Romney Picks Anti-Human Rights Zealot Paul Ryan as VP
By Ellen Komp, Cannabis Culture - Wednesday, August 15 2012
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, 42, has been named as Vice Presidential pick by Republican Mitt Romney. Ryan, who has a terrible record on human rights, been making waves as head of the House Budget Committee, with yet another a plan to cut taxes on the rich and roll back social programs.
Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi recently called Ryan, "the Republican Party's latest entrant in the seemingly endless series of young, prickish, over-coiffed, anal-retentive deficit Robespierres they've sent to the political center stage in the last decade or so."
A former fitness instructor, Ryan was voted "Biggest Brown-Noser" by his graduating class in 1988. First elected to congress at the age of 28, Ryan has made Ayn Rand "required reading in my office for all my interns and my staff."
Ryan opposes enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes, and voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. He voted to ban federal health coverage that includes abortion, against letting shareholders vote on executive compensation, and for barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, among other terrible positions.
On the drug issue, Ryan voted to prohibit needle exchange and medical marijuana in DC and is rated -10 by NORML for his voting record. In the 90s, Ryan worked as a speechwriter for Empower America, co-founded by the US's first (and worst) drug "czar" Bill Bennett, a position created by current Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.
Romney has called medical marijuana an unimportant issue, and Ryan is similarly dismissive. He recently suggested getting off the topic when Rep. Barney Frank brought up legalization on a pundit show. When pressed, Romney said he'd fight "tooth and nail" against medical marijuana at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire and suggested supporters work for Democrats.
One blogger thought Ryan looked high last year during his answer to Obama's State of the Union speech. It's not impossible. Ryan chided a US News & World Report writer for quoting him recognizing the smell of pot. "I've been to concerts," Ryan the Rage Against the Machine fan said. Maybe we will see a replay of the David Cameron story, when the Tory leader was revealed to have smoked pot as a teenager during his 2007 campaign.
Ellen Komp is Deputy Director of California NORML and a regular contributor to Cannabis Culture. She manages the website VeryImportantPotheads.com and blogs at Tokin Woman.
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