Palin's not happy with the Republican Party Establishment-- and she claims she may be ready to bolt and start one of her own. No one represents that Establishment better than Paul Ryan. Ryan's a packaged product, courtesy of Wall Street and Madison Avenue. That's all he's ever been and Boehner was more than happy to boost him into the chair of the Budget Committee to please the banksters both serve. Recall, if you will, Ryan's first big effort for the criminal banksters who lifted him out of obscurity.
It's September 2008 and the GOP kleptocrats are winding up their last months in office. They wanted to deliver one more grand giveaway to Wall Street-- Henry Paulsen's bankster bailout. One problem: enough Republicans (133 of 'em) joined with Democrats to defeat it 205-228 when it was first brought up for a vote. Wall Street's best-paid shills, Boehner, Cantor and Paul Ryan, mobilized for battle. At the time Ryan, a relatively junior Member, had already taken $1,704,095 in legalistic bribes from Wall Street (a number that has now risen to $$3,303,872, just slightly more than the $3,283,687 the banksters gave Democratic crook Steve Israel). After the defeat in the House, Wall Street and the banksters went bonkers and pulled all Bush's strings and he and Paulsen easily got the monstrosity passed in the House of Lords and then went back to the House with a no less odious version of the bill that they had rejected a few days before. This time it passed 263-171 with not 65, but 91 Republicans joining in. Among the vote switchers who had had their arms twisted by Boehner, Cantor and Ryan plus the official registered Wall Street lobbyists:And Ryan's a gift that keeps on giving. Over the weekend, a far right propaganda website wigged out at the way Ryan's playing Pied Piper to Republican House backbenchers over immigration, just as he did in the TARP battle.
• Gresham Barrett (R-SC- $807,723)
• Judy Biggert (R-IL- $1,675,717)
• Charlie Dent (R-PA- $760,872)
• Mary Fallin (R-OK- $336,576)
• Jim Gerlach (R-PA- $1,670,352)
• Pete Hoekstra (R-MI- $295,830)
• Gary Miller (R-CA- $807,688)
• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL- $928,068)
• Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH- $458,449)
• John Shadegg (R-AZ- $1,218,261)
• Lee Terry (R-NE- $1,246,007)
• Patrick Tiberi (R-OH- $2,438,284)
At the time some people wondered if teabaggers and fiscal conservatives would hold a screamingly hypocritical Ryan accountable at all. Yesterday's selection by Romney-- popular with the GOP base-- shows they didn't give a damn. At the time, Ryan was the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. He' had assigned himself the job of spokesperson for fiscal austerity but he had already taken more money from the banksters than any other politician in the history of Wisconsin politics and, as we saw, he voted for the bank bailout not once, but twice. In fact, Ryan was one of the hypocrites exposed in Michael Moore's film, Capitalism: A Love Story:
In a section of the critically acclaimed examination of how Wall Street insiders diverted hundreds of billions of tax dollars into their accounts, Moore illustrates how the bailout happened. Democratic and Republican members of Congress who do the bidding of the bankers scared their colleagues and the American people into approving a massive bailout of the speculators whose misdeeds created the financial meltdown that shocked the nation in September 2008.
Ryan, the Republican congressman from southeast Wisconsin's hard-pressed 1st District, is shown playing the fear card by telling the House that it had to steer almost $800
millionBILLION to Wall Street's sleaziest players.
"If we fail to do the right thing, heaven help us-- if we fail to pass this I fear the worst is yet to come," claimed Ryan.
The statement from the Wisconsin Republican who has positioned himself as a budget specialist in the House played a significant role in securing support for a bailout bill that had not been adequately analyzed and that included few protections against fraud.
Had Ryan used his reputation and his role on key committees to aggressively oppose the bailout, he might have blocked the rush to judgment that economists now say could end up costing American taxpayers trillions of dollars-- and a big chunk of their country's future.
Instead, the GOP establishment's favored point man on fiscal issues claimed-- without benefit of facts, figures or any grounding in economic reality-- that a failure to give the bankers everything they were asking for could bring on a depression.
"This is a Herbert Hoover moment," Ryan told the House, as he reached a fear-mongering crescendo. "(Hoover) made mistakes during the Great Depression-- let's not make those mistakes."
It was a virtuoso performance. Moore was right to highlight it.
The filmmaker has given Wisconsin taxpayers a dramatic illustration of how it came to pass that we are bailing out bankers and billionaires at the same time that auto plants are closing in cities such as Janesville and Kenosha-- both of which are in the 1st District. More importantly, Moore has reminded the voters of southeastern Wisconsin how key members of Congress such as Paul Ryan determined to take care of the speculators on Wall Street rather than working families on Main Street.
Ryan was overjoyed to bail out his bankster/paymasters on Wall Street but when it came to bailing out their victims who, through no fault of their own, were swamped with screwed up mortgages, he changed his tune... drastically. Ryan always stands up for corporations and never stands up for working families.
Ryan has been meeting with House conservatives to persuade them that reform of the immigration system, including a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, is an economic necessity and critical to fixing the nation's fiscal problems.Really?
...Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist said the sheer amount of time Ryan has spent talking with House Republicans about budget issues gives him the credibility to court them on immigration reform.
"I would bet you a nickel that he has had more face time with each member than anyone else in the caucus," said Norquist, an influential conservative who also believes immigration reform is vital to the economy.
Republican strategist Whit Ayres calls Ryan "one of the most effective messengers the Republican party has in the House," adding that "If Paul Ryan talks, the House Republicans will listen."
That assessment may be overly optimistic, considering the large number of House Republicans from conservative districts who see legalization of illegal immigrants and offering them a path to eventually become U.S. citizens as an "amnesty."
But Ryan said a Republican-backed amendment to the Senate bill to boost security on the U.S.-Mexico border improves the chances that the House and Senate could ultimately agree on a compromise version of the legislation.
The amendment "brings the Senate bill closer to the House's position and that gives me the belief that we have a better chance at getting this law fixed at the end," he said.
Unlike Republican Senator Marco Rubio, an architect of the Senate immigration bill and a potential rival for Ryan if both seek the presidency, Ryan is not writing legislation or participating in a congressional working group on the issue.
But both Ryan and Rubio face risks from the divisiveness of the immigration issue among Republicans.
Support for immigration reform could cost either man votes with conservatives who will nominate a 2016 Republican candidate. On the other hand, the influence of Hispanic-Americans in U.S. elections could make it harder for any candidate who opposes immigration reform to win the White House.
...In April, Ryan teamed up with his friend, Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez, who is a staunch supporter of immigration reform, to tout the issue at an event in Chicago. He has also co-sponsored immigration reform bills in the past.
Like Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, Ryan talks of the work ethic of immigrants and the high proportion who start businesses. He often tells of his Irish ancestors who fled the potato famine in the 1850s and started a family farm in Wisconsin.
In the interview, he cited future budget deficits as a reason for urgency on immigration reform. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring from the workforce each day, "our economy is going to need more labor in the future," he said.
Ryan said he believes the country needs a system "designed for the economy, to bring workers in to do jobs that people won't do or to bring their high-tech intellectual capital."
The fiscal argument helped fuel momentum for the Senate immigration bill when the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would reduce deficits by $197 billion over a decade because of additional workers paying income and payroll taxes.
If Ryan is worried about a conservative backlash on immigration, he is showing no signs of it.
He has offered to debate anyone who says an "earned" path to citizenship is the equivalent of amnesty.
And the man who has sparred for years with Democrats on budget issues believes he can play a role in getting the two parties to work together. "I think when you get Democrats to listen to Republicans and Republicans to listen to Democrats you can find the common ground," he said.
Alex Nowrasteh of the libertarian Cato Institute said Ryan could give other Republicans political cover to support immigration reform. "Nobody is going to question the conservative credentials of Paul Ryan," he said.