Posted tagged ‘Paul Ryan’

Mike Pence Full Interview with Jenna Lee (Fox News) 8/3/2016

August 3, 2016

Mike Pence Full Interview with Jenna Lee (Fox News) 8/3/2016 via YouTube, August 3, 2016

Stop Talking Like Progressives

June 23, 2016

Stop Talking Like Progressives, Front Page MagazineBruce Thornton, June 23, 2016

(Even better, stop being progressives. — DM)


Every drop in the polls or bit of blunt talk from Donald Trump ignites another explosion of Trump Derangement Syndrome from Republican pundits and politicians. And every time such Republicans open their mouths, they strengthen the perception that they are an out of touch elite having more in common with the Democrats with whom they share the same university credentials and tony zip codes. So they confirm the very suspicions that have driven much of Trump’s support.

It doesn’t help that too many Republicans use the same loaded language and share the same assumptions of the progressives. For example, the Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens wrote a whole column on the historical parallels with the 1930s, linking Trump to Italian fascism. In the Washington Post, the Brookings Institute’s Robert Kagan explained “this is how fascism comes to America.” More recently, NRO’s Jay Nordlinger meditated on whether the “F-word” applies to Trump, and concluded, “I’m not sure.”

The remoteness of the chance that America could move that far right leaves the topic of Trump’s fascistic tendencies a mere device for tarring Trump with the fascist brush. Everyone knows that “fascist” is the left’s favorite insult, and its use depends on massive ignorance of historical fascism, the differences between authoritarian and fascist regimes, and the distinctions between Italian fascism and German Nazism. But it’s an effective smear, at once tainting the target with the excesses of Nazism, but containing little content other than the speaker’s ideological dislike of whatever he is branding “fascist.” It should be a tenet of conservativism to respect the integrity of language and history, and not to indulge the linguistic dishonesty that defines progressive propaganda.

Then there’s the flap over Trump’s remarks about the judge who is hearing the suit over Trump University. House Speaker Paul Ryan, currently the lodestar of anti-Trump Republicans, called Trump’s charges that the judge might be biased toward him “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Sure it is, if your “textbook” is the Progressive Lexicon of Orwellian Smears.

Ryan elevated his dudgeon because Trump correctly said the judge is a Mexican. The Trumpophobes all cried “Gotcha” and smugly pointed out that the judge was born in Indiana. But they are as ignorant as Ryan is about how the children of immigrants self-identity. I have lived all my life amidst people descended from immigrants from a dozen different countries, and they all call themselves “Mexican” or “Portuguese” or “Italian” or “Armenian” when asked about their origins. Nobody thinks they mean they are citizens of those countries or were necessarily born there.  Someone who calls himself “Scots-Irish” isn’t claiming dual citizenship in Scotland and Ireland. This episode reminded us once again that the “comprehensive immigration reform” Republicans who dream of flipping the Hispanic vote know very little about the daily reality of immigration in America whether legal or illegal––confirming the beliefs of Trump supporters that the Republicans can’t be trusted on immigration policy.

As bad as that was, though, calling Trump’s comment “racist” is just validating the progressives’ distortion of that word to serve their political and ideological interests. It’s as stupid as calling Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration “racist,” as though Islam is a race instead of a religion. There’s only one valid definition of “racism”: the belief that every member of a “race” isby nature immutably inferior to members of another race. Or, to use the Darwinian jargon of the progressives’ intellectual ancestors in the twenties and thirties, people “unfit” for survival. Since then the left has turned the word into an all-purpose smear used against anyone who disagrees with their politicized, self-serving analysis of race relations in America or any topic involving the Third World. Now anything and everything is “racist,” even simple statements of fact, such as black males commit nearly half of the murders in the U.S. For Ryan to use the word this way validates this corruption of language, and to Trump supporters it is just another example of how the Republican “establishment” is too ideologically cozy with the Democrats.

Or consider Paul Ryan’s recently announced resurrection of his 2014 anti-poverty plan. More significant than the proposals, which recycle the usual “work not welfare” generalities, is something Ryan said three months ago. He apologized for distinguishing between “makers and takers,” and admitted that he was “callous” and “oversimplified and castigated [low-income] people with a broad brush.” Ryan may have made such comments out of political calculation, an attempt to distance himself from Mitt Romney’s “47%” comment that many believed contributed to his and Ryan’s defeat in 2014. If so, it didn’t work. The progressive commentariat and Democrats alike have blasted the plan as a “new spin on a bad deal,” as Democrat House minority whip Steny Hoyer put it. Ryan doesn’t seem to get that the Dems are like Auric Goldfinger: they don’t expect Republicans to talk, they expect them to die.

But whatever his intention, the apology is a textbook example of the Republican “preemptive cringe,” the ceding to the left of too many of their questionable assumptions, and adopting the same maudlin rhetoric and groveling. Ryan’s proposals on “poverty” illustrate this bad habit.

First, Ryan should acknowledge that the “poor” are a statistical artifact, comprising all those people whose incomes fall below about $24,000 for a family of four. Ignored is the value of non-cash subsidies and benefits: food stamps, school meals, Section 8 housing subsidies, welfare, Medicaid, Obamacare subsidies, and Social Security Disability payments, just a few of the 80 means-tested programs funded by redistributing wealth through federal taxes, and by massive debt and deficits. Nor does the government’s data take into account the off-the-books economy, which in the U.S. amounts to nearly 10% of GDP, a low estimate. I’ve know many people over the years who were statistically poor and received benefits. Most of them worked at tax-free cash jobs like childcare, and some were engaged in illegal activities like dealing drugs.

That’s why Ryan’s “work not welfare” paradigm is so weak. People may be “poor,” but they’re not stupid. If they can work part-time in the cash economy and still receive numerous government benefits, why should they work and earn less? That’s partly why the workforce participation rate is at 62%, a 40-year low. We have 11 million illegal aliens, in part because citizens don’t want or need to work crappy jobs when they can work in the informal economy and still receive government benefits. And that also explains why the statistical poor consume nearly twice their cash income, and enjoy a level of material existence that would be considered opulent in the Third World. We are the first civilization in history to turn obesity into a disease of poverty.

Anyone who wants to talk about poverty, then, has to start with how we define the poor, and address what constitutes a reasonable level of material existence. But that never happens, because the progressives need “poverty” as one of those Alinskyite “good crises” that progressives must “never let go to waste.” They use the word as a rhetorical cudgel, evoking the pathos of Dickensian London to coerce people into giving even more money to government anti-poverty programs that have squandered $20 trillion since 1965 without budging the percentage of people deemed poor. A genuine conservative would start with defining words precisely, looking at the reality of people’s lives, and sorting out social injustice from bad personal decisions.

Finally, and most disturbing, is Ryan’s endorsing the progressive assumption that the federal government has the responsibility to deal with problems best addressed by the states, municipalities, and civil society. He seems to have forgotten Reagan’s quip, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”  Even worse is that Ryan seems to think that a properly designed government program can create morals, ethics, character, and virtues like hard work. This has been a central conceit of the progressives for over a century, and it is flat wrong. As even Ryan acknowledges, increased government involvement in people’s lives weakens character and virtue by creating perverse incentives that reward not being virtuous. But the solution is not to adjust another government program, but to get the government out of the way and eliminate the “moral hazard” of exempting people from personal responsibility.

Harping on Trump and tweaking government programs are distractions. Ryan and all Republicans must talk more about the biggest problem we face domestically–– a centralized, bloated federal government devouring more and more of the country’s wealth, hocking our children’s future, and eroding our freedom, all in order to create legions of electorally reliable Democrat functionaries and clients. Yet too many Republicans and conservatives have accepted the unconstitutional premise of progressivism––that the federal government should “solve problems.” Trump has skillfully created the perception that Republicans are on the same page as Democrats, and that he represents an alternative to this “rigged” duopoly.

Republicans and conservative critics of Trump need to stop talking like progressives and start confronting the people with the disastrous fiscal trajectory of the federal Leviathan. A good start is to restore the integrity of our language.

Paul Ryan’s Treason

June 21, 2016

Paul Ryan’s Treason, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, June 21, 2016


In an awkward interview with the Huffington Post, House Speaker Paul Ryan threatened to sue Donald Trump if he were to ban Muslim immigration or build a border wall with Mexico. Considering the current track record of suing Obama over abuses of power, this is little more than a confession of impotence.

And yet it’s deeply troubling that a top Republican is willing to go to such lengths to fight for Muslim migration or for that matter illegal immigration in general.

Paul Ryan insists that he will continue to “speak up in defense of our principles, in defense of not just our party’s principles, but our country’s principles”, but it’s telling that these principles seem to involve illegal immigration and Muslim migration.

Since when are either of these representative of our party’s principles or our country’s principles?

And yet they are indeed core principles for Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan had complained that a Muslim ban was, “not reflective of our principles not just as a party but as a country.” Like Obama, Ryan speaks of “our principles” without actually referencing specifics. While a constitutional conservative, speaks in terms of the Constitution, Ryan uses the “values” language of the left which references no laws, only general sentiments attributed to no specific law or document.

Though Paul Ryan claims that he wants to maintain the traditional separation of powers, and quotes the exact basis for it, he seems reluctant to do so when he claims that a Muslim ban would be wrong. Ryan knows quite well that his opposition to a Muslim migration ban is not based on the law. Like his support for illegal alien amnesty, it is based on the values construct of the left and not on the Constitution.

Paul Ryan was a longtime supporter of illegal alien amnesty. Back when amnesty was still being disguised as “immigration reform”, Ryan was a key player in pushing it forward. Ryan was so notorious for his support for illegal alien amnesty that he had to promise not to move forward on it under Obama in order to gain enough support to become Speaker. And yet despite this Ryan continues to sound amnesty notes.

Like most of the left, Paul Ryan describes illegal aliens as “undocumented immigrants.” Last year, he once again endorsed some measure of legalization for illegal aliens. Even now his website’s top 5 issues includes a call for “immigration reform” which remains a euphemism for illegal alien amnesty.

As is typical of stealth amnesty bids, up front are a raft of security measures and at the very back is a plan for more guest workers and finally a call to “give people a chance to get right with the law”.

That is yet another amnesty euphemism.

Paul Ryan’s amnesty pledge expires when Obama leaves office. That means that, if we take his website at its word, he would like to push amnesty measures under the next administration. A few years ago he was anticipating a move on “immigration reform” in 2017. And so it is not surprising that he remains less than fond of any calls to crack down on illegal immigration.

While Paul Ryan has currently been fairly quiet about amnesty, there was a time when he was one of the more vocal national legislators throwing out amnesty talking points about a “broken immigration system” and “de facto amnesty”. Ryan was certainly not the only prominent Republican to climb on board the amnesty express, but he remained aboard it long after it was leaving the station.

Despite the general shift in the GOP, there is no sign that Ryan has abandoned it. Instead he views Obama’s divisive tone as having poisoned the wall on amnesty. He’s still the same politician who complained two years ago, “People say, ‘amnesty!’ No, it’s taking a problem that’s intractable, that’s been around forever, and trying to fix it in a way that as best guarantees as you can that we’re not going to be in the same [situation] ten years from now.”

Trump’s victory has made it quite clear that Ryan’s view of amnesty, once mainstream in the GOP, is now on the outs. If Trump were to win a national election, then the country would have ratified a rejection of amnesty. The thing that Ryan once fought so hard for, turning illegal aliens into guest workers, was thoroughly rejected by Republican voters.

But there is no sign that Ryan is willing to give up or give in. And that is the problem.

Paul Ryan insists that a ban on Muslim migration would be wrong because, “Muslims are our partners.” That would come as news to all the Americans killed at home and abroad by “our partners” from Saudi Arabia to Muslim refugees and terrorists operating in the United States. And yet even after the latest Muslim terrorist attack in Orlando, Paul Ryan shows no sign of being willing to reconsider his position.

And that’s not surprising.

Paul Ryan doesn’t represent any kind of national Republican consensus. Instead he is a vocal and effective spokesman for the point of view of his backers and sponsors. That is why Ryan not only supports illegal alien amnesty, but also backs “sentencing reform”, a euphemism for freeing criminals.

Despite the anti-establishment election, Paul Ryan continues to represent a particular strain of elitist establishment politics which is concerned with the advocacy of very specific and specifically destructive policies without regard to their consequences, whether it involves criminals, illegal aliens or Muslim terrorists. These principles are often put forward as conservative, but in fact they are a particular species of libertarianism that has very little regard for national interests and none for their victims.

Ryan’s support for illegal immigration and Muslim migration is treasonous. And yet the deeper treason is his treason to the ordinary Republicans whose views and interests he simply does not seem to care about. This is a problem that did not begin with this election and is not likely to end with it.

And yet it is a problem that must be confronted.

The GOP came dangerously close to endorsing amnesty because special interest agendas mattered more than national interests and community interests. And we are not out of the woods yet.

Paul Ryan represents everything wrong with allowing a handful of special interests to set the agenda for the GOP. The agenda has been repudiated at the polls, but it will take far more work to repudiate it in the GOP.

Trump, Ryan and the Islam Problem

May 16, 2016

Trump, Ryan and the Islam Problem, PJ Media, Roger L. Simon, May 15, 2016


One of the main areas of contention between Donald Trump and Paul Ryan is the question of Muslim immigration. In early December, when Trump first made his proposal (now a “suggestion”) to stop all such immigration until we “understood what was going on,” one of the first to react in high dudgeon was Ryan, who declared: “This is not conservatism.”

He was applauded for his four-word pronouncement by those “conservatives” at the Washington Post, who called his response “near-perfect.” Actually, to me it seemed morally narcissistic and had little to with conservatism, pro or con. Ryan wanted to disassociate himself as quickly as possible from the ugly and seemingly racist Trump.

But let’s look more closely at what the speaker said during that response:

When we voted to pause the refugee program a few weeks ago, I made very clear at the time: there would not be a religious test. There would be a security test. And that is because freedom of religion is a fundamental Constitutional principle. It’s a founding principle of this country.

Aside from the obvious — if people are fighting and killing you in the name of a religion, how do you ignore the “religious test” — what about that “security test”? Is it really happening or are people slipping into the country by various means, including an open border, with no test whatsoever?  What about reports of an ISIS camp eight miles from El Paso?

And, perhaps more importantly, did that “pause” Ryan voted for actually take place in any meaningful way? According to the New York Post a “surge operation” bringing Syrian refugees to America was already in operation this past April.  By “surge operation,” Gina Kassem — regional refugee coordinator in Amman — told reporters, it was meant the resettlement process that normally took 18 to 24 months would be sped up to 3 months. (Some pause!) And the figure of 10,000 refugees that has often been proffered by the administration was a minimum, not a maximum.

What is the maximum and how will they be vetted? And just how do you “vet” during a “surge”? Is that what Ryan really meant by a “security test”?  I doubt it, but Trump should ask him at their next reconciliation meeting. As they say, Paul’s got some “xplainin” to do.

Now this isn’t a simple question. The Syrian people have suffered mightily at the hands of various psychotic despots, secular and religious. Trump has called for supporting more extensive refugee camps in the region, an idea that makes more sense than bringing them here.  (He has also called for the Gulf states to pay for them — good luck with that.)

The main point is that this is a significant campaign issue and intelligent solutions have to be discussed.  Trump has put Rudy Giuliani in charge of studying this from his side, an excellent choice.

There may be a short-term fix, but there won’t be a short-term answer. This is a very long-term problem, the longest one we have, dwarfing the deficit and everything else — civilizational, really.  Will we be America or will we go the way of Europe and turn semi-Islamic like France in Houellebecq’s novel?

It wouldn’t be hard. We have been living under an administration that has been an enabler of Islamism.  Obama has chosen to ally himself with Islamists like Turkey’s Erdogan, Egypt’s Morsi and, most stunningly, Iran’s Khamenei, while abjuring Egypt’s al-Sisi, who seeks to reform Islam.  Go figure.

On top of all that — it’s hard to believe this — there are reports our administration was colluding with Russia in an attempt to get Israel to give back the Golan Heights to Syria in some putative peace settlement. Syria? Needless to say, Mr. Netanyahu was not amused.

In any case, on the immediate question of Muslim immigration, Trump may have sounded excessive and even been excessive.  That’s his technique — he likes to get our attention, then negotiate. But in this particular negotiation (not, for example, on entitlements) the basic talking points — and the American people — are on Donald’s side. Ryan should listen.

Donald Trump, Paul Ryan Issue Joint Statement on Meeting, ‘Great Opportunity to Unify’

May 12, 2016

Donald Trump, Paul Ryan Issue Joint Statement on Meeting, ‘Great Opportunity to Unify’

by Alex Swoyer

12 May 2016Washington, DC

Source: Donald Trump, Paul Ryan Issue Joint Statement on Meeting, ‘Great Opportunity to Unify’ – Breitbart

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan issued a joint statement following their meeting on Capitol Hill with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, saying that “there’s a great opportunity to unify our party,” and they “had a great conversation.”

“The United States cannot afford another four years of the Obama White House, which is what Hillary Clinton represents,” the statement begins. “That is why it’s critical that Republicans unite around our shared principles, advance a conservative agenda, and do all we can to win this fall.”

With that focus, we had a great conversation this morning. While we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground. We will be having additional discussions, but remain confident there’s a great opportunity to unify our party and win this fall, and we are totally committed to working together to achieve that goal. We are extremely proud of the fact that many millions of new voters have entered the primary system, far more than ever before in the Republican Party’s history. This was our first meeting, but it was a very positive step toward unification.

Following his meeting with Ryan and Priebus, Trump will meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Wealthy Cruz and Bush Donors Dump Millions Into Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

May 10, 2016

Wealthy Cruz and Bush Donors Dump Millions Into Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

Jim Hoft

May 9th, 2016 4:39 pm

Source: Wealthy Cruz and Bush Donors Dump Millions Into Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

That didn’t take long.

Cruz donor James Simons, who donated over a million dollars to Ted’s failed campaign, has begun pouring millions into Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Bush family donors are also donating to Hillary Clinton – the only establishment candidate left in the race.
The Observer reported:

Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund founded by billionaire James Simons, donated over $13 million to Sen. Ted Cruz’s failed presidential campaign. For a guy who’s supposed to be pretty smart with his money, the ROI on that one has got to sting. Nevertheless, now that Mr. Cruz is out of the race, Mr. Simons has begun pouring millions of dollars into Hillary Clinton‘s campaign, with Renaissance Technologies donating over $2 million to Ms. Clinton so far this election cycle. Euclidean Capital—also owned by Mr. Simons—has given the Clinton campaign over $7 million in contributions, and such figures are likely to increase as Ms. Clinton slowly transitions her attention from Democratic Primary opponent Bernie Sanders to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Mr. Simons isn’t the only wealthy donor making the move. A number of deep-pocketed elite have given up trying to buy off Republican politicians in order to support Ms. Clinton—the only establishment-friendly candidate of either party remaining in the race. In response, the Clinton campaign has assembled a group dubbed “Republicans for Hillary” to reach wealthy GOP donors. Ms Clinton not only shares over 60 of the same donors with the former Republican candidate Jeb Bush but is also making new efforts to court additional Bush family donors, according to a recent Politico report.

Cruz, Trump, and Ryan: The Unimagined Week

May 7, 2016

Cruz, Trump, and Ryan: The Unimagined Week, Gingrich Productions, Newt Gingrich, May 6, 2016

No one imagined three days ago that a month would disappear from the campaign calendar.

The morning of the Indiana primary virtually everyone assumed there would be a fight for the GOP nomination at least to June 7 when California, New Jersey and several other states vote.

Many thought the contest could go on after June 7 because Trump might still be a few delegates short.

Some hoped there would be a contested convention in July.

Suddenly, Tuesday night, Senator Ted Cruz cut either one or two months out of the calendar.

In a very wise, realistic step he suspended his candidacy. This allows him to avoid a month of negativity. It will serve him well. He leaves the race a much bigger, stronger figure than when he entered. He is plausibly a candidate for the Presidency in 2020 if Trump loses. (Actually, Cruz is so young he is plausibly a candidate for President in 2040). He has the name recognition and financial network to become a future governor of our second biggest state. He would be a superb choice to fill the Scalia role on the Supreme Court. He can now take some time to think long and hard about his future.

The Cruz decision had a big effect on both Trump and Ryan.

First, the Trump team was focused on winning the nomination. They were consumed by delegate hunts, future primaries, and winning a convention with a lot of opposition trying to stop them.

Suddenly the Trump team has had to shift direction, focus, and scale.

Trump himself has to move from an enthusiastic gladiator fighting Republican rivals to a national leader seeking to unify both the party and the country. The shift has been huge and sudden. It will take weeks to complete.

Second, Speaker Ryan represents a serious, policy oriented Washington based approach that is somewhere between skeptical and hostile about the Trump candidacy.

On the morning of the Indiana primary the Washington policy Republicans still had hopes of a contested convention. Most thought that, at a minimum, they had six or seven more weeks to negotiate with Trump as he tried to win the last few delegates.

In some ways the Cruz withdrawal was the worst possible world for Washington policy Republicans.

Suddenly, Trump was unchallengeable. He was the nominee. None of the reconciliation and communication process had occurred.

Furthermore, by winning so early and so decisively, the Washington policy Republicans feared there was a very real chance Trump would now wander off into whatever policy inventions and maneuvers he wanted to.

Speaker Ryan was looking for a maneuver to slow down the Trump consolidation of power and force a negotiated dialogue toward some kind of accommodation between two very different set of policy goals.

Ryan’s Thursday statement that he could not yet endorse Trump was dangerous. It was also in some ways a demonstration of fear and weakness.

Faced with an amazing avalanche of personal victories for Trump, Ryan apparently felt he needed a big enough event to get Trump’s attention.

This is a very dangerous game.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is correctly trying to develop party unity now that there is a nominee.

Ryan’s statement may have been given a bigger play because of the same day announcement by the two Bush Presidents and Mitt Romney that they would not endorse Trump or attend the convention.

As someone who supported all three for President it was a bit outrageous to have them suddenly wiser and purer than millions of Republican voters. It is fine to have them skip Cleveland which ought to be focused on the future not the past. It is not acceptable to have them desert the party which made them national figures.

Hopefully Ryan and Trump will work through to an accommodation in the next week or so.

Running for president is hard.

Governing is even harder.

This is just one more bump on a road that Trump has triumphantly been on for a year. There will be a lot more bumps and his ability to solve them will determine if he becomes President.

Ryan also faces the challenge of leading a House GOP which could rapidly split into unmanageable factions.

There is a lot at stake.