“Which brings us, weirdly, to the Republican vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan’s decision,” she said, in the midst of the crisis, to speak at the Values Voters Summit, a hard-right conference that features appearances by a a right wing agitator named Frank Gaffney.
Gaffney is an anti-Islamist who trucks in elaborate conspiracy theories, and who authored a 10-part video series called, “The Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Enemy Within,” which makes all manner of wild allegations that the U.S. government has been infiltrated by Islamic extremists, including Secretary of State Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, wife of disgraced congressman Rep. Anthony Weiner.
Earlier this year, Secretary Clinton’s motorcade was attacked in Egypt after Gaffney spread a rumor through right wing websites that Clinton had rigged the Egyptian elections to favor the Muslim Brotherhood. The charges were taken seriously by parties opposed to the Brotherhood in Egypt, resulting in the eruption of violence.
“That’s these guys,” Maddow said of the Values Voters Summit. ”That’s the event Paul Ryan spoke at today.”
Another interesting speaker, whose name is next to Ryan’s in the Values Voters summit is Kamal Saleem, who, in his official bio, is listed as “author, comma, former terrorist.” Saleem claims to be a former Muslim extremist who was converted to Christianity, although, Maddow points out, “the FBI is not at all interested in him.”
Saleem speaks to Christian groups and spins an elaborate conspiracy theory claiming to have been part of a covert Islamic jihad aimed at taking over the U.S. through the university system and President Obama’s administration. Obama, he says, is “secretly praying Muslim prayers when it looks like President Obama is praying to the American flag, he is secretly praying Muslim prayers.” He also claims that if the federal government relaxes immigration laws, “we’ll all be wearing ragheads.”
“As our embassies burned today,” said Maddow, “Paul Ryan spoke today at this event just a little while before Kamal Saleem did.”
$2m Amount VP hopeful Paul Ryan is set to spend on additional campaign ads…for his reelection to the House of Representatives, that is. Just in case Mitt comes up short. source
Ryan, the presumptive Republican vice-presidential candidate, told an audience at Florida’s largest retirement development that Obama’s health care law “puts a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare who are required to cut Medicare in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors.”
It’s a wonkier variation of Sarah Palin’s 2009 assault, which she’s returned to since, on Obama’s “death panels,” which was in turn echoed by Michelle Bachmann’s claim last fall that “15 political appointees will make all the major health-care decisions for over 300 million Americans.” She continued: “I don’t want 15 political appointees to make a health-care decision for a beautiful, fragile 85-year-old woman who should be making her own decision.”
Of course, it’s not true.
So why is the Romney campaign bringing back this bogus vision of faceless technocrats cruelly snatching life from helpless seniors (along with the equally bogus idea that Obama will have “robbed” more than $700 billion from Medicare)? It has a lot to do with seniors, many of whom are learning about Ryan’s plans for the program—and Ryan himself—for the first time after Romney picked the Wisconsin House member as his running mate last month . According to a Pew poll released this week, only 30 percent of people have heard “a lot” about his plan, and 29 percent have heard nothing about it at all.
But that poll and others show that the more people do hear about Ryan’s Medicare reform plan(not to mention the rest of his budget), the less they like it. And while Republicans stress that Ryan’s proposed Medicare changes wouldn’t impact current seniors or anyone entering the system in the next decade, and that even after the change seniors could choose between something like the current system and vouchers, the CBO agrees with Democratic claims that the Ryan plan would place a greater burden on Medicare enrollees.
This aint your father’s Republican Party.