Paul Ryan

Jeb Bush Tells Poor People To Stop Mooching and Get Married

Jeb Bush, Rudolph Guiliani and NY donors/AP Photo/John Minchillo

PoliticusUSA

Yahoo ran with “Bush, Ryan focus on poverty while courting donors,” but even they were dubious.

It’s getting tough for conservatives to keep selling the people the lies that tax cuts for the rich will trickle down one happy fine day. So Monday night, as Former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush played Mix and Mingle with the GOP New York elites and Wall Street’s big donors, he put on his best Compassionate Con salesman act.

Buried under Bush’s sweet talk about immigration reform and the importance of education (oh, a reasonable Republican, the country will squeal with delight and relief!), was this, according to Politico:

He (Bush) praised Ryan, who was the evening’s first speaker, saying, “When it comes to the American family, Paul Ryan has it right.”

“A loving family taking care of their children in a traditional marriage will create the chance to break out of poverty far better, far better than any of the government programs that we can create,” Bush said.

This is hardly the first time in history the elites have preyed upon the religious “values” they instill in the masses in order to keep them under control. Somehow Republicans always have a divine right to speak for God, and lucky for them, God wants the rich to get all of the government resources.

Thus, same sex marriage is bad and you single moms and your kids must suffer because you are morally not entitled to government subsidies like the oil companies are. If only GOP God loved people like he does money. Jesus loved the money changers, y’all!

I hope you lazy people get it. Marry a person of the opposite sex and your poverty will go away. Also, no divorce ladies, even after that forced birth, post being raped. Traditional marriage solves everything in fairy land. Bottom line message: “So sorry about your poverty, but not! LOL, Love, GOP.”

What did Ryan get “right” about the American family? Yahoo reported:

Having toured the country in recent months focusing on the nation’s poor, Ryan declared that “the best way to turn from a vicious cycle of despair and learned hopelessness to a virtuous cycle of hope and flourishing is by embracing the attributes of friendship, accountability and love.”

“That’s how you fight poverty,” Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman and 2012 vice presidential nominee, told a crowd of roughly 750 dressed in tuxedos and gowns.

Oh, yes. Friendship has long cured poverty, y’all. That and marrying someone of the opposite sex.

No one ever said you had to be smart to get rich, or that the black ties imparted some sort of wisdom or character that would enable those wearing them to overcome their own egos and ravenous greed. These attributes are exactly why Republicans can’t get it right. They are too far removed from the people, too far gone, and selling outdated, moldy spam deliberately mislabeled as caviar.

And then there was this bit, which makes me weep for all of the lovely caring of the black tie crowd – if only Bush hadn’t ruined it all by explaining that the best way to elevate people out of poverty is through being nice to them and having them marry the right sex; not with opportunity or emergency help or say, food.

Both Bush and Ryan emphasized messages before the black-tie crowd at Cipriani in Midtown of elevating people out of poverty. But even though Ryan is still believed to be considering running for president, he got relatively little attention compared with Bush.

Translation: Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan emphasized how they would con the people into supporting policies that would put the poor into further jeopardy. Bush and Ryan helped the elite explain why it’s okay to let your neighbor’s kids starve; you’re just being kind, after all, poverty is best helped with moral judgment and condemnation made by mere mortals who claim divine authority (just like our founders intended).

Former Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who used to love disgraced bully Chris Christie (R-NJ), was breathless with hope. Jeb would make a “heck of a leader”, he sighed to Politico, saying he hoped we’d find out. Yes, the country is so ready for another Bush. By 2016 we may have just pulled ourselves out of the bottomless pit partially brought on by the very policies Jeb Bush is championing for the rich.

Republicans are always in search of pretty, charismatic, Big Daddy or a kind face willing to sell their message of trickle down economics. Bush won the fight for most favored con artist last night, since Ryan was busted by those nuns for his austerity budget in a most public manner as he ran for Vice President in 2012.

Jeb Bush’s comments weren’t supposed to sound Romeny-esque and out of touch, after all, Jeb Bush is the latest Great White Hope To Sell the Con, and that is why Republicans are rediscovering him in spite of his last name.

Republicans can believe anything. Even, it seems, that poverty is best addressed with traditional marriage instead of government programs…

… So long as that message is accompanied with tax cuts and government subsidies for their fellow black ties.

Diagnosing Paul Ryan’s psychopathy: Arrogant, manipulative, deceitful, remorseless

Diagnosing Paul Ryan's psychopathy: Arrogant, manipulative, deceitful, remorseless

Paul Ryan (Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Salon

Paul Krugman revealed Ryan’s big con years ago. It’s gotten worse. Why does anyone take him seriously on policy?

If the GOP as a whole has pretty much given up on the whole “rebranding” thing, their 2012 vice presidential nominee, Congressman Paul Ryan, most definitely has not. In fact, rebranding is pretty much his thing, regardless of how credible — or incredible, actually — his efforts may be.

For years, Ryan touted himself as an avid Ayn Rand disciple, until he didn’t in early 2012, even calling it “an urban legend” that he had anything serious to do with Rand at all. He then tried to present the latest iteration of his draconian soak-the-poor/shower the rich budget proposal as grounded in Catholic social teaching, rather than Rand’s fiercely anti-Christian philosophy, a claim that the conservative U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops soundly rejected, writing that his proposed budget failed to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.”

Now, seeking to put all memory of the “47 percent” campaign behind him, Ryan’s trying to take that reinvention to a whole new level. He’s still touting a budget that dramatically slashes spending on programs that benefit Americans of limited means — 69 percent of all cuts — including $137 billion from food stamps, 24 percent or $732 billion from Medicaid, and $125 billion from Pell Grants, among others — while giving millionaires an average tax cut of at least $200,000. Yet, at the same time, Ryan is trying to reinvent himself as someone who’s serious about fighting poverty, only from a conservative perspective.



Setting the massive contradictions aside for the moment, it’s not an absurd idea in theory. The modern European welfare state was actually invented by conservatives, beginning in Germany, under the first post-unification chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. But this happened in the face of a powerful socialist movement, amidst tremendous dislocations, as well as international pressures that gave German elites powerful reasons to want to make life in Germany much more tolerable for the German people as a whole. In short, when the real-world political incentives are there, history shows that conservatives really can find effective ways to help fight poverty. The only problem is, the solutions they come up are the very thing that cause conservatives today, like Ryan and his Tea Party brethren, to foam at the mouth, and call “socialism!”

And so he came up with his 204-page report, The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later, a con job, as Paul Krugman called it, but that was hardly a surprise. Con jobs are a Ryan’s specialty, More on that later.

What was a surprise, at least to some, was the utter clumsiness of how Ryan’s new focus on poverty got him into trouble on race. He went onto Bill Bennett’s radio show and channelled Newt Gingrich from the 2012 primaries:

We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.

Ryan also cited Charles Murray, white nationalist author of “The Bell Curve.” While many people took him to be speaking in racial code, it was arguably even worse if he was not, as Brian Beutler pointed out:

But if Ryan genuinely stumbled heedless into a racial tinderbox then it suggests he, and most likely many other conservatives, has fully internalized a framing of social politics that wasdeliberately crafted to appeal to white racists without regressing to the uncouth language of explicit racism, and written its origins out of the history.

Of course, something like this has actually happened repeatedly throughout the history of white supremacy in America: True origins are constantly being erased, nefarious intentions hidden, unspeakable injustices naturalized. But what I find fascinating about Ryan is how self-assuredly he switches from all-knowing to naif, without for a moment even thinking this might tarnish his moral authority in any way. He later said his comments had “nothing to do” with race, and the next day issued a statement saying, “After reading the transcript of yesterday morning’s interview, it is clear that I was inarticulate about the point I was trying to make.” There was no sense of moral responsibility at all, no sense that he owed anyone an apology. (This is all quite typical of a psychopathic personality — as will be touched on below.) But he did have to do something, from a political point of view.

And so he met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus this Wednesday, in order to try to pretend to have a dialogue on poverty. It was not very much of a success. “We didn’t get a whole lot accomplished,” CBC chair Marcia Fudge said to the press afterward, but Ryan found it easy to pretend otherwise. “What is good out of this is that we need to talk about better ideas on getting at the root cause of poverty, to try and break the cycle of poverty.” Ryan also spoke about the need to “improve the tone” in the conversation about poverty — something that he himself might have thought about earlier, no?

Continue reading here…

Paul Ryan’s race flap even worse than it looks

Paul Ryan's race flap even worse than it looks

Paul Ryan (Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

Salon

The notion that Ryan was dog-whistling to racists is actually the best-case scenario. Here’s the scary alternative

I spent a depressing amount of time this weekend trying to think up a scenario in which someone might say the following without being motivated, to at least some degree, by malign intent.

“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

What I came up with was strained and unlikely, but troubling if true.

In case you slept through last week, the person who said this was congressman and one-time GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. It ignited a fairly heated debate over whether he was intentionally trafficking in racial code words to pander to white conservatives. Ryan claims he spoke inarticulately and was thus misunderstood. For proponents of the dog-whistle theory, the fact that Ryan cited Charles Murray, author of “The Bell Curve,” was the smoking gun.

For my part, I don’t think they need a smoking gun, because Occam’s razor does all the dirty work. You can take Murray completely out of the equation and the likelihood that Ryan wasn’t at least subconsciously playing to the prejudices of resentful or racist whites is pretty low.

But let’s assume Ryan’s playing it straight, and his defenders, like Slate’s Dave Weigel, are correct when they argue that this is just how Ryan and other conservatives “think about welfare’s effects on social norms.” If that’s true, it’s actually a bigger problem for the right. If Ryan was even a little bit aware of how people would interpret his remarks, or understood the reaction to them when it exploded online, we could just say that some conservatives want to play the Southern Strategy at least one more round, and leave it at that. Close the book on this controversy, without drawing any larger conclusions about the state of conservative self-deception.

But if Ryan genuinely stumbled heedless into a racial tinderbox then it suggests he, and most likely many other conservatives, has fully internalized a framing of social politics that wasdeliberately crafted to appeal to white racists without regressing to the uncouth language of explicit racism, and written its origins out of the history. If that’s the case it augurs poorly for those in the movement who are trying to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal, because it’s easier to convince people to abandon a poor tactic than to unlearn rotten ideology.



In his 1984 book “The Two Party South,” political scientist Alexander Lamis quoted a conservative operative later revealed to be Ronald Reagan confidant Lee Atwater, who traced the evolution.

”You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N—-r, n—-r, n—-r,’” Atwater explained. “By 1968 you can’t say ‘n—-r’ — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘N—-r, n—-r.”’

Treating intergenerational laziness of inner-city men as established truth, and bemoaning the ways social spending programs supposedly nurture that “culture,” blends seamlessly into Atwater’s framework.

Weigel interprets the fact that Charles Murray has lately softened his claims as exculpation for Ryan and other conservatives who cite him. But Murray’s just following a social Darwinist’s rendition of the trajectory Atwater traced. I suspect both men are wiser to their intentions than their apologists give them credit for. There are ways to promote conservative social policies that aren’t remotely racialized — they just don’t ignite the passions of resentful white people in a politically meaningful way. If I’m wrong, though, conservatives better hope the party doesn’t nominate Ryan or any like-minded thinkers in 2016.

A quick point of trivia: I first learned about Atwater’s comments years ago, in this New York Times column by Bob Herbert questioning why anybody was surprised to hear GOP education secretary-cum-talk radio host Bill Bennett say, “I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.”

Guess whose program Ryan was a guest on when he stepped in it last week?

If Paul Ryan Is A ‘Moderate,’ I’m The Easter Bunny

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AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Ha…

TPM Cafe – Opinion

It is a sign of how far right the Republican Party has moved that New York Timescolumnist Ross Douthat describes Rep. Paul Ryan as a “moderate.”

In his column on Sunday, “Four Factions, No Favorite,” Douthat looked at the likely candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Drawing on an article by Henry Olsen in the conservative journal National Interest, Douthat divides the GOP core voters into four groups: centrist (“think John McCain’s 2000 supporters, or Jon Huntsman’s rather smaller 2012 support”), moderately conservative (“think the typical Mitt Romney or Bob Dole voter”), socially conservative (“think Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum backers”), and very conservative but more secular (“think Gingrich voters last time, or Steve Forbes voters much further back”).

Reviewing the stellar cast of likely GOP wannabes for 2016 (Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Ryan), Douthat sorts them into the four categories and guesses which of them might have enough crossover appeal to more than one subgroup to be viable candidates.

By labeling Ryan a “moderate conservative,” Douthat provides lots of wiggle room for defining just what that means. But in any rational look at the spectrum of American political views, it is hard to imagine attaching the word “moderate” to Ryan on any issue, except perhaps his clothing preferences and his haircut.

You can look on a variety of websites — including The Daily BeastOn the Issues,Project Vote Smart, and The Political Guide — to see Ryan’s voting record and statements on issues.

What you’ll find is a politician whose remains an acolyte of novelist Ayn Rand, the philosopher of you’re-on-your-own selfishness, whose books have been required reading for Ryan’s congressional staffers.

On taxes, business regulation, abortion, gun control, gay rights, campaign finance, financial reform, anti-poverty programs, immigration, workers’ rights, energy and the environment, deficit spending, privatizing Social Security, public transportation, unemployment insurance, health care, property rights, and other issues, Ryan is hardly a “moderate.” He’s not even a “moderate conservative.” He’s an extremist and a reactionary, allergic to compromise, in lockstep with the tea party, the NRA, and the conservative wing of the business establishment, represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which views any government regulation to protect consumers, workers and the environment as a “job killer.”

These groups now dominate the GOP. But in earlier times, the GOP was a much larger tent, with room for a variety of viewpoints. For most of the 20th century, most of the conservative business class were Republicans (think Calvin Coolidge and Robert Taft), but there were also very progressive Republicans like Theodore Roosevelt, Robert La Follette, and Fiorello La Guardia who challenged the power of big business and promoted consumer and worker rights. (Until the 1960s, most of the racial reactionaries were Southern Democrats, but the GOP had its share of racists too.)

Up through the 1970s, there was still a species called “liberal Republican,” in the mold of Senators Jacob Javits, Clifford Case, George Aiken, Prescott Bush, Mark Hatfield, and Charles Percy; Gov. Nelson Rockefeller; and even Gov. George Romney.

Today “liberal Republican” is an extinct species, as the party has moved further and further to the right. Political scientists Keith Poole of the University of Georgia and Howard Rosenthal of New York University have charted this shift in terms of voting trends in Congress.

As a result, Republicans have moved further and further away from mainstream public opinion. The party’s rightward trajectory is primarily the result of the combined influence of big business, the influence of well-organized right-wing funders (like the Koch Brothers), think tanks and foundations, the rise of the Tea Party, the ascendancy of right-wing media like Fox News and talk shows, and the gerrymandering of congressional districts to promote “safe” GOP seats where even conservative-but-not-wacko candidates, fearing primary challenges from the tea party (funded by the Kochs and their ilk), move ever further to the right

Paul Ryan reflects these shifts within the Republican Party. As I’ve written before, the mainstream media failed to carefully scrutinize Ryan’s views when he was Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012. They continued to wear blinders last week when Ryan unveiled his 502-page report on anti-poverty programs, filled with lies and misinformation, which was intended to justify his proposed cuts to food stamps, housing and child care subsidies, college aide, and other programs. Yes, Ryan is chair of the House Budget Committee. That simply shows that he’s an ambitious politician, not a serious thinker or policy wonk.

As Ryan gears up for a presidential run, he may seek to reposition himself on various issues. Let’s hope that the mainstream media will remind voters of his consistently ultraconservative views and voting record.

And hopefully they will expose Ryan’s blatant hypocrisy too. Despite Ryan’s attacks on government spending, his family’s construction business has been anchored inbuilding roads on government contracts. Despite his worship of private-sector entrepreneurs, he’s spent his entire career as a government employee. Despite being a crusader against anti-poverty programs, Ryan is a millionaire who made his money the old-fashioned way: by marrying a woman who inherited a fortune.

If Paul Ryan is a “moderate,” I’m the Easter Bunny.

MUST SEE: Krystal Ball brutally eviscerates the GOP & trashes corporate Dems in one amazing segment

Daily Kos

If you watch only one thing today, watch this.

Short version: The GOP is a staggering corpse that is fading into irrelevance and the real future is in the fight between pro-corporate Democrats and pro-worker Democrats.

But you definitely want to see it for yourself . . .

Transcript:

Krystal Ball:     “Who will win the battle for the soul of the GOP? Will it be the establishment or the tea party, the libertarians or the social conservatives? Well after watching all sides battle it out at CPAC I have come to a definitive conclusion. Are you ready? Here is the answer; it doesn’t matter.
That’s right, who wins and who loses in the fight for control of the Republican party is totally irrelevant.
Sure, it is a fun parlor game to look at whose up and whose down in the Ted Cruz/Rand Paul showdown. Wait. No. It’s not. It’s  a terrible parlor game. What is a parlor game?
Anyway, if you care about the future of this country the Republican party machinations are of now consequence. There’s a few reasons. First, look at this graph.

There is an unprecedented gap between the voting preferences of young voters and everyone else. Millennials may not be crazy about self-identifying as Democrats but whatever they call themselves they’re liberal. They are much more likely to vote Democratic than older generations.
So Republicans, do you know why in five of the last six Presidential elections you’ve lost the popular vote? It’s because every year the electorate is becoming browner and more influenced by the millennials who are more liberal than any other modern generation, and sorry GOP, they’re staying that way. To paraphrase Sally Field at her Oscar win, they don’t like you, they really don’t like you.

And who can blame them? The second reason the GOP is irrelevant is because your economic ideology is toast, debunked, discredited. Your intellectual heavy is Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan! You’ve been flailing around in a house that Reagan built for three decades and still haven’t realized it’s just an empty frame with no foundation. Come back to me when you have some actual evidence for your economic ideology, and no, Ayn Rand novels don’t count.

Nope. Republicans and their deck-chair shifting civil war don’t matter. If you are interested in where the country goes from here the action is all on the Democratic side, and while our own internal divide is less noisy than the Republican one it is just as real and waaaay more important.

This divide, the one that counts, is between the pro-corporate democrats and the pro-worker democrats. It’s pretty easy to tell which are which. In their best incarnation the pro-corporate dems do Wall Street and corporate America’s bidding while doing the best they can to shore up the safety net so that when working folks are inevitably abused by big banks and big business at least there is something of a net to catch them.
Pro-worker dems want to stop the abuse in the first place and keep and expand the safety net just in case those protections fail.

When pro-corporate dems get their way, as they have in democratic politics for, oh, the past twenty-two years, inequality rises. And when inequality rises the power of the plutocracy rises. And when plutocrats call the shots like they do now the safety net gets it.

Plutocrats, it turns out, don’t much care for supporting the workers on whose backs they earn their riches. So even though corporate democrats may be well intentioned their policies lead to a toxic brew of money, plutocracy and power that shreds the safety net, strips workers of their right and hollows out the middle class. The plutocracies wish is their command.

Now to be clear, either type of democrat is a million times better than the folks the GOP has to offer, but that is a pretty low bar. Time to expect more. To demand more. Do we want a society that governs for the needs of the many, or the desires of the few? I know which side I’m on, do you?”

Paul Ryan Claims Black Men Are Lazy And The Cause Of Poverty In This Country

paul ryan

I had to take a deep breath on this one…

Paul Ryan has fallen into the Tea Party, KKK, Citizens’ Councils of America now known as the  Council of Conservative Citizens and other racist organization stereotypes of the “Lazy Black Man” which has existed throughout this nation’s racist  history.

PoliticusUSA

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was on the conservative radio show ‘Morning In America’, which is hosted by Bill Bennett. Bennett is the former Secretary of Education under President Reagan. He is also known for gambling away millions of dollars while at the same time preaching about living a virtuous life. Anyway, Bennett had Ryan on to discuss Ryan’s recent ‘War on Poverty’ report, where Ryan stated that anti-poverty programs developed under President Lyndon Johnson and after were actually the root cause for the continued existence of poverty in this country.

During the interview, Ryan used thinly-veiled ‘code’ language to claim that black men do not want to work and are satisfied with being poor. He also stated that anti-poverty programs create a culture of laziness and that what we really need is for affluent white people from the suburbs to spend more of their time mentoring those in the inner-city.  Obviously, the answer for those living in abject poverty in a jobless environment is to have someone come down from their lofty perch and whitesplain about how to lift yourself up by your bootstraps.

Below is an excerpt from Ryan’s conversation with Bennett:

”We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with…you need to get involved, you need to get involved yourself, whether through a good mentor program or some religious charity, whatever it is to make a difference. And that’s how we resuscitate our culture.”

This is Ryan’s way to justify that all social programs need to be gutted. Basically, rich, white people will fill in the gap and provide mentoring to the poor, inner-city black folks that they moved far, far away from. At the same time, there is no need to raise the minimum wage in this country and we also need to destroy unions, since they drive away jobs due to their demands for a living wage for their members. In the end, Ryan’s solutions are for there to be no social safety net and the driving down of median wages. But, no worries. The free-market and basic human decency will provide all the solutions needed.

What is especially disgusting here is the notion that all poverty is centered around inner-city black men and that nobody else utilizes the social programs that Ryan demonizes. He is making sure to stoke the racist flames already ablaze within the Republican Party by going down this route. Ryan is essentially doing the same thing that Reagan did when he brought up the ‘welfare queen’ myth.

To make matters worse, Ryan cited Charles Murray, who is the author of The Bell Curve. Murray has argued that intelligence is genetic, and that whites are naturally more intelligent than blacks. He has also claimed that all social welfare programs will inevitably have a negative effect on a society. Overall, Murray’s studies have been used by many to justify their notions of white supremacy.

Ryan has long been touted by the Republican Party as extremely intelligent and a real ‘wonk.’ I guess the fact that he uses numbers a lot to make his points makes him appealing in that regard. It gives the appearance of being knowledgeable and exact. However, he is just using smoke and mirrors to push forward a Randian vision of how America should be. Basically, the wealthy should be coddled at all times and they will decide how much to trickle down upon the masses.

 

Jon Stewart Slams CPAC: ‘As Jesus Once Said, ‘If You Give A Man A Fish, Don’t, Period, End Of Bible’

The Huffington Post

This year’s CPAC convention offered plenty of material for Jon Stewart to dig into, and throw some shade upon, from Paul Ryan’s dubious “brown bag” anecdote to Wayne LaPierre’s intro music (Huey Lewis’ “The Power of Love”).

To sum up Ryan’s point about the ills of giving free lunches to school children, Stewart recalled, “As Jesus once said, ‘If you give a man a fish, don’t, period, end of Bible.'”

But “The Daily Show” host simply had to hide from LaPierre’s description of America as a nightmare, GTA 5-esque landscape.

Watch the clip above and click over to “The Daily Show” for more.

Paul Krugman bashes Paul Ryan for yet another “con job”

Paul Krugman bashes Paul Ryan for yet another

Paul Krugman, Paul Ryan (Credit: Reuters/Bob Strong/AP/Mary Altaffer/photo composite by Salon)

Salon

It’s been a while since the New York Times’ premiere liberal columnist, Paul Krugman, had reason to flay one of his favorite targets, chief GOP wonk and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. But with the GOP suddenly talking about how much it wants to help America’s poor — a development Krugman calls “fake compassion” — the award-winning economist and best-selling author once again has a reason to take Ryan to the woodshed.

In his latest column for the Times, Krugman writes that while Ryan’s new attack on liberalism —a lengthy report, supposedly on the efficacy of government-funded anti-poverty measures — is less of a sham than efforts from years past, the Wisconsin congressman has still ultimately produced “a con job.”

Krugman applauds Ryan for “citing a lot of actual social science research” but insists that the GOPer has falsely represented the conclusions of most of the research he cites. “In some cases,” Krugman writes, “Mr. Ryan and colleagues outright misstate what the research says, “drawing outraged protests from a number of prominent scholars about the misrepresentation of their work.”

But where Ryan’s report really goes wrong, Krugman argues, is in its ideological assumptions — chiefly, it’s unexamined belief that anti-poverty measures make the poor lazy and drains them of their ambition. “Mr. Ryan would have us believe that the ‘hammock’ created by the social safety net is the reason so many Americans remain trapped in poverty,” Krugman writes. “But the evidence says nothing of the kind.”

More from Krugman at the New York Times:



After all, if generous aid to the poor perpetuates poverty, the United States — which treats its poor far more harshly than other rich countries, and induces them to work much longer hours — should lead the West in social mobility, in the fraction of those born poor who work their way up the scale. In fact, it’s just the opposite: America has less social mobility than most other advanced countries.

And there’s no puzzle why: it’s hard for young people to get ahead when they suffer from poor nutrition, inadequate medical care, and lack of access to good education. The antipoverty programs that we have actually do a lot to help people rise. For example, Americans who received early access to food stamps were healthier and more productive in later life than those who didn’t. But we don’t do enough along these lines. The reason so many Americans remain trapped in poverty isn’t that the government helps them too much; it’s that it helps them too little.

Which brings us back to the hypocrisy issue. It is, in a way, nice to see the likes of Mr. Ryan at least talking about the need to help the poor. But somehow their notion of aiding the poor involves slashing benefits while cutting taxes on the rich. Funny how that works.

There was nothing high-minded about the budget deal

Smiles before the debt storm.

Smiles before the debt storm. Photo: (T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

The Week – Taegan Goddard

Many recent articles have trumpeted the “bipartisan breakthrough” that led to a federal budget deal. Don’t believe any of them. Partisan warfare is very much alive.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a key broker of the budget deal, signaled that a standoff over the debt ceiling is coming soon.

Said Ryan: “We, as a caucus, along with our Senate counterparts, are going to meet and discuss what it is we want to get out of the debt limit. We don’t want ‘nothing’ out of the debt limit. We’re going to decide what it is we can accomplish out of this debt limit fight.”

The comments show how broken our legislative system has become. Just days ago, Ryan agreed to a budget deal that increases the federal debt — and hailed it in a series of interviews — but now he won’t agree to raise the debt ceiling mandated by the very same budget deal.

In the last fiscal standoff in October, the Obama administration held firm and refused to negotiate over the debt ceiling. Expect the same reaction this time.

Of course, the real reason there was a budget deal is that Republicans felt it was politically advantageous. With the White House on the defensive for nearly two months over the ObamaCare implementation, Republicans don’t want to do anything to distract from their woes.

Newt Gingrich said it best: “I think this is mediocre policy and brilliant politics. It doesn’t get them what they want on policy terms, but it strips away the danger that people will notice anything but ObamaCare. And the longer the country watches ObamaCare, the more likely the Democrats are to lose the Senate.”

He’s right. The budget deal probably is good politics — at least in the very short term.

So as both sides move the country to the edge of the fiscal brink early next year, remember it’s all about politics. But will the politics still be good for either side?

Chris Christie Is Quickly Becoming The New Mitt Romney

National Memo

Republicans spent most of 2011 pretending that Mitt Romney wouldn’t be their nominee for president. And when the 2012 primaries began, they did everything they could to damage their nominee before he could get to the general election.

The race for the 2016 GOP nomination is starting to hint at a remarkably similar shape.

Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ), fresh off his landslide re-election, is leading the pack of contenders to represent the Republican Party in the next presidential election. With 24 percent of the vote, he’s ahead of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) at 13 percent, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at 11 percent and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) with 10 percent in a new CNN poll. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) round out the frontrunners.

Like Romney and unlike his competitors, Christie has never been “a Tea Party favorite.” And with a little less than half of Republican primary voters not identifying with that movement, the governor is fighting for one half of the base as his several opponents wrestle for the other.

Like Romney and unlike his competitors, Christie has never been “a Tea Party favorite.” And with a little less than half of Republican primary voters not identifying with that movement, the governor is fighting for one half of the base as his several opponents wrestle for the other.

The Tea Party’s big mistake was not uniting behind any one candidate after Rick Perry’s debate performances disqualified him. Instead, they fled from Not-Romney to Not-Romney, disparaging their eventual nominee’s key legislative accomplishment and business record as one candidate after another failed to dethrone him.

With so many heroes of the Tea Party movement in the running, it appears that history could be on repeat. The New Republic‘s Nate Cohn suggests that Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) could be the candidate to unite the party — even if he isn’t even cracking the top six in the CNN poll. Much of Walker’s appeal will depend on how badly the GOP wants a Non-Christie.

The current governor of New Jersey has some decided advantages over the former governor of Massachusetts, even if their first terms were both marked by marginal economic gains.

First of all, Christie was re-elected in a blue state — a feat that Romney didn’t even attempt to complete, after winning election with less than 50 percent of the vote.

The Garden State’s governor is a natural, possibly even a Clinton-esque, campaigner who knows when to triangulate against both sides of the aisle. He — like George W. Bush before him — feels confident in running against an unpopular Congress, even if his party controls the bottom house. And he has never been pro-abortion rights, though his dabbling in gun control may put a similar crack in his conservative credibility.

Christie wasn’t the godfather of Obamacare — but he did split the health reform baby by accepting Medicaid expansion while refusing to build a health care exchange for his state.

As the governor’s frontrunner stance firms, the attacks on him will grow more severe. Already he’s facing questions about his lobbying activities, which include slight connections to Bernie Madoff, and conservatives are blasting him for “bizarre behavior,” such as possibly not supporting the opponent of Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) even as Christie serves as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Republicans only united around Mitt Romney after they failed to destroy him. The question now is whether they’ll make the same mistake twice.  And if Christie succeeds in uniting the party, then the question becomes if he’ll continue to follow Romney’s flip-flopping path of not revealing what he actually feels about immigration reform until he loses the presidency.