Saturday, August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan, Master Comedian

Who knew Romney's VP pick was so versatile? On a more serious note, I can't wait to see how he handles some of this: 1. On September 18, 2008, Ryan attended a closed meeting with congressional leaders, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the ongoing banking crisis. That same day Ryan sold shares in various troubled banks and invested in Goldman Sachs. 2. In 2008, Ryan voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Wall Street bailout that precipitated the Tea Party movement, and the bailout of GM and Chrysler.

25 comments:

  1. Hadn't heard either of these -- thanks! Hopefully this will soon be widely known.

    I thought this was a particularly good overview of what the republicans are now proposing for the country by picking Ryan. Pretty stark vision. Hopefully enough voters will pay attention, and Obama et al. will hammer it home:

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/106029/ryan-romney-vp-budget-cuts-medicare-medicaid-voucher-tax-cut

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  2. It is about as an uninspiring combination as you can get. I think even Pawlenty would have been better than Ryan, at least he is an "executive." Ryan is a career politician, a terrible number cruncher, and just plain boring.

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  3. I disagree. He will really stir things up when people find out what's in the "plan" that Romney already endorsed. That could cost Romney Florida and maybe even Arizona. I think the sparks are going to fly! Hopefully the democrats are up to really capitalizing on this pick. It could potentially be a sweep if they can start sending the message that Ryan/Romney = the Republicans at any level, which is how I would do it if I were boss of the world.

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  4. I take it back. Romney endorsed the plan earlier but now, of course, has changed his mind:

    "Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.
    Romney’s administration will go through the budget line by line and ask two questions: Can we afford it? And, if not, should we borrow money from China to pay for it?"

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  5. The Dems have already gone on the attack, as well they should, but there isn't much to Ryan. It seems the Republicans have decided to concede foreign policy. A first. In the past when they have put up governors, they have augmented them with veeps who had extensive FP experience, after all the Republican have long regarded FP as their strong point. But, here they are with two persons who have zero FP experience.

    Ryan has many other weak points, but it seems Romboid is content to use him as a budget bully boy in this campaign. At least, Biden will be able to take off the kid gloves in the VP debate.

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  6. I think the Republicans conceded foreign policy when McCain picked Palen as his running mate last time around. So this might amount to a trend.

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  7. I'm not saying Ryan is a good candidate -- I'm just saying with his budget proposal he'll make a great opponent.

    He's the author of plans calling for privatizing Social Security, killing medicare and medicaid, and giving massive tax cuts to the very wealthy. When pressed on these and other issues, Romney has sort of nervously chuckled and bobbed and weaved. Ryan put it all in writing, in black and white. There's no pretense of "compassionate conservatism" with this guy.

    It couldn't be clearer what this election is about this year. We'll see if Americans are still crazy enough to vote for it.

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  8. This also seems like a major shift to the right for the party -- not only are they giving up on the soon-to-be majority minorities, but seniors as well. There's not going to be many votes left to support their agenda. No wonder they are trying to suppress voter turnout.

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  9. Ryan looks like what Romney needed to do to energize the base--those voters who always vote Republican but whom Republicans are always worried about. However, while Ryan may energize the base, he has other liabilities, as you point out. Although I am obviously not capable of being entirely objective, this does not look like a good move, long-term, for the Romney campaign.

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  10. I sure hope so.

    Romney has always struck me as a ship without a rudder -- he seems to drift with the tide, wealth accumulation being his only motivator. I think it would have been very easy for moderates of either party to vote for him, wanting a change of direction for the country. (Even I want a change but I hope to do it the other way -- getting more Democrats back in so the government can start working again.)

    But if the democrats can get their act together to define Ryan the way they've defined Romney, Ryan really puts a lot more policy specifics on the table. I hope the strategists are working on it. This guy is a Randian. He even introduced a "personhood" bill in Congress. He's about as far right as you can get, and smiles and flexes his muscles while he does it. They say Romney sees himself in Ryan. Wow.

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  11. Romney is the quintessential empty suit. But he is handsome and wealthy and claims to be conservative, and that seems to be good enough for today's Republican party.

    Ryan has said that Ayn Rand's writing provided him with his value system. Odd thing to say for a Catholic. He also apparently got in a bind with the Church about her Objectivist philosophy--not sure who called him on it--and back-tracked. That also seems odd.

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  12. Ryan's supposed to be a good catholic boy but I think the nuns have called him and his plan out as being immoral and unchristian. (I also heard one of the nuns on the bus say they were only emphasizing what the bishops had already said -- not sure where the bishops spoke out but the more the merrier!)

    As for Romney, I still can't quite get over people calling him smart. I just don't see it. Rich yes, but smart ... not so much. I don't think he could have done what he did without a bankroll from his dad -- he's like George Jr. in that regard.

    Ryan on the other hand is supposed to be very smart and quick on his feet. This should be a great VP debate this year.

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  13. Speaking of the new Health Care law, “The contraceptive mandate is an affront to religious liberty,” Mr. Ryan has said.

    I hope there are more quotes like this one which makes absolutely no sense. How do idiots like this get elected? Oh, that's right, there are always plenty of idiots who will vote for them.

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  14. I can only think the Republicans are trying to score points among their base so that they can pick up seats in the Senate. It is really hard to see a Romney/Ryan ticket winning the WH. It is about as impersonal a ticket as you can get. But, maybe with a new negative campaigning and cheap shots like Romney's on Obama's welfare who knows what might happen. The Repugs obviously plan to leave no stone unturned when it comes to dirty tricks.

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  15. What gets me is how Romney demands an apology from Obama when he is called out on his taxes, but sees no harm done in completely mischaracterizing Obama's position on welfare.

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  16. The same thought has occurred to me about seats in the senate. Ryan almost looks like a symbolic choice. Senate races are, I suspect, somewhat less dependent in independent voters, so maybe Ryan will succeed in energizing the base on the state level. Nationally, however, the only "independent" voters who will like this guy are Tea Partiers, and maybe Catholic bishops. Now there's a constituency.

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  17. One writer at the New Republic thinks Romney knows he's going to lose so wants to blame it on the conservatives who forced him so far to the right.

    My favorite comment from a reader, though, was that Romney in essence outsourced his economic policy. Not sure he used that exact term, but that was the general idea -- he had no economic policy of his own so he brought one in with Ryan.

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    1. Romney is claiming today that he will be the one calling the shots on the federal budget. Are these people as clueless as they seem?

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  18. Here's a follow-up to that story:

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/106057/the-psychology-the-ryan-pick

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    1. Who knows? My take is that the Republicans have once again put too much faith in voter discontent. That typically works well in mid-term elections, but the stakes are so much smaller then. I just don't see it as a winning formula for a national election.

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  19. Everything I've read today points to what you and Gintaras said about motivating the base to vote. I guess they have no where else to look for votes since they've alienated everyone else who pays any attention to these things.

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  20. Looks like Ayn Rand will figure heavily into this election. She is the one who spawned this anarcho-capitalism the Republicans promote these days, but I don't see how her staunch atheism squares with Ryan's altar boy image or the Tea Party,

    http://www.atlassociety.org/ele/blog/2012/04/30/paul-ryan-and-ayn-rands-ideas-hot-seat-again

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  21. This is why Obama will win in November,

    http://news.yahoo.com/iowa-obama-surprises-fairgoers-visit-020441201.html

    Americans want a personable president not an android.

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  22. And this seems natural to him. He may not like campaigning, but he doesn't seem awkward in these kinds of environments. I can just see Romney looking at a pork chop on a stick and wondering if it would be safe to eat.....

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  23. He's definitely not afraid to get close to people. He may not be the gladhander Bill Clinton was, but he seems to enjoy mixing with people and is quick with a response. Romney is having Ryan do Iowa for him.

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