Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Muppets of Wall Street


Later this month one of the most awful spectacles of human debasement and sheer roguery, matched with nihilist neanderthal absence of intellect, ever seen on the planet will take place in the United States. This will be the 2012 Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa, Florida.

At this venue, the leading candidate for nomination as the Republican challenger to President Barack Obama in the November presidential election in the US, Mitt the Twit Romney, will present his "platform" along with his recently selected nominee for Vice-President, Paul the Git Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin. Twit Romney, so dubbed by the British press last month for his monumental gaffes in criticising the British capability for organising the Olympic Games just about to begin after his non-event visit to London and an embarrassing téte-a-téte with Brit Premier David Cameron, who couldn't close the door of Downing Street quick enough on the Twit and his bumbling gaffes. On to Poland and the Twit retained foot in mouth as he attempted to line up with former President Lech Walesa but, the meeting was snubbed by most of Walesa's former colleagues in the Solidarity Trade Union having found out about the Twit's union-bashing career as head of asset-stripper Bain Capital in the USA. Arriving in Israel, the Twit went so overboard in his praise for the Zionist leadership of Netanyahu that he managed to piss-off the entire Palestinian nation in one swoop.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, a torrent of negative comments in the press severely depleted national supplies of ink and left the Twit trailing behind the Obama Campaign by 7 points.
Thus it was that the Twit, having overstretched his limited brain-power, decided to attach the aforementioned Paul the Git Ryan to his campaign in order to divert some of the missiles heading his way on a daily basis from a scornful and probing media which won't let up on the Twit's failure to produce his tax records and his job destroying business record with Bain Capital which has put thousands of American workers on the dole. Even this announcement was gaffed as, foot still in mouth from his foreign travels, the Twit introduced Git Ryan as "the next President of the United States" apparently forgetting he himself was the presidential candidate!

Git Ryan has made a name for himself since arriving in the US Congress as a principal loudmouth of the Republican right advocating reducing the federal budget on health, education and welfare in favour of more tax breaks for the rich.

In his youth, Ryan enjoyed the out-of-doors activities of skiing, hiking and camping in the Colorado Rockies. While attending Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Ryan worked as a counselor at a summer camp until he landed the prestigious position as a “Hotdogger” for the Oscar Mayer Wiener Company, a job that permitted him to wheel around Ohio and Wisconsin in the now world famous Wienermobile promoting the sales of hot dogs, bacon and over twenty-five kinds of ‘lunchable’ meats including:  bologna (aka:  “baloney”).
When Ryan was not driving the Wienermobile and pushing loads of baloney, he majored in Economics and Political Science.  After driving the Wienermobile and serving up mountainous tons of baloney, Ryan became a prominent member of the Delta Tau Delta social fraternity.  After his graduation, Ryan was encouraged by his mother to accept a job as an economic analyst with former US Senator Bob Kasten.  In that capacity, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington.  

When Russ Feingold defeated Kasten, Ryan moved over to the staff of a right-wing  Republican think tank branded as ‘Empower America’ where he served as a volunteer speechwriter for Congressman Jack Kemp and two former Reagan officials:  UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, who defended the rape, torture and murder of three Catholic nuns by the Government of El Salvador in December, 1980; "I don't think the government (of El Salvador) was responsible. The nuns were not just nuns; the nuns were political activists. We ought to be a little more clear-cut about this than we usually are. They were political activists on behalf of the Frente and somebody who is using violence to oppose the Frente killed them."  Kirkpatrick said. The killers were hit squads of the Salvadorean dictatorship which was armed and financed by the Reagan government in Washington. Kirkpatrick was a supporter of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Argentinian dictator Leopold Galtieri. Obsessed with anti-Communism, Kirkpatrick, as Foreign Policy adviser to the Reagan Government, urged US support for any ratbag regime which would comply with US interests abroad.

Ryan also worked for Reagan's Education Secretary, William Bennett, who would be publicly dishonored as a gambling addict and racial profiler when he said on his talk show that the abortion of all African-American babies would "cause the crime-rate to go down". Ryan has aligned himself publicly with the extreme right-wing philosophy of Ayn Rand, a Russian-born petit-bourgoise, real name Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, who left the Soviet Union in 1926 after having a free university education at the expense of the Soviet workers, something which she would advocate denying to American workers in her eccentric philosophy of "Objectivism"; an introspective hodge-podge of untenable definitions of individualism as the only moral value and a false description of "realism" which studiously ignores the material basis of human life as the only source from which civilisation could develop. Addressing a memorial celebration of Rand in 2005, Ryan stated:  “The reason that I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand”. With this glorious pedigree, Paul the Git is offered to the US electorate as a worthy candidate for the Insanity Party when it meets in Florida in due course.

Ryan is the leading ideologue of the objectivist clique that only remains viable within the radical right-wing of the Republican Party/Tea Party.  In 1999, Ryan voted for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, a keystone of depression-era legislation that prevented large-scale financial speculation and limited financial activities between commercial banks and security firms.  Many economists and financial analysts have argued that the repeal of Glass-Steagall initiated the process that led to financial instability and resulted in the Meltdown of 2008 as well as the ensuing Bush Recession. So, the advocate-in-chief of these already failed policies is proposing more of the same as the solution to the economic crisis in the USA.

In Congress, Ryan is most noted for his work on the federal budget.  Over the past three years, Ryan has proposed a mish-mash of ultra-conservative economic and reactionary tax reform.  For example, Ryan proposed a top US tax rate of 25%; a Consumption-Value Added Tax (VAT) of 8.5% and a voucher system for Medicare that would require beneficiaries to buy their own insurance from 2021 leaving them partially uninsured.  A creative Randian economist, Ryan has proposed opt-outs for taxpayers who could simply pay a flat tax rate of 10% up to $100,000 and 25% above that figure.

In 2010, Ryan introduced a more dramatic plan for long-term deficit reduction that would reduce tax rates across the board while eliminating income tax on capital gains, dividends and interest.  At his most reactionary extremes, Ryan proposes to abolish the corporate income tax and the estate tax as well as the privatisation of Social Security and Medicare that would convert these programs into vast private corporations.

The one thing about this development is that a clear choice is now being put before the electorate in the US; rabid right-wing extremism of Twit and Git, Tea-Party and Jesus-freak religious nutters of the Insanity Party supported by the rich elite and the lies of the Corporate Media of Murdoch and the rest or, the relatively moderate liberalism (in the European sense of the word) of Mr Obama and his vision of the US. 

 (Pics from Mario Piperni)

Not a choice that inspires confidence in the rest of us living on the planet.

Áth Cliath/Dublin
Lunasa/August 15 2012

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