A Facebook post that explains why Ryan’s pension cuts to the military were so craven

American military cemetery LuxembourgA friend tipped me off to a Facebook post that’s gone viral.  Practically within minutes of learning that, while Congress was doing nothing to stem the millions of dollars heading to illegal aliens, it would cut veterans’ benefits, Chuck Wooten, Chief Master Sargeant, USAF (ret.), got a fundraising letter from Paul Ryan.  Wooten took to Facebook to explain precisely why he wouldn’t be contributing any money to Ryan any time soon:

FB Friends,
I’m still mulling this Paul Ryan budget deal that stole money from every military retiree (past, present and future). This morning, upon opening my email, I noticed I had a letter from Congressman Paul Ryan…and it was begging me for an “emergency end of the year donation.” It only proves what we already know. The folks in Washington are indeed clueless. Instead of hitting the delete button, I decided to call Congressman Ryan out on his audacity and lack of self-awareness. I sent the following to him. I’m also posting it on the FB USAF Chiefs page as an open letter to the Congressman. If you’re a retiree, I will tell you we may have lost the battle, but not the war. If you’re inclined and find it worthy, let’s flood social media with this letter and see if we can get some traction. Thanks.

To Congressman Paul Ryan
Today at 8:19 AM
Congressman Ryan,

Please note that this request by you for a cash donation from me is extremely unfortunate and very ill-timed. You see sir, I am one of the military retirees your “bipartisan” budget just impacted. You and every Republican (both in the House and Senate that voted to pass this travesty betrayed and broke trust with me and everyone like me. You may not know us by name, but we’re the people, Congressman, who answered our Nation’s call, some of us at a very early age to willingly serve YOU and others LIKE YOU so you could safely attend college and pursue your personal ambitions without fear of harm.

You might also want to note that for at least 20 years, my brothers-in-arms answered that call of duty EVERY SINGLE DAY, without fail, without complaint, without enough money to sustain our loved ones we had to leave behind while we DID OUR JOB in every corner of the Earth. And for that service, we were given absolute assurance our so-called retirement benefits would be protected by law. The very law you shattered in your zeal to impress your Democratic cohorts in your back room deal–with the enemy. Yes, I said it. The liberal Democrats are an enemy to the American people and our Nation. Your lack of judgement and eagerness to compromise on the backs of us who protected you is sickening. Congressman, you and every Republican that voted for injuring military retirees have engaged in a complicit, sordid affair with the Democrats who’s objective has always been to dismantle the military. By climbing into their bed on this issue, you have confirmed you are absolutely no better than they and have proven it with your vote.

Congressman Ryan, the audacity which you display is noteworthy, but to unceremoniously snatch earned money from a small group that has added so much more value than the paltry $6B you looked to “save” (which is all smoke and mirrors and you know it), is reprehensible and insulting.

We have, despite the hardships, meager salaries and harsh conditions, have performed with honor and excellence…in silence, which is something most members of Congress have no idea about doing. Our job approval was, is and always be better than yours. We knew our mission and we got it done, then handed it off to a new generation in better shape than we found it.

Your ability to look us in the eye, take money from us (apparently there was ZERO, other source of waste within the federal government that you could have recovered this money from…right, got it), while simultaneously holding your hand out to beg (with passion) for our cash is stunning. Your actions have proven you do not have the tremendous intellect you’ve sold the American people on. I say, with all seriousness, Congressman, what you lack in intellect and spinal rigidity, you make up for in cajones.

I hope you and your cowardly, Republican “colleagues” hear a message from me loud and clear. You will NEVER receive another cent of financial support from me. Further, if you happen to be at a Capitol Hill dinner or at a K Street cocktail party with RNC Chair Reince Priebus, Rep. Ron Barber, Sen. Jeff Flake or Sen. John McCain, I would be honored if you communicate with them that I am launching an effort to ensure NONE of you traitorous “representatives of the people” ever receive another vote from a military retiree. Remove me from your contact lists.

Chuck Wooten,
Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret)

That pretty much says it all. While I’m no fan of the overly generous pensions too many public employees get for doing jobs that the rest of us perform in the private sector without all the whoops, hollers, and excessive rewards, the military is sui generis. Our troops hold a unique position in which they promise to fight, bleed, and die on our behalf. Thankfully, most of them aren’t called upon to make these ultimate (or potentially ultimate) sacrifices, but the fact that their job description requires them to make such a promise means that they deserve something more upon retirement than the average white collar desk jockey gets.

Found it on Facebook: Voting with those “lady parts”

This keeps cropping up on Facebook and every time I see it, I find it irritating.

There’s something horribly medieval about reducing women to their sexual organs.  After all, when you think about it, the only thing that Obama has done for women is to order employers to provide insurance that covers birth control — which is a very limited expense.  That’s the difference between Obama’s approach to women and Bush’s.

In all likelihood, notwithstanding the fact that both Romney and Ryan are pro-Life, the only change under a Romney presidency is that we’ll go back to having women pay for their own birth control.  (And men, I’m sorry, but you should pay for your own Viagra.)

The Supreme Court is not going to reverse Roe v. Wade.  If it does, the matter goes to the states and, if enough people want it, a constitutional amendment.

As Michelle Malkin says, I’m voting with my lady smarts, not my lady parts.

Found it on Facebook — Planned Parenthood’s attack on Paul Ryan

With the election nearing, the Facebook frenzy is accelerating.  I got this from a Facebook acquaintance:


Lots of food for thought, there:

Ryan voted to end funding for Planned Parenthood.  Ryan’s vote is completely in line with Romney’s insistence that a broke U.S. government should repeatedly ask itself “Is this program worth going into debt to the Chinese?”

This is an especially good question, when it’s unclear why Planned Parenthood gets special funding status.  If we’re saying women’s health care (including or not including) abortion is of transcendent importance, then we should just put aside a pot of money and let all health care programs apply by proving that they provide the best women’s health care for the least money.  Alternative, we should give women vouchers entitling them to special services that are unique to women.

Of course, once we stop assuming that Planned Parenthood is automatically entitled to funds, and start questioning the services it provides and the benefits citizens receive, we’d better start giving men vouchers for services that are unique to men.  For example, the feds could pay for women’s pap smears, breast exams, and well-baby checkups, and pay for men’s prostate exams, Viagra, and heart disease prevention and treatment (since men die from heart disease in proportionately greater numbers than women).  Indeed, since men routinely die earlier than women do (sorry guys), men should get special longevity treatments, or they should get cash payments for those years that they die sooner, thereby saving the government money.  And really, if we’re going to break it down this way, by looking at both need and savings, we’d better have special vouchers for African-American men who, sadly, have significantly greater health risks than their white or Asian counterparts.  They should get both bigger vouchers and a cash discount for being virtuous enough to die before they cost the government too much  money.  (And wasn’t it the Progressives who want bat bleep crazy when they learned that a cigarette company argued that smoking is really a benefit for socialized medicine because people die sooner, rather than being a lasting burden on the system?)

This is so confusing.  I have a really good idea:  How about the government stops funding special interests and starts promoting a competitive market for quality health care?

He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade with no exceptions for rape or incest.  All thinking people want to overturn Roe v. Wade because it is a terrible malformation of American law.  There is no right to abortion under the Constitution.  There is also no federal ban on abortion under the Constitution.  Abortion is not a federal issue.  It’s a state issue.  Roe v. Wade should be overturned, with the abortion question then being returned to the various States.  They will do what they will, and each state, by looking at the others’ experiments regarding abortion, will be able to decide what is the best policy, either generally or specifically (i.e., for a given state’s finances or morals).

The Ryan budget plan would dismantle Medicaid.  How often will Ryan have to repeat that Medicaid will be there for those who have vested or who are near vesting?  Don’t answer — that’s a hypothetical question.  I know that no Progressive will ever believe him or the laws he’s proposed.  And how often will Ryan have to repeat that Medicaid will continue to be there for those younger people who want it, but that the government will facilitate market-based insurance for those who don’t?  Yup.  That’s another hypothetical.  [UPDATE:  Me being dyslexic and confusing Medicare and Medicaid.  Sorry.  Medicaid is a state program which is going to get royally reamed under Obama.  He's giving short-term benefits now and then transferring the entire burden to the various states, many of which are currently looking for ways to run and hide.  I suspect that the Ryan budget plan can't be worse than the current situation, but I have to run now, and cannot confirm that belief.  Anyone want to volunteer information?]

He co-sponsored an extreme and dangerous “personhood” bill.  Here’s what Ryan’s co-sponsored bill states in relevant part:

(1) the Congress declares that–

(A) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person; and

(B) the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and

(2) the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.

“Extreme and dangerous”?  Really?  What the bill states is a biological truth.  The real question isn’t when life begins, it’s when each citizen has the power to end another person’s life.  For the most part, we all agree that, once someone is born, a fellow citizen cannot arbitrarily and without government due process, terminate that born person’s life.  The question is whether an individual can act to terminate a pre-born person’s life and, if so, when.  As long as Roe v. Wade exists, does it matter that Congress symbolically affirms that government entities have the right to protect life on their soil?  No, because  Roe v. Wade gives the faux-constitutional final word to the woman.  And if Roe v. Wade is overturned, all that the bill does is say what the Constitution already implies, which is that the individual states have the power to make such laws.  So I ask again — “Extreme and dangerous”?  Really?  Symbolic, maybe; but practically meaningless.

He has repeatedly tried to repeal the “Affordable Care Act,” which banned insurance companies from charging women more than men.  Okay, in item one, above, Planned Parenthood implicitly conceded that women’s healthcare is more expensive than men’s, which is why the government (in Planned Parenthood’s view) should subsidize it.  So Planned Parenthood is either saying legal businesses should operate at a loss, or that they should arbitrarily increase men’s insurance rates to subsidize women’s.  In that vein, I think Congress should also pass a law saying that teenage drivers shouldn’t pay any more for car insurance than a 40-year-old woman.  Never mind the statistics showing which driver is more likely to cost the insurance company money.

But while I’m talking about laws, if Planned Parenthood’s only concern about ObamaCare is those “equal” insurance rates, why not repeal ObamaCare, which is a 2,700 page monstrosity that adds an enormous amount to America’s debt load and has seen substantial cost increases for currently insured Americans, and in its place enact a very simple bill?  The new bill could say “Women must be charged precisely the same for health insurance as men.  Insurance companies may achieve this goal by raising men’s rates or lowering women’s, whichever they prefer.  There.  That was easy.

If we’re looking for serious government subsidies, I think the federal government should create a subsidy for reason-challenged Progressives.  It could fund emergency six-week long classes on Socratic-based logic and reasoning.

Found it on Facebook

With the election drawing near, the pace of political posting on Facebook is rapidly picking up.  I found two interest things just the other day.

The first thing a friend put up is “The Worst Lies Paul Ryan Told.”  What quickly becomes apparent is that, well, Paul Ryan didn’t really tell lies.  His facts were correct, we just disagree with his conclusions.  I do believe that John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things.”  The people at Care2 make a difference seem to believe that, stubborn though facts are, they can just be ignored into insignificance.  Herewith a small sampling of the post, along with my interlineations in square brackets:

“It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”

It’s true that America’s credit rating was downgraded by one of the three major credit rating agencies during Obama’s term. While Moody’s and Fitch both rate America’s debt at “AAA,” or “outstanding,” Standard & Poor’s dropped the US rating to “AA+,” or “excellent,” in 2011.  [In other words, Paul Ryan's statement was absolutely correct.  It's a stubborn fact.  That doesn't stop liberals from attacking it.]

However, Ryan is being dishonest when he lays the blame for the downgrade at President Barack Obama’s feet. After all, S&P said why they were downgrading U.S. debt, and they didn’t blame Obama. Instead, S&P blamed the “brinksmanship” of the 2011 debt ceiling crisis, in which House Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling without significant cuts to the budget. S&P also lamented a refusal to consider higher taxes, saying, “It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.”

Who was leading the House charge against Obama? Well, the House leadership team, including their budget committee chair, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. Ryan himself was instrumental in forcing the brinksmanship that led the U.S. to have its debt downgraded; Ryan was right about a downgraded America, but the culprit isn’t Barack Obama, but rather the guy Ryan sees in the mirror each morning.  [The blame for this fact -- a downgraded credit rating -- could just easily have been laid at Obama's door.  A game of chicken always has two players.  Obama was enthusiastic about imposing ever greater debt upon America, while the Republicans, Ryan included, made the principled claim that this was suicide, and that the only way to improve the American economic situation is to do with every intelligent person facing financial trouble would do:  cut spending.  In other words, from Ryan's point of view, the credit rating collapse occurred because of Obama's dangerous profligacy, which Republicans, with great difficulty, reined in slightly.]

“Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.  One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.”

“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.”

This is a two-fer. The first part is technically true — the debt has gone up significantly during the term of President Obama. Ryan failed to mention, however, that the increase in debt is primarily due to two policies — the Bush Tax Cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Simply, those were all policies Obama inherited — all policies started by President George W. Bush, and supported by the vote of Paul Ryan.  [Again, the article begins by conceding the truth of Ryan's statements.  Yes, debt has increased faster on Obama's watch than ever before.  So where's the lie?  Well, we'll get to that.]

It’s the second part, though, where Ryan really outdoes himself. It’s true, Obama did appoint the Simpson-Bowles Commission, which was tasked with looking for ways to reduce the debt. Commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson did issue a report. That report was not endorsed by the full commission, however, which rejected the report.  [Oh, well, the second part is kind of true too, Care2 concedes.  Obama appointed a commission and ignored it.  There's no indication that, when the commission faltered, Obama did anything to engage it further.]

Among the members of the commission who voted against the report? The chair of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan.  [Yes, he did.  And it's important to note here that Ryan never said he agreed with the commission. He just said that Obama is so disengaged from the American economy and the federal budget that Obama ignored his own commission.  No lies here.]

Yes, Paul Ryan was a member of the Simpson-Bowles commission, the “bipartisan debt commission” he references, as if they were a group he was vaguely familiar with. “‘They’ came back with an urgent report,” except “they” didn’t — the commission didn’t issue a report. And while Obama didn’t push the recommendations of the commission, Paul Ryan actively opposed them, voting against them, and preventing the report from being officially adopted.  [Same point.  Ryan never said he agreed with the commission.  He just said that Obama, having delegated a task, completely ignored the outcome.]

So while Barack Obama may have decided to pass on the recommendations of some members of a commission, Paul Ryan, a member of that commission, opposed those recommendations. And yet Ryan tells America that we should be outraged at Obama for not adopting the proposals Ryan himself opposed. Truly, the man has a dizzying intellect.  [No, Ryan tells America they should be outraged that Obama is so lazy, he didn't even work with his own debt commission.]

And so it goes.  Not lie, after not lie.  In every case, the article concedes that Ryan stated the absolute truth.  The post’s authors simply do not like to the conclusions Ryan reasonably draws from those truths, and therefore castigates them as lies.  By the way, if you want to see real lies — statements that are completely at odds with facts — check out the Top Ten Biden lies.  These weren’t Biden’s only bald-faced lies; just the most significant of Biden’s bald-faced lies.

The other thing I found on Facebook was Matt Taibbi’s over-the-top support of Biden’s debate behavior, which he spells out in his Rolling Stone article:

I’ve never thought much of Joe Biden. But man, did he get it right in last night’s debate, and not just because he walloped sniveling little Paul Ryan on the facts. What he got absolutely right, despite what you might read this morning (many outlets are criticizing Biden’s dramatic excesses), was his tone. Biden did absolutely roll his eyes, snort, laugh derisively and throw his hands up in the air whenever Ryan trotted out his little beady-eyed BS-isms.

But he should have! He was absolutely right to be doing it. We all should be doing it. That includes all of us in the media, and not just paid obnoxious-opinion-merchants like me, but so-called “objective” news reporters as well. We should all be rolling our eyes, and scoffing and saying, “Come back when you’re serious.”

The load of balls that both Romney and Ryan have been pushing out there for this whole election season is simply not intellectually serious. Most of their platform isn’t even a real platform, it’s a fourth-rate parlor trick designed to paper over the real agenda – cutting taxes even more for super-rich dickheads like Mitt Romney, and getting everyone else to pay the bill.

That is how the Left thinks.  I believe it has something to do with Alinsky:

5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

[snip]

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

What Taibbi really forgets is that there are four parties involved in the debate process: the two candidates, the moderator, and the American people. As to these last, Biden’s behavior was a gross insult. Tabibi and Biden are so locked into their Alinsky-esque world view, that they forget that they Biden was engaging in a stately ritual of democracy. As to that, I think Michael Medved has the best counter to Tabibi’s crude savagery:

In the last 40 years of presidential politics, Democrats have often derided their Republican rivals as jokers and buffoons. But they have never before laughed in their faces on national TV. In that sense, Joe Biden made history with his weird, wired performance in the vice-presidential debate—but he did so in a way that could easily damage the Obama campaign.

[Medved gives examples of the Ford/Carter debates and the Bentsen/Quayle debates, where the pre-debate rhetoric from the Left was crude and demeaning, but the debate itself was dignified]

Finally, Sarah Palin’s moose-hunting exploits, chirpy delivery, disinterest in daily newspapers and powerful, puzzling Christian mama sexiness offered the ripest possible target to the comedy-industrial complex, yet when she faced Joe Biden in their widely-watched debate he behaved like a perfect gentleman. He smiled indulgently, even affectionately at times, but wisely avoided giving any discernible indication that he considered the first female GOP nominee anything less than a worthy opponent.

Why, then, did he decide to snicker, chuckle, grin, smirk and shake his head at the one GOP nominee for national office in the last 50 years that even partisan Democrats acknowledge as a serious, substantive, and formidable guy?

[snip]

The oddest aspect of his patronizing performance involved the complete disconnect between his derisive laughter and anything that Paul Ryan actually said. Where, exactly, did the GOP nominee make some point so ridiculous, or express himself so clumsily, that the only appropriate response would be the uncontrollable urge to titter or chortle?

Biden was the slob at the state dinner, the guy who messes up a young woman’s wedding, the person who spills the water at the baptism.  He took a solemn, meaningful occasion (perhaps not always substantive, but still in important part of America’s ritual) and despoiled it.

 

Joe Biden breaks into Jennifer Granholm’s medicine cabinet and tries to overdose *UPDATES*

Do you remember Jennifer Granholm at the DNC, when she was yelling and gesticulating wildly?  She was a 33 rpm record playing at 78.

Watching the Vice Presidential debate tonight, it was obvious that Joe Biden had broken into her medicine cabinet and taken twice the dosage.  Either that, or he was auditioning for the part of the crazy, rude uncle in the high school play.  Or of course, he is a crazy, rude guy who didn’t have to medicate or pretend to put on the performance we saw at the debate.

Joe’s demeanor was nothing short of appalling.  When one thinks of what a few gusty sighs did to Al Gore’s presidential aspirations, Biden’s debate performance should earn him deportation.  He was by turns loud, obnoxious, condescending, and disrespectful.  He smirked, giggled, sighed, and huffed his disbelief at everything Paul Ryan said.  He also talked over at least half of Ryan’s answers.  Thanks to Joe’s behavior, this was not a serious debate about substantive issues for the benefit of concerned citizens.  This was a crude charade by a demagogue throwing red meat to his followers.

The good thing was that Ryan was able to make his points quickly and efficiently.  The bad thing was that he occasionally looked like a deer in the headlights.  I understand that this look reflected his amazement at Joe’s behavior, his shock at Joe’s bald-faced lies, and his frustration that both Joe and debate moderator Martha Raddatz kept cutting him off and giving the floor to the crazy uncle.  Still, I wish he hadn’t been such a polite Midwesterner.

Thinking about it, though, Ryan may have done just the right thing.  While the base probably found Joe’s performance exciting and emotionally honest, I suspect that millions of Americans did not appreciate that Joe made a mockery of a ritual performance that is meant to enhance the honor of the presidential office and to give voters an opportunity to compare the two parties.  If people were actually comparing the two debaters, Ryan was an attractive, polite, stable, normal, well-informed young man.  Joe was the bloviating, obnoxious drunk at the bar who had grabbed Ryan by his lapel and wouldn’t let go.  You could practically see Ryan’s hair melt from the noxious odors wafting out from behind Joe’s peculiarly whitened dentures.

I do not know that I have ever before seen such a loathsome spectacle at the national level.  In a sane world, the moderator would have reined him in.  In a decent world, Joe would call a press conference tomorrow to apologize for his behavior.  In the real world, the media will laud his energy, aggression, and mastery of the “facts.”

If this is what our political process has come too, we are in trouble.  The Obama administration is damaging the very fabric of our democracy, and the drunk, crazy uncle they hauled out for the debate tonight is one of the weapons in their arsenal.

RUNNING UPDATES:

Bruce Kesler has word on the first tracking results, and they say that Biden’s demeanor was a turn-off for Independents.  Thank goodness!  It means Americans still have some standards.

Hot Air calls Biden an “angry old man” and adds that the CNN insta-poll has Ryan in the lead by 4 points.

Ben Shapiro says Biden lost it — and has the pictures to prove it.

Chris Wallace calls Biden “openly contemptuous and disrespectful.”

PowerLine has a great photo essay, one that seems overwhelmed by Joe Biden’s teeth.  He was like Mr. Ed, without the comic charm or intelligence.

Bryan Preston, looking at the substance, thinks it wasn’t a game changer.  I hope he’s underestimating the damage Biden’s behavior caused.

Ace says that it was enough that Ryan won in the polls:  the Obama team has now lost two debates in a row.

Keith Koffler thinks the incessant laughter was a bad strategy and may have offended women who too often find themselves on the receiving end of the same tactics Biden turned on Ryan.

Wolf Howling calls it “a debacle.“  That sounds about right.  Biden was manic, and Ryan was too politely deferential — although see my point that this might have been his only realistic strategy in the face of insanity.  I always tell my kids “never argue with the crazy person.”

Thomas Lifson said Biden disgraced himself and appeared “unstable.”  I agree.

The Blaze has a collection of Biden’s facial expressions.Those teeth are going to pursue me in my nightmares.

That was fast.  The RNC already has a video:

From what I read, libs on Twitter were thrilled with Biden’s performance. That shouldn’t surprise me. They were also thrilled by the Occupiers when they defecated on public streets.

The Daily Mail, the most read internet newspaper in the world, calls it for Ryan.

Fred Barnes says Biden’s debate performance will go down in history — only not in a good way.

Neo-Neocon and I had a few of the same ideas about Biden’s affect.

Monday quick links

Wrapping up a project that’s already taken me too long, so I’ve promised myself no blogging until it’s done.  Meanwhile, here are some quick links:

Explaining the Obama fundraising scandal.

Cities can’t support themselves?  Never mind.  Force suburban homeowners to pay for them.  It’s all good with the Obama administration.

This is funny even if you don’t know the movie Aliens, from which all the quotes are drawn.

Since the President still seems to be unclear on the concept, yet another effort to explain to him why, yes, you did build that.

I have no idea who Buzz Bissinger is, but he’s famous, he’s a lifetime liberal, and he’s had the courage to go on record as a Romney supporter in this election.  Good for him!

The Watcher invited The Weekend Monkey to take a stab at guessing the outcome of the upcoming Senate elections.  I had no idea how smart monkeys could be.

As a lawyer, the worst thing your opponent can throw at you isn’t a good argument, it’s a dishonest argument.  Paul Ryan, who will be up against Joe Biden, has to take into account the fact that Biden operates in a completely alternate reality.  No amount of pre-debate preparation can fully prepare you for a dishonest opponent’s fervid imagination.  So I’ll leave you with this clip, which I hope Ryan is studying:

Does charity begin in the home or in the State House?

With Paul Ryan shooting across the political sky with a blazing light, the Left is getting worried.  The latest attack is to trot out Catholics who claim that, because Paul Ryan objects to wealth redistribution, he’s anti-Catholic.  After all, say these Catho-Lefto pundits, what could be more generous than allowing the government to use its overwhelming police power to rob from the rich to give to the poor?  Not everyone is buying that, with some thoughtful people pointing out that, to the extent that charity is supposed to enrich the giver as much as the beneficiary, forcible redistribution fails completely at a moral level.

Incidentally, the fear that allowing the state to step in for charity dries up the individual conscience isn’t unfounded.  The numbers prove that fewer people practice personal altruism if the state does it for them.

The heck with conventional wisdom: this is a different kind of election

Seniors will hate Ryan, we’re told, because he’s going to destroy their Medicare (never mind that this isn’t true).

Young people will hate Romney and Ryan, we’re told, because they’re uncool white men, who want to destroy all the entitlements this generation has grown up expecting.

Except….

Except today I was standing in line at the pharmacy, and the elderly patient getting her prescription filled and the young (late 20s) Hispanic pharmacy clerk filling that prescription were having a spirited conversation, with both vehemently agreeing that the status quo is a disaster and that Romney and Ryan are the last, best hope to fix it.  My position in line meant that I missed most of the conversation, but I definitely heard, “Look at what’s happened to the price of gas in the last three years” (that was the clerk) and “There won’t be anything left for my grandchildren” (that was the elderly lady).

This is a different kind of election, and I think conventional wisdom is as behind the times as the CIA was in 1989.

Other than all that, what has Paul Ryan ever done for us?

Within seconds of Romney’s announcement that Ryan would be his running mate, the chatter started.  Democrats expressed delight, because they see Ryan’s stance on Medicare as one they can use to portray Romney and Ryan as Satan incarnate.  A couple of years ago, they showed Ryan pushing grandma’s wheelchair off the cliff.  This year, I’m sure that they’re going to show him detonating the mushroom-shaped cloud that immolates every American over 50 . . . or is it 40?  Or maybe 30?

Republicans haven’t been much better.  They celebrated wildly because Ryan is so wonderful, and then immediately began worrying:  He’s not the right color; Wisconsin brings too few electoral votes (10), as opposed to being a major swing state; bold picks seldom end well; he’s merely a competent speaker; and, of course, he is a target because of his attempts to save Medicare from itself.

What’s funny, though, is that each person who worries about some deficit in the Ryan pick comes back with an offering to show some demographic that nobody thought about, but that Ryan can bring into the Republican fold.  Right now, Republicans remind me of the famous Monty Python Life of Brian skit, with a leader expressing horror about Roman rule, and the followers reminding him that it’s not all bad.  For those of you unfamiliar with that scene (is there anybody unfamiliar with that scene), the leader of the People’s Front of Judea rhetorically, and with great disdain, asks his follows what the Romans have ever done for them, only to learn that his followers are able to recognize Roman virtues:

In no particular order, here are some of the things Paul Ryan, by appearing on the ticket, will end up doing for us, American conservatives:

1.  As the famous six-minute video shows, Ryan has already stared Obama down once, when he wiped out Obama’s pie-in-sky rhetoric by agreeing with Obama’s goals and then showing irrefutably that the ObamaCare numbers couldn’t possibly add up:

Ryan’s math literacy didn’t actually dissuade an innumerate, ideology-driven Congress from leading us to the economic abyss.  Polls show, however, that the American people, perhaps with a math ability driven by their own pocket books, have consistently agreed with Ryan to the effect that ObamaCare is a bad thing.

2.  Ryan is popular in Wisconsin.  Despite coming from a heavily Democrat district, he keeps winning.  This matters because, with the Scott Walker statehouse protests, Wisconsin put itself right in the middle of the referendum over the direction America is taking.  Despite the union spending there, Ryan’s and Walker’s party won.  Wisconsin, then, finds itself being in the peculiar position of being a bellwether state and Ryan is one of the tocsins.

3.  Ryan may not be the most fiery speaker in the world, and we’re completely in the dark about his teleprompter skills, but he is able to articulate the American vision in a way Romney can’t.  Since this election is a referendum about American values, have someone on the ticket who is comfortable speaking about those values is huge . . . ginormous . . .incredibly important.  If you ignore Charlie Rose’s bloviations, this video shows Ryan articulating just those values:

On second thought, don’t ignore Rose. The video shows admirably, not only that Ryan espouses core constitutional values, but also that he will not let MSM bullies derail him or even fluster him.

4. Although the Democrats are crowing about Ryan being toxic to seniors, the numbers show that seniors like him.  Seniors understand two things:  The first is that Ryan will not touch entitlements that have already vested; and the second is that Ryan is holding out the last best hope for the seniors’ children and grandchildren.  Seniors, having lived long, are able to take the long view.  Also, they’re probably supportive of Ryan’s values, which resonant with those values that were still prevalent in their own youths.

5.  Young people may like him.  Not only is he charmingly youthful, but they, next to African-Americans, are the demographic most horribly harmed by the Obama economy.  Hope and change has morphed into sleeping in Mom’s garage and riding a bike to work because you can’t afford a car.  Tara Servatius has a great post at American Thinker on precisely this point.  I’ll cherry pick a few idea, but I urge you to read the whole thing:

A staggering 51 percent of those who graduated from college since 2006 don’t have a full-time job, according to a recent study.  Ironically, these are the same voters who mobbed the polls for Obama in 2008, giving him a significant part of his winning margin.

Mitt Romney could have gone black, Hispanic, or female with his vice presidential pick.  Instead, he did something smarter.  He went young.

[snip]

A whopping 66 percent of voters under 30 gave Obama their votes in 2008, making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972. But now, four years older, many of them have entered their 30s, and a full 50 percent say Obama has failed to change the way Washington works.

Until he picked Paul Ryan this weekend, Mitt Romney had no way of credibly addressing this cohort. Now, with Ryan at his side, he does. The Ryan pick was first and foremost a nod to a generation whose problems Obama not only has never truly addressed, but rarely even acknowledges.

6. Paul Ryan has an A rating from the NRA.  Cynics will say that NRA ratings always matter to conservatives and constitutionalists, but this election is special.  This may well be the first time in which NRA members and gun rights supporters understand that the loss of the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms is no longer a hypothetical worry, something that must be guarded in the abstract, but a genuine concern.  Another four years in office will give Obama the chance to affect the Supreme Court (and that reed is sufficiently fragile already), to pack lower federal courts, and to issue more and more executive and administrative orders curtailing the American right to bear arms.  Mitt Romney has waffled on this point, although he’s better than Obama; Ryan, as I said, is an “A.”

7.  There’s nothing about Ryan that will scare away the Jews.  That is, if Jews were already leaning away from Obama, Ryan won’t change that.  Israel hasn’t been an issue for him, but every indication is that, as is true for most Republicans, he’s a friend to Israel.

8.  Yes, Paul Ryan is a Tea Party candidate — and that’s a good thingAs Rick Richman points out, 2010 wasn’t the result of a few crazy people in George Washington costumes.  The wave election that resulted in conservative candidates winning races in every corner of America, from small towns to the federal government, meant that many more people than just Tea Partiers looked at the Ryan world view and found it good.  There’s no reason to believe that, in the face of Obama’s continued attacks on traditional American values, politics, national security, etc., people will have become disaffected from that Ryan-esque world view.

Those are just a few of the nice things I remember reading about Paul Ryan.  I’m sure you can think of more.

I’ll just ask worried Republicans one thing:  Other than being a budget wizard who’s not afraid of Barack Obama; being popular in a bellwether state; having the ability to articulate conservative values; appealing to seniors; holding out true, not hyped, hope for young voters; getting an A rating from the NRA; not scaring Jews; and representing a rising tide of American conservativism, what has Paul Ryan ever done for us?

Obama, apparently, can’t light his team’s fire

If the Weekly Standard hadn’t been checking David Axelrod’s tweets, I never would have known that Barack Obama dropped into his Chicago — Chicago!  Home Town! — headquarters to, in Axelrod’s words “fire[] up the team.”  He even includes a picture:


I’ll freely admit that I’m not the best in the world when it comes to reading people’s expressions, but those troops don’t look very fired up to me. The words that spring to mind are “bored,” “demoralized,” or even “trapped.” I’m thinking the team members are worried and the Great Orator’s words were not relieving their minds.

If you want to see a fired up team, check out this one:

Maybe Obama’s team should abandon ship and join Mitt’s and Ryan’s team….

The Romney-Ryan ticket

My internet has been down for most of the day (defective router), but I’ve been able to check in with the internet often enough to know that there’s a general sense of delight across the conservative blogosphere now that Romney has announced that he’s chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate.  Terresa, at Noisy Room, has a wonderful, representative post.

As is Terresa, I too am optimistic.  I’ve never made any secret about my liking and respect for Ryan.  I think he’s an incredibly smart, principled man, who is well able to articulate both his principles and the details of the policies underlying his principles.  The Leftosphere is in a tizzy, with the funniest post coming from Ryan Lizza, who querulously complains that Ryan has neither private sector nor Washington D.C. experience:

For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience. Besides summer jobs working at McDonald’s or at his family’s construction company, or waiting tables as a young Washington staffer, Ryan has none of the business-world experience Romney frequently touts as essential for governing. In the run-up to his first campaign for Congress, in 1998, that gap was enough of a concern for Ryan that he briefly became a “marketing consultant” at the family business, an obvious bit of résumé puffing.

But Ryan’s Washington experience is also light, at least for a potential President—which, after all, is the main job description of a Vice-President. Ryan has worked as a think-tank staffer and Congressman, but he’s never been in charge of a large organization, and he has little experience with foreign policy. Given how Sarah Palin was criticized for her lack of such experience, I’m surprised that Romney would pick someone whose ability to immediately step into the top job is open to question.

I was actually tempted to comment, internet struggles notwithstanding, but then saw that hundreds of conservatives got there before I did.  Here are some representative comments:

Oh, please, Paul Ryan was in Congress when Obama was still doing choom in high school, and RYAN doesn’t have enough experience?

***

House Budget Chairman not quite enough experience in govt? Over 10 years in the House, not quite enough? Better by far than 2 years in the Senate, most of which were spent in campaigning for president. Construction work not as valuable as Community Agitating?? Biased, much???

***

By writing articles such as this one, how do reporters expect the average person to take them seriously or even believe them a little bit? Don’t reporters have to have some sort of education to get a job? After reading this article a question comes to mind concerning the present day POTUS. Using the writers criteria, is the current POTUS up to the job? Prior to being elected did the current POTUS have enough experience in the private sector to satisfy the writer? This is all very naussiating to me considering the current POTUS is at best an amateur and I’m being polite. What this does show is the writers affinity for unexperienced democrats running for office vs. highly experienced republican candidates who actually ran several successful businesses, only to focus on the running mates private sector resume. What a disgraceful piece of journalism once again from someone who has a horse in the race!

***

Paul Ryan is 2nd on the Romney ticket. Romney is the guy with the private sector and true leadership experience. Now let’s take a look at the other side. Where is the private sector experience? None whatsoever. Where is the true leadership experience? Again, next to none, even if we count Obama’s failed 3.5 years in office.

***

“For one thing, Ryan has no significant private-sector experience.” Interesting piece of analogy, the current president has no experience whatsoever in foreign policy save living in a foreign country for a few years of his formative years. But, the bigger picture, the economy, Obama has not shown he can read a budget never-mind the fact he has not produced an acceptable one in four years. Ryan, can run rings around Obama not only on the economy but, one can reasonably assume that the world is looking for economic leadership more than any other kind of leadership. Ryan, also has more business experience than Joe Biden and on the foreign policy side, Biden has been proved wrong on every decision he ever espoused. Better to have Ryan’s intelligence to make decisions than Biden’s failed advise. Obama’s choices for Cabinet decisions, backed by czars, is also a provable failure; while, Mitt’s track record of finding the best and brightest MBA graduates and his method of management is beyond question. I would not expect the liberal media to have a good word for any vice-president that Romney would name but, it is time to survey your own abilities for choosing potential leaders, before you too join the ranks of the unemployed.

***

Darn that Paul Ryan, with his lack of business experience, whatever will we do???? Wait!!! Mitt has business experience…..wait! wait!!! and Paul Ryan has government experience!!! One might serve and help us in one area and also the other with extensive, dedicated, expert, determination!! Who knew????

***

I literally feel dumber after having read this piece. Are you serious? Paul Ryan is more qualified to be President than Barack Obama was to be VP in 2008. Is reality really that hard to connect with?

There are more — lots more — where that came from. Equally enjoyable, because of the amusement quotient, are the posts from outraged Leftists, horrified that the dreaded Tea Partiers have invaded their sacred precincts with facts:

Yes, I think there has been a coordinated “attack” here by some sort of Romney supporters. The initial wave of illiterate and mean-spirited criticisms is just not what one would expect of regular New Yorker readers.

***

[And if you can tolerate every word having initial caps and generally illiterate writing:] President Obama Has More Experience Than Romney And Ryan And That’s Actually Being The President For Almost 4 Years. Mitt Romney Has No Foreign Policy Experience And His VP Pick Also Has No Foreign Policy Experience And Yes President Obama Had No Foreign Policy Experience But He Picked Joe Biden As His VP Pick Who Does. President Obama Has Had A Lot Of Wins In Foreign Policy That Mitt Romney Can’t Touch. The Only Thing Ryan Is Known For Is His Budget Plan That Will End Medicare As We Know It And From The Polls I Saw On The Subject The American People Were Against This Budget And This Pick Will Hurt Romney. How Can A Republican Presidential Canidate With NO Foreign Policy Experience Pick A VP With NO Foreign Policy Experience, LOL. I Read Someone Wrote That Joe Biden Was A Draft Dodger For The Vietnam War And I Want To Say That They Got That Wrong, Mitt Romney Was The Draft Dodger Not Joe Biden. Mitt Romney Supported The Draft But When It Came Time For Him To Go He Went To Paris France.

***

I never realized there were so many hard right types who believe in the lunacy of deficit-reduction-through-austerity-with-a-budget-plan-that-increases-the-deficit. Incidentally, Obama had many years of real world experience as a law firm associate, law school lecturer, and Illinois state senator representing a Chicago district. Illinois is a much more sophisticated state than Wisconsin, anyway.

There’s more, much more, with 341 comments last I saw, most lambasting Lizza’s bizarre retreat from reality. I wonder how long average Americans, including unthinking, knee-jerk liberals will be able to stand the cognitive dissonance. I know that I hit the cognitive dissonance wall after 9/11, faced reality, and switched parties. Free at last, free at last, Thank the Lord, I’m free at last.

One other point about cognitive dissonance. Anyone who was around for the 1992 elections remembers how a gasping, excited media assured us that Bill Clinton was exquisitely prepared to be president, not because he was the governor a notoriously corrupt state (sorry, Arkansas, but that was the case when he was governor), but because he was a “wonk.” Clinton, we were told, loved policy, which made him a sure leader, one who could solve the nation’s problems. In Ryan, we have a policy wonk squared, but one who also happens to be a decent, moral man, with a passion for the Constitution. Ooooh! Scary.

Proving once again his management gifts, Mitt Romney made an excellent pick for running mate.  He wasn’t afraid to pick someone who is a fighter and who might outshine him.  Unlike the narcissistic Obama, Romney is an extremely secure man, who understands that his leadership is enhanced, not diminished, when he surrounds himself by the best people.  I’m really, really excited here.  Ryan excites the base, pleases all but the most RINO-ish in the establishment, and promises to leave a drooling Biden slobbering in the dust during the VP debate — something that promises to be the most entertaining moment, ever, in American political history.

One more thing, he may not be a great orator, but Ryan never loses his cool, never loses his facts, and isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

Note:  Ace found the Lizza article as amusing, and insanely stupid, as I did.

Paul Ryan for Veep?

I am a huge Paul Ryan fan.  I think he’s brave, principled, intelligent, articulate, and genuinely cares about America’s economic well-being.  He also has the prettiest blue eyes in politics.  He appears to be an ever-more serious contender for the VP slot.  I think that’s great news, although I understand that (sadly) presidential candidates have to consider not just their Veep pick’s virtues, but whether he’ll actually play well on the ticket.

It seems to me, though, that America has less of a geographic divide than it used to (you know, the old Southern states strategy stuff) and much more of an ideological divide — blue cities (some of which dominate whole states) versus everyone else.  If I’m correct in this belief, than having Paul Ryan should transcend geography and simply appeal to those who care deeply about ensuring that America has a healthy economic future.

What do you think (and yes, I really want to know).

How far is too far when it comes to attacking primary candidates? *UPDATED*

As the primary season heats up, here’s a good question to ask:  If we want to end the primary season with a viable political candidate to face off against Barack Obama, are there limits limits to the nature of the attacks that bloggers launch against the Republican candidates during this primary season?

My take is that it is very important for us to learn as many facts as possible about the candidates, whether we’re learning good things or bad.  However, I’m not yet ready to leap up and castigate any candidate as the devil incarnate.  (Even Ron Paul, whom I would not like to see win, can be challenged through facts, not hyperbolic insults.)

As we learned in 2008, there are no perfect Republican candidates.  Unfortunately, the other lesson we’ve learned in the last 2.5 years is that Obama is a perfectly scary Democrat president/candidate.  This means that, when the Republican primary ends, we need the last Republican candidate still standing to have the strength to face off against Obama.  If we inflict too many wounds against our own people, the primary winner may be so weakened, s/he cannot win the final, presidential battle.  Further, if s/he’s bleeding badly from the ideological wounds we inflict, Independents will shy away, as they will almost certainly be incapable of discerning between the wounds inflicted during internecine conflict from the type of fatal flaws that spell death at the presidential polls.

As of today, I can easily say yucky things about every one of the Republicans now seeking office (especially Ron Paul):

(1) Michele Bachmann has no more executive experience than Obama did at this stage in the game, and we all rightly predicted that he was grossly unprepared for high executive office;

(2) Paul Ryan, should he weigh in, will also lack that experience, plus he’s got a geeky quality that might not play well in the media;

(3) Mitt Romney has the RomneyCare albatross and all the charm (and good looks) of a Ken doll;

(4) Ron Paul takes libertarianism to an inhuman extreme that includes jettisoning the nation of Israel and supporting Iran’s quest for nuclear arms;

(5) Rick Perry tried to strong-arm Gardasil, whether because of fear of cancer, ties with Merck, power lust, or something else, plus he’s kind of smarmy;

(6) Chris Christie, should he weigh in, has sharia ties, offends people with his outspokeness, and will have to fight the fat-taboo that governs in America.

And on and on and on.  (Please note that, with the exception of Ron Paul, who seriously rubs me the wrong way, I can just as easily say a whole lot of good things about the candidates and potential candidates listed above.)

The fact is, nobody makes it very far in political office without chutzpah, arrogance, a touch of insanity, and a whole lot of compromising.  The only people who don’t make mistakes are those who don’t do anything at all.  Being an inert lump doesn’t get one far, especially politically.

My current candidate of choice is the William Buckley candidate — the one who can win.  There is no Churchill on the horizon and even Churchill, a politician I admire with something approaching ferocity, had his disastrous qualities and made horrible decisions that resulted in uncounted deaths.  He was, nevertheless, a leader, and his core values were the right ones, especially during a time when those values were so desperately important to the survival of the Western world.

Let’s definitely get all the facts on the table.  Good, bad, in-between, whatever.  If you have opinions, by all means advance them.  But sheath the long knives.  The last candidate standing has to be in sufficiently good health to take on a sitting president with a war chest that’s reached historic proportions.  Too much blood-letting in the lead-up to the big campaign will leave him (or her) supine and helpless.  (Not to mention that the MSM will happily recycle, only with longer knives, the worst arguments made against the Republican who makes it through the primary gauntlet.)

Having blathered on here, let me say something about conservatives in the main:  As the cheerful, neat, polite Tea Party rallies showed, ours is a surprisingly congenial political party.  While we may disagree with each other, we do so with civility and respect.  Our core values revolve around personal integrity and love for country.  Debate enriches, rather than demeans.  It is within that spirit that conservatives should be analyzing, challenging and supporting the Republican candidates.  If we bring out the long knives now, we run the risk of presenting the nation with a bleeding carcass as the official Republican candidate.

UPDATE:  Rob Miller, at JoshuaPundit, expands on my point.  As always, when I read something I writes, I smack my forehead and think “I wish I’d said that.”

UPDATE II:  The Razor weighs in too.  He opens with the excellent point that we’d better get everything out on the table now, before the MSM does it for us.  I agree with that entirely.  My only suggestion is that our tone should be one of inquiry, not one of long-knives attack.

Scorching logic and hard facts from Paul Ryan

Obama is so insulated behind his compliant media and his worshipful staff, I wonder if he’s ever heard before the facts Ryan spells out so clearly here:

My favorite line:  “Hiding spending does not reduce spending.”  Brilliant core statement about the myriad flaws in the bill.  Also, he drills in on the core difference between the two parties:  whether people or government should control their access to health care.