#1: Paul Ryan is the chief architect of the extreme GOP budget
— of which Mitt Romney is a huge fan. It funds tax breaks for the
wealthiest with severe cuts to investments in education, scientific
research, and clean energy. The middle class shoulders the burden.
#2: He’s the author of the original plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system
— which the Romney-Ryan ticket has absorbed, hiking out-of-pocket
costs by $6,000 per year. He also backed a proposal to privatize Social
Security, which would let the whims of the stock market take over
#3: Just like Mitt Romney, he’s severely conservative
and has consistently taken a stance against women. He voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and co-sponsored a bill that could ban
all abortion, including in cases of rape and incest — and even some
common forms of birth control.
#4: Paul Ryan, like Mitt Romney, will say absolutely anything to win votes, no matter how far it is from the truth.
I know our vice president will make us proud tonight. But we’ve also
seen from Ryan’s vicious, dishonest speech at the Republican Convention
that this is a guy who embraces Mitt Romney’s “say anything, don’t worry
about fact-checkers” campaign strategy.
During the 2008 campaign, in an effort to quell a nasty and unsubstantiated smear that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S., the Obama team took the unprecedented step of releasing the candidate’s certificate of live birth, only to realize they had inadvertently fanned the flames of the fledgling “birther” conspiracy movement. This Wednesday, the White House tried to put an end to questions about the President’s birthplace once and for all by releasing the long-form version of his birth certificate. “We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” Obama told reporters in a press conference after making the document public. The birther story has been revived in recent weeks by the inflammatory statements of TV personality and potential GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. Although the myth that Obama was not born in the U.S. has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked by leading news organizations, the White House has found the rumor stubbornly persistent. As the President put it, “this thing just keeps on going.” He has generally avoided speaking on the subject over the past two years, seemingly reluctant to escalate the malicious lies. But as the story has migrated from the extremist fringes to the mainstream media, and begun influencing the views of average Americans, the President clearly felt he could no longer afford to maintain his silence. Several Democratic allies have questioned the wisdom of wading into the fray — and the timing of the announcement — but White House officials apparently decided one month ago that the story had become damaging and distracting, and would continue to plague them through the 2012 campaign if they didn’t address it head on.
HOW DID WE GET HERE: If the endurance of the birther myth teaches us anything, it’s the power of repetition. Any claim, no matter how outrageous, can take hold over time if it gets enough media exposure. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that nearly 25 percent of Americans, and 45 percent of Republicans, believed Mr. Obama was born in another country. The shocking fact that a quarter of all Americans now believe the lie — and an additional 18 percent say they don’t know where he was born — illustrates just how successful birther conspiracists have been at sowing doubt and attracting attention from mainstream news outlets. While the exact origins of birtherism are fuzzy, it has certainly been pursued most vigorously by the far right. Early proponents included California dentist Orly Taitz and the conservative website World Net Daily. They insisted that the birth certificate produced by Obama was a forgery, and Taitz even claimed — twice — to have a copy of the “real” Kenyan birth certificate proving Obama was not American-born. A string of specious lawsuits claiming the president wasn’t qualified to hold office were all dismissed by the courts, and some of the filers, including Taitz, had to pay fines. However, by then mainstream figures, including then-CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, had begun weighing in and giving extremists the attention they so desperately sought, which allowed other networks and publications to “cover the coverage.” In fact, in his statement Obama gently admonished the media for being complicit in promoting birtherism. The story entered deeper into the political bloodstream when several GOP politicians realized it would be politically advantageous to play up the issue to their base. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R), Sen. David Vitter, (R- LA), and Alan Keyes all jumped on the bandwagon, while other Republicans, including Sarah Palin, simply flirted with birtherism by making leading statements like, “I think it’s a fair question” to investigate Obama’s birthplace. In March 2009, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) and 11 House co-sponsors introduced legislation requiring presidential candidates to provide a copy of their original birth certificate. More “birther bills” would soon follow. This year alone, bills have cropped up in more than a dozen legislatures to force presidential candidates to prove their citizenship. A few Republican leaders, however, recognized that embracing the theory would be toxic for the party, and distanced themselves from the birthers. Erick Erickson, the editor of the popular RedState blog, publicly purged birthers from his site in 2010.
THE AFTERMATH: On Wednesday Obama finally gave birthers what they said they always wanted: the long-form version of his birth certificate that has been kept on file in Hawaii. It surprised no one that, despite being presented with even more incontrovertible evidence that the President is an American citizen, many of them remained unconvinced. Birther crusader Pamela Geller declared on Fox that the newly-released document was “suspect,” while her Fox hosts appeared to nod in agreement. Texas state representative Leo Berman (R), the author of a birther bill, complained that the certificate didn’t look old enough, and Orly Taitz questioned its authenticity based on the fact that the race of Obama’s father is listed as “African,” not “Negro.” However, several prominent voices on the right admitted that the issue seemed to be resolved. Some, including Rush Limbaugh, engaged in revisionist history by suggesting they never had any doubts about the President’s origins and had been on his side all along. Other GOP leaders, confronted with the error of their past claims, tried to blame the whole affair on Obama himself, suggesting the controversy was his fault for not releasing his birth certificate earlier. “All I would say is, why did it take so long?” said potential GOP contender Newt Gingrich. He was not alone in ascribing sinister motives to the President’s timing: Sarah Palin tweeted to her followers, “don’t let the WH distract you w/ the birth crt,” and insinuated the President was simply trying to keep attention away from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s statement later that day. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus chastised the president for not focusing on more important issues. “Unfortunately his campaign politics and talk about birth certificates is distracting him from our No. 1 priority–our economy.” In the wake of the document’s release, the dust seems to be settling exactly as you’d expect: some people have abandoned the cause while the die-hards fight on. But the President made it clear he wasn’t concerned about the fringe: “I know that there’s going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest,” he said. “But I’m speaking to the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press.”
WHY IT STICKS: It is no coincidence that MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow titled her segments on the birther story “Birther of a Nation,” an allusion to the D.W. Griffith film long thought to glorify the rise of the KKK. Doubts about the President’s origins have persisted because they speak to underlying concerns and suspicions about his background, ethnicity, and race. For some, the very presence of an African-American in the Oval Office is so offensive that they simply cannot accept his authority. The birther angle conveniently allows this segment of the population to wrap up their hatred in the flag — or more accurately, the Constitution. By suggesting Obama wasn’t born in America, what they are really claiming is that he is not even legally the President. The Constitution is regarded as something close to a sacred document in conservative circles, and in the birther world, Obama’s tenure itself is a violation of the founding document. The spread of the birther conspiracy into the mainstream reveals a disturbingly pervasive racial animus. This insidious fear that the America of old is being contaminated by foreign radicals isn’t only manifested in the birther debate. It can be seen in hysteria about “anchor babies,” Islamophobia, and Republican attempts to end birthright citizenship or prevent renewal of the Voting Rights Act. And while birtherism may always thrive only at the margins, this unsettling broader trend is firmly established. It turns out that electing a black president did not suddenly allow the country to “transcend” its checkered history with race. If anything, it has put lingering tensions front and center, and forced us to confront them.
As we move into Campaign2016 voters need to remember the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 ~ 2008, how Republicans are reacting to your financial and personal status, Women’s Rights and Race in the year 2015. We must remember the Sequester of 2013, $24Billion shutdown and ALL the NO votes against Americans in Congress. The craziness in my opinion is clearly based on conservative insanity and could shove America into another moment of chaos in the long run. if “We the People” do not open your eyes and make your vote count in midterms more than ever before because they matter … Stop ignoring our Midterm elections and fight against conservative redistricting.
I ask you, what has a Republican done for you and yours, what are they thinking and how disturbing is it that past elections have taught them nothing! They continue to vote against bills that could help their own constituents like seniors, Students and the Unemployed just to name a broad group that has to include their own families or someone they know, right.
However, Republicans seem to believe and act as if they have no middle-lower or poor constituents that will feel the pain of all those NO votes …
We may never know all the reasons or facts behind our receding economy and yes; we all have to admit some housing loans were a big mistake. We know that AIG wrapped up some products in questionable paper, put a bow on them, which blew up, and a whole lot of poo was spread through the world. I am no expert, but what part of “the global economy” did the extreme right misunderstand. Republicans have made it a mission almost impossible since they first held Americans hostage and while we still need Banksters and Wall Street to take responsibility for the out of control greed that caused our financial downfall. There is still a sense that those who played with consumer money knew the government would not only pay to get them out of the ditch but the government would be held accountable and not the banks. I am convinced this was on the minds of those willing to make bets against the housing consumer since Freddie and Fannie Mae are governmental programs.
Good’ole Abe said…
“The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot, so well do, for themselves in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things, which the individuals of a people cannot, do, or cannot well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those, which have relation to wrongs, and those, which have not. Each of these branches off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first that in relation to wrongs embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need for government.” ~ Abe Lincoln
The fact is; being out of a job, homeless or being on food stamps is a non-partisan reality. Yet, Republicans do not feel this way. In fact, they have yet to move on from the original stimulus bill choosing to make comments though we all saw a great number of Republicans cutting ribbons, telling their constituents they were their champions even stating President did not do his part. Honestly, the idea that Republicans state they need to be more pragmatic is laughable and as these folks continue to riff on who did what when to whom, President Obama genuinely tried to be bipartisan for the last 4yrs, but some of us feel the ultimate plan was to embarrass him … old school politics will continue to be a battle. Putting ones Party first before the People, a practice that began in 2009 has continued into President Obama’s second term with the Party of NO not only misinforming voters but also filibustering our President’s ability to govern.
The American People are hurting. yet Boehner and his group of carpet baggers seem to agree to vote for bills privately decide to vote no to anything beforehand and continue to say no to legislation which shows just what kind of person he and his party are.
It made me sad and angry given what is going on that someone could be so cynical but it shows how Republicans see politics as a game and we Americans are the pawns
While the whole thing seems amusing, I would laugh but it hurts
1 bunch green onions
1 Tbsp. Bertolli® Classico™ Olive Oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
3/4 lb. red snapper, cut into 2 (6-ounce) pieces
Bertolli® Extra Light™ Tasting Olive Oil
1/4 cantaloupe, cut with melon baller
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 to 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
Bertolli® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Brush onions with 1 tablespoon Bertolli Classico Olive Oil; season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Preheat grill or grill pan.
Brush green onions with additional Bertolli Classico Olive Oil and grill until tender, slightly brown and caramelized, approx. 5 to 10 minutes.
Season fish with salt and fresh ground black pepper on both sides. Heat 2 tablespoons Bertolli Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat and cook skin-side down, approx. 4 minutes, pressing lightly with spatula to crisp the skin. Turn and cook 4 minutes or until snapper flakes with fork and is nicely browned on both sides. Let rest.
Combine melon balls with crumbled feta. Season with a touch of salt, fresh ground black pepper and white balsamic vinegar to taste; set aside.
Plate grilled onions, place snapper on top and finish with melon salad. Season with fresh ground black pepper to taste, drizzle with Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Fabio Viviani, owner and Executive Chef of Cafe Firenze in Moorpark, California and Firenze Osteria Italian Restaurant and Martini Bar in Toluca Lake, California.
An update to a post that obviously was so much more.
In April 2013, as politics and pop culture collided, while twitter and face book joined in as seeds of change for me. There were several side stories,which did not make it to TV,but were In full effect. That night as people praised laughed danced tweeted positive things, no one knew about the two young men who possibly were in the wrong place at an undesirable hour. In what appears to be a related story about segregation and proms, we find out that two years earlier one young black man #JustinPatterson was shot dead the other traumatized for what seems to be the senseless death of his friend on January 29 2011. The story is one that hurts, makes me mad that this was apparently hidden by the media; it definitely became a side story possibly swept under a damn rug by law enforcement and brings to mind what happens when young black men are confronted or treated as threats.
The real story was being brought to light while surfing the TV. I found MPH talking to a writer about a story that actually started in 2009 about segregation, southern proms and inclusion ending with a related narration about an unnecessary death of yet another young black man in 2011 by an old white man . If that isn’t not enough, this splintered reality includes a young black man/police officer struggling to become a sheriff in what becomes an obvious evolution story of 3 steps backward or 21st Century jim crow and one step forward beginning in 2013
My first thought was outrage and sadness as we see certain states in the south regressing on so many levels, then the story about how these young kids made a choice to close the racial divide, got organized raised money for a prom apparently open to all and helped by many outside the rural community. It also led to Leaders of the Georgia N.A.A.C.P. calling for the state to ban segregated proms and brought back memories of 2009, when Morgan Freeman funded the first racially integrated prom in Charleston, MI.
Anyway, the highlight of my night started out with PBO stepping onto the stage with a new Presidential intro to DJ Khalid’s, All I do is Win and his dance while WHCD president, Ed henry and fellow FOX employees watched on. Then again, PBO’s whole dialogue was hilarious got a huge bounce with a lot of photos; except c-span.org decided NOT to show his magazine cover. We all wait for that to be leaked.
Apparently, the White House Correspondent Dinner has been going on for years but its popularity only started in 1993 and from then on, sold out. The crowd of 2700 came to see Mrs. and President Obama, Conan and raise a whole lot of money for future Journalists. The main complaint was that Hollywood seemed to outnumber the Correspondents on the Red Carpet. I have to say watching them eat for 2 hours before the good stuff started was odd and ok you got a ticket to the #NerdProm, but there is a whole lot more room for improvement. If you were on your couch watching, something definitely was upsetting Gov. Chris Christie because cameras kept panning over to his table, maybe he didn’t know that it was supposed to be a night of jabs, juicy comments and lots of money donated for student scholarships … who knows exactly why Gov. Christie had that look. I don’t know about you but the WHCD was a good time of funny. Those of us who not only support PBO see a funnier, more confident, less stressed out President working his 2nd term who says what’s on his mind more and the #NerdProm was just one example .
As for the integrated Prom night in Georgia, let’s face it; proms in the future are questionable but things are looking up in some parts of the rural south… at least in Wilcox County. In response to requests to desegregate, the Wilcox County school board plans to vote this spring on making future proms official school events, which would prohibit racial segregation.
The White House Correspondent Dinner, was a night when entertainers and politicians switched places… where the red carpet became a place to pose with various people… clearly stars in their own worlds each seeing someone from the others life and wanting photos.