Monday, December 7, 2015

Double-speak Ryan Doubles Down on Doing Nothing

I think it’s time to start holding do-nothing Republicans accountable for their frustrating irresponsible behavior.

No one has perfected those do-nothing excuses like Paul Ryan. He effortlessly promises to do nothing. In one article, I found these, starting with an easy one - the no-fly list:
WSJ: Paul Ryan on Monday panned President Barack Obama's call to ban people on the 
federal no-fly list from buying guns, calling it "a distraction" from the broader war on terror … the no-fly list includes many people not suspected of terrorist acts. “A mid-level bureaucrat can put anybody on a no-fly list with no due process rights” So what is Ryan's strategy … “If we think a person is suspected of a terrorist act, let’s go get them -- pure and simple.”
Brilliant? Quite the leader. Here’s another:
Speaking of Obama's call for Congress to formally authorize military force against the Islamic State, Ryan said he believes "it could be a strong signal to send that we are going on offense" against the group but said a sticking point could be concerns that such an authorization could tie the hands of the next president.
Do-nothing Ryan makes it sound so easy. And he wasn’t done not committing to anything:
...whether they deserve it or not.
He's open to Obama's call for Congress to authorize military force against the Islamic State terrorist group … but Obama's speech had a crucial omission: what his administration will do differently to fight terror groups such as the Islamic State. “What I heard more was a defense of his containment strategy -- not an adjustment to a new strategy. We should not try to defend what has been our failing policy.”

And don’t forget Paul Ryan’s commitment to provide a complete detailed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act before the next election, just like all the other times they provided a detailed list…oh wait, they didn’t.

It's well known that Ryan met with other Republicans on the first day of Obama's presidency and promised stop every part of his agenda. This new contortion - doing nothing - replaces that scheme.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ryan Fumbles GOP Immigration Reform Debacle, disingenuously blaming "untrustworthy" Obama while discrediting John Boehner.

Republicans can’t govern, that much is clear. But blaming others for their incompetence is treading in dangerous territory.

After hypocritically fumbling around on family leave, new Speaker Ryan didn’t just play the race card portraying Obama as “untrustworthy,” but he tried to shift the blame for congressional inaction on immigration to the president as well:  

"I do not believe we should advance comprehensive immigration legislation with a president who has proven himself untrustworthy on this issue." Ryan said Obama ... went around Congress to take executive actions shielding from deportation millions of people living in the country illegally.
One of the reasons Obama used an executive order was to get something, anything done on immigration. 

And Ryan had a part in delaying immigration reform, inaction that will negatively impact rural conservative farmers dependent on immigrant labor. 
White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the remark 'preposterous' … "pandering to the extreme right wing" ... "ironic." He said it's Ryan who supported an immigration deal, then failed to push for it to come up for a vote in the House.
Ryan "Discredits" outgoing John Boehner! I loved this backhanded yet unintentionally stupid swipe at former Speaker John Boehner. For anyone still thinking Ryan is wonkish and smart, this should dispel that myth. My head is hurting again:
Ryan: "This job can't be done like it was done. If I pick up where John Boehner left off, then I think we won't be successful. That's not a discredit to John Boehner, that's just a discredit to the way the jobs been done!"
John Boehner did a great job doing a lousy job? OMG....only in the GOP bubble does that make any sense.

Ryan in denial on Family Leave, still thinks lazy Americans want another "entitlement." Not insulted yet?

Already fumbling his way through his speakership, Paul Ryan offered up a disconnected word salad excuse he thought let him off the hook over his hypocrisy on family leave and his own desire to have weekends off to spend with his family. The Hill:

New Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed Democrats’ calls for a paid family leave law as another “federal entitlement,” and said his position isn’t at odds with recent remarks that he wants to spend weekends with his young family in Wisconsin.
“I don’t think people asked me to be Speaker so I can take more money from hard-working taxpayers, so I can create some new federal entitlement. But I think the public wants to have members of Congress that represent them, that are like them. Don’t you want your member of Congress to be a citizen legislator who lives with you, among you, who has your own kinds of concerns, who wants to spend time with his children on Saturdays and Sundays?” 
What in gods name is he talking about? While most industrialized countries feel obligated to provide family leave time, Ryan sees that as an "entitlement?" That's how far off the charts Ryan is in the 21st century.

If anything, Ryan admitted his hypocrisy with, "Don’t you want your member of Congress to be a citizen legislator who lives with you, among you, who has your own kinds of concerns, who wants to spend time with his children on Saturdays and Sundays?”

Still not answering, Ryan dug deeper into his denial:
“Yes, Sundays are going to be family days, and Saturdays are family and constituent days. That is what I think most people want in their life is a balance.”
Balance Ryan won't allow them to get with family leave. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Small government Ryan forced to take another government job that "he did not seek."

With Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Craig Gilbert talking up Paul Ryan's House speaker position as "betting on his ability to "master" a uniquely challenging job...," like he mastered trickle down supply side economics I guess, we must once again rely on outside sources for an honest critique of our "wonkish" genius.

Remember his bullshit laced VP speech that pretty much exposed this half baked huckster?
NY Daily News: Yes, Paul Ryan lied, and yes, it matters! His acceptance speech on Wednesday night was one of the most dishonest political speeches in recent U.S. political history. While some like Ben Smith at BuzzFeed call Ryan’s flights of factual fancy "policy differences" with President Obama, this misunderstands what actually is a policy difference and what is a lie – and why Ryan’s incessant lying ... is actually pretty important.
Now as House speaker, we're all supposed to feel good about Paul Ryan, all is forgiven?

Adding to Ryan's legend, and in keeping with the GOP's obsession of seeking government jobs they hate with a passion...
"He did not seek this office. The office sought him," said Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House GOP conference, in nominating Ryan.
Ryan's a hero, forced to take a job he didn't want. That should instill confidence? 

But seriously, according to Dean Baker, Co-director, CEPR and author of 'The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive', Ryan's budget "wonkism" is nothing but a media creation:
Unless reporters give Ryan a pop quiz, they really don't know what he knows about the budget, but they do know what he says. In addition to wanting to privatize both Social Security and Medicare, Ryan has indicated that he essentially wants to shut down the federal government in the sense of taking away all of the money for the non-military portion of the budget.

This is a fact that is easy to find for any reporter who could take a few minutes away from telling us what a great budget wonk the next speaker is. In 2011, when he chaired the House Budget Committee, Ryan directed the Congressional Budget Office to score his budget plans. The score of his plan showed the non-Social Security, non-Medicare portion of the federal budget shrinking to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2050 (page 16).
That's bad news for all Americans:
This number is roughly equal to current spending on the military ... he does not want to see the military budget cut ... That leaves no money for the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, The Justice Department, infrastructure spending or anything else. Following Ryan's plan, in 35 years we would have nothing left over after paying for the military.

Just to be clear, this was not some offhanded gaffe where Ryan might have misspoke. He supervised the CBO analysis. As the document makes clear, they consulted with Ryan in writing the analysis to make sure that they were accurately capturing his program.

So what percent of people in this country know that the next Speaker of the House would like to permanently shut down most of the government? My guess is almost no one; we just know he is a policy wonk. The budget wonkism of Chairman Ryan is a beautiful example of the failure of the national media to take their job seriously. Telling us he is a wonk, without telling us the content of his wonkism, is a bad joke which should get people very angry at the folks who pretend to give us the news.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Targeting Roberts Court, Paul Ryan hopes to show GOP ready to replace ObamaCare. "We don't have (a plan) yet, so I can't tell you what it is."

In what seems to be morally and unethically bankrupt, and maybe illegal to boot, Paul Ryan is heading up efforts to influence Chief Justice John Roberts so he'll gut the Affordable Care Act. 

Ryan is hoping to show Roberts that congress is ready to replace ObamaCare once the court removes the tax credits for government run state exchanges. For a party that had a tantrum over a few people losing their doctors and insurance, they seem almost gleeful over the prospects that force millions to lose their doctors and insurance:
TPM: Republican leaders are eager to convey to the chief justice that they will be ready to act. Rep. Paul Ryan, a key committee chairman overseeing health care policy, told reporters Friday on Capitol Hill, "The idea is to show what our alternative to Obamacare would look like. We don't have [a plan] yet, so I can't tell you what it is.”
Of course the easiest way to keep millions from losing their doctors and insurance is off the table:
He ruled out changes to make Obamacare work better or tweaks to make clear the subsidies are available in all states, instead saying the goal would be to help states "get out of Obamacare."
Shining a bright spotlight on their own Republican incompetence, a few senators decided ‘who cares:’
One top Republican, Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN), suggested recently that his party may not need to act if millions of Americans lose their subsidies. Another Republican, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), said the GOP should challenge Democrats to come up with a different health care plan that isn't Obamacare and is supported by the American public.
I hate to tell Republicans that it's too late to convince Americans they're not already "crazy to the point of letting the world spin into chaos:" 
One conservative source, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, described it as an attempt to "make the world safe for Roberts to overturn" the subsidies and to "not let our guys look like they're going crazy and letting the world spin into chaos."
Republicans hate their own government so much (patriotic isn't it?) that managing it is now impossible. Stunning to say, here's what they have to offer:
Scratch beneath the surface and the GOP effort to devise an alternative is a mess. Republican leaders have offered no specifics beyond their longstanding call for "patient-centered" solutions. The party is nowhere close to a viable plan, aides privately say, stymied by the same obstacles they've faced for five years: deep internal divisions and a lack of economically feasible options to cover the uninsured without mandates or regulations or higher taxes and spending.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Janesville man with free flights, parking says enjoy your 2nd-class transportation

The new GOP House budget-writing chairman, Janesville's own US Rep. Paul Ryan, declares there will be no raise in the ridiculously low (18.4 cents) federal per-gallon gas tax, though gas prices are plummeting and the Federal Highway Trust Fund is depleted.

Look for Ryan sidekick Scott Walker to fill the Wisconsin transportation agency's deficit-laden budget through more cuts to transit, some higher registration and licensing fees, extra surcharges on electric and hybrid vehicles which Walker believes are owned by Democrats, added state credit card debt to pay for unneeded 'freeway' lanes, and funding transfers from health, education, assistance to local governments and other programs.

By the way, members of Congress get about a quarter-million dollars annually for taxpayer-paid travel, can use it fly first-class, retain frequent-flyer miles and can also fly free on overseas junkets.

And it's common for member of Congress to either park their cars for free at the DC airport or get rides to and from the airport from taxpayer-paid staffers.

Your travel experience and theirs is very different.

Cross-posted at The Political Environment.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Attack on French newspaper is an outrage

The mass murder of journalists and others at a satirical Parisian newspaper is a crime against free expression everywhere. Today is a day for speaking out for the victims, their craft and its universal and crucial value. And for remembering other journalists recently killed, captured and imprisoned for doing their jobs.

Why is Paul Ryan so Wrong...all the Time?

Our new dystopian Republican congress has a lot of people thinking about what might happen under their control. For me, a smart Democratic plan would be to take every GOP bill and highlight what it would do. A two column analysis, one side Democratic and the other Republican, for every major bill. Dream on John, because that would be like "framing" the issues, and Democrats don't do that ever.

But reporters are still curious about those in charge, and their records to date, like Paul Ryan's:
Why is why Ryan has been so spectacularly wrong about inflation, the dollar, and, well, the whole economy the past few years.

"Pressed for cash, the government will take the easy way out," Ryan mused in 2013, and "crank up the printing presses." The result wouldn't be any run-of-the-mill inflation, but rather "the debasement of our currency." And in case you have any doubt how bad that would be, well, Lenin supposedly said that's the best way to destroy the capitalist system. So pretty bad.

In 2009, he philosophized that "a lot of people would observe that we are right now
living in an Ayn Rand novel." A year later, he all but accused the Fed of using the printing press to pay our bills … And in 2011, he somberly warned then-Fed Chair Ben Bernanke that "there is nothing more insidious that a country can do its citizens than debase its currency."

It was a weird thing to be worrying about. Inflation was just 1.7 percent when Ryan brought up dollar debasement. It's 1.2 percent now. And rather than being debased, debauched or otherwise devalued, the dollar is actually up 13 percent against a broad index of currencies over this time … there hasn't been anything resembling "debasement."

Why has Paul Ryan been wrong about everything? Well, he missed what a lot of people miss, which is that the rules change when interest rates are zero. You won't learn that from Ayn Rand's books, though.