Paul Ryan's CPAC speech yesterday was almost comically offensive even before it became clear that it was based on a lie.
By now, you've probably heard about the speech itself, in which Ryan denounced the left for offering people "a full stomach -- and an empty soul." Discussing the moral squalor of free school lunch programs, Ryan retold a story he heard from Eloise Anderson, a former single mother on assistance who became a hero to the right by calling for the abolishment of welfare (She's now a member of Scott Walker's cabinet). It was about a boy Anderson had ostensibly met who didn't want a free government lunch. "He wanted his own lunch -- one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids'," said Ryan. "He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him." read more
It's evident that social conservatives have a serious demographics problem. If they are realistic, they realize that appealing primarily to white rural Christian fundamentalist males over 55 has its limitations. As a result, some of them have been making an attempt at youth outreach. But when social conservatives try to flaunt their hipster credentials and demonstrate that they aren't as old, as white, as male, as uptight and sexually repressed as you think, the results can be embarrassing or awkward. And in many cases, their message is still one of repression.
Below are nine examples of attempts to use "hipster" imagery to sell a socially conservative or Republican message. read more
A Republican state legislator from Arkansas opposes Obamacare's Medicaid expansion even though he once had $1 million in medical expenses paid primarily by Medicaid. When state Rep. Josh Miller, 33, of Heber Springs was in his early twenties, an alcohol-related driving accident near Choctaw left him with a broken neck and paralysis. He was uninsured and required months of hospitalization and rehabilitation, including a long period in intensive care. Medicaid paid for most of his bill and he receives disability payments. Miller spoke against Medicaid expansion last week and said people should get a "hand up," not a "handout." read more
Of course they shut the Federal government down. Tea Party Republicans long for the days when there were no government authorities to enforce laws and restrain the power of unchecked wealth, the days when there was no Justice Department, no SEC, no other agencies protecting Americans from the misdeeds of bankers and corporate titans.
But it already seems as if our entire country has secretly been transported back in time. We may think we're living in the 21st century, but all the signs suggest we're living in an earlier and harsher era.
Here are seven signs the United States of America has returned to the 19th century. read more
You have to go back further than that to see how a state gets budgeted back to the stone age.
The pattern is simple but takes place over a long period of time: shift tax burden, create deficit, blame government, defund government, repeat.
And unfortunately, it's a story that's not just happening in Ohio, but at a national level and in many states across the nation because it's being pushed by influential corporate groups like the American Legislative Executive Council (ALEC).
The story begins in 2005 ... read more