Sunday, May 22, 2011

You Want Paul Ryan to Control Your Thoughts, Says Paul Ryan

There is no official transcript available yet from today's "Meet the Press", but I watched it twice to make sure I heard Paul Ryan right.

Confronted by David Gregory over poll results that show 80 percent of Americans don't want Medicare touched, Ryan replied that he doesn't listen to polls.  "Leaders are elected to lead and are supposed to change the polls because that's what the country wants," he said.

Ryan was essentially making the outrageous claim that once politicians are elected, they no longer need listen to the will of the people.  Well, we already knew that, but somebody finally came out and said it.  Moreover, it is Ryan's job to change what people only imagine they are thinking.  People cannot think for themselves and if they do express a thought, it is the job of Paul Ryan to tell them they are wrong, because deep down, they want somebody to tell them they are wrong.  Paul Ryan is certifiably nuts.  Anybody claiming the whole purpose of his life is to be a general in the "Battle for Fiscal Sanity" is certifiably nuts.  Anybody going on "Meet the Press wearing a day-glo orange tie is certifiably nuts.
But do you think David Gregory actually followed up, and tried to explain the meaning and purpose of polls to this reincarnation of Joe McCarthy?  Of course not.  He was more interested in asking if Newt Gingrich blew it when he called Ryan a right-wing radical social engineer, instead of pointing out that Gingrich was actually right for once in his life, regardless of his intent.

 Ryan blithely went on to pontificate that his plan would spare the current crop of seniors from having their lives disrupted, by generously waiting to privatize kill Medicare until the under-55 crowd reaches retirement.  He remains convinced that the over-55s are a bunch of self-interested old geezers willing to eat their own young in their quest for a comfortable old age on endless life support. And that they will all vote Republican to show their gratitude. In the same foul breath of Doublethink, he claims that the under-55s receiving his fiscally responsible junk vouchers will have the added satisfaction of enriching private insurance companies while giving the finger of contempt to government-run Medicare.  Plus, they are getting their ten-year warning of Endtimes.  And if Obama doesn't fix Medicare today, then he will be killing the current selfish old recipients that Ryan, in his infinite calculating wisdom, had decided to spare!  What was that you said about social engineering?

The Ryan Plan = "Saturn Devouring His Child" (courtesy of the addled artistic brain of F. Goya)

You know somebody is dangerously disturbed when even Newt Gingrich looks reasonable in comparison.  And I finally figured out that the reason the pundits all call Ryan "serious" is because of his facial expression. The guy never cracks a smile, not even a forced politician smile. 

 And he's even leaving the door slightly ajar, down the road, for a possible presidential run?  Bring on the Rapture, quick! 


Valerie Long Tweedie said...

“Confronted by David Gregory over poll results that show 80 percent of Americans don't want Medicare touched, Ryan replied that he doesn't listen to polls.” It kind of reminds me of when Bush, in response to all the protests leading up to the wars, essentially said that citizens could protest all they liked, he was going to do what HE thought was right. (Read into these words: I am going to do the bidding of the MIC donors and my evil puppeteer vice president.)

It is diabolical the way the right wingers like Ryan are so successful in setting up a "competition" of the "haves” versus the “have nots." Those seniors voting for these politicians, whose Medicare benefits are safe, are voting for their best (selfish) interests while those under 55, their children and grandchildren, draw a very short straw. It is both terrible and shocking that decent people are going along with this.

I have the same feeling with the AFL-CIO. On one hand, I can understand why the union wouldn't want to give their support to Democrats cutting them off at the knees. But to go with Republicans who are willing to protect the unions while at the same time screwing the poor un-unionised, minimum wage workers – who probably don’t even have the option of joining a union - stinks. It sure seems like “each man (organisation) for himself” – the opposite of what unions used to stand for.

Meanwhile, this all distracts us from the REAL villains who are our corrupt politicians, "advisors,” colluding heads of regulatory agencies and the CEO’s and their ilk who seem to look upon the middle class as dumb beasts of burden to be used up and cast aside.

Surely, those under fifty-five are a big enough block of voters to make a ruckus and vote these dangerous lackeys of the rich out of office. And what about those between fifty-five and sixty-seven; don’t they realise they are next on the chopping block? Better that we all learn to stick together. The “haves” in these little competitions have a lot more in common with the” have nots” than they have with the politicians who represent the best interests of the rich and the top one or two percent.

Anonymous said...

What Paul Ryan does not understand and what is a source of major concern for me (From-the-Heartland} is that none of us can have a meaningful impact on our societal culture in our own lifetime, let alone even to meaningfully describe it. This concerns me because I am a left leaning democrat in a right wing world. And our culture is the bedrock basis for our attitudes (somewhat definable) and our beliefs (personally articulable for each of us that wants to work on what they are.) So, Ryan's thinking that he can "know better" is such a bogus claim. He may swim against the tsunami of our culture, but on this one he is going to be eventually swept over. Most of us (let's say the 80 percent in the polls who want Medicare left alone) agree that the aged population - of which I am all too rapidly becoming - have to be cared for in a loving and serious way, as for most of us it is not acceptable for our parents to be out on the street begging for food and dying from treatable illness. This also goes for the children of our country. That is why we have insurance for them through State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

My thoughts on eventually getting to universal health care is to eventually let the two insured groups grow together. That is, when a young person meets the criteria for the SCHIP which even covers children in families with a bit too much income to qualify for Medicaid, they get an insurance card which sticks to them. Of course this drives the right wingers crazy, but the eventual movement through society of young people hitting their working age with insurance that does not depend on their own personal wealth or the good grace of their employer, would add to the employability of this new generation. This would eventually result in others accepting the benefit of this "Insurance Card." After several generations (time needed to reshape our cultural bedrock) the entire notion of a single payor for health care would perhaps be as culturally acceptable as it is in Europe and Canada.

My own grandchildren would have the Insurance Card now because they qualified for Medicare when they were born to their parents who were in college at the time and did not have Insurance. Thank goodness for the fact that they were insured by the State when they were a year or two old. If that "card" would still apply to them, their parents who now have insurance through the mom's employer would be passing on a benefit to her employer because the plan she would need would only include herself and her husband and not need to be a family plan. In addition, if they wanted to move to a different employer, the worry of their children's insurance would not have to be factored into that decision.

Just some food for thought on really screwing up the "Ryan Plan."


Janet Camp said...

We get the same mantra (I don't care how many people protest....) from Scott Walker. I recall hearing the same from Richard Nixon in the Viet Nam era. How did the Egyptians get the powers that be to listen? We need to find out!

I am anxious to see how our recall elections work out here in Wisconsin. If successful, this may turn out to be a very useful strategy to counter the likes of Ryan and his ilk who have the temerity to plug their ears to all but their most ardent supporters.

It makes me respect Obama a bit more--at least he listens and (for all the good it does--they still hate him) tries to compromise.

John said...

Politicians like Paul Ryan see themselves as some kind of privileged priesthood who take direction, not from the flock that elevated them into office, but from the lords of creation who claim ownership of just about everything on earth, including the US government and the health system as we know it in the USA.

According to, Congressman Ryan, between 1998 and 2010, took in over $1.1 million from “insurance” and “health professionals,” more than the rest of the money he sucked up from all other interests at his fundraising breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Is it any wonder that the words that now spill out of his mouth don’t add up to better healthcare for Americans, whether seniors or children.

A single-payer system, as described by Physicians for a National Health Program (, provides the obvious answer to the nation’s health care needs for all age groups. Alas, single-payer would drive a stake through the heart of the private health insurance industry; and there’s the rub.

Tough question: do we help the business of healthcare, or the sick and the injured? The majority of Americans, when the question is fairly put to them, keep saying single-payer, or at least public option, but our representatives are deaf, from Paul Ryan to Barack Obama. And so the new health care reform package, unfolding before our eyes between now and 2014, turns out not to be reform but essentially a government-supported expansion of the same old system. As a follow-up, what was in place for retirees, Social Security and Medicare, keeps evaporating like a mirage in the desert for the population nearing the oasis retirement. Well, at least the insurance industry is being refreshed.

We could have it all, at least to the degree enjoyed by other countries in the advanced world, if we just stopped bankrupting ourselves on war and stopped electing politicians like Ryan who, in turn, subsidize elites that assure us they are “doing God’s work.”

Jay Ottawa

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I think what happened in Egypt is the same thing that happened during the Viet Nam War. So many people turned out to protest, that the government (and the media) couldn't ignore them. The problem in the U.S. is not enough people are willing to hit the streets and make a loud noise. It is easy to say in a survey, "I don't want Medicare touched." It is another thing to be proactive and take part in making sure that it doesn’t.

I have so many friends who are in their late forties or early fifties who have had their retirement benefits slashed. Many of them are working in jobs they hate which pay badly. Now their Medicare and Social Security are being threatened yet they will not get involved politically. They either believe the dye has been cast and are hopeless or they believe that in America nothing too bad can happen to them.

Last year when Elizabeth Warren and Barney Frank were trying to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, I sent out an e-mail begging my friends to get involved. I even wrote a letter they could copy and gave them the links to the appropriate Congressional members. I don’t think one person followed through and sent off an e-mail. Until Americans understand that we cannot take Democracy for granted – that each citizen has a responsibility to become informed and take action to keep our democracy alive and uncorrupted, we will continue to see this deterioration of representation on the part of our politicians and the legislation that is passed.

We have to overcome our apathy and hopelessness and become willing to fight the good fight.

Anonymous said...


Unfortunately, we did have some people willing to march - they're called the Tea Party. I don't know why the left doesn't march. Is it that we don't want to be pictured as "behaving badly"? Unfortunately, we can be assured that we all will march when things get REALLY bad. I'm wondering if it will happen if the debt ceiling isn't raised.

Re the unions giving money to the Republicans... I may have it wrong, but I thought the threat was that they would not give money to the Dems if they did not actively support them. I don't think that meant they would then donate to the Republicans. It's sorta like you may not vote for Obama, but that doesn't mean you'll vote for the Republican nominee.

Most respectfully - I had to look it up - I think you'll find it is "die" is cast. It seems to have originated with some battle led by Caesar.


Karen Garcia said...

Democrats and Progressives do march and do protest, in ever increasing numbers. Unfortunately, thousands of people converging on Wall Street do not get the same mainstream media coverage as a handful of Tea Partiers blowing their noses. Emails sent to public officials either get no answer or a form letter in response, usually coupled with a request for money. I recently signed a petition demanding an end to the War in Afghanistan to be sent to my senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. Since then I have received several emails from her requesting campaign donations. They realize you exist when election time draws near.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps it was a failure of the media for I was not aware of a march of thousands on Wall Street and I tend to pay attention to such things. But we're pretty damn stupid if we cannot get any media coverage for a march of thousands. We're not doing SOMETHING right.

Loved the blowing their nose line.


Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Thanks, Ned, I thought it was dye as in when cloth is dyed; meaning it is permanent or difficult to change. But you are right!

As for the unions being in bed with the Republicans - I was referring to an article I read in the NY Times. (I would give you the link but it doesn't work in this particular blog comment section.) Google: union Florida republican - the story is titled, In Florida, GOP Help for Unions.

Knowing that the Republican strategy seems to be “divide and conquer,” it concerns me that unions are supporting any Republican candidates. While this strategy seemed to work well for the unions in Florida in this case, I am worried that it will set a precedent. Republicans are pro business and cost cutting. If they extend their protection to unions (for now), how will they fulfil their Republican agenda? My assumption is they will do their cost-cutting, pro-business legislation on the backs of people with no bargaining power. I don’t know how widespread the practice of unions supporting Republican state candidates has become, but I would wager it will be more likely now that it has been successful in Florida. I assumed that Trumka was opening that door wider with his comment that unions would support any candidate, no matter what his or her party affiliation, that supported the unions.

I am interested in hearing what you have to say, if you have a different take on this issue after you have read the article. I would like to believe the unions will do the right thing. But they are political bodies and they sure didn’t mind kicking Ralph Giljum to the curb – a loyal union member for years - in order to curry favour with the Republicans.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Oh, and one more thing, Ned - Here is hoping you are right about the average Joe/Josephine FINALLY getting mad enough to hit the streets in protest IN LARGE ENOUGH NUMBERS that they can't be ignored by the mainstream media. Karen is right - the most irrational person speaking on behalf of the Tea Party seems to make it on all the major news shows while a good sized protest on Wall Street gets ignored.

Karen Garcia said...

The corporate media did not cover the Wall Street march I was referring to, but I posted video of it on this blog in late March. The organizer told me he had notified The NY Times and other outlets and they chose not to cover it. There were also news blackouts in Wisconsin during the union protests there. The answer is to look for info in out of the way spots, such as Al Jazeera, AlterNet, ProPublica, etc.

Anonymous said...


Missed the video. But it's no answer if we need to look in out of the way spots. We're the choir. A march only has power when millions of people cannot escape seeing and hearing others vigorously protesting some goddamn miserable policy.


I'll find out what happened in Florida. Thanks for correcting me.


Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I just got an e-mail from a dear friend who has MS. Her reply when I asked her how she was feeling was to say there is a new MS drug on the market but she didn’t think she could take it because it was too expensive – her husband works for Boeing and they have health insurance through that same company! THAT is how bad it is getting; even those with heath insurance can’t afford the co-pay for some of these drugs! I told her to look into driving up to Canada to see if they have the drug there! Speaking of which, I sure hope all those seniors driving to Canada for their meds are voting Democratic!