Never did end up watching last night’s lie-a-palooza last night. Something about other people in the house not wanting to watch all that crap, or something. So we watched Red Dwarf and the sequel to ’30 Days of Night‘ instead. There may be a point there. But what I’m getting at is that I didn’t watch any of the lie-fest that is the RNC convention. It’s probably better for my blood pressure that I didn’t.
Isn’t it amazing how all these people that love to shout at the top of their lungs about what decent, upright ‘christians’ they are, that we should all use as examples, are just such shitty human beings? If being a ‘christian’ means lying all day long, I’m glad to not count myself as one.
Shorter Question Everything
But first off – Cracker Bay. I kid you not:
• Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands. Registered in the Caymans, and flying a version of the Caymans’ “civil ensign” or merchant flag, the Cracker Bay has an impressive art collection and can seat 30 for dinner.
Paul Ryan -
• Paul Ryan’s Republican National Convention speech was stunning for its dishonesty:
Paul Ryan gave a feisty anti-Obama speech that will have fact-checkers working for days. His most brazen lie accused President Obama of “raiding” Medicare by taking the exact same $716 billion that Ryan and the House GOP notoriously voted to slash. It was stunning.
But that’s not all. He attacked Obama for failing to keep open a Janesville GM plant that closed under Bush in 2008. He hit him for a credit-rating downgrade that S&P essentially blamed on GOP intransigence. He claimed that all taxpayers got from the 2009 stimulus was “more debt,” when most got a tax cut (and the stimulus is known to have saved between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs). He derided the president for walking away from the Simpson Bowles commission deficit-cutting recommendations when Ryan himself, a commission member, voted against those recommendations.
He blamed Obama for a deficit mostly created by programs he himself voted for – from two wars, tax cuts, new Medicare benefits and TARP.
And of course, he riffed on the tired central lie of the GOP convention: that the president said “government gets the credit” for small businesses, not the business owners themselves.
Other than that, it was a great speech.
Interestingly, for all his lies, Ryan didn’t repeat the Romney camp’s false claim that Obama did away with the welfare system’s work requirements. Maybe he ran out of time.
• Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan may carry himself with an air of earnestness, but at his heart, he’s a liar. What other determination could one make after Ryan’s compendium of distortions and outright untruths, delivered Wednesday night to the Republican National Convention?
• Watching Paul Ryan’s speech, a cold, disturbed feeling began to rush over me. It took me a moment to remember where I had this feeling before, and then it came to me. It reminded me of the feeling of nearly physical discomfort that came over me during the run-up to the Iraq War, when the Bush administration went on an elaborate misinformation campaign designed to distort reality so much that the public didn’t know up from down, and would be compliant with whatever the administration did next. It was the feeling you get when you’re being subjected to a Big Lie. Not your typical lie, which tends to be focused on confusing one issue or that in order to swing some votes. No, Ryan pulled a Babe Ruth, pointing his Bat of Horseshit at the Fences of Facts, and announced to the world he would be hitting this one so far past them that the truth would never be found again. He told lies like a man born without a conscience. And the crowd ate it up.
Queen Ann –
• Ann Romney Orders Hispanics To Stop Being Biased and Vote For Mitt – Here’s how Ann Romney wins the hearts and minds of those silly people who don’t look at issues before they vote (women and Hispanics): Romney said her “importance in speaking out is making sure that those coalitions,” referring to women and Hispanic voters, “that would naturally be voting for another party wake up and say, You’d better really look at the issues this time.” “You’d better really look at your future and figure out who’s going to be the guy that’s going to make it better for you and your children, and there is only one answer,” Mrs. Romney said, giving a harsher pitch than we usually hear from the woman who wants to be the next first lady. “It really is a message that would resonate well if they could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the Democratic machines that have made us look like we don’t care about this community,” Romney said. “And that is not true. We very much care about you and your families and the opportunities that are there for you and your families.”
Mike Huckabee –
• In his speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tried to cast doubt about President Barack Obama’s faith, hinting that he might be lying or misleading Americans about his religion. Huckabee labeled President Obama a “self-professed evangelical” — an assertion that is, first and foremost, incorrect, but one that nevertheless seems imply that Obama’s profession is different than the truth. The line that was not off-the-cuff, but in his prepared remarks.
You didn’t build squat by yourself –
• You can stand there all day long and say you built stuff, but who cares if you built it without someone actually paying for it? In small business owner Steve Cohen’s case, the stimulus bill brought him $2 million in government contracts and $220,000 in direct stimulus funds. That’s right, Steve Cohen. President Obama helped keep your business afloat. Forget Congress, because if you’re going to assign all the blame to Obama, he should get all the credit, too.
• Obama: “We Need to Seriously Consider” A Constitutional Amendment to Reverse Citizens United – President Obama set the internet aflame Wednesday with his “Ask Me Anything” Q-and-A on Reddit, the massive web aggregator and online community.
Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress—to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change. [transcript via yahoo]
Republicans climbing down from the welfare lie:
• Second GOP Governor Doubts Validity Of Romney’s Welfare Attacks – Early on Wednesday, Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) admitted that the attacks have no basis in reality, a fact already well explained by major media outlets. Under pressure by Chris Matthews, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) replied that he hasn’t had time to examine the issue. However, he did say that he refused to sign onto a letter that the Romney campaign has been circulating on the welfare issue.
• Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain finally admitted on Wednesday night that Mitt Romney’s welfare attack ad is false. But even for Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, that admission took some wrangling.
• No need to purge the voter rolls, just kill them instead?: Just a few minutes earlier, two men who identified themselves as Robert Stevens and John Nelson [from "Protect the Polls"] had handed me a flyer. It explained that they wanted the state of Florida to pass a “Protect the Polls law” under which “anyone suspected of committing voter fraud can be fired upon – provided the weapon is registered and operated by its licensed owner.”
Stevens: “We don’t want people shot but we want to keep the wrong people away from the polls.”
• Rick Scott’s Voter Registration Suppression Law Is Dead – Three months after a federal judge blocked much of Florida’s year-old voter suppression law as an unconstitutional infringement on speech and voting rights, the same judge agreed Tuesday to permanently remove the restrictions on voter registration drives, pending final confirmation that a federal appeals court has dismissed the case. In a settlement, the civil rights groups challenging the law and the state agreed not to appeal the case.
Bits and pieces:
• Egypt’s Navy refused a U.S. request to fire on an Iranian weapons ship heading for violence-torn Syria through the Suez Canal, al-Arabiya reported.
• Low-flying helicopters over Berkeley are measuring radiation levels – The flyovers are part of research by two federal security agencies — the Department of Homeland Security and the National Nuclear Security Administration — to compare aerial and ground based mapping of radioactivity, according to a story in the Contra Costa Times.
• The so-called “personhood” movement was dealt a significant blow on Wednesday, after it failed to get enough support for a ballot measure in Colorado. The measure, which would define a fertilised egg as a person under the state constitution, thus banning abortions in the state, fell short by 4,000 of the 86,105 signatures it needed to qualify for the ballot