Fox News Op-Ed: Paul Ryan ‘Earned Gold’ For ‘Greatest Number Of Blatant Lies’
Paul Ryan‘s speech at the Republican National Convention last night was filled with “blatant lies and misrepresentations” according to an op-ed in Fox News, the all-but-official news agency of the GOP. That’s pretty shocking, since Fox News serves as the Republican paper of record.
Sally Kohn, who, granted, leans left, writes, “to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryanâ€™s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.”
The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryanâ€™s mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated.
Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United Statesâ€™ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded becauseÂ Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.
Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, theÂ plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing.
Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn’t what the president said. Period.
Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare,Â the factÂ is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) andÂ Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.
Elections should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care. Both parties should hold themselves to that standard. Republicans should be ashamed that there was even one misrepresentation in Ryanâ€™s speech but sadly, there were many.
Kohn at Fox News is far from the only one calling Paul Ryan a liar.
David WeigelÂ at Slate writes that Ryan’s speech was “one of the more impressive strings of whoppers we’ve seen at this level.” Weigel offers five lies. Excerpts:
The GM plant in Janesville.
“The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst.”
“$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.”Â Not really true, either. The Medicare spending “cuts” are of the sort that Ryan defended when he was rising through the Houseâ€”reductions in future reimbursement rates.
“A downgraded America.”
The “bipartisan debt commission” Ryan referred to was Simpson-Bowles. He served on it, and voted against the report, because it didn’t tackle Medicare costsâ€”which sort of brings us back to the “$716 billion funneling” issue.
Joan Walsh at Salon, in “Paul Ryanâ€™s brazen lies,” says Ryan’s “speech was stunning for its dishonesty,” and adds that Ryan, “blamed Obama for a deficit mostly created by programs he himself voted for â€“ from two wars, tax cuts, new Medicare benefits and TARP.”
Interestingly, for all his lies, Ryan didnâ€™t repeat the Romney campâ€™s false claim that Obama did away with the welfare systemâ€™s work requirements. Maybe he ran out of time.
Ryan got off a few good zingers: â€œCollege grads shouldnâ€™t have to live out their 20s in childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters.â€ He didnâ€™t mention that he opposed legislation to keep student loan rates from doubling. His remarks about his childhood were slightly moving. He talked about losing his father at 16, and he called his mother, who went back to school and to work after that, his role model. But he never mentioned the Social Security death benefits that let him go to an out-of-state school. Occasionally he seemed to be going after swing voters, rather than his hard-right base, taking a more in sorrow than anger tone about Obamaâ€™s failings. Then heâ€™d mix things up with nastiness and lies.
And when Ryan riffed on the handful of jobs he briefly held, his Ayn Randian roots were clear. â€œWhen I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life, he said. [Perhaps that’s because he wasn’t; he grew up in a wealthy family.] I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. Thatâ€™s what we do in this country. Thatâ€™s the American Dream. Thatâ€™s freedom, and Iâ€™ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.â€ Thatâ€™s straight out of [Ayn] Rand, and â€™50s anti-Communist paranoia.
Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic: “The Most Dishonest Convention Speech … Ever?”
Ruth Conniff at The Progressive: “Paul Ryan’s Brilliant, Scary, Lying Speech”
Ryan Grim at The Huffington Post: “Paul Ryan Address: Convention Speech Built On Demonstrably Misleading Assertions”
Image via Twitter by Cecilia Vega
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Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case
Joe Harding, the now-former Florida Republican lawmaker who authored the extremist “Don’t Say Gay” bill could face up to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday afternoon to federal felony fraud charges in a scheme to obtain $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funds, according to Florida Politics‘ publisher Peter Scorsch.
Harding, 35, was a construction project manager who started his own lawn care company. He quickly became a right-wing darling after his anti-LGBTQ legislation, officially the Parental Rights in Education Act, was embraced by Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, who signed it into law.
Harding was charged in a December federal indictment with six counts of wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements in his plot to obtain $150,000 in COVID funds.He resigned from the legislature the following day. He originally pled not guilty.
READ MORE: ‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter
After Harding was charged and resigned, Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, responded via social media, saying: “So much harm to students, parents and teachers because of his raw political ambitions. He slandered entire communities and trafficked in lie after lie that has emboldened violent bigotry. He will have his day in court but his legacy is already a despicable one.”
Harding is not the only family member accused of criminal acts.
“Harding’s indictment follows a September guilty plea from his brother-in-law, Patrick Walsh,” Florida Politics reported in December. “As reported by Fresh Take Florida, Walsh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges connected to his receipt of nearly $8 million in disaster relief loans.”
Unrepentant to the harm many feel he has done to children and the LGBTQ community, in a statement Tuesday Harding said: “During the past legislative session I have felt the support of millions of Americans while fighting for our shared concerns and for the rights of parents. I will never forget the support I received from every corner of this great country.”
READ MORE: 18 Attorneys General Blast Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law as Unconstitutional
Harding will be sentenced in July.
Florida’s Voice also reported Harding’s guilty plea Tuesday.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Chilling’: Law Enforcement ‘Seriously’ Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter
Ahead of a possible indictment of Donald Trump, law enforcement agencies are investigating “chilling” threats, including against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, according to top Washington Post investigative reporter Carol Leonnig.
Leonnig was careful to say she is not aware of any of the threats being deemed credible, but also noted that “all sorts of law enforcement agencies” seem to be taking much more interest than some agencies did in the weeks before the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
“I have received copies and screenshots and internal documents and emails flagging concerns about specific protests, investigations into specific online threats that have been made that are not yet determined to be ‘credible and likely to occur’ but have been chilling nonetheless in terms of the threats that have been made about killing certain people,” Leonning, a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline” White House.”
“Claims of, you know, ‘Alvin Bragg needs to needs to die,’ and claims online that could just be, you know, bravado, but are being seriously investigated and checked into this time around, ones that were not checked into as clearly at all in the weeks before January 6, despite significant warnings to the FBI about what these threats meant.”
Mirroring Leonnig’s reporting, Rolling Stone, citing law enforcement reports, on Tuesday noted: “Violent extremists are advocating lethal attacks and proclaiming their willingness to die for the cause.”
READ MORE: ‘All-Out War’: Trump’s Attorney Tells Kimberly Guilfoyle Ex-President Will Be ‘Loud and Proud’ When Showing Up for Indictment
“U.S. Capitol Police, the D.C. Fusion Center, and the Federal Highway Administration have all circulated warnings about the uptick in online threats over the past 48 hours. The bulletins and threat assessments detail some of the online threats and discussions about the use of specific tactics and methods for carrying out attacks — including online discussions about lethal attacks if Trump is arrested.”
On Saturday in an explosive series of social media posts Donald Trump urged his supporters to “protest” and “take our nation back.”
That “announcement was met with an immediate increase in violent online rhetoric and expressed threats toward government and law enforcement targets perceived as participating in a political persecution of the former president, as well as calls for ‘Civil War’ more generally.”
The DC Fusion Center, which analyzes threats, in a report stated it “assesses that potential criminal justice actions taken toward a former US president — or actions perceived to be taken toward the former president — remain a ‘line in the sand’ for [Domestic Violent Extremist] communities and thus have the potential to manifest in violence toward government targets or political officials,” Rolling Stone added.
Missouri Supreme Court Refuses to Disbar Lawyer Who Sexually Assaulted Six Women: Report
An 86-year old defense attorney will be allowed to keep his law license after the Missouri Supreme Court in a 4-3 ruling refused to disbar him despite having sexually assaulted six of his clients, all women.
Attorney Dan K. Purdy will be “indefinitely suspended from practicing law but allowed to apply for reinstatement after a year,” The Kansas City Star reports.
“In September 2020, Purdy made sexual advances toward four clients in a Vernon County jail interview room, including touching and kissing, that were confirmed by video provided by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office,” The Star reports. “Each woman was later interviewed by officers and told them Purdy’s advances were unwanted.”
In addition to jail interview roos, Purdy’s sexual advances took place in court and in his car. All were locations where his clients might have felt uncomfortable to complain.
READ MORE: Trump Calls for Congress to Investigate NY AG After Judge Refuses to Delay $250 Million Fraud Trial Against Ex-President
“Purdy’s clients either did not know or did not realize they could repudiate his sexual advances,” Justice George W. Draper III wrote in the majority opinion.
There are seven justices on the Missouri Supreme Court, four appointed by Republican governors, three by Democratic governors. Four are men, three are women.
The ruling was not along party lines.
“In my view, neither the race, gender, ethnicity, nor age of an attorney should be taken into consideration to determine appropriate discipline,” wrote Justice Zel M. Fischer in his dissent. “In my view, Mr. Purdy’s conduct, which was clearly and explicitly depicted in the video evidence, warrants disbarment.”
“As recognized by the principal opinion, not only did Mr. Purdy sexually assault six female clients, he ‘exhibited a continued pattern or practice of improper and disturbing conduct, which continued, even after the present case was filed against him,'” Fischer noted. [Bolding in original text.]
Image of Missouri Supreme Court via Wikimedia
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