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    Wonk Like A Man

    Paul Ryan is wonky.  You can tell this is so because he is frequently described this way by Very Important People.  Like in this ABC news video.  Or this Daily Beast column.  Or in this NYT column.  Wonkiness is supposedly one of Paul Ryan's great strengths.  He is something like the GOP "budget guru" in the House of Representatives.

    This is interesting because Paul Ryan has been asked questions about the budget since his weekend debut as Boy Wonder (here, I am picturing Adam West as Williard Mitt Romney).  Ryan's wonkiness was, of course, front and center when answering a query from Brit Hume:

    During a Fox News interview with Brit Hume, Paul Ryan insisted on talking about the “Romney plan” while Hume questioned him about the “Ryan Plan.”

    Ryan repeated that he was now focused on the “Romney plan” to renew America.

    When Hume questioned when the Romney budget would balance the federal budget, Ryan explained that it was unclear.

    “I don’t know exactly when it balances, I don’t want to get wonky on you but we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan,” he said. “The plans we offer in the house balance the budget.”

    Ryan's response is disappointing in that my understanding of wonkiness is that it has something to do with being familiar with the details of a technical subject.  Not having run the numbers at all doesn't sound very wonky.

    Asked later in the week about cuts to Medicare in his budget, he replied thusly:

    First of all, those are in the baseline, he put those cuts in. Second of all, we voted to repeal Obamacare repeatedly, including those cuts. I voted that way before the budget, I voted that way after the budget. So when you repeal all of Obamacare what you end up doing is that repeals that as well. In our budget we’ve restored a lot of that. It gets a little wonky but it was already in the baseline. We would never have done it in the first place. We voted to repeal the whole bill. I just don’t think the president’s going to be able to get out of the fact that he took $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

    Yes, it would seem that it "gets a little wonky" indeed.  There's another definition of wonky, which is more along the lines of shaky or unreliable.  Untrustworthy.

    Paul Krugman has been writing about just how untrustworthy Ryan's street cred is for years now.  Here he is back in 2010.  Here he is last year.  And here he is this week on what's in Ryan's budget:

    Ryan basically proposes three big things: slashing Medicaid, cutting taxes on corporations and high-income people, and replacing Medicare with a drastically less well funded voucher system. These concrete proposals would, taken together, actually increase the deficit for the first decade and beyond.

    All the claims of major deficit reduction therefore rest on the magic asterisks. In that sense, this isn’t even a plan, it’s just a set of assertions.

    Earlier this week, Genghis wrote a piece that wondered whether average Americans might actually like Ryan's radical vision upon being exposed to it.  I have a different concern, which is that they will never actually understand it as such.  The reason for this is the same as the reason Paul Ryan was ever considered for the GOP ticket: his celebrity status as a "budget guru" is based on a self-serving fiction that continues to be embraced by nearly everyone.



    Here's John Cohn and Mark Thoma on Paul Ryan's decided lack of actual wonkiness.

    Even funnier in the Britt Hume interview was Ryan stating that he didn't realize that his heroine, Ayn Rand, was an atheist. Ryan now  totally rejects Ayn Rand.The fact that Ryan read all of Ayn Rand's work and did not comprehend a simple well known fact, it speaks poorly of his ability to deal with complex issues like the economy.

    I assume that Ryan knew perfectly well that Rand is an atheist, and that his denial of that knowledge only further indicates that he is a pathological liar.  Ryan is just another blue-eyed psychopath, an American Psycho for 2012.

    Whether he knew Rand's  beliefs or not, he could not have missed the fact that Atlas Shrugged is obviously anti-religion and very specifically anti-christian. About half the book is about her superman industrialist heroes, the other half of the book is an  "analysis" and rejection of the christian beliefs held by the heroes' adversaries. There's no doubt Ryan is lying.

    No, he is not a "pathological liar" - he is a Sociopath, overtly lying to get his way.

    Read the difference here:


    As for "psychopath", yes, the foo would shit:


    As Letterman would say, "Know your cuts of meat".

    Major media reporters are pretty dumb - in the political realm at least.  The kind of person who is drawn to reporting on horse races is  the kind of person who can't grasp or analyze anything of substance.   If a politician proposes a budget of any kind, that must mean they know about numbers and stuff - which is awe-inspiring to horse race analysts.

    I think general innumeracy is a factor.  It makes the ruse possible.  I think there's also a need to find certain figures to hold up as examples of being "serious" and somehow above the partisan fray.  It's why we still hear from people like Alan Simpson.  The punditocracy has decided that Paul Ryan is a swell, clean-cut young man with a sensible fiscal head on his shoulders.  I think there are certain figures who like being able to point to him and regard him in this way.  It serves their needs.  But it also serves the needs of those who want to put an Eddie Haskell face on Ayn Rand's ideology.

    Major media reporters are smart enough to report or propagandize what they are told by the wealthy executives of the multi-national corporations who run or star on TV news as 'anchors' or 'pundits'. Very low on the list is educating viewers on actual facts, history or reality. The end for me came in March, 2003, when they cheered on 'Operation Iraqi Freedom', the invasion of Iraq, like it was the NFL playoffs. Many if not most Americans bought that portrayal, the trumped up unfounded reasons we went in faded into insignificance, winning was all important. TV news at best is nearly worthless infotainment, it has failed our democracy.

    If anyone in the news media goes off the script, by, for instance, questioning the National Guard record of GWB, they wind up gone, - Dan Rather. We have not just a 'military-industrial complex', but a 'military-industrial-media-political complex'. If major media does report actual facts, as the New York Times, UK Guardian or the BBC often do, the facts are never discussed at length, or are rejected, ignored or forgotten as biased liberal reporting. Fox News makes up or spins facts and history to suit their ideology, and they earn very big profits doing it.

    There was some Michael Crowley line at Time that really irked me.  Went something like, "nobody questions Paul Ryan's intelligence."A blanket statement that is simply not true.


    This election has exposed the hypocrisy of Republican Evangelicals.Obama was unfit because he was either a Liberation Theologist or a Muslim. Romney is a Mormon, a belief system labeled a cult by Evangelicals, yet Romney is acceptable. Acceptance of another faith goes against Christian Fundamentalist beliefs.

    Ryan worshipped a Russian atheist. Ayn Rand did not believe in God. Rand did not believe the family unit was important, family was merely an option. Charity did not make sense to Ayn Rand. Ryan's connection to Rand should disqualify Ryan from receiving support from Evangelical Christians,

    Because Romney and Ryan give lip service to Fundamentalist Christian views, Evangelical Christians will support a member of a cult and a supporter of an atheist

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