Archives For August 2012

Like for the first two days of the GOP convention I was trying to find a fact check article that had some substance but was pretty much unsuccessful.  It seems that Clint Eastwood’s rambling rants to an empty chair was the highlight of the night.

Of course, Mr. Romney pulled out the “Obama Medicare $716 billion cut which has been already thoroughly discounted.  The other big announcement was that he plans to create 12 million new jobs. The only jobs a president can actually create is in the federal government  and I don’t think that is what he has in mind. Here is what one expert said about that

If Mitt Romney were elected president in November, he is likely to oversee an economy that gains 12 million new jobs in the next four years. But, as Mark Hopkins, a senior analyst at Moody’s told the Washington Post, “the baseline forecast is for payroll employment to increase by 12 million jobs from the start of 2013 to the end of 2016.”

So I guess what he is saying is that he will take credit for the jobs if they actually occur :) It would be interesting to compare what Mr. Romney said last night to what Mr. Obama said four years ago. As I remember they have a lot of similarities. A bunch of promises and little substance to go along with them. But that just seems to be the way of politics now.

To me the crowning words of the night were these from Mr. Romney:

“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division,” Romney said. “This isn’t something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something. With your help we will do something.”

If only those words were actually true. If Mr. Romney really wanted President Obama to succeed he would have urged his fellow Republican to come together with the Democrats in doing what they can agree is good for America and not filibuster everything that could have actually accomplished something. It is a fact that the last two congresses have been the least productive in the last one hundred years.  But then again since the new radical base of the GOP just doesn’t trust Romney they likely would not have listened to him anyway.

If President Obama had succeeded it would be very unlikely that Mr. Romney would be elected. So five years and millions of dollars of his personal payments would be for naught. I kind of doubt the sincerity of his words above. In order to get to where he is today Mr. Romney had to basically deny almost all of his life’s crowning achievements to appease the now radical base of his party. He had to say that all the work he did to get almost universal healthcare for his State was a big mistake! This alone make me doubt that he has any foundational beliefs that he is not willing to deny in order to gain the Presidency.

The final observation that I want to make before personally putting politics back on the shelf for a while is that the last three nights have firmed up my belief that without some very substantial change the GOP is bound for oblivion. The reason I say that is that when you look at the convention crowd all you see is primarily white faces and old white faces at that.  Our country is become a more diverse nation as the years go by. If the GOP can’t find some way to stop alienating those who are not WASPs they are doomed.

But what do I know….

Source:  Catholic Leaders to Rep. Paul Ryan: Stop Distorting Church Teaching to Justify Immoral Budget | Faith in Public Life.

“If Rep. Ryan thinks a budget that takes food and healthcare away from millions of vulnerable people upholds Catholic values, then he also probably believes Jesus was a Tea Partier who lectured the poor to stop being so lazy and work harder,” said John Gehring, Catholic Outreach Coordinator at Faith in Public Life. “This budget turns centuries of Catholic social teaching on its head. These Catholic leaders and many Catholics in the pews are tired of faith being misused to bless an immoral agenda.”

The leaders wrote: “Simply put, this budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms.”

This post is part of my ongoing search into just who Paul Ryan is. I want to understand why a very good clergy friend of mine endorses him so highly.

When I listen to his speeches his fervor reminds me of the Mr. Obama in 2008.  He seems passionate about what he believes. But that seems to be the rub; just what does he believe. This post will be primarily about his proposed budget for 2012. It seems to say more about the man than his words relay. He has stated several time that his budget reflects Catholic principles but the quotes here say something much to the contrary.

In a letter to the House of Representatives last month, Catholic bishops wrote that “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons; it requires shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly.” Bishops also called for repealing “cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” and asked Congress to consider the “human and moral dimensions” of budget choices. Rep. Ryan has ignored this vision. Instead, he proposes to dismantle Medicare as we know it, slash food assistance for struggling families and turn Medicaid into inadequate state block grants at a time when most states are struggling to pay their bills. The dramatic growth in military spending is untouched. Addressing our national debt is essential, but balancing budgets on the backs of the poor and working families is flawed public policy and morally bankrupt.

Mr. Ryan claims he is very spiritual but then goes against almost all of Catholic beliefs about taking care of the poor. I know that many, including myself, believe that taking care of “the least of these” is the church’s job but when it fails its duty the other people’s representatives, meaning our government, must take over that task. To simply allow those of us who have fallen on dire times to perish is not an option.

ON Monday I will wrap up this study of the GOP vice presidential candidate….

Source: FACT CHECK: Ryan Takes Factual Shortcuts in Speech – ABC News.

Laying out the first plans for his party’s presidential ticket, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took some factual shortcuts Wednesday night when he attacked President Barack Obama’s policies on Medicare, the economic stimulus and the budget deficit.

I must admit that Mr. Ryan really knows how to give a speech. He got the crowd worked up to a fever pitch last night. He is almost as good at it as Mr. Obama in that regard. I must also admit that the media sure does have creative ways for evaluating political rhetoric. I am just a simple guy but to me “factual shortcuts” sure do sound like just telling lies.  I am a wordsmith by nature. I look for just the right word to add to many of my posts but I try not to call things “untruths” or “factual shortcuts” when there is actually a more appropriate word readily available.  Here are some of the fact check discussions from this article.

RYAN: “And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly. … So they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.”

THE FACTS: Ryan’s claim ignores the fact that Ryan himself incorporated the same cuts into budgets he steered through the House in the past two years as chairman of its Budget Committee, using the money for deficit reduction. And the cuts do not affect Medicare recipients directly, but rather reduce payments to hospitals, health insurance plans and other service providers.

In addition, Ryan’s own plan to remake Medicare would squeeze the program’s spending even more than the changes Obama made, shifting future retirees into a system in which they would get a fixed payment to shop for coverage among private insurance plans. Critics charge that would expose the elderly to more out-of-pocket costs.

So here is the VP candidate railing against what he is actually for with even more cuts! Being a wordsmith I look for just the right words to describe this and to me it is being two-faced which of course means deceitful or hypocritical. Pick whichever one you like; they  both apply here. If you can tolerate more go to the source article and see the other gross fabrications of the truth by Mr. Ryan.  The differences between reality and his speech are totally amazing to me.  I’m sure Mr. Ryan thinks he is only playing a game here by grossly distorting the facts but some of us think it is much more than that. It puts your integrity on the line.  I really hope he is a better and more truthful person than the rhetoric from his speech shows him to be….

But what do I know….

The Hawks….

August 30, 2012

Source: Paul Ryan weighs in on Middle East policy – First Read.

He continued: “In the past day, Iran’s president called our ally Israel, quote, a cancerous tumor that must be excised. Let me be really clear. Under President Romney, our adversaries will think twice about challenging America and our allies because we believe in peace through strength. There will be no daylight between America and our friends around the world. Strong national defense, peace through strength, strong relationship with our allies.” 

This post is part of my ongoing search into just who Paul Ryan is. I want to understand why a very good clergy friend of mine endorses him so highly.

The only thing that kept me from being very upset by this article is that I know that campaign rhetoric very very rarely becomes action upon holding an office. My hero Will Rogers had much to say about campaign rhetoric but I will save that for a future post.  Let’s face it the old adage that politicians will say absolutely anything to get elected is as true today as it ever was. I pray Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney maintain that pattern. I certainly don’t want to hear their rhetoric turned into actions if they by some remote chance were to get elected :)

The words above sound like the mad military general from the movie Dr. Who just aching to get into a battle with anyone he could find. I hope there is some “daylight between America and it friends” when it comes to putting our children into a war zone. I know we consider Afghanistan our current friends and our sons and daughters continue to die there on a daily basis. When we were on the rampage against Iran after the hostage crisis we considered Hussein our friend and ally. Do we really want to use our overwhelming military might, and because we spend so much on it it is overwhelming, when any of our current allies feel dissed?

Mr. Obama has proved to be much more hawkish than I ever dreamed but to put Ryan/Romney there would make President Obama’s actions timid indeed.

But what do I know…