"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, April 22, 2016

Today's Must-Read

This somewhat lengthy post by Digby, especially the commentary on the Washington press corps vis-a-vis Paul Ryan:

But this desire to turn right wingers into statesmen based upon very little evidence is a common phenomenon among media observers. Perhaps it's because they can't believe the ego-driven ineptitude and/or ideological extremism could possibly be as bad as it seems so they look for any small sign of competence and run with it in the vain hope that they'll awaken from this nightmare and the Republican party will be normal again. If so, no Washington figure has benefited from this phenomenon more than House Speaker Paul Ryan.

For years he has been the up and coming "it boy" of the Republican caucus, leader of the young guns, the captain of the "deep bench" of new leadership that was going to lead the Party to the promised land.

Ryan is, as far as I'm concerned, the type specimen of the empty suit. As for his accomplishments (aside from budgets that didn't add up -- literally):

Paul Krugman memorably tried to remind everyone that Ryan had always been less than meets the eye:

The fact is that Ryan is and always was a fraud. His plan never added up; it was never, contrary to what people who should know better asserted, “scored” by the CBO. What he actually offered was a plan to hurt the poor and reward the rich, actually increasing the deficit along the way, plus magic asterisks that supposedly reduced the debt by means unspecified.

His genius, if you can all it that, was in realizing that there was a role — as I said, that of Honest, Serious Conservative — that self-proclaimed centrists desperately wanted to see filled, so that they could demonstrate their bipartisanship by lavishing praise on the holder of that position. So Ryan did his best to impersonate a budget wonk. It wasn’t a very good impersonation — in fact, he’s pretty bad at budget math.

And now you know why the Eagles' "Hotel California" reminds me of Washington. (If you need a refresher, scroll down to yesterday's "Culture Break" post.)

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