Friday, November 7, 2014

Paul Ryan Medicare Plan a Copy of ObamaCare!!! A Train Wreck for 50 Million Seniors?

Going through my old "before the election" video archive, I discovered the most amazing...really AMAZING analysis of Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan. You can thank MSNBC's Chris Hayes for this one.

Paul Ryan plans to put seniors in Medicare exchanges, just like the Affordable Care Act's exchanges. That would mean switching over 50 million plus seniors into a subsidized marketplace of insurers, with detailed policies so convoluted they're sure to stump and frustrate the elderly. I don't even understand my own policy.

This is a report that everyone should watch and shove in the face of those lying hypocrites in the Republican Party. Trolls won't know what to Tweet. Democrats should run on it in 2016. Crap, even John Boehner came right out and said it was very similar to the presidents health care bill. You can't make this stuff up:



Boehner continued to bash ObamaCare the other day, promising to try and repeal that horrible law:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Paul Ryan's Free Market line of BS Exposed!!!

You’ll find this amusing, and an insightful look at the upside down free market rhetoric of acolyte Paul Ryan.

Get government out of the way? Let the free market work its incredible magic without regulatory interference? Bull!!!

Ryan is starting to sound like my conservative friend in Milwaukee, when I asked him about free market health care; if people buy the coverage they can afford, “what happens if somebody gets sick from something they didn't cover?” He said without hesitation, “insurers should be required to cover everything.” Huh? A big time government mandate? My head hurt for the rest of the day.

Ryan is just as hypocritical, and an outright phony.
The Hill: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) alleged that the Budget Committee chairman's new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, received special treatment after Ryan criticized Amazon, (and) the web company’s standoff with publishing company Hachette. Ryan’s book is published by Hachette. Amazon had been making the book more difficult to find, delaying deliveries and not offering the option to pre-order it before the August publishing date. The online retailer and publishing company are fighting over the pricing of e-books.

In a CNBC interview in August, Ryan accused Amazon of “making a kind of power play here, in my opinion," against his publisher. “If I were just a private citizen, I would voice just one straight opinion, but since I’m a member of Congress and a policymaker, I’m going to withhold from making comment,” he said, after being asked a follow-up question about whether regulators needed to step in. Shortly after those comments, Amazon made his book easier to find in its online store and is now offering a 25 percent discount.

What, are Amazon's free market hardball tactics considered "unfair" by Ryan? Ayn Rand would be so disappointed.

Like tort reforms anti-free market protection of businesses from lawsuits, Ryan would “help” the free market by getting regulators involved. But thanks to his powerful big government position, the free market squeezed a special favor out of Amazon. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paul Ryan Links Fracking Expansion To Highway Funding Deal



The last time Rep. Paul Ryan saw an opportunity for a Koch Industries project, he wanted to force a floor vote to greenlight the KXL pipeline during the debt-limit debates, so this is right out of Ryan's hostage/ransom playbook.

According to an article in the Janesville Gazette, Ryan has a plan to fund the federal highway trust.

But you may have to embrace the Koch Brothers if you don't mind...

JG Excerpt:
Nobody wants to see an insolvent highway trust fund, and there's ways to avoid that, Ryan said.

Ryan helped write bills that would create a mechanism to use royalties and leases from fracking efforts for the highway trust fund. "I think it's a great funding source. We've had incredible discoveries just in the last few years,” Ryan said.

As I predicted almost two months ago, there is no way, despite massive deficits and snowballing costs, that Ryan would let the federal highway fund run dry.

With that said, the I39/90 interstate expansion doesn't need Paul Ryan or the fracking industry to make it happen. It's going to happen with or without them.

The problem is it's Koch Industries that needs Paul Ryan to make fracking expansion happen and Ryan is confident he'll work out a deal to get it done.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

When Ryan sees a threat, he won't care what you think...the move toward Right Wing Authoritarianism.

There's a reason why I think Paul Ryan is one of the most dangerous politicians out there right now, and it's not because he's ideologically conservative. 

It's because Ryan is a rightwing authoritarian, and has clearly told us just that over the last few years. You wouldn't want one as your president. He's repeatedly warned us about what he'd do if he were in charge. Do a "roll call" search of this blog and you'll see what I mean.

In the slide show below, from Upfront with Mike Gousha, Ryan used key words and phrases that should scare the daylights out of anyone who truly believes in what Ryan calls the American "idea." Here are 5 examples from our arrogant egotist in the clip below:
- "This is what requires leadership."

- "It is hard to lead when your saying things people may not want to hear, but leaders nevertheless if they see a threat to their country need to do something about it." 

- "...so we can win the kinds of elections we're going to have to win, to get the moral authority and mandate to fix this countries problems on our own terms as nation before it's too late." 

- "What I'm trying to do here is to build a majoritarian movement to fix America's problems..."

- "The kinds of elections we're going to have to win in my judgement, if we're going to save the American idea, are the kind of elections the American people give us the mandate and the authority to fix our countries problems before their outside of our control...we need to lead..." 
Ryan isn't hiding anything. Here's my slide show of that interview:



Check out right wing authoritarianism here, here, here, here, and here.

Ryan's advice to other Republicans: Be a good listener?

Rep. Paul Ryan's comments during an interview with Upfront's Mike Gousha had an especially hollow ring to them, after videos surfaced showing Ryan ejecting Americans who dared to ask him a few inconvenient questions at a couple book signings recently.

Below, I've edited together what I think tells us the whole story of this arrogant rightwing authoritarian career politician. His actions speak louder than his deceptively wonkish empty words:




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Paul Ryan Blocks Minimum Wage Hike, but allows Corporate Tax Inversions Overseas.

It’s frustrating for Democrats and real conservative penny pinchers see an important solution to our ballooning government assistance problem blocked by Paul Ryan; increase the minimum wage.

The minimum wage would not just take more people off assistance and save taxpayer money, but it would increase consumer demand and reduce the corporate use of government programs to supplement their bottom line.

Instead, the GOP’s top snake oil salesman Paul Ryan would much rather ignore reports of job increases due to higher minimum wages, and beat to death the CBO’s admittedly squishy determination that “suggested” a hike would result in a loss of 500,000 jobs. jsonline:
Ryan told a luncheon audience at a joint meeting of the Milwaukee Press Club and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee … A day after Obama appeared in Milwaukee and called on Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, (saying) he opposed the measure because it would cost the economy jobs. He cited a Congressional Budget Office study that suggested a minimum wage rise could lead to a loss of 500,000 jobs.
The Policy of Platitudes: Ryan’s detail free talking points are getting old:
"Let's focus on economic growth," he said. "Let's focus on job creation."
In the mean time, Wisconsin media refuses to ask Paul Ryan why his solution, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, was the first thing state Republicans cut to balance the budget. The GOP’s reason? The poor didn't earn the money they got back with the tax credit:
Ryan trumpeted the earned income tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers. He said it was "a far smarter way of pulling people into the workforce" than raising the minimum wage.
Ryan is so unwilling to compromise and close corporate loopholes, that he’s willing to permanently lose corporate taxes to inversions to make his point:
Ryan said Congress should not move to block tax inversions, in which U.S. firms purchase smaller foreign corporations and then transfer their headquarters overseas so they can lower tax rates. "Simply putting up a fortress around America with these anti-inversion rules, all that we'll end up doing is accelerate the takeover of U.S. corporations by foreign corporations," he said.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Platitudes from Planet Paul Ryan...

Well, Paul Ryan decided to gather up his endless list of Ryanisms and put them into one Seuss-like book, "The Way Forward."

To get a sense of what you will find in this must read rehash filled with dire warnings and contradictions, behold Ryan's God-like statement of party aggrandizement:
Also out as a children's book.
This can’t be the full measure of our party and our movement. If it is, we’re dead and the country is lost.”
Yes, without the Republican Party, "the country is lost." You see, our big brother authoritarians must convert the U.S. to a one party system to save it, just as the founding fathers envisioned.

Pity the Poor Fool: Ryan shows how little he gets it. While people are repulsed by his cruel Dickensian platform, he thinks it's a "communication" problem:
He acknowledges his communication problems in explaining his budget ideas, which the House Republicans’ campaign arm encouraged candidates to disavow and left Ryan feeling “ostracized.”
Ryan even basks in his own hypocrisy, bragging how having it both ways allows him to see both sides:

While Ryan has faced criticism from Democrats who say he would like to strip social services and make changes to Social Security, Ryan writes that he saw the benefits and importance of the programs in his life. When his father died he received Social Security survivor benefits that allowed him to pay for college. Ryan writes that critics distort his plan.
I suppose it was just a coincidence that so many different critics distorted his "plan" in the exact same way. And Ryan's egocentric vision prevents him from noticing the devolution of his own party:
Ryan singles out the government shutdown in fall 2013 … the government shuttered for 16 days and the Republican brand took a massive hit in voters’ eyes.
Ryan’s in a bad State of Denial: Ryan says past economic failures were the result of bad messaging. If only he had used the right words...:
Ryan says his party needs to be more inclusive, spend far more time talking to black and Latino voters, and avoid playing into what he calls a caricature of the "cold-hearted Republican."
When a constituent once clearly explained the reality and the need for our social safety net programs, instead of getting the point, cold-hearted Ryan questioned his...terminology.
jsonline: He even points to some of his own past rhetoric as part of the problem … his use of the phrase "makers and takers" … The congressman says he began second-guessing his use of that language after a constituent approached him at the Rock County 4-H Fair in July 2012 and asked, "Who are the takers? Is it the person who lost their job and is on unemployment benefits? Is it the person who served in Iraq and gets their medical care through the VA?"

Ryan stopped using the term when he realized that "it sounds like we're saying people who are struggling are deadbeats ... The phrase gave insult where none was intended." 
You know, like his condescending description of the safety nets as hammocks. No insult intended, right? 

Governing, but not Governing?!! In a mind bender, Ryan thinks governing ourselves is different than governing ourselves through government. I’ll admit, this play on words has been a pet peeve of mine for at least a decade. And yet, it makes sense to conservatives. String together just he highlighted words. It's crazy:
Ryan offers a broad attack on progressivism across the decades and a sharp denunciation of Barack Obama as a president whose "policies represent an ideological mission to re-order the human condition through state action, empowering bureaucrats to decide what's best for everyone rather than allowing citizens to govern themselves."
No one wants to decide “what’s best for everyone" except maybe the GOP. No liberal, progressive, or Democrat ever said that, or would say something so ridiculous. That’s a fiction dreamed up by conservative paranoids, who are pushing for a Borg-like one party authority. Talk about irony.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ryan Wants To Expand A Tax Credit Scott Walker Cut

How radical was one Scott Walker tax 'reform'?

Walker cut a tax credit that put more money into the pockets of low-income wage earners, and thus encouraged work force participation while relieving some of poverty's sting.

The cut to the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, was so mean-spirited and contrary to basic, conservative pro-work GOP agendas that Walker later denied he'd proposed it though the cut remained in his first budget.

But now Ryan, looking to appear more reasonable as the 2016 presidential campaign looms, wants to increase that very same tax credit.

You know a tax 'reform' put forth by an ultra-conservative was toxic if it's too radical for a radical rightist like Paul Ryan.

More information and links, here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ryan’s “Opportunity Grant:” Put everyone using Social Safety nets under Contract, penalize them for failure.

You really can't make this stuff up.

With the promise of streamlining all of the different safety net programs and cutting red tape, Paul Ryan has devised an amazingly convoluted solution to his imagine "social hammock" problem.
You can't hide from this one...

Imagine those families struggling to make ends meet, on assistance, and under contract by a “local provider.” Call them a neighborhood "jobs boss." Someone who watches over their every move, wagging a finger and doling out consequences for missing job training benchmarks, income and wage expectations... 

Big government enough for you yet? Working but not making enough and collecting food stamps? Now you have two bosses. And the one that helps you feed your family with food share is hanging a contract over your head…with penalties.

Here's a sample from Ryan's transcript:
Take an example. Let’s call her Andrea. She’s 24. She has two kids … Her husband left … her only work experience was a two-year stint in retail. She and her kids now live with her parents in a two-bedroom mobile home. She’s been trying to find work … She doesn't have a car. She can’t afford child care. And her dream is to become a teacher.

Under this plan, Andrea would go to a local service provider. She would sit down with a case manager and develop an “opportunity plan.” That plan would pinpoint her strengths; her opportunities for growth; her short-, medium-, and long-term goals. The two of them would sign a contract. Andrea would agree to meet specific benchmarks of success, a timeline for meeting them, consequences for missing them, and rewards for exceeding them.
Ryan Spreads Big Government in the form of oversight, more red tape and reporting…
A neutral third party would keep tabs on each provider and their success rate. It would look at key metrics agreed to by the state and federal government: How many people are finding jobs? How many people are getting off assistance? How many people are moving out of poverty? And so on. Any provider who came up short could no longer participate. And at the end of the program, we would pool the results and go from there. 
Here's 7 minutes of absolute lunacy, if you've got the time (edited for time and sanity):


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our New Founding Father: Paul Ryan's Orwellian Word Salad Constitution.

What the hell is the "American Idea," part of a new rant by Paul Ryan, and why should we conform to it? 

Is Ryan referencing the wingnut "think tank," Free Enterprise Institute, and their Center for the American Idea? Ryan even says it's our "duty" to oppose everything he doesn't stand for.

But the term American Idea isn't the only ingredient in his word salad. "Popular consent" is also thrown in for good measure. Popular consent is another way of saying majority rule, which negates the Constitutional protections of the minority.

Paul Ryan's New Constitution; His path of "principled renewal" is a license to make unpopular decisions. 

Here's a little taste of Ryan's rank authoritarianism. His all-or-nothing most recent word salad path to prosperity: 
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan today argued the American Idea “imposes a duty” to oppose programs such as Obamacare and Dodd-Frank that “subvert popular government and impose administrative rule.” 

Ryan said in a speech at Hillsdale College such government programs cannot be reformed or restructured and must either end or be “replaced by something completely different and consistent with popular consent and self-government.”

“No reform is possible without recognizing this problem. No reform is worth pursuing that does not turn against this rule and take us on the path of principled renewal.”

Ryan called for conservatives to oppose progressives’ view of administrative rule with a set of policies that comply with the Constitution. He also called for restructuring those government programs that can be saved “within the bounds of limited government.”’

“Self-government under the rule of law is the conservative touchstone,” Ryan said. “It rests upon human equality and our equal endowment with fundamental rights. It helps us identify measures that conform to the American Idea, and those that weaken or conflict with the American Idea. There’s our sure guide for reform.”

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lyin’ Ryan’s Medi-Scare

While Democrats want to save our senior safety nets, Republicans like Paul Ryan want to set these programs up for future tinkering that in many ways will shift any future shortfalls onto income strapped Americans.

That’s the difference between the two parties, and a big one.
PolitiFact destroys Ryan’s Deception:
Ryan’s point, made at a WisPolitics.com event on May 5, 2014, is that Medicare must be reformed because it is "going broke. The trust fund goes bankrupt in 2026." To back his claim Ryan cited the Medicare trustees, "Payment of expenditures in full and on time will continue to require redemption of trust fund assets most years until the (Part A) trust fund’s depletion in 2026."

Even if the Part A (hospitals) trust fund ran out, the report Ryan cites projects that revenue would still be enough to pay 87 percent of the Part A expenses. Not a good situation, perhaps, but also not Medicare being bankrupt or shutting down.

The projected depletion of the Part A trust fund in 2026 is nine years later than what the Medicare trustees projected in 2009, the year before the adoption of the Affordable Care Act, according to Medicare expert Paul Van de Water of the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act we can then assume, would knock about nine years off Medicare’s trust fund, adding to the chaos of millions of dropped marketplace policies.

PolitiFact’s conclusion says it all about Ryan’s deceptive way of getting what he wants:

For a statement that contains an element of truth, but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, we give Ryan a Mostly False.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ryan/Rand 2016



By Jeff Simpson 


Paul Ryan (R-Wall St.), despite being on the Presidential ticket that got crushed in 2012, is considering a run for president.   Well he told his favorite people that he was anyway.   No silly, not the people of the 1st district in Wisconsin, a bunch of millionaires in New York City!   

Rep. Paul Ryan told a group of business elites and donors at a New York City fundraiser that he’s asking friends and supporters “to keep their powder dry” as he mulls a 2016 presidential bid, two attendees told POLITICO.
It was among the most explicit statements Ryan has made to a crowd about his process with regards to a presidential run. And it came at a time when political insiders have questioned how eager he is to run.
 Ryan made the remark last week during a breakfast fundraiser for his re-election campaign for his House seat. The event was held at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan, with about 40 attendees, including hedge fund executive Dan Loeb; GOP donors Wilbur Ross and Wayne Berman; and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson.

He will tell his masters that he is thinking of running, but the plebe's better not ask him about it.  
Approached by POLITICO just before votes on the House floor on Wednesday, Ryan declined to discuss the fundraiser.
“I’m not going to get into any of this,” he said.
Asked if the account was true, he replied, “It’s a private meeting” and added, “I said, ‘I’m keeping my options open.’”

I swear, sometimes people think that he is an elected representative in a democratic republic where he has to answer to the people.  

The reporters at Politico better be careful not to upset him or he will attack their children

However, we at Paul Ryan Watch have inside information.  We know he is running because someone in his campaign leaked his introductory video that he has made for his presidential run.

You saw it here first!  



Saturday, April 26, 2014

Paul Ryan Compared to Cliven Bundy!!! All that's different is the accent.

At the end of a fairly long "Final look at Cliven Bundy" video I pieced together the other day was the clip featured below.

Conservative "liberal media bias" watchdog Newsbusters wrote this:
On the Thursday, April 24, All In with Chris Hayes, during a discussion of racist comments about black Americans by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson compared those words to a recent statement by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan about the work ethic in the inner cities.
Here's Dyson's comment:



Since it's now gotten the attention of the conservative wackos at Newsbusters, I thought we could review Micheal Eric Dyson's on the money comparison between Paul Ryan's recent comment...
"...tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work."
...to Cliven Bundy's comments...
"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro … and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids - and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch - they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do.

And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ryan's student loan lies and his not so sneaking way to throw the poor off Medicaid.

The conservative echo chamber believes in the following; federal student loans have increased tuition, and block granting Medicaid offers states the flexibility to shape their own programs and saves money.

While many countries provide their citizens with a free college education, we don't: Instead of free, the GOP would like to make life more difficult by making us shop for everything, like a student loans, health care and soon, K-12. Imagine if all these things were provided through a general tax, and we could focus our energies on so many other things.

Republicans have been setting up the student loan program to fall for years: State Republicans continue to cut funding for their public colleges, forcing tuition increases. And on the other side, congressional Republicans blame the tuition increases on the availability of federal funding. Their con is to do away with the governments affordable student loan program and give banks the freedom to make even bigger profits. Sen. Elizabeth Warren would instead lower student loan interest to just above 3%.
Warren’s latest proposal would allow students and former students to refinance old loans at current government-subsidized rates. She proposes paying for the losses to the government by levying bigger taxes on top earners. “It’s billionaires or students. Where do we want to make our investment?” Warren asked a Washington audience recently.
Democratic Rep. Ron Kind quickly responded to Paul Ryan's latest proposal with this reality check:
Students --CUT $145 billion in education funding and $90 billion in Pell grants. Students would also be charged interest on their loans while still in school.
The solution is easy; Republicans need to start funding state colleges again, and get behind the idea of an educated public. Use general revenues to shore up our public schools and colleges-lower tuition's.

Medicaid, it's all "philosophical?" What Scott Walker did to the poor on Badgercare is mild compared to what he could have done if the federal government didn't regulate (strings attached) the use of funding. Paul Ryan wants to get rid of the strings. It's a "philosophical" thing, and a very brave "it doesn't effect me" move that only tramples on the unhealthy.

From Political Capital, Ryan amazed host Al Hunt at how disconnected he was to the reality of the problem:


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ryan's 25% top tax bracket impossible, proves he doesn't really know what he's doing.

Political Capital's Al Hunt knows his stuff, and easily exposed the real Paul Ryan plan. Although Hunt does let Ryan off the hook eventually, it's clear there's a lot Ryan doesn't want to tell us.

Hunt reminded Ryan that Republican Rep. Dave Camp's detailed austere budget plan could only safely bring the top tax rate down to 35%, or it wouldn't work. RYAN WAS STUMPED, so he said the House Ways and Means Committee can itemize their plans, but the budget committee "won't say, here's exactly how to do tax reform. But here's the goal of tax reform...!" What does that mean?

But if Ryan's goal in unrealistic, as exemplified by Camp's budget plan, then why did Ryan proposal the impossible? Because the truth is, Ryan really does have a Dickensian vision for America? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Ryan in one fell swoop lost all of his credibility, again. He crumbled under the questioning of someone smarter. Thank you Al Hunt:

Ryan's Paymasters Will Never Let Him Give Up Trying To Enslave Ordinary Americans-- Really



Wednesday the House Budget Committee approved Paul Ryan's latest Ayn Rand Budget, which cuts trillions in healthcare spending and repeals the Affordable Care Act. "His budget," reports Hospital CFO, "would make significant changes to Medicare, reducing program spending by $129 billion over the next 10 years. Starting in 2012, it would convert Medicare to a premium support program, under which beneficiaries would receive funds from the government with which they could purchase either traditional Medicare coverage or private health plans." A report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan policy organization, reports that "Some 69% of the cuts in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget would come from programs that serve people of limited means." While Ryan claims to want to strengthen Medicare, the CBPP report said $2.7 trillion of the cuts will come from Medicaid and at least 40 million Americans would become uninsured by 2024. None of the popular parts of the Affordable Care Act would survive the Republicans' meat cleaver. He's says they're too expensive and have got to go.

The committee vote to approve Ryan's drastic budget was 22-16. All the Republicans voted for it and all the Democrats voted against it. Several Republicans not on the committee said they will vote against it next week when the full House takes it up. Walter Jones (R-NC) said he will oppose any budget with foreign aid in it and is one of the few Republicans who agrees with the Democrats that Ryan's scheme to convert Medicare into a partially privatized insurance system would be a catastrophe for American seniors. Other likely Republican "no" votes next week include Jack Kingston (R-GA), Justin Amash (R-MI), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Tom Massie (R-KY), and Rick Crawford (R-AR). These are the Republicans on the Budget Committee"


Paul Ryan (WI-01), Chairman
Tom Price (GA-06), Vice-Chairman
Scott Garrett (NJ-05)
John Campbell (CA-45)
Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Tom Cole (OK-04)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
James Lankford (OK-05)
Diane Black (TN-06)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Bill Flores (TX-17)
Todd Rokita (IN-04)
Rob Woodall (GA-07)
Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Alan Nunnelee (MS-01)
Scott Rigell (VA-02)
Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Jackie Walorski (IN-02)
Luke Messer (IN-06)
Tom Rice (SC-07)
Roger Williams (TX-25)
Sean Duffy (WI-07)
Meanwhile, House Democrats have been furious about Ryan's slash-and-burn Austerity approach to programs that provide services and benefits to the middle class and those least able to afford the cuts. Barbara Lee (D-CA) pointed out yesterday was the 46th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, and that Ryan's Godless budget cuts are “exactly the opposite of what Dr. King stood for.” Ryan's adolescent ideas, straight from his favorite school girl Ayn Rand novel, have already failed in Europe; he wants to implement them here anyway. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who would become Budget Chairman if Nancy Pelosi removed Steve Israel as head of the DCCC and allowed the Democrats to win back the House in November, said that the Ryan cuts approved by the Republicans on the committee "tells the American public exactly what Republicans in Congress would do to the country if they have the power to impose their will."
"It's the budget that ransacks the future of America's children," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during a press briefing in the Capitol. "Education is the best investment that a person, a parent, a country can make in its future... This is key to employment, to growth, to innovation and for the success of our economy.

"I view the Ryan budget as an ideological manifesto," she added.

Other Democrats piled on.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said the Ryan plan would cut $18 billion in early education programs, $89 billion in K-12 programs and $205 billion in higher education initiatives over the next decade, versus the levels established by December's budget deal between Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), ranking member of the Education and Labor Committee, said the GOP budget would eliminate more than 170,000 spots for early education benefits-- "and it gets worse every year after that," he added.

"These are the exact children that we know, if they have an opportunity in early childhood education, they will do much better in school, they're more likely to graduate, they're more likely to get a job, they're less likely to go to jail and they're more likely to earn a higher income than children who don't get that opportunity," Miller said.

"Clearly they [Republicans] don't care about these children."
President Obama doesn't think so either. In his weekly address to the nation this morning, he contrasted his own budget with the Ryan document. "[T]he budget I sent Congress earlier this year," he said, "is built on the idea of opportunity for all. It will grow the middle class and shrink the deficits we’ve already cut in half since I took office. It’s an opportunity agenda with four goals. Number one is creating more good jobs that pay good wages. Number two is training more Americans with the skills to fill those jobs. Number three is guaranteeing every child access to a great education. And number four is making work pay-- with wages you can live on, savings you can retire on, and health care that’s there for you when you need it." He has a very different view of what Ryan presented on April Fool's Day.
This week, the Republicans in Congress put forward a very different budget. And it does just the opposite: it shrinks opportunity and makes it harder for Americans who work hard to get ahead.

The Republican budget begins by handing out massive tax cuts to households making more than $1 million a year. Then, to keep from blowing a hole in the deficit, they’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families with kids. Next, their budget forces deep cuts to investments that help our economy create jobs, like education and scientific research.

Now, they won’t tell you where these cuts will fall. But compared to my budget, if they cut everything evenly, then within a few years, about 170,000 kids will be cut from early education programs. About 200,000 new mothers and kids will be cut off from programs to help them get healthy food. Schools across the country will lose funding that supports 21,000 special education teachers. And if they want to make smaller cuts to one of these areas, that means larger cuts in others.

Unsurprisingly, the Republican budget also tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act-- even though that would take away health coverage from the more than seven million Americans who’ve done the responsible thing and signed up to buy health insurance. And for good measure, their budget guts the rules we put in place to protect the middle class from another financial crisis like the one we’ve had to fight so hard to recover from.

Policies that benefit a fortunate few while making it harder for working Americans to succeed are not what we need right now. Our economy doesn’t grow best from the top-down; it grows best from the middle-out.  That’s what my opportunity agenda does-- and it’s what I’ll keep fighting for.
Did you know Blue America has a special page set up for the sole purpose of defeating Paul Ryan. This isn't to "send him a message" by electing some Blue Dog with values not so different from his in some backward red district. This page is dedicated to defeating him and replacing him with a progressive Democrat, Rob Zerban. Rob on Ryan's budget: "Ryan and his Republican colleagues fail to honestly account for their own policies. Free trade deals that have hollowed out our manufacturing industry, giveaways to Wall Street that have let billionaires accumulate all the benefits of our economy-- these are the things that cause poverty, not food stamps or early education programs. I agree with the New York Times that Ryan's report distorts the facts and that his ideas are ‘small and tired.' As the Times says, ‘most successful programs, including the (earned income) tax credit, Medicaid and food stamps, have been those that are carefully designed, properly managed and well-financed.’ I am a shining example of how smart programs can work. My single mother raised us in poverty, and we needed federal nutrition programs to have enough to eat. I needed Pell Grants and Stafford Loans to go to college, but I used all that help to get an education, and then build two successful businesses and employ dozens of people. The truth is that many of these programs are extremely successful, but years of budget cuts, free trade deals, refusal to increase the minimum wage, and giveaways to Wall Street resulted in the Great Recession and driven more and more people into poverty.”


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Palin loves the mighty Badger's, can't say the same for Paul Ryan.

Like the giant Kool Aid Pitcher or Joe Camel, Sarah Palin now just makes me laugh. I also have a tendency to want to hide my face like I did when I was 4, but a 12 step program helped me beat back that desire. 

I present to you Sarah Palin's take on the UW Badgers and Paul Ryan. She writes like she talks? Amazing:
Holy Moly! Are you kidding? You’d think one who is representing the mighty Badgers, who made it to the Final Four based on sacrificial work ethic and discipline that obviously pays off in the end, he who represents the great state of Wisconsin that hosts this underdog celebrated college basketball team, would understand that future success depends on hard work and sacrifices. 

The latest Ryan (R, Wisconsin) Budget is not an April Fool’s joke. But it really IS a joke because it is STILL not seeing the problem; it STILL is not proposing reining in wasteful government overspending TODAY, instead of speculating years out that some future Congress and White House may possibly, hopefully, eh-who-knows, take responsibility for today’s budgetary selfishness and shortsightedness to do so. THIS is the definition of insanity. Do we still not understand how dangerous it is to allow government to grow unchecked as we shackle ourselves with massive debt – a good portion of which is held by foreign nations who don’t necessarily like us? If we can’t balance the budget today, what on earth makes us think it will happen at some future date? 

The solution is staring us in the face. We need to rein in spending today, and don’t tell me there is nothing to cut when we know every omnibus bill is loaded with pork and kickbacks.

Reading the article linked (that) gave me the same reaction that my daughter just caused when she punked me with a very unfunny April Fool’s Day announcement. As my Dad would say after these April Fool’s announcements, “This would kill a lesser man.” This out-of-control debt is killing our economic future.- Sarah Palin

Monday, March 31, 2014

Correcting Lyin' Paul Ryan...again.

The only good that came out of Paul Ryan's run for vice president is that we now know he's a lying phony. Is that just liberal name calling? Not if it's the truth.

Ryan's opponent Democratic candidate Rob Zerban would wise to incorporate a few of the important reality base points below about Ryan's mischaracterization of poverty and Medicaid. From Bill Moyers:
Ryan: “It’s time for an adult conversation,” he told The Washington Post: The problem is that a prerequisite for any adult conversation is telling the truth and it is there the congressman falls monumentally short.

In addition to Rep. Ryan’s recent, racially-coded comments about “our inner cities” where “generations of men [are] not even thinking about working,” his rhetoric around policy should raise red flags for anyone — including the media — assessing his credibility.
Here are the facts that simply scream common sense:
report from Emily Oshima Lee, policy analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, examines the hatchet job Rep. Ryan did on Medicaid ... The Washington Post generously described as a “critique.” Indeed, Ryan’s report ... misrepresenting and cherry-picking data — is a dangerous disservice ... assessing antipoverty programs.

Lee notes that Ryan misuses research to imply that Medicaid coverage leads to poorer health. “The privately insured comparison is patently unfair because these people tend to be higher income and that comes with a whole host of health privileges.” She notes that Medicaid enrollees tend to struggle a lot more with chronic conditions and illnesses than other populations writes Lee, in my opinion admirably resisting the temptation to add, “duh.”

Ryan also argues that Medicaid coverage has little positive effect on enrollees’ health. But as Lee points out, Ryan conveniently overlooks studies showing lower mortality rates; reduced low-weight births and infant and child mortality; and lower mortality for HIV-positive patients. “…such as increased use of preventive care and greater financial security.”

Despite Ryan’s shabby work when it comes to antipoverty policy, the media repeatedly seems willing to overlook it. That’s another strike against the prospects of a truly adult conversation about poverty — in addition to honesty, it requires accountability.

Rep. Ryan also plays on fears of low-income people abusing the welfare system when he asserts that Medicaid coverage improperly increases enrollees’ use of health care services, including preventive care and emergency department services ... by comparing Medicaid enrollees to uninsured people ... “Presenting data that Medicaid enrollees use more health services than the uninsured affirms that insurance coverage allows people who need care to seek it out,” writes Lee, “and that being uninsured is a major barrier to receiving important medical care.”

Further, one of the two studies Ryan references explicitly states that “neither theory nor existing evidence provides a definitive answer to… whether we should expect increases or decreases in emergency-department use when Medicaid expands.”

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Paul Ryan has always focused on Poverty? Media Keeps Myth Alive.

Let me get this right; solving the problem of poverty, along with long term unemployment, has been on Rep. Paul Ryan’s radar for a long time? It’s almost as if the press, in this case AP, is oblivious to his actual plan to get rid of these nagging problems and safety net programs. They also know of his ideological hero, Ayn Rand I hope.

Republicans like Ryan simply want to cut the poor and unemployed loose, having them disappear into society, knowing that there aren't enough newspapers to report all the devastating stories from disenfranchised Americans.

The case of the long term unemployed provided the first test for Republicans last December. They now know the unemployed, who continue to lose benefits month after month, are no longer part of the media focus. The GOP has "disappeared them"…problem solved.

But it’s even worse when an outlet like AP makes it seem like Ryan's “signature issue…(that) dates back to his time…working for former vice-presidential nominee Jack Kemp” has anything to do with really helping them make a living wage or expand the jobs market. His be proud don’t eat strategy is somehow a plan?
AP: Rep. Paul Ryan is making poverty a signature issue … The Wisconsin congressman had hoped his work on poverty could be a positive: His interest in the issue dates back to his time as a speechwriter working for former vice-presidential nominee Jack Kemp. He has spent much of his time since returning to Congress focused on the issue, touring poor precincts, giving speeches and producing a detailed, 205-page report on poverty, while indicating that he may introduce legislation to deal with the issue.
Ryan hopes the poor will disappear under the flood of cheerful stories about the bullish investor market and rosy corporate profits reports.

The media has already started writing stories about how the long term unemployed are probably here to stay, so we should get used to that simple fact of life.

Ryan’s comment below cements the idea that “government” and “the people” are two separate entities, and that we can’t rely on our elected lawmakers to solve the problem:
"This enforces the idea that this is government's responsibility, and you don't need to do anything about it. That's not true."
I thought that was the reason we had government, or am I missing something?

Ryan Helps the Poor Myth Builds: The AP article ended on this bizarre defensive note about our misunderstood Paul Ryan and his plans to cut the safety nets:
Mary Berry, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who served as the chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1993 to 2004 (said), "Democrats will jump all over them in the messaging game, no matter what they say, and they won't be given the benefit of the doubt — that's politics."
But there are no doubts, except for those created by the media.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ryan fumbles, lies at Town Hall in response to question about recent attempt at Race Baiting.

How many more town halls will result in the following kind of confrontation between Paul Ryan and his fed up constituents about his recent attempt at race baiting? I've edited together 3 segments: Joy Reid's coverage on MSNBC, Luke Russert's more complete segment, and a clip where one constituent told Ryan he liked ObamaCare. Ryan then tried to sell him on taxpayer subsidies to insurers by paying for the sick, and leaving the profits to the insurers (transcript at bottom). 


Think Progress pretty much sums it up:
Black Constituent Confronts Paul Ryan Over ‘Inner City’ Remarks: RACINE: If you could pinpoint the moment when Paul Ryan lost control of his message on Wednesday, it was when he began explaining to an African American constituent why his recent comments about lazy “inner city” men actually had nothing to do with race.

“You said what you meant,” Alfonso Gardner, a 61-year-old African American man from Racine, told Ryan at a town hall meeting. “[Inner city is] a code word for black.”

Ryan remained defiant though. “There is nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all,” he said. He admonished Gardner for drawing a connection between his “inner city” remarks and race. “I think when we throw these charges around, it should be based on something.”

ThinkProgress spoke with Gardner after the town hall to get his reaction. He said Ryan’s trying to have it both ways, saying different things to different people. “He’s out here shucking and jiving,” Gardner said. “He’s been in Congress eight terms and just now talking about poverty?”

Gardner isn’t the only constituent taking offense. ThinkProgress interviewed a number of Racine residents this week about Ryan’s statement. They were not amused with their congressman’s words.
In the video, Ryan told Gardner to read the next paragraph, which suggested some clarification. But PolitiFact offered up the entire transcript, in context, and nothing Ryan said changed his race baiting comments. Here's what Ryan said after his remarks:
Ryan: And produce. To just be -- I mean, achievement and accomplishment are so self-rewarding, it’s earned success, and that’s how people flourish when they feel the pride of succeeding and achieving a goal and they teach and pass those lessons on to their kids or to the kids they’re mentoring. And that is really what helps revitalize society and helps human flourishing, it helps people reach their potential. That’s the American idea. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote beautifully about this. We’re losing it in so many areas and we’ve got to get it back and each and every one of us has a role to play in that. (There’s a little banter between Bennett and Ryan.)

Ryan: What I find is the status quo is, right now, a poverty management system -- in many ways, to the benefit of the managers. And so when you question the status quo of the government’s poverty -- this war on poverty -- you get all the criticisms from the adherents of the status quo who just don’t want to see anything change. We’ve got to have the courage to face that down, just like we did in welfare reform in the late 1990s. And if we succeed, we can help resuscitate this culture and get people back to work and get people back to meeting their potential and so many things can get fixed and healed in our communities and in our economy, as well.
Here's the transcript of the somewhat muddy audio of the satisfied ObamaCare constituent, and Ryan's taxpayer bailout to insurers, otherwise known as "risk pools:"
MARTINCIC: What Obama did was get this law passed. Whether it’s good, bad, or not, it got passed. It’s actually helping some people grow, helped this other guy [with] medication. The Republicans….By myself…I could actually…get some kind of subsidy, which would help me…

RYAN: With the ACA, one thing I want to say is we didn’t have 51 votes to repeal it altogether 51 times. I think that’s sort of like this urban legend that we said, ‘let’s repeal it.’ It’s like we did a repeal vote on the whole law. There are many pieces of this law that we’ve gone after—several of them that were made into law, so please know—I think even Democrats would acknowledge that there are a lot of problems with this law. And so we passed a lot of things changing this law—several of which were made into law—but I really do believe there’s a better way to do it than with this health care law.My argument is that I think there are better ways at dealing with these extremely important and legitimate problems, like people with preexisting conditions—this is why I’m a big fan of risk pools. We had the [??] system in Wisconsin—it worked well, and then it had the federal government attached to it, so it was even more affordable for people with preexisting conditions. That was one of our proposals. So I do think that there are better ways of fixing this problem—affordable coverage for everybody, including people with preexisting conditions that’s a lot better than [this law]. It’s going to hurt our hospitals, it’s going to hurt Medicare, it’s going to make people buy things they don’t want to buy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Paul Ryan, From Smartest To Meanest Guy In The Room

Paul Ryan has decided to run over poor school children, unemployed workers and other low-income Americans on a path to the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, and national media are getting in some heavy licks.

My guess is that Ryan loves seeing what he has so articulately engineered into mainstream print. These stories and columns will be trumpeted as badges of honor by righty talk shows and serve Ryan tactically because they help him separate from the crowded right-wing fringe.


You've got Walker and Cruz and Jindal and Palin and Trump and Huckabee and John Bolton and Rand Paul all trying to out-Right-flank each other for attention and Fox 'News' channel cred.

And be first among equals winning the Koch brothers/Sheldon Adelson/NRA lotteries, though few people wouldn't want judgements like these on their permanent records:

*  The LA Times says Ryan's recent broadside at the poor was a personal, political calculation:

Rep. Paul Ryan calls for cuts in anti-poverty programs
Welfare, child care, college grants are all under the House Republican's budget ax in a lengthy critique that returns Ryan to the national stage in advance of a possible 2016 presidential run.
Followed by:
*  A St. Patrick's weekend op-ed:
Paul Ryan’s Irish Amnesia
*  Also a take down by Nobel-prize winner and columnist Paul Krugman:
That Old-Time Whistle
*  This being Krugman's earlier slam:
The poverty hammock fallacy of Paul Ryan and GOP
Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ryan's Lessons from a "Tree Stand," or, Will the Media Please Stop Defending Paul Ryan!!!

What is wrong with the media? This dance around Paul Ryan’s recent “inarticulate” commentary is even more pathetic than ever. The media is now making excuses for Ryan.

PolitiFact even decided to offer up a larger part of Ryan’s Bill Bennett interview, so we could put Paul’s comments in “context.” What a joke…big difference?

Simple Truths…missing in action:

#1. Ryan’s False Premise A: Ryan’s culture of work statement isn't a brilliant observation, who would disagree with it…only “the left” I guess. PolitiFact would rate that as “Pants on fire.”

#2. Ryan’s False Premise B: Lefties love the “status quo/no changes,” therefore oppose Ryan’s ideas. Like cutting people off (“courage to face that down”) the safety net programs, unless they did what they were told with new and stricter back to work laws. A desperate slave labor force? You’ll also notice Ryan hedges his bets with “if we succeed.” He wants to use the entire U.S. population for his experiment. See for yourself below:
And so when you question the status quo of the government’s poverty -- this war on poverty -- you get all the criticisms from the adherents of the status quo who just don’t want to see anything change. We’ve got to have the courage to face that down, just like we did in welfare reform in the late 1990s. And if we succeed, we can help resuscitate this culture and get people back to work and get people back to meeting their potential…”
#3. Ryan ignores the economic bloodletting known as the Great Recession. That one moment in history destroyed jobs at big box retailers and neighborhood small businesses. Remember when Best Buy had to compete with Circuit City and CompUSA, two stores that employed millions nationwide. They’re gone now. My own business died instantly when car dealerships were wiped out en masse.
Ryan and his accomplices like Gov. Scott Walker can’t seem to fix the problems with tax cuts to big business and deregulation. Corporate promises of job creation, a bust.

#4. One-note Ryan’s Remedy? Deregulate, open up our parks for big energy, tax cuts for business, create a desperate workforce by cutting the safety nets and a demoralize Americans enough so they gravitate to more conservative policies and big talking “leaders.”

I thought this ridiculous example of Ryan’s rugged individualism and leadership said it all in a "nutshell:"
Bennett:  What’s the roadmap, as someone might say?

Ryan: In a nutshell, work works. It’s all about getting people to work ... Mentors and my mom. My dad’s friends, his buddies taught me how to hunt and taught me a lot of things, and my mom. And so --

Bennett: Hunting is not working, is it?

Ryan: Well, no, but you can learn -- by the way, you can teach your kids character in the woods. A lot of good life lessons are learned in a tree stand, Bill.