Sunday, December 30, 2012

Whitewashing Private Ryan

Stories in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel demonstrate that even after his disgraceful run for VP, Paul Ryan continues to never be wrong in the eyes of some in his hometown media – even when he clearly is.

Ryan's casual (actually, non-existent) relationship with the truth -- and the media inattention to it -- continues.

A PolitiFact Wisconsin story today analyzed this Ryan statement:

"Over $1 trillion" was spent on anti-poverty programs in 2011, enough to "give every single poor American a check for $22,000."

And PolitiFact Wisconsin’s ranking of Ryan on this? “Half True.”

Our grade of Ryan's truthfulness and of PolitiFact Wisconsin’s ranking of Ryan's statement? We give them both a “Pants on Fire.”

PolitiFact's own analysis of the Ryan statement proves Ryan's lack of veracity. PolitiFact’s analysis concludes:

As a sweeping statement, Ryan’s claim is partially accurate, in that roughly $1 trillion was spent on means-tested programs, and if you divided that by the number of people living in poverty, it would amount to roughly $22,000 per person. 
But Ryan mixes apples and oranges, in that the $1 trillion is actually spent on far more people than the 46 million counted as living in poverty. Moreover, much of the money goes to institutions, such as nursing homes and schools, and not directly into the pockets of the poor. [EMPHASIS ADDED]

PolitiFact itself is saying Ryan greatly exaggerated how much was spent on anti-poverty programs and how much of that lower amount goes directly to the poor. He was wrong on both counts. And PolitiFact somehow finds this "half true."

To continue the Ryan whitewash trend, columnist and former Journal Sentinel political writer Steven Walters today calls Ryan a Wisconsin political “winner” of 2013.

Really? Ryan didn't get elected vice-president, the GOP presidential ticket lost his home state and even his own Congressional district, and he did his worst ever in his own Congressional race.

Sure, he’s a household name thanks to the presidential race. But that’s not a good thing. Among most people, he’s a national joke. Show-off photos of him lifting weights, exaggerating (note the trend here on exaggerating) his marathon time, numbers that don’t add up, whiney rabid-dog attacks in speech after speech:  And did we mention -- he didn't get elected vice-president. All this makes Ryan badly tarnished goods.

Don’t believe us? He was once allegedly the D.C. budget expert. And now, where is he on helping prevent or talking for the GOP on the fiscal cliff crisis? Nowhere. What are his chances of being elected president in 2016? We wouldn't bet on him.

Face it, homer media: Ryan has had his day in the sun. Like Icaras, the heat didn't benefit him.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Paul Ryan Trying To Sucker Latinos Through Rep. Gutierrez

You gotta know Paul Ryan's mentality pretty good to understand exactly what he's trying to pull here with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D) of Illinois. I've seen this all before with Ryan when he co-opted the local UAW in Janesville for nearly a decade until he threw them under a bus when he politicized the plight of the Janesville GM Plant. Only then did his hometown and county voters figure out that Ryan never was for them. Finally, for the first time in Ryan's career, he lost his hometown at the ballot box to his democratic challenger.

The same can be said for the Tea Party. Always leery that the tea party would run a congressional candidate against him for his position on TARP and his miserable borrowing and spending record, Ryan co-opted them as well when he attended their rallies during the 2009 health care debates and wowed them with his anti-Obama fascism and "pretend" fiscal conservatism. Paul Ryan really thought the state's Walkerized tea party enthusiasm would defeat Barack Obama and carry him to victory into the White House. Well, that didn't happen and as soon as Ryan was re-installed as the House Budget Chairman, he proceeded to kick two tea party congressman off the committee. Who needs them anymore? Not Ryan.

So when I first read that Rep. Gutierrez said that Paul Ryan had reached across the aisle to work with him on immigration reform, I knew immediately that Ryan is simply looking for a new prop for the next publicity phase in his staged presentation.

Politico Excerpt
“I saw my good friend just coming off running for vice president of the United States, Congressman Ryan, we’re going to see each other next week. We’re talking. He says to me, ‘Luis, I want to do it because it’s the right thing. I don’t want to deal with it from a political point of view.’ I think that’s very, very encouraging,” Gutierrez said on MSNBC.

On Capitol Hill, usually when a politician calls another "my good friend," that is usually code for someone who knows that the only reason why he was approached is because the other guy needs something. From Chicago, the popular Gutierrez was the first Latino from the Midwest elected to Congress. He has also been in Congress for 20 years, so I would think he understands exactly why Ryan injected, "I don't want to deal with it from a political point of view" because THAT is precisely why Ryan breached the subject with Gutierrez to begin with. It's strictly politics my friend. Yes it is.

The simple truth is, Paul Ryan is unconcerned and clueless about blacks, Latinos and minorities. Heck, Ryan doesn't even know the whites in his own neighborhood well enough to understand our struggles and positions to formulate a case of honest representation on our behalf in Congress. To many of us, Congressman Ryan is like an alien from outer space.

Politico Excerpt
Gutierrez said it’s the kind of bipartisan conversations lawmakers need to start having about immigration. And he called the recent rhetoric coming from Republicans and Democrats about immigration reform “flourishing.”

“You know, just think about it, [Ryan] walks up to me – someone that he knows absolutely didn’t vote for him, right, he just lost for vice president of the United States – he walks up to me and what does he say? He says, ‘I want to work with you to make the country better. I want to work with you on immigration reform.

This is beginning to scare me because Ryan did the same thing with Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon who joined Ryan on a proposal to remake Medicare along premium-support lines. In my view, it was a big mistake for Wyden to link his name to any proposal that creates an option out of Medicare. Ryan later attempted to use Wyden as an example of his outreach for bipartisanship.

So there's just no way that he suddenly wants to work on immigration reform with Luis Gutierrez after getting shellacked at the polls by what Ryan racially coded as the urban vote, simply to "make the country better." It's always about Paul Ryan.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Paul Ryan's Final Day Campaigning!

The Onion covered Paul Ryan's final day campaigning as a vice presidential candidate.   It seems like he fit in everything he believes in! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quick Reminder!

Amidst all of the craziness of the presidential election, Paul Krugman had a quick reminder for all of us:

So now that the Unperson/Ryan ticket has lost, Republicans are clearly expecting Paul Ryan to move right back into his previous role as Washington’s favorite Serious, Honest Conservative.
He might get away with it; but I hope not.

The fact is that Ryan is and always was a fraud. His plan never added up; it was never, contrary to what people who should know better asserted, “scored” by the CBO. What he actually offered was a plan to hurt the poor and reward the rich, actually increasing the deficit along the way, plus magic asterisks that supposedly reduced the debt by means unspecified.

His genius, if you can all it that, was in realizing that there was a role — as I said, that of Honest, Serious Conservative — that self-proclaimed centrists desperately wanted to see filled, so that they could demonstrate their bipartisanship by lavishing praise on the holder of that position. So Ryan did his best to impersonate a budget wonk. It wasn’t a very good impersonation — in fact, he’s pretty bad at budget math. But the “centrists” saw what they wanted to see.

Ryan can’t be ignored, since his party does retain blocking power, and he chairs an important committee. But if he must be dealt with, it should be with no illusions. Fool me once …

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paul Ryan - Ignorance on Display!

Madison CBS reporter Jessica Arp, was able to get the first interview with failed VP candidate Paul Ryan:

Some highlights and interpretations:

* "I think the surprise was some of the turnout, especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race," said Ryan,(meaning - we were surprised that the people of color actually voted and were able to vote. They will not make that mistake again!)

* "Mitt didn't pick me for a certain state, he picked me for issues, for governing, for taking on the debt crisis," Ryan said. "We had hoped to win Wisconsin, fought hard for Wisconsin. We cut the president's lead in half, but nevertheless it wasn't enough." (Paul Ryan spent the better part of the last two weeks in WI trying to win and ended up getting beat by 7 points. Paul is on a dont blame me - ditch personal responsibility tour and this was the first stop. There is a reason he did not run for Senate in Herb Kohl's seat.)

* "We ran a campaign on big ideas" Paul Ryan - (Although he still hasnt told us the big ideas that he ran on!)

* "we clearly did not lose the election on the issues, especially Medicare" Paul Ryan (Tell that to the voters of Florida).

* "My dad always said you are part of the problem or part of the solution. I feel its my job to be part of the solution." Paul Ryan (wow did you let your dad down)

* "as you know, the House republicans, we have offered budget after budget. We have offered specific plans to prevent the fiscal cliff. We have not seen any leadership from the President on that. Yet." Paul Ryan. (President Obama SPECIFICALLY campaigned against the Paul ryan budgets and the American people spoke LOUD AND CLEAR).

* "Ryan said twenty times a day he had to hand sanitize" Jessica Arp. (the King is disgusted when he has to associate with the Plebes) Cross posted @ Cogdis.

Ryan's Last Hurrah?

No, Paul Ryan is not sitting alone in a movie theater watching Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, getting his popcorn salty with bitter tears of defeat. He's out hunting (literally)... and looking for revenge and couldn't care less that half the pundits in DC blame his extremism for Romney's loss and for the thrashing the GOP took in congressional races. [He claims it wasn't the ideas he culled from Ayn Rand's childish novels that cost the GOP the election but too many colored people voting-- i.e, what he terms "the takers" rather than "the makers."] And believe me, Wall Street still has high-- very high-- hopes for him and his delusional admirers are as firmly in his camp as ever.

This was the main page Blue America used to raise money for House candidates this cycle but it was far from the only page. We had one I was especially fond of called Stop Paul Ryan... and that's a page that goes beyond candidates and cycles. That's a page about ending the political career of the biggest danger facing this country: Paul Ryan. I have every reason to believe Rob Zerban will run against him in 2014. Rob did better than anyone has ever done against Ryan and even beat him in his hometown of Janesville. Rob drew 157,721 votes (43.4%) to Ryan's 199,715 (54.9%). The DCCC adamantly refused to help Zerban and although he met every criterion they threw his way in the hopes of eliminating him, Steve Israel just kept pumping money into hopeless Blue Dog races in districts where no Democrat will win and ignored Zerban. One of the lies the DCCC spouts is that they will target Republicans who fall below 55% in the previous election. That will be the case with Ryan in 2014.

But I have no doubt Steve Israel will never betray his Wall Street donors (who are the same as Ryan's Wall Street donors) by targeting Ryan. It just will.not.happen-- not while Steve Israel is chairman of the DCCC. Israel went so far as to personally call big Democratic donors and demand they not contribute to Zerban's campaign. We're keeping that Stop Paul Ryan page open and I urge you to consider giving regularly-- or at least whenever Ryan does something bad-- which will amount to even more than regularly. This cycle, the money that was contributed on that page to the Blue America PAC went directly into several billboard campaigns, a Super Bowl radio ad and into over two dozen newspaper ads, mostly in Rock County where Zerban beat Ryan 20,902 (52%) to 18,826 (46%). Zerban also won Kenosha County by the same margin.

As in many of the races Blue America worked hardest on, what we built will continue to grow in southeast Wisconsin. And Ryan's day of reckoning draws closer and closer. The GOP rules dictate that he has to leave his seat as chair of the House Budget Committee. There's no chance that will happen. The man who pushed through the TARP bailout for Bush, the hero of the ignorant teabaggers, will be granted an exemption so he can continue working on an agenda that is so destructive to the imbeciles who most strongly and noisily support him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ryan Gripes About Urban Voters; Does That Include Janesville?

Ryan says urban voters - - today's code for "those people" - - cost him the election.

So how does he explain that he and Mitt lost Janesville by 25 points?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Political Life just got tougher for Paul Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan can no longer hide behind his superficial "local boy" image. He's been found out; he lies and isn't the wonk we thought he was. The media spotlight revealed a huckster, who's convention speech will forever be remembered as the most dishonest in history.

His road map depends on job increases and decent pay, two shaky area's that has seen some dramatic ups and downs. If that's what makes Ryan's vision work, and drives his base of support, then voters are amazingly naive or just plain stupid.

Kenosha's Rob Zerban put together an effective campaign, one I hope he repeats in a few years. He's crashed Ryan's gate and if given a chance to debate him, would trash Ryan's purely unworkable ideological budget. The press oddly thinks Ryan is more powerful than ever. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 Here's Sly in the Morning with John Nichols talking about a Zerban press release detailing the final vote counts in Ryan's home town.


Ryan's 11-point victory Tuesday was down nearly 20 points from his previous seven wins in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional DistrictA Smart Politics review of Wisconsin election data finds Paul Ryan won his narrowest ever congressional contest in 2012 - nearly 20 points closer than his average victory margin during his previous seven wins since 1998.

Representative Ryan defeated Democrat Rob Zerban by just 11.5 points - down from 29.3 points four years ago when Obama won Wisconsin by double digits.

Paul Ryan's Symbolism!

This from Rob Zerban:

I am thrilled that the American people have voted tonight for four more years of progress — for a President who wants to expand the American Dream, open new doors of opportunity, and secure a strong future for middle-class families across our country. Tonight, that should give us all cause for celebration.
And in the Senate, we’re going to have a tremendous, progressive champion in Tammy Baldwin!
I’m disappointed to tell you that we didn’t prevail tonight in this individual election against Paul Ryan. But I am so proud of the race we ran and all that we’ve accomplished.

When we first started this campaign, no one thought this district could be a real battleground. That we could force Ryan to dive deep into his warchest of special interest money. That we could hold Ryan accountable on his destructive Kill Medicare budget plan.

But we were determined. And bit by bit, our campaign grew from a ragtag group working out of my living room to a real, professional operation that gave our district hope, that for the first time in a long time, we could defeat Paul Ryan.

That was thanks to you, because our money wasn't coming in from Wall Street or corporate lobbyists. Instead, it was coming in from you. This campaign became a national grassroots movement powered by regular folks across the country, who believe in their own ability to change things for the better.

Our campaign was built by seniors on Social Security and Medicare, students on Pell Grants, and hard-working middle class families who chipped in $5 or $10 -- whatever they could to help us defeat Paul Ryan.  In fact, one number says it all: 96% of the contributions received by this campaign were less than $100 each

So we must be proud of this campaign and this movement we’ve built together. And we must not allow these efforts to have been in vain because the people of the First District deserve representation that belongs to them, not to the moneyed and powerful special interests. Because this fight was never about a single election or a single person. This campaign was about the middle class, working people, and the American Dream itself.

You have my word, I will remain a part of that fight.

Earlier tonight, I left a message for Paul Ryan to concede this election. But there is a grander, much larger battle ahead of us – and that battle, I do not concede.

Sincerely, thank you for all that you have done,

Paul Ryan just won the closest election of his career, and could not take the time to take the call from the person who represented them.   Looking at the numbers, Paul Ryan lost his hometown and his home county decidedly.   In fact, had the republicans not redistricted so unethically, and helped give Ryan a Waukesha padding, he would have lost his seat!   Yet in the end Paul Ryan thought so little of his opposition and opponent that he could not be bothered to take the call.    

Paul Ryan does not now, nor has he ever, represented the people of WI.  We lost a huge opportunity to make our state better and have the 1st Congressional District actually be represented in Congress by not electing Rob Zerban.    

Let's not make the same mistake in 2014! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Republican Thugs - Paul Ryan Style!

Cross Posted @ Cog Dis

We all know what happens when you speak the truth about Paul Ryan (R- The Capitol):


We all know last weekend, Paul Ryan staged a photo op at a closed down homeless shelter, where he cleaned dirty dishes and took pictures like he cared.   The director of the homeless shelter prop that rAYN used, was not happy!

He added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”
 “Had they asked for permission, it wouldn’t have been granted. … But I certainly wouldn’t have let him wash clean pans and then take a picture,” Antal said.

The Director was not interested in being anyone's political prop from any party and he let that be known.  He had a job to do after all, feeding the homeless!

However, no one tells the truth about Paul Ryan and gets away with it!!    The Soup kitchen in Ryan's, clean the clean dishe,s photo op is now facing a major backlash!! 

Ryan may have suffered a few late-night jokes, but the fallout for the soup kitchen appears to be far more bruising. Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, confirmed that donors have begun an exodus in protest over Ryan's embarrassment. The monetary losses have been big. "It appears to be a substantial amount," Antal said. "You can rest assured there has been a substantial backlash."

Antal says he can't give an actual dollar amount. "I can't say how much [in] donations we lost," he said. "Donations are a private matter with our organization."

Antal's charity represents the kind of organization that conservative Republicans might champion. But that was before the Ryan incident went viral a few days ago. According to The Washington Post, Antal said that the moment should never have happened. He told the newspaper that the photo-op was not authorized and that the campaign had “ramrodded their way” inside.
OOPS!  This is Paul Ryan's world, where he wants to go, he goes!   So Mr. Antal(and the homeless people he serves) HAVE to be taught a lesson!! At least the republican's making the threats to the unpaid soup kitchen director and volunteers are remaining anonymous! 

Ryan supporters have now targeted Antal and his soup kitchen, Antal said, including making hundreds of angry phone calls. Some members of Antal's volunteer staff have had to endure the barrage as well, he said. "The sad part is a lot of [the callers] want to hide behind anonymity," he said, adding that if someone leaves their name and number he has tried to return their call. In addition to phone calls, people have posted a few choice words on the charity's Facebook wall, including statements like "I hope you lose your tax [sic] emempt status," Anyone who is thinking about donations to you should think twice" and "Shame on you Brian Antal!"

On the phone with HuffPost, Antal seemed worn out by all the vitriol. "Honesty, I really don't need any more attention," he said. "I really just want this to go away."

Antal said doesn't understand why donors would take out their frustration over the incident on those who can't afford to pay for their own meals. "I'm a volunteer,' he said. "I receive zero compensation. Withholding donations is only going to hurt the over 100,000 we serve annually."

Sorry Mr. Antal, that is where you have it wrong!  The Paul Ryan Goon squad has no interest in what happens to the 100,000 meals you serve or the people who so desperately need them at all.  They want to send a message to anyone else in the future.


Lesson learned!  So what if a few thousand people are going hungry because of it!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Things Paul Ryan Would Like Locals To Forget

Okay. I began this posting as a brief top five list but in less than an hour I was past ten. It simply got away from me.

1. That Paul Ryan participated in a conspiracy on the eve of Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration with about 15 other republicans who agreed to use congressional power to destabilize the U.S. economy in an effort to install single-party rule, and make Obama a one-term president. Three weeks after the meeting in Washington, Ryan held a similar meeting in Janesville with Wisconsin operatives to discuss the local strategy.

2. That he proposed larger tax cuts than George W. Bush in 2001 meant to lessen at the time, CBO projected SURPLUSES. Today, he proposes larger tax cuts that he claims will lessen CBO projected DEFICITS. The added irony here is that during district townhalls, Ryan has repeatedly insisted that government does not have a revenue problem, yet his primary solution for nearly every budget problem is to play with revenue rates and loopholes.

3. That the person who inspired him to run for public office was Ayn Rand.

“The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”
-- Paul Ryan

4. That he requested federal stimulus funds to foster economic development in his district and like everything else he does, used it as a political wedge or turns it into a political football. After repeatedly claiming he never did request the funds, Ryan reversed and in fact said he did, but not before painting the stimulus as failed policy and the requests as a standard procedure of constituent service.

5. That he refuses to debate his opponents running for our congressional district office. This despite pretending to repeatedly offer challenges to debate his proposals and running political ads showing him interacting with constituents.

6. That he was the architect of Bush’s Social Security privatization efforts. Had he succeeded back then, the system would have suffered devastating losses during the 2008 Bush recession and would have left millions of seniors destitute.

7. That under his watch as representative of the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin, giant global manufacturers General Motors in Janesville and Chrysler in Kenosha closed their doors, taking with them over 3,500 family raising jobs and another 5,000 jobs from satellite operations.

8. That Paul Ryan insisted, "the country cannot afford the $38 billion cost" was the reason he voted against extending unemployment compensation. But soon afterwards, in a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for top income earners - he reversed his vote on UC eventually adding another $858 billion in future debt!

9. That Paul Ryan, the guy who often refers to himself as the area's go-to "federal guy" did not participate with local leaders in the district's most important meetings and plans for economic recovery during what was arguably the most stressful time in its history since the Great Depression. He was simply a no show. You're on your own.

10. Strategy sessions have always been important to Paul Ryan, but not the sort of meetings one would think important for a congressman at a time of national economic duress. While Ryan ignored his constituents at home when they needed his help the most, he was sure to attend strategy meetings in California to coordinate the funding of party activities and the direction of the conservative movement. When Ryan wasn't attending Wall Street junkets, he was attending meetings like these sponsored by the billionaire Koch Bros. Ryan is clearly far more concerned about the next election than he was ever about his constituents or the next generation.

11. That as a member of the House Ways and Means and the GOP House budget chairman, he played a leading role in what most observers call the worst congress in the history of the United States.

12. That he is the architect of a plan to end Medicare as we know it by offering seniors a coupon to purchase private insurance, costing each senior an additional estimated $6,400 a year. Ryan's plan is meant to slowly starve the open-ended benefit system and turn it into a giant collectivist network of wealth redistribution for the private-for-profit health care industry. He aims to eventually do the same to Social Security. Yet, he wants the current Medicare system to remain intact for his mom today, but not for the moms of tomorrow.

13. That his budget proposals titled, “The Roadmap for America’s Future” and the sequel, “Path To Prosperity” are actually budgets without numbers, compassion or morality, but instead are right-wing engineered and ideologically calculated manifestos drawn from the fictional nightmare storybook “Atlas Shrugged.”

14. When a 71-year-old constituent couldn't bear to hear Paul Ryan claim that most of our debt in the future comes from our safety net programs while at the same time proposing to cut revenue by giving the wealthy huge tax breaks, the man jumped up and spoke out against Ryan's line of bullshit. The senior was tackled and arrested by police while the immature congressman began mocking the distraught man.

15. That Paul Ryan voted for TARP, not premised on the nuts and bolts of the proposal, but because he claimed to fear that without it, Obama would have swept through a huge statist agenda because there would have been no support for the free-market system. Yes, Ryan turned to the power of collectivism to save the free markets - exactly what Obama supported. Except Obama did not attempt to politicize the crisis or demonize opponents in the process.

16. On March 6, 2012, a man shot and killed himself at the doorway of Paul Ryan's office here in Janesville. Ryan's staff initially denied having any previous contact with the victim but later reversed their position. It turned out Ryan did have constituent correspondence with the man in 2010 and again in 2011 over dealings about a lawsuit the victim filed against the FBI. Details of Ryan's interactions with the man remain guarded.

17. That Ryan, despite coming from one of America's top dairy states, has consistently opposed and voted against the milk income loss contract, or MILC, program, which supplemented dairy farmers when milk prices fell below a certain level. Small dairy farmers are expected to be hit especially hard and say a tough year has been made worse by Republicans obstruction to pass a new farm bill before the old one expired. Ryan's budget also cuts $30 billion in farm subsidies over the next ten years.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blue America Tear Sheets-- Wisconsin Edition

Yesterday you saw some of the mobile billboards we're running in PA-16 on behalf of Aryanna Strader and in CA-25 on behalf of Lee Rogers. We have a dozen billboards up in southeast Wisconsin that point out the differences between Paul Ryan and Rob Zerban. YOU built those boards... or at least those of you who have contributed to our Independent Expenditure Committee through Act Blue or by sending a check to Blue America at PO Box 27201, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Every cent we're getting in now goes straight into our radio and TV ads. (By the way, there's no limit what you can legally give to the I.E. Committee.)

Yesterday I got another batch of almost two dozen tear sheets from weeklies and shoppers in WI-01 that carried our Lyin' Ryan ad. One paper we've been advertising in is the Shepherd Express, which blankets southern Wisconsin. They didn't just send me a tear sheet. The sent me a whole issue. And the whole issue isn't something any campaign can buy. The drawing up top is the entire cover of the magazine. And the story by Lisa Kaiser is pretty powerful stuff-- and shows the stark differences Wisconsin voters will be choosing between in 3 weeks. First, though... our ad that ran in the Shepherd Express:

Voters in southeastern Wisconsin have a historically important choice on Nov. 6. Longtime Republican Congressman Paul Ryan will appear on the ballot twice, as Mitt Romney’s running mate and as the candidate for the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin.

Ryan is getting a serious challenge for Congress from Kenosha entrepreneur Rob Zerban-- who outraised Ryan this past quarter-- and, nationally, from President Barack Obama, who polls show has been beating the Romney-Ryan ticket in Wisconsin.

Ryan’s campaign did not respond to the Shepherd’s request for an interview about his record, nor has the Janesville native agreed to debate Zerban in the district.

...Here’s how the two agendas compare on taxes, jobs, health care and women’s issues.

  Tax Rates

Romney-Ryan: Romney and Ryan differ slightly on how they would restructure tax rates. Romney pledges to retain all of the Bush tax cuts-- including the tax breaks for those earning a million dollars a year-- and then reduce all tax rates by 20%. And although Romney denied it during last week’s debate, his plan to cut taxes by 20% across the board would cut taxes by $5 trillion, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Those earning more than a million dollars annually would get a whopping $250,000 in extra tax cuts in a Romney administration on top of the $140,000 average tax cut they received under the Bush plan, CAP found. Romney would also cut tax rates by 20% for middle- and lower-income families, but to make his budget “revenue neutral” he would have to do away with some of the tax deductions that many average Americans rely on, such as the mortgage tax deduction and college savings credits. As a result, middle-class families would see an average tax increase of more than $2,000 a year.

Ryan’s House budget goes even further and would get rid of the top three tax brackets so that top earners would pay 25%, and he’d also combine the 15% and 10% rates into a 10% rate. This would far and away give a bigger tax break to millionaires-- about 125 times as big as a tax break for a middle-class couple, CAP reported.

Neither Romney nor Ryan has specified which tax deductions they would eliminate or modify to fill up the $5 trillion tax hole they would create.

Obama-Zerban: “I think a good first step would be to end the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000, which means going back to the Clinton-era tax rates of 39.6% from what they are right now, 35%,” Zerban said.

In August, the Congressional Budget Office calculated that this would save the government $950 billion over a 10-year period; $823 billion from revenue and $127 billion from lower interest payments on the debt needed to pay for the high-earners’ tax break.

Zerban also supports raising tax rates on capital gains and carried interest, profits earned by hedge fund and private equity managers, saying that they should be taxed as regular income. Similarly, Obama has proposed taxing long-term capital gains for high-income earners at 20%, which the Tax Policy Center found would generate about $36 billion between 2013-2022. Obama also wants to tax carried interest as ordinary income.

“I would also close tax loopholes for corporate jets,” Zerban said. “As a small businessman, I didn’t need a corporate jet tax loophole to employ people. This is just common sense.”

  Outsourcing Jobs

Romney-Ryan: Currently, big U.S. corporations are allowed to delay payment of their taxes on their foreign profits, an incentive to invest overseas. But Romney and Ryan would give corporations an even bigger incentive to create low-wage jobs in other countries. Both Romney’s agenda and Ryan’s House budget create a “territorial” tax system, one in which overseas profits are never taxed. Never. Foreign profits would be totally tax-exempt in a Romney-Ryan administration.

CAP calculated that the Romney-Ryan outsourcing incentive and their opposition to the clean energy industry would cost Wisconsin 60,000 jobs.

While Romney and Ryan now oppose the auto bailout (Ryan actually voted for it in Congress), the plan saved up to 28,000 auto-related jobs in Wisconsin, CAP found.

Obama-Zerban: Obama has made “insourcing” a priority by forming an insourcing forum and visiting manufacturers that have brought jobs back to the United States, such as Milwaukee’s Master Lock. In addition, Obama wants to end tax deductions for outsourcing jobs overseas, add incentives for domestic job creators, and create a $2 billion annual tax break for manufacturers to keep them in the United States. His leadership on this issue seems to be working-- in 2010 and 2011, the United States ended its decade-long trend of losing manufacturing jobs by adding them instead. And, of course, his auto bailout helped to save jobs across the country, but especially in hard-hit Midwestern states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Zerban supports insourcing efforts, saying that corporations’ willingness to invest overseas has cost the 1st Congressional District its General Motors jobs in Janesville, its Chrysler plant in Kenosha, and Delphi jobs in Oak Creek.

“I think there should be a penalty paid by corporations that do ship their jobs overseas, companies that are selling their goods and services in the U.S. and not producing them here,” Zerban said. “We need to make sure that they are paying their fair share to support the infrastructure that they are using to conduct their businesses, whether it’s consumption of energy or transferring their goods on our roads and bridges.”

  Health Care and Medicare

Romney-Ryan: The Republican standard-bearers would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) immediately upon taking office. They’ve claimed that no seniors currently on Medicare would be affected by the change. However, ACA is already providing benefits to seniors on Medicare, such as free cancer screenings and diabetes testing. CAP found that more than 325,000 Wisconsin seniors are already benefiting from ACA’s Medicare provisions.

Both support turning Medicare into a voucher program for those under 55, which would make Medicare itself unworkable by reducing the purchasing pool and allowing healthy seniors to opt out of the system, leaving the most expensive consumers on the plan.

Another problem is that the Romney-Ryan vouchers would not keep up with medical costs. If their plan were in place today, seniors would have to pay an estimated $6,400 more in out-of-pocket payments for their medical insurance-- and this amount would likely grow each year.

And the Romney-Ryan plan would force those under 55 to save a shocking sum of money for their health care during retirement. According to CAP’s calculations, today’s 54-year-old would need to save $59,450 for his or her health expenses; a 49-year-old would have to save $124,626; a 39-year-old would have to put away $216,631; and today’s 29-year-old would have to save a whopping $331,170 for health expenses that would have been covered under traditional Medicare.

Obama-Zerban: Zerban supports the ACA, although he said he would have preferred creating a Medicare-for-All system to lower health care costs, reform the health care industry in a holistic manner and increase the risk pool with healthier, younger consumers.

“It’s hurting our economy by not addressing this once and for all in a holistic way,” Zerban said. “Internationally, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage because our companies are paying a disproportionate cost into their health care. Internally, we are not creating the environment that allows a small entrepreneur to survive. People are afraid of being bankrupted by medical bills.”

He said Republicans have never supported Medicare “and their tool to kill it is the Ryan budget.”

Zerban lashed out at the Bush administration’s Medicare Part D-- developed by then-Health Secretary Tommy Thompson and supported by Ryan-- because it prevents the government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower-cost drugs, calling it a “giveaway to Big Pharma.” The program created $8 trillion in unfunded liabilities, according to a report by Bush-era Comptroller General David Walker.

  Women’s Issues

Romney-Ryan: Since the top-of-the-ticket Republicans would repeal “Obamacare,” they’d repeal the consumer protections for women that are built into it, such as free cancer and well-woman screenings and no-pay contraception, and allow for-profit insurance companies to charge women more simply because of their gender. CAP estimated that 967,000 women in Wisconsin would lose these preventative services if Romney and Ryan have their way.

Both candidates have danced around the issue of abortion, too. Romney has said he would end funding for Planned Parenthood and both candidates would like to limit legal abortions and end exemptions that Republicans have supported for years. In Congress, Ryan pushed a “personhood” bill that would grant constitutional protections to fertilized eggs. That would jeopardize in-vitro fertilization treatments, some contraceptives and embryonic stem cell research. Along with Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, Ryan attempted to redefine rape. Neither candidate supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier to sue for illegal, unequal pay.

Obama-Zerban: Both candidates support a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Zerban said he’d like to make them “safe, legal and rare.” Both support the protections built into the ACA for women and both support the Lilly Ledbetter Act. On Jan. 29, 2009, it was the first bill that Obama signed into law.
Obviously Ryan voted for the Ryan Budget. One of the primary reasons Zerban decided to run against him was to oppose that budget and the philosophy of Greed and Selfishness that inspired it. This month the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Democratic staff put together a report on the impact on seniors of the budget on each congressional district in the country. Here's what the Ryan budget would have done, had it passed-- or, if Romney and Ryan are elected along with a GOP Congress, it does pass. Every voter in WI-01 should see this before they cast their ballot. The Ryan budget would:
• Increase prescription drug costs for 9,800 Medicare beneficiaries in the district who enter the Part D donut hole, forcing them to pay an extra $90 million for drugs over the next decade.

• Eliminate new preventive care benefits for 112,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the district.

• Force 112,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the district who are currently enrolled in traditional Medicare to pay thousands of dollars more in premiums to remain in traditional Medicare after Medicare becomes a voucher program.

• Reduce coverage for 12,800 Medicare beneficiaries who rely on Medicaid to supplement their Medicare coverage, potentially denying them over $450 million in health benefits.

• Jeopardize nursing home care for 1,900 district residents whose expenses are paid by Medicaid.

• Raise food costs for 5,900 district households with seniors who rely on food stamps by as much as $1,100 per year or eliminate food assistance for many of these households entirely.

• Threaten affordable housing programs that provide rental support for 5,000 district households with seniors.

• Place 96,000 district seniors at increased risk of fraud, scams, and elder abuse by cutting as much as $6 billion in funding for federal consumer protection and law enforcement.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Paul Ryan: Behind the Scenes

From Andy Cobb & Second City:

The Ryan Effect, With A Side Of Cheddar

The Washington Post says that, win or lose, Paul Ryan is ascending this campaign season - -  so you might think about the Badgers whom Ryan could take with him, or push for DC appointments, if he ever gets the chance.

Here's my list - - based on experience and temperament: 

US Supreme Court: Associate Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Annette Ziegler and Michael Gableman, both young enough to get on a High Court vacancy short list.

UN Ambassador: A toss-up between Reince Pieibus and Scott Fitzgerald. Same duo for Secretary of State.

* Secretary of Agriculture: Perhaps farmer Tommy Thompson, though he'd be a strong candidate for Secretary of the Treasury, give his shekelmania, or Housing and Urban Development, with his DC-area property flipping experience. He's done his time at Health and Human Services, so the nod there goes to Alberta Darling, given her 180-degree turn on a woman's right to choose, and on supporting Planned Parenthood. Or to Glenn Grothman, for obvious reasons.

*Also for obvious reasons: Secretary of Education - - Sen. Ron Johnson. 

* Secretary of Transportation: Robin Vos, based on having killed Wisconsin's regional transit authorities and the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter train.

* Department of Energy: current PSC chair and former GOP State Rep. Phil Montgomery. He brings along that critical 2005 ALEC Legislator of the Year credential.

* Department of Homeland Security: Could be State Capitol police chief David Erwin, could be Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

* Environmental Protection Agency: DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp has earned the administrator's jobs, but as a former home builder, like Mark Neumann, either one could slide right in at HUD. So many options...

* Secretary of the Interior: A slam-dunk: State Rep. Joel Kleefisch, resident expert on the wolf hunting and sandhill crane shooting, too.

* Secretary of Labor: Scott Walker.

* Attorney General: As this is the Department of Justice, there are no strong contenders.

Cross-posted at The Political Environment, and the Journal Sentinel's Purple Wisconsin site.

Paul Ryan's Hunger Games!

This weekend the Stevens Point Journal put Paul Ryan(R-Wall St.) on the front page, in more ways then one.

The first one actually addresses Paul Ryan (R- Ayn Rand) by name,  pointing out his immense hypocrisy in asking for stimulus funds while campaigning against them

The second story does not mention him by name, but his fingerprints are all over it!  Hunger hits home!

As the days grow colder, it’s easy to flip a switch and turn on the heat without giving it a second thought. But for 41 percent of the households that rely on the Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin food bank, the coming cold can mean a difficult a choice between putting food on the table or heating the house.
Nearly one in every five Oshkosh families with children younger than 18 fell below the poverty level last year, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Communities Survey. Among similar families with a single female parent, that rate was up to 50 percent.

Those numbers are even worse families with children under the age of 5. Nearly 30 percent of all families in Oshkosh with children under 5 were in poverty last year, and nearly 80 percent of families with single female parent were in poverty.

While Paul ryan is trying to advance his career with the power brokers of Wall St, by drinking $350 bottles of wineausterity programs for the middle class,disdain for 30% of Americans, leading the charge to  make President Obama fail, and making a career of being one of the most bitter hyper partisans in Washington DC!  

Ryan and his friends primary efforts to derail the economy and keep the president from being re-elected has had real world consequences.   There are now people going hungry in record numbers, right here in Wisconsin and the only "solution" paul tells us is that he does not have the time to explain the details to us!

He does however have time to attend a fundraiser for Tommy G Thompson.  

We start to see more and more why he is too scared to debate Rob Zerban!

It is time to start taking care of Wisconsinites, instead of political ambitions!

Cross Posted @ Cog Dis!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

In GOP, "G" Is For "Ghoulish"

Or at least, "gloomy."

It's fitting that the Presidential election comes just days after Halloween, as Republicans absolutely heart doom-and-gloom and are willing even to make hay of the attack on the US consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead, including our Ambassador.

Notes a Washington Post election story today:

After trying for weeks to portray the deaths in Benghazi as part of a larger failure of Obama’s foreign policy, Republicans now sense their first real opening on national security, an area that has long been considered one of the president’s strengths. 

Oh, goody! An opening - - for votes. Mourning again in America makes for stump speech talking points.

Republicans want and need as much bad news as they can find this anti-Obama election season.

When official unemployment numbers continue to show consistent improvement despite the GOP's having killed a jobs bill this year, Republicans said the numbers were a lie created by administration conspirators.

If these bad news bears don't get the bad numbers their negative campaign needs - - regardless that higher numbers mean more worker and family suffering - -  just make up a preposterous story that alleges there are some really bad people silently and malevolently working on our dime behind the scenes in government offices.

Somewhere Joe McCarthy is smiling: Washington, DC must be a really evil place.

That's the GOP meme these days. Everything under President Obama has already gone to Hell in that hand-basket.

Paul Ryan even said in Thursday's debate that Medicare and Social Security "absolutely" were going broke - - which they are not - - but when you're running a Friday The 13th campaign, the more fear you can generate, the more people you can fright your way.

Cross-posted at

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just in time for debate: Lyin' Ryan Bingo

Ryan Retracts A Second Endorsement Over Rape Remark

I wonder if Paul Ryan wonders why he's got to make a second endorsement retraction for a GOP office-holder over a remark made about rape?

These Republicans shouldn't be defunding Planned Parenthood; they should be reading its literature and attending classes there.

[Vice] Presidential, Preening Or Primping?

You be the judge.

Ryan's Condescension Towards The Inner Cities

The media and Internets were buzzing the other day about Paul Ryan walking out on a Michigan TV interviewer when the questions about crime went where Ryan didn't want to go.

The interviewer asked about gun problems in the country; Ryan rephrased it as a crime problem - - back to right-wing and pro-NRA talking points - - and then went on to talk about life in the inner city, as he saw it.

Here is the YouTube posting from the TV station.

Also - - here's one mainstream media account, and a parsing of the event by PolitiFact.

I don't think Ryan's snippiness at the interviewer should be the takeaway from the exchange, though this Veep business certainly has ballooned his ego.

Rather it's his remark about preventing violent crime in the inner cities - - "to help teach people good discipline, good character..." The full context is below:

"But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunity in the inner cities, is to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character. That is civil society. That’s what charities and civic groups and churches do to help one another make sure that they can realize the value in one another."

Does Ryan make the same remark when he is campaigning in white, rural America, or suburbia, where there are incidents of school shootings, violent bullying, drug-and-alcohol violence?

Are there only character and discipline problems in central cities?

I remember a small-town Wisconsin school counselor telling me when I was writing a series for The Milwaukee Journal on rural drug use that when she encountered substance among her female students she knew that there was a good chance that incest would eventually come out as a factor.

Ryan's preachiness undermined a decent message about the value of charities and civic groups because he pandered for a conservative audience far from the inner cities, and added nothing but stereotypes and fear to the campaign.

Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

Paul Ryan Debate Tactics

What to expect in tonights debate from Paul Ryan (R- Wall St.)? Not many facts!  

H/T Time Magazine: Paul Ryan is pumped to lie to us!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paul Ryan: Hate Group Hero!

The "religious" group from Colorado - Focus on the Family - has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty law center. Led by the extremist James Dobson, they have had a hand in politics for as long as they have been in business! 

This group that spends so much money fighting LGBT equality, you think would be a group that is toxic this close to the election.  Yet our hero, Paul Ryan is NOT one to let extremist views get in the way, he made sure to let this hate group know that he is 'on their side'!!!

During an interview with Focus on the Family president Jim Daly, Paul Ryan reassured the anti-gay group that a Romney-Ryan administration will fiercely oppose gay rights. Focus on the Family and its founder James Dobson have a long history of promoting anti-gay policies and ex-gay therapy, and earned a shout-out from Romney earlier this week while campaigning in Colorado, where it is headquartered.

Yes the Rmoney/Rayn ticket will fiercely fight against equal rights for all, with a heavy emphasis on 'anti-gay therapy"!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Biden Can Unmask The Ryan Makeover

The once-moderate Mitt Romney had become this year a Tea Party wannabee and even birther Donald Trump's best friend during the primaries but then teleported himself back to moderation for last week's debate with President Barack Obama.

From "Etch-A-Sketch" moments to a remade man altogether, favoring health coverage for the uninsured, or those with pre-existing medical conditions, and disowning his multi-trillion dollar tax cut.

So now the question is, as the Vice-Presidential debate looms Thursday night: Will Democratic Vice-President Joe Biden remind viewers that GOP veep candidate US Rep. Paul Ryan has been run through the makeover machine, too?


* That Ryan has tempered his wholesale opposition to abortion to conform to Romney's limited exceptions?

* That Ryan had worked closely on anti-abortion legislation with the disgraced Missouri Congressman Todd ("Legitimate Rapes") Akin, whom Romney has disowned - - but who remains the Republican US Senate candidate in Missouri with growing conservative support?

* That Ryan softened his draconian fiscal blueprint, though it still calls for voucherizing Medicare and thus boosting the profits of big insurance companies?

*  That Ryan railed against the Obama stimulus, but sought its funds for local projects to create jobs - - exactly as it was intended to do?

* That Ryan now runs from the obsessive individualism of Ayn Rand, his long-time political guide?

* That Ryan's marathon time is actually slower than first advertised?

Cross-posted at The Political Environment and Purple Wisconsin

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thin-Skin Ryan

Is debate pressure getting to the Congressman? Video of Ryan walking out on a local reporter from WJRT news tonight:

Photo op with Ryan and Thompson -- priceless or worthless?

Wouldn't this be a nice keepsake after both of these guys lose next month?  Ryan will be the attraction at a Thompson fundraiser on Saturday at the Harley Davidson museum from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

One gimmick for low dollar donors  who give $25 or more is a chance to win a photo with these two clowns.  

But the going price for a photo op with them at the event is $1,000 a couple.  Such a deal.  And for $2,500 to $5,000 you can "mingle" with them for half an hour before the riff-raff are admitted to the reception.

Once again, standing outside with a sign to let them know what you think of their policies is absolutely free.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Milwaukee marathon to feature 20-mile 'Paul Ryan finish line'

One Wisconsin Now, a progressive research and advocacy group,  will host a “Paul Ryan Finish Line” at mile 20 of Sunday’s Milwaukee Marathon to highlight how the Romney-Ryan plan comes up short for Wisconsin’s middle class families according to Executive Director Scot Ross.

Ross, who has completed more marathons than Paul Ryan, criticized the GOP ticket’s plans that come up short by calling for:
  • $5 trillion in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires that will either increase taxes on the middle class or explode the deficit;
  • Slashing over $700 million from Medicare;
  • Repealing ObamaCare and putting big insurance companies back in charge of health care decisions instead of patients and their doctor; and
  • Reductions in Pell grants that help for students afford the costs of higher education.
He concluded, “While we’re having a little fun at our fake finish line, the underlying message, that the Romney-Ryan plan is a disaster for Wisconsin children, seniors and middle class families, is no joke.”

One Wisconsin Now previously sponsored several “Run Against Walker” events, in which runners and walkers protested the attacks on the middle class by Gov. Scott Walker’s policies.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Does Tommy Owe Ryan An Apology?

Tommy had his anti-Tammy Baldwin talking points down pat this morning during a half-hour freebie on Charlie Sykes' show, even claiming with disparagement that Baldwin got only three bills passed during her time in Congress - - one of which renamed a post office in Madison.

If that's fair game, then how about this?
Paul Ryan, the new right-wing fiscal hero, is a smooth talker who's been a total failure as a doer in Congress.
Elected in 1998, here's what he has to show for his first six terms -- 12 years! -- in Congress. Two bills he authored have become law. Count 'em, two.

One named the post office in Janesville after the late congressman Les Aspin, the Democrat who represented Ryan's district and went on to serve as Secretary of Defense. (HR 4241, introduced 4/11/2000; Public Law 106-242)

Getting Congress to agree to name a post office for one of its former members doesn't require a legislative genius at the helm.

The other was to modify the tax code regarding arrow components
(HR 5394, introduced 11/19/2004; Public Law 108-493.
Yes, arrow components.
Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ryan: Mitt Was Off By 17%

Ryan Grim at HuffPo has new video of Paul Ryan in 2011, echoing Mitt Romney's disregard for a large swath of the nation:
WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, share a similarly dim view of a very large portion of Americans, according to previously unreported remarks by Ryan. Both believe that many of their fellow citizens are dependent on government and have no motivation to improve their lives -- but they disagree over the precise number.

Romney's estimate, famously, is 47 percent. For Ryan, it's 30 percent.

"Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state," Ryan said. "Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers."
Contacted for comment, Congressman Ryan attributed the disparity between his number and Romney's estimate of the percentage of Americans happily mooching — on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and unemployment — to "oversampling."

Latest Ad From Paul Ryan For (Vice President But Also) Congress (If We Lose Which We Probably Will)

Via Buzzfeed, attacking Obamacare, set at a "simulated town hall":

Monday, October 1, 2012

Paul Ryan's Not Just Losing The Presidential Race, He's Losing His Reputation

Jonathan Chait on how the Beltway legend of Serious Paul Ryan is rapidly decaying:
A person who thinks highly of Ryan, or who notes the sudden souring of his media coverage, might suspect that the problem lies in the fact that he is now defending Romney’s plan rather than his own. But that is not the case. Ryan’s plan is worse. He would cut tax rates lower than Romney’s (the Ryan budget would reduce the top tax rate to 25 percent, against the 28 percent Romney proposes) and rather than hold rates on investment income constant, he would eliminate all taxes on investment income. Taxes are one of the many black holes in the Ryan budget. He asked the Congressional Budget to score his plan as if it held revenue at a constant level, and the CBO basically said, “well, okay, if you say so,” but Ryan never comes close to saying how he would fill in the trillions of dollars of missing revenue that would require.

And nobody has ever asked him. Because Ryan’s role in the budget discourse was not to be questioned, but to question others. If he was asked to comment, it was to express his sadness over Obama’s alleged unwillingness to enact the bipartisan debt plans that Ryan in fact killed.

Ryan is still an extremely skilled bullshitter — vastly better at it than Romney. But he’s actually seeing, for the first time, questions that attempt to pry information out of him, rather than the batting practice lobs to which he’s accustomed. He’s going to emerge from the race with his legend punctured.
Poor Mini-Mitt, seeing his carefully constructed persona torn to shreds in front of the whole country. This can't be what he had in mind when he took the gig.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ryan's Losing Boo Hoo Boo-Boo

Chris Christie plays honest pundit on Paul Ryan's whine today about media bias:
“I’m not going to sit here and complain about coverage of the campaign,” said Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey. “As a candidate, if you do that, you’re losing.”
Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The "Escalating Disaster" That Is Paul Ryan

Noam Scheiber:
At the time of his selection, a number of pundits argued Ryan’s strategic benefits, suggesting he would boost Romney by energizing conservatives, or by allowing Romney to run as the candidate of big ideas, or that he would at least be the party’s best defender of the Medicare plan Romney was going to have to defend whether he wanted to or not. This seemed like a stretch at the time—after all, Ryan’s Medicare plan proved to be a massive liability the one time voters weighed in on it. But who could say for sure?

Well, fast forward a month-and-a-half and the numbers look pretty persuasive. This week the New York Times released a set of polls, conducted by Quinnipiac, assessing the state of the race in Ohio and Florida. The top-line numbers were jaw-dropping enough: Obama’s lead in Ohio grew from six to ten over the last month, and from three to nine in Florida. (It’s better to focus on the change here than the magnitude, which is highly sensitive to polling methodology.) But once you look at the internal numbers, they’re even less kind to Romney. More to the point, they suggest Ryan has done enormous damage to the ticket.
Read the rest of his take here.

Paul Ryan - Pimp

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

BREAKING: Ryan's Third House Ad Highlights 47%'s "Culture of Dependency"

Via Amanda Terkel at HuffPo. The ad seems to quadruple-down (or quintuple-down?) on Romney's "47%" comment, lamenting America's "culture of dependency":
"Our country has a critical decision to make," responds Ryan. "Will we leave something better or worse for our children? Politicians from both parties have made empty promises, which will soon become broken promises if we fail to act now. We must take action to prevent the most predictable economic crisis in our country's history. Washington promotes a culture of dependency; we need a culture of accountability and personal responsibility."
Here's the ad:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Will Paul Ryan Sink Romney And The Whole 2012 GOP Enterprise?

As we mentioned yesterday, Paul Ryan dis-invited radical right GOP House candidate Todd Long to his Orlando town hall Sunday. Long has been campaigning on abolishing Social Security and Medicare and recent polls show him scaring away older voters, not just older Democratic and independent voters, but even older Republican voters. One poll shows Alan Grayson winning 25% of older Republicans in the FL-09 race! There are many reasons Ryan may have excised Long from the program: Long was found passed out drunk in a school yard 200 miles from his house; Long was banned from the biggest shopping mall in central Florida for making a nuisance of himself, again, drunk; Long's wife testified in court that he had been abusing her-- and even Republicans know wife beaters are a no-no at election time-- and Ryan may have wanted nothing to do with Long because Long has vowed to vote against Ryan cronies John Boehner and Eric Cantor for House Leadership positions if he's elected, because, he says, they're "too liberal." But the one reason Ryan shouldn't have banned Long is over policy. Long's policy statements may have been inelegantly-- even embarrassingly-- stated but they are, at their core, straight out of Ryan's "Plan For the World," his dystopian, Ayn Randian budget. 

You may have seen the Gallup poll released yesterday that shows that by a widening margin of 51-43% Americans trust Obama more on Medicare issues than Romney. There's an even worse poll out for Romney-Ryan. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken even before Ryan was booed by seniors at the AARP convention in New Orleans last week "indicates that during the past two weeks-- since just after the Democratic National Convention-- support for Romney among Americans age 60 and older has crumbled, from a 20-point lead over President Obama to less than 4 points. Romney's double-digit advantages among older voters on the issues of healthcare and Medicare-- the nation's health insurance program for those over 65 and the disabled-- also have evaporated, and Obama has begun to build an advantage in both areas. ... Romney's selection of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate put the federal budget and Medicare at center stage in the campaign. But the debate over spending and entitlement programs that Romney seemed to be seeking has not unfolded the way Republicans wanted." Here's Paul Ryan being Paul Ryan in 2010 when he refers to the Cayman Islands, where Romney has stashed tens of millions of dollars to avoid paying his fair share of taxes, as "the place to hide your money." Yeah let Ryan be Ryan...

And the clamour on the far right in response to all this? Double down, triple down. Let Ryan Go Rogue! Let Ryan Be Ryan! Far right extremists want to embrace sociopaths like Todd Akin and Todd Long-- the GOP Tard Strategy.

Conservatives initially saw the selection of Mr. Ryan as a hopeful sign that Mr. Romney had fully embraced their small-government agenda and eagerness to turn the election into a head-on clash of ideologies. But now, with Mr. Romney encountering a host of problems and Republicans openly fretting about the outcome in November, Mr. Ryan’s slow fade back into the secondary and sometimes afterthought role traditionally played by running mates has given conservatives a new outlet for frustration over the state of the race.
“I was enthused when Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan because I thought it was a signal that this guy was getting serious, he was getting bold,” Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Mr. Ryan’s home state, told a Milwaukee radio show host on Friday. “It’s not necessarily even a frustration over the way Paul Ryan’s been used but rather in the larger context: I just haven’t seen that kind of passion I know that Paul has transferred over to our nominee, and I think it’s a little bit of some pushback from some of the folks in the national campaign.”

Dan Senor has been assigned to keep Ryan in check and make sure he doesn't pull any Sarah Palin moves. He's with Ryan every day and watches him like a hawk (aside from trying to teach him a little something about foreign policy). But if Ryan is anything it's a craven little lackey who obeys authority. He's "not the kind of No. 2 whose ambition or temperament inclines him to buck the boss."

[S]ix weeks after Mr. Ryan’s selection the political value of adding him to the Republican ticket seems to be dissipating. His presence has fired up Republican partisans, but it has energized Democrats as well. Mr. Ryan’s signature issue-- overhauling Medicare-- has moved front and center, but polls suggest that so far it is playing to Mr. Obama’s advantage.
Even the possibility that he could help Mr. Romney win Wisconsin, a state that Republicans had high hopes of capturing, seems to be in doubt, with a number of recent polls giving the Democratic ticket a small advantage there.

Goal Thermometer
And now there's even a rumor that the Democratic Establishment, long overtly hostile to any Democrat seeking to seriously challenge Wall Street's favorite congressman, is warming up to Rob Zerban and may actually give the greenlight to Democratic donors to help fund his campaign. At a town hall on Long Island this weekend, Ryan-protector Steve Israel hinted there may be a change coming soon in terms of the DCCC's refusal to challenge Ryan. 'Til then, there's always this... for people who know better than waiting for the DCCC to get serious. Ending Paul Ryan's political career should have been a top priority for Democrats for the last decade. Instead, led by the DCCC, they enabled him, taking cash from the same Wall Street special interests who are determined to see Ryan in the White House... no matter how long it takes and no matter how much they have to spend on the project.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Romney Will Not Become Dependent On Paul Ryan Going Rogue

The right's meme these last few days for saving Mitt Romney (in advance of the release of "Who Lost The Election" due out Nov. 7th) is that Paul Ryan needs to go rogue (Sarah Palin), or be used more visibly (Charlie Sykes), or as ideologue-in-chief (Scott Walker).

I doubt this transformation is going to happen, because a) Mitt Romney is not a rogueish sort, and b) as the Presidential candidate - - the guy who has been running since 2007, spending millions, and enduring all the political plastic surgery it took to get where he is today - - Romney is not going to concede Ann Coulter was right all along, that he doesn't have the right Right stuff and needs to turn things over to someone 20 years younger.

Politicians and their egos are simply not constituted that way, and when you hear Romney say 'I've got a budget and that's the one we're running on,' he's letting everyone know he's the CEO of the campaign, too.

Ryan's job on the ticket, and in a Romney administration should they win, is supportive, subsumed and secondary.

If they play golf together, Ryan lets Romney win. You don't show up the boss - - in a presidential campaign, on the squash court, in a joint appearance, on a conference call, during a meeting. Period.

Romney also understands that the more Ryan is showcased, the more Ryan's radical plan for Medicare takes center-stage - - to Romney's disadvantage and to President Obama's benefit.

The same is true for the tax plan Ryan pushed that would have brought Mitt Romney's rate to below 1% - - a discussion Romney does not want or need while trying to convince the American people that 14.1% for a multi-millionaire is a fair rate for Romney to have paid last year.

For better or worse, candidates for President do not turn over the campaign to their #2.

And in a campaign stalled for a week over Romney's unforced "47%" error and damaging comments about voter dependency on government, Romney is not going to let his opponents say his ratification as POTUS is dependent on Paul Ryan.

Cross-posted at Purple Wisconsin and The Political Environment.