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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

• • Mark Sanford’s Coming Defeat 
Atlas Shrugged  | An Ayn Rand devotee, [Sanford] exited the governor’s mansion in disgrace a year and a half after his “hiking the Appalachian Trail” story fell apart.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

• • Context for Margaret Thatcher's 'There is No Such Thing as Society' Remarks 
Individualism  | Critics often quote Thatcher as saying, "There is no such thing as society." This quote is supposed to confirm Thatcher as an anti-social radical individualist of the Ayn Rand distemper. She was no such thing, as the full quote in all its context amply corroborates.

Friday, April 05, 2013

 Did My Taxes Go Up? I Hadn’t Noticed. 
Atlas Shrugged  |Going Galt  | The notion was that putting [...] taxes on the rich and middle-class, taxing income and investments, at a time when the economy was going at a painfully slow rate, would cause people to stop spending and investing, go Galt, and send the economy into a recession. To read the Wall Street Journal editorial page, you would have thought Hugo Chavez had been named to succeed Barack Obama. But three months into this new experiment in extremely mild socialism, it seems like Americans are generally shrugging off the tax increases.

Monday, March 25, 2013

• • The GOP’s Three Fiscal Lies 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | The GOP is advancing three crucial lies: that we have to balance the budget; that public investment at this point is irresponsible; and that if we do slash spending and balance the budget, jobs will come. It’s all nonsense. In fact every assertion is the exact opposite of the truth. So why do they say it? Different reasons. I think someone like Ryan must actually believe all this. He is such an ideologue that I assume he wakes up at night after having reread John Galt’s sermon in a cold sweat thinking about debt and inflation and interest rates (the CRS report also explains why these dystopian fears are canards, too).

Monday, March 04, 2013

• • Fox News Interview Shows Mitt Romney Still Doesn’t Get Why He Lost 
If you want to woo African-Americans and Latinos, stop claiming they live off the government dole while rich white people live lives of Ayn Randian self-reliance.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

• • • Make Them Read Rand! A Scheme in Idaho to put Objectivism in Schools 
Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |John Allison  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | An Idaho state senator’s threatened bill mandating that all students read Ayn Rand before graduating caused a storm on the left. But why not, asks Michael Moynihan. It might just rid us of her noxious prose for good.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

• • Libertarians for Compulsion 
Atlas Shrugged  | You will read Ayn Rand, you whim-worshipper!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

 There Will Be No Budget Deal 
Capitalism  | I don’t think it should be so hard for normal people not in the grip of Randian mania to understand that huge budget cuts will lead to massive layoffs that will in turn do severe damage to the economy. In fact it completely stands to reason.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

 Gary Shteyngart: How I Write 
[Q:] What are some books that consistently make you laugh? [A:] Anything by Ayn Rand.

Monday, December 17, 2012

• • Michael Tomasky on the Ridiculousness of Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio 
Capitalism  |Paul Ryan  | Republicans: You lost. Pretty badly, in turns out, the more we see these official results come in (just yesterday, Obama’s margin of victory in Ohio went from roughly 103,000 to 166,000). Your ideas are unpopular. Americans don’t want them. And they do not work. The rising tide of the free market does not lift all boats. Ryan—you don’t do a good job of laying out that “vision” because there is no vision. A man who makes his staff read Ayn Rand and got into politics because of her doesn’t have a vision for poor people, or at least a positive one. Either that, or he has an exceedingly poor grasp of that sententious drivel he’s making those poor saps read.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

 Denialists, Whiners, and Wackjobs 
Paul Ryan  | If Paul Ryan wants to see a person responsible for Mitt Romney’s defeat, he needn’t travel to America’s urban areas; he just needs to look at the cocky, callous Ayn Rand disciple posing in those embarrassing workout photos.

Monday, November 26, 2012

• • The Innate Conservatism of Comics: ‘Marvel Comics: The Untold Story’ by Sean Howe 
[Steve] Ditko, Spider-Man’s original artist, was a doctrinaire Objectivist who to this day prints up small runs of comics expressing his anguish at living in a world where most people fail to realize that life is a contest between morally absolute positions.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

 Don’t Believe The Hype 
Paul Ryan  | Rep. Paul Ryan, now rested and removed from the vice presidential campaign, is back in the House and set to play a leading role in the talks, The New York Times reported on Monday. This does not bode well, since Ryan, the Randian situational deficit hawk, opposed the Bowles-Simpson Commission’s deficit-reduction plan, even though he was a member.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

 Welcome to the Twilight Zone 
To accept and understand what happened in this presidential election, Republicans will need to face what their parallel political universe has wrought. In the past two election cycles, the elevation of far-right candidates—including Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock—has cost the Republicans at least five Senate seats they would have otherwise won. The deeper costs come from the insular arguments and the elevation of figures like Ayn Rand into an alternative canon.

Friday, November 09, 2012

• • • Wanted: Republican Literature 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Capitalism  |Egoism  |Paul Ryan  |Image  | Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, is often the first overtly political text that a young right-winger picks up. The book presents a nightmare: socialists have taken over, and they keep anyone the least bit creative hamstrung with regulations. America is drooping into decrepitude, so the world’s most brilliant industrialists are going underground in protest. Plutocrat sweethearts Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden join the movement as the masses clamor for revolution. Will the natural aristocracy assume its rightful place? The message is simple: the world is filled with jealous mediocrities. Be your selfish self and ignore them. Rand’s sentiment is one that many, including America’s president, find adolescent.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

• • David’s Bookclub: Hard Times 
Atlas Shrugged  |Egoism  |Going Galt  | Charles Dickens' Hard Times is very much a novel of its times, and yet page after page seems written as a direct commentary on our own. It's not Dickens' finest work, but it may be one of his most clairvoyant. Published in 1854, it reads in large parts as a prebuttal of a novel published almost exactly a century later, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

 Randian Romneys Don’t Win Elections 
Mother Jones' David Corn published a devastating story today: video of Mitt Romney explaining his belief that all America's poor and working class citizens will reflexively vote for Barack Obama. As my headline suggests, the language was Randian, and the political sensibility vacant.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

• • • Obama Shrugged 
Atheism  |Ayn Rand Institute  |Atlas Shrugged  |The Fountainhead  |Capitalism  |Don Watkins  |Individualism  |Paul Ryan  | Both Obama and the heroes in Rand’s novels aim to live by example, pursue their vision with little to no compromise. In some ways, Barack Obama could be considered the Howard Roark of presidential politics. When I contacted the Ayn Rand Institute to discuss this idea, Kurt Kramer, the organization’s media-relations representative, promptly replied to my inquiry: “I don’t think you’d be willing to print anything we would say about that. We believe that Rand would not view Obama as heroic in any way.” When I assured him that The Daily Beast was nonpartisan, he directed me to Don Watkins, a fellow at the institute and coauthor of the forthcoming book Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government.

Friday, August 24, 2012

• • • When Ayn Rand Is of No Use 
Atheism  |Atlas Shrugged  |Paul Ryan  | Our modern-day Rand devotees confuse me in numerous ways, not least the conundrum that she could be (to them) so powerfully and emphatically right about economics but so wrong about everything else. Because after all, Rand was pro-abortion--at a time when most of society didn’t even say the word--and she was a devout atheist, more atheist than even Phyllis Diller (apparently true, look it up). So here we have Paul Ryan, who makes his staffers read that execrable and tedious John Galt nonsense, but who is as right-wing a Catholic as Scalia, and who believes that life begins at French kissing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

• • • Paul Begala on How With Ryan, Romney Has the Plutocrat Ticket 
Atheism  |Egoism  | Ryan's budget is the fiscal embodiment of the deeply evil, wholeheartedly selfish so-called philosophy of Ayn Rand. In fact, Ryan has described Rand as "the reason I got involved in public service," and reportedly makes staffers read her works.