Paul Ryan announced that he’s not running for re-election. This was not a surprise. Ryan has been in Congress since 1999. He became Speaker in 2015 when John Boehner resigned. Boehner had lost the confidence of his caucus. Ryan was the only choice to hold the fractured Republicans together. It was clear that he did not want the job.
Ryan has achieved one of the two planks he’s spent a career trying to achieve: tax reform. Entitlement reform evaporated from the docket this year due to Trump tantrums. Ryan has three children on the brink of their teenage years. He’d prefer babysitting them than the President. He also does not want to take the blame for a massive blue wave.
It’s becoming clear that Republicans are going to lose in November. They are going to lose big. This only increases the odds that you might see Nancy Pelosi or Steny Hoyer take the gavel. Ryan was a huge fundraiser for vulnerable Republicans, which is now less effective. The focus shifts from battles for leadership positions instead of saving vulnerable seats. Even Ryan’s safe seat is now vulnerable. The D has $2.3 million while Ryan had $10 million in the bank. A new Republican starts at zero. Ryan has exacted revenge on the party for his forced-Speakership.
Internal polling must be a bloodbath. As of today, 43 Republicans are retiring, resigned, or are running for other offices. Democrats only need a pick-up of 24 seats to retake the House. Republicans hold 246 seats while Democrats hold 187. Two are currently vacant. Cook Political Report says 29 Republicans are toss-ups while the Democrats have three. There are 50 likely Republican seats with 13 likely Democratic seats. There are 179 solid Democratic seats with 161 solid Republican seats. That is a lot of vulnerability for Trump’s party. The most energized group of voters are young, single, college-educated women. They are Democrats.
Why should libertarians care? Ryan was essential in milking good economic policy out of the President. Ironically, Ryan and McConnell are more responsible for the successes libertarians like than Trump. With a Democratic Congress, the eager-to-please President will try to rack up wins large enough to keep a smile on DiFi’s face through 2020. The drama of impeachment would also follow.
The new book Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff is the talk of the political world. I love gossip. This feels like gossip and not news. Take the exchange between Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon in this article. Wolff writes dialogue and assigns emotion to the characters. How can he know the emotions of the two men when they were the only ones in the room, and one is dead? That leaves Bannon as the only source. This is dubious considering Steve Bannon is a less than honest broker. Ben Shapiro worked for Bannon and makes the case that he’s a complete fraud. Today Michael Wolff admitted, “I certainly said what was ever necessary to get the story.”
As the Washington Post said, “Wolff’s admission does not directly undermine the veracity of his reporting, but it creates the appearance that he might have approached some members of the president’s team under false pretenses, leading sources to believe that when they opened up they were speaking to a sympathetic ear. That’s a bad look — one which the White House can use to impugn Wolff’s integrity and, perhaps unfairly, cast doubt on whichever elements of his work the president doesn’t like.”
Trump is bizarre, and we have to be careful not to believe anything about him because it could be true. Twitter user PixelatedBoat made up a story about Trump in this new book as a parody, and everyone is so desperate to make fun of Trump that they bought it and he had to change his username. I believed it at first.
We have to be careful not to give up the truth when it is information about someone we find morally or politically grotesque. It is very easy to sell believable gossip so the incentive is higher to fabricate stories. Is Michael Wolff’s book as bad as an Edward Klein book? I don’t know, but I will be reading it with a very critical eye. No matter what, it cannot be less credible than Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan.
January 3, 2018
Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept
January 2, 2017
A friend recently asked me to boil down the Russian-Trump investigations. What were the smoking guns? What had he supposedly done wrong? The truth is that no one has articulated clearly and accurately what Trump or his campaign had done wrong. I offered the following analysis:
One text, in particular, is a damning piece of evidence.
Incredibly, the educated guess has become a reality due to leaks, likely from Republicans on various Congressional committees, which are exposing the seedy inner workings of the FBI and the special prosecutor’s investigation.
Lookout fam… The internet is about to be filled with foreign policy experts.
The truth is that no one knows how the Arab street will react in the short-term. The long-term? There will never be peace as long as Israel exists and the governments of the U.S., Russia, and China are willing to ship weapons to Israel and Muslim nations by the billions. America will have a vastly diminished role in the Mid-East peace process, but so what? We are only involved in it so President’s can be the “one” that solves this problem. It is a vanity project. The sky is not falling and the world is not coming to an end.
This is Trump delivering on promises to his base. Trump is the first President to not pretend that he is everyone’s President. He is the President of his base. He is just not faking that he cares about the opinions of his opposition
Fear of chaos and identity politics robs individuals of their ability to grow personally.
Jordan B Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Mike Munger (Professor, Political Science & Economics) joins Dave Rubin to discuss political science, the importance of state’s rights, Trump, Gary Johnson’s candidacy for President, libertarian politics, the mob mentality of people and media, safe spaces, and much more.
Author Kay Hymowitz talks about her book Manning Up: The Rise of Women has Turned Men Into Boys with comments by St. Francis College Professors Michele Hirsch and Eric Platt in a forum sponsored by St. Francis and the Manhattan Institute on April 4, 2011.