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.