Watching Republicans grapple with their historic drubbing last Tuesday is progressives' new favorite pastime.

There is the Karl Rove meltdown.

And now, there's "numbers guy" Paul Ryan, trying to spin the election results to local TV and newspaper reporters in Wisconsin by explaining that Obama won thanks to massive turnout in "urban areas" (read: places where poor people of color live).

The trouble with Ryan's analysis is that, besides being racist, it's just plain wrong.

"Democrats rejected Paul Ryan and his radical plans in key swing parts of our state -- not what he might call 'urban areas,' and not because of where they lived but because of what they believed," Wisconsin Democratic Party communications director Graeme Zielinksi points out. "Places like Rhinelander and Tomahawk, Eau Claire and Superior."

"These theories about 'urban areas' might comfort Paul Ryan as he confronts the embarrassment of losing not just his home state but also his hometown, but the fact is that Democrats won the war of ideas," Zielinski adds,

So resounding was the defeat for Republicans -- and Budget Committee Chairman Ryan in particular -- there is reason to hope that President Obama and Democrats in Congress won't fall for Ryan's biggest lie: the need to cut entitlements (while maintaining massive tax cuts for the rich) in order to avoid a "fiscal cliff."

"It isn't really a fiscal cliff, it's an austerity crisis. And it is a political creation, not a product of the economy or deficits," Laura Dresser, an economist at the Center On Wisconsin Strategy points out. "The real problem with going over the 'cliff' is that to do so requires too many cuts in too many programs too quickly, throwing water on the small fire of recovery that we have."

"There are times to take on deficits, but in the midst of an anemic recovery is not that time," Dresser adds.

Let's hope Ryan's definitive loss -- in the nation, in Wisconsin, in Janesville, his hometown, even on his home block -- gives the Democrats the strength to hold the line against the rest of his misleading and dangerous fictions.

If you liked this article by Ruth Conniff, the political editor of The Progressive, check out her story "Tammy Baldwin's Victory Caps Historic Night."

Follow Ruth Conniff @rconniff on Twitter.

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Forty years ago the UN General Assembly passed a resolution against "hostile environmental modification techniques...

The beauty and the tragedy of everyday life in a war zone.

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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