Tag Archives | Republicans

Amy Goodman Confronted David Koch At The Republican Convention

Last week the Democracy Now host came oh-so-close to getting an actual answer from one of the reclusive Koch brothers, before, in a moment ripe with metaphor, subservient Republican delegates formed a defensive moat around him:

When conservative billionaire David Koch sat down as a member of the New York delegation Thursday night on the floor of the Republican National Convention, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman attempted to ask him one question: “Mr. Koch, do you think unchecked concentration of wealth will undermine democracy?”

While Koch started to answer, the delegates and security around him stood up, one by one, creating a human wall between them. One of those who stood up was Ed Cox, chair of the Republican Party of New York and the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon. Eventually, Goodman was asked to leave due to “security issues.”

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Smartest Guy In The Room Can’t Get His Facts Straight

Picture: US Congress (PD)

Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan has a reputation in the Mainstream Media as a guy who knows his stuff, in particular on matters of fiscal policy. His passion for free market capitalism is something he has credited in the past to an adherence to science fiction novelist Ayn Rand’s views on economics. And as an aside, Stephen Colbert’s takedown of that particular right-wing philosophical zombie the night of Ryan’s Republican National Convention Speech is necessary viewing for all thinking people with a sense of humor.

But Paul Ryan’s wonk credentials may be in some danger as he begins to campaign on the national stage, since the only charitable reading of the wildly false claims throughout his speech is that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Factcheck.org has a complete rundown of the many errors and falsehoods Ryan embraced August 29th:

Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention contained several false claims and misleading statements.

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Clint Eastwood, the Empty Chair and the Psychotherapy of a Scared, White Nation


While Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention argument with an empty chair confused and amused many, some American mental health practitioners probably recognized it as a classic tool of Gestalt therapy: the Empty-Chair technique.

Gestalt therapy was invented by a German psychiatrist named Fritz Perls, an associate of Wilhelm Reich (who found fame – some would say infamy – as the inventor of “orgone therapy”) and refugee who fled his native land in the wake of the Nazi Party’s rise to power. In South Africa, Perls, along with his wife Laura, developed the basics of the practice: an emphasis on healing the whole self and recognizing the social environment of the patient for its impact on his or her development.

In the Empty-Chair technique, a patient is instructed to imagine a person in their lives with whom they have difficulties sitting in the chair. The patient then speaks to the seated “person”, expressing his or her frustrations and fears. During this conversation he or she is encouraged to talk for the imaginary person as well, with the goal that through this process the patient will be able to recognize the projection as part of him or herself, articulating and resolving deeply-rooted emotional conflicts. It is important to note that the Empty Chair doesn’t always have to be occupied by a specific individual: The therapist can direct the patient to imagine it is occupied by an object, idea or stereotype.

With this in mind, Eastwood’s confrontation of the empty chair can be understood in terms of mass psychology. Eastwood, once the very image of the tough, independent white male, but who is now noticeably in decline, stands in as a surrogate for the fear of the overwhelmingly white, male Republican Party. In doing so, he addresses their fear of the youthful black President and what he represents: a change in social order that will eventually erode and overcome the established face of power–much like time has replaced the once-rugged Man with No Name with the cranky old veteran of Gran Tourino, besieged on all sides by a youthful, non-white culture on the rise.

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Dee Snider To Paul Ryan: Stop Playing ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’

It’s sort of a tradition that unhip Republicans use iconic American music without permission and then very publicly are humilated by the artists who created the music. Randall Roberts reports on Paul Ryan’s humiliation at the hands of Dee Snider for the LA Times:

Pretty soon, the only songs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryanmight be able to play will be the collected works of Hank Williams Jr. and Ted Nugent, at least judging by a statement Dee Snider made Wednesday morning.

After learning that Republican vice presidential hopeful Ryan had been warming up crowds with “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” the lead singer of Twisted Sister requested that the song be pulled from Ryan’s playlist.

This comes after Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello wrote an editorial denouncing Ryan after learning that the candidate was a Rage fan; and after L.A. band Silversun Pickups decried Ryan’s campaign for using their “Panic Switch.”

Twisted Sister’s 1984 hair metal song, which has sold more than 8 million copies, is one of the heartiest workout anthems of that decade.

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Game of Thrones Author Rips Republicans for Voter Suppression

Picture: "Yerpo" (CC)

Via The Raw Story:

From the author of a fictional world where seasons can last for years, a critique of tactics employed in our present world … where an election season can last for decades:

“I would be remiss if I do not at least make passing mention of how depressed, disgusted, and, yes, angry I’ve become as I watch the ongoing attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and other states where Republicans and their Teabagger allies control key seats of power,” George R.R. Martin wrote on his blog on Saturday.

“It is one thing to attempt to win elections,” he continued. “But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds… that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable.”

Martin was referring to Republican efforts to pass laws that require a photo ID for voting, efforts that research shows suppresses the votes of poor, elderly, young and minority voters despite the fact that few cases of voter fraud have been documented.

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Paul Ryan Is The Most Politically Extreme Vice Presidential Pick In At Least A Century

Mitt Romney’s newly minted November running mate Paul Ryan is known for a radical right wing outlook — at the core of his agenda is the slashing of taxes for the rich, ending Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and any sort of sort of social safety net as we know them, and gutting all functions of the federal government with the exception of the military. But just how extreme is he? Via the FiveThirtyEight blog at the New York Times, statistics wiz Nate Silver explains that by a large margin, Ryan holds the most far-from-center voting record of any Congressperson to run for vice president in at least a hundred years, if not ever:

Based on his Congressional voting record, the statistical system DW-Nominate evaluates him as being roughly as conservative as Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. (The statistic does not provide scores for governors and other vice-presidential nominees who never served in Congress.)

By this measure, in fact, which rates members of the House and Senate throughout different time periods on a common ideology scale, Mr.

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Mississippi Hopes To Lure French Tax Exiles

Is the future of states such as Mississippi — which offers startlingly low life expectancy, sky high rates of poverty and disease, and minimal government regulation and protection — as laissez faire tax havens for rich expatriates? Via Yahoo! News:

France’s new Socialist leader President Francois Hollande plans to slap a tax of 75 percent on all income in excess of a million euros, and territories with lower rates are hoping for a cash exodus. Now the US state of Mississippi is making a bid to recruit wealthy exiles.

Haley Barbour [is the] former governor of Mississippi, a southern US state that was in part founded by French settlers on territory at one point controlled by the French empire. “I wonder if we Barbour boys ought to set up a business to attract wealthy Frenchmen and successful businesses from France to Mississippi,” he mused, in an article for the website of the US magazine Foreign Policy.

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Former Chairman Of Florida Republican Party Testifies That Meetings Were Held On Black Voter Suppression

It may not be surprising, but it’s nice to hear stated under oath, particularly with Republicans at the moment attempting to roll out anti-voter legislation all across the country. Via the Tampa Bay Times:

In a wide-ranging deposition that spanned two days in late May, former Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer denounced some party officials as liars and “whack-a-do, right-wing crazies” as he described turmoil in the months before his resignation. Greer said some GOP leaders were meeting to discuss ways they could suppress black votes while others were constantly scheming against each other.

On voter suppression, Greer said he had just completed a December 2009 meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes and Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s chief of staff, when questions arose about fundraising. “I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,” he said.

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Are Educated Republicans Stupider Than Uneducated Ones?

Chris Mooney writes at AlterNet:

Let’s face it: We liberals and progressives are absolutely outraged by partisan misinformation. Lies about “death panels.” People seriously thinking that President Obama is a Muslim, not born in the United States. Climate-change denial. Debt ceiling denial. These things drive us crazy, in large part because we can’t comprehend how such intellectual abominations could possibly exist.

And not only are we enraged by lies and misinformation; we want to refute them—to argue, argue, argue about why we’re right and Republicans are wrong. Indeed, we often act as though right-wing misinformation’s defeat is nigh, if we could only make people wiser and more educated (just like us) and get them the medicine that is correct information.

No less than President Obama’s science adviser John Holdren (a man whom I greatly admire, but disagree with in this instance) has stated, when asked how to get Republicans in Congress to accept our mainstream scientific understanding of climate change, that it’s an “education problem.”

But the facts, the scientific data, say otherwise.

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