The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan (r), sent out an obnoxious tweet about someone receiving a benefit of $1.50 per week through the GOP tax scam. It has since been deleted, but not before it received a lot of notice and sarcastic replies.
Don’t spend it all in one place.
One reply which preserved the original tweet:
Charles, a Koch brother in Wichita, said he was pleasantly surprised that his pay went up $26,923,076 a week… he said [that] will more than cover the cost of buying several more Paul Ryans.
1:00 PM – 3 Feb 2018
I have written here about the fact that House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan is planning to take advantage of Trump’s election to push his Medicare privatization plan, a plan that will essentially destroy Medicare as we know it. Please find below a checklist of Missouri politicians categorized by their response to Ryan’s privatization plan.
This list will be updated and reposted as politicians make their positions clear (or don’t).
Note that even if a particular politician indicates that they don’t support Ryan’s privatization phase out, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t open to fiddling with the system in often destructive ways. I also indicate which House members voted for or against the Ryan plan earlier when it was included in the proposed 2015 House budget and which have negative or positive voting records in regard to Medicare related issues.
Members of Missouri’s U.S. Congressional delegation who will oppose Ryan’s latest effort to destroy Medicare:
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) (see here for source and discussion).
Members of Missouri’s U.S. Congressional delegation who have been contacted but have not committed to a position on Rep. Ryan’s phase out plan at at this point.
Rep. Sam Graves (R) (Source: TPM list as per 11/19 (list up dated regularly)). Graves voted for the 2015 Budget proposal that included a similar privatization plan. He has a record of mostly voting to weaken Medicare.
Members of Missouri’s U.S. Congressional delegation who have not yet been contacted about their current position on Ryan’s Medicare phase out plan.
TPM’s checklist of those who support or oppose House Speaker Paul Ryan’s phaseout of Medicare has been updated to show that Claire McCaskill is positioning herself as part of the opposition “according to a TPM reader who called her office.” She was quoted on an NPR local news spot today saying that she opposed the Ryan plan. We need to give her kudos and lots of support for taking this position. I’ll be calling and writing her to thank for her for making this unequivocal statement, and I hope lots of others do so too.
But, as well, I’ll be asking some questions about her level of commitment to Medicare.
Keep in mind that McCaskill is speaking to the Ryan privatization plan exclusively. In the past, in her deficit alarmist persona, she has signed on to benefit cuts and other mechanisms for restructuring the program. In 2013 she and GOP Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma introduced legislation that would institute Medicare means-testing to raise co-payments and co-insurance. We need her to elaborate on just what type of future she is supporting for Medicare.
Keep in mind, too, how she takes progressives for granted and tries to impress conservative Missourians with her “independence,” leaving her open to poorly considered, one-sided “bipartisan” initiatives. She confirmed today that she’s definitely running in 2016, probably against Rep. Ann Wagner (R-2), who will, given the lay of the ground in this northernmost outpost of the Trump confederate empire, be a tough challenge. And how has McCaskill responded to such challenges in the past. With more of the “independence” GOP-lite chatter.
A New York Magazine article by Ed Kilgore entitled “Why there Probably won’t be a ‘Tea Party of the Left'” offers a disturbing take on the forces that are in play around McCaskill:
The obvious targets for either a bipartisan Trump outreach or for disciplinary efforts by progressives are the Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018 who represent states carried by Trump. There are ten of them: Bob Casey (Pennsylvania), Joe Manchin (West Virginia), Bill Nelson (Florida), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Debbie Stabenow (Michigan), Joe Donnelly (Indiana), Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), and Jon Tester (Montana). You might imagine some of these states are not reliably Republican in the future, but the flip back to the Democrats won’t be automatic, either, in a midterm election when the turnout dynamics have recently favored Republicans.
Now, Sherrod Brown and Tammy Baldwin and probably Debbie Stabenow are not the sort of Democrats who will be hankering for a way to show Trump voters they’re not all bad, and Bob Casey has his own appeal to white working-class voters that doesn’t necessarily depend on bipartisanship. But the rest of these vulnerable Democratic senators could waver.
And if they do, what exactly is “the tea party of the left” going to do about it? Joe Manchin, for one, would probably pay for left-bent protests against his “centrist” heresies in West Virginia, and would definitely welcome a progressive primary opponent to triangulate against. Heitkamp’s state went for Trump by 36 points; Tester’s, McCaskill’s, and Donnelly’s by 20 points or slightly less. Does anyone think a candidate more progressive or partisan than any of these worthies has a prayer of carrying their states in the immediate future?
At some point, would-be members of a “tea party of the left” need to come to grips with the fact that the “tea party of the right” had more geographical material to work with. …
This narrative is the sort of thing that has resonance with politicians – and for good reason. Prospects for the type of opposition party solidarity that we need if we are to hold off and undo the damage done by the Trump election may very likely be undermined by politicians like McCaskill who are not only skilled at playing the odds, but believe it is their only option apart from self-sacrifice.
But then again, nothing’s ever a done deal until its done. McCaskill might surprise us all and go down trying to hold the bridge. She might not even go down if she gets some help and does a good job on that bridge.
Representative Billy Long (r) had a few things to say today via social media about the process of getting a new Speaker of the House:
Billy Long @auctnr1
Paul Ryan will run for #Speaker w/ conditions: 1 being a unified #GOP Conference by Fri. I hope he gets it but I’m from MO Ya gotta Show-Me 4:59 PM – 20 Oct 2015
Billy Long @auctnr1
Another condition of #Ryan running if he gets Speaker he doesn’t want arrows in his back. Did I mention I’m from MO the ‘Show-Me State’? 5:03 PM – 20 Oct 2015
Pass the popcorn.
Speaker, speaker, who’s gonna be our speaker? (October 8, 2015)
….Martha Raddatz: I, I, I want to go back to the abortion question here. If the Romney Ryan ticket is elected should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?
Paul Ryan (r): [sigh] We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision, that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination.
Vice President Joe Biden (D): The court, the next president will get one or two Supreme Court nominees. That’s how close Roe v Wade is. Just ask yourself, with Robert Bork being the chief adviser on the court for, for Mr. Romney, who do you think he’s likely to appoint? Do you think he’s likely to appoint someone like Scalia or someone else on the court far right that would outlaw (inaudible), outlaw abortion? I suspect that would happen.
I guarantee you, that will not happen. We picked two people. We pick people who are open-minded. They’ve been good justices. So keep an eye on the Supreme Court…
Paul Ryan (r): Was there a litmus test on them?
Vice President Joe Biden (D): There was no litmus test. We picked people who had an open mind; did not come with an agenda.
Martha Raddatz: I’m, I’m going to move on to this closing question because we are running out of time….
“…We don’t think that unelected judges should make this decision, that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination…”
Consensus? PPP in Missouri (August 2012):
….Q7 Which of the following statements comes closest to your position on abortion: it should be legal in all cases; it should generally be illegal with exception for rape, incest, or protection of the mother’s life; or should it be completely illegal?
Legal in all cases 33%
Illegal except for rape, incest, or the mother’s life 47%
Completely illegal 14%
Not sure 5%
I rest my case.
Charles P. Pierce on Paul Ryan:
…He was more lost in Afghanistan than the Russian army ever was…
We are not worthy. Go. read the whole thing.
…Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.
You know what’s the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?
I bow down before the master.
If the republicans have their way, they’ll drown it and the rest of in a bathtub.
….As we first reported last fall, Grover Norquist, through the pledge, controls 279 votes, including both the speaker of the House, and the Senate minority leader. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have signed it. And in the coming campaign, you can be sure that Grover Norquist won’t let them forget it….
“…I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” – Grover Norquist
….Vice President Joe Biden (D): Quickly. The bottom line here is that all the studies show that if we went with Social Security proposal made by Mitt Romney, if you’re forty, in your forties now you will pay twenty-six hundred dollars a year mo, you get twenty-six hundred dollars a year less in Social Security. If you’re in your twenties now, you get forty-seven hundred dollars a year less.
The idea of changing, and change being in this case to cut the benefits for people without taking other action you could do to make it work is absolutely the wrong way.
These, look, these guys haven’t been big on Medicare from the beginning. Their party’s not been big on Medicare from the beginning. And they’ve always been about Social Security as little as you can do.
Look, folks, use your common sense. Who do you trust on this, a man who introduced a bill that would raise it forty, sixty four hundred dollars a year, knowing it and passing it, and Romney saying he’d sign it, or me and the president?….
I know who I trust. And it’s definitely not the right wingnut voucher waving zombie eyed granny starver [thanks, Charles P. Pierce] from Wisconsin with the Edie Munster haircut.
“…I will be very specific. Number one, the, this lecture on embassy security, the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by three hundred million dollars below what we asked for, number one. So much for the embassy security piece…”
Paul Ryan (r): ….This Benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself, but unfortunately it’s indicative of a broader problem. And that is what we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy, which is making the (inaudible) more chaotic us less safe.
Martha Raddatz: I just want to you about right in the middle of the crisis. Governor Romney, and you’re talking about this again tonight, talked about the weakness, talked about apologies from the Obama administration. Was that really appropriate right in the middle of the crisis?
Paul Ryan (r): On that same day, the Obama administration had the exact same position. Let’s recall that they disavowed their own statement that they had put out earlier in the day in Cairo. So we had the same position, but we will, it’s never too early to speak out for our values.
We should have spoken out right away when the green revolution was up and starting; when the mullahs in Iran were attacking their people. We should not have called Bashar Assad a reformer when he was turning his Russian-provided guns on his own people. We should always stand up for peace, for democracy, for individual rights.
And we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts, because what that does when we equivocate on our values, when we show that we’re cutting down on defense, it makes us more weak. It projects weakness. And when we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us. They’re more brazen in their attacks, and are allies are less willing to…
Vice President Joe Biden (D): With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.
Martha Raddatz: And why is that so?
Vice President Joe Biden (D): Because not a single thing he said is accurate. First of all…
Martha Raddatz: Be specific.
Vice President Joe Biden (D): I will be very specific. Number one, the, this lecture on embassy security, the congressman here cut embassy security in his budget by three hundred million dollars below what we asked for, number one. So much for the embassy security piece.
Number two, Governor Romney, before he knew the facts, before he even knew that our ambassador was killed, he was out making a political statement which was panned by the media around the world. And this talk about this, this weakness. I, I don’t understand what my friend’s talking about here.
We, this is a president who’s gone out and done everything he has said he was going to do. This is a guy who’s repaired our alliances so the rest of the world follows us again. This is the guy who brought the entire world, including Russia and China, to bring about the most devastating, most devastating, the most devastating efforts on Iran to make sure that they in fact stop (inaudible).
Look, I, I just, I mean, these guys bet against America all the time….
Paul Ryan (r): ….If these cuts go through, our Navy will be the smallest, the smallest it has been since before World War I….
Michael Bersin @MBersin
Oh, God. The Navy of WW 1. More coastal defense monitors and dreadnaughts, please. #FactsMatter 8:59 PM – 11 Oct 12
What is it with right wingnut republicans and dreadnaughts? Just asking.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): comparing apples to navel oranges (February 16, 2012)
Monitors, Coastal 7
Mine Warfare 53
Surface Warships 204
Total Active 774
The last Coast Defense Monitor went out of commission in 1921.
LCS * 2
Mine Warfare 14
Surface Warships 122
Total Active 285
* Littoral Combat Ship
Because modern defense systems have fewer capabilities than those of almost a century ago.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): still obsessed with those navel oranges (July 24, 2012)