Ryan Not Seeking Reelection

Womp! From WaPo:

House Speaker Paul Ryan will not seek reelection, he tells friends and colleagues

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has told friends and several colleagues that he has decided not to seek reelection this year and will soon inform colleagues of his plans, according to several people familiar with his plans.

The decision comes ahead of mid-term elections that were already looking treacherous for Republicans, who risk losing control of the House.

The party has seen a large number of retirements, and Ryan’s exit is certain to sap morale as Republicans seek to contain a surge in enthusiasm from Democrats, whose fortunes have been buoyed by the unpopularity of President Trump.

Kind of hard to overstate the significance of this, even with Trump playing bipolar bumper cars with Putin on Twitter this morning. I’m wicked busy, so I’ll leave y’all to it…

Mostly you just make me mad

There was a thoughtful Caitlin Flanagan piece in the Atlantic you should all read about how liberals need to admit they were on the wrong side of history when they supported Bill Clinton through the Lewinsky affair. Until they do so, she argue persuasively, they will have no….ha ha, I’m kidding, fuck that shit and the totebaggers who gobble it up. It’s not even fair to the Soviets to call it whataboutism.

This post is about the crappy tax bill that ol’ blue eyes has scheduled today. It’s going to be tough to stop it in the House, but if you live in a Republican district, get on the horn with your representative.

We keep hearing about how it will be a big win politically for Republicans if it passes both chambers, is signed, and becomes law. I think that’s bullshit. The bill is already extremely unpopular. The Republicans are better off not passing it from the standpoint of the 2018 elections. But that’s not what matters. The bill is bad for the middle-class, bad for the country, bad for the future, and we need stop it.

Here’s one Republican who has the right idea:

Steve Louro, a Republican donor who hosted an event for Donald J. Trump at his Long Island home last year, abruptly quit his post as regional finance chairman for the state’s Republican Party on Tuesday over objections to the Republican-led tax bill advancing through Congress.

“The bill that’s going to get passed is not going to take care of the American people. It’s a disgrace,” Mr. Louro said in a phone interview. He had resigned from his post as a fund-raiser via email earlier in the day, he said.

“The Republican Party took control of the government against all odds, and the bottom line is” they messed up, he said, using an expletive. “It’s a disgrace. It’s going to hurt a lot of middle-class Republicans.”

No one knows what it’s like to be hated

When we take the House in 2018, won’t it be that much sweeter if Paul Ryan’s out on his ass, whoring for corporate money as a civilian instead of as a member of Congress? Let’s give to his opponent Randy Bryce here.

Goal Thermometer

Remember: Ryan will overspend to try to keep his seat if he gets nervous, so giving money to his opponent is a good investment in any event. Let’s make sure he’s scared.

Can’t fight the seether

“Fuming” and “seething” are the new furrowed brow:

House conservatives were fuming Friday morning as the Republican conference voted on a deal President Donald Trump struck with Democrats to fund aid for Hurricane Harvey alongside measures to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling through mid-December.

Who cares? What are they going to do about it, other than whine to Glenn Thrush? Has there ever been administration that was this was this much complained about, by ostensibly powerful people, with so few repercussions?

There’s no action

Kind of funny that Trump does what Pelosi tells him but doesn’t give a fuck what Paul Ryan wants.

It makes sense, right? Pelosi’s the kind of House leader who takes away your committee assignments if you cross her. The worst thing Paul Ryan’s going to do to you is think angry thoughts about you while he’s rocking out to “Enter Sandman” during his P90X workout.

Now I’ve got a reason to be waiting

I find this strange. We learned recently that Trump begged the president of Mexico not to say that Mexico wouldn’t pay for the wall, yet Trump and his brownshirts are ready to force a shutdown over US government funding for said wall:

The wall is no metaphor to Trump. He will accept no substitutes to a huge, long, physical wall, which he believes his voters viscerally want. He told GOP Hill leaders in June he wants it to be 40 to 50 feet high and covered with solar panels. Hill Republicans privately mocked that idea, but some of those same people now recognize that Trump’s big, beautiful — and in their minds, ridiculous — wall could be the thing that brings the U.S. government to its knees.

Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust

Time was, you had one person write the music and another person write the lyrics and then another person sang the song. It worked well! Then the Beatles came along, and they did everything, and after that everyone had to do everything. That’s the thesis of an article I read in New York Times magazine 15 years ago, so it’s probably not true but I like the story.

Of course it’s more complicated than that because during the 80s and 90s sometimes you had one group of people sing the songs and then another group of better looking people dance on stage while pretending to sing the songs. That didn’t always work out quite so well, but now fortunately we have autotune so good-looking people can perform as musicians without fear of being unmasked as impostors.

In politics, if you look at successful bills like ACA, what happened was you had one group of policy people write the bill, then another group of people (Pelosi and Reid) round up the votes for the bill, and then a more charismatic, better-looking person (Obama) sell the bill to voters. Maybe it could have been written better and sold better but the goddamn thing passed for Christ’s sake.

That brings me to the topic of Paul Ryan. The media made Paul Ryan into the Beatles of politics. He writes the bills, runs the House that passes the bills, and is the pretty face (or what passes for a pretty face in a profession rightly described as “show business for ugly people”) that sells the bills to the public. He’s the mop-topped wonk that stole America’s heart.

But let’s think about what just happened. Paul Ryan wrote a bill that was panned by policy experts. He bizarrely chose to schedule the vote for the bill before he knew he had the votes. He did such a bang up job of selling the bill to the public that a whopping 18% of the public supported the bill. Even the pundits are on to him now.

At least Milli Vanilli could dance.