Romney: Paul Ryan Will Be My VP (Or, Everything You Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask)
MittÂ Romney has chosen Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, the GOP presumptive nominee’s campaign announced minutes ago. Republican Congressman Paul Ryan serves as the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district and is Chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Romney, whose approval rating has been dropping fast as President Obama opens a seven to nine point lead in some mainstream polls, needed to change the conversation and focus of the campaign, and will personally make the announcement this morning at a press conference on board the USS Wisconsin, as he kicks off a four-state bus tour.Â Besieged by questions about his taxes and unable to recover from Obama’s attacks, no doubt the Romney campaign is looking forward to some new and young blood — and Ryan fits that prescription.
Ryan,Â who is only 42, married, and has three children, is a Roman Catholic. If elected, Paul RyanÂ would be the fourth-youngest vice president in U.S. history, with only Dan Quayle (1989), Richard Nixon (1953), and John C. Breckinridge (1857) preceding him.
Congressman Ryan has been labeled a “rising star” since John Boehner became Speaker of the House, but as early as 2007 was one of the self-described “young guns.” Ryan is extremely popular among Republicans and the radical religious right wing, including the Tea Party and Evangelicals.
MAKING THE CHOICE
NBC News late last night noted that Ryan’s “budget plan — which would substantially transform Medicare and Medicaid — is a lightning rod.”
In fact, Democrats argue that Ryan’s selection marks an opportunity to highlight Ryan’s desired changes to Medicare, which include giving future seniors a voucher or premium support to help pay for their health insurance. Under Ryan’s plan, future seniors would have the choice of using the voucher/premium support to purchase private insurance or through Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service model.
“We’ve spent 18 months trying to make House races about their plan for Medicare and Mitt Romney just did it for us overnight,” said one Democratic operative.
Also last night, The Washington Examiner wrote:
Romney might have been hinting at the selection when he described his intended running mate to NBCâ€™S Chuck Todd.
â€œI certainly expect to have a person that has a strength of character,â€ Romney said. â€œA vision for the country, that, that adds something to the political discourse about the direction of the country. I mean I happen to believe this is a defining election for America; that weâ€™re gonna be voting for what kind of America weâ€™re gonna have.â€
And The Weekly Standard last night pointed to their May interview with Ryan, in which he stated:
â€œItâ€™s very clear from his [Romney’s] last three or four speeches â€“ and heâ€™s very involved in writing these, setting this message â€“ that he wants to bring this to a choice. Not just a referendum on Obamaâ€™s bad stewardship but on the American idea itself and a choice of two futures.Â It seems clear to me â€“ because heâ€™s embraced the kind of economic reforms we need to get the American idea back on track and prevent a debt crisis â€“ that he is willing to bring this thing to the clear, clean choice it needs to be to give to the country. And that heâ€™s ready to do that. And that for all the risk-aversion stories that have been written about him he seems to me that heâ€™s gotten himself in the mindset of understanding the moment we are facing and the need to bring this real clear conversation to the country about the choice they have to make. And that these founding principles are really important. And so I really feel like â€“ this is probably not the election he thought he was going to run, say two years ago when he first decided to run, but I think heâ€™s become extremely comfortable and accepting of what it is and what it needs to be. Everything he says and does gives me a sense of that.”
But NBC News notes:
- Ryanâ€™s budget plan has become a lightning rod, and it will be a focus of Democratic attacks in the fall. The most controversial component of the plan is that it significantly transforms Medicare, which is regarded as the governmentâ€™s most popular program.
- In addition to Medicare, Ryan was one of the driving forces to partially privatize Social Security after George W. Bushâ€™s victory in the 2004 presidential election.
- There are also holes in Ryanâ€™s budget-hawk armor: He voted for some of the biggest drivers of the deficit/debt — theÂ Bush tax cuts, theÂ Iraq war, and theÂ Medicare prescription-drug benefit, all of which werenâ€™t paid for. Moreover, Ryan voted against the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles recommendations.
- Has never held statewide office and has no foreign-policy experience. Both could be liabilities.
- As a member of Congress, Ryan currently works in — and is a relatively high-profile member of — one of Americaâ€™s least popular institutions.
- And while Romney has criticized Obama for not having private-sector experience, the same is largely true of Ryan: As the New Yorker has written, Ryan briefly worked for his familyâ€™s business as a â€œmarketing consultant,â€ but most of his adult life has been spent as a congressman, congressional aide, or speechwriter/analyst at Jack Kempâ€™s Empower America think tank.
PAUL RYAN’S POLITICAL POSITIONS ON CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES
Paul Ryan is strongly anti-gay, having voted to constitutionally define marriage as “one man-one woman,” voting “yes” repeatedly on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and even voting to ban adoptions by gay people in Washington, D.C.
Paul Ryan earned a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights advocacy organization. Ryan has a 13% rating from the ACLU, and a 36% rating from the NAACP.
Last year, Congressman Ryan, who is also strongly anti-abortion, voted to ban any federal funds to pay for abortion, and has voted to restrict interstate transportation of minors to get abortions. Ryan, who has a 0% rating from NARAL, voted to prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and has voted against expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.
Paul Ryan has a 90% rating from the anti-gay hate group, Family Research Council (FRC), voting for nine out of the ten actions FRC supported.
Congressman Ryan scored a 100% rating from the Christian Coalition, which includes voting against theÂ â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell Repeal Act of 2010,â€ voting against the funding of ObamaCare, and voting “yes” on the ludicrously-named â€œRepealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act,â€ the GOP’s signature legislation.
In “Paul Ryan as VP Would Match Mitt Romney on Homophobia,”Â The Advocate notes:
One area where the two differ is on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. RyanÂ voted in 2007in favor of the law, which would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Romney was once also in favor of ENDA but changed his mind.
Romney told the Log Cabin Republicans inÂ 1994Â that he would sponsor ENDA if elected to the U.S. Senate. Then in 2006Â he toldÂ National JournalÂ that ENDA would â€œopen a litigation floodgateÂ and unfairly penalize employers at the hands of activist judges.â€ He dismissed ENDA, saying, “I donâ€™t see the need for new or special legislation.”
PAUL RYAN’S BACKGROUND
Paul Ryan is the Chairman of the House’sÂ Committee on the Budget, and he sits on the extremely powerfulÂ Committee on Ways and Means. Ryan is a member of the socially conservativeÂ andÂ controversialÂ Republican Study CommitteeÂ caucus, which is often praised by the National Review, a highly-conservative publication known to often publish racist and bigoted authors.
The AP once reported that Ryan “was voted prom king and the ‘Biggest Brown-Noser’ of his 1988 high school class before leaving for college in Ohio.”
John Aravosis at AmericaBlog asks:
How important could God be to Paul Ryan if hisÂ number one inspiration for going into public life is the works of a militant atheist? Â Republican leaders always claim that God is their number one inspiration, and Jesus their favorite philosopher. Â Not a militant anti-religious activist.
Aravosis, who offers an extensive background on Ryan, adds that “what’s interesting to me is that he only has a bachelor’s degree.”
While that’s not, in the modern era it’s not at all uncommon for presidential candidates to have gone to graduate school as well (though, as the GOP now has disdain for a college education, per Rick Santorum, this likely won’t hurt Ryan with the Republican minions).
This also means that Ryan’s supposed “expertise” in economics and budgeting comes from undergrad courses in economics. Â Milton Friedman he ain’t.
The other problem with Ryan’s bio is that he has next to zero experience outside of Washington politics. Â His only real work experience outside of government (or “consulting” to the family business), is working as a waiter at Tortilla Coast, as a trainer at a gym, and driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
Congressman Ryan’s biography on Wikipedia states:
Born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan graduated from Miami University in Ohio. In the mid to late 1990s, he worked as an aide to United States Senator Bob Kasten, as legislative director for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, and as a speechwriter for former U.S. Representative and 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp of New York. In 1998, Ryan won election to the United States House of Representatives, succeeding the two-term incumbent, fellow Republican Mark Neumann.
Ryan currently chairs the House Budget Committee, where he has played a prominent public role in drafting and promoting the Republican Party’s long-term budget proposal. He introduced a plan, The Path to Prosperity, in April 2011 as an alternative to the budget proposal of President Barack Obama, and helped introduce The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal in March 2012, in response to Obama’s 2013 budget. Ryan is one of the three co-founders of the Young Guns Program, an electoral recruitment and campaign effort by House Republicans. He endorsed Republican presidential candidate, former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney for the 2012 United States presidential election.
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'GOOD LUCK WITH THAT'
‘Trying to Have It Both Ways’: Ivanka ‘Flailing’ as Trump Indictment Slams Family
While Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have taken to their social media platforms to viciously lash out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for indicting their father on a reported 30 charges, Ivanka Trump posted a rather muted statement on her Instagram account which simply said, “I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both. I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern.”
According to Daily Beast conservative columnist Matt Lewis, the so-called “First Daughter,” who served in the White House with her father, is trying to stay true to her former president dad, while distancing herself from his legal problems — and it is not going to work for her.
As Lewis put it, Ivanka is “flailing” in her attempts to shed the memory of her participation in the Trump administration that reached its lowest point on Jan. 6 when supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.
“It’s hard to argue with anything Ivanka says here, but it is not a statement of moral clarity. Nor is it (conversely) a statement of strong support for her father. She’s flailing and trying to have it both ways,” Lewis wrote before adding, “Now, it’s understandable that a daughter might not want to utterly condemn her father. Further, children are not responsible for their parents’ sins. Except, of course, if you consider the fact that Ivanka served as the primary weapon in the ‘Trump’s not such a belligerent pig as his four decades as a public figure would make you think’ propaganda push.”
RELATED: Trump is so ‘unmoored from reality’ he can’t act as a defense witness: ‘Art of the Deal’ ghostwriter
Noting that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner — who has baggage of his own — both stuck with Trump in the White House for all four years, Lewis added, “As far as the former first daughter goes, she and her husband might be done with politics, but once you’ve been a party to an administration like Trump’s, it’s going to be a long time before politics is done with them.”
“So, Ivanka, you want to have a seat at the cool apolitical kids’ table? You want to be once again accepted by the socially liberal billionaires’ children you used to go to the Hamptons with and now have Miami Beach playdates with? You want to enjoy the privileges of being a Trump with none of the shame? Good luck with that,” he concluded.
You can read more here.
Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report
Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.
The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.
Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.
CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”
READ MORE: Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard is as strong as any I’ve seen.”
The judge was very clear in his ruling.
“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”
READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’
Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.
Dominion has won the argument on the issue of falsity, meaning that as the Court funds below, “it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.” pic.twitter.com/7lKEspN0WI
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 31, 2023
Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.
“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.
“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.
The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.
READ MORE: Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor
Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”
“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”
She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.
“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”
READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump
Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”
Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr and a CC license
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