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11 August 2012


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Maureen Lang

My sole comment on Romney's veep choice:

When the "breaking" news of a likely Romney-Ryan ticket interrupted Olympics coverage last night my husband broke into peals of laughter. "Hoohoohoo...they made him pick the zombie-eyed grannie starver!"

[hat tip for coining this Ryan description to one of our favorite writers, Charles Pierce]


Colonel, I concur tht Ryan will be as much as problem for Romney as a blessing, perhaps even more of the former. And regarding neither Romney nor Ryan not chosing to serve in the military- remember Romney's idiotic response when asked why none of his five sons were serving in the military- in time of war. He compared his sons' work on his (then) presidential campaign to be the equivalent of serving in the miiltary in time of war.

Great phrase from Maureen calling Ryan a "zombie-eyed grannie starver."

SAC Brat

Glad to hear Charles Pierce is getting popular. I like how everything is open for analysis in his blog, which is an important first step to fix anything. Our host, Yves Smith and Pierce are my favorite reads for high signal-to-noise websites.

Medicine Man

I think you've hit the nail on the head, Col.


How was it that Cheney gained so much power including seemingly setting us to war under Bush? Is the President allowed to delegate powers to the VP which seemingly occurred? Cheney's presumption of power which became actual is hard for me to get around.

Allen Thomson

Col. Lang is most perceptive.

It will be impressive, though in character, if the Dems manage to lose this election. The Republicans have been handing them ammunition from the start, and show no signs of stopping.

(I don't watch TV, so let me ask: Have there been any "I like to fire people" ads yet, or is that being held until later?)

Allen Thomson

Here's an interesting article that made very cogent arguments as to why Ryan wouldn't be the pick. IMO, the arguments are persuasive, though they lead to the absolutely wrong conclusion. (Something I've had embarrassing experience with myself.)


Jim Ticehurst

What an Interesting Combination Mitt Romney, a Devout Mormon, and Paul Ryan, a Roman Catholic make .. My research Indicates that Paul Ryan,told the Atlas Society in 2005..that he credits his reason for getting into Public Service,is because He grew up reading all of the writings of AYN RAND, and that what we are engaged in here in America, is a Fight of Individualism Vs.Collectivism..and was Influenced by Ayn Ryans belief in Laissez-Faire Capitolism..

He has given out Copys of Ayn Rands book.."Atlas Shrugged"as Christmas presents and trying to get all His Interns to Read it...

As Recently as 2012...Ryan was attacked..(Criticised) by the Catholic Bishops of the United States for..for his constant fondness for AYN RAND and her philosophy of "Objectivism" and his attempts at Gutting Government Programs that Aid the Elderly and underpriviledged in order to cut Government Spending..
In Response, Paul Ryan says his greatest religious Influences come from the Teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas..and the Aquinas Doctrine and that He is a dedicated Roman Catholic...and has started denouncing the Influences of AYN RAND in his current thinking..

How all that will Play out with the MSM and the American People ..and as Fodder for the Democrats...remains to be see..


So much for Romney pivoting to the center for the general election from his nomination campaign. Ryan's policies will drag Romney even further to the right and pin him there. How will the Ryan plan to privatize Social Security through a voucher system play in Florida? How will cutting the top federal income tax rate from 35% to 25% play in the Rust Belt? How many millions would that cut put in Romney's pocket? And how will the neocons love for Ryan by Kristol and Krauthammer play in a war weary country?


Addendum to my prior post about pinning Romney to the right wing:
Nate Silver:
"Various statistical measures of Mr. Ryan peg him as being quite conservative. Based on his Congressional voting record, for instance, the statistical system DW-Nominate evaluates him as being roughly as conservative as Representative Michele Bachmann, the controversial congresswoman of Minnesota."


He took it, and GWB gave it away - perhaps gladly. Bush was relatively sane (would rather have fun than Rule The World), but just not up for the job.

Before the 2000 election, Bush put Cheney in charge of the VP hunt. Cheney "deliberated", then chose himself. Bush's acquescence was a red flag to me (NOT A MANAGER!!!), but obviously not to enough other voters.

It brings up an interesting problem, though. The Presidency of the USA (and by hegemonic proxy, Earth) is a job way to big for one person. Worse, the skills needed to become "POTUS" (ick) - raising Money & making people feel good - have little to do with the job. The exception is management skills.

Given his background - business, MA Gov, Olympics - I would have thought RMoney would be running this better. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well he's screwing this up so far.

Maybe he's like Bush - "born on third base, and thinks he hit a triple" (H/T Ralph Nader, I think).


Ryan is 'famous' for his budget that as the Colonel correctly posits, would privatize many social services and result in a windfall for the monied interests pushing for it behind the scenes.

If Ryan was meant to be a sop to the white conservatives who make up the Republican Party's base, then it is a weak one. Ryan is in the same mold as Romney it seems - another financier who can't gut America's manufacturing capability in the name of free trade. There's a glossing of social conservative positions, but Romney coming out in favor of traditional marriage and blasting Obama's backdoor amnesty would have just as much if not more than hoping Ryan will be enough to shore up his credentials.


Speaking of immigration as well, I'm not sure how he rates a "B-" on Numbers USA when he seems to be yet another Republican who will stab citizens in the back at the behest of his rentier controllers.



You make a very important point that our President is elected by voters in each state and not the national popular vote. Many don't get this American electoral college model. As we have seen in the past few presidential elections, we have this Red State/Blue State partisan divide and the election is determined by just a few swing states. Florida, Ohio, ?. The rest of us can stay home!

Considering the economic backdrop of persistent under-employment, stagnant median wages and a lackluster economic "recovery", despite ZIRP, nationalization of credit risk (mortgage, student loans, TBTF bank debt, etc), trillion dollar annual fiscal deficits, massive Federal Reserve monetization and market interventions - the incumbent President seems competitive which goes to show how weak the challenger really is.

Personally, I am done with the political duopoly and will be writing in a candidate in this election. Not that it matters in my state. What I am disappointed about the politics in America is how far many of my fellow citizens have moved from the Jeffersonian values of our founding to become statists.


I'd say the LATimes is wrong in different way - the only Battleships left on the planet are museums. They've been obsolete for 70 years; the Japanese proved that. Fer cryin' out loud, the Bismark was crippled by a biplane! (IIRC, a Stringbag from the Ark Royal scored a lucky torp hit on the rudder).

But they're really impressive - nothing quite so Freudian as those Big Guns, eh? The perfect backdrop for a FeelGood show about how powerful (Potent) we were, deserve to be, and will be again!!!

It's also a Reagan redux. He spent a Billion bucks un-mothballing the Iowa, sent it to the Med (where it lobbed a few shells into the slums of Lebanon), then spent another $B to re-mothball it. And that was back when a Billion was real money.


The question to ask is not "what is Romney thinking?" but rather "is Romney thinking?"

Of course, it is Obama's to lose. Being at heart a timid man, though, he may yield to the temptation to play prevent-defense once he has a solid lead. Whether in politics or football, the only thing that strategy prevents is an easy victory.

As a progressive, I see Ryan as our last hope of getting Obama and those who mismanage the Democratic Party to finally to face up to the reactionary ideological challenge which has turned America upside down, rather than seek to appease it out of the misguided beliefs that the Tea Party really represents the essence of America; and that Americans want nothing more than "compromise" and "peace" at any price. The last is what Obama is quoted at length as telling Suskind in the Oval Office.


The choice of Ryan as VP candidate is on a par with McCain's choice of Palin. It confirms that the GOP presidential candidate is an empty suit; that he knows it; and that he has picked a right-wing ideologue as a running mate to distract attention from his emperor-has-no-clothes predicament.

I don't think Mittens could have made a worse choice than the zombie-eyed-granny-starver. The Dems will make mincemeat of these two in the coming months, accurately exposing them as the right-wing, anti-middle class extremists that they both are.



It was Ann Richards. Nader is so ultra serious that he has little sense of humor


In what world are milquetoasts Romney and Ryan 'far right extremists' on anything but tax cuts?

Both are more of the center-left Liberal Lite who will do exactly what Obama has done, but with the full faith and support of the Republicans as opposed to the Democrats who will hound them if they should win.


I read somewhere last week that Romney might take Ryan to get him out of the House of Representatives so he wouldn't have to deal with his budget plan. And sure enough today, after picking the granny starver, Romney said he has his own budget plan. I wonder who will starve under that plan?

different clue

Ummm . . . did you mean to include the words "fast enough" right after the words "can't gut America's manufacturing capability" in your comment?




FiveThirtyEight had a good review of VP choices that could make a difference. Rubio of Florida, McDonnell of Virginia, even Portman of Ohio could carry their state's electoral votes. So why pick an ideologue? From Wisconsin???
I wonder if Obama will stick with Biden.

different clue

I see two other possible last hopes. One is a speedy enough visible mass defection of voters to various third party choices that the Democratic Party is terrified of the permanent loss of its one-time base. The other, and better; would be for enough embittered Democratic voters who will not vote for Obama again to tell their relevant Democratic officeholders all about it . . . to tell them that the only way they will vote for the DemParty PrezVice ticket is if the Democratic Party removes Obama from that ticket. It would take several million traditionally Democratic voters to say it and mean it in several million separate messages to their relevant Democrats before the Democratic Convention. Could it work if enough Democrats said it? I don't know. I don't know how many "enough" is. It may be that today's Democratic Party is so committed to cutting Social Security and Medicare and so committed to sheltering criminal gang bankers from any investigation leading to criminal prosecution and so forth that today's Democratic Party would rather lose than permit such things to be brought up for discussion in the election.

Medicine Man

You make a good point. Ryan is really only "far-right" as right-wing is defined by the chamber of commerce wing of the GoP.

I have no idea what Romney is.

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