Sent: Monday, September 03, 2012 9:53 AM
PROTEST THE BI-PARTISAN DRIVE FOR WAR WITH IRAN
WHY: The drums for war are getting louder, and the politics are interwoven into the American presidential election. We must stand up and be counted.
WHAT: Protest Democrat and Republican drive for war with Iran.
Demonstration at Westwood Federal Building.
WHEN: Thursday evening, Sept. 6; 4 to 7 PM
WHERE: Westwood Federal Building, Corner of Wilshire and Veteran. (1 block east of the 405-freeway. Parking available in visitor area of Federal Building parking lot.)
SPONSOR/ENDORSE: LA Jews for Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Friends Service Committee, Friends of Sabeel, LA Laborfest, Interfaith Communities United in Justice and Peace.
Our signs will counter the misinformation driving an attack on Iran, including:
· Addressing the alleged military threat to Israel and the U.S. if Iran eventually develops a nuclear bomb.
· The real threat of an Iranian bomb is that it will not be used and therefore weaken U.S. and Israeli hegemony in the region.
· Pointing out that American and Israeli intelligence agencies both report that Iran has not decided to build a bomb.
· Stating American and Israeli threats to attack Iran are actually pushing Iran closer to making a bomb.
· The United States threatens Iran by surrounding it on all sides with 42 military bases, some of which have deployed nuclear bombs.
· Israel threatens Iran by threatening to attack its nuclear facilities.
· Calling for a Middle East nuclear-free zone that includes Israel and the United States
Please send suggestions to info@LAJewsforPeace.org.
Make and bring your own signs.
Organizations are invited to cosponsor the demonstration; and you are welcome to join as an individual. Please freely distribute this announcement.
INFORMATION: info@LAJewsforPeace.org or 562-694-1637
This would have been an apt comparison even before the curious story of Mr. Ryan’s own marathon came to light. Still, that’s quite a story, so let’s talk about it first.
It started when Hugh Hewitt, a right-wing talk-radio host, interviewed Mr. Ryan. In that interview, the vice-presidential candidate boasted about his fitness, declaring that he had once run a marathon in less than three hours.
This claim piqued the interest of Runner’s World magazine, which noted that marathon times are recorded — and that it was unable to find any evidence of Mr. Ryan’s accomplishment. It eventually transpired that Mr. Ryan had indeed once run a marathon, but that his time was actually more than four hours.
In a statement issued by a spokesman, Mr. Ryan tried to laugh the whole thing off as a simple error. But serious runners find that implausible: the difference between sub-three and over-four is the difference between extraordinary and perfectly ordinary, and it’s not something a runner could get wrong, unless he’s a fabulist who imagines his own reality. And does suggesting that Mr. Ryan is delusional rather than dishonest actually make the situation any better?
Which brings us back to the real issues of this presidential campaign.
Obviously nobody cares how fast Mr. Ryan can run, and even his strange marathon misstatement wouldn’t be worth talking about in isolation. What makes this incident so striking is, instead, the way it resonates with the essential Rosie-Ruizness of Mr. Ryan’s whole political persona, which is built around big boasts about accomplishments he hasn’t accomplished.
For Mr. Ryan, as you may recall, has positioned himself as an icon of truth-telling and fiscal responsibility, while offering policy proposals that are neither honest nor responsible. He calls for huge tax cuts, while proposing specific spending cuts that, while inflicting immense hardship on our most vulnerable citizens, would fall far short of making up for the revenue loss. His claims to reduce the deficit therefore rely on assertions that he would make up for the lost revenue by closing loopholes that he refuses to specify, and achieve further huge spending cuts in ways that he also refuses to specify.
But didn’t the Congressional Budget Office evaluate Mr. Ryan’s plan and conclude that it would indeed reduce the deficit? I’m glad you asked that. You see, the budget office didn’t actually evaluate his plan, because there weren’t enough details. Instead, it let Mr. Ryan specify paths for future spending and revenue, while noting — in what sounds to me like a hint of snark — that “No proposals were specified that would generate that path.”
So Mr. Ryan basically told the budget office to assume that his plan would slash the deficit, then claimed the resulting report as vindication of his deficit-slashing claims. Sorry, but that’s the policy equivalent of sneaking into a marathon near the finish line, then claiming victory.
Still, Mitt Romney, not Mr. Ryan, is the presidential candidate, although that’s sometimes hard to remember. So how does Romney/Ryan differ from Ryan alone? It’s worse. Like the Ryan plan, the Romney plan offers huge tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy, while pledging to offset these cuts by closing unspecified loopholes; but Mr. Romney adds to the implausibility by also demanding higher defense spending and eliminating the Medicare cost savings contained in Obamacare. Realistically, the Romney plan would explode the deficit, not reduce it.
Yet Mr. Romney boasts about his fiscal responsibility; in Tampa he accused President Obama of hurting the economy with big deficits (while also declaring that Mr. Obama was destroying jobs by cutting military spending — go figure), then declared that “We will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.” Yep, he’s another Rosie Ruiz Republican.
So what is this election about? To be sure, it’s about different visions of society — about Medicare versus Vouchercare, about preserving the safety net versus destroying it. But it’s also a test of how far politicians can bend the truth. This is surely the first time one of our major parties has run a campaign so completely fraudulent, making claims so at odds with the reality of its policy proposals. But if the Romney/Ryan ticket wins, it won’t be the last.
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