Tuesday, 5/1/12, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

32 responses to “Tuesday, 5/1/12, Public Square

  1. TRUTH! Because we live in that place known as ‘reality.’

    ———————————-

    Self-made men, debunked

    A new book makes a strong case that nobody ever makes it on their own in America

    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/30/self_made_men_debunked_salpart/

  2. There are children serving as congress critters. They need to be punished!

    Extremism In Congress: ‘Even Worse Than It Looks’?

    Congress is more dysfunctional than it has been since the Civil War, and they aren’t hesitating to point a finger at who they think is to blame.

    “One of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. They have a platform that’s so ideologically based, that’s so dismissive of facts, of evidence, of science, it’s frankly hard to take seriously.”

    This ideological outlier must be reined in by an active, informed public.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/04/30/151522725/even-worse-than-it-looks-extremism-in-congress

  3. Very interesting article that makes you think, makes you wonder, helps you make a connection … It seems Reagan was involved.

    Want to Understand the 1992 LA Riots? Start with the 1984 LA Olympics

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/167630/want-understand-1992-la-riots-start-1984-la-olympics

  4. indypendent

    I wonder when this assessment of Rupert Murdoch will reach the USA? I’m hoping around September or October 2012?

    I had to laugh the other week – some Rupert Murdoch supporters blogged about Rupert was just such a nice family man – and he looks like such a grandfather.

    Uh, my grandpa NEVER had a young wife that looked like Rupe’s wife..

    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/01/11481154-rupert-murdoch-not-a-fit-person-to-run-major-firm-uk-lawmakers-say?lite

  5. Last week, Paul Ryan called it an “urban legend” that he was an Ayn Rand devotee — “I reject her philosophy,” he said.

    But guess what? It’s all recorded. He can’t run from the facts! He can’t get by with his coverup and lies any more easily than Romney can!

    You can listen to the entire audio and hear it all said in his own voice, but here are a few quotes:

    “I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we’re engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand, that’s what I tell people.”

    “I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are.”

    “It’s inspired me so much that it’s required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff. We start with Atlas Shrugged. People tell me I need to start with The Fountainhead then go to Atlas Shrugged [laughter]. There’s a big debate about that. We go to Fountainhead, but then we move on, and we require Mises and Hayek as well.”

    “But 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.”

    “And when you look at the twentieth-century experiment with collectivism that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism—you can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand.”

    “It’s so important that we go back to our roots to look at Ayn Rand’s vision, her writings, to see what our girding, under-grounding [sic] principles are.”

    “Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand’s writings and works.”

    I’m amazed anew at how stupid republicans think Americans are. Is this because they’re able to pull the wool over the eyes of their constituency so easily? They’re going to have to get out more and meet all the Americans that aren’t so easily fooled!

    Audio Surfaces of Paul Ryan’s Effusive Love of Ayn Rand
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/04/audio-surfaces-paul-ryans-effusive-love-ayn-rand/51711/

    • indypendent

      I suspect Paul Ryan is trying to show people he is not associated with an atheist (as I’ve read she declared herself to be at one time?).

      But more than that – this suddenly repulsion for Ayn Rand seems to follow Paul Ryan being ‘called out’ by those Catholic Bishops and Nuns about his infamous budget.

      God – those Nuns’ rulers must have cracked a few knuckles….LMAO

      • Yes, he did get called on the carpet. Now the past just didn’t exist. Isn’t it amazing? Shake, shake, shake that EtchASketch! The people who would vote for these liars are easily fooled!

  6. I really find it laughable that the republicans are attempting to denigrate President Obama listing the death of Osama Bin-Laden as an accomplishment. I remember well the little Bush standing on the carrier deck in a flight suit with his Mission Accomplished banner behind him. That wasn’t grand-standing, that wasn’t bragging, that wasn’t making political points?

    More than that I remember that manufacturing cooked-up evidence in order to frighten a quarter of a billion people into signing on to a war that easily slaughtered over one-hundred thousand men, women and little children, the sole purpose of which was to seize the second largest oil reserves on the planet and grease the coffers of a handful of well-connected corporate cronies was not only political, it was immoral.

    I think it is not only right but good to point out that President Obama is strong and makes excellent decisions. America is safe under his leadership! The republicans are jealous and their predictions (remember when they used the war to predict only they were capable of keeping Americans safe) didn’t come any place close to true! President Obama has an excellent record and it should be touted!

    And, if anyone ignores the facts that Romney is a neocon, that just like Bush2 he will wage war for no better reasons than making those corporate cronies even more money, is willfully ignorant.

  7. The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama
    He’s gotten more done in three years than any president in decades. Too bad the American public still thinks he hasn’t accomplished anything.

    Measured in sheer legislative tonnage, what Obama got done in his first two years is stunning. Health care reform. The takeover and turnaround of the auto industry. The biggest economic stimulus in history. Sweeping new regulations of Wall Street. A tough new set of consumer protections on the credit card industry. A vast expansion of national service. Net neutrality. The greatest increase in wilderness protection in fifteen years. A revolutionary reform to student aid. Signing the New START treaty with Russia. The ending of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    Even over the past year, when he was bogged down in budget fights with the Tea Party-controlled GOP House, Obama still managed to squeeze out a few domestic policy victories, including a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction deal and the most sweeping overhaul of food safety laws in more than seventy years. More impressively, on the foreign policy front he ended the war in Iraq, began the drawdown in Afghanistan, helped to oust Gaddafi in Libya and usher out Mubarak in Egypt, orchestrated new military and commercial alliances as a hedge against China, and tightened sanctions against Iran over its nukes.

    Oh, and he shifted counterterrorism strategies to target Osama bin Laden and then ordered the risky raid that killed him.

    That Obama has done all this while also steering the country out of what might have been a second Great Depression would seem to have made him already, just three years into his first term, a serious candidate for greatness.

    more —
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/the_incomplete_greatness_of_ba035754.php

    • indypendent

      And yet the only thing we ever hear from Republicans is that Obama has not gotten us out of the economic hole fast enough.

      Wow – these folks were the ones that dug that damn hole of despair but yet have the nerve now to criticize the guy who helped to at least put a bottom in that damn black hole so that we could start to climb back up to get out.

      I heard some economist say the other day that it takes generally 7 to 10 years to rebound from any kind of recession – so 3 years is just a drop in the bucket as to the time it will take to fully recover from what GWB and Gang did.

      This economist also made the point that voters expect instant results – kinda like our society is used to instant gratification – and that is the problem with trying to understand why it takes time to for the entire country to deal with an economic recession.

      Usually, the people who expect instant results will change sides and vote for the other guy who is promising them those instant results. And the continuing saga of American politics is on display for the entire world to see.

      Some Americans want something for nothing – and some politicians are all too eager to promise these same Americans that very thing – something for nothing.

      Bottom line – check your history and see how many times Republicans have f_cked it up and Democrats have cleaned it up.

      • I heard a pundit say recently that all the republicans have is “the democrats aren’t fixing the mess we made fast enough.”

  8. indypendent

    I watched Mitt Romney on The Early Show this morning on CBS. Is it just me, or does Mitt Romney seem to have this nervous laugh whenever he is talking?

    One comment though – I remember the Republicans’ reaction when President Obama announced that the Navy Seals had killed Bin Laden. Did any one of them congratulate Obama or did they nitpick and whine because George W. Bush should have gotten the credit?

    Did the country unite behind the killing of Obama – as Romney tried to say? The implication made by Romney, in this rambling on speech, was that our country united in the killing of Bin Laden but now Obama is trying to divide us by using the death for political gain.

    Wow – I must be living in a different America than Romney is – because I do not remember any Republicans uniting behind Obama when Bin Laden was killed – do you?

    • People capable of thinking aren’t the ones Romney is talking to. We have intact memories, his constituency believes whatever he says this time.

    • It takes a bit of wind out of the republican sail that a democrat performs better than they could when it comes to national security. Go back a few short years ago when our last president was running for reelection, or even a shorter time to the republican field in the run up to the 2008 presidential election and remember how many times nine eleven was said. Un huh. Republicans guard their image of military strength, and they’re unable to admit this president is stronger and more successful than they. Takes some wind out of their sail. 🙂

  9. “We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget,” says anti-tax enforcer Grover Norquist. “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.”

    • Does it seem if Romney is elected he will be taking his orders from Paul Ryan and Grover Norquist? Who do you think gives them their orders? Is Koch a good guess?

    • If you thought Romney might call some of his own shots —

      Richard Grenell, the openly gay spokesman recently hired to sharpen the foreign policy message of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.

      Republicans eat their own. This had nothing to do with qualifications, experience, abilities. It was because he is a gay man.

      • prairie pond

        Wow. Shrub didn’t do that to Ken Mehlman. He was the RNC chair during Shrub’s re-election campaign. He later said he was sorry he ginned up all the anti-gay hate while being gay himself.

        Most gay people rolled their eyes and flipped him the bird after he said that. Too many repukes reap the benefits and then tell the truth later. I guess this incident with Grenell just confirms that’s what queers have to do to live in the land of Wingnuttia.

        Freakin’ self loathing queers set us ALL back.

  10. indypendent

    I listened to this story on NPR yesterday. I was moved by this woman’s sincerity in what she was saying and I could tell that she went through this process with much thought and without any ulterior motives.

    Afterward hearing how the people reacted to her decision, it brought back all those memories of how my husband and I were treated by self-professing Christians when we wre first married and trying to remain inthe ministry in the midst of a vedry difficult isutaiton.

    As I’ve shared before – we lost our faith in the church but we did not lose our faith in God. And I still feel the same way today. But my interpretation of God is not some Supreme Being sitting on some golden throne just waiting for us to step out of line so he can throw us into the fire pit of Hell.

    The God I beleive in, and see in evidence everyday around me through nature, is more like an energy source. I see where this world is marvelous and wondrous place and I also see where humans have f_cked it up pretty badly by instituting their man-made religions.

    Which is why I think this woman is now ostracized so much – because she does not recognize there is a god? So, what if that is her belief – does that make her any less the woman, the wife, the mother, the neighbor, the good friend that she was before this newfound fact was said outloud for all to hear?

    What makes our society – especially in America – so demonizing of people with the views of Atheism? What makes them to be such a pariah in our society?

    I have confessed many times that I am prejudiced against the Fundy Evangelical Christians aka Billy and Betty Bibles. But I do not feel that I have the right to forbid them to worship as they please. But I do have the right to tell them to keep their specific religion out of my government (but that is another issue).

    I am reminded of John Lennon’s song ‘ Imagine’ when that came out. Do you remember all the stir that caused. How dare this young question the existence of God.

    If you truly believe in the what the Founding Fathers advocated – freedom of religion – then you must also allow for the freedom FROM religion.

    http://www.npr.org/2012/04/30/151681248/from-minister-to-atheist-a-story-of-losing-faith

    • I’m happy for her freedom to be who she is; I’m sad that she continued the lie by keeping that particular job. It wasn’t fair to others for her to misrepresent herself. She didn’t need to do that. She could have cleaned those houses or flipped those burgers. Maybe part of the time she was still searching but she admits she kept that job after she knew the truth and still kept up the facade. Who knows who she hurt with her lie?

      A long time ago I was lied to and the pain it caused me didn’t have to be, shouldn’t have been.

      I know I’m looking at this in a different way than the next person would. What we bring to today is always influenced by where we have been. Someday I’ll tell you the whole story — someday when we’re talking, not blogging. 🙂

      For me God is love and certainly not about judging and punishing. Living life does a fine job of that.

    • prairie pond

      Atheists are the MOST hated people in society. Even more so than queers.

      Guess I’m a twofer.

  11. In 2001, Paul Ryan led a coterie of conservatives who complained that George W. Bush’s $1.2 trillion tax cut was too small, and too focused on the middle class. In 2003, he lobbied Republicans to pass Bush’s deficit-­financed prescription-drug benefit, which bestowed huge profits on the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. In 2005, when Bush campaigned to introduce private accounts into Social Security, Ryan fervently crusaded for the concept. He was the sponsor in the House of a bill to create new private accounts funded entirely by borrowing, with no benefit cuts. Ryan’s plan was so staggeringly profligate, entailing more than $2 trillion in new debt over the first decade alone, that even the Bush administration opposed it as “irresponsible.”

    http://nymag.com/news/features/paul-ryan-2012-5/index3.html

  12. In 2010, Ryan was a member of a bipartisan committee, chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, to formulate a plan to reduce the deficit, but voted against it.

    Last year, another, informal bipartisan collection of senators released an agreement for a wide-ranging plan to reduce the deficit, combining lower spending with a tax-reform plan designed to increase revenue. It seemed to be gaining momentum quickly until Ryan attacked it, thus dropping what a Republican Senate aide called a “bomb” that blew apart Republican support for the plan.

    In fact, with the possible exception of anti-tax activist/Bond villain Grover Norquist, nobody has done more in recent years to prevent the passage of a bipartisan debt agreement than Paul Ryan. And yet, incredibly, Ryan has managed to position himself as the nation’s foremost spokesman for the cause of bipartisan deficit reduction. Possibly his favorite accusation against Obama, one he repeats day after day, is that he failed to openly endorse the Bowles-Simpson plan. Thus Ryan regularly holds forth on this subject in a way that seems genuine and even admirable to his audiences but, to anybody who happens to recall his actual role in these events, utterly surreal.

    http://nymag.com/news/features/paul-ryan-2012-5/index4.html

  13. Return to another vintage Ryan moment from last year, where he awed a swooning reporter by opening up the budget to a random page and fingered a boondoggle. The item Ryan pointed to was the Obama administration’s reform of the student-loan industry. “Direct loans—this is perfect,” Ryan said. “So direct loans, that’s new spending on autopilot, that had no congressional oversight, and it gave the illusion that they were cutting spending.”

    For decades, the government helped make college more affordable through “guaranteed loans”—it encouraged banks to lend money to students by promising to repay the banks if the students defaulted. Banks were making billions of dollars in profits at virtually no risk. The General Accounting Office, a kind of in-house fiscal watchdog for the federal government, issued sixteen reports over the years noting how the government could save money simply by issuing the loans itself and cutting out the middleman.

    It was the simplest, no-brainer pot of savings you could find—ending pure corporate welfare. The cause attracted support from think tanks, as well as the moderate Wisconsin Republican Tom Petri, an eclectic reformer who is sort of the real-life version of the Paul Ryan character who appears on television. Two National Review editors endorsed eliminating guaranteed loans in an article advocating a new reform conservatism.

    The banks lobbied fiercely to protect their gravy train. Among the staunchest advocates of those government-subsidized banks was … Paul Ryan, who fought to protect bank subsidies that many of his fellow Republicans deemed too outrageous to defend. In 2009, Obama finally eliminated the guaranteed-lending racket. It could save the government an estimated $62 billion, according to the CBO.

    http://nymag.com/news/features/paul-ryan-2012-5/index5.html

  14. I encourage you to read the entire article that I’ve quoted from and linked to in the last few comments. It is interesting and quite revealing about who Paul Ryan is. It will acquaint you with the man who controls much, very quietly, but very completely. If Romney were to be elected, and never ever underestimate the stupidity of the electorate, this is one of the men who would pull Romney’s strings. You need to know him. Even if President Obama is reelected, Paul Ryan is a force to be contended with — now and maybe to an even greater extent in the future.

  15. indypendent

    In the case of Paul Ryan, maybe we should all dress up like nuns and carry very big rulers.

    That seems to be the only thing that has made Paul Ryan renounce aanything – remember Paul Ryan recently renounced Ayn Rand.

    I kinda like that – a bunch of nuns with big rulers

    • All he did was tell another lie to placate the Nuns and the Church! He does that easily and often. I was amazed at how ‘romney-like’ he is! I’m still digging and still learning. This Ryan guy is a real snake in the grass!