Tag Archives: Rep. Paul Ryan

On a more serious Weiner-related note…

OK, so I watched U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s tearful news conference (in which he handled the media-shark feeding frenzy pretty well, I think), and I have to admit that I have some amount of sympathy for the guy.

His tears seem genuine, not fabricated, and in any event, it’s not like beating up on Weiner is going to absolve us of our wrongdoing, so we probably can drop our stones right about now.

It’s true that Weiner showed poor judgment by, according to his own admission, having had sexually oriented electronic communications with some women even after he got married. (He claims that he never had any physical relations with these women, and I have no reason not to believe him.)

It’s also true that Weiner showed poor judgment by doing this while being a member of the U.S. House of Representatives when there are always self-aggrandizing bottom-feeders like Andrew Breitbart on patrol for sleaze to sling.

However, it’s also true that Anthony Weiner is a human being, specifically, a male human being, and male human beings sometimes become possessed by testosterone.

That in and of itself is forgiveable. It is, after all, biology.

I personally don’t give a flying fuck whether or not Weiner used any government equipment to send or receive any sexually oriented material. I mean, fuck. That would the very fucking least of our federal government’s problems, wouldn’t it? How about that interminable war in Afghanistan and that probably illegal military intervention in Libya? And the fact that Pakistan would prefer that we pack up our drones and leave already? How about that economy? Those are problems.

The larger issue in “Weinergate,” the national discussion that we should be having but for the most part aren’t, is how much an elected official’s sex life should matter. (We also could use a national discussion on whether or not monogamy really works — ’cause it really doesn’t seem to for a great many people — but my boyfriend reads my blog sometimes, so that’s all that I’ll say about that right now…)

I mean, these political sex scandals go back and forth, Repugnican and Democrat, Democrat and Repugnican, and how do they help us? We get temporarily nationally titillated — admittedly, it’s great blogging material — but are we better for it? Finding out about the infamous blue dress or seeing images of shirtless members of Congress never meant for public viewing* — does wallowing around in this mud make us better people?

As much as I wasn’t exactly devastated to see another New York U.S. representative, Christopher Lee, a Repugnican, resign in February due to the publicization of his shirtless picture (which, despite being married, he sent to a prospective female hookup on Craigslist, who recognized him as a congressman and outed him to the media), I — we — probably could do without these sex scandals, regardless of the partisanship involved. (Which is what I said when I wrote about Christopher Lee in February.)

I retract my earlier statement of today that Weiner should resign, primarily for his having lied.

The House Ethics Committee apparently is going to look into “Weinergate,” and probably will slap Weiner on the wrist, especially for having lied (and maybe for having inappropriately used government resources, if he did so).

But whether or not having lied to the public, which Weiner fully admits that he did, should end his career as a U.S. representative should be up to the voters of his district in November 2012 — not up to Andrew “Archie Bunker” Breitbart or other political enemies, not to the media, not to you (unless, of course, you live in his district), not to me.

Weiner didn’t lie about something of national importance, and it’s understandable why he lied.

He said it himself, when asked point-blank in his news conference today why he lied. He replied: “I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. [I still am] to this moment. I was trying to protect my wife, I was trying to protect myself from shame. It was a mistake. And I — and I really regret it.”

I don’t know. From what we know up to this point, Weiner seems guilty primarily of having been human while having been a U.S. representative. At this point, it seems to me, even more dog-piling upon Weiner probably is a larger statement about our collective character than his.

And it seems to me that unless Weiner is found guilty of having committed sexual harassment — which I consider to be a serious offense for anyone, but even more so for those in positions of considerable power (with that power comes commensurate responsibility) — the matter is between him and his wife and those women who presumably communicated with him voluntarily. 

And this bottom-feeding really needs to stop. We continue relish this shit and slime while the American empire continues to collapse all around us.

*Frankly, I find it skeezy — and, frankly, gay**, in a closeted kind of way — that 29-year-old U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, an Illinois Repugnican, appears on the cover of the current issue of Men’s Health:

Aaron Schock: Shirtless for Men's Health!

I picked up this issue of the softcore gay porn magazine in a store recently, and it occurred to me, as I looked closely at the cover, that maybe we don’t really need to see our elected officials’ appendectomy scars and treasure trails. (And Schock’s treasure trail and chest are meticulously manscaped, and you know how I feel about that.)

Honestly, if we are going to castigate Weiner for having had sexually charged images of himself released to the public by someone else — saying that these images of him diminish the institution of the U.S. Congress — can we say that Rep. Aaron Schock’s having posed for the cover of a softcore gay porn magazine does not also diminish the institution of the U.S. Congress? 

What’s next? U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan on the cover of Playgirl?***

**Schock allegedly is heterosexual, but judge for yourself from this photo of him that surfaced a year ago:

Really, I’m surprised he didn’t just tie his shirt like Daisy Duke:

***Well, we can hope

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Wazzup in Wisconsin? (Part 2)

I don’t live in Wisconsin (I live in the great state of California), but I’m paying fairly close attention to what’s going on in the Badger State (which has become the nation’s No. 1 laboratory of democracy and where, except for the rather extreme cold, I could see myself living). Here are three news items that have caught my attention:

(1) Progressive JoAnne Kloppenburg yesterday requested a recount of the April 5 election results for the race for the seat on the state’s Supreme Court, since the official results put her at less than 0.5 percent behind her right-wing opponent David Prosser. Prosser has an official 7,316-vote lead out of about 1.5 million votes cast, but ever since the surprise announcement of thousands of more votes that materialized in Repugnican Tea Party-dominated Waukesha County after Kloppenburg initially had been given a preliminary 204-vote lead, doubt has been cast as to the integrity of the election results at least for that county.    

Kloppenburg not only asked for a statewide recount, but she asked the state to appoint a special investigator to look into the “actions and words” of Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, whose suprise announcment of more than 14,000 votes to be added to the preliminary vote count put Prosser up by more than 7,000 votes.

“With a margin this small — less than one-half of 1 percent — the importance of every vote is magnified and doubts about each vote are magnified as well,” Kloppenburg said in announcing her request for a recount, the first statewide recount in more than two decades in Wisconsin but to which Wisconsin state law entitles Kloppenburg. “If there are problems, we need to identify them and fix them. If there is doubt, we need to remove it. If there was misconduct, we must hold those who perpetrated it accountable.”

Team Prosser is criticizing Kloppenburg for having requested the recount, even though state law entitles her to it.

Unless the members of Team Prosser are afraid that fraud might be found, I don’t know why they would criticize Kloppenburg’s decision to utilize the democratic process that the right-wing nutjobs apparently like only when it delivers to them what they want. On that note, I have little doubt that if Kloppenburg were up over Prosser by less than 0.5 percent — the threshold for a candidate to request a statewide recount free of cost to the candidate — then Team Prosser would request a recount, just as Kloppenburg has.

Even if Prosser is declared the eventual winner of the election for the seat that he holds on the state’s Supreme Court, at least the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin have been put on notice that they are being watched for any attempts at committing election fraud.

(2) The media report that while recall-election petitions have been filed against three Democratic Wisconsin state senators, recall petitions already have been filed against five Repugnican Tea Party state senators. Eight Democratic and eight Repugnican Tea Party state senators, by state law, have been subject to recall efforts that anyone might have chosen to launch.

If the Democrats can maintain their current number of seats in the state Senate and flip three state Senate seats from the Repugnican Tea Party to the Dem Party, they will take control of the state Senate, greatly politically weakening Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker.

(3) Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people on the planet.* Shouldn’t he be listed as one of People magazine’s most beautiful people instead? I mean, here is the photo of Dreamboat Ryan that Time used:

Time.com photo

Damn, he looks so harmless, doesn’t he? Cuddly, even!

Anyway, as if Ryan’s inclusion in Time’s top 100 most influential weren’t bad enough, who composed the little write-up for Ryan? None other than Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker.

Here is “Dead Man” Walker’s ode to Ryan:

Paul Ryan, 41, came of age down the road from me. Although we didn’t know each other at the time, it’s clear now that growing up in south-central Wisconsin during the Reagan years had a lasting impact on both our political philosophies. Like our 40th president, Paul has always stuck to his core beliefs: in limited, effective government; individual liberty; and making the hard decisions so our children will inherit a country at least as great as the one we did. Overnight, his economic plan has redefined the nation’s conversation about public spending.

It has been said that there are two types of people in politics: those who want to be somebody great and those who want to do something great. Paul Ryan is the latter, and our country is better off because of that.

Let’s be clear: Ronald Reagan sucked. His pro-plutocratic, social Darwinist policies, including his union-busting and his “trickle-down” bullshit (the rich only “trickle down” on us to piss all over us), began our national economic collapse — including the largest gap between the rich and the poor seen since the Gilded Age.

And yes, putting forth a so-called “path to prosperity” that has the rich and the super-rich paying even less in taxes than they are paying now and that destroys Medicare as we know it sure has “redefined the nation’s conversation about public spending,” just as how if I were to put forth a proposal that every fucking baby boomer be exterminated at age 65 (which is pretty fucking generous, as in “Logan’s Run” the age of extermination is 30) — an actual path to prosperity, but never mind that — it would redefine the nation’s conversation about retirement.

And to claim that Paul Ryan, who wants to destroy Medicare, is “making the  hard decisions so our children will inherit a country at least as great as the one we did,” is a great big fucking joke, since one, my generation, Generation X (to which, unfortunately, both Ryan and Walker also belong), inherited a nation in much worse shape than it was when the baby boomers first got their greedy grubbies on it, and two, Ryan’s plan for dismantling Medicare grandfathers those who right now are 55 or older but screws the rest of us — including, of course, “our children.”

Today’s old farts vote, you see, but the Repugnican Tea Party traitors very apparently believe that they can fuck over the rest of us without a fight.

Maybe Ryan doesn’t spend enough time in his home state of Wisconsin. Otherwise, he would know that we, the people, are in a fucking fighting mood.

*Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota also made Time’s top 100 list (Archie Bunker-like blowhard Rush Limbaugh wrote the little piece for her, beginning it, “I don’t mind telling you that I’m a great admirer of Michele Bachmann’s,” which of course suggests that he at least somewhat does mind telling us that) — and so did androgynous teen-girl heartthrob Justin Bieber — so it’s not like it’s a Nobel prize or anything, but still…

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Eddie Munster vants to suck our blood

Putting yourself in the public spotlight is risky. You might succeed spectacularly. Or you might have Jon Stewart remarking of you on his show that he didn’t know that “Eddie Munster grew up to be a J.C. Penney catalog model.”

Indeed, Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, with his widow’s peak, indeed resembles the little Munster —

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— which at least one individual pointed out as early as January.

But worse than being compared to Eddie Munster would be being compared to vampiress Sarah Palin, and I have the feeling that Paul Ryan is going the way of Sarah Palin: an individual in his or her 40s with presidential aspirations who isn’t all that bad on the eye but whose wingnutty policies are for shit and who just isn’t ready for political prime time.

As I have noted, very apparently the Repugnican Tea Party thought that they could put Paul Ryan’s pretty face on their wet dream of privatizing (and thus destroying) Medicare and ensuring that the rich and the super-rich never pay their fair share of taxes again — and that Paul Ryan alone was enough lipstick to put on that monster pig.

But thus far, the majority of Americans apparently would prefer to keep Medicare intact and to make the rich and the super-rich pay up rather than to gush all over Paul “He Works Out, You Know!” Ryan.

But Rep. Ryan apparently thinks that he’s some hot shit, taking on the president.

In case Ryan didn’t notice, his Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker-like tactics aren’t going over very well in his own home state right now, so why does he believe he has a strong political base from which to take on Barack Obama?

The uber-cocky Ryan has accused Obama of being a “campaigner-in-chief” for publicly having taken exception to Ryan’s plan to destroy Medicare and to make the rich richer, and indeed, Ryan is brazenly denouncing everyone who doesn’t embrace his so-called “path to prosperity” that gives the rich and the super-rich even more tax breaks while soaking the working class, the middle class and the poor even more than they have been soaked over the past several decades. (So it is a “path to prosperity” — just not our prosperity!)

And it’s ludicrous to hear Ryan accuse Obama of being political, when of course Ryan is being at least as political, and, as they are both politicians engaging in politics, of course they’re being political. (Of course, the charge that the other side is being “political” isn’t meant to denote that the other side is engaged in the struggle for power, which is the very definition of engaging in politics, but is meant to connote that the other side is being unreasonable, that of course the other side would agree with your very reasonable proposal(s) if he or she would just be reasonable instead of “playing politics.”)

On the heels of calling Obama political (in a bad way), Paul “I’m Rubber and You’re Glue” Ryan announced that Obama’s denunciation of his plan to destroy Medicare and further enrich the rich has only strengthened the Repugnican Tea Party’s support of Ryan’s plan in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Oh, please. The stupid white men who comprise the majority of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the House of Representatives support Paul Ryan over Barack Obama? Shocker!

Paul Ryan’s idea of destroying Medicare and enriching the rich isn’t “bold” or the like. It’s a colossally shitty idea is what it is. Not only is it horrible public policy (and, I will add, anti-Christian) to allow the wealth care profiteers to shamelessly profit even further from Americans’ pain and suffering via the bloated wealth care-industrial complex, but to attack Medicare is as politically smart as it was for George W. Bush to attack Social Security.

Nor is it OK to assure current oldsters that they’ll be OK, but that the rest of us are fucked where Medicare and/or Social Security is/are concerned. I’m 43 years old and I’ve been paying into Social Security and Medicare since my teens, and I want both benefits, fuck you very much, Mr. Ryan; you’re not going to fuck me up the ass — no matter how much you look like a J.C. Penney catalog model.

Cutting the bloated-beyond-belief budget of the military-industrial complex and making the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes, as I have noted, will keep afloat Medicare, Social Security and other government programs that benefit the majority of the American people instead of further enrich the rich.

So of course Ryan’s “path to prosperity” — his own prosperity and that of his right-wing ilk, not yours and mine — does not include cutting the “defense” budget or making the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes.

Which demonstrates that he’s not serious about resolving the federal budget deficit. He’s serious about making the rich richer and the poor poorer. He’s a radical-right-wing ideologue, not a problem solver, especially since his proposed “solutions” would make the problems worse, not better.

Unfortunately, Ryan seems to represent a reliably red congressional district. He won his seven two-year House terms with an average of 64 percent of the vote, so he probably would be very difficult to unseat, even in Wisconsin, in which the Repugnican Tea Party is under fire right now.

However, Ryan’s deceptively titled “path to prosperity” can be relegated to the dustbin of U.S. history, where it belongs, and hopefully, he’ll never rise any higher than the U.S. House of Representatives, where he essentially is just a saner-seeming version of Michele Bachmann.

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First stupid white man’s head rolls in Wisconsin

There will be a recount, but the progressive female candidate is leading the stupid white male candidate in yesterday’s election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Normally sedate elections, yesterday’s state Supreme Court election — in large part because it was the first statewide election following the attempt by the stupid white male administration of Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker to destroy the state’s public-sector labor unions — is a big deal in Wisconsin, and indeed, it sends ripples throughout the rest of the nation.

The candidates could not be more symbolic of what they stand for — and they couldn’t be (much) more diametrically politically opposed to each other than they are.

There is Repugnican Tea Party incumbent “Justice” David Prosser —

Dan Vrakas

Associated Press photo

— a stupid white man who in the state’s Legislature mentored Gov. “Dead Man” Walker, whose re-election to the state Supreme Court Sarah Palin endorsed (although, interestingly, Team Prosser declared that they hadn’t asked for the endorsement), and who once called state Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson “a total bitch.” (It’s OK if a white male wingnut calls a woman a bitch, but don’t you call Palin a bitch, because that would make you a misogynist.)

Prosser stands for Politics As Usual — stupid rich (or at least pro-rich) right-wing white men running the show, as they have done since the nation’s founding.

And then there is the Democrat JoAnne Kloppenburg

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg, ...

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg, ...

Associated Press photos

— an assistant attorney general and environmental law specialist who reminds me of Mother Nature Herself coming down to kick some stupid white male ass after the stupid white male has gone waaay too fucking far this time. (Which he has.)

While between one million and two million Wisconsinites cast ballots in yesterday’s state Supreme Court race, as I type this sentence Kloppenburg maintains a preliminary lead of only 204 votes, virtually ensuring a recount.

John Nichols of The Nation concludes:

There could be weeks, even months of wrangling over ballots and counts. But one result has already been confirmed: The referendum on Walker’s policies has sent an important signal. When a candidate who is not given a chance ties a senior justice on the state Supreme Court, when a newcomer ties one of the most entrenched political players in the state, and when these results can be linked to fury at a governor’s policies, that governor has nothing to celebrate.

Something is changing in Wisconsin. A new politics is taking shape. And JoAnne Kloppenburg has been a beneficiary — along with the battered but unbeaten state of Wisconsin.

Yup. If Kloppenburg emerges as the winner — which I predict she will — the state’s high court will lose its 4-3 slant to the right, not only making it that much harder for “Dead Man” Walker to continue his assault on the working class and the middle class in Wisconsin, but making other stupid white men elewhere (like Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, who in the name of “prosperity” wants to destroy Medicare, to name just one of them) think twice before they declare class warfare upon the middle and the working class.

And Kloppenburg’s victory is a Victory of The People Over Politics As Usual. Hers is a true grassroots victory, not a corporately funded astr0-turf effort like the efforts of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party.

Ironically, it seems to me that the bogus “tea party” — a corporately sponsored group of wingnutty people ludicrously comparing themselves to the early American colonists who threw off their British oppressors when they side with our plutocratic overlords over their fellow members of the American working class and the middle class — has inspired a true Boston Tea Party-like pushback of the people against the monarch-like powers that oppress the people.

Only it’s Madison, Wisconsin, this time, intead of Boston, Massachusetts.

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