Archive for Mitt Romney

The Pass that Settled a Strike

Posted in On Sports!, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2012 by playthell

                     The Great Dispute

 Revealing sad Truths about American Values

Although people who listen to my commentary may find it hard to believe, I am not necessarily a contrarian.  Even so, I often find myself marching to a different drummer.  Hence I disagree with the howling mob who wants to hang the referee’s whose controversial call gave the Seattle Sea Hawk’s a victory over the Green Bay Packers, in last Monday night’s football game.

The out roar became so loud it was echoed by hard news reporters on nationally televised news shows.   The controversy even found its way into the presidential campaign.  To the casual observer with either a cavalier interest in football, or is indifferent to game, all the hoopla must appear an absurdity. “How can adults get so bent out of shape by a missed call in a kid’s game?” they ask.

Well, as the Trinidadian historian and political philosopher CLR James warned in the opening of his seminal text Beyond a Boundary: “He knows not Cricket who only cricket knows.”  And he shows us how the game of cricket reflected the values of the Victorian upper class.   The same can be said of football, which reflects the values of American civilization.  It is the perfect game for a warlike people whose national anthem is a war song and national symbol a vicious bird of prey.  Football is literally “America’s game.”

The importance of the game in American culture is reflected in the fact that it has been referenced by both President Obama and Mitt Romney on the stump.  And the character of the candidates was exposed in their statements.  President Obama is pro-union and routinely stands with the workers in their demands for fair wages and benefits, which is why they turn out and work for him come election time.  Hence the president’s support for the refs comes as no surprise.

But when Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney called upon the owners to settle the lock out and get the “real refs back on the field,” which meant successfully bargaining with their union over wages and benefits, they were completely out of character. Their hypocrisy was shameless.  Paul Ryan comes from Wisconsin, a state where the governor has curtailed the rights of public sector unions.  And Lyin Ryan has backed his play.

But Wisconsin is also the home of the Green Bay Packers, in fact the team is owned by the citizens of the town, who hold shares in the organization.  So it was an act of opportunism by a man whose allegiance to principle is determined by expedience.  Thus while Ryan is quite prepared to deny bargaining rights to teachers, nurses, fireman, and cops, he insists that the demands of NFL referee’s be met because the home team lost.

He and Mitt could even be heard arguing that the “real refs” should be adequately compensated for their expertise.  Hence by kick off time tonight the “real referees” will be back on the field. The contract they settled will pay the over $200,000 a year and generous benefits including healthcare and a pension, for a part time job a few months a year,  Good for them.  Yet No teacher, nurse or cop anywhere in America is so well compensated.

Republican apologists for this blatant hypocrisy – in which the demands of vital public servants for fair compensation are scoffed at while they demand that the National Football League give the referees what they want – argue that the refs are different from teachers and nurses because they are not being paid from the public till.

Yet everywhere in America hundreds of millions of public dollars are spent in the construction of lavish sports arenas in order to seduce the owners of sports teams into locating in their city.  Hence this kerfuffle over a football game further exposes the duplicity, and twisted values, of the Republican ticket.

They all went for the ball

And started a fight that reverberated around the nation

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

September 27, 2012

Mitt Romney Live and Direct!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on September 21, 2012 by playthell
                  Mad Money Mitt Preaches the Gospel of Wealth

 On Mitt, Lies and Videotape

The recently surfaced video tape showing Mitt Romney pouring his heart out to his fellow private equity cronies – a group of avaricious troglodytes that Texas governor Rick Perry calls “Vulture Capitalists” – at a 50 thousand dollar a plate coffee klatch, confirms my worst suspicions about this soulless poseur who pretends to the most powerful office in the world.

Speaking from what passes for his heart Mitt called almost half of us moochers and revealed a really sinister side to his character. I have already written that he does not have the character to be president, based on his willingness to build a campaign on outright lies that he knows are lies.  And that he believes if it works the end will justify the means.

This attitude explains why Mitt did some of the scurrilous things he has done; he is a hollow man without a moral core.  As a prep school punk he bullied smaller students to make himself big man on campus, as a businessman he kicked workers to the curb after fleecing them of their retirement benefits to increase profits for investors.

As the governor of Massachusetts Mitt raised fees at state universities, cut taxes for the rich, and left the roads and bridges in shambles, along with an economy that was 47 of 50 states in job creation.  Now he is vilifying the poor for not paying taxes, while he is worth millions and there are charges from the leader of the US Senate, Harry Reid, that Mitt didn’t pay taxes for ten years!

The depths of Mitt’s moral depravity is revealed in his attempt to hide the fact that the healthcare system he instituted as governor is working like a charm…in fact it’s working so well President Obama hired the same economist that designed Romney care to design Obamacare!

But the greatest testimony to his willingness to do anything to win, regardless of the collateral damage, can be seen in his opportunistic and unprincipled piggybacking off a national tragedy to gain a political advantage over President Obama.  When an embassy officer on the ground in Egypt attempted to calm a growing mob with bloody murder on their minds, explained that the US government did not support the blasphemous attacks on the Prophet Muhammad which had inflamed the mob, even though the film had been produced in the US, Romney immediately released a statement condemning Barack Obama for sympathizing with terrorists.

Aside from the absurdity of it, Romney is accusing the President of an impeachable offense.  However on the revealing video – a gift that just keeps on giving – we hear Mitt telling his fellow trolls that he wasn’t interested in hearing a plan to solve the Israeli / Palestinian conflict from a Middle East expert and former diplomat; he would use any flare up in the Middle East to his political advantage.

The murder of the US ambassador in Libya by an organized armed force, and the storming of the American embassy in Egypt, supplied Mitt with the perfect opportunity to launch an attack on President Obama that would call both his competence as Commander-In-Chief and his loyalty to our nation in question.

This is the objective that shaped the communique issued by Romney at the height of the crisis when the President was busy trying to save the lives of American diplomats and citizens, working to defend American interests in the Islamic world.  Anybody who would do foul Mitt like that is not only unfit to be president – and the polls show most Americans agree – but like my uncle Birney would say: “That thar boy don’t even amount to a low down dirty egg sucking dog! “

 

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
September 20, 2012

Mitt Romney, Taxes and Class Warfare

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , on September 19, 2012 by playthell

How much tax does these guy pay?

 On Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Mitt Romney, aka “Mr. Chameleon,” has finally exposed his true colors, albeit unwittingly.  We have long suspected Mitt of being a selfish, sneering plutocrat but now we know for sure.  The secretly recorded meeting where Mitt lets his hair down with his fellow plutocrats, who paid $50,000 a piece to hang with him, gives us an unfiltered peek into his gilded soul.  He left little doubt that he ain’t feeling the pain of the struggling masses.

In heartfelt statements, perhaps the sincerest expresion of his beliefs we have yet heard from the The Mittster, he told his cronies that nearly half the American people are bums sitting around waiting for a handout, and since these losers paid no taxes they weren’t interested in what he had to say. Hence he was writing them off because he didn’t know how to appeal to them. Thus he was conceding the vote of these deadbeats and freeloaders to Barack; this was his constituency.

Mitt confessed that he had nothing to offer these people with no ambition, who feel entitled to a home, food and medical care and believe the government should provide these things by taking from the haves and redistributing it to the have nots through the tax system.   But since he will insist that these people take responsibility for their lives, Romney said there was no chance that any of these losers would vote for him.

The problem with this analysis is that the states that have the highest numbers of people who don’t pay federal income taxes are Republican dominated red states.  For instance 40% of South Carolinians pay no federal income tax and this is one of the reddest sates in the union.  Furthermore most the people who pay no income taxes are working, and working hard too, but they don’t make enough money to be taxed.  The second largest group is the elderly or people on military disability

However Mitt is only ticked off about poor people who don’t pay income taxes.  He is all hunky dory with the 7,000 people who mad a million dollars or more who paid no income taxes last year, or the 22,000 Americans who made between 500,000 and a million dollars who also paid no income taxes.   And he does not seem the least bit perturbed that 491,000 Americans who made more than 100,000 dollars but didn’t pay a dime in taxes.

We are still waiting for Mitt to release his tax returns from last year, which should raise the suspicions of thoughtful citizens.  Why does a rich businessman that has been filing taxes for decades, and has an army of lawyers and accountants at his command, need extra time to file his taxes? What’s he up to?

While Mitt has no problem with those making grand theft dough not paying a dime in taxes, he seems to lie awake at night fulminating over the gardeners and scullery maids who may be filching a buck or two and hiding it from the tax man – while he is hiding millions in foreign banks like a dope dealer. Yet the shameless verbal bullies in the Grand Obstructionist Party constantly accuse President Obama of waging class warfare.

But through the magic of video tape we have Mitt in living color dismissing nearly have the US population as slovenly parasites while reaffirming his belief that the rich should not be taxed to feed and heal the struggling poor…whose economic condition is proof that they are lazy and morally defective.  It that ain’t class warfare eggs ain’t poultry; grits ain’t groceries and Mona Lisa was a man!

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

September, 19 2012

Mitt Romney Cannot Be Trusted With Foreign Policy!

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on September 13, 2012 by playthell

 

Mitt making Mischief in Poland

 On the Road to Disaster

It has become conventional wisdom among forward looking people guided by humane objectives, that Mitt Romney would not only be bad news on domestic policy should he become president,  but his foreign policy would also be disastrous.  Listening to his ignorant and bellicose statements on international relations, I find myself quoting the old Yankee catcher Yogi Berra: “It’s de ja vu all over again!” Not only does Mitt talk like he wants to bomb Iran, but start economic and shooting wars with Russia and China too.

Now Romney is wading into the extremely complex problems of the volitile Middle East.  After the tragic murder of the American ambassador and three of his Embassy staff in Libya, Mitt  gave us a glimpse  of how he would handle a serious foreign crisis.

Consider his reaction to a perfectly reasonable conciliatory statement from the American Embassy in Cairo condemning the religious bigotry expressed in a US produced film that  insulted the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, and sparked the uprising.  “…the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt,” says Mitt,  “instead of condemning their actions. It’s never too early for the United States government to condemn attacks on Americans and to defend our values.”

First of all the US embassy had not yet been attacked when the statement was made; the ambassador was trying stave off an assault by an enraged mob and save American lives.  Romney called the President’s response  “disgraceful’ and an “apology for American values” before Barack had uttered a word. This statement not only demonstrates that Romney is a reckless amateur in the art of diplomacy, but that he is also a dangerous lying opportunist without a moral core.

Romney is clearly willing to imperil the lives of American diplomats and put American interests in danger throughout the volitile Middle-East, where a furor towards America is building on the Arab street to gain political advantage.   Hence Congressman Rangel’s statement today was on the money; he said the Romney/Ryan team would be a risk to our national security.

Rangel, my long time Congressman from Harlem – described Romney as the equivalent an empty headed automaton from central casting who is given a script by right-wing neo-cons and he recites it as if he knows what he is talking about.

The truth is that what Romney understands about the world is how to make money from globalization, by shipping American jobs overseas where they can maximize profits by exploiting cheap labor.  He clearly knows nothing about I relations between nation states.  He is another, dumber version of George bush on this subject.  And this is really frightening because Romney is surrounding himself with foreign policy advisors from the Project For a New American Century. 

These are the same people who were the architects of George Bush’s Iraq policy; which means that they are writing the scripts Mitt is reciting.  That’s why Mitt’s rhetoric about the danger Iran poses to the US and Israel sounds like a replay of Bush’s hysterical language about Iraq.  And we have every reason to believe that if Mitt is elected we will be at war with Iran as fast as they can get the Jets off the Ground.

It is also clear that he will allow his old business associate Bibi Netanyahu, the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister, to call the shots as to when and where to start wars in the region – a question I will have more to say about in another essay.  This is why Mitt Romney cannot be trusted with conducting American foreign policy; he would quickly put this nation firmly on the road to disaster!

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Playthell George Benjamin

Harlem, New York

September 13, 2012

What Americans Should Learn From 9/11

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on September 12, 2012 by playthell

The second airliner heads into the tower

 Facing Some Unpleasant Truths

It was a crystal clear day just like today, with blue cloudless skies, when the great terror struck New York a decade ago.   And as I survey the panoramic view of downtown Manhattan form my window on Harlem’s Sugar Hill, while listening to replays of the actual broadcasts on WNBC; it all comes back to me, bubbling up from the dusty basements of my consciousness.

The skyline of Manhattan looks natural now, but for a long time after the hijacked airliners crashed into the towers, bringing them down before our eyes, the city looked lopsided.  The Twin Towers were clearly visible from my windows, and I witnessed the second plane crash into the tower and saw them fall!

The towers looked different ways on different days, depending upon how the sun rays were reflecting off them.  They were a daily part of my life.  Hence I felt an acute sense of loss and had a hard time adjusting to the look of the city without the giant towers.

Since I began writing down my responses to the tragedy within hours after it happened, there is a clear record of my reaction. Then as now, I was appalled by the widespread sense of denial by my countrymen. Their expressions of disbelief and insistence on America’s innocence rang hollow with me.

I had been expecting a terrorist attack for several months because of the Palestinian Intifada provoked by Israeli leader Ariel Sharon when he created and incident at the “Dome of the Rock,” which Muslims call “The Mosque of Omar.” As I watched the violence on television, with Palestinians throwing rocks and the Israeli’s firing bullets, I became convinced that we would see a terrorist attack in response.

As the Palestinian people danced in the streets at the sight of the collapsing towers, I was convinced I had been right – in spite of a swift statement of denial from Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. But history would prove me wrong – I had the right string but the wrong yo yo, as the song goes.  The attack had been the result of misguided American policy in the Middle-East, but the perpetrators had a different argument with the US and the Palestinian issue was almost ancillary.

Al Qaeda, was a far more deadly enemy, and unlike the Palestinian issue there is no obvious solution to the conflict between us; theirs is a historic grievance inspired by a rejection of modern secular society itself.  We had made an enemy that would never go away; entered a state of total war that wouldn’t end until one side or the other was annihilated.  The Bushmen’s misunderstanding of the nature of global Jihad made the 9/11 assault possible.

Despite ongoing attempts to cast the Bush Administration as innocent victims of volatile clandestine forces that nobody could have predicted, the historical record shows otherwise.  The evidence reveals a pattern of arrogance, ignorance and indifference to the advice of intelligence experts that led directly to 9/11, and the Iraq and Afghan wars that we are still fighting 11 years later.

This is the lesson of two very important books on the subject “Your government Failed You” by Richard Clark, written shortly after the attack, and the newly published 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars,” by Kurt Eichenwald, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a former reporter for The New York Times.

The unique value of Dick Clark’s book is that it provided an insider’s view of the struggle to get then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to call a meeting of the different intelligence agencies and have them compare the bits and pieces of intelligence on Al Qaeda and see what picture would emerge, sort of like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.  She refused.

Dr. Rice was an expert on the Soviet era Russian military and nuclear war strategy.  Hence she was so obsessed with building the “Star Wars’ that she ignoring Dick Clarke’s warnings.  I fact, she was scheduled to present an important speech on “National Security” on the day of the attack.  But that speech was not on the looming threat from the Islamic Jihadists in Al Qaeda, but how to build the anti-missile system around Russia, although the soviet threat was gone!  History will not be kind to this wicked witch of the west.

The revelations in Kurt Eichenwald’s book shows how the neo-cons from the Project for a New American century, brought into the Bush Administration by Dirty Dick Cheney confused matters with their obsession with toppling Sadam Hussein in Iraq, a man who posed absolutely no threat to the US.

It was at their insistence that the CIA’s warning about the intention of Al Qaeda to launch a massive terror attack on the US.  And it was this same crew who came to prominence in the Bush foreign policy establishment after the attack, who talked Bush into invading Iraq, the most disastrous foreign policy decision in American history!

I have written at considerable length about how this decision was reached; for a detailed analysis of the decision making process that led to the attack on Iraq read “How the Iraq War was Hatched in a Think Tank” and “The Iraq attack: Bush’s March of Folly” on this blog.  What both of these essays show is that we got into the Iraq war the same way we got into the catastrophic Vietnam War: politicizing intelligence in order to justify a preconceived policy.

Later today I shall be posting a commentary on the present crisis in the Middle East – a complex, multifaceted, dangerous mess – and Mitt Romney’s response to it.  However it is critical that all Americans understand a minimal essential lesson we must from the 9/11 attack to avoid disaster in the future: Meddling in Middle Eastern politics is a very dangerous business, and politicizing intelligence to justify a war of choice deadly folly!

A Warning of Things to Come?

“Ye shall reap what ye sow”

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

September 12, 2012

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Which Way America?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on August 28, 2012 by playthell
 Mitt’s looking backward…..Barack’s eyes are fixed on the future

 A GOP Victory Would be a Giant Step Backward

This week the Grand Obstructionist Party will hold their quadrennial convention in Tampa Florida, a glittering city on the Gulf of Mexico. Symbolically it is a fitting venue, because the ostentatious affluence of its downtown area where the conventioneers will frolic masks the rotten underbelly of dark ghettoes and red neck trailer parks that litter the landscape of Florida.

It also camouflages a backward state government that passes laws like “Stand Your Ground,” which has created a Dodge City like atmosphere where self-styled vigilantes gun down innocent children and are allowed to walk away without detention.  And if you listen to the governor of the state – a political Neanderthal who adheres to a free market theology which is about as factually based as astrology – all that government need do to solve the unemployment crisis is scrap regulations on business and cut taxes to the rich.  This is also the economic program of the national Republican party that wrecked the economy under Bush.  Hence Florida is the perfect place for a convention of ignorant gun loving yahoos and heartless plutocrats.

We can rest assured that all the major themes of the convention will be based on lies and the promotion of mass ignorance, because this is the basic strategy of the Romney Campaign.  Of the three main themes of the Romney /Ryan campaign ads, upon which their talking points are based, all are transparent lies.  Which raises a fundamental question: If President Obama’s record is as bad as they say it is why don’t they just attack his record?

The answer is simple: Barack Obama has a sterling record of accomplishment.  Some are obvious to any fairly intelligent observer who has not been hiding in a cave fleeing the Bush horrors the last four years.  Among these are: saving the world financial system from collapse and preventing another “Great Depression,” rescuing the auto industry, providing millions of Americans with affordable healthcare, signing the Lillie Ledbetter equal pay law making it a crime to pay women less than men for comparable work, authorizing the daring raid that killed Osama bin Laden, instituting a new regulatory regime for Wall Street, etc.  But  there are many other outstanding accomplishments of which the public is largely unaware.

Hence they are confused by the hysterical prattle emanating from the twin towers of babble anchored on the right and left of the American political spectrum proclaiming the Obama administration a failure.  Fortunately, the earnest seeker of wisdom and truth does not have to rely on the ideologues and mindless fanatics for a final assessment of the Obama presidency.

There are two serious books that annihilate the preachment of misinformed ideologues: “The New New Deal” and “It’s worse than it Looks.”  The first book was written by the award winning Time Magazine reporter Michael Grunwald.  It is a richly detailed account of the brilliant way President Obama’s  800 billion dollar stimulus was invested to create the basis for a new American economy based on technological innovations like a green manufacturing sector, which can sustain the working class by providing a living wage, and restore vertical mobility into a revitalized middle class.

After tracking where the money went like an intrepid financial detective Grunwald concludes:

 “The stimulus has launched a transition to a clean-energy economy, doubled our renewable power, and financed unprecedented investments in energy efficiency, a smarter grid, electric cars, advanced biofuels, and green manufacturing. It is computerizing America’s pen-and-paper medical system. Its Race to the Top is the boldest education reform in U.S. history. It has put in place the biggest middle-class tax cuts in a generation, the largest research investments ever, and the most extensive infrastructure investments since Eisenhower’s interstate highway system. It includes the largest expansion of antipoverty programs since the Great Society, lifting millions of Americans above the poverty line, reducing homelessness, and modernizing unemployment insurance. Like the first New Deal, Obama’s stimulus has created legacies that last: the world’s largest wind and solar projects, a new battery industry, a fledgling high-speed rail network, and the world’s highest-speed Internet network. “

The second book is written by Norman Orenstein, the reigning authority on the US Congress, and it details why the Congress has become immobilized by gridlock and is making it impossible for the President to implement many of his ideas.  Some of which Dr. Paul Krugman – a Princeton Professor and Nobel Laureate in Economics – says are tried and true methods from the Great Depression of the 1930’s, which is the only example of economic collapse in American history of the magnitude of the Bush crash.

Dr. Orenstein contemptuously dismisses the argument that both parties are equally guilty and places the blame squarely on rightwing zealots in the Republican Party.  He contemptuously denounces the press for not making this distinction clear when discussing Congressional gridlock – calling them unindicted co-conspirators with the Republicans in confusing people.

Orenstein’s assessment is given added credibility by the fact that he is a resident scholar at the conservative, pro-Republican, American Enterprise Institute.  Arm with these seminal text it will be easy to demolish the hail of lies coming from the Obama bashers on the left and right, and convincingly demonstrate that a vote for the Grand Obstructionist Party will be a giant step backward!

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 Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
August 28, 2012

Stop Whining Annie…

Posted in On Republican Women, Playthell on politics, Uncategorized with tags , , on August 20, 2012 by playthell
An arrogant, Over privileged, Stepford Wife

 ….Just Show Us Yo Tax Returns!

If, as we are told, Ann Romney is Mitt’s secret weapon, this joker is in big trouble.  As questions swirl around his tax returns, which are now routinely referred to as Mitts “Secret” tax returns, Miss Ann responds to questions from reporters about being more transparent with their tax returns over the years by becoming petulant and unhinged.

Miss Ann is a very bad actor and therefore cannot disguise her contempt for those beneath her social status who are impertinent enough to insist that she answer questions about what she and Mitt chooses to do with their money- which they have been hiding in a lot of suspicious places.  So what if the press is the eyes and ears of the people, and the reporters are just doing their jobs?

Miss Ann postures like a dowager speaking to servants as she announces in no uncertain terms that they are not telling us another word about their wealth and how it is taxed.  Yet she seems to be totally unaware of how she is coming across to those viewers who have even half a functioning brain.

For despite her haughty attitude, she looks frightened and confused; like a deer caught in the headlights of a tractor trailer bearing down on her.  When the camera zooms in close, the look of anxiety on Miss Ann’s face would make a good spot in the airline commercials that asks “Wanna get away?”

In two major television interviews she has gone from bad to worse when asked about releasing additional tax returns.  On one occasion she said to Robin Roberts, a veteran Afro-American reporter: “We have told you people enough about what we have and how we live.”  And in a later interview on NBC’s Rock Center she said emphatically that there would be no more tax returns because they will just be used by their enemies to pick them apart.  “We have paid everything the law requires of us,” she announced.

When the interviewer asked did she think the public had a right to know how much taxes they paid, since after all her husband was running for President; and would soon be debating tax policy with President Obama, Miss Ann fairly spat out her incredulous reply.  “Haven’t you seen what they are doing to us?” She asked.

Then she defiantly declared that the only thing releasing more tax returns would do is “give them more ammunition to use against us.” With an air of stony resolve, Miss Ann announced on national television that “There will be no more returns!”   My Harvard trained tax attorney, who spent 20 years working for the IRS, tells me they are definitely hiding something…. and it is almost certainly immoral and unethical.  The only question is if it’s illegal.

Despite her fumbling attempts to make nice, this is a cold blooded bitch.  I can easily hear her say of the struggling poor, the people who need the food supplement programs her husband vows to slash: “Let them eat cake!”  Miss Ann strikes me as being as clueless as Marie Antoinette; whose attitude caused her to literally lose her head.  And she seems as callous as “Hard Hearted Hanna” a dirty bitch in Savanna, who was observed standing on dry land, pouring water on the head of a drowning man!  Mitt’s weapon is not only secret….it’s deadly.

The Sport of Plutocrats

Miss Ann and her dancing beast

     

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
August 17, 2012

Is Paul Ryan a Bullshit Artist?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on August 17, 2012 by playthell
Yo Can’t take the heat Dog?

In Search of the Real Paul Ryan

Mitt Romney and Paulie Ryan are a perfect political tandem in more ways than one.  They share the same toxic ideas about politics and economics – which can be summed up as amoral social Darwinism, featuring unregulated financial markets, environmental degradation, racism and plutocracy – and they are both consummate liars.

They are constructing a campaign based on outright lies which will flood the airways in carefully crafted ads paid for by plutocrats who are free to spend as much as they please as a result of the Citizens United Decision, one of the High Court’s lowest moments.  Although their lies can be easily refuted, both men are assuming the majority of the electorate is either two stupid, racist or intellectually lazy to exert the effort.

Ryan presents himself as a deficit hawk; a fiscal policeman crunching the numbers and fighting for polices that address the budget deficit.  Yet he voted for every one of the budget busting polices during the eight years of the Bush Administration, including the massive tax refunds to the rich, which created massive deficits and wrecked the economy. And both remain committed to that basic strategy.

The only difference between the Romney/Ryan economic philosophy and the aproach of George Bush, as Bill Clinton pointed out, is that their philosophy is Bushism on steroids.   Since at the end of eight years Clinton bequeathed a balanced budget and impressive surplus to the nation – which Bush quickly squandered – he knows whereof he speaks.

Ryan has been a boisterous public critic of the President’s economic stimulus package that saved a teetering economy from collapsing into the abyss, telling everyone who had a television camera that the Stimulus did nothing to affect the unemployment rate.

Yet in the past few days the Boston Globe has retrieved letters written on Ryan’s Congressional stationary, and bearing his signature, in which he is requesting more stimulus money for his district in Wisconsin, and he claims that stimulus money had both saved jobs and created new ones.

Ryan is also lying about the consequences of his budget priorities on Medicare.  And he has been called a liar by the Harvard and MIT professors who designed both Romneycare and Obama care.  They say the only difference between the two plans is the number of zeros they were working with.  But this issue deserves its own discussion, and will be the subject of my next commentary.

However the part of his past that Ryan is trying his best to bury is his intellectual debt to the atheistic Russian Social Darwinist philosopher Ayan Rand.  The brilliant MSNBC host Laurence O’ Donnell aired a video tape last night recorded in 2008, where Ryan tells us that Rand is the source of his entire political philosophy; he says that she inspired him to enter politics to help realize her vision of society.  And he required all of his congressional Staff members to read and discuss Rand’s books “Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.”

Then, with a devilish grin, O’Donnell produced rare footage of Ms. Rand in an interview with John Carson where she scoffs at the idea of God, said the family was not a necissisary institution, the Vietnam War was an absurd American Imperialism.  She is also on record calling Ronald Reagan a moron.

Added to all this, Catholic theologians and the Council of Bishops rebuked him for placing the teachings of Any Rand on the ideal society over the preaching of Jesus Christ!  That’s why he was on Fax with Brit Hume denouncing his fomer love for her “atheistic philosophy.” If Mitt is “Mr. Chameleon,” Ryan is trying his best to become “The Invisible Man.”

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Commentator / Cultural Critic

Harlem, New York

August 17, 2012

Mitt Picks Paulie as his Running Mate!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on August 14, 2012 by playthell
Is this guy a pill freak?  Look at his Expressionless eyes.

 It’s On!  Mitt Moves to the Far Right

As I studied the serpentine continence of Reince Priebus, who as head of the Republican National Committee is the appointed mouthpiece for the Grand Obstructionist Party, I thought it’s a good thing he’s a snake because if he had a spine he wouldn’t be able to twist himself into knots the way he was doing in trying to explain whether Romney supports the so-called “Prosperity Budget” of his selected running mate.

The bad news for all Republican elected officials is that the same kind of polemical contortions will be required of them if they expect to win the coming presidential elections.  Worse still, they may have to show such verbal dexterity just to keep their seats whatever office they are contending for…once people get a load of what the Ryan Budget is really all about.

Mitt is also an invertebrae, but he is more of a jelly fish than a snake.  At least Paul Ryan is a man of conviction –sort of – who seems prepared to stand his ground; Mitt is a pushover who can be easily manipulated because his allegiance is dictated by expedience.

However Ryan is also prone to speak out of both sides of his face.  For instance he says he was embarrassed by the reckless spending of the Bush Administration, yet the record shows that he voted for every one of the budget busting measures of the Bush years.

Ryan voted yea on the invasion of Iraq – a three trillion dollar blunder all told – and he voted for the massive Bush tax giveaways to the rich.  He also voted for Bush’s prescription drug program, which was unpaid for.  He also supported Bush’s refusal to regulate the financial sector; allowing them to gamble with the nation’s financial system and they crashed it.

Then he voted to appropriate 800 billion tax payer dollars to bail the bankers out because they were literally “too big to fail.”  And what’s more, he supports most of those same ideas now; minus Bush’s “compassionate conservatism,” and his passion to adopt the failed austerity policies that the Europeans are rejecting.

Furthermore, his budgetary proposals do not balance the budget, they simply change the priorities: tax giveaways for the rich, life sustaining entitlement cuts for the poor.   He is what the President says he is: A thinly disguised Social Darwinist who believes in survival of the fittest: The law of the jungle!

Ryan claims that his budget is based on the principles of Catholic teaching; but the Council of Catholic Bishops have repudiated that claim and Catholic theologians have denounced it as a burlesque on Church teachings, carefully pointing out that his ideas owe much more to the amoral atheistic preachments of the novelist/philosopher Iyan Rand, than the preaching of Jesus Christ.

Even as I write, a group of Nuns are travelling around the country visiting the poor and listening to their hard luck tales first hand.  They have invited Romney and Ryan to come and meet some of the people they have met, and denounced Ryan as a dangerous lying charlatan and unabashed enemy of the poor.

It may turn out that Romney has jumped out of the frying pan dead into the fire by this pick. Even a right wing wag like Newt Gingrich called the Ryan’s Budget dangerous “right-wing social engineering” before he was publicly chastised by Rusk Limbaugh then tucked tail and retreated.  But that was in the primary, Paulie is in the main event now…and we will not retreat.  Stay tuned, the inquisition is just beginning.

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Commentator/Cultural Critic
WBAI News, 99.5 FM or wbai.org
Harlem, New York
August 2012

In a Campaign Based on Lies…..

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on August 13, 2012 by playthell
Public enemy Number One

 …….Telling the Truth can be a Dangerous Thing!

The rage and confusion on the Republican / Tea Party Right, that has that shrill nauseating shrew Ann Coulter screaming like a banshee at Sean Hannity, warning that the sky is falling, and Michel Malkin squealing like a hog on crack, was sparked by Romney’s Press Secretary Andrea Salk; who accidently told the truth.

Confronted with the release of a democratic ad featuring former steel worker Joe Soptic, who tells how Romney’s firm Bain Capital closed his steel plant, wrecked his community; caused him to lose his health insurance, and this led to his wife’s untimely death from cancer because she could not get the health she needed.

It is a devastating ad because it features a real blue collar white worker whose family was devastated by the amoral decisions of Mitt’s private equity firm, and Soptic concludes that Mitt doesn’t give a whit what happens to people like him…people just like the white workers Mitt is trying to win through lies and deceptions.

In a panic to explain away the narrative in the ad, Andrea Salk said if the Sopics lived in Massachusetts they could have gotten the medical services they need through Romneycare; the health care system Romney established in that state that Barack Obama’s healthcare program is modeled on. It was the simple truth, but it set off a fire storm in Republican ranks and the pugnacious right-wing punditry is calling for her head to roll!

But that may be the first time that anybody in the Romney camp has actually told the truth; so it has disturbed the natural order and the coalition of forces on the right Mitt has cobbled together is falling apart.  That’s why he just chose Paul Ryan – an extreme rightwing ideologue – as his vice presidential running mate, a matter about which I will have more in my next commentary.

No presidential campaign in the half century that I have been paying attention has been so blatantly constructed on lies. I am not talking about pussyfooting around the facts; I am talking about a wholesale assault on the truth.  Mitt’s first Ad edited a speech by President Obama that completely changed its meaning.

Then they took a factual statement the President made about the role of public investment in the success of private business and completely distorted his argument.  And now they are lying about the President’s position on welfare and calling the Affordable Healthcare program “A war on religious freedom.”

And then there are Mitt’s lying boosters, like the rightwing radio host Brian Fischer, who is ranting and raving to his idiotic listeners that Wade Michael Cage, the neo-Nazi mass murderer who slaughtered the Sikhs in their temple, was a liberal because he hated Herman Cain.  He went on to talk about how the Tea Party whites love Herman.

The fact is that the Tea Party is full of white racist, and they have demonstrated it repeatedly.  There are known racists of long standing who have been invited to speak at their rallies.  If they love Cain it is because he is a self-deprecating coon!   But the fact that he is willing to tap dance on the graves of his ancestors and repudiate their charge for us to struggle and uplift the least among us was not enough for Cage. All he saw was a biggity nigger who had sexually mauled white women.  Hence to argue that this far right racist Nazi is a “liberal” is a blatant lie that insults the intelligence of the American electorate.

It is abundantly clear that Romney believes the American electorate is apathetic and stupid.  There is no other way to explain the fact that the man lies about things that are so easily disproven.  Time will tell if he is right.  The problem for Mitt is that if you build a campaign on lies you must keep on lying; or your story falls apart.

The more you lie the harder it is to keep from contradicting yourself…that’s what happened in the present instance.  And it explains why all the Republican wags and bigwigs are running around like chickens with their heads cut off….Oh what a tangled web we weave…when at first we start to deceive.

 A Lying Rascal!

He will say anything and hope people are too stupid to notice

*****************

Playthell G. Bemjamin

Harlem, New York

August 13, 2012

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