The HyperTexts

Paul Ryan Quotes: Why Paul Lyin' Ryan Cannot be Trusted

by Michael R. Burch

Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.—Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan (aka Lyin' Ryan) is lying through his teeth. His budget plan would reduce taxes on the 1% to less than 1%, by eliminating all federal taxes on the main sources of their income: capital gains, interest and dividends. He would then rip the heart out of Medicare, as explained by Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman: "The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call voucher care. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. If the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, that would be your problem. Over time, the Republican plan wouldn`t just end Medicare as we know it. It would kill the thing Medicare is supposed to provide: universal access to essential care."

Lyin' Ryan is taking flack for his keynote address at the Republican National Convention. His speech was riddled with false claims to such an extent that even the arch-conservative Fox News said, “To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.”

His most brazen RNC lie accused President Obama of “raiding” Medicare by taking the exact same $716 billion that Ryan and House Republicans voted to slash. Talk about hypocrisy! Ryan also blamed Obama for failing to keep open a Janesville GM plant that actually closed under George W. Bush in 2008. Ryan blamed Obama for a credit-rating downgrade that S&P attributed to GOP intransigence. Ryan falsely claimed that all taxpayers got from the 2009 stimulus was “more debt,” when most got a tax cut (and the stimulus is known to have saved between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs). Ryan derided the president for walking away from the Simpson Bowles commission deficit-cutting recommendations when Ryan himself, a commission member, voted against those recommendations. He also blamed Obama for a deficit mostly created by programs he himself voted for: including two wars, tax cuts, new Medicare benefits and TARP. Barack Obama voted against the invasion of Iraq, so if anything Ryan is the bigger spender of the two.

We believe in change and hope. We actually do.—Paul Ryan

Lyin' Ryan's hypocrisy is palpable. After mocking President Obama for talking about "hope and change," he changed the order of the words in an act of blatant plagiarism. 

We can fix this mess tomorrow.—Paul Ryan

Lyin' Ryan wants us to believe that he and Mitt Romney have magic wands, which they will wave dramatically if we are foolish enough to elect them. President Obama has admitted that it will take time to recover from the wild excesses of the Bush-era tax cuts and warmongering. Romney and Ryan want to increase the Bush tax cuts by $5 trillion and increase military spending by $2 trillion more. Romney says it is "immoral" to borrow money to help flood victims, but he obviously doesn't think it is immoral to borrow $7 trillion to help the super-rich and fund another unnecessary war with Iran that would be fought on the same false premise as the war with Iraq.

He has done everything he can to shut down coal, to raise the price of gas, to make us more dependent on Middle Eastern oil.—Paul Ryan

More lies and fearmongering from Lyin' Ryan, who like his running mate Mitt Romney will say and do anything to steal the election. In 2003, Romney said that he was opposed to giving the Salem Harbor coal plant an extension on regulations that required a reduction in emissions. Romney said he wouldn’t protect jobs if it meant killing people and, pointing at the coal plant, said that it was killing people. President Obama did not "raise" the price of gas, which like all commodities obeys the law of supply and demand. Under the Obama administration, domestic production of oil is up, and imports of Middle Eastern oil have declined, as reported by Reuters and other reputable news services.

President Obama, he had his chance. He made his choices. His economic agenda, more spending, more borrowing, higher taxes, a government takeover of health care.—Paul Ryan

Politifact rated this claim its "Lie of the Year" in 2010. Let's look at what this so-called "government takeover" entails: Every American citizen will be required to buy private insurance, and pay for his/her own healthcare. This sounds more aligned with conservative principles than those of liberals, who would most likely favor a truly government-run system such as we see in parts of Europe. All American drivers are required to have car insurance, so why not require health insurance, since all Americans have bodies, and thus health concerns? Perhaps this is why the crucial piece of the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate, was first proposed by the conservative Heritage Foundation and first implemented by a Governor named Mitt Romney.

Lyin' Ryan has damned President Obama for helping Detroit and American auto workers recover from near disaster. But the federal bailout of the auto industry saved a million jobs and created nearly a quarter-million jobs and a series of profitable quarters for the Big Three. That is why GM officials, frustrated by the Republican campaign's attempts to create a false impression among voters, took the rare step of issuing a statement that said Romney and Ryan appear to be getting their information from a "parallel universe."

I never asked for stimulus [money] ... I don't recall ... I haven't seen this report ... I opposed the stimulus because it doesn't work ... it didn't work.—Paul Ryan, in an interview with an Ohio TV station, WCPO Cincinnati

Paul "Do as I say, not as I do" Ryan is at it again. Reports by major news services such as the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, ABC News and Huffington Post indicate that he did indeed seek stimulus money, multiple times. Ryan's statement above is directly refuted by the evidence of four letters obtained by the Associated Press in which, acting as a congressman, Ryan wrote to Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, praising energy programs supported by the stimulus and requesting funds for his district. Ryan's private praise for DOE programs and his written requests for stimulus funds contradict not only his public criticism of the 2009 stimulus bill, but also his later attempts to cut federal investments in green technologies. The Boston Globe reported that in 2010, after writing several letters to federal departments requesting stimulus funds for his district, Ryan told a caller on Boston talk radio show "WBZ Nightside with Dan Rea" that he would never vote against the stimulus bill and "then write to the government to ask them to send us money." Ryan went on to state that he "did not request any stimulus money." But Ryan was contradicted by his own staff when his spokesman Brendan Buck referred the AP to previous explanations by the congressman's office that by requesting funds Ryan was simply "providing a legitimate constituent service." According to Think Progress research, Ryan's stimulus lobbying efforts resulted in Wisconsin companies receiving $25.4 million in stimulus money. His lobbying for stimulus funds came at the same time he was publicly calling the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree.” You can see his signed letters at this link. Later, MSNBC's Chris Hayes dug up "devastating archival videos that show Ryan arguing for stimulus more forcefully than any Democrat." It turns out that in 2002 when George W. Bush was president, Ryan lobbied for $120 billion in federal stimulus money, arguing strongly for a third stimulus bill as an historically "proven" method of helping create jobs and boost the economy. Then, years later in 2009, he voted in favor of a $715 billion Republican stimulus bill. So it seems clear that Ryan is lying when he accuses President Obama and Democrats of  a “wasteful spending spree.” What he is really doing is clear: sacrificing American jobs to his own political ambitions, by opposing anything proposed by Democrats, no matter how helpful to American workers. You can see Ryan lobbying strongly for Republican stimulus spending here.

The glaring hypocrisy of Paul Ryan is self-evident in the quotation below. When Republicans were in control and they needed the support of Democrats to pass stimulus bills, Ryan was an advocate of both stimulus spending and bipartisanship. But the minute the roles were reversed, he and other Republicans acted like spoiled brats, refusing to help American workers and the American economy through bipartisan cooperation. Here is what Ryan said when he was in favor of stimulus spending and bipartisanship:

We have a lot of laid off workers, and more layoffs are occurring. And we know, as a historical fact, that even if our economy begins to slowly recover, unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place. What we have been trying to do starting in October and into December and now is to try and get people back to work. The things we’re trying to pass in this bill are the time-tested, proven, bipartisan solutions to get businesses to stop laying off people, to hire people back, and to help those people who have lost their jobs ... We’ve got to get the engine of economic growth growing again because we now know, because of recession, we don’t have the revenues that we wanted to, we don’t have the revenues we need, to fix Medicare, to fix Social Security, to fix these issues. We’ve got to get Americans back to work. Then the surpluses come back, then the jobs come back. That is the constructive answer we’re trying to accomplish here on, yes, a bipartisan basis.—Paul Ryan

Paul "the winner takes it all" Ryan clearly cares more about his party and personal political ambitions than he does about the American people.

When President Bush was in office, Ryan voted to add $6.8 trillion to the federal deficit, mostly from increased defense spending and tax cuts for the rich. Under Obama, however, Ryan suddenly became very, very concerned about the deficit, claiming that the federal government needs to phase out Medicare, slash education spending, raise taxes on the middle class, and gut Medicaid. But Ryan has been remarkably consistent on one thing, however. Ryan always supports tax cuts for the very wealthy, even if it means letting the elderly, sick and poor rot or die.

And Ryan is just as heartless when it comes to women's lives, health and mental well-being ...

I’ve always adopted the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.—Paul Ryan

To Paul "American Taliban" Ryan, rape is just another "method of conception." He is clearly saying is that there is no difference between a woman wanting to have a baby and becoming pregnant, and a pre-teen girl being raped and becoming pregnant. According to Paul Ryan, victims of rape and incest should be forced to endure nine months of pregnancy and risk their lives, health and mental well-being to give birth to their rapists' babies. Ryan seems to have no empathy for victims of rape and incest.

I’m as pro-life as a person gets. You’re not going to have a truce.—Paul Ryan

In other words, this Alpha Male plans to dick-tate to American women.

Todd Akin has been a great asset ... His principled approach ... is exactly the kind of leadership America needs and I appreciate his hard work.—Paul Ryan

Todd Akin is the genius who opined that women who are raped seldom become pregnant because their bodies somehow "know" that they have been raped and automatically "shut down" the pregnancy. This absurd idea has been debunked by scientists and medical professionals. Todd Aiken and Paul Ryan live in a fantasy world where rape and incest are "no big deal" and pre-teen girls should be forced to risk their lives, health and mental well-being to bear the babies of their rapists. In 2011, Paul Ryan and Todd Akin co-sponsored a fertilized egg "personhood" amendment that would make not only all abortions but even methods of contraception such as the "morning after" pill illegal. This bill would “provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization”, making birth control that interferes with fertilization presumably illegal. It would send women back to the Stone Age.

Now, let’s be candid, President Obama clearly inherited a very difficult situation. There are no two ways about that. Problem is, he made things much worse.—Paul Ryan

Lyin' Ryan has been caught in yet another bald-faced lie. While the current recovery has admittedly been slow, it is not true that President Obama "made things much worse."

My mother is a Medicare senior in Florida.—Paul Ryan

What sort of son calls his mother a "Medicare senior"? Perhaps a beancounter extraordinaire? Does he look like Eddie Munster because he's not fully human?

Ryan: “They had an ad of me pushing some older woman off a cliff or something like that.” CNN: “It doesn’t bother you?” Ryan: “No, not really.”

Et tu, Brute?

I hope he’s taking his blood pressure medication.—Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan, the Chairman of the House Budget Committee who wants to do away with Medicare, said this about a senior citizen, Tom Nielsen, who was wrestled to the ground and handcuffed at a town hall meeting by Ryan’s security people, after Ryan made the remark that "Most of our debt in the future comes from our entitlement programs" and Nielsen replied, quite correctly, "Hey, what is this entitlement program all about mister congressman? I paid into that for 50 years. My unemployment, and my Social Security, and my Medicare. And now you’re gonna… "

Here's a report of what happened: "As Congressman Paul Ryan cracked a joke about him, Tom Nielsen found himself face down on the floor being handcuffed by police. The 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha was thrown to the ground, placed in handcuffs, and arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest after objecting to Ryan’s plans to gut Social Security and Medicare during his congressman’s only public appearance scheduled during the August recess — a $15 Rotary Club luncheon in West Allis on Tuesday. Nielsen repeatedly told police that he wasn’t fighting them and that he didn’t want to make any trouble. He also told them several times that he had a broken shoulder. Police officers ignored his comments as they wrestled him to the ground despite his howls of pain."

Tom Nielsen is right: Americans fund Social Security and Medicare all their working lives, through automatic payroll deductions. So the money they receive when they retire cannot reasonably be called "entitlements."

Romney and Ryan seem to be sociopaths devoid of hearts or consciences. They clearly intend to rob senior citizens the way Romney's Bain Capital group robbed American workers, in order to benefit a few super-rich individuals.

We haven't run the numbers on that specific plan.—Paul Ryan, when asked by Fox News Channel's Brit Hume when the Romney plan would balance the budget

I voted to send people to war.—Paul Ryan, explaining why his vote in favor of the Iraq War makes him "stronger" on foreign policy than President Obama, during a Fox News interview, Aug. 18, 2012 

It's no accident that Paul Ryan has been called one of the GOP's "young guns" or that his political nuptials with Mitt Romney were sealed in the shadow of a battleship.

The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.—Paul Ryan in a 2005 speech to a group of Rand devotees called the Atlas Society

I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are and what my beliefs are. It's inspired me so much that it's required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff.—Paul Ryan

Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.—Paul Ryan, praising the anti-democratic Ayn Rand, who once said, "Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom."

I reject her [Ayn Rand's] philosophy. It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas. Don't give me Ayn Rand.—Paul Ryan, National Review interview, April 2012

Paul Ryan seems to have no regard for the truth. Here is a Democratic Underground review of his speech to the Republican National Convention: "The news media was unusually aggressive in pointing out the, um, 'factual shortcuts' in Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan's convention speech on Wednesday. But that's because while his speech was 'well-written, well-delivered, and well-received,' it was also brazenly and 'profoundly dishonest in ways large and small,' says James Fallows at The Atlantic. Among Ryan's most prominent distortions: knocking Obama for a GM plant closure that happened on George W. Bush's watch, slamming Obama for Medicare budget reductions that Ryan has also included in his spending plan, and working the partisan crowd into a lather by talking up a debt commission report that Ryan himself voted against."

Ezra Klein, writing in an August 30, 2012 article for the Washington Post, said that after several attempts he was only able to find only two factual statements in Ryan's entire speech.

As columnist Gerry Wachovsky put it, "Never in the history of following politics have I encountered a bigger liar and fabricator than Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan ... appearances can only go so far, and as the many lies he has been caught telling show, he can’t seem to keep all of his stories straight. In addition to Ryan claiming that he can run a marathon in under three hours, which was later revealed to be untrue, the guy has made several other bald-faced lies ... Following Ryan’s fallacious speech [at the Republican National Convention], Sally Kohn of Fox News wrote, 'To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.' Read that last sentence again and consider that it came from a staffer from Fox News, which, over the years, hasn’t exactly been a Democrat’s best friend. It’s pretty sad when your own party’s news station/mouthpiece calls you out on your nonsense. While Ryan is definitely more likeable than the tree stump known as Mitt, we’ve clearly seen this play out before. I predict that not only will Mitt’s popularity ratings fall, but in the end, this vice presidential pick will, once again, cost the Republicans the White House. As President George W. Bush so eloquently reminded us back in 2002, 'There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on…shame on you. Fool me…[twice]…you can’t get fooled again.' Even through his stuttering, the message was clear: people must learn from their mistakes. Apparently his party doesn’t share the same feeling."

According to Think Progress, here are the six most glaring lies from Ryan's speech:

1. “A downgraded America.” Ryan blamed the president for the nation’s credit downgrade in August 2011 after Republicans threatened to allow the government to default on its debt for the first time in history. But the ratings agency explicitly blamed “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal.”

2. “More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.” Romney has made the almost identical claim, that Obama has amassed more debt “as almost all of the other presidents combined.” But their math doesn’t add up: when Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. It has increased to slightly above $15 trillion.

3. Shuttered General Motors plant is “one more broken promise.” Ryan described a GM plant that closed down in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, and blamed Obama for breaking his promise to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made that promise, and the plant shut down in December 2008, before Obama even took office.

4. Obama “did exactly nothing” on Bowles-Simpson. Ryan said, “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.” In fact, Ryan was instrumental in sabotaging the commission, leading the other House Republicans in voting against the plan.

5. “$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.” Ryan’s favorite lie is a deliberate distortion of Obamacare’s savings from eliminating inefficiencies. Furthermore, Ryan’s own plan for Medicare includes these savings. Romney has vowed to restore these cuts, which would render the trust fund insolvent 8 years ahead of schedule.

6. “The greatest of all responsibilities is that of the strong to protect the weak.” Ryan closed the speech with an invocation of social responsibility, saying, “The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” However, numerous clergy members have condemned Ryan’s budget plan as “cruel,” and “an immoral disaster” because of its devastating cuts in social programs the poor and sick rely on. Meanwhile, Ryan would give ultra-rich individuals and corporations $3 trillion in tax breaks.

The Gospel according to Mitt "Rigger Mortis" Romney and Paul "Lyin'" Ryan:

As reported by Bloomberg, the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and other reputable news services, on August 23, 2012, Willard Mitt Romney told a group of wealthy donors, "Big business is doing fine ... They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses." Romney, who has been accused of sheltering up to $100 million of his own money in Cayman Island "IRAs," obviously sees avoiding taxes as a good thing, at least when speaking to his rich cronies and benefactors. But this presents a huge problem for the 99% of Americans who are forced to pay taxes, rain or shine, through automatic payroll deductions, since we end up paying the taxes of the wealthiest Americans and corporations, while they laugh to their Cayman Island banks. Even worse, if Romney is elected president, he plans to reduce the taxes of the wealthiest 1% to less than 1%, by eliminating income taxes on the main sources of their income: capital gains, interest and dividends. If the Romney-Ryan budget plan had been in effect, Romney would have paid federal income tax of less than 1% on his 2010 income of $21 million. Who is going to make up the difference? Obviously, we the little people. Experts have calculated that when Romney cuts his taxes to almost nothing, each average American's taxes will go up by around $2,000.

So when Romney promises to "fix" our economy, what he really means that he is going to geld everyone who isn't super-rich, like himself.

Meanwhile, the Wikileaks-like website Gawker has released more than 950 pages of information about Romney's finances, which it calls a "black hole" full of "tax-dodging tricks available to the hyper-rich." Gawker describes the net effect of the documents as follows: "Together, they reveal the mind-numbing, maze-like, and deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his wealth, the exotic tax-avoidance schemes available only to the preposterously wealthy that benefit him, the unlikely (for a right-wing religious Mormon) places that his money has ended up, and the deeply hypocritical distance between his own criticisms of Obama's fiscal approach and his money managers' embrace of those same policies. They also show that some of the investments that Romney has always described as part of his retirement package at Bain weren't made until years after he left the company." (When Romney wants to brag about his accomplishments at Bain, he ran the whole show, but after Bain became a pioneer of outsourcing American jobs to China, Romney "wasn't there" even though his name appears over and over again as the CEO of Bain Capital, years after he "left.")

The bottom line? Romney's comments above, his personal $100 million Cayman Island "IRA" and his track record as a corporate raider, vulture capitalist and outsourcer of American jobs speak for themselves. If he wants to prove me and his other critics wrong, all he has to do is disclose how he and Bain made so much money in non-parasitical ways. But he's not going to do that, because the evidence would support our claims, not his.

Here's how Romney described his business career himself: "I spent 25 years balancing budgets, eliminating waste and keeping as far away from the government as humanly possible." But by "eliminating waste" he seems to mean American jobs and workers. And his main avoidance of the government seems to have been tax avoidance.

Romney's main claim to business fame is as a bean-counting number cruncher. Tom Stemberg, the founder of Staples, said that the idea of saving money on paper clips "really resonated" with Romney, whom he called "one of the cheapest sons of guns I ever met in my life." But the problem for Americans is that Romney had the same attitude toward jobs. He closed factories, crushed unions and was one of the pioneers of outsourcing American jobs to low-wage countries like China. Remorseless cost cutting made Romney richer than Midas, but he was doing the opposite of creating jobs.

And of course when incredibly wealthy men like Mitt Romney choose to avoid their taxes, less-well off Americans are forced to make up the difference. His longtime Bain Capital partner Marc Wolpaw was recently quoted in TIME as saying, "I think he believed, and I do believe, that as a businessperson, you have the right to push the tax law into the gray area ..."

The TIME article concludes that Romney's unwillingness to disclose his tax returns stems from the "political reaction" he will receive if "the creativity of his accounting becomes fully known."

White House or Waffle House?

Romney has earned nicknames like Flip Flopney, Mitt the Flopple and Multiple Choice Mitt by waffling on important subjects. Today he tries to project himself as a staunch conservative, but his term as governor of Massachusetts featured state-mandated healthcare, gun control and legalized abortion. He recently had much more liberal stances on stem cell research and climate change as well.

When pandering for the votes of NRA members, Romney now pretends to be a hunting enthusiast. But business associates of his say Romney wanted nothing to do with guns, which he equated with tobacco and gambling, presumably for ethical reasons. For instance, his longtime partner Marc Wolpaw was quoted in TIME as saying Romney was "adamant" about not making investments in tobacco and firearms and that there was "no way" Bain Capital could invest in weapons manufacturers. Another Bain associate, Geoffrey Rehnert, agreed that tobacco, guns and gambling had a "personal yuck factor" with the partners.

But it seems Romney's values must have been discarded when he entered the presidential race, as his biggest financial contributor is Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul who has pledged to invest a startling $100 million in what seems like a blatant attempt to buy the presidency and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thereby putting the US stamp of approval on the liquidation of any hope of a Palestinian state, which would probably result in more events like 911, and thus cost Americans thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

Adelson is under investigation by the state of Nevada, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible money laundering and bribery of Chinese officials, which would be in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He has also been accused of ties to prostitution; more than 100 prostitutes were recently arrested in one of his Chinese casinos.

Adelson obviously doesn't care who gets elected president, as long as he gets what he wants, since much of the $16 million he spent on Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign was used to attack Romney. Now Adelson has made a $10 million donation to the pro-Romney "Restore Our Future" Super PAC, with the promise of more to come. When Paul Ryan was selected as Romney's running mate, one of his first official acts was as pilgrimage to Las Vegas to pay obeisance to Sheldon Adelson.

I think this except from a Democratic Underground article succinctly sums up what we know about the candidacy of Mitt the Ripper: "that Mitt Romney's qualification for the presidency consists of a career at Bain Capital about which we know essentially nothing; that his economic plan is the most massive transfer of wealth to the rich from the rest in the history of the country; that he arrogantly, petulantly and suspiciously refuses to play by the same financial disclosure rules that have applied to presidential candidates since his father ran; that his foreign policy team is a reunion of the neocon club that gave us [the invasion of] Iraq; that the health care reform he championed in Massachusetts is virtually identical to the Affordable Care Act ["Obamacare"] he promises to repeal; that he has changed sides on climate change, gun control, a woman's right to choose and so many other issues that the only consistent theme in his record is the urgency of pandering to the right, a spinelessness he is unlikely to abjure as president; and that Republican efforts to suppress voter turnout may well send him to the White House."

Paul Ryan's War on the Elderly, Sick and Poor

Here's economist Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner, on Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan: "In the first decade, the big things are (i) conversion of Medicaid into a block grant program, with much lower funding than projected under current law and (ii) sharp cuts in top tax rates [i.e., for the wealthy] and corporate taxes. Is this a deficit-reduction program? Not on the face of it: it’s basically a tradeoff of reduced aid to the poor for reduced taxes on the rich, with the net effect of the specific proposals being to increase, not reduce, the deficit."

In other words, Romney and Ryan will sell the sick, poor and elderly (us one day, if we live long enough!) down the river, in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Many of the richest Americans will legally pay less than 1% in taxes, since the main sources of their income will be tax-free: capital gains, interest and dividends.

Romney's War on Women

Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that.—Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is leading the ever-escalating Republican full-frontal assault on American women's rights. If there was an Olympics for male chauvinism, Romney and the Romulans would undoubtedly sweep gold, silver and bronze.

A recent Guttmacher Institute report reveals the startling extent of the GOP's war on women’s reproductive rights: "By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011. In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions ..."

And the GOP’s biggest stars are leading the dash to force girls and women to bear their rapists’ babies. When Todd Akin spoke of “illegitimate” rape, he was merely echoing what Ron Paul said when he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that victims of “honest rape” should be treated differently than other rape victims. Paul Ryan obviously concurs, as he and Akin were co-sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which in its original form included an exemption only for “forcible rape.” Rick Santorum has called rapists’ fetuses “gifts” from God and opposes abortion and contraceptives under all circumstances. Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann signed the “Personhood USA” pledge, which allows no exceptions for rape and incest. Mitt Romney wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood, to repeal Roe vs. Wade, and to define life as beginning at conception, meaning that a microscopic egg fertilized by a rapist against a teenage girl's will can sentence her to death. So why all the fuss about Todd Akin, really? He is no more extreme than any of the best-known conservative presidential candidates, and less extreme than the only one with a legitimate shot at becoming president.

Romney and the Romulans will sell American women down the river, returning them to the Dark Ages, the same way Romney's Bain Capital vultures sold American workers down the river, and the same way Romney intends to sell poor- and middle-income-class Americans down the river once he becomes president. In Romney's United States, unless you are rich, healthy, white and male, there is something terribly "wrong" with you—thus all you are good for is to work and pay taxes, so that rich, healthy white men don't have to pay taxes. When you can no longer work and pay taxes, you will be quickly discarded. If you ask for any help from the government you helped fund all your working career, you will be called a freeloader in search of "free stuff." But things will be even worse for girls and women. If a girl iis raped, she will have no choice but to bear her rapist's baby. If a mother has two jobs and three children, and she forgets to take a birth control pill, or a pill is defective, if she becomes pregnant she will have no choice but to bear another child. It will be illegal for her to choose not to become a mother.

A mere two days after Akin's gaffe, we learned conclusively that he is actually far less extreme than his party, when the Republican platform committee approved language seeking a constitutional amendment to ban abortions with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to a pregnant woman's life. The wording of the GOP’s renewed call for a “human life amendment” agrees with what the party approved in 2004 and 2008. Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, noted that the absolute abortion ban “is the platform of the Republican Party.” The Romney campaign declined to comment on the platform committee’s vote, but in the past Romney has endorsed identical language. In 2007, during his first White House bid, Romney told ABC News: “I support that [human life amendment language] being part of the Republican platform.” During a Republican presidential debate in 2007, Romney said that he would welcome a consensus that “we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period.” He added that he would be “delighted” to sign a bill banning all abortions.

So Romney is obviously much more extreme than Todd Akin. And yet Romney told a New Hampshire TV station that Akin’s remarks were “deeply offensive” and that he and Ryan “can’t defend him.” Ryan, seated beside Romney, nodded his head in agreement. But Akin effectively tied Ryan to his comment when he confirmed on Mike Huckabee's radio program that by “legitimate rape” he meant “forcible rape,” the term that appeared in the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." bill co-sponsored by Akin and Ryan!

The bottom line is that—as stupid, evil and offensive as Akin's comments were—Paul Ryan is just as bad, and Mitt Romney is worse.

The 13% Solution

When asked to disclose his tax returns, Mitt Romney replied, "I am not a business." But he famously (or infamously) said that "corporations are people." Unlike most Americans, who would say that human beings are more important than corporations, Mr. Flip Flop seems to change his views the way Imelda Marcos changed her shoes. One of the few times he is ever consistent about anything is on the subject of his taxes. When the subject of his taxes comes up, he consistently makes up excuses not to explain why he seems to be (perhaps) the biggest tax dodger in American history.

Willard Mitt Romney claims that he paid at least 13% in taxes for the last decade. But did he pay 13% of everything he made or only of the money that he didn't shelter from taxes? It seems obvious that Romney has a LOT of money in Bermuda and Cayman Island tax shelters. Major new services like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Reuters and CBS News have reported that he may have up to $100 million, or close to half his estimated net worth, in hard-to-explain Caribbean investments. In fact, it seems he may have placed entire Bain Capital holdings in offshore "IRAs." So suppose Romney made $20 million one year, sheltered $19.9 million in offshore "IRAs," then paid taxes on only $100,000 in earnings? Yes, he might have paid 13% in taxes on the $100,000 and that might be commensurate with what other Americans pay after deducting personal exemptions, charitable contributions, etc. But his real effective tax rate might be closer to 1.3%, or zero, depending on how much money he made, and how much of that money was sheltered. The only way for anyone to know Romney's real tax rate is for him to release his tax returns. The fact that he refuses to release any of his returns prior to 2010 suggests that there are major problems with his older returns. Do we want a commander-in-chief who expects American soldiers to risk their lives in battle, when he's afraid to pay his fair share of taxes to help provide them with the best possible equipment and training?

The proposed Romney-Ryan budget plan would eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains, making it possible for millionaires and billionaires to reduce their effective tax rates to 1% or less. (According to Romney's 2010 tax return, under the new Romney-Ryan plan he would have paid slightly less than one percent on $21 million in earnings.) In order to fund this lavish bounty for the super-rich, less wealthy Americans will have to pay thousands more in taxes per year. Then, finally, Willard Mitt Romney can legally avoid paying taxes, since you and I will be covering for him!

Is Mitt Romney a Sociopath?

I have studied the findings of several handwriting experts, and this one by Sheila Kurtz seems to agree with the general consensus about Mitt Romney: "... inclined to think quickly, act impulsively, dream big, and hang on to what’s his." But several of the experts pointed out real problems with his ability to empathize with and relate to other people.

Here is a graphology (handwriting) analysis by Joel Engel, the author of two books on the subject: "Mitt Romney’s capacity to relate is bleak. His signature has abrupt endings. This signifies being short with others. The two hooks reflect stubbornness. Dashes reveal a (usually subconscious) desire to be unsocial, especially when they vary from the standard (forward slashes). The disproportionately distant and disconnected T bar shows personal detachment. These combined traits produce feeling awkward in public. [Romney's] middle zone is also small. What is unique is that he connects from this area to the upper zone (instead of the routine middle zone). [By] avoiding the social (middle zone) area, this man’s thought processes are purely intellectual ... His rightward slant informs us that he can use his gifted brainpower aggressively."

Here is another graphology analysis, by Treyce Montoya, CEO of Center of Forensic Profiling: "Romney's handwriting is more separate or disconnected (mostly print) than Obama's. This indicates that he can be abrupt and impatient with others as well as not wanting to socially engage. His disconnections on his "TT"s in his name show his desire to not truly connect to [other] people ... the exit strokes are short ... which indicate stubbornness and reemphasize his 'unsocialness.' ... Romney's signature is more rightward and this shows that he is more impulsive ... Romney likes to acquire (collect) things and retain them."

Another handwriting expert, David Littman, said that to be on the same wavelength with Mitt Romney, because he is so analytical, we would have to appeal to his mind, not his emotions. Littman also said that Romney takes umbrage when people break the rules, is aggressive and would go "straight for the jugular," which could account for his warlike talk about attacking Iran.

The handwriting experts give Romney credit for high intelligence and leadership, but question his character. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highest, Engel rated Romney as a 2 for personality. Anyone who has watched Romney try to "connect" with other people in public should be able to confirm that Romney seems to be functioning purely or mostly on intellect. He doesn't seem to be able to empathize with the suffering of others. This would explain why he "can't remember" holding a fellow student down and cutting off his hair, and why he doesn't understand that it was inhumane to strap his dog to the roof of his car for an 11-hour road trip. A classmate of Romney's compared him to the "Lord of the Flies." I have read what many people who know him have said about Romney in my research, since I became concerned that Americans may be about to elect a sociopath to the presidency. While people have complimented his intelligence and ability to get things done, almost no one has had anything nice to say about him as a person. While none of this is conclusive proof, still his handwriting, his actions, and what people do and don't say about him, all seem to suggest that Romney may lack normal human empathy and sociability. Our greatest presidents obviously cared about other Americans: Washington, Lincoln, FDR, JFK, et al. Can we afford to elect a president who can't connect with other Americans, in these trying, dangerous times?

Mr. Flip Flop

A liberal, a conservative and a moderate walk into a bar. The barman looks up and says: "Hi Mitt!"

Is Willard Mitt Romney a liberal, a conservative, or a moderate? The simple truth is that no one really knows what Romney believes, or would do as president. We have, however, learned a few things about Romney's character, through his actions:

• Romney was not a venture capitalist, but a vulture capitalist and corporate raider.
• Romney did not "create" jobs, in sum, but fired thousands of people, outsourcing large numbers of American jobs to foreign countries.
• In fact, Romney's companies were pioneers of such job "off-shoring" according to the Washington Post and other reputable news services.
• Romney loaded American companies with massive debts, so that they could pay him massive dividends before they went under.
• Romney has called it "simply immoral" to borrow money to help flood victims, but has no problem bailing out his rich Wall Street cronies.
• Why is it "immoral" to help people who didn't create their own problems, but "moral" to help people whose greed created problems for an entire nation?
• While Romney crows about American exceptionalism, he relies on banks and shell corporations on tiny, insecure Caribbean islands.
• According to major news services, Romney may have up to $100 million sheltered in Bermuda and Cayman Island "IRAs," safe from taxes.
• And yet he now hypocritically accuses Americans who ask for affordable healthcare of wanting "free stuff," when he is the King of Free Stuff!
• Romney only "saved" the Olympics with the help of a huge bailout from U.S. taxpayers (i.e., we saved the Olympics and Romney took the credit).
• Romney then insulted all England by suggesting that only he could successfully organize an Olympics, casting the only shadow on the games.
• Romney was a bully in school (one of his classmates compared him to The Lord of the Flies). Now he wants to bully Iran, starting another war ...

Other than having a better understanding of how Romney became so fabulously wealthy and seeing what an oddly disconnected robot he seems to be, we still know very little about the man and his core beliefs. Romney has been accused of running an Etch-a-Sketch campaign, with the goal of fooling right-wing conservatives into believing that he's a fellow conservative in the early going, then picking up the votes of moderates later by pretending to be more liberal. And there seem to be valid reasons for such concerns. Take, for instance, the issue of gay marriage. When Romney ran for senator against Ted Kennedy, he told Log Cabin Republicans that he would be a stronger advocate of gay rights than his famously liberal opponent. But when Romney speaks before evangelicals, he claims to be against gay marriage and even civil unions for gays. However, when Chick-fil-A and his good friends the Cathys were being criticized and boycotted for publicly opposing gay marriage, Romney refused to speak to the larger American public at all. So who can possibly know where this political chameleon stands on many important social issues?

At least with politicians like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, we know where they're "coming from." If we want right-wing nutjobs to run the country into the ground, we can vote for them. But with Romney we remain clueless. One minute he's a life-long hunting enthusiast, because he's speaking to NRA members. The next minute, he (or one of his aides) has to admit that he only ever hunted twice in his life, because someone caught him in yet another wild exaggeration. Romney wrote a book with one of the strangest titles ever, No Apology, but now must repeatedly confess that he made things up, when the truth would have served him better. Pathological liars dissemble even when the truth would suffice, and Romney seems to fit that mold. (I can hear Richard Nixon pleading, "I am not a crook" in the background.) Romney reminds me of Nixon with his disdain for the truth and his space-alien-like detachment from average Americans. Such detachment makes Romney a hard man to "grok."

But here's what we do know: On the most important issues that Romney has addressed clearly and consistently, he is dead wrong.. He is wrong about attacking Iran for the same highly dubious reason that we attacked Iraq. He is wrong about giving the super-rich 1% more tax cuts, while raising taxes for the other 99%. He is wrong about spending $8 trillion on more military buildups, if that means ripping apart the safety nets of retirees who contributed to Social Security and Medicare all their working lives. He is wrong about giving billions to his rich cronies in Israel, so that Israelis can have universal healthcare, if that means denying affordable healthcare to Americans. He is wrong about not disclosing his tax returns to American voters, so that we can be sure that with his vast fortune, he paid substantially more taxes than we did.

Romney is wrong about so many things that it would be hard to know where to start, except that he is so wrong about the most important thing of all, that we can safely start there ...

The Single Most Important Issue

This is the only reason we must not vote for Romney: He has assembled the same team of neoconservatives (neocons) who plotted to attack Iraq on false premises, and they are now plotting to attack Iran on the same false premises. Their names and intentions will be revealed below, after I have pointed out some of the truly odd goings-on at the recent commencement party of "America's Comeback Team" ...

Battleships and Freudian Slips

When Mitt Romney revealed that his running mate would be Paul Ryan, the announcement was made in front of a battleship. When Ryan emerged from the USS Wisconsin, the music being played was from the movie Air Force One. Was this a signal to allies and enemies of the U.S. that the neocons who launched the invasion of Iraq are still firmly in control of the GOP, and now stand ready to use the immensely powerful American navy and air force to attack Iran and any other Middle Eastern nations that refuse to submit to U.S. and Israeli tyranny? (No doubt Bibi Netanyahu and other Israeli neocons were just as "deeply excited" as Paul Ryan to see this impressive show of power.)

Like Rachel Maddow, I object to two men who chose not to serve in the military running down from the battleship to the podium, laughing and waving. I was reminded of Michael Dukakis playing tank commander and George W. Bush using a jet dubbed Navy One to land on the USS Abraham Lincoln (after he had allegedly played truant from the Texas Air National Guard unit that helped keep him from seeing duty in Vietnam!).

It was hopefully a good omen that the Wisconsin is a decommissioned WWII-vintage battleship, currently in mothballs. Perhaps this is a sign that Romney's campaign will be shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

"Join me," Romney instructed the crowd, "in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan!"

Was this a mistake, or a Freudian slip? (I suspect the latter.)

The ever-dapper, always-wooden Romney stood at the microphone sans jacket, wearing a light blue tie. Ryan wore a billowing, cloak-like black jacket that made him look like a Jedi gone over to the dark side, or perhaps a KGB agent in a Cold War film noir. Did they dress this way as a signal that Ryan is the more serious, capable and formidable leader, just as Dick Cheney was a far more serious, capable and formidable leader than George W. Bush? In any case, Ryan looked a bit spook-y to me, please pardon the pun.

As Ryan was marveling—"Wow! Hey! Man!"—that he was standing in the shadow of the mighty (if completely obsolete) Wisconsin, a distant, distraught voice could be heard—"Hold on! Hold on!"

It was Romney, returning to the stage to renounce his claim that Ryan would be the next president. (Whew, that was a close call!)

Romney probably came close to giving Ryan a heart attack when he interrupted his speech with: "Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake." For a few painful seconds, a puzzled-looking Ryan must have felt like Bain Capital worker being informed that his job had just been outsourced to China. Romney at least had the wits to recover somewhat, with: "I did not make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell you this, he's gonna be the next vice-president of the United States." Romney sounded more hopeful than confident (as when he talks about his tax returns).

The marriage made in political heaven seemed to have suddenly hit the honeymoon rocks. And this was before elderly people in Florida began protesting what Romney and Ryan propose to do to Medicare, forcing Romney to cancel a speaking engagement in Orlando, presumably to regroup and think of new lies (euphemistically called "campaign promises"). In any case, Romney and Ryan will not be going to the Magic Kingdom anytime soon, except perhaps in their highly irrational dreams that they are the "saviors" of the "American way." Since when is it the American way to wage war after illegal war, while sending our children, parents and grandparents to the poorhouse? Only since the madness of King George—George W. Bush—has fighting unwinnable wars while the nation goes bankrupt been a national goal. Before, it was something we tried to avoid, not always successfully. But the battleship and triumphant strains of martial music seem to clearly indicate that Romney and Ryan are ready, willing and able to go to war (as long as they and their children don't have to risk their lives, and their super-rich patrons don't have to risk any of their money, which explains why Medicare must be gutted while the poor and middle classes shoulder even more of the tax loads and war debts).

"He’s never been content to simply curse the darkness," Romney said of Ryan later. "He’d rather light candles."

This seemed to be a reference to Eleanor Roosevelt, who once said that it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness. But she was ahead of her time in demanding equal rights for everyone. Paul Ryan is no Eleanor Roosevelt, as he seems intent on denying fully equal rights to gays and, like many Republicans, also seems determined to return women's reproductive rights to the Dark Ages. To date, Ryan is best known as the author of a budget plan so radical The New York Times called it "the most extreme budget plan passed by a House of Congress in modern times." Newt Gingrich dismissed it as "radical" and "right-wing social engineering." Ryan's budget would end Medicare as we know it and transfer huge sums of money to the super-rich by slashing their taxes—yet again!—while raising taxes for the middle class. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center's number-crunching indicates that Ryan's plan would reduce revenue by almost $4 trillion over the next decade, resulting in 2020 deficit of roughly $1.3 trillion. Ryan may talk about the deficit in "apocalyptic terms," which is easy enough to do, but his "Roadmap" would actually increase it. The TPC estimates that Ryan's plan would slash taxes on the richest 1% in half, giving them 117% of the plan’s total tax cuts! But taxes would go up for 95% of the population. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that elderly Americans would pay $6,400 more for healthcare by 2022. According to a New York Times editorial, "The Romney-Ryan Plan for America," the Ryan budget plan has other serious flaws: "Even less familiar to voters are Mr. Ryan’s plans for the rest of the federal budget, which if anything are worse than his Medicare proposal. By cutting $6 trillion from federal spending over the next 10 years, he would eliminate or slash so many programs that the federal government would be unrecognizable. That has long been a goal of the Tea Party ideologues who support Mr. Ryan fervently, but it is not one shared by anywhere near a majority of Americans."

Please excuse me for not applauding!

And yet Romney called the 42-year-old policy wonk the Republican Party's "intellectual leader." Was this another signal? Like George W. Bush, Romney is no deep thinker, but merely looks "presidential." As the book Angler makes clear, Bush was way over his head on complex issues, so Cheney ended up running the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Did the Republican party's money men inform Romney that the only way he's going to get elected is by promising to defer to Ryan on complex issues, hence the slip of the tongue? Did the neocons instruct Romney to stage the announcement in front of a battleship, to the strains of the music of Air Force One, as a way of communicating to various world leaders that the real commander in chief will be Ryan, not Romney?

Of course I have no way of knowing such things, and thus can only speculate. But it hardly matters who leads, since Romney and Ryan share the same nefarious goals. Ryan is the architect of the Republican master plan to boost U.S. military spending to $8 trillion dollars over the next decade, even if it bankrupts the nation. Romney has been even more hawkish on military spending, always a neocon priority. His plan is to spend a minimum of 4% of GDP on the Pentagon. That would increase an already-bloated military budget by more than $200 billion in 2016, a 38% hike over President Obama’s budget, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Romney’s proposal to embark on a second straight decade of escalating military spending would be the first time in American history that war preparation and defense spending had increased as a share of overall economic activity for such an extended period,” wrote Merrill Goozner in the Fiscal Times. “When coupled with the 20% cut in taxes he promises, it would require shrinking domestic spending to levels not seen since the Great Depression—before programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid began.” Such cuts, Goozner noted, “would likely throw the U.S. economy back into recession.”

Why do Romney and the neocons want to spend so much money on the military? The main goal of the neocons (emphasis on "cons") is the establishment of an "American Century" (think "thousand year Reich") via U.S. domination of the globe through massive military superiority, which of course means massive military spending. If you doubt me, you can easily confirm that Romney subscribes to the philosophy of Hitler and the Nazis by the number of times he has voiced the same fascist ideas. Romney's goofy idea that American "exceptionalism" gives the U.S. the right to establish a global "American Century" in which it dominates all other nations is essentially the same as Hitler's goofy idea that Aryan "exceptionalism" gave Germany the right to establish a thousand year reign in which Germany would dominate all other nations.

When Romney starts ranting about the "American Century" and how he is the person who can make it happen (as in the remarks below from a speech he made at the Citadel), he sounds suspiciously like Hitler:

I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century.
In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.
God did not create this country to be a nation of followers.
I believe we are an exceptional country with a unique destiny and role in the world.
America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers.
America must lead the world, or someone else will.
If we do not have the strength or vision to lead, then other powers will take our place.
The world is dangerous, destructive, chaotic.
Like a watchman in the night, we must remain at our post and keep guard of the freedom that defines and ennobles us, and our friends.
The United States will apply the full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict.
While America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interests.
As president of the United States, I will devote myself to an American Century. And I will never, ever apologize for America.
I pledge to you that if I become commander-in-chief, the United States of America will fulfill its duty, and its destiny.
It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies around the world.

Romney is clearly saying what Hitler and the Nazis once said: that because of their conviction and passion about German/American exceptionalism, Germany/America must fulfill its duty and destiny to lead the world, using superior military power preemptively to take out any perceived threats to German/American hegemony. Thus Germany could preemptively attack Poland and Czechoslovakia, even though they posed no immediate danger to Germany. Thus, the US can attack North Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and (soon) Iran.

This "family resemblance" should not surprise anyone, because Hitler was a fascist, and American neocons are also fascists. Fascist believe that might makes right, so if a nation has superior firepower, it has the automatic "right" to dominate other nations, or destroy them if they refuse to submit. German and American fascists have the same beliefs and the same cold-blooded, calculating methods. Here are some rather obvious similarities:

the American century = the thousand-year Reich
American exceptionalism = Deutschland uber alles (Germany over all)
"dangerous" Muslims = "dangerous" Jews
Iraq = Poland
Iran = Czechoslovakia

History really does seem to repeat itself, and Romney strikes me as a slightly spruced-up, slicked-down version of Hitler. But I digress ...

Here is Ari Berman's analysis of Romney's Citadel speech: "The cornerstone of Romney’s speech was a gauzy defense of American exceptionalism, a theme the candidate adopted from [Romney adviser] Robert Kagan. The speech and [corresponding] white paper were long on distortions—claiming that Obama believed 'there is nothing unique about the United States' and 'issued apologies for America' abroad—and short on policy proposals. The few substantive ideas were costly and bellicose: increasing the number of warships the Navy builds per year from nine to fifteen (five more than the service requested in its 2012 budget), boosting the size of the military by 100,000 troops, placing a missile defense system in Europe and stationing two aircraft carriers near Iran. 'What he articulated in the Citadel speech was one of the most inchoate, disorganized, cliché-filled foreign policy speeches that any serious candidate has ever given,' says Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation."

I agree with Daniel Larison, who wrote for American Conservative: "At times, Romney’s speech sounded like a technocrat’s brief for divinely-ordained U.S. hegemony: 'God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will.' It seems presumptuous at best to claim knowledge of God’s foreign policy preferences, but the most misleading statement here is that another state will assume the role of a global hegemony if the U.S. does not fill it. There is no one state or group of states aspiring to the international role that the U.S. currently has, and no other is capable of filling that role if it wished. Probably the most remarkable thing in the speech was how little [respect] Romney paid to the other major powers in the world. He poses some questions about future scenarios in the beginning of the speech, but he never answers any of them. Today’s speech lifted quite a few arguments that Romney had already made two years ago in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. The main difference is that the “nations or groups of nations” he identified as the main international threats back then have now become threatening “forces.” There’s nothing the matter with recycling his own material, but it is still bad material."

American neocons like Romney want the U.S. to dominate the globe. All they need to implement their dark designs is a malleable, witless figurehead like George W. Bush or Willard M. Romney, a clever Vice President to act a a conduit (and perhaps replace the president if he gets out of line), and highly-placed advisers to make sure the war games proceed according to plan. Now the neocons have reassembled the old team, with Romney replacing Bush and Ryan replacing Cheney (although Cheney remains busy in the background, waddling around, constantly doing evil, like his alter ego the Penguin).

Romney and Ryan are calling themselves "America's Comeback Team." I think it would be more accurate to call them "America's Throwback Team." After all, they're clearly trying to return us to the kind of thinking that led to the Vietnam War.

As Vice President Joe Biden said recently in a major foreign policy speech, Romney and his chief advisers “see the world through a cold war prism that is totally out of touch with the realities of the twenty-first century.” We won the Cold War and Russia is no longer a major threat to our security, if it ever was. Neither Russia, China nor Iran are going to attack the U.S., unless they are attacked first. And there lies the greatest danger to the U.S., because the neocons are radical ideologues who fully intend to go on the offensive, following the dangerous philosophy of "preemptive retaliation."

Neo-con Hall of Shame

As quoted in Foreign Policy, Rep. Adam Smith pointed out that of "Romney’s 24 special advisors on foreign policy, 17 served in the Bush-Cheney administration."

According to an article by Ari Berman in The Nation, "a comprehensive review of [Romney's] statements during the primary and his choice of advisers suggests a return to the hawkish, unilateral interventionism of the George W. Bush administration should he win the White House in November."

And Romney's advisors seem to confirm such suspicions. According to an article in The Fiscal Times, Romney advisor Richard Williamson said that a Romney presidency would offer a "more aggressive" approach toward China, Russia and the Middle East. "I think our biggest single difference [with the Obama administration] is probably over Iran," Williamson said. "Put it this way: If I was the regime in Tehran I'd be much more worried about dealing with a Romney administration than with the current administration."

According to The New American, "Neoconservative domination of the Romney campaign's foreign policy advisors also caught the attention of U.S. News & World Report back in April, and the group was labeled a 'Neocon War Cabinet' by the leftist magazine The Nation in May. In addition, former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell told MSNBC in May that Romney's advisors were 'quite far to the right,' implying they were too interventionist for his taste."

Among Romney's advisors listed by reputable news services like the Wall Street Journal, The Nation and the New American are such notable neocons, hawks and warmongers as:

Henry Kissinger: Nixon's Secretary of State and a primary author of the Vietnam War on the false premises of the "Domino Theory"
Cofer Black: former CIA director, former vice president of Blackwater International and a vocal advocate of "enhanced interrogation techniques"
Michael Hayden: former NSA director who created the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping programs
George Shultz: father of the "Bush Doctrine" of preemptive retaliation
Eliot Cohen: Bush State Department counselor and a co-founder of the Project for a New American Century, a neocon think tank
Robert Kagan: foreign policy commentator and a co-founder of the Project for a New American Century
Richard Williamson: Bush Assistant Secretary of State and a hawkish Republican foreign policy specialist
Paula Dobriansky: Bush State Department official and a leading advocate of Bush’s ill-fated "freedom agenda"
John Bolton: Bush's former UN ambassador and a leading advocate of an Israeli attack on Iran
John Lehman: Reagan's Secretary of the Navy and a noted war hawk
Michael Chertoff: Bush's Homeland Security Secretary
Dan Senor: a right-wing pundit and apologist for the "successes" of the Iraq war; he says “Mitt-Bibi will be the new Reagan-Thatcher”
Eric Edelman: Bush Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; he supports an attack on Iran (like 12 other Romney advisors)
Robert Joseph: NSC official who inserted the “16 words” in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech claiming that Iraq had tried to buy enriched uranium

Christopher Preble, a foreign policy expert at the Cato Institute, says, “Romney’s likely to be in the mold of George W. Bush when it comes to foreign policy if he were elected ... I can’t name a single Romney foreign policy adviser who believes the Iraq War was a mistake. Two-thirds of the American people do believe the Iraq War was a mistake. So he has willingly chosen to align himself with that one-third of the population right out of the gate.” On certain key issues, like Iran, Romney and his neocon advisors are to the right of Bush. Here's an example of why having such hawkish advisors is so dangerous; some of them still want to fight the Cold War:

[Russia] is without question our number one geopolitical foe.—Mitt Romney

Romney was immediately rebuked by everybody with a brain.

David C. Speedie, senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, called Romney's statement "palpably ridiculous." Colin Powell said: "Well, c’mon, Mitt; think! That isn’t the case." Senator John Kerry called the comment "naive." Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was unimpressed, telling reporters that Romney's remark seemed like a throwback to the Cold War era and "smacked of Hollywood."

Lawrence J. Korb, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, agreed with Medvedev, saying: "Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has not faced an existential threat, nor does it have any 'number one' geopolitical or nation state foes ... The rhetoric of geopolitical foes should be retired as a relic of the Cold War while the U.S. develops policies to deal with its short- and long-term challenges."

In a poll of foreign policy specialists taken by the L. A. Times, not a single expert named Russia as our "number one geopolitical foe." Two named Iran, two said "nobody" and two suggested that the U.S. may be its own worst enemy (perhaps because of politicians like Romney?). Hell, most average Americans know that other nations pose more problems for the United States today, than Russia does.

Furthermore, Romney's barrage of misstatements and comments taken as insults by our allies in Great Britain, Israel, Palestine and Poland on his first foray into international politics demonstrate how ill-informed Romney is about foreign policy matters, and how tone deaf he is to other people's concerns, aspirations and feelings. If he surrounds himself with hawks still intent on fighting the Cold War, we could miss out of the dividends of peace and go bankrupt fighting needless, unwinnable battles.

Why Floridians are not Amused

Even as the ink was still drying on the Romney-Ryan political marriage license, signs of ruptures within the larger Republican family began to appear.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, one of Romney's first decisions after the bizarre nuptials was to cancel a scheduled speaking engagement in Orlando. Why? Perhaps because the headlines of major Floridian newspapers had almost unanimously questioned Romney's selection of Ryan and what it meant for Floridians. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Romney was "too exhausted to make the trip."

Does this perhaps mean that Romney was exhausted of ideas, seeing how very difficult it was going to be to persuade Americans to vote for his plan to feed the neo-con war machine, by depriving elderly people of Medicare and raising taxes for 99% of Americans, while further reducing the taxes of the 1%?

Could Romney's "exhaustion" be the result of finally realizing that, while he can fool some of the people all of the time, the majority have grown wise to his shell games and bad parlor tricks with the truth?

Florida has a large number of retirees who are not amused by Ryan's preposterous "budget plan." The only people who see anything to like in Ryan's plan are young, incredibly naive Tea Party ideologues who are too short-sighted to realize that unless they are fabulously wealthy like Romney and his rich cronies, they and their loved ones will also need the things they currently denounce as "entitlements" one day: Medicare, Social Security, and perhaps Medicaid if they become unable to work (which does happen to millions of Americans).

In other words, the average Florida retiree is much better able to access the real impact of the Romney-Ryan plan, than the typical Tea Party type.

Romney is probably "exhausted" because the latest polls are reflecting the fact that his pro-rich, pro-war stance, when coupled with his anti-women, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-elderly, anti-sick stance, is going to make it difficult if not impossible for him to win the upcoming election. To him, that is of course a very bad thing, but would it have been a "bad thing" for the average German if Hitler had lost elections?

Romney was not too "exhausted" to keep a fundraiser in Miami on his schedule. But of course at a fundraiser where rich people pay big bucks to hobnob with Romney, he is unlikely to have to explain why the common folk increasingly hate him and his all-too-obvious plans for their demise. Of course rich people love Romney, because he is trying to further reduce their taxes, while shifting war expenses and war debt over to the 99%. But unfortunately for Romney and his rich patrons, thanks to people like them most Americans are worse off financially than they were when George W. Bush became president and started cutting taxes for the rich while invading Middle Eastern nations that were bound to see American troops as foreign conquerors. Since we live in a democracy, it should be hard for 1% of the people to dictate terms to the other 99%.

Related Links:

Mitt Romney’s $100 million Cayman Island IRA: Did he pay 13% or is he a tax cheat?
Will Romney's Fascist Dreams of an "American Century" lead to more unwinnable wars in the Middle East?
Will Romney continue to Wage War on American Women?
Will "Romney Hood" rob Americans blind with his Medicare Scam, by stealing from the poor to give to the rich?
Mitt Romney Quotes
Mitt Romney Poems, Parodies and Songs
Mitt Romney Nicknames

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