Tag Archives: Ayn Rand

He said that. Really [UPDATED**]

Paul Ryan is very concerned.

In a USA Today column, the Ayn Rand acolyte says that Obama is  “interested in tax reform for corporations, not for families or small business,” adding “the President claims his economic agenda is for the middle class, but it’s actually for the well-connected.”

He said that. Really.

I learned this from Dana Milbank who, in his column this morning, sees other Republicans picking up on that meme.

To further illustrate that they can say pretty much anything and be taken seriously, there’s this:

John Boehner, asked at a news conference this week about Obama’s series of speeches on the economy, replied: “If I had poll numbers as low as his, I’d probably be out doing the same thing if I were him.”

He said that. Really.

Milbank comes to the only possible conclusion:

Obama’s that rare socialist who is in bed with big business . . . Republicans haven’t decided whether Obama’s a socialist or a plutocrat, a tyrant or a weakling, arrogant or apologetic.

* I probably don’t have to add this, but it’s irresistible.  A year ago (and probably last week as well) Ryan accused Obama of supporting “a government-run economy” and of ‘denigrating people who are successful”. He charged the president with leading the nation toward a “cradle-to-grave, European style welfare state.”

He said that too. Really.

** UPDATE: My daily alert from The Patriot Post just popped into my mailbox and lookee here: Editor Mark Alexander isn’t aboard with Mr. Ryan. Alexander is offended by those economic policy speeches coming from one “Barack Hussein Obama”:

Obama has been regurgitating the same phony talking points since then, insisting the economy is improving but stirring the class-warfare pot claiming the middle class and poor are not keeping pace. Naturally, he suggests the solution is more taxes and government spending.

Hey, as it says above, whatever works.

“America’s comeback team”

I was wrong. I thought Romney would bypass Ryan. He’s from Congress – a body with an 11% approval rate. He voted with Bush on Medicare D. His budget is unpopular.  He’s aligned with the Tea Party. He’s a Randian.

HIs appeal is narrow, but he will energize a segment of the Republican electorate with a pretty good record of getting the vote out.

Ryan closed his speech with ‘We will be America’s comeback team’. Good line, very good line. If they’re tuned in, that phrase should become central to the campaign from now on.

 

 

Netroots Nation, the liberal media and who’s making the money buddy?

Markos Moulitsas

The Netroots Nation convention (referenced below) was so named by readers of Markos Moulitsas‘ blog, Daily Kos, probably the most influential liberal site in the blogsphere. It’s routinely demonized by the right who have dubbed it – and by extension Markos – The Great Orange Satan (the logo color is orange). Kos has gone from a a lone blogger  – immigrant, veteran, lawyer, author, father, political activist -whose very first sentence in his first blog post (in ’04 I think) was “I am a liberal”, to a community of tens of thousands of activists,  hundred and hundreds of writers and advertising rates that would make The New York Times blush.

I’ve written often – here, and here, and here – about the utter failure of the liberal punditocracy and elected Democrats to make the point that liberal media dominates because it’s what people want and support with their dollars.

A blog is media. Daily Kos is a blog. Daily Kos is liberal and Daily Kos is making money. Lots of money.

It’s more successful than its conservative rivals (except perhaps  The Druge Report which even after a decade plus is still only a primitive blog acting as a news aggregator with a point of view). In any free market the major players are the ones that rake in the bucks because people value the product and pay for it. The media may be liberal, but what’s almost never mentioned is that it’s also   what America reads and watches. And pays for.

Let’s look at movies and compare the box office success of  the  anti-liberal movie Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged with Sicko, Michael Moore’s liberal documentary. Both of these were in limited release.

Atlas Shrugged:  Here’s a report from the Hollywood Reporter:

The man who says he spent $10 million of his own money to bring Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 to the big screen vowed Wednesday to go through with his plans to make the next two installments, even though critics hate the movie and business at movie theaters has fallen off a cliff.

[Producer] Aglialoro said he had to scale down his ambition for the film to be in 1,000 theaters this weekend, so it will likely be closer to 400. During its opening weekend, the movie took in $5,640 per screen but then only $1,890 in its second. Through Wednesday, the film had grossed $3.3 million since opening April 15.

That paper also covered Sicko when it was released in ’07. here

Lionsgate far outpaced the competition this summer, but its biggest hit was the Weinstein Co. co-release “Sicko.” Michael Moore’s harsh and humorous health-care expose took in $24.1 million. Currently neck and neck with “An Inconvenient Truth,” it will pass that film to become the third-highest-grossing nonmusical documentary of all time this weekend, though its purse doesn’t begin to compare with the top-ranking docu, Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” ($119.2 million.)

Liberal media has more reach. Because people pay for it. From an earlier post, I’ll republish this, because it can’t be posted often enough.

FROM Whatever Works in FEBRUARY of 2010 :

That most frequent target of conservative media, The New York Times, reported a circulation (March 2009) of 1,039,031 copies on weekdays and 1,451,233 copies on Sundays. And the venerable Wall Street Journal has equivalent if not higher weekday numbers. But since the Times is perceived to be ‘liberal’ throughout and the Journal is perceived to be conservative only in its editorial pages, they’re not politically opposite. The Journal is a hybrid. So a comparison would not be useful.)

NEWSPAPERS
The Washington Post – A publicly traded company
Daily audience 1,599,900

The Washington Times – A privately held company owned by the Rev. Sun Young Moon
Daily audience 83,511

MAGAZINES
The Weekly Standard – a privately held company
Can’t find circulation numbers, even at their own website, so to keep it fair(ish)
National Review – a privately held company
Weekly circulation 183,000

Time Magazine – A publicly traded company
Weekly circulation 3,400,000

I draw the reader’s attention to which of these publications thrive in the free market and which are rich men’s hobbies.

100 ways to leave your movie

Greg Mitchell at The Nation took the trouble to visit Rotten Tomatoes and see what critics around the planet are saying about Atlas Shrugged, the movie, Part the First which opened today.

A dud. A flop. A disaster. A bore. A waste of time. Not even fun.

Mitchell points out that: 

Somehow, Atlas Shrugged, Part I (yes! more to look forward to!), which opens Friday, has at this writing achieved the rare feat [a 0% rating) . . .  not a single critic to date, from major and minor outlet, high or lowest of low of lowbrow, likes it one bit. 

(Betcha the most famous namesake of them all, Sen. Paul, likes it a lot.)

William F. Buckley did not heart Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand – the only pure capitalist ever to take a second breath. Her novels celebrate self interest and individualism of the sort never seen in the real world. She is long dead, but her devotees seem to be rising from their graves and making themselves heard here and there. Even her novel The Fountainhead just got its second  Her novel Atlas Shrugged has just gotten its first Hollywood treatment.  Fountainhead was memorialized in film decades ago with Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. I am curious to find out how they deal with John Galt’s 7-hour speech? (thanks to our ‘rational Republican’ Sean in the comments for the correction!)

Here’s William F. Buckey – founder of modern conservatism –  in 2003 with Charlie Rose, talking about Rand:

NOTE: Sherry at A Feather Adrift reminds us this morning that wunderkind Rep. Paul Ryan, he of the 2.8% unemployment budget, is a Randian. Elvis save us.

Same as the unions. Exact. Same. Thing.

There can only be one king

There’s a lot of talk these days about The Fabulous Koch Brothers Boys – so much money, so committed to their own Randian libertarian principles. It never rang true with me – all I ever saw in their political activity was a committment to their own bottom line, their own personal wealth. Which is fine, but when that greedy instinct affects the lives of 400 million other people, how can we see it as anything other than base. And yet, and yet . . .

This one is as blatant a dismissal of the public good as I have ever seen. Our national tragedy is that this is possible and that Americans aren’t taking to the streets in the face of such an insult. (Don’t count on much media attention.)

Via The Washington Monthly  ( featured also on The Rachel Maddow Show last night – link above), here are the boys showing true colors.

“In 2007, following a series of scandalous incidents, federal officials created on online consumer-product-safety database, allowing Americans to go online and access free information about the safety records of household products. It passed the House unanimously, sailed through the Senate, and was signed into law by George W. Bush.”

But that was so 2007.

“Why would even the most unhinged Republican reject giving Americans free access to such materials?  (Guess)

“For very little money, the government created an online resource to help families make more informed choices, and create a new incentive for manufacturers to put safe products on the market.

” . . . the Kochs don’t care for the consumer product safety database, so . . .as the Kansas City Star explained, their Congressman, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) of Kansas, “pushed a measure to delay and weaken it. As the Star explained, Pompeo wanted to push off implementation ‘to give Congress a chance to make changes that both he and the business community would prefer’.'”

Because a unanimous Congressional vote and a presidential signature isn’t ‘a chance’.

 ” ‘One would think it hard to find a politician who opposes reducing preventable dangers to children. [Pompeo] has stepped up to this challenge’.”  Pompeo’s proposal, an amendment to the House spending-cut bill, was approved with 227 Republican votes,

Hey,  getting elected is tougher every year. Public be damned. The Howard Rourke twins triumphant.