Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paul Ryan, Courageously fake

According to Republicans, spending in of itself creates debt, that's why repubs like Rep. Paul Ryan constantly twist the truth with, "we don't have a revenue problem, the country has a spending problem." That is the construct to which the empty-suited Ryan and the Republican Party has hitched our futures on. Most Americans know better of course, that spending in of itself does not cause debt - only borrowing causes debt. But I'll give him that, Ryan's got people second-guessing their own better intuition and values.

So how responsible is a political party that refused to pay the country's bills when it could afford? Obviously they were completely irresponsible, but they are now playing off the popular appeal of the taxed enough already crowd and locked into the Norquist "borrow only" for revenue pledge - there's no turning back. Repubs also think it's courageous to stand up and tell people lies. That's why Paul Ryan is at the top of the heap. That's why he's their star.

In the video below, Martin Bashir shoves facts in the face of Paul Ryan's comical but emotional breakdown for Ronald Reagan's "spirit" and bogus tax reform. You'll see first-hand how Paul Ryan panders and poses with Goober Pyle-like sincerity. You know the kind. Fakes.

NY Times Excerpt: (Krugman)
And the evidence for their fakery isn’t just their bad arithmetic; it’s the fact that for all their alleged deep concern over budget gaps, that concern isn’t sufficient to induce them to give up anything — anything at all — that they and their financial backers want.

Ryan tells out-in-out fairy tales with a dumb face and everyone knows it, but his backers laugh and applause anyway. Perhaps that's his appeal.

You'll also see Ryan doing what he does best as he recasts his perceived enemies with his own budget and tax policy failings. We're all familiar with the constructs of what Ryan is saying, except the names have been changed to condemn the innocent.

Another fine catch from the Democurmudgeon library. Watch it:

Rock Netroots - Faces of Debt

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paul Ryan-- Much Stupider Than You Probably Imagined

Most politicians are too cagey to submit to the kind of standardized testing they've forced on students and are trying to force on teachers. So is there any objective way to measure a politician's intelligence (beyond just his or her record of accomplishment)? Probably not. BUT the Sunlight Foundation just conducted an interesting experiment that is somewhat helpful in measuring politicians' intelligence-- at least as much as intelligence can be correlated to the ability to communicate in formal speech. It may not be definitive in helping explain, for example, why Paul Ryan is as fixated as an adolescent fan boy on tawdry, low-grade novelist Ayn Rand, or why he keeps coming up with deranged proposals, couched in "serious" Madison Avenue-speak, to wreck America's social fabric, but the test shows him at a 9th grade level, which... well, make a lot of sense to anyone who has followed Paul Ryan's politics. He's been able to hoodwink the Beltway media-- much of which is at a 6th grade level-- but Ryan is a clown and has always been a clown. He sounds "intelligent" to the same kind of people who buy into the hype that Newt Gingrich and Rich Nixon are legitimate intellectuals. They're not and neither is Ryan.
Congress now speaks at almost a full grade level lower than it did just seven years ago, with the most conservative members of Congress speaking on average at the lowest grade level, according to a new Sunlight Foundation analysis of the Congressional Record using Capitol Words.

Of course, what some might interpret as a dumbing down of Congress, others will see as more effective communications. And lawmakers of both parties still speak above the heads of the average American, who reads at between an 8th and 9th grade level.

Today’s Congress speaks at about a 10.6 grade level, down from 11.5 in 2005. By comparison, the U.S. Constitution is written at a 17.8 grade level, the Federalist Papers at a 17.1 grade level, and the Declaration of Independence at a 15.1 grade level. The Gettysburg Address comes in at an 11.2 grade level and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is at a 9.4 grade level. Most major newspapers are written at between an 11th and 14th grade level.

All these analyses use the Flesch-Kincaid test, which produces the 'reads at a n-th grade level' terminology that is likely familiar to many readers. At its core, Flesch-Kincaid equates higher grade levels with longer words and longer sentences. It is important to understand the limitations of this metric: it tells us nothing about the clarity or correctness of a passage of text. But although an admittedly crude tool, Flesch-Kincaid can nonetheless provide insights into how different legislators speak, and how Congressional speech has been changing. ...Overall, the complexity of speech in the Congressional Record has declined steadily since 2005, with the drop among Republicans slightly outpacing that for Democrats.

You can look at the entire chart here but here are the 10 worst performing Members of Congress.

As you can see, all of them are Republicans and most of them are teabaggers and freshmen. The only senior congressmember in the lot is Todd Akin of Missouri who has a well-earned reputation as one of Congress' dimmest bulbs. The GOP is running him for Senate this year. Ryan performed at a 9.66 level, the 55th worst of the entire 530 people analyzed in Congress. He was fractionally better than Ted Poe, a lunatic fringe Texas backbencher and birther who has been asked to keep quiet and not embarrass the party with any more rambling quotations from his idol, KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, and to stop trying to force Christian prayers on all military casualties regardless of their own religion or their families' preferences. So, Ryan's a tiny fraction smarter than that.

Amanda Terkel wrote up the study for HuffPo Monday and concludes that members of Congress are now talking, on average, at the level of high school sophomores, a precipitous decline due almost entirely to the GOP teabagger freshman class. The lowest score, of course, went to South Carolina teabagger Mick Mulvaney, considered a joke even among Republican staffers, who is the only Member of Congress who speaks on a level below an average 8th grader. Mulvaney is more of a doofus than Michele Bachmann (9.52), Aaron Schock's boyfriend Adam Kinzinger (8.99), John Bircher Paul Broun (9.30), Lynn "Mr. 10 Commandments" Westmoreland (9.54), dog-lover Steve King (10.14) or Congress' dumbest closet case, Patrick McHenry (10.21). Even raging homophobic imbecile Virginia Foxx beat him with a 10.68!

Anyway, back to Amanda at HuffPo. After examining the data, she came to the same conclusion I did-- and anyone would have to: "The members speaking at the lowest grade levels tend to be freshmen Republicans."
Before 2005, Republicans spoke, on average, at a slightly higher grade level than Democrats. Since then, Democrats have been slightly higher.

Sunlight did not reach a definitive conclusion on why lawmakers' speech patterns have become simpler over time, although Drutman wrote in a blog post, "Perhaps it reflects lawmakers speaking more in talking points, and increasingly packaging their floor speeches for YouTube. Gone, perhaps, are the golden days when legislators spoke to persuade each other, thoughtfully wrestled with complex policy trade-offs, and regularly quoted Shakespeare."

So now we get a freak show like Ted Poe quoting the founder of the KKK instead. Wouldn't you rather hear Paul Ryan coming out with something this based on his understanding of Hamlet:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry... As my mentor Ayn has explained This above all: to thine own self be true.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

In op ed column, Ryan hides the truth about student loan rate increase

Think Progress reports:
Unless Congress acts, interest rates on federal student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July. House Republicans have been blocking efforts to prevent the increase, saying they will only agree to do so if Democrats gut a preventive health care fund.
The House Republican budget — authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) — called for allowing the increase to occur. The House Republican budget also calls for cutting nearly one million students off of Pell Grants. But in an op-ed Ryan wrote over the weekend for the Wisconsin State Journal, he claimed that Republicans are just attempting to tackle “tuition inflation” with their plan for student loans.
Ryan managed to write the entire op ed column without ever mentioning the coming increase in the interest rate.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ryan's budget still bedevils GOP Congressional candidates

The budget proposal issued by Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is still a hazard for Republican candidates, more than a year after the proposal’s initial release.

Republican candidates continue to find themselves on the defensive about what the plan will actually do, especially to Medicare, and Democrats continue to make claims about the dire consequences if it were to become law.

The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe reports from central New York about Ann Marie Buerkle getting questions on her vote for Ryan's budget. The scene he sets at a town hall has her on the defensive, with liberal activists handing out flyers accusing her of cutting funding to entitlements to give tax breaks to the rich.

Read O'Keefe's story here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ryan’s morality “play,” and his cart before the horse solutions.

Republicans blame government for their failures, Democrats blame themselves. Who's more responsible?

Cart before the horse? That's the standard working model of the Republican Party, and explains their overzealous quest toward tort reform, the attack on unemployment benefits, and now cuts to food stamps (can't list them all here).

In each case, Republicans like Paul Ryan want to cut back on the penalty for medical errors, cut back on unemployment benefits and cut back on food stamps, as if they were actual problem...the cart before the horse.

Instead of the hard work that goes in to solving the problems listed above, freeloading politicians like Ryan take the easy way out; cut malpractice awards and those costly social safety nets. We're throwing our hard earned taxpayer money to a bunch of politicians that not only offer us simpleton solutions, but have the balls to penalize us in the end? I guess I'm not masochistic enough to be a conservative.

Arrogance Overload? Ryan isn't afraid to force his "moral authority" down our throats.
Ryan: "It is not enough to say that President Obama's taxes are too big, or the health care plan doesn't work for this or that policy reason, it is the morality of what is occurring right now, and how it offends the morality of individuals working for their own free will to produce, to achieve, to succeed that is under attack." 
Funny thing about that? It never occurred to me to blame the government for my own failings or successes in business. Ever!

The clip below offers up both examples; the Randian morality lesson we all must adopt, and the cart before the horse philosophy that permeates the Republican authority:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ryan: Government that helps women is "creepy"

In Paul Ryan's oddly organized mind, public programs that seek to address women's inequality are "big government" Obama-centric efforts at overreach and control. And that's "demeaning," says Ryan, because it implies women can't run their own lives without help.

Well of course they can't, not when creeps like Ryan vote to take away their control over their own bodies, allow pay inequities to continue, and more. Of course, in the Ryan-o-verse, when it comes to giving rich people like himeelf big tax cuts, or giving huge public subsidies to profitable corporations, well, that's not big government nor is it intrusive or demeaning -- much less creepy. It's wholly justifiable, because it creates profits that trickle down to the nation's disadvantage, including many women.

Hasn't this uber-social darwinist ever taken a minute to read newspapers or watch an episode of "Law and Order: SVU"? In Ryan's mind, women (and probably black Americans and others) don't need any special consideration or assistance, because they should be allowed to remain "free." His kind of policies fathered the problem, but he's against paternalism. DailyKos blog post lays it all out:


Friday, May 4, 2012

Rep Ryayn (R-WI)

Ever see someone dressed to the nines step out of a fancy car, about to walk into a fancy building for a fancy party and realize he has to get the dogshit off his fancy shoes... fast? That would be Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. He used to be able to ignore all the videos and blog posts about his infatuation with the adolescent heartthrob he never could quite get over. But now that it's entered the zeitgeist and voters are starting to grok that not only has Ryan based his miserable budget proposals on the anti-social philosophy of Ayn Rand but that his entire political career is predicated on the work of this Republican prophet of gloom and-- for the 99%-- doom... well he can't get it off his shoes fast enough. He hasn't been recorded saying, "Ayn? Ayn who" yet, but if Ron Zerban keeps pressing him of where all the mean-spirited, hysterical, unAmerican selfishness comes from... I hope someone has a tape recorder ready.

Ryan may have been a little embarrassed this when Edward Hudgins, a director at the Randian Atlas Society said he would-- like most Gordon Gekko types-- "like to see Paul Ryan as president one day." That's also Wall Street's goal-- which is why Blue America started StopPaulRyan, perhaps the most crucial page for the future of this country on all of ActBlue.
"I'd love to see him as president or as vice president on the ticket coming up because I know what the man's values are: They're admirable values," Hudgins said. "To what extent he considers himself in agreement with Ayn Rand, as a public figure, a public policy person, you're not going to find them a lot better."

And that isn't all the could be causing the Randian congressman indigestion today. Henry Aaron was the co-creator of Ryan's plan to end Medicare. Yesterday Aaron, who works at the Brookings Institute withdrew his support for the whole idea and told Ryan-- and the world-- that the plan won't work.

Mike Tate, chairman of Wisconsin's Democratic Party agrees with Aaron. "Medical professionals, the faith community and now even the inventor of the central concept of the Romney-Ryan budget, he pointed out after the committee meeting, "have come forward to say that this budget that ends Medicare as we know it is wrong for America. As more experts come forward, and people learn the truth about the Romney-Ryan budget, it becomes more clear that this budget is fundamentally flawed, with the potential to cause real harm if implemented."

Poor misunderstood Ryan would surely like to blame his exposure on that dreadful Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize laureate in economics who has been repeatedly warning his NY Times readers that Ryan is nothing more than a lightweight phony being pumped up by avaricious special interests. Yesterday Krugman told TPM's Sahil Kapur that Paul Ryan's arithmetic just "doesn’t add up at all... All he does is make scary noises about the deficit, with mood music, with organ music in the background about how ominous it is, and then propose a plan that would in fact increase the deficit.”

Rob Zerban is the progressive Democrat taking Ryan on this year-- the first serious reelection campaign Ryan has ever had to face. The DCCC may continue ignoring Ryan for whatever reason but Wisconsinites and people from all over America, sensing the danger, are rallying to Rob. If Ryan's numbers don't add up, Rob's always do. He's not some hack beholden to the wealthy special interests who have molded him into a national personality and conservative celebrity. Rob's always been part of the real world. This is what he had to say about Ryan's support of Republican Party tactics to double the interest rate on student loans:
“Doubling the student loan interest rate and saddling our young people with an extra $1,000.00 in costs each year, at a time when families are already struggling to make sure their children have the opportunity for higher education, is a recipe for disaster.

“I personally know how important these programs are-- they are the reason I was able to attend school and become a job creator that Paul Ryan and his Washington Republican buddies tout. I was able to live my version of the American Dream because our country made a modest investment in me through Pell Grants and Stafford Loans.

“We as a country can never compete in the global economy if we continually put up barriers for young people to thrive in whatever future they choose.  Paul Ryan’s budget does absolutely nothing to help Americans succeed-- it is simply yet another giveaway for the oil & gas companies, Wall Street and corporations who fund his campaigns on the backs of our working families.”

Blue America has endorsed Rob and we've put up a wonderful billboard at the Ryan Road offramp on the I-94 just south of the Milwaukee Airport. Please take a look-- and if you'd like to help us put a few more like that around the district, you can do that here-- where there are no contribution limits.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ryan 'would have been great televangelist or Hall of Fame funeral director'

Columnist Gene Lyons savages our boy Paul Ryan in the Arkansas Times:

To understand the secret of current Republican matinee idol Rep. Paul Ryan's success, it's necessary to grasp three essential elements of his popularity:

 First, he's a handsome, telegenic fellow very good at faking sincerity. Maybe the best since disgraced Democrat John Edwards. If he weren't a Catholic, Ryan would have made a brilliant televangelist. As an Irish-American funeral director, he'd have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Second, Ryan knew the exact moment to reposition himself to take advantage of the GOP's hysterical freakout over U.S. budget deficits. See, as recently as January 19, 2009, George W. Bush was still president, the projected FY2009 deficit was a record $1.3 trillion, but relatively few Republicans had anything to say about it. And certainly not Rep. Ryan, who'd championed every one of the Bush administration's budget-busting innovations, from the ill-advised tax cuts to the deficit-financed 2003 Medicare prescription-drug benefits.

Third, and perhaps most important, the budgetary manifesto Ryan calls "The Path to Prosperity," exists in the realm of pure theory, if not downright fantasy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Jonathans Chait And Weisman Dissect The Legendary Paul Ryan... In Great Detail

Ayn Désastre :: The Sinking of the S.S. Prospérité

The new issue of New York features a "photo-illustration" of Wall Street's and the One Percent's favorite up-and-coming politician of Reaction, Paul Ryan, by Jesse Lenz... and it gets very close in style to Pierre et Gilles. I think Jesse knew exactly what he was doing. Parisians Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard produce highly stylized art pieces that have become part of popular culture. At Warners we used them to do album covers for Marc Almond, Erasure and, eventually, Madonna. Jesse may have actually been given Chait's manuscript for inspiration. What artistic heights could an opening like this inspire you to?
The implosion of the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign-- the first implosion, before the weird resurrection and inevitable second implosion-- came because he used four words: right-wing social engineering. He used the phrase, last May, to describe the Republican budget designed by GOP icon Paul Ryan. It was as if he had urinated on Ronald Reagan’s grave. Party leaders rounded on him. In Iowa, an angry voter cornered him and fumed, in a video captured by Fox News that quickly went viral, “What you did to Paul Ryan was unforgivable … You’re an embarrassment.” Gingrich quickly apologized to Ryan, pledged his fealty to the document, and then, lending his confession an extracted-at-NKVD-gunpoint flavor, announced, “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.” It was no use: Despite years of diligent service, his support among Republicans collapsed, his fellow partisans holding him in the low regard ordinarily reserved for liberals.

Ryan’s rise occurred so rapidly that an old hand like Gingrich hadn’t yet fully grasped the fact that he had become unassailable, though most (and, by now, virtually all) of his fellow Republicans had. Ryan’s prestige explains, among other things, the equanimity with which movement conservatives have reluctantly accepted the heresies of Mitt Romney. They may not have an ideal candidate, but they believe Romney could not challenge Ryan even if he so desired.

“Now, we are truly at an inflection point, between the Barack Obama and Paul Ryan approaches to government,” National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote recently, treating the elevation of the chairman of the House Budget Committee over the presidential nominee as his party’s standard-bearer as so obvious it requires no explanation. “We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget,” says anti-tax enforcer Grover Norquist. “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.” In any case, Romney has shown no inclination to challenge Ryan, praising him fulsomely and even promising him, according to the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, he’d enact Ryan’s plan in the first 100 days. Republicans envision an administration in which Romney has relegated himself to a kind of head-of-state role, at least domestically, with Ryan as the actual head of government.

Chait then veers off into an analysis about why the Village loves Ryan in a way it never embraced Newt or even Reagan in their heydays. And at the same time Chait had the Ryan phenomenon under his microscope, Jonathan Weisman was engaged in the same task over at the NY Times. Ryan listens to Rage Against the Machine on his iPod. But Ryan is the voice of the Machine... always has been, although it's only recently most people are listening. And Weisman reminds us "That is not bad for a man who was once just another minion on Capitol Hill, working for a research group, then for a member of Congress, and moonlighting as a waiter at the Hill hangout Tortilla Coast and as a personal trainer at a gym. Co-workers at the conservative policy group Empower America admonished him for hanging his workout clothes out to dry at work rather than laundering them." From that to undoing the New Deal.

Weisman is probably unaware that Dave Obey, Wisconsin's top-dog Democrat protected and even nurtured Ryan's political career and made sure he would never be seriously challenged for reelection even though he represents a swing district filled with Democrats, a district Obama won in 2008. Obey, who was forced into retirement from Congress after voting for the Stupak Amendment, has an obvious man crush on the much younger Ryan. Weisman uses Obey as an example of how "those who know him cannot seem to dislike him."
“I’m stunned by how oblivious he is to the pain his policies would cause people,” said David R. Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin who jousted often with his downstate colleague before retiring from the House at the end of 2010. “What amazes me is that someone that nice personally has such a cold, almost academic view of what the impact of his policies would be on people.”

No one ever asks Obey about the notorious Obey Pact that protected all Wisconsin incumbents; convenient. Of course Obey isn't the only member of Washington's Conservative Consensus with a man crush on Paul Ryan's. Notorious GOP closet case, Aaron Schock from Peoria is completely smitten who gushes his homoerotic admiration for the older Ryan. Schock, who's ditched his pink belt and lavender shirts to blend in better with the straights, tells Weisman that Ryan is “in kick-butt shape."

Paul Krugman has long decried Ryan as a fraud and a flimflam man and it's driven him to distraction that an even less serious Beltway media has conferred upon Ryan some kind of mantle of seriousness and wonkishness... and, worse yet, wisdom. Ryan's a Wall Street special interest hack, bought and paid for in the hopes of installing him one day in the White House, the way MCA and organized crime did with Reagan. Ryan's fame-- at least outside the Beltway-- rests in his plan, a redistribution of wealth plan (from bottom to top) masquerading as a deficit reduction plan. Chait puts it at the center of the Ryan legend:
The centrist political Establishment, heavily represented among business leaders and the political media, considers it almost self-evident that the budget deficit (and not, say, mass unemployment or climate change) represents the singular policy threat of our time, and that bipartisan cooperation offers the sole avenue to address it. By casting his program as a solution to the debt crisis, by frequently conceding that Republicans as well as Democrats had failed in the past, and by inveighing against “demagoguery,” Ryan has presented himself as the acceptable Republican suitor the moderates had been longing for.

Whether Ryan’s plan even is a “deficit-reduction plan” is highly debatable. Ryan promises to eliminate trillions of dollars’ worth of tax deductions, but won’t identify which ones. He proposes to sharply reduce government spending that isn’t defense, Medicare (for the next decade, anyway), or Social Security, but much of that reduction is unspecified, and when Obama named some possible casualties, Ryan complained that those hypotheticals weren’t necessarily in his plan. Ryan is specific about two policies: massive cuts to income-tax rates, and very large cuts to government programs that aid the poor and medically vulnerable. You could call all this a “deficit-reduction plan,” but it would be more accurate to call it “a plan to cut tax rates and spending on the poor and sick.” Aside from a handful of exasperated commentators, like Paul Krugman, nobody does.

The persistent belief in the existence of an authentic, deficit hawk Ryan not only sweeps aside the ugly particulars of his agenda, it also ignores, well, pretty much everything he has done in his entire career, and pretty much everything he has said until about two years ago.

In 2005, Ryan spoke at a gathering of Ayn Rand enthusiasts, where he declared, “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.” Ryan has listed Rand’s manifesto, Atlas Shrugged, as one of his three most often reread books, and in 2003, he told the Weekly Standard he tries to make his interns read it. Rand is a useful touchstone to understand Ryan’s public philosophy. She centered libertarian philosophy around a defense of capitalism in general and, in particular, a conception of politics as a class war pitting virtuous producers against parasites who illegitimately use the power of the state to seize their wealth. Ludwig von Mises, whom Ryan has also cited as an influence, once summed up Rand’s philosophy in a letter to her: “You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: You are inferior and all the improvements in your condition which you simply take for granted you owe to the effort of men who are better than you.”

Ryan now frequently casts his opposition to Obama in technocratic terms, but he hasn’t always done so. “It is not enough to say that President Obama’s taxes are too big or the health-care plan doesn’t work for this or that policy reason,” Ryan said in 2009. “It is the morality of what is occurring right now, and how it offends the morality of individuals working toward their own free will to produce, to achieve, to succeed, that is under attack, and it is that what I think Ayn Rand would be commenting on.” Ryan’s philosophical opposition to a government that forces the “makers” to subsidize the “takers”-- terms he still employs-- is foundational; the policy details are secondary.

...In 2001, Ryan led a coterie of conservatives who complained that George W. Bush’s $1.2 trillion tax cut was too small, and too focused on the middle class. In 2003, he lobbied Republicans to pass Bush’s deficit-financed prescription-drug benefit, which bestowed huge profits on the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. In 2005, when Bush campaigned to introduce private accounts into Social Security, Ryan fervently crusaded for the concept. He was the sponsor in the House of a bill to create new private accounts funded entirely by borrowing, with no benefit cuts. Ryan’s plan was so staggeringly profligate, entailing more than $2 trillion in new debt over the first decade alone, that even the Bush administration opposed it as “irresponsible.”

Goal Thermometer When Democrats took control of Congress in the 2006 elections, they reimposed a budget rule requiring that any new spending or tax cuts be offset by new revenue or spending cuts. Ryan opposed it, preferring to let new spending or tax cuts go on the national credit card. Instead, he continued to endorse Bush’s line that tax cuts were leading us to a glorious new era of prosperity and budget balance. “Higher revenues flowing into the Treasury, as a result of economic and job growth, have given us a real chance to balance the budget,” Ryan announced in 2007. “The president’s budget achieves the important goal of balancing the budget in the near term-- without raising taxes,” he wrote in August 2008.

So Ryan's a fraud? Isn't that what we've been telling you for 6 years? Yes, he's a fraud. And in his own district that fraudulence has never been examined by voters. Is Rob Zerban up to the task? We think so. Blue America has endorsed him. We're raising money for him on a Stop Paul Ryan page which is what that thermometer leads to. And, we have an Independent Expenditure Committee we can use to really go after Ryan ourselves... if we can raise enough money. Right now we have a billboard up on the I-94 at the Ryan Road exit just south of the Milwaukee Airport. If you want to help, perhaps we can do a lot more than that between now and November.