Monthly Archives: August 2012

Watch A Deleted Opening Scene From ‘The Avengers’

via Business Insider: 

 

Just when you thought “The Avengers,” which has now earned more than $1.4 billion worldwide, left no stone unturned, we get a look at a deleted scene from this summer’s biggest blockbuster.

the avengers deleted scene

Yesterday, Yahoo! released an exclusive opening scene left out of the final film that will be available on the Blu-ray when it’s released September 25th.

After taking a watch, we can see why the scene was scrapped from the final cut.

Taking place 48 hours after the film’s final scene, Cobie Smulder‘s character, Agent Maria Hill, gives an account of the firestorm on NYC making it appear as if the gathering of the superheroes was a mistake, when, in the end, the group’s convergence was just the opposite.

The scene gives a disjointed feeling to the outcome of the rest of the film which would have played out as a giant flashback.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-original-opening-to-the-avengers-would-have-changed-the-film-entirely-2012-8#ixzz2549q0BGn

PAUL RYAN DELIVERS REMARKS TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

Boston, MA – Paul Ryan today delivered remarks to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

 

Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.

 

I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this.

 

I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.

 

Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words.  After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.

 

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression.  I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.

 

They’ve run out of ideas.  Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they’ve got left.

 

With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that.  You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.

For my part, your nomination is an unexpected turn.  It certainly came as news to my family, and I’d like you to meet them: My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our boys Charlie and Sam.

 

The kids are happy to see their grandma, who lives in Florida.  There she is – my Mom, Betty.

 

My Dad, a small-town lawyer, was also named Paul.  Until we lost him when I was 16, he was a gentle presence in my life.  I like to think he’d be proud of me and my sister and brothers, because I’m sure proud of him and of where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.

 

I live on the same block where I grew up.  We belong to the same parish where I was baptized.  Janesville is that kind of place.

 

The people of Wisconsin have been good to me.  I’ve tried to live up to their trust.  And now I ask those hardworking men and women, and millions like them across America, to join our cause and get this country working again.

 

When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, “Let’s get this done” – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.

 

President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two.  Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account.  My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

 

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.”  That’s what he said in 2008.

 

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day.  And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

 

Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work.  Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed.  Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty.  Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life.  Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.

 

So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

 

The first troubling sign came with the stimulus.  It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule.  It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.

 

It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.

 

What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus?  More debt.  That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

 

Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent.  You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.

 

But this president didn’t do that.  Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.

 

Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.

The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over.  That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.

 

And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.

 

You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money.  They needed more.  They needed hundreds of billions more.  So, they just took it all away from Medicare.  Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.  An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for.  The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.

 

In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville.  My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and moved in with Mom and me.  Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.

 

We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my Mom today.  Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it.  A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.

 

So our opponents can consider themselves on notice.  In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work.  Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it.  Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate.  We want this debate.  We will win this debate.

 

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

 

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis.

 

It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

 

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

 

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new.  Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made.  He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.”  He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

 

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House.  What’s missing is leadership in the White House.  And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old.  The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?

 

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time.  Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.

 

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.  One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

 

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report.  He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

 

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems.  How did the president respond?  By doing nothing – nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.

 

So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing.  In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

 

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.

 

My Dad used to say to me: “Son.  You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.”  The present administration has made its choices.  And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

 

And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time.  But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.

 

After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.

 

My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my Dad died.  She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison.  She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business.  It wasn’t just a new livelihood.  It was a new life.  And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small businesswoman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past.  Her work gave her hope.  It made our family proud.  And to this day, my Mom is my role model.

 

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing.  All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere.  A lot of heart goes into each one.  And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place.  Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning.  Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them.  After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit.  What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

 

We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

 

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less.  That is enough.  The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.

 

I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp.  What gave Jack that incredible enthusiasm was his belief in the possibilities of free people, in the power of free enterprise and strong communities to overcome poverty and despair.   We need that same optimism right now.

 

And in our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity.  Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side.  Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known.

 

President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record.  But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

 

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.  Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now.  And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

 

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

 

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

 

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio.  When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life.  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.  That’s what we do in this country.  That’s the American Dream.  That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

 

By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration.  A challenger must stand on his own merits.  He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.

 

We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I.  And, in some ways, we’re a little different.  There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies.  I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.

 

A generation apart. That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter.  Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by.  And we both know it can be that way again.

 

We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.

 

Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not.  He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

 

He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.

 

Mitt and I also go to different churches.  But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example.  And I’ve been watching that example.  The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

 

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed.  We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope.  Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

 

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone.  And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.  The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

 

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society.  They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding.  They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

 

The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms.  They are protecting us right now.  We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them.

 

The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders.  And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near.  So here is our pledge.

 

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

 

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

 

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

 

The work ahead will be hard.  These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this.  Together, we can do this.

 

We can get this country working again.  We can get this economy growing again.  We can make the safety net safe again.  We can do this.

 

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country.  Join Mitt Romney and me.  Let’s give this effort everything we have.  Let’s see this through all the way.  Let’s get this done.

 

Thank you, and God bless.

Lindsay Lohan Banned From Chateau Marmont After Skipping Out On Nearly $50K Hotel Bill

via Business Insider: 

Lindsay Lohan has been banned from hip Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont after not paying a $46,350.04 tab following her 47-day stay.

Lindsay Lohan Chateau Marmont

Lohan, who had been living at the hotel off Sunset Boulevard during June and July, “was ordered to get her stuff out by 12 PM August 1.  She was then banned from the entire property,” reports TMZ.

TMZ also obtained a letter from the hotel’s General Manager, Philip Pavel, stating they had repeatedly asked Lohan for payment, but never received a dime.

According to an itemized bill for Lohan’s stay that TMZ managed to also get their hands on, Lohan’s expenses include:

  • Minibar charges for the 47 days: $3,145.07. The highest daily tab amounts to $502.43.
  • Cigarettes: $686. Lohan purchased 49 packs in 47 days at $14/pack.
  • Chateau Candle: $100.
  • Chateau restaurant: On July 4 alone, Lohan spent $1,992.07 on food and drinks. On top of that, she spent $685.96 that day on room service.

Lohan is now banned from the Chateau’s hotel and restaurant until her tab is paid. To view the entire itemized bill and letter from the hotel’s GMCLICK HERE.

But with some hefty paychecks coming her way this summer, Lohan should be able to foot the bill.

Here’s Lohan’s recent earnings, as reported earlier this month by TMZ, citing “sources directly involved in Lindsay’s finances”:

  • Playboy (December issue but she was paid in 2012) $1 Million.
  • Liz and Dick” Lifetime movie: $300,000.
  • The Canyons, Bret Easton Ellis film: $6,480 (scale).
  • “Scary Movie” (Lindsay is about to sign on:( $200,000

With Lohan reported to rake in over $2 million this year, surely she can cover her Chateau Marmont tab.

And luckily for Lohan, she will not be prosecuted by the DA after being accused Tuesday of stealing $100K worth of jewelry from a friend’s Hollywood home.

 

Kim Kardashian Settles Lawsuit With Old Navy For Using Look-Alike—Here’s Today’s Buzz

via Business Insider: 

Kim Kardashian Old Navy Lookalike

  • Kim Kardashian has settled with Old Navy for an undisclosed amount after the retailer used a look-alike (who happened to date Kim’s ex, Reggie Bush) for an advertising campaign. The reality starlet sued Old Navy last July for millions and according to TMZ, “the company agreed to pay Kim an undisclosed sum based on her look-alike claims. We’re told both sides are pleased with the settlement, though the exact terms of the deal are undisclosed.”
  • In other casting news, Michael Douglas is set to play Ronald Reagan in the $10 million Mike Newell-directed indie “Reykjavik.” The film will take place in 1986 when Reagan and Gorbachev had a productive spa week in Iceland to figure out peace accords.
  • After struggles with infertility, miscarriage and a breast cancer battle, Giuliana and Bill Rancic finally welcome a baby boy named Edward Duke via gestational surrogate.

 

Ann Romney Invited To Officiate Gay Wedding On ‘Modern Family’

via Business Insider: 

After revealing to “Entertainment Tonight” that “Modern Family” is her favorite show, Ann Romney received a personal invitation from show co-creator Steve Levitan to marry Mitch and Cam, the lovable gay couple (played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet) on the hit ABC comedy series.

Mitt Ann Romney

“Thrilled Ann Romney says ModFam is her favorite show. We’ll offer her the role of officiant at Mitch & Cam’s wedding. As soon as it’s legal,” Levitan later tweeted.

Of course, the offer was sarcastic and a jab at the Romney’s public stance on their opposition to gay marriage.

The Romney’s will contribute $4.13 million over the next two years to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—which largely funded Proposition 8 in California, making gay marriage illegal in the state.

The Obamas also cite “Modern Family” as one of their favorite shows, but shouldn’t receive as snarky of a response from the show’s creator, as The President came out in June in support of gay marriage—but has yet to propose legislation on the matter.

The Obamas and Romneys will have a good bit to look forward to in the new season of “Modern Family,” including Gloria’s (played by Sofia Vergara) pregnancy and, of course, the wedding.

 

The GOP’s Behavior At The Convention Makes It Clear That Mitt Romney Will Be Great For The Economy

via Business Insider: 

 

The puzzle pieces continue to fall into place to support the idea that a Mitt Romneypresidency would be great for the economy.

Convention

Back in the Spring, we pointed out that if you believe the economy needs more fiscal stimulus (which is to say: “deficits”) in order to thrive, that Romney would be the better choice than Obama.

If Obama wins, he’s likely to come up against an even more hostile Congress than he has right now.

On the other hand, if Romney wins, the GOP will quickly forget about its lower-spending, anti-deficit stance. That’s because parties in the majority don’t care about deficits. It’s strictly an out-of-power issue. Once Romney is in power, his main focus will be on winning re-election in 2016, and that’s not going to happen with fiscal contraction and an economic slowdown.

In fact, Mitt Romney doesn’t even talk anymore about fiscal contraction. He just talks about tax cuts, without even talking about the revenue neutral aspect. This is really welcome news.

As evidence that fiscal constraint is purely an out-of-party phenomenon, consider that Barack Obama once called it “unpatriotic” to raise the debt ceiling under George W. Bush.

Even the selection of Paul Ryan as Vice President fits this thesis nicely, since Ryan will be a perfect credible emisarry to pitch Romney’s inevitable stimulus to credulous conservatives.

The next reason to think Romney would be great for the economy is his advisors on monetary policy, who tend to be fairly radical. Were Greg Mankiw the Fed chief, he’d be liable to take stimulus measures that would make Ben Bernanke blush.

So from a fiscal and a monetary policy Romney is the way to go: Not only would he be pro stimulus on both, the GOP in Congress would get much softer on the issue, and actually probably forget completely about fiscal consolidation.

But of course, there is always that concern that Romney would be “held to task” by the Tea Party/grassroots types in his party. Maybe this time, rather than rolling over for the president, they’d force Romney to actually follow through with small government ideas.

The GOP convention is telling us that this isn’t an issue.

Tim Carney has a great report explaining how Romney and his people rolled the grassroots activists at the convention, stiffing conservatives on changes to the rules. You can read all the details here about what went down, but as Carney puts it, “it was a railroading.”

So even before the election (and actually even before the technical nomination) Romney is railroading the grassroots.

Also on TwitterTim had another good observation about Paul Ryan’s intellectual journey.

 

image

Tim Carney

 

Put it all together: Romney will be able to push fiscal stimulus, will probably have good monetary policy, and doesn’t feel like he owes a lick to the grassroots.

Morning in America!

Here’s The Paper Bag That Jil Sander Is Selling For $290

via Business Insider: 

Fashion designer Jil Sander is selling this brown paper bag—yes, you read that correctly—for $290, according to couture blog Ecouterre.com.

Jil Sander

The bag is pretty much the same as a regular paper bag that you might receive for free from your local deli.

The main differences seem to be the stitching, that the paper is coated, and—of course!—it carries the Jil Sander logo.

If you really, really like this bag—for heaven’s sake, don’t dump it in the recycling!—you might be interested in the $630 black leather version.

Now get ready to see some beautiful photography of the designer sac papier.

 

It has a “long rectangular silhouette” made from 100 percent coated paper.

You can see the craftsmanship on the stitching.

It has a trendy name, the ‘Vasari.’

Here’s the back of it. The Daily Mail points out that it is “the same cost as about 50 ham and cheddar sandwiches.”

Note the eyelets. All your paper bag ventilation problems are now solved.

Progressive’s Reputation Plummets After Allegedly Defending Killer In Court

via Business Insider: 

Progressive  is still suffering from the fallout after comedian Matt Fisher took to Tumblr to allege that the insurance company defended his sister, a client’s, killer in court.

Not only have thousands of people dropped Progressive since the social media debacle, but YouGov Brand Index, which measures consumer brand perception, says that Progressive took a sharp plunge to its lowest likability score in over four years.

flo progressive

Katie Fisher was killed when a man ran a red light in 2010 and struck her car—he was uninsured at the time, which meant that Progressive would have to cover the costs. Although Progressive said that the driver was defended by Nationwide, Fisher took to the Internet to say that not only was Progressive holding out on payment, but a Progressive lawyer identified himself as such in court and continuously conferred with the defense throughout the trial.

What really did Progressive in for consumer relations was the brash way it responded to Fisher’s claims via social media. When the post went viral, Progressive autotweeted out a generic message over and over again to angry Tweeters: “This is a tragic case, and our sympathies go out to Mr. Fisher and his family for the pain they’ve had to endure. We fully investigated this claim and relevant background, and feel we properly handled the claim within our contractual obligations. Again, this is a tragic situation, and we’re sorry for everything Mr. Fisher and his family have gone through.”

Progressive’s smiling spokesperson Flo, who some suspect will be discontinued due to this massive PR fail, was icing on the cake:

flo progressive twitter

The social media controversy emerged in mid August, and YouGov measured that Progressive’s Buzz score “bottomed out on Thursday, August 23rd with no sign of upturn yet.”

 

chart progressive yougov

YouGov BrandIndex

 

YouGov notes that “the biggest Buzz score gap between Progressive and Nationwide in 2012 before the court case crisis was 6 points on March 14th, with Nationwide ahead 17 to Progressive’s 11 score. Now that margin is 10.”

 

The Biggest Mistake In Paul Ryan’s Factually Shaky Republican Convention Speech

via Business Insider: 

Paul Ryan

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s speechis getting slammed for some pretty heavy inaccuracies.

One line, though, stuck out more than the rest, particularly because it’s Ryan who is attacking President Barack Obama on the subject:

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America. 

That’s Ryan, a leading member of the House of Representatives, attacking Obama for the S&P downgrade of the U.S.’s credit rating in 2011.

That’s a pretty standard attack for Mitt Romney, but it carries a lot more weight coming from Ryan. There were a number of facts that didn’t match up in Ryan’s speech. But unlike other attacks Ryan fibbed Wednesday night — the Janesville, Wisc., GM plant among them — the downgraded credit rating is not exactly a politically savvy move.

Look at who the S&P blames in its statement:

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. Key macroeconomic assumptions in the base case scenario include trend real GDP growth of 3% and consumer price inflation near 2% annually over the decade.

S&P downgraded the U.S., in part, because of a revised expectation that the Bush tax cuts would remain in place. They assumed this because of Republicans’ unwillingness to enact any measures raising revenue, and they completely slammed House Republicans — including Paul Ryan — for doing so.

 

WATCH: The Top Five Factual Inaccuracies In Paul Ryan’s Republican National Convention Speech

via Business Insider:

 

Pretty much everyone is shredding Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Conventionon Wednesday night — including Fox News. In a particularly harshly worded takedown, TheWashington Post‘s Post Partisan blog slammed it as “breathtakingly dishonest.”

There’s good reason for this. Ryan’s speech was riddled with inaccuracies, misleading statements and distortions of his record in the House of Representatives. In the spirit of what some others have already done, let’s examine the five most mindboggling.

 

1. The Janesville General Motors plant

What Ryan said:

“A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said:  ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008.

“Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day.  And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”

What actually happened:

Politifact has debunked this one. Obama said in February 2008 that he hoped “this plant will be here for another hundred years.” But the plant effectively closed in December, before he even took office. Dec. 23, 2008, was the last day of production at the plant. The plant stopped making its last line in April, three months after Obama took office.

2. Medicare

This has become a pretty standard method of attack from Romney-Ryan, but here’s what Ryan said, again:

“And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly. 

“You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money.  They needed more.  They needed hundreds of billions more.  So, they just took it all away from Medicare.  Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.”

What actually happened:

Paul Ryan’s budget keeps the billions of dollars of cuts in Obamacare — the only part of the health-care law he doesn’t want to repeal. Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare, but there is little in “cuts” to beneficiaries. The cuts come largely from how much the program pays to providers.

3. The S&P credit rating downgrade

Ryan blamed Obama for the S&P’s downgrade of the U.S.’s credit rating. Here’s a full breakdown of the issue, which is particularly strange because the S&P blamed House Republicans for the downgrade because they were not open to any new measures that would raise revenue.

4. The debt commission

What Ryan said:

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.  One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report.  He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

What actually happened:

This is another particularly strange method of attack because of how much it leaves out. Ryan forgot to mention that he was on that bipartisan debt comission he referred to as “they/them.” That would be the Simpson-Bowles (or Bowles-Simpson) commission. And Ryan also forgot to mention that he voted against their “urgent report” himself.

5. The stimulus and ‘protecting the weak’

What Ryan said:

“The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.  […]

“We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone.  And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.  The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

What actually happened:

Four times, Paul Ryan and his office requested stimulus money from the Obama administration for his district. He got that stimulus money.

As for his overall theme of “protecting the weak” — which goes along with how ordinary people were “shafted” by the stimulus and the Obama administration’s policies — the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 62 percent of Ryan’s budget cut low-income programs. That includes $2.4 trillion in cuts to Medicare and $134 billion in food-stamp program cuts.