Tag Archive: Paul Ryan

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A portrait shot of Paul Ryan, looking straight ahead. He has short brown hair, and is wearing a dark navy blazer with a red and blue striped tie over a light blue collared shirt. In the background is the American flag.

……………………Paul Ryan was sworn in as speaker of the House………………..


Paul Ryan was sworn in as the 54th speaker of the House. He remarked that, to him, the House represents the best of America, but that it is broken and needs fixing. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Newly elected Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday it is time to fix a “broken” House and begin solving the nation’s problems instead of adding to them.

“The American people make this country work, and the House should work for them,” Ryan said in a speech on the House floor after his election. “What a relief it would be to the American people if we finally got our act together. What a weight off their shoulders.”

Ryan was elected the 54th speaker of the House as his colleagues looked to the Wisconsin Republican to help unite his fractious party and end the constant crises that have come to dominate the chamber in recent years.

He received 236 of the 432 votes cast. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., received 184. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., got 9 votes. A handful of other people got a total of three votes.

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Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Representative Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, left, and Senator Patty Murray,


The U.S. House passed the first bipartisan federal budget in four years, which would ease $63 billion in automatic spending cuts and avert another government shutdown. The legislation now heads to the Senate.


The House voted 332-94 today for the $1.01 trillion compromise budget crafted by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of a special bipartisan panel. President Barack Obama said he’ll sign the final measure.


The agreement’s main accomplishments are to ease automatic spending cuts that neither party likes by $40 billion in 2014 and about $20 billion in 2015 and cushion the military from a $19 billion reduction starting next month. The accord doesn’t include changes to taxes or spending on entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.


“It’s progress,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a floor speech before the vote. “It’s doing what the American people expect us to do,” which is to “stick to our principles but find common ground.”


The budget deal replaces about half of the automatic cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending in 2014 and 25 percent of the reductions in 2015, which means most of the automatic cuts enacted in 2011 still take effect. It includes $23 billion in deficit reduction.


“This agreement is better than the alternative, but it misses a huge opportunity to do what the American people expect us to do, and that is to put this country on a fiscally sustainable path,” said Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second-ranking House Democrat.


Doctors Spared


The accord also spared doctors for three months from cuts in the Medicare payment rates set to start in January. The measure doesn’t extend emergency benefits for 1.3 million unemployed workers, an omission that frustrated Democrats, who say they plan to continue the fight when Congress returns in January from a holiday break.


The deal won bipartisan support because it doesn’t touch entitlement programs Democrats have pledged to protect or the corporate tax breaks Republicans favor.


It also doesn’t raise the U.S. debt ceiling, setting up a potential fiscal showdown after borrowing authority lapses as soon as February.


Lawmakers and some economists said adopting a formal budget will provide some certainty to the U.S. economy after three years of spending feuds that led to a government shutdown, rattled investors and prompted a downgrade in the nation’s credit rating.


Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist for Standard & Poor’s Corp., said in a recent newsletter that adoption of a bipartisan budget will be a boon to the U.S. economy.


Uncertainty Reduced


“The budget would reduce a key risk, political uncertainty,” she wrote. “The private sector will probably be more confident when planning investment and spending for next year, which would directly boost growth.”


The deal is far from the $1 trillion to $4 trillion grand bargain on taxes and spending that previous budget negotiators sought. The plan would set U.S. spending at about $1.01 trillion for this fiscal year, higher than the $967 billion required in a 2011 budget plan.


Much of the deficit reduction will come in later years, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The plan would lower the deficit by $3.1 billion in 2014 and $3.4 billion in 2015 and exceed $20 billion a year in 2022 and 2023, the CBO said.


Medicare Payments


A big portion of the savings is tied to extending the cuts in Medicare provider payments into 2022 and 2023, rather than letting them expire in 2021 as under current law.


The accord may help lawmakers repair their image after a 16-day government shutdown in October that caused congressional approval ratings to fall to the lowest level recorded by the Gallup Organization polling group.


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House approves budget deal, handing major victory to Boehner





The House on Thursday approved a two-year budget deal that turns off $63 billion in sequester spending cuts, handing a major victory to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio.).

Large majorities in both parties backed the bill in a 332-94 vote.

Only 62 Republicans defected despite harsh criticism of the deal by conservative groups that said it did too little to cut spending, compared to 169 Republicans who backed it. The Democratic vote was 163-32.

Heritage Action, the Club for Growth and other groups said they would negatively score votes in favor of the legislation, but those threats failed to create a stampede against the bill.

Instead, members rallied around Boehner, who had strongly pushed back at the criticism from the outside groups, who he charged had “lost all credibility.”

During the debate, he said the does everything conservatives want.

“If you’re for reducing the budget deficit, then you should be voting for this bill,” Boehner said. “If you’re for cutting the size of government, you should you be supporting this budget.

“If you’re for preventing tax increases, you should be voting for this budget. If you’re for entitlement reform, you ought to be voting for this budget. These are the things I came here to do, and this budget does them,” he said.

Boehner was aided by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who negotiated the budget deal with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

While the 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate also came under fire from the right, Ryan’s credentials with conservatives helped GOP leaders win votes.

While the deal did not represent the “grand bargain” of entitlement reforms and tax hikes Boehner and President Obama flirted with in 2011, Ryan argued it represented a victory for conservatives since it will reduce deficits by $23 billion over 10 years.

The bill cuts the deficit, avoids tax hikes, and makes permanent reforms to save money, such as stopping welfare checks to criminals, Ryan said.

He also said it reflected the reality of divided government in Washington, where Republicans hold only the House, and that it would prevent another government shutdown.

Near the end of the debate, Ryan noted that as the GOP’s vice presidential candidate in 2012, he was part of the GOP effort to return Republicans to the White House.

“We tried defeating this president,” he said. “I wish we would have.”

“Elections have consequences,” Ryan added. “And I fundamentally believe — this is my personal opinion, I know it’s a slightly partisan thing to say — to really do what we think needs to be done, we’re going to have to win some elections.

“And in the meantime, let’s try to make this divided government work.”

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                                                              Image Source  :  Anonymous ART of Revolution


We’re proud to collaborate with The Nation in sharing insightful journalism related to income inequality in America. The following post appeared first in Nation contributor Greg Kaufmann’s “This Week in Poverty” blog.

Congressman Paul Ryan recently said that Republicans “don’t have a full-fledged” plan to fight poverty “because we need to do more listening to people who are in the trenches fighting poverty.”

He had the perfect opportunity to do just that at a recent House Budget Committee hearing, “War on Poverty: A Progress Report,” which he chaired. California Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee requested that Chairman Ryan allow Tianna Gaines-Turner — a mother and anti-poverty activist who has struggled with poverty and homelessness — to testify.

Tianna Gaines-Turner (Photo: Center for Hunger-Free Communities)

But Chairman Ryan balked.

“Ranking Member Van Hollen previously selected a witness to testify, and I won’t be able to make further additions to the witness list,” he wrote in a letter to Congresswoman Lee.

But the Chairman could have made additions to the witness list had he truly wanted to, he simply chose not to. He did, however, permit Gaines-Turner to submit written testimony.

The only problem with that is that written testimony normally sees about as much light of day as that old t-shirt with all of the holes that you keep in the back of your bottom drawer — the one you might take out again some day to workout in provided that no one you know is within ten miles of you.

Had the Chairman included Gaines-Turner at the hearing, this is what the American people would have learned:

Gaines-Turner and her husband both work and have three children — a nine-year-old son on the honor roll in 4th grade, and five-year-old twins who are entering kindergarten. All three of her children suffer from epilepsy and moderate to severe asthma.

She earns $10 an hour working part-time for a childcare provider, and her husband earns $8 an hour working the deli counter at a grocery store. They aren’t offered health insurance through work, and earn too much to qualify for medical assistance. She, too, suffers from asthma and writes that she “currently can’t afford to get an inhaler.”

Their children are covered through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and “take life-saving medication every day.”

“I worry about a day that might come where my children won’t be able to see a specialist because I can’t afford the co-pay.… Just like you want the best for your children I want the best for my children.”

She describes a time when their oldest son was hospitalized with seizures. She took off work to be with him while her husband took off to care for the twins.

“We were both unable to work, so we lost money that month, and ultimately had to make a choice — do we pay the rent or do we pay the light bill? Not to mention, how do we buy food…? Poverty is not just one issue that can be solved at one time. It’s not just an issue of jobs, or food, or housing, or utility assistance, and safety. It’s a people issue. And you can’t slice people up into issues. We are whole human beings.”

Gaines-Turner discusses a familiar story — low-income families working “two-to-three jobs to make ends meet,” with “wages so low and expenses so high” that sometimes work “may not be enough to even pay for the expense of child care.” She also describes what some call the “cliff effect” — when government assistance (such as child care) is taken away at the very moment someone begins to get ahead.

“Just when someone is moving forward, the rug is ripped out from under them. This cycle pushes people deeper into poverty than they were before they took the job. This system needs to change in order for people like myself to forge a better future for myself and my children, one where I will never need to turn to public assistance again.”

Like many of the Witnesses to Hunger I’ve had the opportunity to speak with, Gaines-Turner has particular expertise when it comes to food and nutrition issues. Witnesses to Hunger has chapters in four cities, including Gaines-Turner’s Philadelphia, where members use photography to document their experiences in poverty and learn to advocate for change on the local, state, and federal levels.

She describes families who “put their children to bed before dinner because there was nothing to eat,” and “others who look at food menus delivered to their door so they canimagine ordering dinner and trick themselves into thinking that they’ve eaten, when actually they haven’t eaten in days.” She says that most nights she and her husband “make our dinners on what is left over on our children’s plates — we call it ‘kids plate surfing.’ We are able to get by thanks to SNAP (food stamps) but we are not eating well.” Gaines-Turner argues against proposals to cut SNAP and offers data and her own every day experiences to make her case:

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Paul Ryan’s Poverty Hearing Slammed by Testimony From Woman in Poverty

August 5, 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) questions witnesses during a hearing on the Affordable Care Act in the Longworth House Office Building,  Aug. 1, 2013.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) questions witnesses during a hearing on the Affordable Care Act in the Longworth House Office Building, Aug. 1, 2013.

The House Budget Committee’s major hearing on poverty last week failed to include any person actually living in poverty, a move that upset lawmakers and advocacy groups alike. Instead, Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., encouraged victims of poverty to submit written testimony to the committee.

Now, Tianna Gaines-Turner, a woman living in poverty in Philadelphia, has submitted that testimony, and it’s a searing indictment of Republican policies and positions taken by Ryan in relation to the federal food stamp program, or SNAP.

“Chairman Ryan recently said that people need to get involved in their communities and help each other out, because getting together to help each other out is much better than government benefits,” she writes. “But, if you actually came into our communities, actually invited us to talk with you about what it’s like to be on government benefits, you would learn that government benefits are actually helping us stay healthy.”

Gaines-Turner, who is a member of the Witnesses to Hunger program, a program of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities at Drexel University that encourages parents in poverty to speak out about their experiences, describes working to support six children on her and her husband’s low-wage, part-time jobs, as they’ve been unable to get full-time employment. The federal food stamps program, she says, is what keeps her and her family from starving.

Read More Here


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Published on Jan 19, 2013

1/19/13 – On the eve of 2013 Presidential Inauguration, Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance at the Iowa State Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C. And he had a very important announcement to make to the crowd. At the beginning of his speech, Biden began praising his soon to be re-inaugurated boss and let slip, “I’m proud to be President of the United States,” before stopping himself as nervous laughter from the audience turned into wild cheers. Biden corrected himself and said what he had intended: “I’m proud to be Vice President of the United States, but I’m prouder to be President Barack Obama’s vice president.”

The moment was reminiscent of when Mitt Romney introduced his running mate Paul Ryan for the first time as “the next President of the United States,” though this time the roles were flipped. If this is Biden’s unique way of ingratiating himself to Iowan voters before the 2016 Iowa Caucus, it somehow seems to have worked.

By Russell Berman

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — House Republicans are discussing a short-term debt ceiling increase to buy time for broader deficit reduction negotiations with Democrats, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters Thursday.

“We’re discussing the possible virtue of a short-term debt limit extension so that we have a better chance of getting the Senate and the White House involved in discussions in March,” Ryan told reporters gathered at the pricey Kingsmill resort in Williamsburg, where the House GOP is holding its annual retreat.

“All of those things are the kinds of things we’re discussing,” said Ryan, the party’s budget chief and 2012 vice presidential candidate.A small hike in the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling would give the government more time to make payments on its responsibilities as lawmakers and the White House haggle over federal spending. A GOP leadership aide said there was no consensus on the size of a debt limit hike, and that it would have to be coupled with entitlement reforms or spending cuts.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that the nation hit its borrowing limit at the end of 2012 and will run out of ways to avoid a first-ever default sometime between mid-February and early March. $85 billion in across-the-board 2013 cuts to defense and domestic spending are set to begin taking effect in March, and the government will run out of funding a month later.

Republican leaders are briefing rank-and-file members on the “consequences” of the three major deadlines coming on the debt ceiling, the automatic spending cuts of sequestration and the expiration of government funding at the end of March.

Ryan said the party was looking to prepare members for the coming fiscal debates, both to achieve consensus on a path forward and to set reasonable expectations for a party clinging to a sliver of power in Washington.

“Our goal is to make sure our members understand all the deadlines that our coming, all the consequences of those deadlines that are coming, in order so that we can make a better-informed decision about how to move, how to proceed,” Ryan said. “What we’ve been doing is facilitating a conservation about the best way to achieve progress on controlling our deficits and our debt, controlling spending, with the goal of doing our job to help prevent a debt crisis, and getting this economy going to create jobs.”

“Out of that we hope to achieve consensus on a plan to proceed so that we can make progress on controlling spending and deficits and debt,” he added.


Read Full Article Here


Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Politics :  Unethical – Community – Poverty – Elitist Privilege – Hypocrisy – Complacency / Apathy – Fraud

Ayn Rand Would Be Proud: Soup Kitchen in Paul Ryan’s Photo Op Loses Funds, Gets Attacked By Conservative Trolls

Ryan’s political theater has jeopardized donations to the food bank.
October 19, 2012  |

Last weekend, Paul Ryan demonstrated his compassion for the poor by rolling up his sleeves at an Ohio soup kitchen  and faking a photo op. The VP candidate waltzed into a Cleveland-area Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society well after everyone had eaten and left, and washed some pans that may or may not have already been cleaned while reporters took pictures.

In addition to widespread mockery, Ryan’s half-assed attempt to simulate concern for the poor for 15 minutes drew an angry response from the President of the facility, Brian J. Antal, who told the Washington Post that Ryan’s slimy political theater might jeopardize donations to the food bank. “We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” he said. ” … we “can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals.”

As it turns out, the privilege of being Ryan’s background scenery has already taken a toll on the organization. Antal told the Huffington Post t hat many donors have fled, leading to a loss of funds.

“It appears to be a substantial amount,” Antal told the Huffington Post. “You can rest assured there has been a substantial backlash.”

On top of all that, deranged conservatives have been harassing volunteers, Antal claims:

Ryan supporters have now targeted Antal and his soup kitchen, Antal said, including making hundreds of angry phone calls. Some members of Antal’s volunteer staff have had to endure the barrage as well, he said. “The sad part is a lot of [the callers] want to hide behind anonymity,” he said, adding that if someone leaves their name and number he has tried to return their call.

It’s almost as if Ryan has staged an elaborate tribute to Ayn Rand, whose philosophy denigrates people who help the needy; people like Antal, who told the Huffington Post that his job does not come with a salary. But David Gibson, writing on Commonweal, makes the great point that the entire sorry episode actually undermines one of the main tenets of Ryan’s other religion. The VP candidate’s interpretation of the Catholic social gospel, notes Gibson, is that faith-based groups and individuals should be the needy’s safety net instead of government. As Gibson writes, the exodus of donors from the Ohio food bank shows just how misguided that is in the real world:

People, even people of faith, don’t consistently fulfill that responsibility. They — we — are flawed human beings who nurse grudges and lash out when angry. We can go blithely on our way, to the next task, the next meal, the next campaign stop — and the vulnerable suffer. Private charity is not a safety net. Government support is indispensable. The parable of Paul Ryan and the soup kitchen should demonstrate this if nothing else.

To make a donation to the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, money can be sent to P.O. Box 224, Youngstown, Ohio 44501. Donations also  may be made online . Online donors should specify that their donations are for the Youngstown, Ohio, soup kitchen.

Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Politics  :  Community – Lack Of Transparency – Public Relations Stunt

Reporters barred from covering Paul Ryan exchange with homeless Ohioans

Posted by Felicia Sonmez

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Paul Ryan visited a soup kitchen here Saturday on his way to the airport, but by the time the GOP vice presidential nominee and his family had arrived shortly before noon, the grits, sausage and doughnuts had been served, the hall was empty of patrons and the volunteers appeared to have already cleaned up.

When Ryan did talk to some men who appeared to be homeless, as he did when he left the venue, reporters were not allowed to listen in on the exchange.

The visit by Ryan came after a town hall meeting Saturday morning at Youngstown State University.

After greeting and thanking a handful of volunteers from St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Canfield, Ohio — who said they typically visit the St. Vincent DePaul Society every Saturday and serve food from 10 to 11:30 a.m. — Ryan, his wife and their young children headed to the kitchen, donned white aprons and offered to clean up some dishes.

Ryan stood at the sink and took some large metal pans that did not appear to be dirty, soaped them up and rinsed them, remarking as the cameras clicked and the TV cameras rolled that he had spent a summer washing dishes when he was younger.

“We had a Hobart, though, which was — you get calluses on your fingers because it’s so hot,” he said, referring to the Hobart industrial dish washing machine.

A few minutes into the dish washing, reporters were escorted out of the building and onto a press bus.

As Ryan exited the building some minutes later, a small group of people, some of whom appeared to be homeless, seemed to engage Ryan, and the candidate stopped for several moments and spoke with them.

The campaign escorted photographers from the bus for Ryan’s exchange, but reporters were not allowed to do so. Ryan’s motorcade took off for the airport a few moments later.

A campaign aide said that the exchange was not open to press because it was an impromptu conversation.

Ten volunteers had served 180 people at the soup kitchen before Ryan arrived Saturday, the aide said.

Spokesman Michael Steel said that the visit by the Ryans to the soup kitchen “emphasized the importance of charities and volunteerism to civil society.”

“Breakfast service at the soup kitchen had ended during the town hall at Youngstown State,” he said when asked why Ryan had stopped by the venue after food had been served.

This post has been updated since it was first published.



Put On Blast!! Charity Worker Calls Paul Lyan’s Azz Out On Soup Kitchen ‘Photo Op’!!

  By Bossip Staff

Looks like Paul thinks he can keep fakin’ us all out!

During his campaign run in Ohio, the good ‘ole boy thought it’d be a cool idea to stop into a soup kitchen unannounced and ‘help out’.

According to The Washington Post :

The head of a northeast Ohio charity says that the Romney campaign last week “ramrodded their way” into the group’s Youngstown soup kitchen so that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan could get his picture taken washing dishes in the dining hall.

Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, who stopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University.

“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” Antal said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”

He added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

Ryan had stopped by the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes on his way to the airport after his Saturday morning town hall in Youngstown. By the time he arrived, the food had already been served, the patrons had left, and the hall had been cleaned.

Upon entering the soup kitchen, Ryan, his wife and three young children greeted and thanked several volunteers, then donned white aprons and offered to clean some dishes. Photographers snapped photos and TV cameras shot footage of Ryan and his family washing pots and pans that did not appear to be dirty.

Antal, a self-described independent voter, said that he “can’t fault my volunteers” for letting the campaign in but said that the campaign “didn’t go through the proper channels.”

He noted that the soup kitchen relies on funding from private individuals who might reconsider their support if it appears that the charity is favoring one political candidate over another.

“I can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals,” he said. “If this was the Democrats, I’d have the same exact problem.”

He added that the incident had caused him “all kinds of grief” and that regardless of whether Ryan had intended to serve food to patrons or wash dishes, he would not have allowed the visit to take place.

“Had they asked for permission, it wouldn’t have been granted. … But I certainly wouldn’t have let him wash clean pans, and then take a picture,” Antal said.

All I Really Need to Know About Paul Ryan I Learned From This Soup Kitchen Photo Op

All I Really Need to Know About Paul Ryan I Learned From This Soup Kitchen Photo Op


After Paul Ryan spent Saturday morning at a town hall meeting in Ohio’s Youngstown State University once again blaming President Obama for the shuttering of GM plant that closed before he took office, his campaign decided to show off their candidate’s compassionate side with a detour to a soup kitchen in Canfield.

An empty soup kitchen.

From the New York Times:

The [Ryan] family put on aprons and washed several large pans, though they did not appear to need washing, according to a pool reporter. There also was no one to serve at the soup kitchen, as breakfast had ended.

The sorry charade didn’t quite end there.

The Washington Post reports that after the dishwashing part of the show was over, reporters were corralled and led back to the press bus.

As Ryan exited the building some minutes later, a small group of people, some of whom appeared to be homeless, seemed to engage Ryan, and the candidate stopped for several moments and spoke with them.

The campaign escorted photographers from the bus for Ryan’s exchange, but reporters were not allowed to do so. Ryan’s motorcade took off for the airport a few moments later.

Asked why reporters weren’t allowed to listen in on Ryan’s exchange with the “homeless-appearing people,” a campaign aide said it “was not open to press because it was an impromptu conversation.”

Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Government Overreach

Akin won’t leave U.S. Senate race over rape remarks

Akin vowed to fight on in his embattled Senate campaign as the deadline to exit the Nov. 6 elections loomed Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, putting pressure on the Missouri congressman to abandon the race over his comments that women's bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape."(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
Akin vowed to fight on in his embattled Senate campaign as the deadline to exit the Nov. 6 elections loomed Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, putting pressure on the Missouri congressman to abandon the race over his comments that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.”(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
A+ A-

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri: The U.S. congressman under fire for making comments about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy said Wednesday that Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney’s running mate personally pleaded with him to leave a crucial Senate race, but the advice went nowhere. Rep. Todd Akin insisted he’s in the race to stay, saying “this is not about my ego.”

Romney himself has called on his fellow Republican to abandon his Senate bid in the Midwestern state of Missouri amid the party’s concerns that Akin’s comments have threatened the party’s bid to gain control of Congress in November.

Akin told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, called him to personally plea that he step aside, but Akin said “it’s not right for party bosses to override” Missouri voters, who knew they weren’t getting a “perfect’ candidate.

Akin has repeatedly apologized for his comments in a television interview earlier this week that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape.” He had been asked in the KTVI interview whether his general opposition to abortion extends to women who have been raped.

“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin said.

Despite the uproar that followed, Akin ignored a key deadline to drop out of the Senate race Tuesday and declared that his party’s leaders were overreacting by abandoning him.

He was once seen as a strong challenger to incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in Missouri, a pivotal target for Republicans as they attempt win control of the Senate. Republicans already control the House of Representatives.

Akin’s bid now faces a lack of money from the national Republican Party, a lack of party support and no assurance that his apologies would be enough to heal a self-inflicted political wound. But he remained defiant.

He appealed Tuesday to Christian evangelicals, anti-abortion activists and anti-establishment Republicans, saying he remains the best messenger to highlight respect for life and liberty that he contends are crumbling under the big-government policies of President Barack Obama.

Some have rallied to his side. Akin’s campaign released an open letter Tuesday from Jack Willke, former president of the U.S. National Right to Life Committee, stating he was “outraged at how quickly Republican leaders have deserted” Akin.

Akin “remains a strong and courageous pro-life leader – and awkward wording in one sound bite doesn’t negate that,” Willke’s statement said.

If Akin were to leave, state law gives the Republican state committee two weeks to name a replacement. Akin can withdraw from the race as late as Sept. 25, but after Tuesday, he would need a court order to do so.

Politics, Legislation and Economy News




Ryan Drove Wienermobile, Voted No on Food Safety Modernization Act

GOP vice presidential candidate-designate Paul Ryan is a member of a very exclusive club.
Oh, the Wisconsin Republican is going to be one of the few ever nominated to a major party ticket for national office.


But before that happened, the Congressman was one of the few chosen to drive the popular Oscar Mayer  Wienermobile. Ryan’s time at the helm of the Wienermobile was apparently a one-time assignment, not his entire summer job.
About 300 drivers have driven 9 different models of the Wienermobile over the past 76 years in parades and community events throughout the United States.
Ryan did leave his wienermobile tracks, though, just as in 14 years in Congress he has left a record of votes behind on almost everything.
In interviews after his selection as the Republican ‘veep’ candidate, Ryan said he spent a summer selling Oscar Mayer meats in Northern Minnesota, and started work early each morning so he could take off by mid-afternoon to going Walleye fishing.
Ryan reportedly was responsible for selling Oscar Mayer’s Lunchables and Turkey Bacon products to retail stores.
Now Ryan’s move up to the national campaign trail is having ramifications back in Washington D.C., according to agricultural experts.
The House Budget Chairman’s shadow is now larger than ever, especially for the future of the 2012 Farm Bill.  According to the Hagstrom Report, a subscriber-paid news service, Ryan’s committee wants ballooning food stamp spending cut by $33 billion over the next ten years.
The House version of the Farm Bill, which has yet to be voted on, includes only a $16.5 billion food stamp cut over ten years, while the Senate’s version, which cleared over the summer with bipartisan support, cuts just $4.5 billion over 10 years.
“Since the 1960s, reauthorization of the food stamp program has been key to convincing House members from urban and suburban districts and senators from mostly urban states to vote for the farm bill,” Hagstrom notes.

Ryan has also proposed moving food stamps to state block grants, something that is unpopular with both hunger advocates or agricultural interests.

With Ryan on the ticket, many now think the final acts for the 2012 Farm Bill are more likely to be put off until after the election because food stamp advocates will figure they will be able to get more by waiting.
On food safety, Ryan opposed final passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2010. Ryan’s opposition might have been more meaningful had FSMA not passed with strong bipartisan support.
In addition, the Obama Administration has hung up the Act’s implementation for most of the past year by sitting on needed regulations.
With Democrat Reps. Ron Kind (WI) and Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Republican Jeff Flake (AZ), Ryan was part of a 2007-08-reform group that Hagstrom says worked with the Environmental Working Group on knocking down direct payments to farmers in the existing Farm Bill.
Ryan voted for the 2006 National Food Safety Warning Labels Standards, a bill that set national standards for food safety warning labeling. Opponents said the national policy made some stronger state labeling laws unenforceable.
On a related matter, he voted against Country of Origin Labeling, which did become law until the World Trade Organization more recently struck it down.
Ryan voted a number of times to limit the liability of the food industry for customers who become fat or obese by their food choices.

In the 72 hours since he was picked, Ryan’s use of an exercise program has led to a run on the body-sculpting P90X routine he leads every morning at the House gym. At 6 feet, 2 inches, weighing 163 pounds, Ryan credits his 6-8 percent body fat on the program.




Voting record analysis finds Paul Ryan most extreme VP nominee in a century

By Jonathan Terbush
The Raw Story

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaking at CPAC in 2011. Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore, creative commons licensed.

Rep. Paul Ryan is the most ideologically far-from-center vice presidential nominee since at least 1900, according to one statistical analysis of historical Congressional voting records.

Based on the DW-NOMINATE model, Ryan’s record makes him the most extreme nominee from either party during that stretch, meaning he is not only ranked as more conservative than any past GOP vice presidential nominee, but also as further from center than any Democratic number two over that same stretch.

That ranking system analyzes all the roll call votes cast by members of Congress and computes a weighted average of how conservatives or liberal elected representatives are based on those votes. For example, the system pegs Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva (D-NM) as the ninth-most liberal member of the House, while Ron Paul (R-TX) ranks as the second-most conservative member (Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) barely beat out Paul for the title of most conservative.)

Ryan, meanwhile, falls well into the conservative end of the spectrum. In fact, the ranking system puts him just four slots closer to center than Tea Party crusader Michele Bachmann (R-MN.)

The system presents its averages on a numerical scale, from -1.0 to 1.0, liberal to conservative, with zero being completely centrist. Ryan earned a 0.562 Ideology Score according to the system, higher than Dick Cheney’s previous record high score for a VP nominee of 0.531. The most extreme Democratic nominee, by contrast, was President Franklin Roosevelt’s VP, John Nance Gardner (-0.482.)

That finding affirms anecdotal evidence about Ryan’s perceived image as a very conservative politician. His budget proposal last year, for example, was so extreme that even Newt Gingrich dismissed it as, “right-wing social engineering,” — though he has since come around now that Ryan is on the party ticket.

Catholic nuns protest US budget cuts

Published on Jun 20, 2012 by

A group of Roman Catholic nuns are taking an unusual bus ride across America.

They are protesting against government budget cuts, which they say are harming low income families.

A recent Vatican report criticised some nuns for focusing too much on economic injustice

Even though the nuns were stung by the criticism from Rome, they decided to stay the course and say the firestorm has given them a platform.

In their latest trip, the nuns are in Janesville, Wisconsin, to deliver an alternative budget to Republican House member Paul Ryan, in which they propose a plan that favours a safety net for the worst off instead of tax cuts for the rich.

There is every sign they’ll continue to take their gospel on the road, with or without the Vatican’s blessing.

Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey reports from Janesville, Wisconsin.