Archive for Mitt Romney

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

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Playthell G. Bemjamin

Harlem, New York

August 13, 2012

The Puppet: Mitt Romney Recites Neo-Con Lines in Israel

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, On Israel, Playthell on politics with tags , , , on July 31, 2012 by playthell

  What is Mitt Promising BB?

 On Rattling Swords and Waving the Bloody Shirt

AfterlisteningtoMitt Romney’s speech in Israel, where he practically pledged to invade Iran if elected President; I thought “here we go again!”  The last thing the American people need is another fuzzy headed businessman in the Oval Office who thinks the answer to our protracted economic crisis is to give more money to the very rich and regulate the private sector less.  A President so clueless about foreign affairs, his view of the world can be completely molded by policy wonks with an agenda.  That’s exactly what we had in George W. Bush.

Lest we forget, the result was a series of disasters.  Among these was the failure to heed repeated warnings from US intelligence operatives that Islamic Jihadists were planning a devastating terrorist attack on the US homeland, because misguided ideologues were still fighting a cold war against a nation that no longer existed.

This resulted in the most successful assault on American soil by a foreign force since the War of 1812.  And the ill-conceived wars of choice that we are still fighting almost 12 years later –three times the length of World War II.  The Bush economic policy was also disastrous and resulted in the near collapse of the world financial system; resulting in the loss of 40% of Middle Class wealth and 67% of Afro-American wealth. And millions of Americans are still facing foreclosure on their homes, while Mitt proposes an enhanced version of Bushonomics.

Whatever one believes about who the good and bad guys are in the Middle East, the question that must be asked with the utmost urgency is: Can this nation afford another major war? The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been estimated to cost out at around four trillion dollars by Nobel Prize winning economist ……of Columbia University.  And a war with Iran would make those wars look like a dress rehearsal.

It is instructive to note that the American society of Civil Engineers has estimated that we could have completely rebuilt the infrastructure of our nation for half that expenditure – an investment that would have boosted our present economy, employed a multitude of workers, and laid the basis for a new economy suited to 21st century realities.

Hence those like Mitt Romney, who argue that it is a false dichotomy to say we can’t engage in war and nation building in the Mid-East and rebuild our nation at the same time, are wrong.  Yet, driven by an unfaltering opportunism, a self-righteous sense of “American Exceptionalism,” and scripted by neo-con fanatics like John Bolton – who helped convince the Bushmen to attack Iraq in a war of choice – Mitt Romney has committed America to a war with Iran in his hysterical Jerusalem Speech.

Mitt even has put the choice of whether this nation will attack Iran in the hands of his old business buddy Benjamin Netanyahu, the hawkish Israeli Prime Minister.  This should outrage all patriotic Americans who believe that our president should put American interests first; and a war with Iran is not in our national interests!

Despite the fact that Mitt was speaking in Israel, it was a speech designed to win the Jewish, and especially the Christian Evangelical vote, back home.  Since Jews are only 4% of the electorate, and only around 7% of American Jews say that US policy toward Israel is a deciding factor in how they vote, plus President Obama won 80% of the Jewish vote; Mitt must motivate the Evangelicals or he’s doomed to defeat at the polls.

That’s why Mitt’s message was aimed at millions of Evangelical Christian fanatics, whose support of Israel is based on their “End Time” theology.  And many of these people are already skeptical of Mitt’s Mormon beliefs. So, like the soulless charlatan that he is, Mitt gave BB the right to take our nation to war; which would fulfill the fantasies of the Christian Right masquerading as biblical prophecy.  Such an unprincipled, dangerous, opportunist should never be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office; let alone become the commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces!

 A Fraud at the Wailing Wall

 I bet he’s counting votes back home

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 Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

July 31; 2012

The World According to Mitt

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on July 25, 2012 by playthell
 Yet another pugnacious Republican draft dodger

 The Danger Zone is Everywhere!

After listening to Mitt Romney’s speech before the veterans of Foriegn Wars at South Carolina’s Citadel, a military academy, I thought: “Tt’s de ja vous all over again.”  Once more the Republicans are attempting to win a presidential election by playing on the paranoia and misguided patriotism of the American public; conjuring up enemies abroad and manufacturing war hysteria at home.

Mitt Romney is beginning to look more and more like a reincarnation of George Bush, but without the former President’s compassion or military experience.  The thing that unites Romney and Bush, and distinguishes them from all other Presidents should Romney win, is that they would be the only occupants of the Oval Office with MBA’s from Harvard.

Judging by the economic performance of the first Chief Executive with this coveted degree, there is cause for alarm. Bill Clinton, who presided over our last economic boom, has called Mitt’s economic plan nothing but a reincarnation of the Bush plan…”but this time on steroids.”  That’s scary enough, but Mitt’s vision of foreign policy, and related issues of war and peace, is terrifying.

Like Bush, Mitt knows little of the world beyond the business world.  Yes he was governor of Massachusetts for four years, like Bush was governor of Texas, but most of what he understands about foreign affairs has to do with global markets; mainly where to ship the jobs of American workers in order to provide the greatest returns for his investors.

Hence maximizing profits, not matters of morality and compassion, guided Mitt’s decisions.  And he left a trail of wrecked lives and mutilated companies – which he says are killers too –  in his wake.   But  if Mitt brings the same ruthless amoral approach to foreign policy, maintaining a tally sheet of wins and losses with global domination as the ultimate objective, we can be sure there will be constant wars and rumors of wars.

Already Mitt has shown a willingness to pick fights all over the world: Iran, Venezuela, China, and Russia; who he says is our number one geo-political threat.  So reckless is Mitt’s rhetoric that the venerable Colin Powell has publicly chastised Mitt and said his party’s presumptive presidential candidate is wrong on Russia.

Powell’s  incredulous facial expression and blasé body language suggested that the former Secretary of State believe Mitt’s view of the world should be classified under “Nutsy Coo Coo!” Especially since Mitt’s most influential advisors were routinely dismissed as “The Fuckin Crazies” during the Administration of George I, when Colin Powell was the American Othello.

The former General’s outspoken dissent suggest that the protracted war between the Realpolitique crowd, represented by people like Brent Scowcroft, Richard Luger, Colin Powell, George H.W. Bush, et al, and the Neo-Con’s represented by Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton, is flaring up again.  Judging from Romney’s paranoid vision and bellicose rhetoric it is fair to assume the Neo-Cons have the candidate’s ear.  That explains why neither Brent Scowcroft nor Colin Powell has endorsed The Mittster.

This is yet another good reason for the rest of us to be worried about what a Mitt Romney presidency would mean for war and peace.  What we know for sure is that these two factions have been fighting to impose their vision of the world on American foreign policy since Operation Desert Storm. 

At the beginning of the rein of  George II  the Powell/Scowcroft Realpolitique faction was firmly in charge. But after the terrorist attack on 9/11 George II panicked and the “crazies,”  who were recruited from the Project for A New American Century,“ a Neo-Con think tank, by Dirty Dick Cheney,  took charge of US foreign policy.

These are the architects of policies that led to the invasion of Iraq, America’s greatest diplomatic blunder, and the bungling of the Afghanistan mission.  And while we are still fighting those wars almost 12 years later, Mitt wants to start others.  Hence although both Mitt and Barack both talk about the 21st Century being a new American century….it really scares me when Mitt says it.  Because I see danger zones everywhere!

 Stop the Madness! 

 Don’t Antgonize the Russians!

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Playthell George Benjamin

Harlem, New York

July 25, 2012 

Mitt Romney is a Dangerous Charlatan!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , on July 25, 2012 by playthell
 A Man of the People?
 

Can Americans be Duped into Electing a Lying Charlatan?

If it were not more pathetic than funny Ann Romney’s television act would be a hoot!   She actually had the unmitigated gall to scold President Obama and indignantly declare that his criticism of her husband was beneath the dignity of his office.  One is almost at a loss for words as Miss Ann assumes her wounded spouse’s look at the same time that her husband is engaging in some of the sleaziest racist politics that we have witnessed in my lifetime.  And he is a world class liar to boot!

The first ad Mitt’s campaign produced about President Obama was a blatant lie; even he couldn’t deny it was a lie because the video tape evidence of the President’s actual speech was undeniable. They literally took lines form President Obama’s mouth, where he was quoting an adviser to John McCain, and edited the video to make it look like the president was stating his own position.

When they were called out on it by news reporters they just sort of shrugged it off with the comment that this is how the game of politics is played today.  Now the Mittster is doing the same thing with the president’s thoughtful and accurate comments about the relationship between Individual success in business, and the public infrastructure that is provided by all American taxpayers which makes that success possible.

The Republicans say that President Obama cannot run on his record, yet they are running a campaign based on blatant lies; which means they know that they cannot win by telling the truth about it.  And evidently Mitt believes that he cannot win if the truth comes out about his finances and taxes.  There is no other way to explain why he is willing to take all the flak he is taking by refusing to release multi-year tax returns.

Everybody who is familiar with the subject knows that Americans who establish off shore corporations and keep secret bank accounts in the Cayman Islands are trying to hide income and avoid paying taxes.  That’s why it is rumored to be a favorite haven for laundering dirty drug money.

As I have said in a previous commentary, it remains to be seen which legal category Romney’s ’tax returns fall in: tax avoidance, which is legal, or tax evasion, which is a crime.  Both are immoral, and Mitt knows it.  That’s why he won’t release them and he’s counting on the ignorance, apathy and racism of the electorate to get him over.

A recent survey aired on CNN last Sunday showed that the topics being most discussed by Americans just now are vacation plans and dieting, with the candidates and coming election near the bottom of their concerns at 14% is disconcerting.

The hearty yelps of applause Mitt got from some members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars today, even though he is just another tough talking chicken hawk who was a draft dodger during the Vietnam war and partied in Paris as poor boys died on the battlefield, the Grand Obstructionist Party might just get away with banking on the backwardness of the electorate and succeed in electing a lying charlatan to the most powerful office in the world!

 The Draft Doger talkin smack before the Veterans of Foriegn wars

A Bullshit Artist Par Excellance!

Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

July 24, 2012

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Does Mitt Think We Are Stupid?

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , , , on July 16, 2012 by playthell

A Very Slippery Character
 Notes On a Corporate Raider, Tax Avoider and Compulsive Liar

Since Mitt Romney made it clear in his marathon interviews with television reporters on Friday that he has no intention of releasing any more of his tax records beyond the 2010 and 2011 tax returns –the latter has yet to be released – I am being generous and giving him the benefit of the doubt by calling him a tax avoider rather than a tax evader.

I based this choice not on Mitt’s morality, for there is abundant evidence that he has the ethics of a pirate, but because as a Harvard trained lawyer I assume he has better sense than to break the law by lying on his tax returns.

There are several tax experts who believe that if Mitt’s tax returns are carefully examined by a team of tax lawyers and accountants, specifically looking for instances of fraud, they might well find what they are looking for. They reason that given the amount of tax returns the IRS processes they might well miss something in a tax return that numbers several hundred pages. There are 55 pages that deal with foreign financial transactions alone.  One crack reporter who has delved into all of these matters is Nicholas Shaxson, who published his findings in the prestigious magazine Vanity Fair.

In an article titled “Where the Money Lives,” Shaxson makes a heroic effort to unravel the maze of Romney’s financial dealings and identify his assets –which at present are as hard to identify as Mitt’s real political philosophy.  Speaking of Mitt’s quest for the GOP presidential nomination Shaxson observed “Romney’s gray areas were again an issue when he repeatedly resisted calls to release more details of his net worth, his tax returns, and the large investments and assets held by him and his wife, Ann.”  Shaxon goes on to observe “Finally the other Republican candidates forced him to do so, but only highly selective disclosures were forthcoming…. Particularly jarring were the Romneys’ many offshore accounts. “

Newt Gingrich – a shameless opportunist who has now hopped on board the Romney bandwagon after calling him everything but a child of God – was contesting Mitt for the GOP nomination when his tax return was made public.  After examining the document Newt, who holds a PhD in American history, observed: “I don’t know of any American president who has had a Swiss bank account.”  Reading Shaxon’s article was like trying to read a document riddled with words from ancient Sanskrit, so foreign is the language of high finance to Americans of average means.  The fact that most of us can file our taxes on a couple of pages and Mitt requires a couple of hundred pages to file his taxes is instructive.

As a Harvard trained tax lawyer told me, the massive US tax code is all about ways to help rich people avoid paying taxes; and the more money you have the more you rely on the many loopholes in the law.  That’s why the overwhelming majority of tax lawyers and accountants work for powerful corporations and wealthy individuals.  It seems that Mitt has utilized them all in his vigorous efforts to avoid paying taxes, and yet he is running on a platform of further reducing taxes for the filth rich.  Off shore corporations in Bermuda, foreign bank accounts, suspect retirement accounts: you name it Mitt’s tried it!

That’s why the dollars from plutocrats are pouring into his campaign; a gift from the reactionary Supreme Court in the Citizen’s United decision that began the process of converting our democracy into a plutocracy.  Either this guy is a deluded megalomaniac or he really thinks the electorate is stupid….and judging from the poll numbers he may be right.

For only a woefully ignorant electorate could vote for a man that has pledged to take away their health care; ship their jobs off to China – for instance he refused to criticize the US Olympic Committee for having the uniforms for our athletes made in China – give more money to the rich even as the rest of us scuffle for our daily bread; reinstitute the Bush economic plan on steroids, and hide his dough in secret bank accounts in Countries whose banking laws are so secret they are favorite places for dope dealers to hide their ill-gotten coin.

And this charlatan – who is a possible tax cheat and felon – now demands that President Obama apologize to him.  Chilly B, has answered a resounding no!  They have no intention of halting their interrogation of Romney’s business career.  And if he thinks he can BS his way out of this without coming clean on his tax records, home boy sho-nuff thinks we stupid for real!!!  I have known only two people in my life that had secret bank accounts in the Cayman Islands: Both went to jail!  One of them did eight years in the federal pentitenary for financial fraud and tax evasion!  Just sayin.

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Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

July 16, 2012