I guess not.

  • Les Slater

    Obama fomenting class warfare? Trying to create class hatred? Both are true.

    I have, and do, spend time around the Occupy Movement and their leadership. I said in another thread that I consider the 99% vs 1% to be reactionary. Where did that formulation come from? I really don’t know but I’ve seen Obama forces intervening in Occupy. They are never the ones to question that formulation. To me it’s reminiscent of some of Hitler’s formulations. We might think his 1% were Jews but primarily he railed against the wealthy bankers.

  • Les Slater

    Another indication of Obama participating in class warfare is pointed to in Glenn’s #27. American exports are up 34%? That’s got a lot to do with driving down wages of workers. What’s the boss’ reasoning why wages must be held down or even driven down further? ‘We have to compete on the world market.’ Why do you think health care, public education, housing and so many other things are becoming less available to the population?

    Class warfare? You bet, but it didn’t start with Obama and it won’t end with him being out of office.

  • Zingzing

    Ah, hitler… That guy, that guy…

  • Clav

    Class warfare? You bet, but it didn’t start with Obama and it won’t end with him being out of office

    True, Les, but he’s been more blatant about it than any president in my experience, and I go back to Truman.

  • Zingzing

    Does it strike either of you as strange that you believe him to be on opposite sides?

  • Les Slater

    Same side. It’s a shell game.

  • Zingzing

    So you’re saying clavos believes Obama to be pretending to hate the rich in order to fleece the poor? Or that you believe he’s pretending to hurt the working man in order to… Defraud the… You know, I’m not following your logic here, or much at all for your last few comments…

  • Les Slater

    Can’t speak for Clavos but Obama is the current chief executive of the Federal Government which governs on behalf of the U.S. capitalist class.

    For this class to make profits from the labor of workers of within its territorial boundaries on the world market, it must minimize the cost of that labor. It’s the class he represents that are pushing to reduce labor and other costs associated with products and services competing on the world market.

    I mention the employing class but they too have little choice in the matter. They must continue to extract profits from labor or they will cease to be part of that exploiting class.

    The problem is fundamentally systemic and blaming the rich serves the rich by diverting attention to individuals instead of the system they serve.

  • Zingzing

    You were going along fine until that last paragraph, where you lost me, or at least lost any possible connection to what i believe Clavos seems to believe… Which i guess would be that Obama is drumming up hatred against the rich for an entirely different reason, and for entirely different goals than what you describe. Of course it could be that obama’s not trying to create class warfare and you both are just stroking your pet theories while reality spins on without you. Either way, I don’t think either one of you present the truth of the matter. You ascribe motivations that are incredibly awkward and more than a little suspect, while clavos is just taking soundbites out of context and shitting out the same right wing hyperbole we’ve been hearing for years, which doesn’t become any more true through the repetition… It just becomes more sad to witness. At least your theory is just crazy enough it might work, but that’s about as much credit as I’m willing to give it at this point.

  • Les Slater

    It’s not a question of Obama trying to create class warfare. He just helps facilitate it on behalf of capital.

  • Zingzing

    So he’s helping the rich, yeah? Just saying it’s funny how you think he’s helping the rich while clavos seems to think he’s doing his best to destroy them. You can’t both be right, and I think it’s probably the case that you’re both a little out to sea on this one.

  • Clav

    Let me see if I understand you, zing:

    So I’m spitting out years-old right wing soundbites and hyperbole — obviously, I’m either profoundly ignorant or a scurrilous liar — probably some of both.

    You and the other left wing folks, on the other hand are advocating for truth and the American Way, defending all those folks who are poor and otherwise disenfranchised and are spreading the gospel according to Obama, which is the only true gospel in Amerika, because it is attempting to make everything right for everyone in the country except for those rich bastards who made their money on the backs of all the poor folks and are therefore scum who deserve to be relieved of their ill-gotten gains. And Obama is the righteous president who will lead us all forth into the Promised Land (except, of course for the aforementioned rich scum), where we will all be equallly supported by the government and cared for from cradle to grave by the benevolence of Obama and all those sweet folks in congress who are protecting us from those rapacious Koch brothers.

    Damn! I never thought it through like that before! How could i have been so stupid??? I apologize, zing, you really have it all figured out!! I don’t have a government-issued picture ID (I burned it back in the sixties — thought it was my draft card), but can I still vote for Obama in November?

  • Zingzing

    Did I say any of that (which happens to be more frothy-mouthed hyperbole…)?

    I think you’ve wandered off a bit into lala land, clavos, and nothing you just said would do the least to dissuade me of that idea.

    The right seems to have disconnected with reality somewhere in late 2008, and even when the horrors of their doomsday for america scenarios didn’t come to pass, and the tanks weren’t rolling down the streets, and Obama didn’t declare himself dictator for life and communism didn’t stain these shores, and he didn’t kill grandma (although Ryan seems quite keen on the idea…), the right just kept on claiming it anyway, as if the rest of us were just supposed to accept their fire and brimstone nonsense.

    Your taxes are low, business taxes are low, the wall street reforms were weak at best (hell, I’d chalk it up as a victory for wall street), Obama was pretty noncommittal when it came to ows and the like, gov’t spending (if we are to forget bush’s last budget,) has slowed considerably, the bush-era tax cuts for the rich were extended… What do you really have to complain about? I have a few things to complain about, but you’re complaining about stuff that simply never happened.

    There’s just no connection between your rants and reality. You can’t blame me if all I can do is scoff, again, at the same old bullshit.

  • Zingzing

    “obviously, I’m either profoundly ignorant or a scurrilous liar”

    I’d say misinformed (hey, maybe you didn’t know the context,) or devious (although I can’t quite figure out why you’d want to be).

  • Clav

    Blame you??? How could I possibly blame you?? You’re a Democrat!! Your leader is Obama!!

    I may be hyperbolic, but I know better than to blaspheme and commit sacrilege!

  • Les Slater

    I’ve always contended that being pro or anti Obama, or pro or anti Romney, is an impediment to seeing things clearly.

  • Zingzing

    Alright, clavos, now you’re just being silly. That doesn’t help me take you more seriously, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. If you can tell me how obama’s enacted policies have destroyed or will destroy the rich (they seem to be getting nothing but richer,) I’d listen to what you have to say on the subject. I might not agree completely, but this hyperbole and trying to cast me (and every other dem) as some obama-worshipping acolyte is beneath you. I say “beneath you” having no idea where that bottom really is, but it’s pretty low today. Maybe tomorrow you can raise the level of your discourse, you poop.

  • Zingzing

    Les, I’ve always thought there must be a better way than either this inhaling or exhaling thing, so I’ve decided to do neither. It’s not working. It seems I just pass out, and when I wake up, I’m right back at it. But you know, someone must fight the good fight.

  • Clav

    Read the liberal writers on Obama, zing…

    He’s second only to FDR in the liberal pantheon.

    And why he is is inexplicable to me.

  • Clav

    Even Clinton, who despite his penchant for fellatio from chubby little girls, had some substance, is eclipsed in the Democratic Hall of Fame by The Amateur.

  • Zingzing

    So… Assuming there’s actually some substance behind what you say in 65 and 66, not that you provided any, why would him not being the second-greatest liberal ever and an ineffective democrat piss you off? One would think you’d be pleased with a weak dem, at least as opposed to a dem powerhouse. I’ll agree he’s not been the wonderful lefty I thought he’d be. He’s given the right too many concessions, ones they’d never have offered up in the opposite set of circumstances. But he’s done many things I’d agree with.

    But which is he? A power-mad would-be dictator, as you said just a few comments ago, or this lilly-livered version you offer up here? You can’t have it both ways… And yet you try and think I won’t question it. What’s going on here?

  • Zingzing

    I guess what I’m saying is that there are substantial criticisms to be made about Obama from both the right and the left, but you’re just spouting hyperbole that goes out there so wildly it even contradicts itself. You’re not going to convince anyone with that claptrap, and I know you can do better… I know America can do better than it has these past three or four years or the last decade or so. This hyperbole and blatant bending of what actually occurs isn’t helping anyone except the politicians (and I thought you didn’t like them so much… With enemies like you…).

  • Clav

    But which is he? A power-mad would-be dictator, as you said just a few comments ago, or this lilly-livered version you offer up here?

    Try as I might, I can’t find where I said he was ineffective. As you point out, my complaints about him are centered on his actions which, presumably, endear him to Dems, as well as what I perceive is class warfare.

  • Igor

    @54-Les: is right when he says: “The problem is fundamentally systemic and blaming the rich serves the rich by diverting attention to individuals instead of the system they serve. ”

    The rich are no more vile and undeserving than anyone else. In fact, it is astonishing how common and vulgar the ambitions of the rich are.

    But they have extraordinary powers, a consequence of their struggles against their own insecurities, that harm others.

  • Igor

    As a buddhist might point out, the rich are also just cogs in the wheel. Perhaps with better clothes than the poor.

  • Igor

    @62-Les: Yes, personalities are an impediment, and personalizing politics obscures rather than illuminates.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    But that is probably just a Buddhist whose principles have been co-opted by the state.

    (just messin’ wit ya)

  • Igor

    Talking about Obama…David Sanger has written an interesting book called “Confront And Conceal” about Obamas foreign policy, especially vis a vis terrorist attacks. There are some excellent reviews on internet and some interesting interviews, like Spencer Michaels at KQEDs “Forum”.

    Here’s Tom Ricks:


    Covert Wars, Waged Virally

    ‘Confront and Conceal,’ by David Sanger
    By THOMAS E. RICKS

    Is the United States at war with Iran? If David Sanger’s account in his new book, “Confront and Conceal,” on President Obama’s foreign policy, is to be believed, and I find it very believable, we certainly are.

    The stunning revelations by Mr. Sanger, The New York Times’s chief Washington correspondent, about the American role in using computer warfare to attack Iran’s nuclear program already have made headlines, and rightly so. …

    The heart of this book is the chapter titled “Olympic Games,” which Mr. Sanger writes is the code name for a joint program of Israel and the United States to insert malicious software into the machinery of the Iranian military-industrial complex and so set back Iran’s ability to manufacture weapons-grade uranium.

    …The key to getting inside the computers, which were not connected to the Internet, was to load the virus into thumb drives that Iranian nuclear technicians, perhaps unknowingly, would bring to work and plug into the computer systems there.

    In one of the most impressive steps in the cybercampaign, the inserted software recorded the operation of the centrifuges. Then, as the computer worm took control of the machines and began destroying them, the software played back the signals of the normal operation of the centrifuges. “The plant operators were clueless,” Mr. Sanger writes. “There were no warning lights, no alarm bells, no dials gyrating wildly. But anyone down in the plant would have felt, and heard, that the centrifuges were suddenly going haywire. First came a rumble, then an explosion.” This is an account that long will be consulted by anyone trying to understand not just Iran but warfare in the 21st century. It alone is worth the price of the book.

    When, for example, the White House moved closer to the Pentagon’s hawkish view of North Korea, “We had people in the Pentagon telling us, ‘We told you so,’ ” a senior administration official informs Mr. Sanger. That official adds, rather snidely, that “perhaps they were making a case for not cutting the budget” of the Pentagon.

    … it suggests that Mr. Obama and those around him are repeating some of the dysfunctionality that characterized the dealings of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson with the Pentagon during the descent into the Vietnam War. With Syria hanging fire, a nuclear-armed Pakistan on the brink and the Afghan war dragging on, that is not a reassuring state of affairs.

  • Zingzing

    Clavos, the bit about a lack of substance is what I refer to when I say “ineffective.” If you meant something else by that bit, spell it out a little more for me. And it doesn’t take much to convince you something is class warfare, even when what’s being said is pretty much the opposite of how you decide to take it.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    (Glenn, Thank you so much. I do have the requisite experience and I know it can be exhausting. I would love to hear some more about your place some time if you are willing. In case you may need, I have devised some very affordable stroke recovery solutions. And my husband and I developed a dysphagia product that I expect to be available next year some time. I also have lots of tips for brainpower maintenance and stroke recovery. I can email you some pages from his books that he enjoyed. They are nice for seniors. Senior Smart Puzzles)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    (Christopher, Thank you for the ‘foundation’ tip.)

    Igor, That looks like a worthwhile book. Thanks for posting that.

    Sorry I turned the page with an off-topic comment, guys.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Read the liberal writers on Obama, zing…He’s second only to FDR in the liberal pantheon. And why he is is inexplicable to me.

    That depends on what liberal writer you’re reading. If you listen to progressive pundits, the only reason they’re supporting him is because he’s by far the lesser of two evils. Frankly, most progressive pundits like Obama less than I do since I honestly like the guy. I disagree with quite a few things he’s done, but I also understand that in most such cases, he really didn’t have much choice, largely due to the most obstructive Congress since the Civil War.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    In Washington state the most residents an AFH can have is six, whereas my wife worked at one in Hawaii that had close to twenty – but that was obviously one of the ones that gives the rest a bad name. You know what I’m talking about.

    I wrote the last with the assumption that you had little or no experience, but you obviously do and I’m happy to hear it. Actually, that’s why I told my sons to either go into the nursing field or to marry a nurse, because there’s so very much to know these days.

    We got very, very lucky – blessed, in our opinion – with our location, because it was purpose-built to be an adult family home. All the times we’d tried before there was this or that issue that stopped us, usually due to the landlord initially agreeing to a requisite modification, and then backing out of it, thereby ruining our efforts to build the business.

    This house was already a fully functioning AFH, but the owner (a Navy lieutenant) was transferred elsewhere. My wife was in the right place at the right time to hear about it and jumped on it right away, and when she told me about it over the phone, I immediately agreed with her – besides, she’s almost always right…what else could I do?

    We’ve one resident right now, which is the most allowed in an as-yet unlicensed (under our name) AFH. As soon as we’re able to take the state-required class (which we’ve attended every year for the past eight years), we’ll submit the application and this place will be licensed. We’re looking at a time frame of six to seven months before we can start accepting more residents.

    Yesterday I went to the VA to sign up for the VA health care system and on a hunch I asked if they do referrals for possible residents, and yes, they do. Problem is, most residents through the VA system would be state-pay.

    I wish you the very best with finding a good location, and if you’re looking to rent such a place, I strongly recommend getting all agreements necessary for the AFH in writing – because that was our mistake.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I am not thinking I will need any of that Glenn, in the short term anyway. I don’t intend to operate a business. And I’m not going to begin with any sort of organization at all. If my church idea happens it would grow out of a smaller start–say adopting an elderly couple as roommates who could use the benefit of having some help. I will have the befit of creating a family to share my time with and to whom I could be of some service. I have become convinced by my experience with my husband that being of service to another (other) human being(s)is the most enlightening and rewarding thing I could wish to do.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Cindy –

    That’s commendable and honorable. Please don’t take this as condescending in any way, but don’t forget the practical side that your plan requires, not just of the financial matters to your household, but especially of the amount of time that you and your husband will be spending caring for them, for the time is worth far more than the money.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Thanks for your thoughtfulness, Glenn.

  • Igor

    Ryan advertises himself as a rugged individualist (ala Ayn Rand) but he has always been on the public dole. His father died when he was 16 so he got Survivors Insurance from SSA. He attended publicly funded schools and colleges. He worked for congressmen on the federal payroll. He’s been in congress himself fo many years, on the public payroll.

    The only private employment I could find was that one summer he worked in his grandfathers construction company as a Public Relations guy.

    AFAIK, he never started a company.

    He does not know whereof he speaks.

  • Clav

    He didn’t build his life; the Democrats did it for him.

    It takes a village…

  • Igor

    Ryan was supported and educated by the government, and he’s been employed his entire adult life as a US congressman, on the federal payroll.

    Ryan never built anything.

  • seancabrillo

    Did Mitt ask Ryan about his marathon time?