By Matthew Rothschild

The crowd of senior citizens at the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) conference wasn’t buying what Paul Ryan was selling today.

He was selling the same old malarkey, and they roundly booed him for it.

They booed him when he said that “the first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare.” (Ryan was using Orwellian speech because he doesn’t want a stronger Medicare; he wants to destroy and privatize Medicare.)

They booed him when he criticized the President for cutting $716 billion from Medicare, though Ryan refused to acknowledge that these cuts don’t come out of the hides of any Medicare recipients. Nor did he acknowledge that he himself relied on the same cuts in his own budget numbers.

They booed him when he said the President “put his own job security over your retirement security.” Obama has done nothing to imperil the retirement security of the elderly; in fact, he is closing the donut hole on prescription drug costs, which will increase their security and the money in their pockets. Ryan got what he asked for when he ladled out this slop at the AARP. But he smugly went on, after the boos, as if he’s got all the answers and those old folks are just out of it. Those boos, though, may be ringing in his ears by about 8:30 p.m. on November 6.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Ann Romney, Paul Ryan Spin Themselves Dizzy in Defending Romney."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter



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It's finally setting in: Trump is Trump and he’s not going to change because of winning the nomination.

The new head of the Environmental Protection has a history of suing the agency for trying to do its job.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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