WTF? Paul Ryan’s Excuse for Trump’s Obstruction of Justice is ‘He’s New at Government’

Donald Trump’s still nascent presidency has had more go wrong than any administration before it. And it began falling apart from day one. His inauguration was a poorly attended flop that Trump had to lie about to save face. He’s had two executive orders banning Muslims struck down by federal courts. His attempt to repeal ObamaCare failed in the GOP-controlled House before passing and stalling in the GOP-controlled Senate. He still hasn’t produced a tax reform bill. His first National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, lasted less than three weeks. And, not surprisingly, he has lower approval ratings than any modern day president at this stage of their term.

Paul Ryan

All of this could have been (and was) predicted. During the campaign Trump was often criticized for his total lack of experience and temperament. Those were not idle complaints, but serious concerns for someone aspiring to such an important position. Leading the world’s richest, most powerful nation is not something you learn on the job. Which makes what Paul Ryan said on Thursday afternoon so bizarre (video below).

The Republican Speaker of the House was asked about Trump’s conversations with former FBI Director, James Comey, whom he later fired. Reporters wanted to know whether those conversations constituted obstruction of justice. Ryan offered that he would not have held similar conversations, but then gave this excuse for Trump doing so:

“The President’s new at this. He’s new to government. So, he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses. He’s just new to this.” […] “He’s new at government, and so therefore I think that he — he is learning as he goes.”

Well that’s comforting. Ryan doesn’t seem troubled much that the President is such an amateur that he stumbled into an impeachable violation of the law. Trump is so ill-prepared for the job that he couldn’t even rely on more experienced staff to guide him through areas with which he was unfamiliar. And as far as Ryan is concerned, Trump should be excused because he’s still in training.

The problem with that is readily apparent. Trump’s cloddish behavior with Comey is just a taste of what can go wrong. What happens if Trump’s ignorance of “long-running protocols” causes him to crash headlong into an international incident? He has already shown a propensity for insulting our allies and praising hostile adversaries. What would prevent that from escalating into a full scale war? After all, Trump is still learning the ropes of this presidenty stuff.

The fact that America has a president who is patently unprepared for the job is frightening by itself. But compounding that with a Speaker who thinks it’s acceptable to tolerate an apprentice Commander-in-Chief is markedly worse. After all, the legislative branch of government is supposed to function as a check and balance on the executive branch. Unfortunately, it appears that Ryan will be about as effective as a drunken brakeman on a runaway train.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Whines Because ‘Democrats Are Smiling’ – No, They’re Laughing at You, Loser

The failure of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to pass their anti-ObamaCare bill is still stinging. Maybe a bill that would cancel health insurance for twenty-four million people was never a good idea. It had a pitiful seventeen percent approval rating in recent polls. Consequently, the prospects for its passage were dim from the start. But that didn’t sway the President and his party who are more focused on cutting taxes for their wealthy pals than helping average Americans.

Donald Trump

Having had a couple of days to think about, Trump is still peeved that his incompetence has been displayed to the world. So naturally he is blaming everybody else. In another of his morning tweets the President lashed out at those he feels betrayed him:

First of all, Democrats are smiling across the country, not just in D.C. And it isn’t just Democrats. All Americans who appreciate having access to affordable healthcare are glad that the GOP bill never got off the ground. Secondly, it wasn’t the House Freedom Caucus or the Heritage Foundation that doomed the bill. It was the short-sighted thinking of Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who thought they could muscle through sham legislation that achieved none of what they promised. Despite their public pronouncements, they never intended to insure all Americans. They never tried to hold costs down. And they never sought bipartisan consensus to attract Democratic support.

Trump’s tweet exhibits the petty vengefulness that is the hallmark of his flawed character. He’s attacking his closest allies because they weren’t a hundred percent obedient. Heaven forbid he should accept any responsibility for his own political fiasco. What’s more, he’s lamenting that Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare were saved. According to most polls, both are supported by large majorities of the population. They would certainly regard saving them as admirable, not lamentable.

Trump’s disconnection with the majority of the American people, and even his own party, is unusually vast. He appears to have a severe case of ideological tunnel-blindness that has warped his worldview. And by announcing that on Twitter he drew a response from the online community that puts him in his place. If he’s really interested in why “Democrats are smiling” here are a few of the reasons provided by twitterers:

Trump’s arrogance and inability to accept defeat continue to alienate him from most voters. It’s a big part of the reason he has the most unfavorable ratings of any president before him. His response to having been rebuked by the his congressional colleagues, and the voting public, is to hope that ObamaCare “explodes” and causes great harm to innocent people. That’s not leadership. That’s the response of a vindictive narcissist whose only concern is the feeding and welfare of his ego.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

WINNING? TrumpCare Vote Canceled as Support in Congress and the Country Collapses

The scheduled House vote on the bill to replace and repeal ObamaCare has been canceled – again. This is the second time in as many days that the bill was pulled from the schedule. It’s clear from the whip counts that had the vote gone forward it would lose. In fact, the “no” votes were increasing by the hour.

Donald Trump

This is a significant failure for both Donald Trump and the Republican congress. They promised that the first order of business of the Trump administration would be to repeal ObamaCare. Republicans in the House had voted more than fifty times to do so while President Obama was in office. Perhaps they were comfortable voting to kill a popular program as long as they knew Obama was there to veto it.

Now that the vote is off, there is no indication of whether it will be rescheduled or what form the bill might take. Trump has previously said that this is the bill and if it isn’t passed there won’t be another opportunity. Paul Ryan, Sean Spicer, and others in the GOP leadership said much the same thing. However, Robert Costa of the Washington Post is reporting that Trump called him to say that he was responsible for canceling the vote. That would be peculiar, since he was the one making ultimatums about this vote being the only vote.

So for the time being ObamaCare will not be repealed or replaced. The American people will be happy to hear that as the most recent polling shows that only 17 percent favored the GOP effort to kill it. Trump’s bragging about the nation getting sick and tired of winning is less likely to be a concern in the near future.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This is a breaking story that is continuing to unfold. Updates will be provided as they become available.

Paul Ryan’s Health Insurance Seminar Proves One Thing: He Has No Friggin’ Idea How Insurance Works

Thursday morning Republicans rolled out a presentation of their long-awaited alternative to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It came in the form of a lecture by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He stood before the class and gave a PowerPoint aided speech that supposedly spelled out everything you might need to know about the GOP plan.

Paul Ryan

There was just one problem. Well actually, way more than one. But in the broadest terms the single most problematic part of Ryan’s lecture was that it made no sense whatsoever. It failed to address how it would cover everyone who is presently covered. There were no financing specifics to explain how it would be funded. But the most prominent flaw in his presentation was that it revealed that he has no idea what insurance is. Nor does he have any notion of how it works. Ryan summed up his criticism of ObamaCare saying that:

“The whole idea of Obamacare is … the people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick. It’s not working, and that’s why it’s in a death spiral.”

Let that sink in. What Ryan is saying is not that ObamaCare doesn’t work, but that the whole concept of insurance doesn’t work. Every insurance product, whether it’s for healthcare or auto accidents, operates on the same principle. Many people pay into a pool that is used to cover the costs of the unfortunates who suffer a loss. Insurance depends on the fact that most policy holders will not have a claim (i.e. healthy people). Therefore, their premiums pay for folks who do have claims (i.e. the sick or injured).

Paul Ryan doesn’t seem to grasp that concept. To demonstrate the depth of his confusion, he offered a little example:

[Video below, starts at 14:30]: “Take a small business that has forty employees. Let’s say that four people in that business get cancer. Well, under that business, that business has to pay for all those cancer patients, all those cancer treatments. So the other thirty-six people in that forty person pool get hit with much, much higher premiums to pay for the four that got cancer. That’s how the insurance works today. And that is one of the reasons why this thing is going bankrupt.

“Here’s our solution. Let’s just make sure we cover the people who have preexisting conditions. Make sure reinsurance or risk pools kick in for those four people in that small business that get cancer. Subsidize that coverage and what you do by doing that is you dramatically lower and stabilize the price of insurance for everybody else.”

Let’s break that down. Ryan says that the practice of insuring people by having many people contribute to a risk pool is going bankrupt. He might want to run that by the multi-billion dollar, highly profitable insurance corporations for confirmation. Then he proposes that only the sick people get federally subsidized insurance. That leaves the population of healthy people with lower premiums. That’s actually true. And it makes the insurance companies wealthier because they are only covering people who don’t need any coverage.

But Ryan doesn’t say where the government would get the money to pay for the cancer patients in his scenario. Ordinarily those funds would come from the healthy people that he just removed from the picture.

So one of three things would happen. Either the government would have to bear the total cost of healthcare for America’s sickest population and incur massive debts. Or everyone would have to be taxed to finance the coverage for those patients. Or the sick people would just die. Ironically, there is a germ of a real solution in there. Universal healthcare would provide all Americans with coverage and spread the costs so broadly across the populace that the premiums would be easily manageable.

But that’s not what Ryan and company are proposing. They want to give all the healthy people cheap insurance and burden the sick with unpayable bills. That’s the solution that is being advanced by Republicans in Congress and has already been endorsed by President Trump. If you have the intestinal fortitude, you can watch the entire presentation by Ryan and see if it makes any sense to you. If not, stay away because intestinal maladies are not covered in the GOP plan.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

GOP Insider Leaks Donald Trump’s Secret Plan To Slash Social Security

Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign for president he has taken numerous positions on fundamental issues that directly contradict his prior statements on the same issues. For example, in years past he has said that he is pro-choice, that he supported a ban on assault weapons, and that he favored universal healthcare. Today he holds the exact opposite positions on each of those issues. It’s impossible to know precisely where Trump stands because either his opinions are so malleable they can shift with a stiff breeze, or he is outright lying to pander to voters.

Donald Trump

On the subject of Social Security Trump has made his opposition to cuts in the program a stock part of his campaign repertoire. He boasts about his support for it despite being at variance with the official stance of the Republican Party. Paul Ryan, the GOP Speaker of the House of Representatives, has been proposing cuts and/or privatization for Social Security and Medicare for years.

Republicans have been taking heat for their eagerness to make seniors pay for the deficit that they ran up with tax cuts for the rich and two wars. Now they are understandably worried about being seen again as the enemies of Social Security, one of the most popular government programs in history.

What Donald Trump Isn’t Telling You

Which begs the question: Is Trump really committed to preserving the benefits of Social Security? He recently met with Ryan in a widely publicized attempt to smooth over their differences as he became the presumptive GOP nominee for president. Neither of them disclosed the details of their discussion or any new areas of agreement. However, news is beginning to leak out from others who were in attendance. A source has told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that Trump’s promise to protect Social Security may not be particularly trustworthy. With regard to cutting benefits in order to reduce the deficit, Trump said…

“From a moral standpoint, I believe in it,” Trump told Ryan. “But you also have to get elected. And there’s no way a Republican is going to beat a Democrat when the Republican is saying, ‘We’re going to cut your Social Security’ and the Democrat is saying, ‘We’re going to keep it and give you more.’ “

Trump’s “moral” belief in cutting Social Security should be of concern to the majority of Americans who would oppose such a move. It is a program that is often labeled an entitlement, although it is actually more of a savings plan that the beneficiaries paid into into during their working years.

But the more troubling part of this disclosure is that Trump is admitting that he is withholding his true position on the matter because of the political backlash that would ensue if voters knew what he really thinks. He’s well aware that you “have to get elected” and that proposing to cut Social Security would be a huge impediment to that. And this isn’t the first time that he has publicly acknowledge the need to keep such an agenda secret for political purposes. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2013 he said:

“As Republicans, if you think you are going to change very substantially for the worse Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in any substantial way, and at the same time you think you are going to win elections, it just really is not going to happen.”

Clearly, for many years, Trump has held the belief that lying about his position on Social Security was a necessary deception to win elections. And he intends to continue the charade throughout his campaign. Even as he states publicly his support for Social Security, he has staffed his team of advisers with long-time opponents of the program. Sam Clovis and John Mashburn are two of Trump’s advisers who have advocated for privatizing Social Security or converting it to a block grant program that would allow states to limit benefits.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Lying Is Donald Trump’s Campaign Strategy

From the start of his campaign, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he will tell every audience exactly what they want to hear to gain their support. It doesn’t matter that he may have held completely different positions in the past, or currently for that matter. His only motivation is to win without regard for the truth. And this latest revelation is evidence that he is comfortable lying to voters in order to get the victory that he wants.

Dog Whistling: The Meanstream Media Forecasting Of Election Results

There may be just one day to go, but that is no reason for the right-wing media to relax their incessant campaign of unhinged babbling and racial insults.

No one should be surprised by Fox News hammering away at their fervent anti-Obama diatribes. This morning they have ramped up their attacks on Obama for everything from Benghazi (which they compare to Watergate) to Hurricane Sandy (which they compare to Katrina). Needless to say, their comparisons only make sense to people who have had their frontal lobes removed.

In addition to this fictionalization of the news, much of the conservative press is rushing to publish their predictions of tomorrow’s election results. In this area they are just as delusional as they are in their so-called “journalism.” The big, all-cap headline at Fox News is that “ROMNEY WILL WIN.”

Fox Nation Romney Will Win

These prognostications emanate from a group of pundits who hold the Olympic record for being wrong. Karl Rove, Michael Barone, Dick Morris, and George Will, all claim that, not only will Romney prevail, but he will win by a landslide. If I were Rove, Barone, or Will, I would change my prediction just because prostitute toe-sucker, Dick Morris, agreed with me. But the general sense of over-confidence on the part of these pundits proves that they are more interested in trying to produce a result than in honestly forecasting one.

On the other side, the conservative U.S. News and World Report consulted their own pundit for a considered analysis and prediction for this historically significant election:

US News Kenyan Witch Doctor

So there you have it. USNews went all the way to Kenya to find someone they could quote with a prediction calling for Obama to win. Of course, there are hundreds of domestic political analysts they could have consulted for the same response, but apparently it was more important to blow that birther dog whistle and associate Obama with a foreign and pagan philosophy.

By the way, that’s also what Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan is doing in his recent statement about the path Obama is leading America down:

“It’s a dangerous path. It’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty, and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, western civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.”

This sounds exactly like the late campaign desperation rhetoric of Sarah Palin when she started yammering about Obama “palling around with terrorists.” It’s the rhetoric of a campaign that knows it is going to lose.

Fox News Knows Ryan Lost Debate, So They Resort To Distractions And Lies

One of the best ways that experienced debate watchers know when one side has lost is if that side spends most of their time criticizing the moderator and/or the style of their opponent. That’s a clear sign that they believe they came up short on substance. And it’s precisely what Ryan’s side did from the moment the debate ended.

Twitter was buzzing with conservatives whining that moderator Martha Radditz was biased in favor of Biden, even though they had little evidence to cite for that assertion. Much of their complaining reached back twenty years to her 1991 wedding where President Obama was a guest of the groom. They conveniently wipe from their consciousness the fact that Radditz divorced Obama’s pal in 1997 and the unlikelihood that she would be inclined to do a favor for a friend of the friend of her ex-husband.

Fox News leaped to the aid of their client, resuming their role as PR agency for the GOP. And since they were no better able to attack on substance, they obsessively harped on Biden’s demeanor.

Fox Nation - Biden Smiles

They regarded his smiling and laughing as flaws that demonstrated disrespect for Ryan. But seriously, if that’s all they’ve got they might as well admit they were crushed by Biden’s command of the debate. In fact, it was clear that when Biden was laughing it was almost always in response to Ryan saying something that was blatantly false. Biden’s smile was a pretty good sign that Ryan had just lied. And had Biden remained straight-faced you can bet that he would have been castigated by the same critics as dour and unlikeable (sort of like Ryan).

Fox News also made an effort to skew the public reaction to the debate and, true to form, they outright lied. There were two post-debate polls conducted – one by CBS that showed Biden winning 50-32, and one by CNN that put Ryan ahead 48-44. Fox News reported that two polls placed Ryan in the lead.

Fox Nation Debate Polls

The way that Fox arrived at this conclusion was by including an online survey by CNBC. That was actually just a web question that could be answered by anyone who visited their site. It was not a scientific poll. In fact, while the numbers did put Ryan ahead (36-56) when Fox first reported them Thursday evening, later on Friday morning the same poll showed Biden leading (52-44).

CNBC Debate Poll

Nevertheless, Fox was still reporting the older numbers of this non-poll. When Steve Doocy brought it up on Fox & Friends he only mentioned that two polls favored Ryan. Then, when Brian Kilmeade noted a third poll by CBS, Doocy dismissed it saying that it was just a focus group with only 50 people. In fact, CBS conducted a conventional poll with 431 respondents. So Doocy lied to throw out CBS’s real poll while embracing CNBC’s fake one.

Much of the media followed the same course with Politico, The Guardian, The Daily Caller, The Washington Examiner, National Review, and Breitbart Nwes, all characterizing what CNBC posted as an actual poll. This tendency to promote dishonest information fits nicely in the GOP’s new post-truth era. Which brings us back to Paul Ryan, who did his part by dropping at least two lies during the debate that had previously been found to be “Pants-on-Fire” lies by PolitiFact. And not being a slacker, one of Ryans lies was actually the “Lie of the Year” in 2010. Nice work, Paul.

Biden/Ryan Debate: Paul Ryan Reprises PolitiFact’s 2010 Lie of the Year

Pants on FireIt’s not enough for Republicans to merely lie after having set the bar for veracity so low this election season. Consequently, after Romney spent 90 minutes lying last week, Ryan had to aim higher. And boy, did he. He reprised the 2010 Lie of the Year per PolitiFact.

PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year: ‘A government takeover of health care’
Ryan: 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. It’s not working.

In addition to that, Ryan let loose another PolitiFact Pants-On-Fire lie:

Smallest Navy Since 1917
Ryan: If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest — the smallest it has been since before World War I.

Republicans have been very upset at having been called liars lately. That’s despite the fact that Romney started it even before the first debate by projecting that Obama would lie. But I would advise them that if they don’t like being called liars, they should stop lying.

The Ten (Plus) Rankest Hypocrisies Of Mitt Romney And The Republican Party

A slightly abridged version of this article was published on Alternet

The Republican National Convention was a rare opportunity to peer into the soul of a party that has embraced an open aversion to the truth. It was a veritable festival of falsehoods, from Paul Ryan implying that a GM plant that had shut down before President Obama was inaugurated was somehow his fault, to Mitt Romney perpetuating the myth that Obama’s health care plan had cut $700 billion from the benefits of Medicare recipients. Even the theme of last Wednesday’s program, “We Built This,” rested on a thoroughly dishonest misrepresentation of the President’s words.

Less noticed was a parade of hypocrisies that would bring shame to anyone with a modicum of self-respect. The degree of hypocritical expressions emanating from the right has reached historic proportions. It’s as if they have lost the ability to recognize the obvious contradictions they exude. Or, more likely, they simply don’t care. They are more interested in scoring political points which, unfortunately, is a deceit at which they are occasionally successful.

The hyper-hypocritical tendencies of today’s GOP has spread through the Party’s blood stream and is discernible from almost every angle. Below is a sampling of recent examples of rank hypocrisy caught gushing from the right and its most prominent proponents.

1) Hypocrisy On Health Care: Romney has promised that his first action on day one of a Romney administration would be to repeal ObamaCare. Of course, he wouldn’t have any authority to do that and attempting to pass legislation in congress would get stopped short in the Democratically-controlled senate. However, he may want to have a discussion with his running mate. It was recently disclosed that Ryan quietly applied for funding of a Wisconsin health care clinic in his district. The funds would come entirely from the Affordable Care Act that Ryan and Romney now propose to repeal. Also, after insisting that he would repeal Obamacare in its entirety, Romney told David Gregory on Meet the Press “I say we’re going to replace Obamacare. And I’m replacing it with my own plan.” Somebody needs to remind Romney that Obamacare IS his own plan, including the individual mandate.

2) Hypocrisy On Political Ads: In an interview on the Bill Bennett radio show, Mitt Romney lashed out at what he considered to be false ads by a pro-Obama Super PAC. In the course of his tirade he lamented that “in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad.” Romney said this even as he refused to pull his own ads that had been rated “Pants-on-Fire” lies by PolitiFact. Subsequently, the Romney campaign decided to abandon any pretense to honesty and declare that fact-checkers had “jumped the shark,” and that they would no longer “let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” In other words, we’ll lie if we feel like it.

Ann Romney3) Hypocrisy On Women: At the GOP convention in Tampa, Ann Romney gave a keynote speech wherein she saluted women saying “You are the best of America. You are the hope of America. There would not be an America without you.” It was a naked attempt to appeal to women voters with whom the GOP is having trouble connecting. However, beyond her vacant flattery she never uttered a word of support for issues of importance to women. There was no mention of equal pay, gender discrimination in the workplace, parental leave, or child welfare services like health care or nutritional programs. The only references she made to education were how fortunate her husband and children were to have the benefit of attending first-rate institutions that most Americans will never see. And the GOP platform strikes a markedly different tone by banning access to family planning services and effectively asserting that women, “the hope of America,” are not competent to make decisions about their own bodies.

4) Hypocrisy On Misogyny: The comments of GOP senate candidate Todd Akin regarding “legitimate rape” caused a firestorm of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Many on the right insisted that Akin withdraw from the Missouri senate race. However, most of the criticism was directed at the harm that Akin caused to the GOP’s prospects of winning the seat, rather than to the offensive views Akin articulated. There was abundant gnashing of teeth over Akin’s stupidity for putting the election at risk, but little condemnation for what he actually said. The reason for that is that when it comes to women, the right’s policies are actually a logical conclusion of Akin’s dumb outburst. In fact, Ryan cosponsored a bill in the House with Akin that sought to redefine the term “rape” so that federal funds were unavailable for victims unless the crime was deemed “forcible,” which would have excluded many assaults that were statutory, incest, or under duress.

5) Hypocrisy On Voting: Fox News and Romney have both recently made an issue of legislation in Ohio that would remove early voting availability for all voters except those in the military. The Obama Justice Department challenged the law arguing that every voter should have early access to the polls. Romney and Fox responded by accusing the President of wanting to make it more difficult for soldiers to vote, even though the administration’s position was to make voting easier for everyone. What Romney and Fox did not say was that their position would have denied early voting to over 900,000 Ohio veterans (in addition to millions of other Ohio residents) who were not included in the GOP’s bill. [Note: An Ohio court just ruled in favor of the administration’s position, but the Ohio Secretary of State insisted that he would defy the court order to open the polls. Then, after the judge demanded the Secretary of State appear before him to explain himself, he backed down and agreed to the court’s order].

6) Hypocrisy On Tax Shelters: Mitt Romney’s problems with his financial records are well known. He continues to refuse to release his tax returns even as more evidence comes out that he has engaged in shenanigans involving off-shore banks and other tax avoidance schemes. Nevertheless, Romney had the audacity to address a group of donors and complain about big businesses that “save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world.” Apparently that’s only acceptable for wealthy presidential candidates.

7) Hypocrisy On The Economy: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Mitt Romney says “Yes.” The key issue of the Romney campaign from its inception has been his contention that the economy is in dismal shape and that it’s the President’s fault. Romney has said on numerous occasions that Obama may have inherited a troubled economy, but he made it worse. However, when asked by radio host Laura Ingraham about improving economic indicators he unflinchingly admitted “Well, of course it’s getting better. The economy always gets better after a recession.” Ingraham was stunned and gave Romney a second shot noting that he wasn’t helping his argument. Romney held firm saying “Have you got a better one, Laura? It just happens to be the truth.” Soon after, Romney returned to falsely accusing Obama of making things worse.

8) Hypocrisy On Terrorism: While running for the GOP nomination for president in 2007, Romney was asked by reporters if he agreed with comments by then-candidate Obama that if Osama bin Laden was discovered in Pakistan he would take action if the Pakistanis did not. Romney responded “I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours.” Earlier this year, on the anniversary of the death of bin Laden, who was killed by American Special Forces in Pakistan, Romney diminished the President’s role by saying that “Anybody would have made that call.” Well…not anybody.

9) Hypocrisy On The Auto Bailout: Romney was a vocal opponent of the auto industry bailout orchestrated by the Obama administration. He famously wrote an op-ed for the New York Times with the title “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt. Fast forward a couple of years to a newly profitable and growing automobile industry and we find that Romney has shifted his position to one where he not only claims to have supported the bailout, but he considers himself responsible for its success. He told ABC News that “I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back.” That’s a little like Pontius Pilate taking credit for Jesus coming back.

10) Hypocrisy On Abortion: When Romney ran for the senate in Massachusetts in 1994, he claimed to support abortion rights and punctuated his commitment to that position with a story about a close relative who died as the result of an illegal abortion. In a debate with his opponent, Ted Kennedy, Romney referenced his family’s loss and said “It is since that time that my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that.” So Romney was once driven by his grief to make an unwavering commitment to never force his beliefs on others, but now he’s pushing for a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion. Is he through with grieving now? Is he comfortable with the grief that other families will suffer if his promise to repeal Roe v. Wade is fulfilled?

Hypocrisy and the Republican Party have never been far apart. They were the originators of the health care insurance mandate, but flipped to opposing it after it was proposed by a Democratic president. They supported the DREAM Act until Obama put it on the legislative agenda. Cap and trade was a GOP innovation. And the war hawks of the Republican right – Bush, Cheney, Rove, Boehner, Bolton, Limbaugh, Hannity, Kristol, Beck, etc. – never saw a day of combat. Mitt Romney, after protesting in favor of the draft to send other kids to Vietnam, avoided service via his Mormon missionary work in Paris, and received multiple academic deferments.

The lies that have been so freely disseminated by the right are a serious impediment to democracy, made worse by their arrogant persistence in lying even after having been exposed. But their hypocrisy is just as thickly applied and just as deceitful. It is emblematic of the character (or lack thereof) of the Republican Party and its spokespersons, including their leader, Mitt Romney.

Special Feature: Here are the runner-ups that didn’t make the top ten:

11) Hypocrisy On Socialism: The featured convention speeches by the Republican standard bearers contained some flowery language intended to motivate their delegates and sway voters watching at home. Some of their rhetoric, however, would not have been so well received if it had been offered by President Obama. On Wednesday Paul Ryan said that “We have responsibilities, one to another. We do not each face the world alone.” That was followed by Romney on Thursday saying “The America we know is the story of the many becoming one.” To some listeners those may sound like distinctly socialist sentiments. That sort of collectivist dialogue is commonly heard in leftist conclaves and union halls. All Obama had to say was that he favored “spreading the wealth around” and he was deemed an avid Marxist. For Rom-n-Ry to talk this way and not get branded as subversives is a bit surprising. Particularly when the Republican model of shared sacrifice is lower salaries for teachers, lower benefits for seniors, and lower taxes for millionaires.

Shared Sacrifice

12) Hypocrisy On Music: Paul Ryan, in an attempt to connect with a younger voting demographic, has lately been touting his rocker cred. He said that his favorite band is Rage Against the Machine. That prompted Rage guitarist Tom Morello to ask “I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of ‘Fuck the Police’?” Then Ryan told the GOP conventioneers that his iPod was stoked with songs by “youth-oriented” artists like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin that an old-timer like Mitt Romney couldn’t appreciate. What he failed to note was that his playlist seems to be dominated by bands that debuted some 40 years ago and that Romney is younger than Zeppelin’s lead guitarist, Jimmy Page.

13) Hypocrisy On Immigration: A core part of the Fox News agenda is to demonize immigrants. Last month the Fox Nation web site featured a story about a sexual assault on a child with a headline that blared “Illegal Alien Charged with Raping 4-Year Old.” Of course, the immigration status of the alleged perpetrator is entirely irrelevant to the crime. Fox would never have published such a story identifying a white Protestant American in the headline, although that happens far more frequently. It is also interesting that Fox never posted a story with the headline “Fox News Reporter Charged with Sexual Assault on 4-year Old” when that occurred a few years ago.

14) Hypocrisy On Taxes: Mitt Romney has been campaigning mightily to disabuse voters of the notion that he is an out-of-touch multimillionaire who has benefited unfairly from his wealth and position. Nevertheless, he refuses to come clean about his taxes or his resume with Bain Capital. Part of the reason he chose Paul Ryan to join his ticket was to divert attention from these questions that have been hounding him on the campaign trail. However, he may not get the reaction he hopes. Ryan’s budget plan includes the elimination of capital gains taxes, and since that is almost the entire source of Romney’s income, it would reduce his already low (13.9%) tax rate to nearly zero (0.82%).

15) Hypocrisy On Medicare: The charge from Democrats that the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan will end the program as we know it has rankled the Romney campaign. They respond by saying that no one over the age of 55 will be affected by their reforms. Setting aside for the moment the ludicrous notion that seniors would be happy knowing that only their children would suffer the loss of benefits, Romney’s plan to repeal ObamaCare would immediately end prescription drug benefits and access to preventative care that today’s seniors are currently receiving.

And sadly, this list is still incomplete.

Socialist Republicans And Mitt Romney’s Promise To Do ‘Something’

Wrapping up the Republican National Kvetch-a-Sketch, Mitt Romney delivered a barn-boring speech that nevertheless stirred the sheep in the convention hall. With a different theme every night, Romney chose to highlight a bold new message that is sure to resonate with the Replicant base:

“Now is the moment when we can do something. With your help we will do something.”

So there you have it. Mitt Romney pledges to do “something.” That soaring rhetoric ought to inspire America’s voters. And consistent with his campaign to date, Romney refused to say specifically what that something would be. Contrary to the build up from Chris Christie and Paul Ryan, who hailed Romney as a leader who would tell the nation the “hard truths,” Romney stuck to soft platitudes and appeals to the disappointed demographic.

However, a familiar hint of a vision did emerge from both of the GOP’s standard bearers. Romney and Ryan united to express their shared belief in the spirit of collectivism and the sense that we, as Americans, are all in this together:

Romney Ryan Socialists

Romney: “The America we know is the story of the many becoming one.”

Ryan: “We have responsibilities, one to another. We do not each face the world alone.”

Those are admirable sentiments that reflect the views of many Americans who are committed to holding the nation together community by community. Even Chris Christie declared that “We all must share in the sacrifice.” The problem with those remarks is that, had President Obama made them, they would have been castigated by Tea-publicans as anti-American, socialist sermonizing. Fox News and talk radio McCarthyites would have built days of programming around such objectionable ravings.

But an even bigger problem is that Rom-n-Ry don’t mean what they say. Their philosophy leans more toward going it alone – an “I got mine” individualism that rejects social welfare and unity of purpose. The Republican model of shared sacrifice is lower salaries for teachers, lower benefits for seniors, and lower taxes for millionaires.

Shared Sacrifice

There’s going to be plenty of analysis in the media in the next couple of days of Romney’s speech on both its style and substance (although Clint Eastwood may have stolen the RNC finale, and not in a good way). However, much of the right-wing press has already dismissed fact-checking as a liberal plot to which they don’t have to pay attention. That’s convenient considering the frequency with which they lie.

Perhaps the most blatant falsehood in Romney’s speech was when he said “Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.” Not only has Obama cut taxes for the middle class, but Romney’s tax plan actually does raise their taxes. But the funniest misrepresentation was when he said that “My dad had been born in Mexico and his family had to leave during the Mexican revolution.” Romney left out the fact that his father had been born in Mexico because his grandfather, and his five wives, had to flee the U.S. in order to sustain their polygamy. I wonder why Romney glossed over that devotion to the institution of traditional marriage.

Update: This photo just came in off the wires of another hard hitting interview with Invisible Obama:

Pee Wee Herman and Invisible Obama