Tag Archives: Paul Ryan

Paul R-Ayn, “I give out Atlas Shrugged as Christmas presents”

Ayn Rand and Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan in remarks this weekend, about President Obama. “Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.”

Linguists could parse Ryan’s phrase, whatever the explanations. I’d be curious to learn more about its construction. Actually, Paul R-Ayn, explanations do matter. Let’s bring our big brackets in to play. On one end is the domestic economy from the mid-nineties going forward into the Bush era, then the inkling of a housing asset bubble, and then cheap money, exotic derivatives and collateralized debt instruments, into that August four years ago, and, soon enough, TARP, and, under the circumstances, a fairly close election.

Obama’s first two years without enough of a congressional majority or mandate to go full-on-Roosevelt, then the Tea Party wave election, and, a spectacular do nothing congress, in which many of the House’s GOP members were, in effect, pledged to the destruction of Obama’s Presidency.

What are the explanations? What does it mean to state whatever the explanations?

Keep the concept explanation in mind for the following thought problem. Here’s a question you can pitch to right leaners, tea partistas, libertarians, and, galtians: if a two trillion dollar stimulus in 2009 & 2010 would have driven unemployment down to 6% by August 2012, would it have been worth it? In other words, assume it would have and decide your answer.

Okay, my iconoclastic view is that if you do not care to accurately explain why a problem came about and happened, then it’s unlikely your solution is going to work. For example, this sense of mine means creationists and advocates of intelligent design disqualify themselves for solving the problem, how is biology to be taught?

It’s likewise with those who advocate supply-side economics; privatizing social security; and democratizing the mid-east. (And, on and on of course, on both sides of the partisan divide.) Paul Ryan is the leading intellect of the GOP and, at the same time, he’s an anti-intellectual, is apparently against explanation.

David Frum: Romney has transformed a campaign about jobs and growth into a campaign about entitlements and Medicare.

Charles S. Peirce; Esquire: This is a guy in love with his own concocted genius.

[Ryan] does not have the raw balls to explain to the country that, no, he does not believe in government — not the federal government, anyway, and not as it was originally conceived, as the fundamental expression of a political commonwealth. He’s grandfathered his plan to chloroform Medicare so that, despite the deficit that he considers such an urgent problem, nobody alive today who might vote against him will be affected by it. For the same reason, he will not specify the cuts that he will make or the tax “loopholes” —coughMortgageInterestDeductioncough — that he will close. In any way that will come to matter to the people whose lives his policies will make harder and more miserable, Paul Ryan is still the high-school kid living off Social Security survivor benefits and reading Ayn Rand by flashlight under the sheets.

John Dickerson; Slate; But for all of the talk of a new emphasis on policy specifics, this is still going to be a campaign deeply connected to American values. When Ryan spoke on Saturday, he talked about the threat Obama poses to the American way of life. Underneath every policy debate will be the argument that when tough choices have to be made about the federal government, you’re going to want candidates who share your values when they’re doing the awful math of scarcity.

GOP Resotration

Let’s contemplate seven phases of the fully realized form of R-Ayn’s utopia perspective. (I read these goals to constitute a furious race to the bottom.)

(1) throw millions of government employees out of work

(2) throw millions of people off their healthcare

(3) throw millions of college students off their Pell Grants

(4) pluck hundreds of millions of dollars from the pockets of the elderly, the salaried and hourly work force, and, give this money to

(5) tens of thousands of high-wealth individuals, including many who never worked a single day in their life for their wealth

(6) just for grins, increase the incidence of the late stage cancers women get

(7) Accelerate tens of millions of sick people visiting emergency rooms

This will be wrapped in Christian ‘ethics’ and Patriotism. Except, obviously, Romney and R-Ayn won’t be running very hard on this platform at all. It’s a loser. They’ll run against Obama the socialist and anti-Capitalist deceiver, and traitor to America, and son of a dirty fucking hippie and African. The GOP side, methinks, are now forced to go completely with the culture war strategy, the politics of resentment, and this seems especially congruent with their patently racist voter suppression strategy.

The point of this would be painting, again, the picture of Obama being something like an African Jihadi Manchurian Anti-colonialist Cosmopolitan Ivy league Affirmative Action Saul Alinsky Communist Organizer who abhors success and loves the culture of handouts. There will be plenty of dog whistles and appeals which suggest Obama is actually trying to buy votes with welfare. This tactic reflects a useful but untrue explanation Romney/Ryan endorse.

As a political and sociological phenomena, I, for one, am interested in how this all works to fit together the social and institutional structure and political economy of the USA. What, come the day after the election, explains the result, and, explains how one might smartly anticipate the new prospects? Just sayin’ . . .explanations matter!

Last item:

(8) [The Hill] The House Republican budget released Tuesday would shield the Pentagon from nearly $500 billion in automatic cuts and roll back some of the $487 billion reduction approved in last year’s Budget Control Act. The plan from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) asks six congressional committees — but not Armed Services — to find $261 billion in savings to help roll back the automatic cuts through sequestration that were triggered by the failure of the supercommittee. The Ryan plan also increases national defense spending to $554 billion in 2013, an increase of $8 billion over the $546 billion that was agreed to under the Budget Control Act.

War. Destruction. Death.

I suspect the scale of our nation and its resources help conceal how unexceptional in many ways is our nation’s recent performance. My provisional explanation about this particular trend, (rooted to an anthropologically-minded analysis of the socio-political economy,) begins with the 1960 election. We can track over fifty years the curve of an appalling amount of death-dealing, the amount hundreds of billions of dollars purchases.

Meanwhile, domestically, why would anyone intentionally amplify, for example, greed and rent seeking and Randian ethics at the same time, for example, most of Asia and Europe and India, has come to eat our lunch and shorts by committing to eventually educating their billions of children better than we educate our own American children?

Who possibly in their right mind believes America’s future global ability to compete will be secured by making the country into Texas?

Romney/Ryan would be unable to convince me that their intense, self-righteous utopian phantasy about saving America is not also yoked to an equivalent Shadow; underside; blindness; and hubris. But I can’t (much) explain why it is they wholeheartedly endorse America transforming itself into an even more vicious, hyper-aristocratic, Galtian triumph-of-the-makers, society.

Especially this is so when I contemplate a future in which several billion 20-40 year old English-speaking Chinese and Indian men and woman have no trouble rattling off, when asked, what is the scientific method.



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Racing to Nowhere, Or to Iran?

self deporting money

Josh Green, quoting Romney’s Twitter nemesis, comedian Rob Delaney, “Romney fascinates me endlessly,” Delaney said before his show at a Montreal comedy festival last week. “He’s such an attractive target comedically because more than any other candidate in my lifetime, he just wants to be president. That’s it! He longs for it. Feels it’s his birthright. I can imagine him getting elected and just saying, ‘Well, that’s that then!’ and staring out a window.”

He just needs to be President. It would, complete him.

I wonder about Willard’s Mormonism. Does Romney justify his mendacity for theological reasons? Does Romney understand Jesus did come to America, (or appeared so-to-speak. as reported in the Mormon holy epic?) Against these several things I’m curious about, the probable toxic contents of his unrevealed tax returns are, to me, boring. Oh, he won’t destroy his campaign by releasing any more returns.

Romney White House

Today, I am amazed Romney and his courtmen figured out a way to lie, and, piss off military men and women in a single swoop. How could Mittens be so stupid to let this happen?

Meanwhile, and speaking of someone “substantial and important,” who is by reputation Mitt’s intellectual superior, Paul Ryan, some ripe and embarrassing footage:

How can Ryan be considered intelligent and also spout anti-intellectual clap trap such as that on display from the beginning to the end of this clip? It showcases his puerile Randian fantasizing and his sober allegiance to the thorough-going banalities of his ideological fixations.

Curious about Ryan, I now know way too much about how his youthful enthusiasms got the best of his raw intellectual potential. I’m fairly certain Ryan will never tutor himself on the principle ways purist political ideologies–as a genre–are in all cases found to be disreputable and incredible.

Ryan has earned another profile, this time in The New Yorker. I already knew he believes his own bullshit. Jared Bernstein caps his brief comment about the profile and Ryan.

The moral of the story is to beware of politicians pumped up on ideological visions stoked by novelists and fairy tales about how slashing taxes and spending sets us free. The world is more complicated than that. Our economic challenges will never be resolved by those who pledge never to raise taxes or spending any more than it would by those who pledge never to cut them.

And especially don’t be fooled if they happen to possess the numeracy to write their ideas down in budgets. Their numbers just don’t add up.

Reminding me of Reagan, the iconic Republican who figured out the political advantages of matching the ‘supply-side’ with white resentment. Romney, as I sense his motivations, wants to usher in a sea change as Reagan did in his time. It seems to the point that Reagan, now a template, wanted to get his foot in the door as a matter of his having successfully retailed a fresh ideology, and then, once elected, Reagan just did what he wanted to do. So, he was a Keynesian; a proxy cold killer of hundreds of thousands of innocent Hispanic peasants; a radical anti-Constitutionalist; a taxer, borrower, profligate spender; a negotiator with terrorists; a benefactor of jihadis; and, incidentally, the headman for a famously corrupt administration; and one that served as a finishing school for future war criminals Rumsfeld and Cheney and many others.

Soon enough, during the eighties, in effect, the contras came to feast on the Laffer Curve.

Already, the fever dream of leading American military might into a desert world war in Iran has struck chicken hawk/draft dodger Romney’s fancy–with all his talk about stopping Iran’s capability. If Romney is elected, my guess is that Ryan’s fantastic plan to rapidly race to the bottom in the name of Ayn Rand will end up being subsumed by a counter-productive conflagration in Iran.

King Mitt

It is helpful always to remind yourself that, in the mind of Willard Romney, there are only two kinds of people — himself and his family, and The Help. Throughout his career, and especially throughout his brief political career, Romney has treated The Help with a kind of lordly disdain. It was there when he swooped down from snowy Olympus and shoved an incumbent Republican governor named Jane Swift under a train. It was there in the general election in 2002, when he glibly pushed aside the Democratic candidate, state treasurer Shannon O’Brien, who raised almost all the same issues against Romney that the president and his people are belaboring him with today. The only time it didn’t work was in his race against Senator Edward Kennedy, when Romney found himself up against a candidate with so much money that he couldn’t outspend him, and so much historical gravitas that he couldn’t ignore him.

The Help has no right to go pawing through the family books, giggling at the obvious loopholes and tax dodges, running amok through all the tax shelters, and probably getting their chocolate-y fingerprints all over the pages of the Romney family ledger. And, certainly, those members of The Help in the employ of the president of the United States, who is also part of The Help, have no right to use the nearly comically ostentatious wealth of the Romney as some sort of scrimey political weapon. He does not have to answer to The Help. I mean, jeepers, he’s running for office.

This isn’t stubbornness. That’s often an acquired trait. What this is, fundamentally, is contempt. Contempt for the process, and contempt for the people who make their living in that process, and contempt for the people whose lives depend on that process. There are rules for The Help with which Willard Romney never has had to abide, and he has no intention of starting now. My dear young fellow, this simply is not done. (Charles S. Pierce, Esquire, July 16)

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