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Huff Post

Ryan Grim

Posted: 08/30/2012 12:29 am Updated: 08/30/2012 11:52 am

TAMPA, Fla. — Paul Ryan pledged Wednesday that if he and his running mate Mitt Romney were elected president, they would usher in an ethic of responsibility. The Wisconsin congressman and GOP vice presidential candidate repeatedly chided President Barack Obama for blaming the jobs and housing crises on his predecessor, saying that his habit of “forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago -– isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?”

Ryan then noted that Obama, while campaigning for president, promised that a GM plant in Wisconsin would not shut down. “That plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight,” Ryan said.

Except Obama didn’t promise that. And the plant closed in December 2008 — while George W. Bush was president.

It was just one of several striking and demonstrably misleading elements of Ryan’s much-anticipated acceptance speech. And it comes just days after Romney pollster Neil Newhouse warned, defending the campaign’s demonstrably false ads claiming Obama removed work requirements from welfare, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

Ryan, for his part, slammed the president for not supporting a deficit commission report without mentioning that he himself had voted against it, helping to kill it.

He also made a cornerstone of his argument the claim that Obama “funneled” $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. But he didn’t mention that his own budget plan relies on those very same savings.

Ryan also put responsibility for Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. government debt at Obama’s doorstep. But he didn’t mention that S&P itself, in explaining its downgrade, referred to the debt ceiling standoff. That process of raising the debt ceiling was only politicized in the last Congress, driven by House Republicans, led in the charge by Paul Ryan.

The credit rater also said it worried that Republicans would never agree to tax increases. “We have changed our assumption on [revenue] because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,” S&P wrote.

Jodie Layton, a convention goer from Utah watching the Ryan speech, said she was blown away by the vice presidential candidate. But she said she was surprised to hear that after his speech about taking responsibility, he’d pinned a Bush-era plant closing on Obama.

“It closed in December 2008?” she asked, making sure she heard a HuffPost reporter’s question right. After a long pause, she said, “It’s happening a lot on both sides. It’s to be expected.”

Ryan has referenced the GM plant before, and his attack was debunked by the Detroit News, which called it inaccurate. “In fact, Obama made no such promise and the plant halted production in December 2008, when President George W. Bush was in office,” Detroit News reporter David Sherpardson wrote earlier this month. “Obama did speak at the plant in February 2008, and suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises as Ryan suggested.”

After the speech, CNN’s political commentators focused mostly on Ryan’s misstatements, demonstrating the degree to which they were evident.

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The Washington Post

By Jonathan Bernstein

Posted at 11:56 PM ET, 08/29/2012

It was, by any reasonable standards, a staggering, staggering lie. Here’s Paul Ryan about Barack Obama:

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report.  He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

“They.” “Them.” “Them.” Those words are lies. Because Paul Ryan was on that commission. “Came back with an urgent report.” That is a lie. The commission never made any recommendations for Barack Obama to support or oppose. Why not? Because the commission voted down its own recommendations. Why? Because Paul Ryan, a member of the commission, voted it down and successfully convinced the other House Republicans on the commission to vote it down.

That wasn’t the only bit of mendacity – lazy mendacity, incredibly lazy mendacity – in Ryan’s speech. Twitter lit up as soon as he started telling the story of the Janesville auto plant that Barack Obama didn’t save – a plant that, it turns out, closed before Obama was president. And of course there’s the infamous cuts to Medicare that Ryan lambasted Obama for without happening to mention that those very same cuts were in Paul Ryan’s own budget. Yes: absolutely everything in Obamacare is an abomination, says Paul Ryan, except for (as he forgets to mention) the cuts to Medicare that he supports – and yet he still singles that part out to use as an attack.

It isn’t even true in some symbolic or abstract way. The real truth is that Paul Ryan completely rejects the approach of that commission – because it includes tax increases along with spending cuts – while Barack Obama has, while not endorsing the exact plan that Ryan shot down, basically endorsed the commission’s approach. Nor was this a side point; Ryan’s complaint about Obama on the deficit was absolutely central to his case against the president.

And then there’s the logic of the whole thing. As Seth Masket said, it all comes down to arguing “we must cut entitlements! Obama cutting entitlements is un-American.”  There’s also, as many were pointing out, the plain fact that until January 2009 Paul Ryan faithfully supported all the tax cuts and spending increases which created the deficit problem he’s been so concerned about since January 2009.

But really, the proper response to a speech like this isn’t to carefully analyze the logic, or to find instances of hypocracy; it’s to call the speaker out for telling flat-out lies to the American people. Paul Ryan has had what I’ve long thought was an undeserved good reputation among many in the press and in Washington. It shouldn’t survive tonight’s speech.

Follow Jonathan Bernstein on Twitter and at his blog.

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The down and dirty history of secret spending, PACs gone wild, and the epic four-decade fight over the only kind of political capital that matters.

Mother Jones  —By

There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can’t remember what the second one is.“—Mark Hanna, 19th-century mining tycoon and GOP fundraiser

I.NIXONLAND

Bill Liedtke was racing against time. His deadline was a little more than a day away. He’d prepared everything—suitcase stuffed with cash, jet fueled up, pilot standing by. Everything but the Mexican money.

The date was April 5, 1972. Warm afternoon light bathed the windows at Pennzoil Company headquarters in downtown Houston. Liedtke, a former Texas wildcatter who’d risen to be Pennzoil’s president, and Roy Winchester, the firm’s PR man, waited anxiously for $100,000 due to be hand-delivered by a Mexican businessman named José Díaz de León. When it arrived, Liedtke (pronounced LIT-key) would stuff it into the suitcase with the rest of the cash and checks, bringing the total to $700,000. The Nixon campaign wanted the money before Friday, when a new law kicked in requiring that federal campaigns disclose their donors. Maurice Stans, finance chair of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, or CREEP, had told fundraisers they needed to beat that deadline. Liedtke said he’d deliver.

Díaz de León finally arrived later that afternoon, emptying a large pouch containing $89,000 in checks and $11,000 in cash onto Liedtke’s desk. The donation was from Robert Allen, president of Gulf Resources and Chemical Company. Allen—fearing his shareholders would discover that he’d given six figures to Nixon—had funneled it through a Mexico City bank to Díaz de León, head of Gulf Resources’ Mexican subsidiary, who carried the loot over the border.

Winchester and another Pennzoil man rushed the suitcase to the Houston airport, where a company jet was waiting on the tarmac. The two men climbed aboard, bound for Washington. They touched down in DC hours later and sped directly to CREEP’s office at 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, across the street from the White House. They arrived at 10 p.m.

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GOP Strategist Fred Davis

Think Progress

By Annie-Rose Strasser  on May 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

A group of GOP strategists is planning to pull out all the stops — including racism — in its campaign strategy to defeat President Obama, the New York Times reported today.

The Times obtained a proposal, crafted by race-baiting GOP media consultant Fred Davis, that says the group will go after Obama for his relationship to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s former pastor who has come under fire for controversial race-related comments.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) steered clear of these attacks during the 2008 election — even suspending a staffer who tweeted out a Wright video — much to the chagrin of Davis and his associates, who include Chicago Cubs owner/ TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts.

Davis’s proposal makes clear that no holds will be barred this time around, and that Rev. Wright will be prominently featured. According to the article, the group is seeking as “a spokesman an ‘extremely literate conservative African-American’ who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a ‘metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.’”

Davis, it turns out, has a long history of making ads that evoke racism, xenophobia, or general aversions to anything “other” or “different.” Here are his top three ads in that vein:

Alabama’s English-Only Governor: Fred Davis helped with Tim James’s gubernatorial bid, during which he ran this dog-whistle xenophobic, racist ad.

VIDEOS AND MORE HERE

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The Washington Post

By Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, Friday, April 27, 8:46 AM

Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.

It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.

We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.

The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.

“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.

It is clear that the center of gravity in the Republican Party has shifted sharply to the right. Its once-legendary moderate and center-right legislators in the House and the Senate — think Bob Michel, Mickey Edwards, John Danforth, Chuck Hagel — are virtually extinct.

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Think Progress   By Judd Legum  on Mar 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

This morning on ABC, prominent conservative columnist George Will blasted the Republican leadership’s meek response to Rush Limbaugh’s sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke. Will mocked Speaker John Boehner for calling Rush’s language “inappropriate ” as comically weak, noting “using a salad fork for your entree, that’s inappropriate.”

Will also attacked the GOP presidential candidates timid response: “They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh.” Watch it:

Check out what all the Presidential candidates have said about Limbaugh’s sexist attacks here.

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Conservative Journalist Takes Every Single Republican To Task

Politicususa
June 15, 2011

By Ray Medeiros

Will the GOP listen to one of their own? Liberals have been saying this for 10+ years now, but had obviously been cast aside by the GOP and conservatives as not important, divisive, and just plain old class warfare. The subject is simply wages, American workers’ share of total national income and the decline of the American workers’ former exceptional standard of living.

The gentleman in question is an author of the many conservative books, including In January 2003, The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush, an End to Evil was co-written with Richard Perle. It defended the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and advocated regime change in Iran and Syria, and finally in 2008 he published Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, a work which garnered “lavish praise from his friends.” Former Congressman David M. McIntosh called “required reading for all GOP candidates.”

The author is by no means liberal. His name is David Frum and he simply asks TWO questions to the Republicans Presidential candidates. Is this a problem? If yes, what can be done about it? The two questions were regarding new statistics from the St. Louis Federal Reserve and the Bureau Of Labor and Statistics.

What the new statistics indicate is that over the last TEN YEARS, specifically right after the 2001 recession, non-farm wages have been on a steep decline. The wages of working class Americans continued to decline even from 2003-2007, which was during economic growth and plummeted again with the current enduring Republican recession.

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