Mitchell Aboulafia

Romney Joke of the Week

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Think Progress

Knock Knock.

Who’s there?


Mitt who?


Mitt who?!?!?


Mitt who?!?!?!?!?

Written by Mitchell Aboulafia

August 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Ryan Responds to Romney on Abortion

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In a post yesterday I posed a question about how Ryan is going to respond to the differences between his position on abortion and Romney’s.  We now have the answer, or an answer.  Here is an excerpt from a current NY Times article, “Ryan Pressed to Explain Position on Rape and Abortion.”

. . . Mr. Ryan made his first visit with the traveling press corps at the back of his campaign plane Wednesday, where he was asked about his previous support of anti-abortion laws that did not include an exception in an instance of rape. Mitt Romney supports such exceptions, as well as for incest and to save a pregnant woman’s life.

“I’m proud of my record,’’ Mr. Ryan said. “Mitt Romney is going to be the president. The president sets policy. His policy is ‘except for rape, incest and the life of the mother.’ I’m comfortable with it because it’s a step in the right direction. I’m going to leave it at that.’’

So, here is where we are with the Republican ticket.  We have a candidate at the top of the ticket who “in 2002, as a candidate for governor … claimed to support “the substance” of Roe v. Wade,” but who now holds to a very restrictive position on abortion, outlawing it except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.  (To be clear: this position would mean that one’s 17 year old daughter, who made a mistake and became pregnant, must by law give birth to a child, even if she finds out about the pregnancy early in the first trimester.)  And a VP candidate who thinks that Romney’s position is “a step in the right direction.”

As noted yesterday, although I am pro choice, I do not dismiss the views of those who are anti-abortion.  There are understandable religious and moral reasons to oppose abortion.   But I certainly cannot agree with people who want to legislate in this fashion.

Written by Mitchell Aboulafia

August 22, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Paul Ryan Joke of the Week

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(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images. Photo-illustaration by Jesse Lenz.)

How many Ryans does it take to change a light bulb?  Two.  The son, Paul, to change it and his mommy, Elizabeth, to hold his hand.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how out of touch is the GOP?

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Around 1:30 this afternoon the two headlines below appeared on The New York Times.  You would think that the Republicans might give the abortion debate a rest for a few days after rightly criticizing Akin’s perverse comments this past weekend.  But no, they have marched right along.  We must ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.  I believe that I have a good grasp of the arguments in the abortion debate.  I am pro choice but I do not dismiss the moral claims of those who are anti-abortion.  It’s a serious moral and religious issue.  But what we are getting from the GOP transcends the debate.  It’s another sign of the GOP’s ideological come hell or high water thinking.


Akin Signals in Ad He’ll Stay in Senate Race, Defying G.O.P.


In a new ad, Representative Todd Akin asked voters in Missouri to forgive him for making comments on abortion that have fellow Republicans calling on him to drop out of the race.

G.O.P. Approves Strict Anti-Abortion Plank in Platform

By MICHAEL COOPER18 minutes ago

A Republican committee called for a Constitutional amendment outlawing abortion with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Ryan has been opposed to abortion, including in cases of rape and incest, except to save the life of the mother.  This weekend in reaction to Akin, Romney declared his ticket’s position, abortion should be banned, but exceptions should be made for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.  This is not Ryan’s position and it isn’t the GOP’s position.  Keep your eye on how Ryan handles the issue.  For example, will Ryan now say that he has changed his mind or avoid the issue by saying that he is not at the top of the ticket?   His ultra conservative followers are watching.

Written by Mitchell Aboulafia

August 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Flash: The Deficit Isn’t Ryan’s First Priority

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If you haven’t read Krugman’s piece in the NY Times today on Ryan, “An Unserious Man,” it’s worth a read, even if you don’t always agree with Krugman.  It’s no news to people who have been following trickle-down Paul that his numbers don’t work.  But in this relatively short piece Krugman spells out some of the reasons why.

Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate led to a wave of pundit accolades. Now, declared writer after writer, we’re going to have a real debate about the nation’s fiscal future. This was predictable: never mind the Tea Party, Mr. Ryan’s true constituency is the commentariat, which years ago decided that he was the Honest, Serious Conservative, whose proposals deserve respect even if you don’t like him.

But he isn’t and they don’t. Ryanomics is and always has been a con game, although to be fair, it has become even more of a con since Mr. Ryan joined the ticket…………..

Written by Mitchell Aboulafia

August 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Colbert on Capitalism Run Amok: Club “Ayn Rand”

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[NOTE:  This post was originally made on March 23, 2009.  But with the recent discussion of Paul Ryan's long-standing commitment to Rand's thought--which he now appears to be trying to deny in spite of evidence to the contrary--I thought this post worth a rebroadcast.  On Ryan's commitment to Rand, see the article in The Atlantic Wire, “Audio Surfaces of Paul Ryan’s Effusive Love of Ayn Rand.”]


In times such as these, our times, when unregulated capitalism has once again proven that it can bring down the house, literally, it’s worth reminding ourselves about the voices that have spoken so eloquently in favor of selfishness over the years.  (Not Adam Smith, by the way; he thought that sympathy was a basic feature of human nature.)  Here is Colbert discussing one of the leading lights of selfishness, Ayn Rand.

The Word – Rand Illusion | March 11th | ColbertNation.com

more about “The Word – Rand Illusion | March 11th…“, posted with vodpod

On Capitalism Run Amok, readers might want to check out Sullivan’s site today, March 23rd, “Are The Jacobins At The Gates?” Let’s just say, a bit over the top, but worth a look.  (Btw, Sullivan thinks of himself as a conservative.)

P.S.  Interesting fact:  Stephen Colbert was a philosophy major at Hampden-Sydney College.  Training in philosophy has its uses.

Written by Mitchell Aboulafia

August 19, 2012 at 10:46 am

Obama, Romney, and Star Trek

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Obama and Romney do share a few things.  Among them are degrees from Harvard Law and a penchant for Star Trek.  But there are some differences even here.  Obama was interested in constitutional law and Romney appears to have been interested in how he could use his law degree in business.  They also have different reasons for enjoying Star Trek.   For Obama, the Federation would make good political sense and we know that he has much in common with Spock.  (See the 2008 post, “Obama, Spock, and the New Star Trek Nation.”)

On the other hand, Romney likes the way that the Borg does business.   Although it’s not my style to spread rumors, there is word going around the web that at one time Romney was so taken with the Borg approach to dealing with other corporate entities, he considered changing the name of BAIN CAPITAL to BORG CAPITAL.  It has also been reported that he thought it would be cool for BAIN (BORG) to say to other businesses he was seeking to take over:  resistance is futile.

Written by Mitchell Aboulafia

August 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm


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