Paul Ryan, the very, very serious thinker of the Republican Party, the numbers guy who puts together oh-so-serious budgets designed to throw the Olds and the Poors off their Medicare and Medicaids becauz that’s what serious people do, went on Fox News Sunday to discuss his newest veryserious budget which will be officially unveiled next Tuesday. Unfortunately he discussed it with Chris Wallace, one of the people at Fox who actually has thinkingskillz. Here is the exchange:
On Sunday morning, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) stopped by Fox News Sunday to preview his new budget, which will be released in full on Tuesday. As it had the past two years, this year’s version will call for massive cuts to social service programs, including food stamps, job training, Medicaid, and Medicare. Host Chris Wallace challenged Ryan on the viability of his plan, pointing out that he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, and, “that’s not going to happen.”
Still, Ryan insisted that he and then-running mate Mitt Romney won the election on this issue because they “won the senior vote”:
WALLACE: Are you saying that as part of your budget you would repeal — you assume the repeal of Obamacare?
WALLACE: Well that’s not going to happen.
RYAN: Well, we believe it should. [...]
Yes, and since we believe it should happen magical Repeal Fairies will make Obamacare go away between now and when this Budget *goes into effect*.
Hmmm. I’m just imagining this scenario in a corporate conference room with the controller presenting the budget to the CEO.
CEO: “Ryan, this budget assumes that revenues will triple when we introduce our new product line of flying pigs. Are you assuming we can create flying pigs?”
CEO: “Well that’s not going to happen!”
RYAN: “Well we believe it should happen.”
How long between the end of that conversation and the issuance of the pink slip to young Ryan?
Ryan also says, after reiterating that wishing Obamacare away can make it so, that the purpose of budgets is to make hard choices. Um, no Paul. Budgets sometimes require you to make hard choices but that is not their purpose. The purpose of a budget is to make the most realistic assessment possible, based on known facts, of what your revenues and expenses for the coming fiscal period will look like. Pretending that things will happen that are not going to happen and using the budget to further right wing ideology and destroy programs that you don’t support is *not* the purpose of a budget.
You can definitely see why this oh-so-serious thinker had to scramble his way into gummint welfare for a living - he wouldn’t last 10 minutes in the real world.
As a New Year’s Day “miracle”, the House of Representatives succeeded in dropping the “Hastert Rule” (a formality that left Speaker of the House John Boehner’s hands tied regarding any bill that didn’t appeal to the “majority of the majority”) permiting the Speaker, who had recently recited the Serenity Prayer on the floor of the House,to look to a Higher Power to get shit done—namely Nancy Pelosi, who actually doesn’t have a problem getting her caucus to do things. Thus, the fiscal cliff bill passed overwhelmingly by the Senate was given its chance in the House, where it received enough bipartisan votes to make it into law.
Is it a good bill? Well, it isn’t better than nothing as far as deficits go. Nothing, just going off the fiscal cliff and that’s that, would have done some good re: spending and revenues, but I think its sort of anti-stimulus effect might have retarded growth and f’d up the GDP and other things that make us look like we’re slogging our way out of recession. Or even more wretchedly, we’d have to get used to people saying stuff like “double-dip recession”. What is that supposed to mean? I know what a double-dip ice cream cone is. Double dip recession just sounds like we were in a recession and, guess what? Still are—again! That’s dumb. Why wouldn’t we call it “post-fake-recovery” or something like that? But anyhow, we are in the midst of a recovery, and I’m kind of glad Congress didn’t decide to screw with it too much.Because in the long run, I’m less concerned with deficits than I am with regular people not getting so totally shafted as they could have been regarding UI benefits, and stuff.
Does it signify anything in particular for the GOP-held House? I think—maybe? Cantor was against the change on the Hastert rule and this bill, and maybe Boehner’s decision to put the outcome of this legislation in the hands of a power greater than himself is a harbinger of a challenge to his Speakership. All I really know for sure is that this kind of looks like a Dem win, doesn’t it?
Rachel Maddow showed part of this clip last night from a 2007 Democratic presidential candidate debate. Candidates Biden and Richardson respond to a YouTube question on gun control from a Ted Nugent wannabe who fondly strokes his assault weapon, referring to it as his “baby” and asking how the candidates will help him protect his “baby.” Watch:
Richardson attempts a boilerplate response that won’t unduly alarm gun-fondlers. Biden questions the mental health of anyone who would refer to an assault weapon as his “baby.” I’m glad Biden is heading up the gun control taskforce.
The failure of Congress to renew the Violence Against Women Act or VAWA has kind of dropped off the radar but is getting some attention again as it will expire at the end of the month otherwise.
As you may recall the Senate passed the bill routinely (which is something to remember as it’s one of the few they have lately) but the Rethuglicans in the House are hung up on the fact that the bill has additional provisions for women who are traditionally more at risk for being assaulted - undocumented immigrants, lesbian women and Native American women. Which is charming of them but, sad to say, not a surprise in today’s political climate.
Apparently Joe Biden, one of the authors of the original bill, has been working quietly with Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, to try and resolve the issue. That some progress is actually being made in these negotiations is probably less to do with Repubs really caring that these women risk violence in their lives on a regular basis and more to do with starting to realize that they are being rejected by pretty much every constituency except middle aged white guys.
And maybe that’s part of the explanation for the final hang-up.
But two sources familiar with negotiations on VAWA, both of whom requested anonymity given the sensitive nature of talks, have told HuffPost that Cantor is refusing to accept any added protections for Native American women that would give expanded jurisdiction to tribes, and is pressuring Democrats to concede on that front. There does seem to be room to negotiate with Cantor on the other two provisions relating to LGBT and undocumented immigrant protections, the sources say.
Cantor’s spokespeeps deny this but Senator Patrick Leahy, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee has a different story.
Here we go either liveblogging or openly thready, somewhat off-kilter, as your hostess is a hurricane refugee hanging with Strange in PA, and your host is napping until CNN stops telling us to ignore their own exit polls (“It’s too early!”).
As the dust settles slowly from the VP debate, the election trundles on regardless, the polls take their own sweet time to give any clear indication of WTF is going on, and Paul Ryan fans feverishly adapt to the abject drubbing their idol took by collapsing onto the crowded fainting couches of denial, Philip Klein at The Washington Examiner twangs his readers’ last nerves by pointing out a quirk of the Constitution:
It might be hard to believe after his assault on Mitt Romney in last night’s debate, but there’s a scenario under which Joe Biden could serve as Mitt Romney’s vice president.
As noted in an earlier post, there are plausible scenarios under which next month’s election could result in a 269–269 electoral vote tie, which would send the presidential election over to the House of Representatives. Such an outcome would favor Romney over President Obama, according to an analysis by the Washington Examiner.
But in such a case, it would fall on the Senate to choose the vice president, with each Senator getting a vote. Given that it’s quite possible (arguably likely) that Democrats will retain control of the Senate, it means that they could vote for Biden to remain on as VP, even if the House elects Romney as president.
In theory, if the election outcome is a 50-50 Senate, Biden could be the tie-breaking vote for himself. This would allow him to remain on as VP and for the Democrats to retain effective control of the Senate. It would also usher in the Romney-Biden administration.
Clear some space around Treacher if you do, since Klein caps his musings with:
If the House ends up deadlocked in choosing a president, then the candidate the Senate chooses as vice president would be sworn in as commander in chief. In other words, this scenario could produce a President Biden.
So far, today, Joe Biden is taking a lot of undeserved heat from conservatives, over his debate etiquette—poor Mr. Ryan came armed with his Mr. Serious pomp and circumstance, his note-taking utensils and gallons of H2O, ready to take his rightful place at the grown-ups table. And then he opened his mouth . . .
And, of course Joe laughed—Paul Ryan was laughable, it is simply absurd that any American political party would consider a candidate like Paul Ryan a viable contender for its highest office. And no, I didn’t just, make a mistake. I know that Paul Ryan is only running for vice-president but candidates for V-POTUS are always only a heart attack, a plane crash or an assassin’s bullet away from becoming President.
It is an irresponsible voter that dismisses vice-presidential candidates as less-important walk-ons who can get by with flyweight qualifications and make it up with on-the-job training. Just as it is an irresponsible political party that fields a two-dimensional vice-presidential candidate to serve as window dressing to round out the slate’s appeal to the base (but then, again, this is the same party that put up Sarah Palin, so . . . ).
Who knows what effect last night’s VP debate will have once the spin dies down? But if it doesn’t cheer up Democrats and address any lingering enthusiasm gap, I’ve no idea what will.
The MSM and Romney camp spinners (spot the difference), of course, are hard at work claiming that Ryan “won,” that Biden’s a loon just laughing at serious issues, OH! THE INCIVILITY!!!!!, it was a “tactical draw,” or on occasion coming to the conclusion that Joe Biden’s a force of nature you underestimate at your peril, and Paul Ryan’s still wet behind the ears and various other places despite his years in Congress.
For those who missed the debate or are embroiled in discussions and arguments about it elsewhere, there’s a transcript after the fold. It’s too long for our blogware to handle in one post, so above you’ll see Part 2, on which comments are disabled.
The lull between the truly spectacular GOP Convention in Tampa and the DNC in Charlotte begs to be filled with something other than boggling at how many outright lies you can fit into a half-hour speech and the parlous state of elder performance art, so led by the noses by Drudge, the Borg are yukking it up right now.
The story doing the rounds began as “ZOMG THE NARCISSIST-IN-CHIEF’S GOT SERFS POUNDING SAND BULDING MOUNT RUSHMORE IN MINIATURE OUTSIDE THE CONVENTION!!!!”
This rare outburst of artistic taste, punctuated with words like “tacky” and many others you can probably imagine, was barely muted when it emerged that the sand sculpture being crafted wasn’t the work—or even the idea—of the Democrats or Obama himself. Who built that?—The canny (if slightly meteorologically challenged) Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau:
Myrtle Beach, S.C., has brought the beach to Charlotte this week for Democratic National Convention events and activities in the form of a 15.5-ton sand sculpture of President Barack Obama. The sculpture, made completely of South Carolina sand, took five sculptors of Sarasota, Fla.-based ‘Team Sandtastic’ three days to complete.
Charlotte is located just 175 miles from Myrtle Beach, S.C., which is widely considered to be the Carolinas’ favorite and most popular beach destination. In 2011 alone, more than 1.3 million visitors from North Carolina’s ‘Queen City’ flocked to the Myrtle Beach area, and officials say the sculpture is a great way to put the destination on display while thousands more are in town for the DNC.
“The Charlotte market is very important to us in Myrtle Beach. We know that if we can get to Charlotte this easily, folks from Charlotte can get to our shores in just as little time. It’s only a short drive across state lines,” said Brad Dean, President of the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’re excited to maintain a Myrtle Beach presence in the beautiful city of Charlotte in the coming week and hope everyone in town gets a chance to come see this fantastic sand sculpture
Why do Republicans hate free enterprise and the drive to put food on families so?
Anyway, now it’s all morphed into Ozymandias-style auguries of DOOM!!!! led by the Washington Times:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A torrential downpour that struck Charlotte Saturday afternoon damaged the Mount Rushmore-style sand sculpture bust of President Obama — an ominous beginning to what many fear is a plagued convention.
Workers were trying Saturday afternoon to reform the base of the sculpture, built from sand brought in from Myrtle Beach, S.C., pounding and smoothing out the sand that had washed off the facade of the waist-up rendering of the chief executive.
Similar sculptures have been erected without furor at numerous previous Republican and Democrat conventions and gatherings, of course, but it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that the shellshocked Borg, faced with an autumn of fluffing Mittens’ underwear and fapping furiously to the dulcet tones of Hottie McStudMunster, have got nothing else at the moment.
I can quite understand their eagerness to jabber about anything other than the Tampa Travesty. Everybody’s been desperately scanning the few polls that have come out since, trying to sight the traditional post-convention bump, and if it’s coming at all, it looks like it’s going to be pretty minuscule.
Of course, this carries some pitfalls for the Democrats. Primed by the newfound zeal for factchecking, the merest slip or misspeak from the stage or environs in the coming week will no doubt be seized on by the heroically transformed media and trumpeted as ample evidence that both sides do it. And given the catalog of disasters over the past week, it’s quite likely that any mishaps or organizing glitches will be seized on and amplified in tit for tat.
Anything else catching your eye on this holiday weekend?
After the slating Joe Biden’s taken from the RW blogs in the last week or so, with their obviously well-intentioned advice that the Obama campaign should ditch him in favor of Hillary, I finally found the time and headspace to sit down and watch this speech of his to the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar earlier this year and give it the undivided attention it deserves.
I found it helpful in terms of my own bereavements over the years (and one notable recent near-bereavement).
It also made me realize that one thing I look for in friends is emotional intelligence—and also in leaders, where it’s a very rare commodity. It’s even rarer to be able to express it so eloquently in unscripted words.
Basically, to cleanse the palette from the bullshit and brie flavor of the Bully/Brown-nose ticket, I simply intend to remind that, OMFG, this the kind of thing the fucknuts say out loud, anymore.
So you don’t have to click on the above to get to the wanton death-fantasy of Joe the Plumber:
“For years I’ve said, you know, put a damn fence on the border going to Mexico and start shooting. I’m running for Congress and that should be a bad thing to say. But you know what, it’s how I feel…I want my borders protected, I’m very very adamant about that.”
That’s about 28 minutes in.
You know, when Joe the Plumber became the accidental McCampaign 2008 mascot, I wondered what would become of him. I kind of thought that he’d become some kind of reality show star or something, but apparently he got the politics bug, and that’s cool. Regular people shouldn’t be afraid to get involved in politics. Goldie Hawn’s character in Protocol ran for office after becoming a celebrated regular Jane Q Public figure, so why not have a voice like Sam Wurzelbacher’s in the….
Oh fuck it. Just a minute after he stepped down from endorsing wholesale murder of people who want to participate in the American economy, some jackass steps up and talks about Ronald Reagan, who actually had an immigration amnesty during his administration. Ronald Reagan, who might have been a world-class hippie-punching gay-ignoring Philadelphia, Mississippi campaign-announcing racist dog-whistling example of all the grandstanding bullshit that the modern GOP aspires to, but at least he was too concerned with selling weapons to Middle Eastern terrorists to fund a black ops war in Central America to worry overmuch about killing people who just want to pick the lettuce that makes our affordable Big Macs possible.
This guy makes me pine for Reagan. Screw you and the plunger you rode in on, Sam.
I know “Some wingnut running for congress said X” is just about the laziest of all left-bloggery, but what he said is just so much part of the over the-top, build a fence, dig a moat, stock it with alligators, erect an electrified fence, RFID-chip the illegals, and so forth kind of outlandish stuff that gets said—with a straight face. Then, when someone like Joe Biden suggests that a runaway Wall Street pillaging pensions and looting retirement savings “shackles” regular Americans, which, no doubt, it would—forcing people into jobs and choices they can’t help but have to make to stay afloat—why, the wingnuts scream bloody murder!
You know what? I’m beginning to think there may just be a rhetorical double-standard. (I am not thinking there is a rhetorical double-standard.)
Vice President Joe Biden kept up the heat on Mitt Romney’s investments at Bain Capital in companies that outsourced on Wednesday, telling a crowd in Dubuque, Iowa, that it went to the core of the governor’s economic philosophy.
“After days of saying nothing in response to our criticism for that policy, the Romney campaign responded, I think yesterday, by saying we just don’t get it, we don’t understand the difference … between offshoring and outsourcing,” Biden said. “If you’re looking for work, that’s a pretty cruel joke.”
He continued with an image straight out of a New Yorker cartoon: “I can picture one guy in my old neighborhood standing next to another guy in the unemployment line and saying, ‘Hey John, did you get offshored or outsourced?’”
Arguing that Romney put outsourcing into practice in public policy, Biden went into an extended riff on a bill he vetoed in Massachusetts as governor that would have prevented state contractors from farming out operations overseas. At issue was a $160,000 contract with Citigroup, which used call centers in India to help manage the state’s food-stamp program. Biden called the measure a “cruel irony.”
“You pick up the phone to call the state of Massachusetts line, a woman picks up, she lost her job, picks up the phone to call the state of Massachusetts about her unemployment benefits and she ends up talking to someone in another country who has a job she could be doing and not have to seek unemployment,” Biden said. “I know it sounds so crazy, but that’s literal. Literally!”
The Romney Campaign seemed to have walked straight out of the cold war era into a phone conference intended to stress Willard’s foreign policy creds. The results were, well, a little weird. Kinda like Willard come to think of it!
In comments that were eerily reminiscent of John McCain’s frequent gaffes in regards to Czechoslovakia, Romney’s surrogates warned of the “Soviet” threat and Obama’s failure to protect the free world:
Obama is “withdrawing from leading the free world in maintaining stability around the world,” Lehman said. “What Obama calls ‘leading from behind.’”
One of the worst examples, according to Lehman, is happening at the top of the world.
“We’re seeing the Soviets pushing into the Arctic with no response from us. In fact, the only response is to announce the early retirement of the last remaining icebreaker.”
Prosper warned Obama was abandoning America’s eastern European allies — some of which haven’t existed for decades.
“You know, Russia is another example where we give and Russia gets and we get nothing in return,” Prosper said. “The United States abandoned its missile defense sites in Poland and Czechoslovakia, yet Russia does nothing but obstruct us, or efforts in Iran and Syria.”
The conference call, which was apparently timed to rebut Veep Biden’s speech today touting Obama’s actual foreign policy successes, didn’t do a whole lot to increase my confidence in Willard’s potential foreign policy leadership. But no doubt Snowflake Snooki will be all over that push by the “Soviets” into the Arctic!