Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More (Corrupt) Clowns (And Explanations of Continuing Political Circus) Although In the Sorrounding Corruption Crowd, How Can You Spot the Real Clowns?

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From the delightfully informative traditional Republican, Glenn Greenwald, we learn a few more psychological details about our "leaders."

And I know I'm speaking out of turn, but I've wondered from the first mention of this "brilliant's" name, whatever made him seem smart to anyone but the blind? As at least they can't be entranced by his blue, blue-eyed hero's gaze.

The Right’s Brittle Heroes

August 12, 2012


The contrast between Paul Ryan's iconic image and his personal reality is typical of America's partisan leaders

Glenn Greenwald

The contrast between (a) how Paul Ryan is depicted by worshipful Republicans and media figures alike — as a principled fiscal conservative and advocate of Randian self-sufficiency – and the reality of what he’s done in his life is as stark as it is typical. The American Right has an amazing ability to lionize leaders whose lives are the precise antithesis of the political values that define their image.

For the last decade, conservatives transformed George Bush and Dick Cheney into the embodiments of warrior courage, even though they both scampered away from combat, letting others fight and die for them in a war they both supported. The same is true of almost every leading right-wing super-patriot tough-guy:   John Bolton, Bill Kristol, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh – and Mitt Romney. Somehow, when the authoritarians on the Right search for icons of manly warrior power to venerate, they find only those who like to melodramatically play-act as such, but who ran away when it came time to actually perform. Indeed, such figures dress themselves up with extra-flamboyant trappings of faux Toughness for the same reason female impersonators have long favored over-the-top feminine costumes and gaudy make-up:  the more one lacks an attribute which one wishes to project, the more extreme one must be in pretending.

Thus do we have Paul Ryan — Randian Super-Hero of Individual Self-Reliance and Working Class Warrior against government debt, waste, and intrusiveness — whose actual life is a testament to the precise opposite values.

As Charles Pierce and Joan Walsh document, not only was Ryan raised in a rich family and not only has he spent his entire adult life on the public payroll, but he has relied, and continues to rely, on various forms of government help in climbing every rung on his educational and careerist ladder. His claim to fiscal conservatism is even more laughable, as he voted FOR virtually every program that has piled up debt over the past decade, including the Iraq War (not just its commencement but its limitless continuation), the Wall Street bailout, Medicare Part D, Endless War in Afghanistan, and — in the midst of all of that — Bush tax cuts.

Perhaps most ludicrous of all is the notion that he’s some sort of advocate for restrained federal government power.

As Antiwar.com’s John Glaser documented today, Ryan has continuously voted in favor of measures to expand all sorts of intrusive federal power, including making the PATRIOT Act permanent, enacting the Military Commissions Act to provide indefinite detention with no habeas corpus rights, implementing the Protect America Act to massively expand the U.S. Government’s power to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants, supporting a federal Constitutional amendment to deny same-sex couples the right to marry along with a law banning the ability of gay couples in D.C. to adopt children and the continuation of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, a Constitutional amendment to criminalize flag burning, and almost every proposed measure to restrict abortion rights.

The ACLU — which has been continuously scathing in its criticisms of President Obama’s civil liberties record — issued a report on the potential Vice Presidential nominees (including Joe Biden) entitled “A Heartbeat Away from the Presidency, Light Years from Civil Liberties,” and said yesterday that Ryan has “uniformly harmful views on five key civil liberties issues including a humane immigration policy, LGBT equality, reproductive rights, torture and indefinite detention and fair voting access” (he did, however, vote against the NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions, signed into law by President Obama at the end of 2011, as well as a bill to include “sexual orientation” in the list of factors that cannot be legally used in job hiring).

Whatever one wants to say about Ryan’s record, it is the very opposite of constraining the power of the federal government to intrude into the lives of individuals; indeed, it’s a testament to massive expansion of intrusive federal government power in almost every realm.

This dynamic — in which the defining image of partisan icons is the antithesis of their personal reality — is, of course, also prevalent among Democrats: a point I note not to fulfill a both-sides-are-guilty obligation, but because it’s indisputably true. Obama supporters pretended that his 2008 campaign was some sort of populist uprising even as Wall Street overwhelmingly supported his candidacy.

Now, especially with the selection of Ryan, they’re going to act as though his re-election is all about shielding Medicare from cuts even though, as Matt Stoller documents today (citing this), Obama already tried to cut not only Medicare but also Medicaid and Social Security, and clearly intends more of the same with a second term (along with his ongoing empowerment of America’s most extreme corporatists).

And, of course, the “chickenhawk” insult that was so popular among Democrats during the Bush years has completely disappeared, as they now celebrate the so-called Toughness of two political leaders — Obama and Biden — in their continuous willingness to use military force in other countries even though neither ever served in the military.

But the American Right seems to have a particular need to inflate their leaders into beacons of courage, self-sufficiency and virtue, even when their lives are completely devoid of those traits. Paul Ryan is a perfect symbol of America’s political class. 

He is directly responsible for the large deficits and debt which America has compiled, and now seeks to exploit what he himself helped create in order to deny to others the very benefits that were responsible for almost every opportunity and success he has had in his life, with the burden falling most harshly on those who need those benefits the most to have any remnant of fair opportunity.

That’s the crux of the American elite: making massive mistakes and engaging in destructive behavior and then demanding that everyone — except them — bear the brunt of the consequences.

And even more "secrets" arise from the glom. Politiscoop is on the mark.

Romney VP Pick Paul Ryan Insider Trading or Morally Bankrupt?

Monday, 13 August 2012

Wisconsin – Over the weekend, presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney tapped Paul Ryan to be his 2012 running-mate. The pick has been viewed by many as a last ditch attempt to slow the Romney campaign downward spiral in polls and in doing so, brought back memories of US Senator John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin.

 In the weeks ahead we may see Paul Ryan tell citizens that he can see Canada from his backyard in Janesville, Wisconsin, but will we see any reports of what was revealed by Open Secrets? The year was 2008 and the US financial markets were facing headwinds not seen since the great depression. It was the result of careless decision making by Corporations and banks that were seen to be “To big to fail”.
In the aftermath of the stock market meltdown, a great many US citizens lost their life savings and retirement funds because of Wall Street greed. As a bi-product of the worst recession since the great depression, countless citizens have lost their jobs, homes and businesses through no fault of their own. If these citizens had the same inside information that Rep. Paul Ryan had on September 18, 2008, they would have been able to possibly save their own investments.

The Blog “The Richmonder reported the following:

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.

This is the guy Republicans want one heartbeat away from the presidency? He seems more than a little shady to me.

Have a look at Ryan's financial disclosure form for 2008 - you can click on each page to enlarge them. The "Transactions" section begins on page 12 - scroll through and look at all the trades Paul Ryan made on "9-18-08":

You can view Rep. Paul Ryan’s transactions after the meeting with Paulson, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here , here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The debate should now be, whether or not Paul Ryan’s trades were legal or illegal. The breakdown of illegal insider trading would be:

 Insider trading is only illegal when a person bases their trade of stocks in a public company on information that the public does not know. It is illegal to trade your own stock in a company based on this information, but it is also illegal to give someone that information- a tip, so they can trade their stock.

So did the public have the same information that Paul Ryan had on that day? Was the meeting open to the public? According to the Richmonder blog, it was a closed door meeting. Could this be the same situation as Martha Stewart?

In 2003, Stewart was indicted because she was told by her friend Sam Waksal that his company ImClone’s cancer drug had been rejected by the Food and Drug Administration before this information was made public. This rejection was a huge blow to his company and the price of its stock went down dramatically. However, Martha Stewart wasn’t financially hurt because she had her broker sell her 4000 shares before this news was made public.

It’s fair to ask Mitt Romney’s VP pick Paul Ryan what information he obtained during that meeting in 2008 and if and when the details from it were released to the public. In either case, legal or not, it begs the morality question. “Why didn’t Paul Ryan go to the public instead of to his broker after the meeting?”

Just think, if Romney is elected, this clown is one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Nonnie's back at Hysterical Raisins! (Go on over there and say "Hi!" to the Raisinettes when you get a free moment!)

Well, at least Grandpa Dick Cheney will be happy…

You remember Eddie Munster Paul Ryan, dont’cha, kids?  We know whose corner he’s in, and it certainly isn’t that of poor people…

Eddie Munster Paul Ryan is so radical that even Newt Gingrich thinks his plan to kill Medicare is “right-wing social engineering“…

Newtie isn’t the only Rethug who had a problem with Eddie Munster Paul Ryan.  Remember when the Rethug ladies of the Senate wouldn’t vote for his budget?

Kay Bailey Hutchison Olympia Snowe Susan Collins

Even they recognize bullshit when they smell it…

Let’s hope that seniors will realize that Eddie Munster Paul Ryan will bring back the dreaded Medicare donut hole…

…and recognize classic teabagger crap when they see and hear it…

So what do you all think about Mittsie’s pick, kids?  Your comments are welcome, because, as you know, here at the Raisin, everyone has a seat at the table…

Who let the dogs out?

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