Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ryan’s Hope – Threatening the Health and Livelihoods of our Nation’s Retirees for Political Fun and Profit

“Are there no prisons...?
And the Union workhouses, are they still in operation…?
If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." – Ebenezer Scrooge/Charles Dickens

“The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” – Paul Ryan

“Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue.”– Ayn Rand

“Gimme money, that’s what I want.” – Barrett Strong

Today we commence with a rousing round of that classic game show, “The $25,000 Pyramid!”  We’ll resurrect the spirit of late, orange-hued, T.V. legend, Dick Clark to host, I will be the contestant, and JoAnne Worley will be my celebrity partner. 
         “JoAnne: Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day…  Me: Holidays?
          JoAnne: Graduations, receiving a promotion… Me: Special Occasions?
          JoAnne: Saturday, August 11th, 2012… Me: Days we receive gifts?!
          Dick: That’s correct!    JoAnne: Is that a chicken joke?”

And why, you may well ask, is this day comparable to the celebratory events cited in the festive, quiz show, lightning-round lovingly recreated above? Well, to paraphrase a true leader, today is a day that will live in GOP infamy, and regretful lore, as the day that Willard Mitt Romney - enemy of the common folk and hero to none, he of the personality that drying paint finds excruciating to watch, a man with fewer convictions than Al Capone prior to his tax difficulties and less core than an apple manipulated by Ralph Kramden, the chef of the future - presented this great nation with the grandest gift that is in his power to bestow, a second term for President Barack Obama, by selecting Congressman Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running-mate. With this dubious decision,  wannabe President Mr. Howell Romney has boldly, brazenly and even belligerently declared out-right and full-on battle against the poor, the middle-class and, probably most detrimentally damaging to his campaign, senior citizens - the demographic group with the greatest certainty to exercise their right to vote each and every second Tuesday in November.  And so, upon awakening and hearing the news, this fine morn,  I found myself more uplifted than Nancy Pelosi’s cheeks, higher than Bill Maher at a Cheech and Chong reunion,  as busy as a spider spinning daydreams, as giddy as a baby on a swing, I'd say that I had spring fever, but I know it isn't spring, and much like Ebenezer Scrooge,  “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man.” 

As is her want, McKayla is not impressed
Romney’s poll numbers have demonstrated a deleterious decline recently, as we are increasingly exposed  to his almost daily gaffes and embarrassments; as his excursion to Europe unmasked an unsophisticated rube not nearly ready for the world stage nor prepared to represent our remarkable republic;  as he conceals, withholds and suppresses every experience, every occurrence in his life prior to whatever day it happens to be at the moment – he won’t release his tax returns, he won’t discuss his much touted business acumen as a job destroying, would-be job creator at Bain Capital, he violently and vehemently disavows his own moderate record as Governor of blue state Massachusetts  and as author of that most heinous and Marxist of all creations, a successful and beloved Universal health care system that, instead of repudiating, he should be touting and flaunting as Sarah Palin would a complete, cogent and conscious thought should she ever unexpectedly and inexplicably find herself having one. But rather, by plucking Paul, a partner even further radically right than Romney’s current incarnation, he has made a choice that reeks of desperation to shore up a base that is in absolutely no need of shoring up. Despite their personal disdain and distaste for the Republican automaton, the pre-War of the States thinking confederates who dominate the Right believe our President to be a Kenyan-born, Islamic-terrorist Communist. Mitt could have stashed away hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes, not that he’d ever do that, of course, and the base would still not abandon him.  However what the Ryan selection does accomplish is to insult and isolate moderates, independents, undecided voters, Reagan/Blue dog Democrats and again, those crucial senior citizens.  By solidifying a block that would vote for a shoe-tree over Barack Obama, as long as said shoe-tree was Caucasian, Willard very likely cost himself this election, as he will now need to spend the bulk of his time these next 3 months, defending the indefensible - pilfering from the poor to further enrich the rich - the Ryan Budget Plan. As someone who knew he’d be chasing the highest office in the land since his toddlers days and the first time his father deposited a million dollars from the tooth fairy beneath his satin pillow, being careful not to jostle the silver spoon dangling from little Willard’s mouth, Romney displays an astonishing lack of political acumen time and time again.

Paul Ryan’s Policies in a Nutshell (nut being the operative word, of course)
Some facts taken from an article by Igor Volsky (uh oh, sounds like a Red to me!!!) on Think Progress, with the addition of a few annoying but applicable parenthetical details and commentary from yours truly.
·         Ryan wants to raises taxes on the middle class and cut them for millionaires. (Two examples - someone in deep poverty, earning $10,000 a year or less will see their taxes increased by 2% while those making over $1,000,000 will see their taxes lowered by 12.5%, or as we call is “the Mitt.”)
·         Ryan wants to end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system. (Estimated to cost the average senior citizen up to an additional $6,150 a year for their health care.)
·         Ryan thinks Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme." (A popular Republican falsehood designed to sell their dream of privatizing Social Security, therefore destabilizing the savings and increasing the bank accounts of their corporate overlords.)
·         Ryan’s budget would result in 4.1 million lost jobs in 2 years.
·         Ryan wants to eliminate Pell Grants for more than 1 million students. (Romney and Ryan agree, higher education is a privilege only for those who can afford it.)
·         Ryan supports $40 billion in subsidies for big oil.
·         Ryan has ownership stakes in companies that benefit from oil subsidies. (Shocking!!!)

Paul Ryan's Social Security Plan

Paul Ryan - Compassionate Man of the People
“You've gotta have heart
Miles 'n miles n' miles of heart”
 Surely, Congressman Ryan’s stances on social issues show a softer more sympathetic side, shall we see what he supports?

·         $2.4 trillion in reductions from Medicaid and other health care for people with low or moderate incomes.
·         $134 billion in cuts to SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
·         At least $291 billion in cuts in low-income discretionary programs, like Head Start, child care, K-12 education, job training and services for the elderly.
·         He voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act which was signed into law by President Obama on October 28, 2009,
  • He voted against the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell which was also signed into law by Obama on December 22, 2010.  
  • He opposes civil unions and marriage equality and, like so many other strict Constitutionalists, supports a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
  • In 1999 he voted against allowing gay adoptions.
A hoped for Compassionate Conservative he is clearly not, a man who would strap a distressed damsel to an N.J. Transit train track while twirling the ends of his waxed, black mustache, he surely is – but what could be the genesis of such injurious attitudes and outlooks?

Ayn Rand – Paul Ryan’s “Own Personal Jesus”- The Woman behind the Man
If Ayn Rand is indeed Paul Ryan’s “own personal Jesus,” as suggested by the Depeche Mode lyric lift, than “Atlas Shrugged” would be his Bible. He has credited Rand as his proprietary reason for entering the political arena and he distributes copies of “Atlas Shrugged” as Christmas presents to his interns, which they are then required to read.  Rand is the wind beneath his wings, the founder of his feast, the master of his domain, and most critically and concerning, the apparent originator of his ideas.  Rand’s is a philosophy that preaches the virtues of self, selfishness, the individual’s want above the needs of society, the moral value of greed and money, a “me first” viewpoint taken to a radical extreme;  while, concurrently,  she had labeled altruism “evil,” condemned compassion for the less-fortunate, eschewed charity, humanity and empathy.  Ayn Rand was the ideal role-model for the modern Tea-publican Party, her “the Fountainhead” begat a perfect figurehead for the American Conservative movement. Quite appropriately, we conclude this examination and excoriation of the Congressman from Wisconsin with some relevant words from Rand and some follow-up fawning by the reverential and venerating Ryan.

“Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think." 
"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life.”
“Do you ask what moral obligation I owe to my fellow men? None—except the obligation I owe to myself, to material objects.”
“The first right on earth is the right of the ego. Man’s first duty is to himself. His moral law is never to place his prime goal within the persons of others. His moral obligation is to do what he wishes.” – Ayn Rand

“Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism, and this to me is what matters most.” – Paul Ryan

The Flying Lizards perform their unique interpretation of the Barrett Strong classic, “Money (That’s What I Want) -


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