Farewell Ryan Open Thread: Requiem for A Heavyweight Fake

Nobody loves a quitter, but dayyum Paul Ryan has a lot of enemies! Of course, he’s taken credit for a budget bill that will explode the deficit while giving still more of our common wealth away to the least deserving plutocrats, while failing to rein in the worst impulses of the leaders of “his” party. And he’s abandoning ship just in time for an actual avowed white supremacist to take the lead in the GOP primary for his replacement, and guaranteeing that we’ll all get to watch at least two of the least appealing Repub congresscritters (Kevin McCarthy & Steve Scalise) fight like crazed weasels to take over his “throne”. Also, he’s the Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver. But the Media Village Idiots always seemed to love him — yet the concensus of public comment right now seems to be GOOD RIDDANCE, at best. Of course the NYTimes is still slobbering over his “bravery”, and there may be television pundits still standing up for their Pauly Blue Eyes…

134 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    The Great White Dope.

  2. 2
    donnah says:

    Paul Ryan truly and accurately represents the Republican party in his greed, willingness to dismiss and disable the poor and needy, blind obedience to terrible leadership, cowardice, and inability to make a stand for honesty and morality.

    Yep, Ryan’s a real winner. Enjoy the rest of your terrible legacy!

  3. 3
    Nicole says:

    I appreciate the number of op ed writers pointing out Ryan’s obsessive desire to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but I wonder where they all were five, 10 years ago?

  4. 4
    Bruuuuce says:

    Paul Ryan is a “policy wonk” if you define a “wonk” as someone who lies effortlessly about policy and shifts his positions based on the political winds.

    Also known as “a Republican”

  5. 5
    wormtown says:

    He made millions; and now will make more lobbying or, god forbid, as a talking head.

  6. 6
    JMG says:

    Nancy Pelosi lost the Speakership eight years ago and stayed and fought. Mitch McConnell, whom I despise, lost his majority in 2006 until 2014 and stayed and fought. Both McConnell and Pelosi are seen as self-serving pols, but they obviously have 1000 times as much commitment to what they believe in than the allegedly policy-driven Ryan. Or maybe it’s just that they’re not punks and Ryan is.

  7. 7
    Kay says:


    I appreciate the number of op ed writers pointing out Ryan’s obsessive desire to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but I wonder where they all were five,

    Obama was President so it was time to tighten our belts. It’s a consistent pattern. Democrats= belt tightening, Republicans = wild spending sprees.

    I geniunely believe they do not understand how many old people rely on Social Security for survival, what a huge group of people there are in that category. I’m often shocked myself, in my practice, how little people have. A lot of older people have DEBT. They’re in negative numbers.

  8. 8
    Droppy says:

    Paul Ryan is a “policy wonk” if you define a “wonk” as someone who lies effortlessly about policy and shifts his positions based on the political winds.

    And the extra-Ryanny part: someone who doesn’t actually know what the meanings of all those financially-sounding words are.

  9. 9
    germy says:

    Good luck to Paul Ryan on his next endeavor:
    Making the underwater city from Bioshock a reality.

    — Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) April 11, 2018

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Kay: And they disproportionately vote GOP.

  11. 11
    Nicole says:

    @Kay: So true, and yet it’s just about impossible to persuade someone to really look at the things they believe to be so. Vox had an article about the ways the brain has evolved to actively work against accepting information that does not coordinate with what we want to be true. Or, as the saying goes, you cannot reason a man out of something he did not reason himself into.

  12. 12
    Amir Khalid says:

    Back in 2012, I said Ryan was practising a cargo-cult approximation of economic wonkery.

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    The giveaway, IMO, is that Devin Nunes is still in charge of the (oxymoronic) House Select Committee on Intelligence. Does anyone think Nunes would be there for an attosecond longer without Ryan’s full approval? Just consider Nune’s campaign to ‘impeach’ Deputy AG Rosenstein– putting aside the completely wacko aspects of that– does Nunes realize that doing that would require a vote of some sort? By, y’know, the Congress? Nunes is just a Trump lickspittle, and Ryan is fine with that. And still is.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    We’ll be glad when you’re gone, you rascal you.

    @Amir Khalid

    Asteriskian economics.

  15. 15
    Kay says:


    I wish the Social Security administration still sent out paper statements. People used to bring those to me. They need to understand that people rely on this. It isn’t optional. Old people aren’t sleeping in doorways because of this specific payment. They can’t just muse idly about it around the campfire at Miami University.

    The thing that drives me crazy is the LACK of seriousness. No one cares about their theories! Ayn Rand was a novelist you reckless moron. 50 million people are vulnerable because Paul Ryan read a crappy novel in undergrad? It’s so arbitrary and senseless. What if liberals did this? “My economic plan is based on The Hobbit”

  16. 16
    NotMax says:

    Underpants gnome jumps ship. Film at 11.

  17. 17
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well put. And too bloody true.

  18. 18
    geg6 says:


    That was my thought exactly. Whenever someone would mention the underpants gnome, I always pictured the gnome as Paul Ryan. He embodies the whole thing perfectly.

  19. 19
    kingweasil says:

    he’ll probably end up as faux news pundit.must be eligible for his entitlement pension…

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    Adam Goldman
    40m40 minutes ago
    Guy got $30,000 in exchange for signing over the rights to a rumor he’d heard that @realDonaldTrump had fathered an illegitimate child with an employee at Trump World Tower.

    And it is of course, TRUE, which is why Trump’s vast army of corrupt friends paid him off.

    Conservatives had 5000 rumors about Obama including but not limited to that he was gay, that he was not a citizen, that he was a drug addict, that he evaded selective service, that his wife was in fact A MAN…

    And Obama didn’t pay anyone off to stop the rumors because he didn’t have to- they weren’t true.

    TRUMP, on the other hand, HAS to pay people off because these are not “rumors” but instead FACTS. That’s why “payoff” is called “hush money” and is presumed to be covering something up- because it always IS covering something up.

  21. 21
    Jeffro says:


    What if liberals did this? “My economic plan is based on The Hobbit”

    Well for one thing, it’d automatically be a better plan than one based on “Atlas Shrugged”

  22. 22
    FlipYrWhig says:


    Obama was President so it was time to tighten our belts. It’s a consistent pattern. Democrats= belt tightening, Republicans = wild spending sprees.

    It’s because all Republicans, most important media figures, and some Democrats think spending = deficit = welfare. They think Democrats are going to screw the hardworking in order to dole out goodies for Those People, which isn’t Fair or Responsible, insert spurious olde-timey quotation about voting themselves money from the public treasury. Since Republican spending isn’t on Those People it’s not a grave public emergency that is also cheating the very serious American political system that demands Hard Choices and Leading With Leaderly Leadership. I was born in 1971 and they’ve been pulling this maneuver my entire lifetime.

  23. 23
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Kay: My budget is intended to get everyone a little closer to the lifestyle of Kilgore Trout. It also protects streams and fishery funding because I dig Richard Braughtigan.

  24. 24
    Ksmiami says:

    Ryan needs to pay. He needs ostracization not veneration. Again, the GOP hates government so they should all find a different line of work.

  25. 25
    debit says:


    What if liberals did this? “My economic plan is based on The Hobbit”

    That would be a key part of my platform. Second breakfast for everyone!

  26. 26
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: And it legalizes marijuana, shrooms, and acid because Ken Kesey. I like this novelist-inspired governing!

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @debit: Everyone will gain ten pounds! At least!

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    It was so gratifying to read all those tweets calling out Paul Ryan for the person he truly is that for a second I thought I was reading the “Happy Thoughts” morning thread.

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    I can’t find any reports of media outlets paying to bury the rumor that Obama was born in another country.

    Because it wasn’t true. Therefore it never occurred to anyone to bury it. Media and Donald Trump spread that rumor for 5 years, but Obama wasn’t sending people out with bags of cash to bury it.

    Donald Trump sweats rumors because they aren’t rumors, but instead are facts that he and his buddies in media kept from voters.

  30. 30
    Nicole says:

    @Kay: Plus, as the number of people who remember the Great Depression gets smaller and smaller, there’s less of an understanding of how bad things can be. It’s like the anti-vaxxers. They’ve never had to know a time when summer came with fears of their child getting polio, so they are free to put forth unsubstantiated and false ideas about vaccines and autism.

    Funny thing is, Paul Ryan doesn’t even understand AynRand. The big bad guy in Atlas Shrugged is a wealthy crony capitalist. I’m not saying she was a champion for the working class, she certainly wasn’t, although I think it’s very important to always look at her work from her point of view- a Russian Jew whose family had everything taken from them in the Russian revolution, but I’m always astounded at how many right wingers cite her work and clearly don’t understand it. Because, it’s not that hard to understand. It’s freaking Ayn Rand, not Nietzsche.

    So Paul Ryan is really dumb, and hurt a lot of people, and the media let him get away with it, as what I’m saying.

  31. 31
    Waldo says:

    Some wishful thinking from the NY Times:

    You can use your remaining authority and credibility with your colleagues to pass legislation to make it harder for the president to fire Robert Mueller …

    Right. While packing boxes, he just might find the spine he’s rumored to possess.

  32. 32

    Tell me if I am being naive, is the right turn of the NewsHour new (since Judy Woodruff took over the helm from Jim Lehrer) or has it always been the case and I did not realize it.
    Yesterday to debate Paul Ryan’s quitting she had on a guy from a website called American Greatness and a Never T, Republican, Charlie Sykes. AG is a white nationalist pro-T website/thinktank that also published a lot of stuff by Michael Anton ( the other White Nationalist in the WH besides Miller) who just resigned this week.
    When she has people to discuss foreign policy the lefty view is represented by BushII officials some of whom are also career officials like Nicholas Burns but not all. I find this trend of Nazification of the supposedly intellectual discourse in this country disturbing. See also the recent upheaval at the Atlantic and house favorite Vichy Times.

  33. 33
    MattF says:

    @Waldo: Doesn’t need a spine because he has an exoskeleton.

  34. 34
    debit says:

    @MattF: It’s okay! I will also push for more biking infrastructure so we can cycle those pounds off.

    ETA: Also, too, everyone gets a pony.

  35. 35
    Quinerly says:

    Apologies if this has been posted. Staining my porch and didn’t get chance to read all the comments. Highly recommend this piece:https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trump-takes-out-paul-ryan-and-its-going-to-be-a-civil-war

  36. 36
    Kay says:


    I said this a lot during the financial crash but the success of safety net programs threatens the continued survival of safety net programs because they are just THERE, operating in the background. When we went to 16% unemployment here food stamps kicked in, which meant there were no breadlines, which meant idiots on tv could attack the very safety net programs that were working as designed.

  37. 37
    bystander says:

    @Kay: You forgot Obama was an undercover Kenyan Muslim, also. That’s the point that explains why he started the war in Syria.

  38. 38
    SFAW says:

    Anne Laurie –
    PLEASE change the title of this post. “Farewell”? No fucking way.

    As I said yesterday: I want that motherfucker to suffer financial catastrophe so bad that he ends up becoming one of the poor people he’s been trying to kill for at least eight years. And let’s see how he does when he’s not living off the Government dole. He’s stupid, worthless, and evil, and does not merit any wishes in the same galaxy as “Farewell.” No “adieu,” no “adios,” none of that. Just “eat shit and die.”

  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    @Nicole: Or even on Monday!!

  40. 40
    Spanky says:


    “My economic plan is based on The Hobbit”

    I wish quite sincerely to subscribe to your newsletter.

  41. 41
    SFAW says:


    Worcester? (Re: your nym/nom)

  42. 42
    Bruuuuce says:

    @Kay: You’re right. As with the Y2K potential for disaster, it took enormous amounts of work and resources to head it off, but extremely successfully, to the point where people ridiculed the possibility afterward without acknowledging all the work and attention.

  43. 43
    NotMax says:


    “My economic plan is based on The Hobbit”

    Shire and shire alike.

  44. 44
    EmbraceYourInnerCrone says:

    And let’s not forget the fact that Paul Ryan was able to go to college(at a college funded in part by public money) after the death of his father, largely due to Social Security death benefits:


  45. 45
    afanasia says:

    @Jeffro: Sam Gamgee’s elderly father seemed happy. He always had money to spend at the pub.

  46. 46

    @Kay: It has taken the back to back presidencies of President Obama and the current one, to open my eyes to the racism and bigotry of our respectable media. I am looking at you PBS, NYT, Atlantic etc.

  47. 47
    raven says:

    @Kay: I wonder if it is opt out, I still get mine in the mail.

  48. 48
    PIGL says:

    @Jeffro: one way it would be a better plan is, it involves destroying the ring of power, not using one as the basic energy source for your economy.

    Another way is that prosperous rural squirearchies such The Shire have actually existed when corn prices were high enough such that agricultural labor paid above starvation wages. Galt Gulch? Not so much.

  49. 49
    eric says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I think that no idiom better encapsulates the view of the establishment towards Obama than “Stay in your lane.” They resented that he was smarter and funnier and more handsome and more accomplished than all of them. Plus, he appears a loving husband and father with a charming family. He is everything they say they want to be, but failed.

  50. 50
    Duane says:

    Missouri governor Greitens is likely to lose his job. He should write a book about his experiences. He can call it “Fifty Shades of Greitens.”

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    “It’s going to be a civil war. No one knows how bad this will get. Kevin [McCarthy] is such a fucking moron he’s going to get rolled by Pelosi every day. FML.”

    too funny.

  52. 52

    @eric: You can add Balloon Juice favorite Charlie Pierce to that list of jealous Obama detractors.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    tobie says:

    @schrodingers_cat: My husband and I disagree pretty vehemently about Judy Woodruff. I stopped watching the News Hour about 6 years ago because I thought she brought the level of discussion down and truly hated that whenever she had a spot on fiscal matters, she would invite deficit-scold Maya MacGuineas on, whose mantra was “entitlement reform, entitlement reform, entitlement reform.” I’m not sure Woodruff’s personal convictions are conservative. She just goes with whomever she thinks is the accepted authority on an issue and, since DC is wired for Republicans, this inevitably leads her to Republican figures.

  55. 55
    Quinerly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And here, I thought the first comment would be about the “crone cave” line and the substance of the piece (written by a Repug operative) would be lost in the comments. Glad someone read the entire piece.

  56. 56
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’d have gone with: Paul Ryan — Requiem for a Lightweight

  57. 57
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “It’s like Forrest Gump won the presidency, but an evil, really f*cking stupid Forrest Gump. He can’t help himself. He’s just a f**king idiot who thinks he’s winning when people are b*tching about him. He really does see the world as ratings and attention. I hate Forrest Gump.”

    -Unnamed GOP rep to Erik, son of Erik.

  58. 58
    clay says:

    For those of you who missed Rachel Maddow last night, she absolutely tore into “the myth of Paul Ryan”, and those media idiots who fell for it.

    Here ya are, enjoy!


    EDIT TO ADD: The best part is that she did it in her jocular Rachel way, smiling and laughing as she dismantled every pedestal Ryan ever put himself on. It was brutal!

  59. 59
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @schrodingers_cat: They fall for Republicans’ “treat me ‘fairly’ – or else” racket. When Neo-Nazis and KKKers demand to be treated with respect and have their ideas taken seriously in the political arena, you’re not supposed to be so accommodating, MSM!

  60. 60
    Jeffro says:

    Btw do we have any early leaks (er, I mean REPORTS) yet about how the GOP dinner at the White House last night went? Did president* bwah bwah bwah settle down enough to enjoy his burnt steak and ketchup with such distinguished guests?

  61. 61

    @tobie: It really doesn’t matter what her convictions are, she has used her lead anchor chair at the Snooze Hour promoting Rs in power and these days that means unreconstructed white nationalists and bigots.
    Did you see her drooly interview with the then senate candidate Joni Ernst?
    Snooze Hour’s economic correspondent is pretty awful too, Paul Solomon.

  62. 62
    p.a. says:

    @Kay: As of today, paper statements will return, I believe for 2019 (just had my “when am I reduced to eating petfood?” meeting w my financial advisor, in which he mentioned this.) Obviously, nothing written in stone in Twittlerworld.

  63. 63
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Consensus, please.

    (Where all the other pedants at?)

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Quinerly: Nah, I am well acquainted with Wilson’s trump hate. He mournfully laments to ad nauseum the death of the wholly discredited GOP econ policy that Ryan’s resignation apparently signals to him. but I expect that of him too. I enjoyed it anyway.

    ETA Also too I liked this closing:

    “The rubes still think Trumpism sells. It doesn’t, outside of the deepest deep-red seats. They seem to honestly believe that in the 25 swing seats where Donald Trump is as well-liked as a case of genital herpes that muh wall and MS-13 TV ads are going to save the majority.

    “They still think that races are won with MAGA hats and badly photoshopped Hillary Pizzagate memes. They conflate Trump’s Russian-supported, celebrity-driven win against the luckless, joyless Hillary with actual campaigning.”

  65. 65
  66. 66
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Paul Ryan — Requiem for a Lightweight

    Can’t argue with that.

  67. 67
    Quinerly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I agree with Wonkette…. Pretty sure that was Peter King.

  68. 68
    SFAW says:


    (Where all the other pedants at?)

    Thought you could sneak that one by, did youse?

  69. 69
    tobie says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I agree with you. She has a powerful position as anchor. She doesn’t just report the news but shapes the narrative and, in routinely inviting right-wing commentators and guests, she’s tilting the conventional wisdom on events of the day in a right-wing direction.

  70. 70
    Nicole says:

    @Kay: And yet. I fear if the programs are severely cut or go away, the media will still the Democrats for not “fighting for them hard enough. “. Because, everyone expects GOP to screw over the working class and are fine with it. Boys will be boys after all.

  71. 71
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @schrodingers_cat: At least we have Balloon-Juice, where you can call a Nazi a Nazi. Judy W would have the vapors.

  72. 72
    Cermet says:

    @Nicole: The entire bases of all religions and I’m looking at all christians here. While all liberals can (and in the case of religious belief’s are), at least most will look at facts and (sometimes) slowly calibrate their views to adjust for reality.

  73. 73
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Quinerly: Sounds like him but supposedly this was a retiring GOP rep. As far as I know, King is not retiring.

  74. 74
  75. 75

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon:Snooze Hour tut-tutted but did not air the shit hole countries remark or say it out loud.
    ETA: Yes its good to have Balloon Juice where we don’t have to mince words.

  76. 76
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Nicole: “Boys will be boys” – that really nails the media attitude towards us namby-pamby Dems that lets the Republicans get away with anything and everything.

  77. 77
    tobie says:

    @clay: One conservative who has questioned Ryan’s legacy is Steve Schmidt.

    Paul Ryan’s monument will be the the putrid and smoldering ruins of the Republican Party and conservative movement that he betrayed with his complicity and cowardice. He lacked the guts to stand for decency and the wisdom to confront the threat of Trumpism.

    He also attacks him for exploding the deficit.

  78. 78
    Spanky says:

    @Quinerly: I’m pretty sure Ewick’s “congressperson” was as real as King Fu Monkey’s Tyrone.

    A useful, fictional character who mouths the author’s POV. In this case, though, Ewick is desperately trying to avoid being fingered as having those opinions.

    (Edited because of my damn typoing sskillz.)

  79. 79
    Cermet says:

    @Nicole: And this differs from so-called christians and their reading/knowledge of their bible? No where in the bible is abortion denounced or considered a sin; just the opposite because one has examples of where woman who are pregnant are executed yet the people could have waited for them to give birth first. Not reading nor understanding the principles by which they use “well known knowledge” that is false, is common by rightwingers.

  80. 80
    SFAW says:


    (Where all the other pedants at?)

    A joke from many years ago:

    Person A: Can you tell me where the bathroom is at?
    Person B: At Hahvahd, they taught us not to end a sentence with a preposition. (Said in the stereotypical Harvard/preppie/rich WASP accent)
    Person A: Hmm. OK — can you tell me where the bathroom is at, asshole?

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    True, cause they wanted to be conned.

    Paul Ryan’s one real accomplishment as a politician was repeatedly conning gullible journalists https://t.co/IVWaAyhEuP

    — Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 11, 2018

  82. 82
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    OT – There’s some sort of Baptist/Calvinist convention going on in Louisville (I think the twitter hashtag is T4G18, or something similar). Anyway, the thing is whiter than white (I’ve been blinded by the sight of groups of them wandering about), and you have the usual twitter complaints from servers about the poor tipping, although grindr is probably super busy.

    So if you follow the event tweets, one or two of the speakers had some critical things to say about racial attitudes, MLK and the composition of congregations in the Baptist and Calvinist world. Judging by the whining, the butthurt and the pushback, the vast majority of participants are Trumpers and some of the worst people on earth, many of them identifying as pastors.

    It is an ugly, ugly event.

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    Sex scandal gets vastly more serious for Missouri’s GOP governor
    04/12/18 08:00 AM—UPDATED 04/12/18 08:06 AM
    By Steve Benen
    In contemporary politics, sex scandals are not always career-ending controversies. The public is often forgiving, for example, when politicians are contrite about mistakes in their personal lives.

    But make no mistake: the allegations surrounding Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) are vastly more serious than routine controversies about adultery. The Kansas City Star reported overnight:

    When she tried to leave, sobbing after a non-consensual sexual encounter, she says the man who would be governor physically stopped her.

    What happened next, she testified under oath to a Missouri House committee investigating allegations of misconduct against Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, is spelled out in graphic detail in a 25-page report and transcripts of testimony that the lawmakers released Wednesday.

    It’s the first time the public has heard sworn testimony from the woman at the center of allegations of misconduct against the governor.

    The full report is online here. I should emphasize that it’s quite graphic and explains in some detail alleged non-consensual sexual assaults.

  84. 84
    SFAW says:


    As far as I know, King is not retiring.

    Not intentionally, at least. Let’s hope DuWayne Gregory fixes that.

  85. 85

    @rikyrah: They are not send us their best, they are sending rapists and..

  86. 86
    GregB says:

    Forrest Trump.

  87. 87
    rikyrah says:

    Maddow was BLISTERING on Paul Ryan last night.
    Loved it.

    Paul Ryan legacy gives lie to Beltway’s deficit hawk mythology

    Rachel Maddow shows how the Beltway media spun up an elaborate myth about Paul Ryan as a budget hawk focused on reducing spending and debt. Ryan announced his retirement two days after the CBO announced a record deficit resulting from the budget Ryan oversaw.

  88. 88
    Barbara says:


    Missouri governor Greitens is likely to lose his job. He should write a book about his experiences. He can call it “Fifty Shades of Greitens.”

    It’s strange and unsettling that we are living with such chaos that this isn’t THE headline in every newspaper. It even has sex — real sex, kinky sex — and it’s barely registering outside of Missouri (I think or hope, anyway).

    My theory with Paul Ryan is that as someone who lost his father young he molded his beliefs and goals to please wealthy patrons who served as alternative father figures. He might have ideals, but he certainly seems to shed them at the drop of a hat when a donor tells him that tax cuts are more important. He is an empty vessel with an appealing exterior. He will always be the “future” of the Republican Party, the way Bobby Jindal will always be the bright Rhodes scholar who became the “youngest” guy to do — fill in the blank. They can’t sink into oblivion soon enough.

  89. 89

    @rikyrah: Don’t worry MSM R-enablers will switch their affections to Sassy Ben, he is so cute and dreamy.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    How many old farts here on this blog are in that position of relying on SS for retirement.
    Slowly raises hand. I’m better off than some of the people you mention but only by a small percentage. I have very little debt and can get out of it at any time. But your SS payment has to be maxed out and you have to have something in the way of healthcare other than Medicare to survive. And what with the assholes in the WH and congress screwing up the economy we will probably be in a recession soon. That means no work for me, that means far less for retirement and makes the situation dire. And as you point out I’m no where near alone in this.
    Am I bitter? No, not in the least. And if you believe that, I’ve got a few bridges that I can let go on the cheap.

  91. 91
    Barbara says:


    Sounds like him but supposedly this was a retiring GOP rep. As far as I know, King is not retiring.

    Darrell Issa? He would talk like that as well. Possibly Charlie Dent or one of the other departing Pennsylvania legislators, but less likely to talk in that tone.

  92. 92
    Droppy says:


    And let’s not forget the fact that Paul Ryan was able to go to college(at a college funded in part by public money) after the death of his father, largely due to Social Security death benefits:

    As Charlie Pierce says when he mentions this, “You’re welcome, asshole.”

  93. 93
    Ruckus says:


    “My economic plan is based on The Hobbit”

    Well for one thing it would work far better.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Steeplejack says:


    Hell, I wonder where they were one year ago.

  96. 96
    Quinerly says:

    @Spanky: I thought that at first. Then haven’t been that sure.

  97. 97
    Quinerly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Reread the piece. I may be off my rocker this AM… Can’t find the part that the guy is retiring. Have I now missed it twice?

  98. 98
    catclub says:


    “My economic plan is based on The Hobbit”

    Getting gold from Smaug was easier than getting taxes from the Koch brothers.

  99. 99
    burnspbesq says:


    everyone gets a pony.

    Ponies are high-maintenance. Can I have a turtle instead?

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:


    Tell it Kay.
    TELL IT!!

  101. 101
    Yarrow says:

    Remember when Ryan was one of the Republican “Young Guns?” Eric Cantor was another one. They’re both gone. Kevin McCarthy is the last one standing.

  102. 102
    Calouste says:

    @clay: The media idiots, the rich white legacy hires, didn’t “fall” for Ryan’s bullshit. He gave them what they wanted to hear, a story that fitted in their narrative, their world view, and they ran with it.

  103. 103
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Love that joke! The version I learned was “Okay, where’s the library at, bitch?” but it works in many contexts and with many epithets ;-)

  104. 104
    debit says:


    Ponies are high-maintenance. Can I have a turtle instead?

    How about a nice, juicy fish instead, Precious?

  105. 105
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Spanky: I dunno, the account probably is embellished, but the Gump thing is a tell that I’m not sure (Erik) son of \1 is talented enough to fabricate on his own.

  106. 106
    SFAW says:


    How about a nice, juicy fish instead, Precious?

    Just don’t put it in your pocketses, OK?

  107. 107
    Stan says:

    @Kay: idiots on tv could attack the very safety net programs that were working as designed.

    Yes. Umbrellas….it’s as if they do not understand umbrellas. They keep you dry. It doesn’t mean you throw them out when it isn’t raining.

  108. 108
    MCA1 says:

    I love how some of these GOP pundits and strategists are NOW taking Paul Ryan to task for the most irredeemable, most damaging part of his stint as Speaker, which would be the blind fealty to Beloved Dotard. He has done at best generational, and at worst irreparable, harm to the republic by abdicating all power of the Congress over the Executive. Instead of actually holding Trump to account, even once, for any of his daily shows of depravity, his constant running roughshod over every norm of civility, duty to country, and democratic governance, he’s empowered and protected Devin f’ing Nunes, Trump’s slavering toady in Congress. I know Ryan gives lie to other Republican myths – ability to actually govern, fiscal responsibility, etc. – but his primary legacy in my mind will always be as the living embodiment of Party over Country Always Forever that now defines the GOP.

    Paul Ryan has been a transparent coward forever and was never motivated by anything other than his own ambition and opportunism, and other than Steve Schmidt no one from the Republican side of the world could bring themselves to admit this glaringly obvious fact until yesterday.

  109. 109
    Duane says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: That shitshow is coming here this weekend. Given the scandals that they’ve foisted on us, they should be shamed of being seen together in public. Or scared of being tarred, feathered, and ran out of town.

  110. 110
    catclub says:


    The media idiots, the rich white legacy hires, didn’t “fall” for Ryan’s bullshit.

    They leaped to embrace it.

  111. 111
    Librarian says:

    @clay: Lawrence O also.

  112. 112
    Barbara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I read the link and the problem with Wilson is the problem with all of the “fiscal probity” types that equates probity with reducing “your” benefits in order to reduce “their” taxes, and that is: voters don’t like it. They won’t stand for a direct assault on Social Security and Medicare, (when George Bush barnstormed the country based on privatizing Social Security in 2005 it had all the resonance of a sinking ship) so that’s why most of the assaults involve the two step approach of cutting taxes first and then wringing hands mightily over the resulting deficit, which they insist can only be addressed by cutting benefits or the euphemistic version known as entitlement reform. That hasn’t worked either, or not well enough for their taste, so Paul Ryan got the tax cut, threw up his hands and got out. This has been going on for more than 25 years and people like Rick Wilson still can’t seem to grasp that, ultimately, it’s up to voters, most of whom rely on these programs. I don’t know what kind of bubble Wilson lives in that he can’t seem to grasp that people aren’t willing to starve in order to serve his vision of a meritocracy.

  113. 113
    randy khan says:


    The thing that’s striking about the Daily Beast piece is that this is a guy who feels (and expresses) deep contempt for the Democrats’ ability to run competent campaigns, a fair amount of it unjustified, and still thinks that the Republicans are likely to suffer 1974-level losses in November.

  114. 114
    Duane says:

    @catclub: As Jim Wright put it they sidled up to it and licked it in the ear.

  115. 115
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Continuing the basing-your-politics-on-The-Hobbit (as opposed to Atlas Shrugged) meme from below (because I’m always late to the fun discussions), could I suggest a policy of no more Nazgul in Cabinet positions? That would be good.

    I’m still feeling optimistic about us not tripping over our feet in the 2018 elections, but increasingly pessimistic about how bad the damage will be by then. Just think about the flurry of destruction an outgoing lame duck Congress could accomplish in the November to January period alone.

  116. 116
    Mayur says:

    @Kay: . “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

    Sounds good to me.

  117. 117
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yarrow: I keep seeing copies of “Young Guns” in the local Dollar Stores. (It’s Eric Cantor’s former congressional district.) I do not notice folks purchasing them.

    LOL. Two down, one to go.

  118. 118
    Shell says:

    I cant believe they’re still using that old wheeze, “Spend more time with my family.” Well, I guess when your party itself has become a joke…

  119. 119
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @GregB: Bangalore! – With the proviso that “Forrest” is pronounced farce.

  120. 120
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Where’d’ya get that “supposedly”? There’s no support for it in the quoted passages – only that the snarler thinks he might be retired by the electorate come November.

    Shurzell sounds like Petey Pawn (IRA – NY) to me.

  121. 121
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Yarrow: “Young Guns” -> “Young Goons” -> “Young Gones.” Arwin’s Theory of Devolution hard at work…

  122. 122
    Bill in Section 147 says:

    Can he please fly solo to Syria and try to broker a peace treaty. Rudolph Hess thinks it is time for history to repeat itself.

  123. 123

    Bannon’s “time travel legal strategy” for Trump to Triumph is as contemptuous of America and Americans as those times when GW Bush lies and states that only future generations can possibly gauge the ultimate “success” or failure of the 2003 War in Iraq.*

    *Unlike Cheney, who remains defiantly proud of their treason.

    Unlike congressional democrats that once supported them, too; whose fifteen year, shamefaced silence in the face of that great betrayal has so ill served our national security interests- internationally, of course, but above all, in terms of our domestic politics, and that, across the board. Americans know the score, know they were lied into waging war. The fuckers plotted war succeeded, but have never since been seriously challenged for having made war criminals of us all.

  124. 124
    Kathleen says:

    @donnah: My fondest memories are how cruel he was to children. Every time a child was enrolled in Medicaid Ryan tore off an angel’s wings.

  125. 125
    Turgidson says:


    Back then he was “brave” and “bold” and “sincere” and, most hilariously, “was very concerned about the budget deficit.”

    The gullibility of some of the press in believing his bullshit and never bothering to check his record or the accuracy of his claims or the consequences of what he was proposing to most non-rich people, the willingness to go along with his con among others, and refusal to take seriously the people who actually knew what they were talking about (Krugman most prominently but there were plenty who saw through him) among both of these groups, was like a mini-Iraq war runup sequel. And it was a non-trivial reason why Obama didn’t have the political capital to push more stimulus into the economy when it desperately needed it in 2010-11.

    My contempt for the heinous piece of soulless shit known as Paul Ryan knows no bounds.

  126. 126
    Citizen Alan says:


    It was legal to simply shoot Smaug through the heart with a Black Arrow and then just go take his stuff. Which, come to think of it, maybe a compelling reason to adopt the Lord of the Rings platform for economic Justice.

  127. 127
    Shana says:

    @Jeffro: And we’d get two breakfasts.

  128. 128
    TenguPhule says:


    I geniunely believe they do not understand how many old people rely on Social Security for survival,

    I’m afraid you’re sadly mistaken about them.

    They know, but they don’t give a shit.

    Poor people dying from lack of money is a feature to them, not a bug.

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:


    What if liberals did this? “My economic plan is based on The Hobbit”

    We’d have utopia because everyone would be guaranteed at least 8 meals a day?

  130. 130
    EthylEster says:


    (Where all the other pedants at?)

    I’m ignoring the missing “are”!
    But I can’t let you off on the “at” abomination.
    Where are all the other pedants?
    No “at” required.

  131. 131
    TenguPhule says:


    Getting gold from Smaug was easier than getting taxes from the Koch brothers.

    It helped to kill Smaug first.

  132. 132
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Continuing the basing-your-politics-on-The-Hobbit (as opposed to Atlas Shrugged) meme from below (because I’m always late to the fun discussions), could I suggest a policy of no more Nazgul in Cabinet positions? That would be good.

    Nitpick, there are no Nazgul in the Hobbit.

  133. 133
    Llelldorin says:

    @Stan: What’s amazing is that this understates the stupidity of the argument. The Republican argument is closer to “we should throw out our umbrellas because it isn’t raining under these umbrellas anyway.”

  134. 134
    Barbara says:

    @TenguPhule: More precisely, worthy people won’t need Social Security — they will do what it takes to save for retirement. Unworthy people don’t deserve to retire.

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