Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Posts Tagged ‘paul ryan’

Here’s Rob Zerban’s First TV Ad

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 9, 2012

Rob Zerban’s giving zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan his first real challenge since Ryan won his congressional seat in the late 1990s. It’s so serious that Ryan, who up to now would debate any and all of his political opponents, won’t go near Zerban. It’s so serious that Zerban’s actually outperformed Ryan in the most recent quarter of fundraising.

Here’s Zerban’s first television ad. Let us know what you think of it:

Here’s Rob Zerban’s Act Blue page. Drop in a few coins if you feel so moved.

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Republican Lie Of The Day: “Janesville Plant Closed Despite Obama Promise”. Reality: Bush Was Still In Office When It Shut Down.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 20, 2012

Paul Ryan and his surrogates are shameless liars.

The latest evidence: An American Freedom Fund ad that uses this lie:

If the hometown of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has had an icon during his lifetime, it was a sprawling General Motors auto assembly plant.

For decades, the Janesville, Wis., plant gave thousands of people a comfortable living. In 1970, the year Ryan was born, it employed 7,000.

Ryan stirred memories of the factory on Aug. 16, 2012, attacking President Barack Obama during a campaign speech in Ohio.

“I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open. One more broken promise,” Ryan said.

He made the same point Aug. 29 during his speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa:

“My home state voted for President Obama,” he said. “When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

“A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”

Did Obama make such a promise as a candidate and break it after becoming president?

Actually, the plant closed before he even took office.

Oooops.

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Paul Ryan Snookers The Press: TPM Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 15, 2012

And now, in the continuing tradition of US media figures taking what known Republican liars like Paul Ryan say at face value, I give you this.

Team Ryan managed to shut down a media examination of the 58 individual-stock trades, 27 of them in large money-center banks, that Ryan made during the crisis of 2008 — and where he moved money back and forth between teetering banks like Wachovia and Citi and (drum roll, please) Goldman Sachs, this last of which was of course being propped up by Bush’s Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman Sachs CEO) Henry Paulson. Per Benjy Sarlin of Talking Points Memo:

It had the makings of a scandal: Paul Ryan traded banking stocks during the financial crisis the same day as a meeting with top Treasury Department officials, a Virginia blog wrote Monday. But the rumor, which spread rapidly across the Internet, doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

[…]

The Romney campaign said Ryan had nothing to do with the trades in the first place. They were part of a Russell 1000 index fund that automatically traded stocks as part of a pre-set formula. Ryan’s disclosure forms include several similar trade patterns at various points throughout the year.

Sarlin also notes that the meeting happened outside of normal New York Stock Exchange trading hours, which for him means no trading was possible. The SEC begs to differ:

The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market—the highest volume market centers in the U.S. today—have traditionally been open for business from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Although trading outside that window—or “after-hours” trading—has occurred for some time, it used to be limited mostly to high net worth investors and institutional investors.

But that changed by the end of the last century. Some smaller exchanges now offer extended hours. And, with the rise of
Electronic Communications Networks, or ECNs, everyday individual investors can gain access to the after-hours markets. 
Before you decide to trade after-hours, you need to educate yourself about the differences between regular and extended trading hours, especially the risks. You should consult your broker and read any disclosure documents on this option. Check your broker’s website for available information on trading after-hours. As with trading during regular hours, the services offered by brokers during extended hours vary. You should therefore shop around to find the firm that best suits your trading needs.

Another entity that begs to differ is Fidelity Investments, which executes after-hours trades — and after hours, not waiting until the next business day.

But that’s only part of what’s wrong with Sarlin’s attempt at debunking. Here’s Brad DeLong: Read the rest of this entry »

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News Roundup: Nuns On The Bus, Bogus Regnerus Sex Study, Recovering Ayn Rand Fan Tells All, Rick Wolff On Success Stories

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 10, 2012

Lots of news this Sunday morning:

— Conservative Christian activist researcher Mark “Marry Those Chicks Off Young (So They Can’t Go To College)” Regnerus has another slanted gold-plated study out there, one that manages to ignore years of research to the contrary. His target this time: Families that aren’t two-hetero-parent ones. Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin has a preliminary dissection, and also lets us know who is giving Regnerus such lavish funding for his cherry-pickings:

I made a brief mention of the huge amount of money that was spent on this study, a sum that comes to $785,000. The lion’s share came from the Witherspoon Institute, a think tank in Princeton, New Jersey (and not affiliated with Princeton University). Members of the Institute include Robert P. George, who drafted the Manhattan Declaration and whose recent paper in The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy on same-sex marriage was critiqued at length by BTB’s Rob Tisinai. The Withersoon Institute reportedly has close associations with such organizations as the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, and the secretive Catholic order Opus Dei. George also sits on the board of directors for the Bradley Foundation, which also provided funds for this study. The Bradley Foundation is considered one of the country’s largest and most influential right-wing foundations, although its contribution to this study is “only” $90,000.

— Speaking of Christians (h/t Toby Wollin), some American nuns are now on a bus, fighting back against Paul Ryan, Pope Ratzi and their ultra-conservative allies’ calls for them to stop caring about the poor and harass women who use birth control and abortion instead:

[Sister SIMONE] CAMPBELL: All over our nation, Catholic sisters are working at the margins of our society to serve people who are struggling in this economy, people who are hungry, people who are left out of the economy, people who have lost their jobs or people working at low wage jobs.

We thought the best way to bring an education to our nation about what’s happening here in Washington is if we went on the road and lifted up their work and the consequences they would face if this Republican House budget goes through.

More on the Nuns on the Bus can be found here.

— Speaking of Paul Ryan, whose very recent denials of his Ayn Rand worship ring rather hollow, another Randian Objectivist has now made a somewhat more believeable disavowal of the amoral guru of right-wingers. After spending a number of paragraphs delving into Rand’s character, she gets to the heart of Objectivism — and why it’s a bunch of nonsense:

Of course, all that doesn’t actually say anything about her “philosophy”; it just makes the case that she’s a jerk and a hack. That said, her theory – and summarily, its corollaries – are belied by the abject sketchiness of their most basic premise: rational egoism. Far smarter, more articulate people than me have pointed this out, but what needs to be emphasized is that Rand conflates descriptive psychological egoism (people act in their self-interest) with normative ethical egoism (acting in self-interest is the right thing to do). Part of this “ought-from-an-is”-type assumption is that altruism does not exist – very much the backbone of her belief system. 

West Valley College’s Sandra LaFave does a great job following this line of thought and pointing out why it doesn’t work. The basic claim of egoists, LaFave notes, is that people “always and invariably act in their self-interest”. However, most moral codes call for altruism, which, in egoists’ account, is “demanding the impossible”. Moral codes, so egoists’ thinking goes, should not demand “the impossible”, so we should take up a “more realistic” system such as – ta-da! – ethical egoism.

To accept this conclusion, you have to accept the premise that psychological egoism is a given fact in the first place. To date, neither Rand nor anyone else has been able to prove definitively that the proverbial soldier who dives on a grenade acts selfishly, not altruistically.

— And as an antidote to Ayn Rand, I give you the esteemed Prof. Richard D. Wolff’s latest Economic Update, in which he discusses the following: “Montreal students fighting tuition hikes, global economic slowdown (again) and Spain’s bank crisis, and big pay for CEOs of top financiers. Analyses of (1) Wisconsin and California elections, and (2) huge Mondragon cooperative corporation.”

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Romney Camp Fumbles Equal Pay For Women Question

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 11, 2012

Mitt Romney’s campaign was asked during a press call this morning if Romney supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which assists women in working to get equal work for equal pay. This bill was the first legislation President Obama signed into law, and conservative Republicans of the sort that make up the GOP base have been agitating for its repeal ever since.

The response: “We’ll get back to you.”

Somebody on Team Romney realized that this wasn’t the best way to try and prove to women voters that the GOP really isn’t at war on them, so an hour later, they tried again, stating that Romney did after all back the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Of course, this might sound a little more convincing if the Republican female legislators Mitt’s using for human shields, Mary Bono Mack and Cathy McMorris, hadn’t both voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act. It might also have helped a bit if Romney, when he was in Wisconsin cuddling up to the anti-woman Paul Ryan and his bad joke of a budget, had anything besides warm-and-fuzzy words for Scott Walker, who just signed the bill repealing the Wisconsin version of the Lilly Ledbetter Act.

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Shh! Don’t Let On That The Freeloading 1%ers Are The Problem!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 30, 2012

The exercise today for you, the reader, is to connect the dots between the following stories and bits of information:

— The real news (and the motivation for the otherwise-inexplicably-appropriate move by the usually-1%-loving French leader) is buried at the end of this Bloomberg article on Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to charge a 0.1% tax on all French financial transactions:

Socialist candidate Francois Hollande leads in the French presidential election polls. He has the support of 31 percent of voters in the first round, 6 points more than Sarkozy, and his second-round lead has risen to 20 points at 60 percent, according to a CSA poll published last week. Hollande, too, has pledged to impose a tax on financial transactions, if he’s elected.

Fred Hiatt once again whines that we must kick Grandma and Grandpa in the groins yet again and finish giving to the 1%ers the last remaining nickels from the pockets of what used to be America’s middle class, all in the name of “deficit reduction”. Dean Baker eviscerates him for us: “The House is on Fire and Fred Hiatt is Worried About What Color to Paint the Kitchen“.

Prominent American Enterprise Institute wingnut-welfare recipient, Powerline darling, and 1%er apologist James Q. Wilson gets caught echoing Ayn Rand worshiper and idiotic 1%er apologist Paul Ryan’s lies about taxes and upward mobility; contrary to Wilson’s and Ryan’s shared spew, upward mobility is greater in the nations that actually tax their rich — such as most of Europe — than it is in America.

Oh, by the way, the Powerliner who waxed so wet-pantily over Wilson’s prose? None other than Steven Hayward, a typical hypocritical libertarian stand-on-your-own-two-feet kinda guy who has seldom if ever held a real job and who has depended most of his adult life on Claremont and AEI wingnut-welfare subsidies for his daily bread — subsidies that are themselves provided in part by the lumber firm Weyerhauser, which pays him to trash environmentalists.

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Ayn Rand Fan Tyler Cowen Doesn’t Like The Results Of Decades Of Randism On Conservatives

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 13, 2011

This just cracked me up.

Tyler Cowen, Ayn-Rand-worshiping product of and coddled hothouse flower in the conservative ideology factory and Koch Brothers plaything known as George Mason University, is all bummed out at how lazy and amoral conservatives and libertarian producers are letting themselves be outshone by liberal moochers in the intellectual and other departments:

The first problem is that higher status for the wealthy can easily lead to crony capitalism. In public discourse social status judgments are often crude. Critical differences are lost, like the distinction between earning money through production for consumers, as Apple has done, and earning money through the manipulation of government, which heavily subsidized agribusinesses have done. The relevant question, in my view, is not about how much you have earned but about how you have earned it. To further confuse matters, many right-wing Republican politicians supported corporate bailouts and corporate welfare far beyond what was necessary to stabilize the economy, in doing so further muddying the difference between productive and predatory capitalism.

The second problem is that many conservatives have become so attached to their cultural vision that they have ceded sound, technocratic reasoning to the left and center. For instance there is a common willingness among conservatives to defend the Bush tax cuts, even though the evidence does not show much of an economic payoff.

[…]

…today’s elites are so wedded to permissive values — in part for their own pleasure and convenience — that a new conservative cultural revolution may have little chance of succeeding.

Well, boo hoo hoo.

The spoiled-brat Cons Cowen rails about are precisely what you get when you rear three generations of conservatives on Ayn Rand’s mid-20th-century Social-Darwinist gloss on the Calvinistic idea that they are the Elect and everyone else is the Preterite.

Of course the modern Cons are lazy, stupid, greedy, and amoral — and it’s because they are Randians, even the self-alleged Christians among them like Mark Sanford.

They have been trained to think of themselves as the embodiment of her perfect elite, the studly producers and “makers” whose every action per Rand (including rape and murder) is self-justified, and to have nothing but contempt for the 99% — or as they call us, the “moochers”, “parasites” (a term adopted by rabid Randian Alan Greenspan (aka Mr. Andrea Mitchell) when he was a young man: “Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.”), “looters”, and “takers” (which math-challenged Rand worshiper Paul Ryan favors).

So when Cowen says that everyone needs to behave like “the hero from an Ayn Rand novel”, what he doesn’t mention is that the very conservatives and Republicans he’s allegedly complaining about are the ones who have taken Rand’s words most strongly to what passes for their self-interested, self-centered, other-ignoring, empathy-shunning hearts. Quelle surprise — not.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League, libertoonians, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

GOP Shrugged: Republicans Love Ayn Rand

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 6, 2011

Not much to add to that, really.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)
_____________
Charles says, 6/11/11, I found something to add: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (thanks to HoneyBearKelly)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

GOP Under Attack for Attacking Medicare, Seniors

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 27, 2011

Just as Scott Walker and his fellow Wisconsin Republicans triggered a backlash when they attacked Wisconsin public and private-sector workers, unionized or not, the Republicans in Congress just tripped over a hornet’s nest when they let the masks slip a bit too soon on their anti-people agenda:

Representative Paul D. Ryan [R-WI], the architect of the Republican budget proposal, faced a packed town meeting, occasional boos and a skeptical audience as he tried to lay out his party’s rationale for overhauling the health insurance program for retirees.

In a church theater [in Fort Lauderdale, Florida] on Tuesday evening, a meeting between Representative Allen B. West and some of his constituents began on a chaotic note, with audience members quickly on their feet, some heckling him and others loudly defending him. “You’re not going to intimidate me,” Mr. West said. 

After 10 days of trying to sell constituents on their plan to overhaul Medicare, House Republicans in multiple districts appear to be increasingly on the defensive, facing worried and angry questions from voters and a barrage of new attacks from Democrats and their allies.

The proposed new approach to Medicare — a centerpiece of a budget that Republican leaders have hailed as a courageous effort to address the nation’s long-term fiscal problems — has been a constant topic at town-hall-style sessions and other public gatherings during a two-week Congressional recess that provided the first chance for lawmakers to gauge reaction to the plan.

An example of the response came Tuesday as Representative Daniel Webster, a freshman Republican from Florida, faced an unruly crowd at a packed town meeting in Orlando, where some people, apparently organized or encouraged by liberal groups, brandished signs saying “Hands Off Medicare” and demanded that he instead “tax the rich.”

Republicans are trying to hit back with a series of ads and robocalls — but curiously enough, the ads and robocalls don’t mention Paul Ryan’s granny-kicking, Medicare-killing budget. They’re also desperately trying to screen their town halls to keep out anyone who might give them anywhere near as hard a time as the orchestrated conservatives and Republicans who disrupted town halls last year and in 2009 gave Democratic congresscritters.

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Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan: Social Security Recipients Against Social Security

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 27, 2011

This is hilarious (courtesy Blue Texan):

Critics of Social Security and Medicare frequently invoke the words and ideals of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, one of the fiercest critics of federal insurance programs. But a little-known fact is that Ayn Rand herself collected Social Security. She may also have received Medicare benefits.

An interview recently surfaced that was conducted in 1998 by the Ayn Rand Institute with a social worker who says she helped Rand and her husband, Frank O’Connor, sign up for Social Security and Medicare in 1974.

Federal records obtained through a Freedom of Information act request confirm the Social Security benefits.

As Blue Texan points out, what makes this extra-special is this: The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights has an article on its website right now titled, “Social Security is Immoral.”

But wait! There’s more! Ayn Rand’s most powerful representative in government, a teabagger doofus named Paul Ryan (R-WI), not only also collected Social Security after his father died, it’s what put him through college:

One day as a 16 year old, Ryan came upon the lifeless body of his father. Paul Ryan, Sr. had died of a heart attack at age 55, leaving the Janesville Craig High School 10th grader, his three older brothers and sisters and his mother alone. It was Paul who told the family of his father’s death.

With his father’s passing, young Paul collected Social Security benefits until age 18, which he put away for college. To make ends meet, Paul’s mother returned to school to study interior design. His siblings were off at college. Ryan remembers this difficult time bringing him and his mother closer.

Now Ryan, like his heroine Rand, wants to deny to others what he benefitted from himself. Typical.

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League | Tagged: , , , , , | 23 Comments »

 
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