Paul Ryan is a fucking liar

As a hip, modern American, I have come to accept a baseline level of mendacity in my political candidates. I’m fully inured to Orewllian doublespeak, for example. When the House passes a bill specifically to prevent tax increases on people making over a million dollars a year and calls it the Buffett Rule Act, I smirk grimly and move on. Every once in a while, though, some elected figure manages to lie in a way that makes me actually angry. Despite my jaded exterior and desire to focus on cat videos, I am occasionally overwhelmed by that rage which comes when a smug person attempts to deceive you by offering to help. Yesterday, Paul Ryan got me. Video after the jump.

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Friday links! Dubious pleasures edition

So much of what makes us feel good makes us feel bad on further consideration. It’s as if we had two selves: one who experiences pleasure in the short term, on a timeline of about three seconds, and one who wants only to live abstemiously in retrospect. It so happens that self #1 is located entirely in the past, and self #2 keep scolding us for associating with him. Today is Friday, and the internet has spent all week delivering us stuff we probably should not like so much. The past is a garden of dubious pleasures.Won’t you wish you hadn’t frolicked in it with me?

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Close Readings: Paul Ryan walks out on local TV reporter


Paul Ryan and this reporter from Michigan’s WJRT manage to pack an impressive amount of hostility into 90 seconds. My sense of any given Ryan interview is colored by the fear that he is going to lunge forward and drink my blood, but he seems not to have handled this one well. The abrupt end, followed by his staffer’s genius attempt to cover the camera lens with a piece of paper, overshadows what he actually says. But what he says is kind of awful—long quote after the jump.

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Friday links! Bracing discoveries edition

You will understand soon enough.

Depending on your attitude toward philosophical idealism, pretty much everything that can be known is out there, waiting to be discovered. Like the word “discovery,” knowledge has little meaning apart from a human subjet to know it, but knowledge as object—the location of your old apartment keys, what went wrong with Amelia Earhart’s plane, the mass of an undiscovered planet—is out there, waiting to be figured. Today is Friday, and the weekend, defined by possibility and inactivity, is upon us. Who knows what the future will reveal? I’m still trying to catch up with the past. Won’t you look back forward with me?

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This fucking guy

Paul Ryan says whatever to some votes at the Iowa State Fair.

Paul Ryan has been directly involved in the 2012 general election only a short time, but he seems bent on racking up as many fact-check stories as he can by November. Speaking to an audience at East Carolina University, Ryan claimed that 1.4 million businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and that the economy under Obama has been worse than under Carter. Quote:

The president can say a lot of things and he will. But he can’t tell you that you’re better off. Simply put, the Jimmy Carter years look like the good old days compared to where we are right now.

“Simply put” is a verbal signal Ryan uses to warn his family to stop listening when he is about to lie, like when Sarah Palin says “gee” or “the.” It turns out that around 48,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy last year, not 1.4 million. It also turns out that fact checkers will jump all over a claim re: quantitative data that can be found on the internet within 30 seconds, and they did.

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