Archive for April, 2014

Recently Sean Hannity and all his colleagues over at Fox Ruse plumbed the depths of desperation turning Cliven Bundy, a little known deadbeat, tax evading rancher from Nevada, into their conservative freedom fighter of the month. Day after day, Sean featured Clive and his band of militia supporters, telling his tale of patriotic resistance against a government that was denying all good white Christian Americans their liberty.  Each night for two weeks Sean would supply the gasoline while Cliven would bring the fires of hell and retribution to reign down upon the revenuers from a foreign government he didn’t recognize as legitimate.

The thing is, Sean kept missing the obvious: Cliven was just another white supremacist with a bulging gut and an everlasting grudge against the Emancipation Proclamation. Then, in a moment of revelation, Sean, doing his best Claude Rains impression, was shocked, SHOCKED to hear that his revolutionary BFF was none other than Archie Bunker in a Stetson. Yes, Cliven was caught on tape expressing his concern for the poor American Negro, who, as a result of the War of Yankee Aggression, has nothing to do but sit on the porch and find ways to incarcerate young black men. Why Clive had the perfect solution. There’s all this cotton out there to be picked, and good old Negro hands just sittin’ idle that could be put to good use a pickin’! That way, they would have something to do, a good family life, and a bunch of chickens to eat. Ah, the good old days of slavery!

Well, Sean, maybe you and your producers over at Fox Views should vet your heroes more carefully. Better yet, maybe you should stop finding ways to fan the flames of racial hatred and bigotry. Maybe you should stop pretending that you never suspected that this hero of yours was nothing more than a land mooching racist. Maybe you and Cliven should sit down together and take in a movie. May I suggest “Twelve Years a Slave”.

On Friday, Paul Ryan, the faithful disciple of Ayn Rand, the Mother Teresa of Greed, will get a vote on his “Path to Prosperity”. However, if you are poor, old, or sick, it would better be described as the “Road to Hell”. Setting aside Mr. Ryan’s own hypocrisy (he readily accepted Social Security benefits as a youth and used them to attend college), his budget is an assault on common decency. If you haven’t experienced the viciousness of the hell on earth he has in store for our poor and middle class, Sen. Bernie Sanders has a detailed summary on his website here. It is summarized below.

Ryan would:

  • End Medicare as we know it, turn it into a voucher program, and in the process increase retirees’ out of pocket expenses by $6,000 in the next eight years.
  • Raise the eligibility age for Medicare to 67.
  • Re-open the Medicare Part D donut hole costing retirees $2 billion in added cost for prescription drugs.
  • Cut Medicaid by $770 million, turn it into a block grant, throwing nursing home patients into the street, and costing 1.7 million jobs.
  • Repeal the Affordable Care Act, taking health care away from the 10 million people benefiting from this law.
  • Cut Pell Grants by 60% next year alone.
  • Cut infrastructure spending by 40% in 2015.
  • Increase military spending by $26 billion in 2015.
  • Lavish $1 trillion in tax giveaways on the wealthiest 2%.

Now, to hear Mr. Ryan tell it, all these cuts are in the spirit of saving needed programs. This is like saying that you want to burn down your house to make it fireproof. Of course, Ryan has no real love for the safety net. He considers it a “hammock” for the lazy. Burn, hammock, burn! And if the people who depend on these programs (mostly the lazy poor) are burned in the process, well, they had it coming. After all, the only thing that Paul Ryan wishes to do is motivate the lazy to become rich. Poverty solved. And the best part according to him is that most of these cuts will inspire the “urban” rabble, where he considers living in poverty a life choice.  

Now, all this is “Ryan-Speak” for spending trillions of dollars on gifts to corporations, defense contractors, and Wall Street, then sending the bill to the nearest nursing home, school, or retiree. What Ryan won’t tell you is the real occupants of that “hammock” he loathes are the obese piglets who gorge themselves on a yearly feast of tax breaks and benefit from the Koch brothers’ infested political system. Maybe Ryan should give up on cutting the lifeline to the needy and instead consider ending the subterfuge that is his latest attempt to undo the New Deal. But given Mr. Ryan’s contempt for all things compassionate, that probably won’t happen until hell freezes over.  

  

 

 

Today, Rep. Paul Ryan released his latest incarnation of “The Agony and the Ecstasy”, or as he called it, the GOP 2015 budget. The ecstasy is a windfall for the very rich that is paid for by the agony of the needy. Ryan’s newest manifesto is not as noteworthy and innovative as it is cruel for its relentless assault on the poor. One has to wonder what limits republicans put on cruelty. As Ted Kennedy angrily asked on the senate floor in 2007, “When does the greed stop!”. I fear the answer is “never!”. However this latest expansion of Ayn Rand’s universe selfishverse is best explained in the words of the Patron Saint of the Right, Ronald Reagan.

“There you go again!” 

Yes, those immortal words from Ronald Reagan, first spoken during a presidential debate in 1980, were never truer than when applied to the Ryan budget. Again, he eviscerates the poor with cuts to food stamp, school lunches and Medicaid. He savages the elderly with another attempt to turn Medicare into a worthless coupon program. He pulls the plug on the sick, repealing the Affordable Care Act and rolling back its Medicaid expansion. In the process, he rewards the wealthy by reducing their taxes and pretending to balance the budget as a rationalization for greed.

“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem”

No truer words were ever spoken, if your idea of government is a clearinghouse for Wall Street profit. If Paul Ryan wants to use a thinly veiled slight of hand to portray his budget as government, then it truly is a problem. Far from being an expression of a society’s compassion, Ryan’s version of government epitomizes the philosophy of his goddess of greed, Ayn Rand. It transforms it into an instrument for the wealthy to receive all the benefits from the labor of others the others Mr. Ryan envisions as “takers”.

“…we will become that shining city on a hill”

Well, maybe a fortress. If Paul Ryan has his way, defense spending will increase by $483 billion in order to be “consistent with America’s military goals and strategies,. In “neocon” that means “to be able to start as many wars as possible to enrich defense contractors”.  In the meantime, our poor, our schools, and our infrastructure crumble from neglect. So to follow St. Reagan’s metaphor, all the wealthy can move into a fortress on the hill where all their money will be protected. The rest of us can sleep outside, hoping to be thrown a scrap over the wall. Oh, and send in your children, we need them in uniform as soon as they can carry a weapon.

So thanks to none other than Ronald Reagan we have the words to describe Paul Ryan’s budget. It is selfish, it is greedy, and it is cruel. You don’t have to look too deeply into the Ryan budget to see through the subterfuge. It is the latest attempt by the GOP to undo the progress we have made as a nation since the days of Franklin Roosevelt. There is nothing new here, just the same old attacks on those that are most unable to defend themselves. If you don’t believe me, read his proposal. Ryan doesn’t want you to because as St. Reagan once said, “Facts are stupid things”.