Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Paul Ryan

149 notes

Romney’s ‘relief’ event outside of Dayton, Ohio, was surreal enough to be a campaign parody, with the candidate comparing the federal government’s hurricane relief efforts to the time he and some friends had to clean up a football field strewn with ‘rubbish and paper products.’

It was supposed to be a parable of how Republicans handle disaster – with private charity, not government intervention – as Romney told his audience, ‘It’s part of the American spirit, the American way, to give to people in need.’ The Republican went on to talk about the time some Hurricane Katrina survivors were rerouted from Houston to Cape Cod and the good people of Cape Cod responded by donating food and, yes, television sets.

Of course, as Alex Seitz-Wald writes, the Red Cross and other private charities are discouraging the donation of goods, preferring that kind Americans donate funds that can be used where they’re needed, not goods that must be sorted and distributed and may not even be necessary (television sets?).

Salon’s Joan Walsh, regarding the misguided, hollow efforts by the Romney/Ryan team to collect donations for victims of Hurricane Sandy in Dayton, Ohio. The campaign reportedly dropped $5,000 on supplies at a local Wal-Mart for attendees to give to Romney for the sake of photo ops. What, no soup kitchens to invade?

Does Mittens listen to himself talk? No, really. I’m curious.

Filed under Mitt Romney Hurricane Sandy Charity you're doing it wrong Politics Election 2012 Photo op Paul Ryan

43 notes

The Romney/Ryan campaign is giving away an Epiphone guitar signed by Kid Rock. The guitar, which appears to be a G-310 SG Electric Guitar in Vintage White, is manufactured in China, and has been since 2002. Y’know, that one place that specializes in receiving American jobs. As Epiphone explains on their website:

The effectiveness of combining Epiphone and Gibson expertise and experience with Asian production efficiencies ushered in a new era for Epiphone and brought about exceptional instruments at price points the average working musician could afford. That tradition continues today at Epiphone’s Gibson Qingdao (GQ) factory near Qingdao, China where only Epiphone instruments are crafted.

Epiphone is owned by Gibson Guitars, Inc. Gibson’s CEO Henry Juszkiewicz recently admitted to illegally importing exotic wood in violation of environmental law. Previously, Juszkiewicz said that he’d move his operation overseas or raise prices in retaliation for the raid, meaning the company would kill off American jobs. But Epiphone guitars are already made in China, so the CEO claiming Gibson will kill American jobs is somewhat dishonest — they already did. Anyhow, Gibson is now a hero of Tea Party peeps because government = bad. 
Also, the number-one retailer for Gibson and Epiphone guitars is Guitar Center, a massive chain being driven into the red by interest on $1.4 billion in debt incurred when Bain Capital took the company private in 2007. Mitt Romney received retirement dividends from Bain until just a few years ago.
What does this all mean? Two things: First, it’s really easy to weave related things into an ominous-looking, vague, pseudo-conspiracy theory; and second, Romney/Ryan is giving away a guitar made exclusively in China while trumpeting American manufacturing and in the middle of Bain Capital moving jobs to China from the Sensata plant in Freeport, Ill. — after forcing the workers to train their Chinese replacements and flying the Chinese flag over the factory. As Reuters explains, Romney benefits from this deal:

Anyone who owns a mutual fund or retirement account may benefit when a U.S.-based company decides to boost profits by moving operations overseas. As a major investor in Sensata, Romney could gain from an outsourcing move that is likely to cut costs and increase the company’s presence in emerging markets. Romney owns at least $7.8 million in eight Bain funds that collectively hold 51 percent of Sensata’s shares, according to a disclosure report he released in June. Romney earned between $1.4 million and $9 million in 2011 from dividends, interest and capital gains from those funds, which also invest in other companies, the report shows.

Ultimately, I might enter the contest. Why? So I can pawn it, or sell the guitar to a right-winger who might want it.
But then Kid Rock had to go and sign it…

The Romney/Ryan campaign is giving away an Epiphone guitar signed by Kid Rock. The guitar, which appears to be a G-310 SG Electric Guitar in Vintage White, is manufactured in China, and has been since 2002. Y’know, that one place that specializes in receiving American jobs. As Epiphone explains on their website:

The effectiveness of combining Epiphone and Gibson expertise and experience with Asian production efficiencies ushered in a new era for Epiphone and brought about exceptional instruments at price points the average working musician could afford. That tradition continues today at Epiphone’s Gibson Qingdao (GQ) factory near Qingdao, China where only Epiphone instruments are crafted.

Epiphone is owned by Gibson Guitars, Inc. Gibson’s CEO Henry Juszkiewicz recently admitted to illegally importing exotic wood in violation of environmental law. Previously, Juszkiewicz said that he’d move his operation overseas or raise prices in retaliation for the raid, meaning the company would kill off American jobs. But Epiphone guitars are already made in China, so the CEO claiming Gibson will kill American jobs is somewhat dishonest — they already did. Anyhow, Gibson is now a hero of Tea Party peeps because government = bad. 

Also, the number-one retailer for Gibson and Epiphone guitars is Guitar Center, a massive chain being driven into the red by interest on $1.4 billion in debt incurred when Bain Capital took the company private in 2007. Mitt Romney received retirement dividends from Bain until just a few years ago.

What does this all mean? Two things: First, it’s really easy to weave related things into an ominous-looking, vague, pseudo-conspiracy theory; and second, Romney/Ryan is giving away a guitar made exclusively in China while trumpeting American manufacturing and in the middle of Bain Capital moving jobs to China from the Sensata plant in Freeport, Ill. — after forcing the workers to train their Chinese replacements and flying the Chinese flag over the factory. As Reuters explains, Romney benefits from this deal:

Anyone who owns a mutual fund or retirement account may benefit when a U.S.-based company decides to boost profits by moving operations overseas. As a major investor in Sensata, Romney could gain from an outsourcing move that is likely to cut costs and increase the company’s presence in emerging markets. Romney owns at least $7.8 million in eight Bain funds that collectively hold 51 percent of Sensata’s shares, according to a disclosure report he released in June. Romney earned between $1.4 million and $9 million in 2011 from dividends, interest and capital gains from those funds, which also invest in other companies, the report shows.

Ultimately, I might enter the contest. Why? So I can pawn it, or sell the guitar to a right-winger who might want it.

But then Kid Rock had to go and sign it…

Filed under Mitt Romney Paul Ryan Kid Rock Guitar Guitar Center Epiphone politics Election 2012 China U.S. jobs outsourcing Gibson

18 notes

Vice Presidential Debate Bingo cards! Here’s the cards in a downloadable album:

Same rules as before! The squares are not candidate-specific unless denoted as such. The debate will air on NBC, ABC, and CBS, along with C-SPAN, starting at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST. It will be live-streamed at C-SPAN’s site, plus numerous other sources. If you’re having trouble finding a site, let me know.

We’re doing things a bit differently now!

This time around, win a swag bag packed with political stickers, buttons, a yard sign, and more! The most bingos across the most cards will win a swag bag with Obama buttons and stickers, plus additional fun political stuff I’ve picked up along the way.

To enter, submit your cards within one hour of the debate’s conclusion. And hey, if you don’t like Obama, there’s going to be other cool stuff in there and you can sell the Obama stuff to a fan.

The winner will be notified Oct. 15th — I’ll need your home address in order to ship you your bag o’ goodness, so if you submit from outside Tumblr, use a valid email! I will still give gifs for bingos, so submit the cards. Tie-breakers are the most squares selected, and/or submission time.

Follow me on twitter as I live blog the debates: @meglanker

Oh, yes.

Again, submit cards here or email completed cards to meglanker@gmail.com

GIF prizes for first submission and most bingos on one card!

Happy bingo, folks!

Cheers,

Meg

Filed under Vice Presidential Debate Debate Lulz Debate Bingo Bingo Paul Ryan Joe Biden politics Election 2012 Election

31 notes

The End Of WASP-Dominated Politics

From NPR:

Just looking at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you might not think of them as cultural pioneers. But the Republicans make up the first presidential ticket in history not to feature a Protestant.

Romney is Mormon, Ryan, Catholic. That might not seem like such a big deal — especially when you consider they are running against the first African-American president.

But all of these individuals are emblematic of an enormous shift in both American demographics and political power.

Fifty years ago, the military, foreign service and top political offices were all dominated by WASPs — white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

Yes, but could one run without keeping rich WASPy interests in mind? Or without at least some of their support? Nope. Nor is it possible to paint WASPs as a terrible group of people — they’ve simply been the majority. However, this represents an interesting shift insofar as who’s elected and selected in the realm of government and public service.

Filed under WASP politics demographics Mitt Romney Paul Ryan Barack Obama Election 2012

121 notes

As I mentioned at the outset folks—four years ago, Americans we were hit hard. You saw your retirement accounts drained, the equity in your homes vanish, and your jobs lost or on the line. But you did what Americans have always done. You didn’t lose faith. You fought back. You didn’t give up. You got up. You’re the ones bringing America back. You’re the reason why we’re still better positioned— than any country in the world—to lead the 21st century.

You never quit on America. And you deserve a President who will never quit on you. And one more thing that our opponents are dead wrong about: America is NOT in decline.

I’ve got news for Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan, it has never, never, ever, been a good bet to bet against the American people.

My fellow Americans, America is coming back and we’re not going back! And we have no intention of downsizing the American Dream.

Joe Biden, whipping up the convention crowd at the DNC before President Barack Obama’s speech.

— Meg

(via election)

God, I love Joe Biden.

(Source: gov)

Filed under Joe Biden Election 2012 Democratic National Convention Mitt Romney Paul Ryan Barack Obama

83 notes

Down the Rabbit Hole at the RNC

election:

In addition to their regular blogging, Tumblr convention correspondents are each writing a feature about the experience. Here’s Meg Lanker-Simons on attending the Republican National Convention last week.

Monday: Arriving in Wonderland

After cramming every passenger possible on board United Flight 741, departing Denver International Airport, the bored-looking flight crew began playing the instructional safety video. I settled in, hoping for an inflight nap. At the gate, I had quickly realized my plane might be carrying every single Republican National Convention attendee from the Rocky Mountain region, right down to the five elderly ladies in sequined, satin track suits in the requisite red, white, and blue. One of the women had even plastered on bright blue eye shadow and cherry red lipstick at the gate. “Because I’m American,” she explained to no one in particular.

Read More

Enjoy this Gonzo-ish summary of the RNC, kids! Please, share and feel free to provide feedback.

— Meg

(Source: gov, via cognitivedissonance)

Filed under deborah bryant fred karger john mccain meghan mccain michael steele mitt romney paul ryan rnc election 2012 elections politics meg lanker-simons chris mohney jayel aheram bobby finger liba rubenstein longreads journalism gary johnson lawrence o'donnell chuck todd

83 notes

Down the Rabbit Hole at the RNC

election:

In addition to their regular blogging, Tumblr convention correspondents are each writing a feature about the experience. Here’s Meg Lanker-Simons on attending the Republican National Convention last week.

Monday: Arriving in Wonderland

After cramming every passenger possible on board United Flight 741, departing Denver International Airport, the bored-looking flight crew began playing the instructional safety video. I settled in, hoping for an inflight nap. At the gate, I had quickly realized my plane might be carrying every single Republican National Convention attendee from the Rocky Mountain region, right down to the five elderly ladies in sequined, satin track suits in the requisite red, white, and blue. One of the women had even plastered on bright blue eye shadow and cherry red lipstick at the gate. “Because I’m American,” she explained to no one in particular.

Read More

My long awaited summary is live! Enjoy kids!

— Meg

(Source: gov)

Filed under deborah bryant fred karger john mccain meghan mccain michael steele mitt romney paul ryan rnc election 2012 elections politics meg lanker-simons chris mohney jayel aheram bobby finger liba rubenstein longreads journalism gary johnson lawrence o'donnell chuck todd

70 notes

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian candidate for president, Gary Johnson, issues a challenge and calls out Rep. Paul Ryan for “misstating” his marathon time. Interestingly enough, everyone I’ve known who’s run a marathon remembers their time, and Nicholas Thompson at The New Yorker suggests the same thing.
I think Ryan should take him up on it. After all, all Johnson’s ever done is climb Mount Everest, Mount McKinley, and has competed in the Ironman Triathlons three times. And there’s this from The Economist:

The governor of New Mexico looks normal. He sounds normal. But he is definitely not normal. He likes hang-gliding, parachuting, 100-mile races. He runs, bikes or swims for two hours each day—and he begins this routine at five every morning. He once shut himself inside a freezer, to prove he could withstand the cold; he clamped an alligator clip on to his tongue, to show he could withstand pain.

The most interesting man in the world? Eh, maybe that’s stretching it. But he’s pretty upfront about where he stands. I interviewed him at the RNC in Tampa on August 27. Check it out here.
There’s also events in Charlotte for Gov. Johnson, including the American Muslim Alliance panel on Wednesday, September 5th at 12:30 pm EST. From his meetup page:

The panel will discuss the National Defense Authorization Act, among other topics. In addition to Gov. Johnson, other participants include Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich. The panel will take place at the Blake Hotel, located at 555 South McDowell Street in Charlotte, South Carolina.

So in summary, Paul Ryan loses the badass competition. By a long shot. 

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian candidate for president, Gary Johnson, issues a challenge and calls out Rep. Paul Ryan for “misstating” his marathon time. Interestingly enough, everyone I’ve known who’s run a marathon remembers their time, and Nicholas Thompson at The New Yorker suggests the same thing.

I think Ryan should take him up on it. After all, all Johnson’s ever done is climb Mount Everest, Mount McKinley, and has competed in the Ironman Triathlons three times. And there’s this from The Economist:

The governor of New Mexico looks normal. He sounds normal. But he is definitely not normal. He likes hang-gliding, parachuting, 100-mile races. He runs, bikes or swims for two hours each day—and he begins this routine at five every morning. He once shut himself inside a freezer, to prove he could withstand the cold; he clamped an alligator clip on to his tongue, to show he could withstand pain.

The most interesting man in the world? Eh, maybe that’s stretching it. But he’s pretty upfront about where he stands. I interviewed him at the RNC in Tampa on August 27. Check it out here.

There’s also events in Charlotte for Gov. Johnson, including the American Muslim Alliance panel on Wednesday, September 5th at 12:30 pm EST. From his meetup page:

The panel will discuss the National Defense Authorization Act, among other topics. In addition to Gov. Johnson, other participants include Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich. The panel will take place at the Blake Hotel, located at 555 South McDowell Street in Charlotte, South Carolina.

So in summary, Paul Ryan loses the badass competition. By a long shot. 

Filed under Gary Johnson Politics Election 2012 Election Charlotte Paul Ryan president marathon GOP

45 notes

election:

He’s from the streets of Wisconsin, he reps Objectivism hard, and he’s got a hot blonde wife and a P90X bod. How did Paul Ryan not drop an ill track till now?

— Amina

Oh my God…

(Source: jest.com, via gov)

Filed under Paul Ryan

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Cognitive Dissonance is going to the Republican National Convention!

GUESS WHO’S GOING TO THE RNC?!

That’s right, I’m heading to the Republican National Convention, courtesy of Tumblr. I’m going with Jayel Aheram and Bobby Finger. So at this time next week, we’ll be mingling and blogging with RNC conventioneers. 

You guys.

I’m so excited! What kind of coverage would you like to see here? And follow the Tumblr Election 2012 blog now!

Oh, and if you’d like to buy me a drink in Tampa, feel free to contribute on the sidebar. Or please contribute because I have to take a week off work to go. 

A huge thank you to Tumblr for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to head to Florida. I’ll remember the Good Doctor when the wheels touch down on the tarmac:

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional." ― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72

Here’s my predictions for the RNC:

election:

Mr. Romney Goes to Tampa

by Meg-Lanker Simons

Much has been made of Meh Mitt Romney’s lack of charisma, and it’s an easy target. But this is the Republican National Convention, the RNC — it’s supposed to be the nominee getting attendees pumped up, not everyone surrounding the nominee acting as a collective crowd fluffer. But I predict that will be the case in Tampa this year, unless Mitt gets a reboot pre-convention.

It’s shades of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. in 2004. Democrats were so excited to have a shot at not-Dubya in the White House that they forgot to find a nominee whose biggest plus in the pro column wasn’t “not Dubya” — not that Sen. Kerry isn’t inspiring insofar as his accomplishments in the US Senate and his life in general, but let’s be real — he’s about as exciting as a mayonnaise sandwich. Just like Romney:

In fact, President Barack Obama has tapped Kerry to play Romney in debate prep. Ostensibly, his choice is based upon Kerry’s up-close perspective on Romney’s tenure as governor and bid against the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. However, Romney and Kerry are two peas in a very boring, somewhat ideologically-conflicted pod.

I figured Mitt Romney would choose someone to bring some excitement to the ticket, and to court the non-WASPy vote. But alas, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. was chosen to round out the other half of the Wonder Bread ticket™. Maybe it was the eyes:

Further, GLBTQ rights, including marriage equality and non-discrimination laws, are likely to play a role in drafting the Republican Party platform in a wildly divergent manner from previous elections. Conservatives, particularly young conservatives, are supporting gay rights more than ever before. Mitt Romney was at least tepid on gay rights before, but was not above distributing fliers at a gay pride event in 2002 during his gubernatorial run promising support to GLBTQ voters in Massachusetts. I also predict the GOP will lean heavily on the presence of high-profile female speakers at the convention, i.e. Gov. Nikki Haley, R-N.C., to continue to dispel the very real War on Women charge from Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans.

Notably absent from the convention is the perpetually twitterpated Sarah Palin. She released a Mean Girls-esque statement saying she wasn’t going to the Plastics’ party GOP convention, though it’s not clear she was actually invited in the first place.

The Mama Grizzly contingent is a strong one, and Palin has previously made comments in support of Ryan. Her supporters tend to be pretty passionate and will take directives from Palin, even if the rest of the GOP appears to have written her off.

Cue a run on these shirts

Regarding Paul Ryan, I expect his previous support of extreme anti-choice bills to raise a few eyebrows at the convention, but it might garner him some votes among the Mama Grizzly bears in Palin’s camp who are worried about Romney’s previous pro-choice stance.

As a whole, I believe the convention will expose a fractured GOP, but not one that will be easy to beat for Democrats. Citizens United v. FEC (2010) will see to that. This election year may be the last gasp of the social conservatives, or a second wave — that is, if state elections like Texas are indicators, with Tea Party upset Ted Cruz defeating a moderate incumbent in the primary. Neither party is unified, but Democrats may have an advantage with an incumbent in the White House — even though Obama is less than well-received on the right.

Perhaps the fluffing will work — Keynote Speaker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is an expert at whipping up a crowd. However, the convention is about the GOP nominee, and the only consistent thing about Mitt is that he is thoroughly consistent with being inconsistent. It’s a significant impediment to revving up the base for Romney, but hey — isn’t that what the convention’s all about? And if all else fails, there’s always the Sarah Palin lookalike stripper, the Donald’s antics, and Kid Rock to get the party started.

The GOP promised us bread and circuses this year, and then left us with the most boring clown in the ring. I expect a show at the big top, and I know Mitt is not the one to deliver it. But I still have hope.

Maybe Herman Cain will freak out about 9-9-9, Michele Bachmann will regale us with tales about the ACLU controlling the CIA, Rick Santorum will unveil his new line of sweater vests with matching chastity belts, or Newt Gingrich will reveal he’s formed a new SuperPAC dedicated to putting us on the fucking moon. Now THAT, my friends, is a show worthy of the big top. A three-ring circus of epic proportions. Plus, I really want to hang out on the moon, even if I have to make small talk with Moon Queen Callista to do it.

See y’all in Tampa!

Cheers,

Meg

(Source: gov)

Filed under Election 2012 Tampa Mitt Romney Paul Ryan Newt Gingrich RNC Republican National Convention GOP Convention