Lest We Forget Open Thread: Paul Ryan — Bad Man, “Good” German Republican

(Jim Morin via GoComics.com)
.

Paul Waldman, at the Washington Post, “A scam of a party says goodbye to its top fraud”:

The proximate cause of Ryan stepping down is that his party looks increasingly likely to suffer an electoral disaster in November’s midterm elections. He is facing an unusually strong challenge from Randy Bryce, the likely Democratic nominee in his Wisconsin district, so he probably calculated that there were two realistic outcomes for him. The worse one would be that he is defeated while his party loses the majority, as happened to then-speaker Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) in 1994. The better one would be that he holds on to his seat while Republicans lose the majority, which might not be better at all. Being speaker may have meant plenty of headaches for Ryan, but being House minority leader is a total drag; you still have to manage your unruly caucus, but you have no real power and can’t make any progress on your agenda…

For years, Ryan has presented himself as someone deeply concerned with fiscal discipline, committed to getting America’s books in order. As anyone with any sense realized, this was a scam: Like all Republicans, he used the deficit as a bludgeon against Democratic presidents, then forgot all about it while a Republican was in office.

At the same time, Ryan — a lifelong admirer of Ayn Rand, the philosopher of selfishness — dreamed of destroying the safety net, eviscerating Medicaid, privatizing Medicare, slashing food stamps, and generally making life in America more cruel and unpleasant for all those who aren’t wealthy.

But as Paul Krugman observed, Ryan failed at both his pretend goal and his real goal. He will leave office after setting the deficit on a path to exceed $1 trillion in 2020, and yet, he failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act and didn’t even bother to wage an assault on Medicare, almost certainly because he knew how disastrous it would be for his party.

So what does he mean when he says “I have accomplished much of what I came here to do”? He can only mean the tax cut Republicans passed last year. In other words, engineering a giant giveaway to corporations and the wealthy was enough for Ryan to say “My work here is done.”

Osita Nwanevu, at Slate, on “The Wolf in Wonk’s Clothing”:

[I]t’s worth revisiting now, as Ryan prepares his exit from politics, the thrust of the argument that the tale advanced—that, in general, the 20 million children in this country who receive free lunches have parents who clearly don’t care about them and that in providing food to those children, the government enables bad parenting. That sweeping judgment is impossible unless one considers poverty and economic hardship themselves personal failings. For about a decade now, Ryan has demonstrated that he believes precisely this—that those who have trouble making their way in the world are personally defective, that those immiserated by circumstance have willingly surrendered their lives to dysfunction, and that the best remedy society can offer to those who lack is to deprive them, in cuts to already meager social programs, of even more.

Shaping that dogmatism into pseudo-wonkery has taken years of wild and reckless obfuscation. Most of the analyses of where Trump “came from” have sought and found precedents for his open xenophobia, conspiracymongering, and boorishness in the rhetoric and behavior of Republican politicians in the recent past. But his mendacity and the constant consequence-free dissembling of his administration still baffle all those who’ve wondered aloud, over the past year and a half, how we so suddenly entered a new age of “post-truth” politics. We haven’t, really. Paul Ryan understood, like Trump, the extent to which the norms governing conventional political journalism have always been poorly equipped to handle naked and persistent dishonesty and disingenuousness. His speech to the 2012 Republican National Convention was littered with blatant lies…

Ryan showed, too—long before Trump was taken seriously—the political possibilities available to those brazen enough to openly call large swaths of the population leeches. It is scarcely mentioned, even in criticisms of Ryan’s proposals, that his ideal policy regime, like Trump’s, would upend the lives of millions of minorities or that the project of welfare reform, which Ryan, by his own admission, signed up enthusiastically for in his youth in the late 1980s and early 1990s has historically been animated by straightforward racism. All told, Ryan’s most lasting legacy may be his role in helping the conservative movement launder its messaging against anti-poverty programs—once freighted with obviously coded tall tales about welfare queens—into tidier, more superficially respectable rhetoric…

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
.

Paul Krugman, “The Paul Ryan Story: From Flimflam to Fascism”“:

I do have some insight into how Ryan — who has always been an obvious con man, to anyone willing to see — came to become speaker of the House. And that’s a story that reflects badly not just on Ryan himself, not just on his party, but also on self-proclaimed centrists and the news media, who boosted his career through their malfeasance. Furthermore, the forces that brought Ryan to a position of power are the same forces that have brought America to the edge of a constitutional crisis…

Look, the single animating principle of everything Ryan did and proposed was to comfort the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted. Can anyone name a single instance in which his supposed concern about the deficit made him willing to impose any burden on the wealthy, in which his supposed compassion made him willing to improve the lives of the poor? Remember, he voted against the Simpson-Bowles debt commission proposal not because of its real flaws, but because it would raise taxes and fail to repeal Obamacare…

So how did such an obvious con artist get a reputation for seriousness and fiscal probity? Basically, he was the beneficiary of ideological affirmative action.

Even now, in this age of Trump, there are a substantial number of opinion leaders — especially, but not only, in the news media — whose careers, whose professional brands, rest on the notion that they stand above the political fray. For such people, asserting that both sides have a point, that there are serious, honest people on both left and right, practically defines their identity.

Yet the reality of 21st-century U.S. politics is one of asymmetric polarization in many dimensions. One of these dimensions is intellectual: While there are some serious, honest conservative thinkers, they have no influence on the modern Republican Party. What’s a centrist to do?

The answer, all too often, has involved what we might call motivated gullibility. Centrists who couldn’t find real examples of serious, honest conservatives lavished praise on politicians who played that role on TV. Paul Ryan wasn’t actually very good at faking it; true fiscal experts ridiculed his “mystery meat” budgets. But never mind: The narrative required that the character Ryan played exist, so everyone pretended that he was the genuine article…

Matt Yglesias, at Vox, “Donald Trump sold out to Paul Ryan, not the other way around“:

I’m not a big Paul Ryan fan, but one particular kick in the pants the speaker of the House is getting on his way out the door is unfair. It’s simply not the case that he sold out to Donald Trump or compromised his principles in any way. If anything, it’s just the opposite — Trump abandoned his stated views on a wide range of policy issues in order to bring himself into close conformity with Ryan’s ideology and policy agenda…

… On substance, Trump has embraced Ryan’s vision of lower taxes on the rich and a stingier welfare state, even though he campaigned promising the opposite. Ryan has indulged Trump on a personal level without abandoning any of his longstanding policy views. It’s true that Ryan has had limited success in enacting his agenda, but the impediments there have uniformly been in the United States Senate, not the White House. If anything, the Trump administration is quite loyally plugging away at Ryan-esque goals that the president never articulated as a candidate.

But while it’s unquestionably true that the self-presentation of the GOP in 2018 and beyond looks a lot more like what Trump was doing in 2015 than what Ryan was up to three years ago, the policy agenda of the GOP hews much closer to Paul Ryan’s “Better Way” blueprint than to anything Trump said as a candidate.

The critique now, ironically, is rooted in the same style-over-substance pathologies that led so many journalists to overrate Ryan for so long — an inclination Ryan was shrewd to exploit…

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
.

Bess Levin, at Vanity Fair, “Poverty Scold Paul Ryan Retiring at 48 to Join the Ranks of Idle Rich”:

[W]hile Ryan is leaving town after setting the Treasury on fire—something he pretended to care about under Barack Obama, when tax cuts weren’t on the line—his personal financial situation is about to get quite rosy.

Bloomberg reports that upon leaving politics, Wisconsin’s first son will have no trouble adding to a current net worth estimated at slightly more than $6 million, given the wide range of corporate boards probably already banging down his door. “The kind of board that he would go after would probably pay between $250,000 and $300,000 a year and he could probably get three or four of them,” Fred Foulkes, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, told Bloomberg. “There would be dozens that would like to have him, particularly companies that have part of their business in key relationships with certain parts of government.” While Ryan will have to abide by a rule that says representatives must wait one year between working on Capitol Hill and lobbying work, there are no such rules about joining companies’ boards. One imagines that plenty of the Speaker‘s corporate donors, now saving millions on their tax bills, would be happy to have him.

There’s some irony in the fact that Ryan, who famously called poverty a “culture problem” of “men not even thinking about working,” who said the social safety net is a “hammock that lulls able-bodied people into complacency and dependence,” and who extolled the virtues of children seeing their father working, will be quitting his job at 48 in order to do less work for more money. Corporate board seats are famously cushy gigs that involve, typically, attending a meeting every few weeks, max. By the Boston Globe’s estimates, board members usually work fewer than five hours per week per board. The positions are so lucrative and coveted that critics say some people are discouraged from raising questions about C.E.O. pay or other issues for fear of losing their seats, which we’re sure will never been an issue for the deeply principled Ryan.

While Ryan spent much of his career railing against benefits for public-sector employees, he’ll also enjoy a hefty pension package when he heads back to Janesville—a golden parachute that will be further inflated if Ryan hangs on until the end of the year, as he has said he will do…

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
.

But Ryan’s still got one last dream:

138 replies
  1. 1

    No one is more responsible for putting Agent Orange in the WH than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

  2. 2
    rikyrah says:

    Krugman has been on the ZEGK from the beginning.
    Read those old columns on the ZEGK – absolutely on point

  3. 3
    SFAW says:

    As I’ve said before, I hope that traitorous, evil motherfucker suffers financial catastrophe so bad that he ends up — with no one bailing him out, either — as one of the poor people he’s been trying to kill for at least eight years.

    And no fucking health insurance, either.

  4. 4
    LAO says:

    Paul Ryan is the epitome of White Privilege. I mean, has anyone accomplished so little, and yet is so lauded for his genius (and seriousness)?

  5. 5
    SFAW says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    No one is more responsible for putting Agent Orange in the WH than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

    Well, that’s because Ryan went to Wisconsin, unlike Hitlary.

  6. 6
    Quinerly says:

    Just going to leave this Lanny Davis piece here. And, yes, I know….. Lanny Davis. Still worth a read in my opinion: http://thehill.com/opinion/cam.....-all-along

  7. 7
    LAO says:

    @Quinerly: I seriously wish Davis would drop off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again.

  8. 8
    r€nato says:

    @SFAW: hahaha, you’re cute, you think that karma might be visited upon the wealthy and the powerful. This motherfucker will live to a ripe old age thanks to his taxpayer-funded healthcare. He will enjoy his golden years (which are still far ahead of him) in luxury thanks to the corporate board seats and speaking fees and lobbying fees that will be lavished upon him. His government pension – well into the five figures – will be beer money to him.

    Paul Ryan is Exhibit A for how badly America is in need of a very left-wing party that the elites fear. That’s why we are stuck with the kleptocratic oligarchy we have; we have one major political party that works in their interests, and one other major political party that at best mildly discomfits them for a temporary duration, and at worst aids the other party in the highway robbery while throwing a few crumbs on certain social issues to its base.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Paul Ryan Vows To Make Boomers Pay For Retiring By ‘Fixing Entitlements’ https://t.co/NCpRzEBuR6

    — #TheResistance (@SocialPowerOne1) April 15, 2018

    by using ‘ deficits’

    the same deficits that he just exploded with his tax scam?

    GET.THE.ENTIRE.PHUCK.OUTTA.HERE.

  10. 10
    Quinerly says:

    @LAO: piece is still worth a read.

  11. 11
    LAO says:

    If anyone’s interested, here’s a link to the letter brief filed by Michael Cohen’s attorneys today in anticipation of the 2:00 pm hearing.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    That Zeddy tweet just about nails the distinction without a difference of the pre- and post-Trump Republican Party:

    GOP of Paul Ryan: Perpetuate racism to destroy voting rights and the social safety net.

    GOP of Donald Trump: Destroy social safety net and voting rights to perpetuate racism.

    I’d add sexism and xenophobia to racism as motivating factors, but the central point stands: It’s two sides of the same evil-ass coin.

  14. 14
    SFAW says:

    @r€nato:

    you think that karma might be visited upon the wealthy and the powerful.

    No, but a kid can dream, can’t he?

  15. 15
    germy says:

    Great spring Sunday in Wisconsin for scouting turkeys! pic.twitter.com/xnAV364krF— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) April 16, 2018

    If scouting turkey's your thing why leave your job???— Stylish (@bobbysolange) April 16, 2018

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    Matt Yglesias is wrong. Donald Trump did not abandon his own political principles to adopt Paul Ryan’s. Trump never had any principles to abandon; he was just saying what he thought sounded appealing to voters, and he never stood by what he had said.

  17. 17
    r€nato says:

    @SFAW: indeed… well ya never know… ALS is a pretty awful disease, especially the version that starts in your legs and moves its way up. You can live for many years before it finishes you off, imprisoned in an increasingly useless body. There’s currently nothing medical science can do about it, other than alleviate the symptoms.

    But I strongly believe that we make our own justice in this world, I don’t like at all the idea of hoping for some sort of divine intervention or bad luck of the draw or whatever you want to call it.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    oatler. says:

    Anyone catch Todd’s interview of Ryan on MTP? Such sweet smiles between gentlemen of honour…

  20. 20
    germy says:

    I’m curious what hairball the GOP coughs up to run for his office. They’ve disavowed the current challenger; the guy who was kicked off twitter (but who remains on facebook for some reason).

    Which square jaw blue eye will step forward to trounce the Stache or Cathy Myers?

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LAO: Sounds like “even the appearance of impropriety” and “even a hint of impropriety” is doing a lot of work for them, but I am not a lawyer. What do you think of their argument?

  22. 22
    EBT says:

    @r€nato: He won’t actually. Men in his family die in their early 50s and nothing short of a heart transplant is stopping that, plus he doesn’t seem keen on that, choosing instead to pull a Jim Fixx.

  23. 23
    germy says:

    @oatler.: It’s not Todd’s job to ask the tough questions. You know that.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    I’ve always thought of Ryan as a wolf in wolf’s clothing. A liar and a fraud, really no redeeming features. And apologies to wolves.

  25. 25
    LAO says:

    @Quinerly: I thought I read that Berman recused himself because he was personally interviewed by Trump for a permanent appointment but he hasn’t officially been nominated for the position by the Trump Administration.

  26. 26
    Quinerly says:

    @LAO: The piece clearly states that the exact details are unknown. There’s a conflict of interest of some sort.

  27. 27
    Dev Null says:

    @schrodingers_cat: er, Comey?

    Jes’ sayin’.

  28. 28
    rikyrah says:

    @Quinerly:

    BWA HA HA HA HAH A

    They saw Cohen getting raided by the FBI and was like..

    HELL NO!

    On top of that – he doesn’t PAY?

    Uh huh

  29. 29
    Quinerly says:

    @rikyrah: It’s interesting that it is an attorney who Trump has been up against in the past.

  30. 30
    LAO says:

    @Betty Cracker: I agree. The major problem with the argument (as I see it) is foundational. Cohen opens with a facile and erroneous claim — ie, that allowing the taint team to perform its function would allow the government to make an end run the Fourth Amendment — as if no judicially obtained warrant was issued — and their argument is built on this claim. Which is just absolute garbage in my opinion.

  31. 31
    rikyrah says:

    @LAO:

    His temporary appointment runs out in May. At that point he actually has to go through the confirmation process, and answer questions like:

    ” What did you and the President talk about when he PERSONALLY interviewed you for the job?”

  32. 32
    LAO says:

    @Quinerly: I wasn’t referring to what you posted but something I read earlier.

  33. 33
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LAO: I love it that there’s something called a “taint team,” LOL! Wish they sold swag online — would make great stocking stuffers! :-)

    ETA-PS: Thanks to you and other jackal lawyers for providing your take on questions like this — FOR FREE. Very informative.

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @LAO:

    I think it’s interesting (and haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere) that Judge Kimba Wood was one of Bill Clinton’s early nominees for Attorney General.

  35. 35
    Yarrow says:

    Paul Ryan is a traitor.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    Over the weekend, I listened to a great segment of the April 11 Rachel Maddow show, in which she detailed the meteoric rise of Paul Ryan through the ranks of GOP leadership on the wings of his supposed absolute mastery of the budget, and how the GOP and Beltway journalists fed that myth.

    Apparently, when he was a mere babe, Lord Jehovah Almighty emerged from a burning bush and gave Ryan a copy of the federal budget, which he then studiously read until he became so wise that he could open any page and point to a passage which whispered to him how to balance the budget, reduce the deficit and boost the economy. And when he was anointed to become Romney’s VP candidate, another Republican leader actually said that you didn’t even need a president, just Ryan and his mystical understanding of the budget.

    Maddow could not fully hold back her glee when she noted that Ryan was just another conservative con artist who was now bowing out because he could claim that he had accomplished all he promised to do and could proudly proclaim “Mission Accomplished.”

  37. 37
    germy says:

    As I read Mr. Trump's filing last night whereby he attempts to avoid having his own Justice Dept. review the documents seized in the raid, I could not help but draw parallels to the "Stennis Compromise" (below). And we all know how that ended…
    #bastahttps://t.co/vxJnHcy0Xv— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 16, 2018

  38. 38
    PeakVT says:

    @Betty Cracker: A “Taint Team 69” hoodie is something the world can live without.

    I could probably make a small fortune with that idea, sadly.

  39. 39
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: thank you! I was trying to remember why her name was familiar

  40. 40
    germy says:

    The Stennis Compromise was a legal maneuver attempted by U.S. President Richard Nixon on October 19, 1973, during the Watergate scandal.

    The Compromise was offered by Nixon to Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor who was appointed by the Justice Department to investigate the events surrounding the Watergate break-in of June 17, 1972. It was made in response to a subpoena requesting, as evidence, copies of taped conversations which Nixon had made in the Oval Office.

    After an initial refusal to comply on the grounds of executive privilege, Nixon offered to remit the tapes to a respected U.S. Senator, John C. Stennis, a Democrat from Mississippi. Sen. Stennis would listen to the tapes himself, then summarize the tapes for the special prosecutor’s office.

    The explanation was that Stennis would be sensitive to matters of national security contained within. However, Stennis was famously hard-of-hearing, therefore it is believed that President Nixon did not want the tapes entered into the public record, because they contained recordings of Nixon using coarse language and racial epithets, and – preeminently – implicating himself in the “cover-up” surrounding the Watergate break-in.

  41. 41
    MattF says:

    @LAO: So… they’re saying they’re not getting due process because due process is impossible in this case. I’d say ‘tell it to the judge’, except that’s exactly what they’ve done.

  42. 42
    Mandalay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    No one is more responsible for putting Agent Orange in the WH than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

    Well if you read the BJ threads from last night everyone agreed that no one is more responsible for putting Agent Orange in the WH than James Comey.

    What happened in the past 12 hours?

  43. 43

    You all probably saw this tweet while I was at the gym. Just reading it makes my brain feel stupid.

    Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2018

  44. 44
    LAO says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: She’s a pretty terrific federal judge. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences in her courtroom.

    @MattF: that made me laugh.

  45. 45
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Mandalay:

    No one is more responsible for putting Agent Orange in the WH than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

    Well if you read the BJ threads from last night everyone agreed that no one is more responsible for putting Agent Orange in the WH than James Comey.
    What happened in the past 12 hours?

    Lots of people here, differences of opinions. I’ll agree that all three are in the upper blame echelon, though.

  46. 46
    trollhattan says:

    @SFAW:
    I’d love that too, or perhaps a serious case of ass cancer, but he’s facing a path of soft pillows and regular checks from the American Enterprise Institute and a thousand other wingnut factories for the rest of his days. It’s how they roll.

  47. 47
    LAO says:

    @Betty Cracker: I should add, that I personally think that the whole “taint team” process is garbage BUT it’s the judicially approved method of complying with the Fourth Amendment in prosecutions that involve attorneys. That’s a battle that cannot be won. Also, anytime a lawyer is arguing “fundamental fairness,” that attorney is losing.

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    if we did a drinking game in which one does a shot every time someone talking about the Comey book misuses the word “salacious”, the ERs would be full of people needing detox treatment

    kinda surprised to see Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle buying into the Concern about Comey’s references to trump’s long ties and tanning booth raccoon-eyes

  49. 49
    Peale says:

    @Mandalay: Not even the same question. Why did Trump win in 2016? Vs. Why was Trump nominated in the first place by GOP voters?

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Trump never had any principles to abandon

    This is the essence of Trump. Although it’s ghoulish to ponder Trump and essence coexisting in a single sentence.

  51. 51
    efgoldman says:

    @MattF:

    I’ve always thought of Ryan as a wolf in wolf’s clothing.

    More a hyena, I think

  52. 52
    germy says:

    A Republican pollster who helped run commercials attacking President Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries withdrew from his position advising Vice-President Mike Pence after President Trump expressed outrage over his appointment.

    The episode is an illustration of the fact that while President Trump may be incoherent on matters of policy and, at times, basic speech, he still retains the memory of a vengeful elephant.

    Trump demanded Pence boot Lerner, but after Pence got the president on the phone to calm him down, it seemed that the vice-president would prevail in this internecine squabble.

    But just hours later, Lerner stepped down, or “stepped down.”

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....p-ads.html

  53. 53

    @Mandalay: Did s-c say that Comey was the most responsible? If not, why being it up?

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    No one is more responsible for putting Agent Orange in the WH than Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

    Well… also Trump voters.

  55. 55
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I always thought she got kind of a raw deal. Clinton’s first nominee, Zoë Baird, had failed to pay taxes on her (undocumented immigrant) nanny, and was disqualified. Kimba Wood did pay all the proper taxes, but her nanny was also an undocumented immigrant although there was nothing illegal about hiring her. But even in those early days, Clinton Derangement Syndrome was flourishing, and in the uproar Kimba’s name was withdrawn. I’m glad she’s had a good career and, per @LAO, is well-respected by lawyers.

  56. 56
    Gin & Tonic says:

    One of the members of the women’s Russian punk/protest group whose name I can’t type here has been detained in a protest in front of FSB HQ.

  57. 57
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    Paul Ryan is a traitor.

    No lie told.

  58. 58
    MattF says:

    @germy: I guess Trump requires lifelong fealty with documentation. You may prostrate yourself before him right now, but that’s not enough.

  59. 59
    The Moar You Know says:

    ART BELL FUCKIN’ UP AN’ DIED.

    All I can say is good. That fucker has been dumbing America down for decades.

  60. 60
    germy says:

    @MattF:

    but that’s not enough.

    A bottomless pit of need.

    Interesting that Pence wanted to hire someone with such an anti-drumpf history. But then again, they way they vet people, it’s possible Pence wasn’t even aware.

    They’re almost as bad at vetting as the opinion editors of the NYT.

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Trump never had any principles to abandon; he was just saying what he thought sounded appealing to voters, and he never stood by what he had said.

    I agree that Trump has no principles. But he has a number of festering resentments which he has consistently tried to transform into government policy.

  62. 62
    James Powell says:

    @rikyrah:

    Krugman has been on the ZEGK from the beginning.

    Nevertheless, the Beltway Courtiers and the press/media ignored the truth and promoted the fraud.

  63. 63
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I can only assume there was some heavy donor influence in this decision

    James Lindell @ JamesPindell
    Inbox: Reince Priebus named Visiting Fellow at Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School

  64. 64
  65. 65
    Anya says:

    In their quest to prove that short of committing murder on national tv nothing can make a conservative white man lose credibility, Harvard Kennedy School names Reince Priebus, Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Politics. Did they extend the same offer to Michael Steele? Of course not because he’s a black man.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Mandalay says:

    “Fake news” is generally perceived as being false stories fabricated by those with an agenda. But there is another form of fake news: real stories carefully concocted by those with an agenda.

    Here’s an example:
    – A conservative student at Parkland invites a strong supporter of the Second Amendment to speak at Parkland, knowing that the event would not be allowed.
    – The invitee tweets that he may not be allowed to speak.
    – The School Board confirms that he will not be allowed to speak.
    – Fox News has a meltdown alleging that the speaker was “disinvited” when he was never invited in the first place.
    – A general discussion of how the left is trying to silence supporters of the Second Amendment ensues.

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/lo.....story.html

  68. 68
    Brachiator says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I always thought she got kind of a raw deal. Clinton’s first nominee, Zoë Baird, had failed to pay taxes on her (undocumented immigrant) nanny, and was disqualified. Kimba Wood did pay all the proper taxes, but her nanny was also an undocumented immigrant although there was nothing illegal about hiring her.

    Yep. Totally agree that Wood was treated unfairly, proving once again that the people don’t do nuance. Republicans flogged the “fact” that Wood had hired an illegal immigrant, and could omit that the hiring was legal, or claim that this was a mere technicality, and Democrats were nefariously violating “the rule of law.”

  69. 69
    Elizabelle says:

    @MattF: Rubin today: Ryan sold his soul to Trump — and this is all he got?

    Didn’t read it, but would seem Alexandra Petri got there within a day or two of Wonk Ryan’s retirement announcement.

    Petri: Paul Ryan can’t possibly have made a deal with the Devil

  70. 70
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Lord above, is Andrea Mitchell in Houston to give us the news when Barbara Bush gives up the ghost?

  71. 71
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    If someone were to beat Paul Ryan to death with a baseball bat on live national TV, I doubt that I could summon up the empathy to shrug and say “tough choice- but one that had to be made…”

  72. 72
    MattF says:

    @Elizabelle: Petri is ruthless. Where did they find her?

  73. 73
    Yarrow says:

    Ted Lieu really loves trolling Trump.

    Dear @realDonaldTrump: You seem angry again. #JamesComeyInterview got you down? Time for you to do a toxic rally. Go fully unhinged, unleash your temper, blame everyone but yourself, embrace the full #MAGA. Really helps Dems!

    And bring @EPAScottPruitt with you. Also, Ted Nugent. https://t.co/EgCGIsRRqM
    — Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) April 16, 2018

  74. 74
    MoCA Ace says:

    @r€nato:

    This motherfucker will live to a ripe old age thanks to his taxpayer-funded healthcare. He will enjoy his golden years (which are still far ahead of him) in luxury

    I’m rooting for “family medical history” myself

  75. 75
    Fair Economist says:

    @MattF:

    Jen Rubin jumps off the Ryan bus.

    That’s a substantial shift on her part, because she’s saying the Trump tax cuts will have only a marginal and temporary growth boost which will be outweighed in the long term by the drag from higher debt. That implies the country will be better off in the long term by boosting taxes on the wealthy beyond where they were under Obama. That’s a big shift for Rubin, who’s long been on the “smaller government (except when bombing brown people)” train.

  76. 76
    NotMax says:

    Pruitt’s cone of silence declared an illegal expenditure.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Alain the site fixer says:

    @Gin & Tonic: you CAN post it here. I tweaked the filters. Viagra for example.

  79. 79
    germy says:

    Comey says he noticed during dinner that Trump didn't laugh at all: "I was struck by it. So struck by it, it stayed with me, that I've never seen him laugh. Not in public, not in private."

    …I have been writing abt this for years. It's true. Trump doesn't laugh.#ComeyInterview pic.twitter.com/zQQfzZU2WD

    — Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) April 16, 2018

  80. 80
    MoCA Ace says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    If someone were to beat Paul Ryan to death with a baseball bat on live national TV, I doubt that I could summon up the empathy to shrug and say “tough choice- but one that had to be made…”

    Being a “good person” I would be troubled… troubled and concerned :)

  81. 81
    Mandalay says:

    @Anya:

    Did they extend the same offer to Michael Steele? Of course not because he’s a black man.

    Well if pressed Harvard might point out that Steele was RNC Chair for 2 years, whereas Priebus was RNC Chair for 6 years, and also White House Chief of Staff for six months.

    When it comes intellect and spine I don’t doubt that Steele is way ahead of Priebus, but I think you are on pretty thin ice arguing that this is about skin color. Whatever you think of Priebus, his recent resume is far more appealing than Steele’s as far as Harvard is concerned.

  82. 82
    Brachiator says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    ART BELL FUCKIN’ UP AN’ DIED.

    Yep. And he died on Friday the 13th. Spooky. Or not.

  83. 83
    Yarrow says:

    @Alain the site fixer: Hi, Alain! Where’ve you been? People have been wondering if you’re okay. Hope all is well.

  84. 84
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: Excellent point. They’re ginning up outrage over nothing. If you read the Sun-Sentinel story, you can infer that. But if you’re skimming the headlines (as most people do) or, worse, taking the FOX spin seriously, you’ll come away thinking the school is discriminating against conservatives.

    I don’t know that there’s much we can do about people who willingly construct their own media bubble and volunteer for nonstop bias confirmation without entertaining opposing views. But I do think there’s more the legit media could do to present headlines in a non-misleading way. Maybe that’s a place to start.

  85. 85
    aimai says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: a friend of mine used to call the Kennedy School the “Mid Career Dictator’s School.” They always bring in these people who have failed/murdered/been forced out of power before they retool and start afresh.

  86. 86
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Seriously? She’s doing a death watch?

    Fucking ghoul.

  87. 87
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Alain the site fixer: Really? Let’s see: Pussy Riot.

  88. 88
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Both of them are financial reporters by training.

  89. 89
    bemused says:

    @Mandalay:

    The teen, Kyle Kashuv, was on Face the Nation in late March saying the tragedy should never happen again but he wants his side heard too. Checked out his twitter feed and I got a better idea of his side. Antifa leftists, slams David Hogg, puts up comments like The March for Science isn’t about science, it’s about leftist propaganda, and what about the babies who don’t get to be women.

  90. 90
    The Other Chuck says:

    Apparently “wonkery” is what you call it when one can manage to espouse GOP principles without literally frothing at the mouth or chewing on the a/v equipment while doing so.

  91. 91
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: The structure of our media is the real problem. “School board treats people fairly” isn’t a very clickbait-y headline. Our media depend on clicks and eyeballs to make money, so they aren’t incentivized to dial back the outrageous headlines. Somehow we need to recognize that a media that does real journalism is essential to our democracy. We clearly don’t value that as a society at this point.

  92. 92
    Amir Khalid says:

    @MoCA Ace:
    Ah, but would you send thoughts and prayers?

  93. 93
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I have the TV on mute but it appears she’s in Houston doing remote interviews about Big Bad Bar with people in studios in NYC or DC. I wonder if they even did this in the UK when the queen mother was nursing her last beaker of gin.

  94. 94
    Mandalay says:

    @bemused:

    The teen, Kyle Kashuv, was on Face the Nation in late March saying the tragedy should never happen again but he wants his side heard too.

    That’s fine, and he is certainly entitled since his sister was one of the 17 who were slaughtered.

    But Kashuv knew that Broward School Board was not allowing ANYONE to speak at Parkland when he publicly invited a gun nut to speak there, yet now he and his RWNJ cronies are milking it for all they can.

    Fuck him, and fuck his disingenuous shit stirring outrage.

  95. 95
    Anya says:

    @Mandalay: How do you explain them offering a similar thing to Sean Spicer and Cory Corey Lewandowski? They are both Visiting Fellows at the Kennedy School. And Priebece’s resume is about making our politics toxic, promoting bigotry and is one of dishonesty and cowardice. Is this what Kennedy School stands for?

  96. 96
    patrick II says:

    Like all Republicans, he used the deficit as a bludgeon against Democratic presidents, then forgot all about it while a Republican was in office.

    As I mention in a comment here about once a year, that is the standard two Santa Claus strategy, originated by conservative commentate Jude Wanniski in the 1970’s (and first used by Reagan in the 1980 presidential election.)

    Wanniski: (from Wiki)

    “the Republicans should concentrate on tax-rate reduction. As they succeed in expanding incentives to produce, they will move the economy back to full employment and thereby reduce social pressures for public spending. Just as an increase in Government spending inevitably means taxes must be raised, a cut in tax rates—by expanding the private sector—will diminish the relative size of the public sector.” Wanniski suggested this position, as Thom Hartmann has clarified, so that the Democrats would “have to be anti-Santas by raising taxes, or anti-Santas by cutting spending. Either one would lose them elections.”

    What they sell as “supply side economics” is in reality Keynesian deficit spending which gives a boost to the economy in the short run, but puts the economy further in debt in the longer run (when the democrats come back into office.) Then, to actually have an economy that will actually work in the long run the democrats must do either (or some of both) cut programs or raise taxes. So the second, unstated by Wanniski, part of the strategy is to make the democrats be the devil.

  97. 97
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    Penis was blocked last week.

    ETA: And still is. Moderation!

  98. 98
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle: That Petri piece should be on display at the Museum of Epic Takedowns, in perpetuity.

  99. 99
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: I think Ted knows that every additional flight Trumpov, Nugent, and Pruitt take ups the odds…however oh-so-slightly…that they’ll draw the short karma straw and fly right into a mountain someplace. Ideally in the same plane.

  100. 100
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Alain the site fixer:

    Penis is currently blocked.

  101. 101
    SFAW says:

    @trollhattan:

    I’d love that too, or perhaps a serious case of ass cancer, but he’s facing a path of soft pillows and regular checks from the American Enterprise Institute and a thousand other wingnut factories for the rest of his days. It’s how they roll.

    Yet another thing on my To-Do List when I’m declared (temporary) God-Emperor of this place.

    “Temporary,” because, upon completion of my To-Do List, I would immediately execute abdicate in favor of President Baud! Of course, there’s a lot of shit to clean out of the stable, so getting through my List may take a few months.

  102. 102
    TenguPhule says:

    As soon as Paul Ryan drops out of the spotlight, I hope some of his victims are waiting for him and his family in the dark.

  103. 103
    Jeffro says:

    @Fair Economist: @MattF: I think Rubin is pretty much down to “sanity in the WH + protect Israel” at this point. I have no doubt that once we’re rid of Orangemandias, she’ll at least partially revert to form, but for now it’s enlightening to see such a former Clinton Derangement Syndrome sufferer start to focus on just where we’re really at in America these days.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    @trollhattan:

    but he’s facing a path of soft pillows and regular checks from the American Enterprise Institute and a thousand other wingnut factories for the rest of his days.

    Life can be unexpectedly short.

  105. 105
    Jeffro says:

    @MoCA Ace: So you’re saying you’d be willing to send Ryan’s family your thoughts and prayers? Me too.

  106. 106
    Jeffro says:

    @Jeffro: Never mind – I see Amir K got there first, dang it!

  107. 107
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mandalay:

    What happened in the past 12 hours?

    Kill them all, the demons will know their own.

  108. 108
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: Kashuv didn’t lose a sibling in the shooting. He was at school that day and thus a survivor of the massacre himself — and, as you noted, a disingenuous shit-stirrer.

  109. 109
    EveryDayIHaveTheBlues says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Exactly! As I said in the previous thread this morning, I don’t see anyone asking MM why he didn’t sign on to the bipartisan message condemning Russia, a message bolstered by the analysis of the intelligence community. By the same token, I don’t see anyone asking Paul Ryan whether he believed that analysis, and/or if he was willing to do anything about it.

    ETA: Hiral is in a dead-heat!
    http://thehill.com/homenews/ca.....-dead-heat

  110. 110
    Elizabelle says:

    @MattF: I think her dad was once a GOP congressman. But not one of the rightwing whackos. I think she’s an Ivy product … ah yes, Harvard.

    Her WaPost bio:

    Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of “A Field Guide to Awkward Silences”. She joined The Post as an intern in 2010, after graduating from Harvard College.

    She is a keeper. I really like their ombudsman Margaret Sullivan too (formerly of the Vichy Times; their loss). Lot of good writers and clear thinkers at the WaPost. Also not not good ones, but everything is a mixed bag these days.

  111. 111
    mr_gravity says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: It would be wrong and I would not support it. I don’t think it will happen but I feel I should point out that there is a Louisville Slugger behind the door

  112. 112
    Mandalay says:

    @Anya:

    How do you explain them offering a similar thing to Sean Spicer and Cory Corey Lewandowski?

    Oh FFS, now you are just moving the goal posts.

    Like Priebus, Spicer and Lewandowski both have very recent White House experience. I despise all three of them, but if that experience matters to Harvard then Steele isn’t even a candidate since he has never worked in the White House.

    What next? Are you going to demand to know why Omarosa Manigault-Newman isn’t a visiting fellow at Harvard?

  113. 113
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TenguPhule: Come on, man. It’s ghoulish to wish vengeance on Ryan’s minor children. It’s not their fault their father sucks.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    disingenuous shit-stirrer.

    There are ingenuous shit-stirrers?

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s ghoulish to wish vengeance on Ryan’s minor children.. It’s not their fault their father sucks.

    Fair is fair. He targeted American families with his ghoulish desire to ape Ayn Rand novels, his own family doesn’t get immunity. I didn’t make the new rules, but by the seven gods I will hold the fuckers on the other side accountable under them.

  116. 116
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Kashuv didn’t lose a sibling in the shooting.

    You are correct. I misread the article which stated:

    The invitation was originated by conservative students Kyle Kashuv, who has met with President Trump, and Patrick Petty, whose sister Alaina was killed in the tragedy.

    Thanks.

  117. 117
    Felony Govt (Formerly Old Broad in California) says:

    @Brachiator: I also always felt the Kimba Wood thing was fueled by misogyny. As I recall she was a young mother at the time who needed child care. I doubt a male nominee would have been treated that way.

  118. 118
    karensky says:

    Paul Ryan is just 10lbs of shit in a 5lb 💼

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @MattF:

    @Elizabelle:

    @Jeffro:

    Petri is ruthless. Where did they find her?

    Yep. That’s quite a Petri Diss.

  120. 120
    Yarrow says:

    @Betty Cracker: Agreed.

  121. 121
    trollhattan says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Odds of Ryan taking a premature dirt nap are low. Odds of Ryan becoming phenomenally wealthy as he floats around the wingnut welfare circuit are significantly higher. Suboptimal but it’s how we roll.

  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    LOL. Michael Cohen says he had three clients in the last year.

    NEW: Michael Cohen says he gave legal advice to three clients in the last year: Donald Trump, GOP fundraiser Eilliott Broidy and a third person he refuses to identify in court filing— Laura Litvan (@LauraLitvan) April 16, 2018

    Who is the third client? Apparently the client asked for Cohen to keep his name private. Don Jr., perhaps?

    Also, this sums it up well:

    three clients
    wow
    much lawyer
    so privilege
    very representation
    — TheNewNormalHat (@Popehat) April 16, 2018

  123. 123
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow:

    Who is the third client?

    I’ll give you odds they’re Russian.

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    @Felony Govt (Formerly Old Broad in California):

    I also always felt the Kimba Wood thing was fueled by misogyny. As I recall she was a young mother at the time who needed child care. I doubt a male nominee would have been treated that way.

    Women are often the person in the family who make the child care arrangements, which also makes them more vulnerable to these kinds of attacks. A variation of this was used to slam Meg Whitman when she was the GOP candidate for California governor.

    Also, I recall some sexist bashing of Kimba Wood because she may have worked briefly as a Playboy bunny while attending college or law school.

  125. 125
    Yarrow says:

    @TenguPhule: His sidewalk meeting on Friday was with Russian connected guys.

  126. 126
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow: Cohen does not strike me as a fount of wisdom.

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yarrow:

    Broidy has been shown to have Russian connections, IIRC. And is he the one who paid his Playboy Playmate girlfriend to have an abortion? I can’t remember. 🤔

  128. 128
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: I can’t remember either. I think it’s probably faster to identify people around Cohen who don’t have Russian connections than to list all the ones who do.

  129. 129
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @r€nato: As they said, my wish would be for Ryan to found hanging naked in a closet from and celebratory auto-erotic asphyxiation episode that went bad. David Carradine didn’t deserve that, Ryan does.

  130. 130
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Actually I disagree with Krugman, Ryan has always came across as actually believing he really is some kind of serious minded policy wank (or is it wonk, this is Ryan we are talking about). My experience is twats like Ryan who get were they are on the public dime always view themselves as self made Ryandian ubermesch.

    Is it, did Ryan make Trump or is Ryan a parallel of Trump? Didn’t Obama get in a debate with the House Republicans in his first year, Ryan was supposed to be the Republicans secret weapon, Obama wiped the floor with Ryan and Ryan was still hailed as somekind of genius?

  131. 131
    germy says:

    Astonished by the all-out assault on Comey by Team Clinton. Suggesting he is a partisan interfering with the election is dangerous & unfair.— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 29, 2016

  132. 132
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So TPM says Spanky is jealous of Bolton and he’s now on the death watch. lol

    Trump is really nothing more than a mafioso when you get down to it.

  133. 133
    TenguPhule says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Trump is really nothing more than a mafioso when you get down to it.

    Objection!

    Mafia have a code of conduct and at least some observation of the rules.

  134. 134
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @TenguPhule: “Flaunt of whizzdumb”, more like.

  135. 135
    Dread says:

    Of course, once trillion dollar deficits start piling up, they will start screaming that we have to reform Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, so I wouldn’t say Paul Ryan failed at destroying those institutions yet, just that he set in motion the long game in which they are privatized, dismantled, or drastically cut back in the name of fiscal austerity.

  136. 136
    MoCA Ace says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Ah, but would you send thoughts and prayers?

    Sorry, I’m fresh out. Running low on Fucks to give as well.

  137. 137
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @TenguPhule: Sure, but the Don getting upset with a lieutenant gets to prominent and wants him killed, just in case said lieutenant decides we would make a better Don, that’s gangster thinking.

  138. 138
    Anya says:

    @Mandalay: Lewandowski never worked in the WH and he was fired way before the election. He has nothing to offer Harvard or anywhere else unless they were interested in poorish behaviors and assaulting reporters.

Comments are closed.