Archive for Paul Ryan

Was Picking Lyin Ryan a Bad Move?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on November 16, 2012 by playthell
Where’s the Beef Dog?

Paulie Went Over Like a Steel Balloon!

Of all the mistakes Mitt made in his attempt to unseat President Obama and make the Oval Office his new headquarters as CEO of America Incorporated, choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is among the worse.  While it is conventional wisdom that presidential elections are determined by the top of the ticket, Vice-Presidential running mates are expected to help the ticket by appealing to certain constituencies and contributing particular skills that the Presidential candidate lacks.and like doctors taking the Hyppocratic oath: They must first of all do no harm.

It is a pretty straight forward calculus. John Kennedy chose Lyndon Johnson as a running mate because he was everything that Kennedy wasn’t.  A Boston Irish Catholic born to the purple, his ability to attract southern Protestants and working people was an iffy proposition.  Hence the addition of Lynden Baines Johnson, a Texas  bred Anglo-Saxon protestant, with working class roots and a degree in public speaking proved a brilliant choice.

Furthermore, Kennedy was a relatively inexperienced Senator, while Johnson was one on the most effective Senate majority leaders in history.  This meant that Johnson would prove a valuable asset to Kennedy far beyond the election; should the ticket win Kennedy would have a brilliant manager of his legislative initiatives up on Capitol Hill.

Beyond these considerations Johnson also met the critical test of whether he could step in and become an effective president at a moment’s notice. Alas, as things turned out, this was a test Johnson was confronted with. All of the assumptions proved true, as he helped Kennedy win and proved to be a great president that transformed American society for the better after  Kennedy’s assassination.

Likewise, Joe Biden was chosen by Barack Obama because of his working class Irish Catholic roots, his residence in a border state with a southern tradition, his long experience as a Senator and effective operator on Capitol Hill, and his unquestioned expertise in foreign policy.  When these assets were added to Biden’s brilliant oratorical skills, and his ability to sell Barack’s dreams to reluctant working class white guys, whose understanding of the issues is hazy at best, Biden proved an invaluable asset to the success of the ticket and the process of governing.

These are the kinds of things Mitt’s strategists calculated that Lyin Ryan would bring to the ticket. They envisioned Ryan – a small town mid-westerner from a working class Catholic background – as the perfect counterweight to the stiff, arrogant, Richey Rich Boston business mogul and Mormon Bishop at the top of the ticket.

Furthermore Ryan is a much celebrated policy wonk, who was considered a visionary that had seen the future by right wing Republican ideologues. The Republicans were so certain that this was a winning combination Mitt decided not to even outline a concession speech!

Alas, all of their calculations proved wrong; as is generally the case when they are based on incorrect assumptions. First off, Ryan’s Catholic background proved more of a liability than an asset when his famous “Prosperity Budget” drew fire from the leadership of his church.

A group of Nuns took to the road on a bus, giving voice to the concerns of the poor and telling everybody who would listen that the Ryan budget violated the command of Jesus Christ to feed the poor, heal the sick and clothe the naked. It was an abomination!

The nuns persuasively argued, with passion and conviction, that Ryan’s budget was a rejection Jesus’s clear statement that “as you do unto the least of these…you have done it unto me!”  Their denunciation of Ryan’s claim that his budget was an expression of catholic teaching was affirmed by the clerical hierarchy and intellectuals of the Church.

Ryan’s economic ideas was denounced by the American Conference of Bishops, the theologians and secular intellectuals in major Catholic universities as a heretical doctrine whose true roots lie in in the writings of Ayn Rand – a Russian atheist and Social Darwinist – whose ideas were antithetical to the teachings of Jesus Christ, as clearly expressed in the New Testament.

And when Democratic opposition researcher’s unearthed video footage of Paulie testifying that Rand’s writings inspired him to enter politics, and her ideas formed the basis of his political philosophy, then juxtaposed Ayn Rand on a television talk show declaring her belief that God is a fiction, Ronald Reagan a dangerous warmongering fool, and the nuclear family an unnecessary anachronism, the campaign of Lyin Ryan was on the road to dyin!

Then his ideas became the target of an all-out assault by organized labor, who struggled heroically to let working people know that despite his working class roots, Lyin Ryan was an enemy of working class interests.  When Ryan was caught lying about his Marathon time, it only served to magnify the fact that he was also lying about the teaching of Catholic doctrine….and probably everything else.

And finally he was savaged by Joe Biden in the Vice-Presidential debate; who reduced him to a figure of ridicule before the world by contemptuously dismissing his arguments as “malarkey!”  The image of Ryan – whose poppy Barney Google eyes and pumped physique gives him the look of a roid freak – constantly gulping down glasses of water, reminded me of a man awaiting his turn on the gallows.

The bottom line is that when the final tally came in Ryan’s liabilities proved  much greater than his assets!  This was a dramatic failure of the amoral cost/benefit analysis that had worked so well for The Mittster in his previous incarnation as a corporate raider at Bain Capital.

As the former San Francisco Mayor and Speaker of the California Assembly Willie Brown observed, Mitt’s analysis of how they lost the election shows that he believes  money can by love. He never understood that elections can be won on superior ideas and a real love for the people.  Brown is one of the savvyest political operators in the country, therefore his opinions warrant serious consideration .

Since the proof of the puddin is in the eatin let’s look at the numbers; they tell the whole story.  Like Mitt the snobbish clueless twit, Paulie lost both his home state and his home town!  Janesville Wisconsin is a struggling blue collar town with a population of 63, 537, and a declining manufacturing base.

According to the County Clerk, Ryan’s neighbors who know him best, voted against him and Mitt by 62% to 37% in favor of Obama/Biden.  The returns from his local polling place, the Hedberg Public Library, were even worse!  Of the 1,428 votes cast in this venue 65% went for Obama-Biden, and only 34% chose the Romney-Ryan ticket.

Although Ryan has served seven terms in the House of Representatives, he faced a stiff challenge from Democrat Paul Zerban for his Congressional seat.  Ryan retained his seat by 12 percentage points – 55% to 43%, but the margin of victory came from the wealthy suburbs of Milwaukee; he actually lost his working class hometown of Janesville to Zerban by 10 points, 55% to 44%.  And he lost the vote at his neighborhood polling place in the Hedberg Library by an even larger margin: 41% to 58%, a 17 point deficit!

Hence it is a measure of the extent of his delusions, or the inability of Ryan to quit his lyin, that he blames their loss of the election on “the urban vote” – which is code words for “black and Hispanic.”  The fact that they also lost in such Whitelandia precincts as New Hampshire and Maine, didn’t convince him that they were defeated because their ideas and policy proposals were odious to millions of Americans of all persuasions, is good news for the Democrats.

Let us hope that the princes and powers of the Grand Obstructionist Party share Ryan’s conclusions; cause if they don’t change their ways the voters will end their days as a party capable of seriously contending for national elections.  Viewed from this perspective, Ryan’s delusional lyin is a blessing in disguise!

The GOP Future?

Or an Albatross Around their Neck?

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Playthell George Benjamin
Harlem, New York
November 16, 2012

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

An Evening of Crazies and Losers

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on August 30, 2012 by playthell
John McCain: Deranged Warmonger

The Republican Follies went from Bad to Worse

           AsI listened to the ahistorical profoundly ignorant rants of Rand Paul, a physician who fancies himself a Constitutional scholar, early on in the evening, I thought things had to go uphill from there.  Not so!.  As the evening proceeded I began to notice a dominant pattern that alternated between crazies and losers. Those whose ideas are so crazy that they have yet to become the policy of the US government, and if they did it would spell disaster; and those who have held power but are currently losers.

In some cases they lost a bid to gain higher office ala John McCain, and others are associated with disastrous policies like Condoleezza Rice, and have been largely banished from any visible role in Party affairs.  Their appearance as prime time speakers at the Republican Convention appears to be some sort of resurrection for burnt out stars in the GOP galaxy.  By the end of his speech Big John had declared war on most of the world.

Then came Mike Huckabee – a failed Rock and Roll bass player, failed presidential candidate, and a jack leg preacher cum radio verbal arsonist -who strolled onstage and repeated every lie the Republican repertoire with gusto. Huckabee is false to his faith, false in his rendition of American history, and false in his professions of concern for the poor and working class – of whom Jesus said “as you do unto them you do unto me.”

Huck also bored us with the obligatory hard luck rags to riches bunk that fuels a fake right-wing populism; then inundated us with impassioned religious mumbo-jumbo!  It is amusing to witness the hypocrisy of Protestant Fundamentalist who try and reconcile their bible – which they swear is the literal word of God – with the heretical theology of Mormonism.

Huckabee has the cadences and impassioned delivery of the southern protestant preacher, but never has it been employed to more anti-Christian purposes.  His speech clearly elevated the imperatives of politics over the requirement to defend the fundamental tenents of his faith.  The Southern Baptist position that Mormonisn is not Christianity may be inconvienent for those who place political victory over defending the faith, but it is more honorable.  On the other hand Huckabee is as complete a fraud as one is likely to find in public life.

It is interesting that the Republicans chose Condoleezza Rice over Colin Powell or Allan West as the foreign policy/national security spokesperson – considering her awful performance as National Security Advisor to George II.  Perhaps it’s because Powell is too sane and West is insane.  So they chose a well-spoken hawk in silk stockings and lipstick who gave them a triple threat: a woman, an African American and a football loving Hawk.

When compared to the saber rattling jingoistic rhetoric of John McCain, who appears to be itching to start wars everywhere, the measured sophistry of Dr. Rice can succesfully masquarade as wisdom.  But upon close examination her ideas about the world are as muddled and dangerous as John McCain’s folly.

Despite her pretentions to great wisdom, like Lady Macbeth, the former National Security Advisor has blood on her hands.  And in the fullness of time she will be exposed by careful historians as the person most responsible for allowing the tragic attack of 9/11 to happen!  I have examine the evidence and have no doubts about it.

Those who would like to interrogate the basis of my argument for this claim should read my essays on Dr. Rice posted on this blog.  Some may think it courageous to have her speak to the nation…I think it’s a risky business, because it invites thoughtful critics to excavate the horrid skeletons in her closet.

Condosleezza Rice giving the Measure of George Bush

A Sophisticated Aunt Jemima

Suffice it to say that Dr. Rice’s speech was a model of erudite foolishness, accompanied by the kind of well-rehearsed theatrics that reveals her training on the oratorical teams that were so popular in black southern schools when she was growing up. When she evocked her parents I could not resisit envisioning her as a precocious little prig who would not hestitate to dropa dime on here mates in order to ingratiate herself with the adults.

She is still a shameless toady to power.  The audience love her corny rap, and none of the speakers fared any better.   Alas it was entirely predictable right-wing hogwash.  The speakers all hit on the same themes and the audience erupted in applause on cue like Pavlov’s dogs.

Then came the man of the hour, Paul Ryan; the Grand Pulbah of the Republican budget hawks: Except he is a fake.  He voted for every one of Bush’s deficit creating measures.  Now he has proposed a budget which if enacted experts say would throw 45 million people off medicaid, while give the rich trillions in tax cuts.

The Catholic bishops and theologians have declared him a hypocrite who professes Catholicism but elevates the teachings of the amoral Russian atheist Ayn Rand over the preaching of Jesus Christ.  Ryan’s speech was a symphony of off key lies; especially his criticism of President Obama’s stimulus program, and his total misrepresentation of the Affordable Health Care Act and Medicare.

Paul Ryan is a career politician and seasoned demagogue with no evidence of a conscience.  Judging from the tumultuous applause of his audience, and the fawning admiration of much of the punditariat, Ryan’s lies about the aims of the policies he is proposing might win him the earthly office he seeks – given the racism, ignorance and confusion of millions of white Americans and their endless supply of money to promote these backwards tendencies – but it won’t get him into the Kingdom of heaven!  This causes me to question Ryans professions of faith.

The Bishops of his church has called his budgetary priorities sinful, and he can conjure no text where Jesus Christ would bless his actions.  The concern for the poor he professed during his speech is contradicted by the Social Darwinist policies he advocates; which will crush the poor while the rich gets richer.  Hence I don’t believe that Ryan has faith in anything but money and power!  If he were a true Christian he would be scared to death that he’s gonna bust hell wide open.  Like my Grandaddy George would say: “Dat boy’s a liar and a fink / his feets stink / and he don’t love Jesus!”

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 Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 30, 2014

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

Rudy Giuliani Disses Joe Biden

Posted in Playthell on politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 23, 2012 by playthell
A hypocritical, racist, blowhard

 A Case of the Pot Maligning the Kettle

As I listened to Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani holding forth on Face The Nation, CBS’ long running Sunday morning news and public affairs show, I thought of the race baiting politics and racist policies Giuliani employed when he was Mayor of New York.  I was torn between impulses of laughter and rage as Rudy said of vice President Biden “I’ve never seen a vice president that has made as many mistakes, said as many stupid things. I mean there’s a real fear if God forbid he ever had to be entrusted with the presidency whether he really has the mental capacity to handle.”  I could hardly believe my ears: Rudy Giuliani questioning Joe Biden’s intelligence and judgment: What Chutzpah!

Evidently, like his cronies in the Grand Obstructionist Party, Rudy thinks the public is either suffering from amnesia or they are too stupid to recognize that they are being played.  Rudy sounded like a reformed whore who has become holier than thou.  After all, based on his criticism of Biden he must believe that we have forgotten his scurrilous history.  Let me refresh your memories.

This is the guy who nearly incited a police riot outside City Hall with reckless rhetoric when he was running for Mayor.  The elegant, gracious, politically astute David Dinkins was Mayor and much of the untutored white ethnic workin class mob felt the same way about him they feel about President Obama: like the world had turned upside down and things were falling apart.  Rudy Giuliani recognized this anger and sought to harness it with barely concealed race baiting rhetoric.

Since this was New York City in the late twentieth century and not Alabama in the 1960’s, Rudy stopped short of employing racial epithets.  He didn’t call anybody “niggers;” instead, he smiled and talked of fairness based on merit not “racial quotas,” while enacting some of the most racist policies of any New York Mayor in the twentieth century.

His sins were all the more perfidious because he had served as the Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York, thus he was well aware of the wholesale economic discrimination against women and non-white minorities in securing contracts to provide products and services to the City Government – the largest contractor in this gilded city.

Not only did he do nothing to stop the practice – which was in violation of federal equal opportunity laws, he ordered all government agencies to stop keeping records of the race, ethnicity or gender of those awarded city contracts. In other words Rudy systematically destroyed the evidentiary record which provides the factual basis for class action suits by the injured parties.

In other words he rendered the most effective weapon victims of race and gender discrimination could employ to gain legal redress.  Hence solidifying institutional discrimination in New York city government. Yet this racist charlatan now lectures Joe Biden on racism?  The Veep hasn’t a racist bone in his body!

When we consider the question of judgment the “America’s Mayor” fares perhaps even worse.  Lest we forget, this is the guy who appointed Bernard Kerik to Police Commissioner and then recommended him to head the massive Homeland Security Agency. Fortunately he was thwarted in that ambition when the FBI investigated his fitness for the job and discovered Bernie was mobbed up!  Yet his benefactor, self-righteous Rudy, swore he hadn’t a clue about his protégés mob ties; for which he is presently doing from now until in the slammer.

But the most powerful statement about who Rudy Giuliani is came from his daughter.  When Rudy was the leading challenger for the Republican presidential candidacy in 2008, his daughter publicly endorsed Barack Obama!

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Playthell George Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Auguat 22, 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

At Last: Catholic Bishops Challenge Republican Morality!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on April 22, 2012 by playthell
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

 

Is the Ryan Budget Immoral Social Darwinism?

The right-wing Republicans, who are mostly Evangelical Protestants, rushed to join forces with the Catholic hierarchy when they needed ecclesiastical sanction for their attack on women’s reproductive freedom.  Twisting themselves in knots with spurious Constitutional arguments that the requirement for employers to provide health insurance which offers contraceptives to female employees as a benefit represented a “war on religion.”

In a kind of Orwellian New Speak, the Republicans introduced a spate of medieval laws that stopped just short of re-introducing chastity belts, and enthusiastically sought the blessings of the Catholic Church for their nefarious activities.  But after they heard the statement from the American Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Ryan Budget, which the Republicans just passed in the House, John Boehner and Paul Ryan are now wishing someone would rid them of these troublesome priests!

After thoroughly vetting the document, the Bishops publicly announced yesterday that the Ryan/Romney Budget is so immoral it would “make Jesus Christ Cry!”  Needless to say, Paul Ryan, the author of this budget and a self-proclaimed devout Catholic who just recently claimed that his budgetary decisions were guided by Catholic teachings, is in deep doo doo.

While I am unwilling to take sexual advice from pious eunuchs in black gowns, a saving grace of the Catholic Church is concern for the poor all over the world and it’s denunciation of avarice as a mortal sin.   According to Congressman Ryan, who is prepared to give the rich trillions of dollars in tax cuts, reducing benefits to the desperately poor, for which they are a life line, is the best way to “”help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence.”

The Bishops disagree.  They say the Ryan /Romney budget contains “unacceptable cuts to hunger and nutrition,” and that for “moral and human reasons” Congress’ proper role is to “protect essential programs that serve poor and hungry people over subsidies that assist large and relatively well-off agricultural enterprises;” which is to say agri-business.

The Bishops pulled no punches their condemnation of the Ryan/Romney budget’s reduction of food aid to citizens who desperately need it. “Cuts to nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will hurt hungry children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment.  These cuts are unjustified and wrong.”

Echoing the Bishops on MSNBC a Catholic  priest Scholar of church doctrine, echoed his Bishops when he called the Ryan / Romney Budget “Immoral Social Darwinism,” and denounced Congressman Ryan’s intellectual hero Ayn Rand, the author of Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as an “amoral atheist philosopher and social Darwinist” who believes compassion is folly and the powerful should crush the rich . To put it accurately if indelicately, the Catholic leadership has pooped on the Republican parade.

By their lights Newt Gingrich, who has made much of his conversion to Catholicism, has honored President Obama by proclaiming him “The Food Stamp President.”  And they have declared President Obama’s position to me more in accord with Catholic teaching than the avowedly Catholic Paul Ryan, who has the unmitigated gall to say on the record that he disagrees with the Bishop’s interpretation of Catholic teaching.  Politics makes strange bedfellows.

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Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

April 22, 2012

 

GSA Employees Party in Vegas

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on April 17, 2012 by playthell
The GSA Scandal is a Smoke Screen

The Real Scandal is Republican Tax Policy

Today the so-called “Buffet Rule” – which is named after multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffet and would require people making more than a million dollars a year to pay a tax rate that is at least equal to the rate paid by their secretaries – came up for a procedural vote in the Senate.   No one expected the bill, which was sponsored by Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, to garner a filibuster proof  60 votes due to resistance from the Grand Obstructionist Party.  They just wanted to get the Republicans on record defending tax giveawys to the rich.

House Republicans are trying to confuse the issue by opening hearings over the reported financial misconduct by members of the Government Service Administration.  At issue is a retreat held in Las Vegas on President Obama’s watch; although no reasonable person could expect the president to monitor the vast agency’s activities while he was trying to save the world from financial collapse.

To listen to the Republican’s talk abot this issue one would think that the government deficit would disappear if these corrupt, wasteful government bureaucrats were kicked to the curb.  It is a transparent attempt to change the subject from tax inequities to government waste.  All told, the  bacchanal in which 300 agency employees were flown to Vegas during 2010, cost 822 thousand dollars. But compared to the trillion dollars in lost revenues over the next decade due to Republican tax cuts to the rich it’s a pittance.

While there seems ample reason to conclude that the Vegas Conference served no really useful purpose, staff development retreats in which the objectives and results are called into question are nothing new; whether in the public or private sector.  In fact,  President Obama came under  fire from the right when he criticized private corporations holding costly confabs in that Sodom in the desert; especially corporations seeking government loans and bailouts that same year. “You can’t go take that trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on taxpayers’ dime,” he said.

Faster than Billy the Kid could draw his guns Nevada politicians rained criticism on the President; both Democrats and Republicans.  There was little difference between the opinions of Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid and right-wing Republican Senator John Ensign, who has since been driven from the Senate in disgrace.  All of them were in favor of corporations spending government bailout money in Vegas; which only demonstrates the old axiom “All politics is local.”

Obviously, anyone involved in wrong doing should be punished and the guidelines tightened on how tax payer money is used for these types of activities.  But we must not allow this scandal, which is relatively modest compared to other examples of Government waste and fraud in which the Grand Obstructionist inquisitor has shown no interests – billions of tax payer dollars poured into Iraq were stolen outright for instance – to be used as an excuse not to adequately fund the critical functions of government by refusing to tax the rich while slashing the budgets of critical agencies like  Environmental Protection and the departments of energy and education.

This is the real agenda of far right Congressman Darrel Issa, the richest man in the House, who is using the investigative powers of his position as Chairman of the Government Oversight Committee – especially the subpoena, to foil any plan to raise taxes on his class by discrediting government spending.

He is an avid supporter of the Ryan plan that seeks to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, and President Obama has accurately described as “thinly disguised Social Darwinism.”   Hence any investigation of government agencies initiated by Chairman Issa must be viewed with a jaundiced eye.

Under the able leadership of the senior Senator from New York, Charles Schumer, the Democrats are giving Republicans just enough rope to hang themselves.   According to Schumer, the Democrats are going to force the Republicans to vote on these issues over and over again…repeatedly forcing the Republicans to go on record defending a trillion dollar tax cut to the rich in a time of economic crisis for the rest of us.

All the polls show that this policy is wildly unpopular; that’s why Mitt Romney refuses to reveal the cuts that he would make in the Federal budget.  And he has been overheard saying that he will not specify the  cuts he will make because it can be used against him in the general election.

It is the master plan of the Grand Obstructionist Party, laid down by Paul Ryan and his cronies in the House.  Ryan lays out large numbers when he talks about cutting the federal budget without saying where he will cut; that’s because he’s scared to death to offer specifics.  He knows most of the working and middle class whites think of welfare payments to black and Hispanic people when they think of government cuts. This is the 21st century’s version of Ronald Reagan’s “Welfare Queens.”

Darryl Issa

A  Morally Deformed 21st Century Social Darwinist

If these people knew that cutting funds to the EPA could result in fire blasting from their water faucets because of oil pollution in their aquifers, or a dramatic rise in cancer rates because of air pollution, they would be outraged.  But as the old adage says: The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

Anyone who wants to know the true intentions of Mr. Romney  should pay attention  to a secretly recorded speech he made last night; what he had to say is frightening.  Among other things he has pledged to scrap the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This would have devastating consequences for the working and middle classes…and would be life threatening for the poor.

That’s why the Ryan budget is a stealth budget!  They are banking on the ignorance of the electorate to get over.  It’s our job to not let that happen by getting the word out, and working to reelect the President and recapture the House of Representatives.  Anything else is folly!

The Devil! 

Paul Ryan, Chairman of the Congressional Budget Committee

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

April 16, 2012

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