Monday, December 26, 2016

Paul Ryan Fully Embraces Trump's Style Of Post-Factual Governance


Alan Grayson will be out of Congress in two weeks, but he’s not stopping. He just filed a bill that makes president’s tax returns releasable under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). His bill is H.R. 6507 ands Paul Ryan will make sure it’s never voted on while he’s Speaker of the House, something we plan to end after the 2018 congressional elections. Grayson explained to his constituents why he feels his new bill is necessary. “Donald Trump,” he wrote, “is the first major-party Presidential candidate in modern times who refused to release his tax returns. During the campaign, the Faker-in-Chief’s first cover story was that he couldn’t release his tax returns because he was being audited. The IRS refuted that. The Liar-in-Chief’s second cover story was that he would release his returns when Hillary Clinton released her e-mails. Until it was pointed out that she had released her e-mails. (In the immortal words of our new Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, “oops!”) The Cheater-in-Chief’s third story was that he paid lots of income taxes, an amazing amount of income taxes, a bigly amount, a terrible and yet super-classy amount. Until the NY Times actually released a couple of his items, showing him paying nothing. Because, as Trump says, he’s ‘smart.’ Enough. We all deserve to see just how bigly a bigly liar Trump really is. Hence my bill H.R. 6507. Will my bill pass the House tomorrow? Nope, we’re out of session – but it will remind people about just how dishonest ‘Dishonest Donald’ has been, and that’s worth doing. Will my bill pass the House next year, or the year after? Nope, not with the GOP in charge. But if we keep fighting against ‘Deceiving Donald’ for the next two years, and we elect a Democratic House and Senate, then we just may have the pleasure of seeing this Grayson Truth bill pass the House and pass the Senate. Then ‘Deceiving Donald’ would have to take out his veto pen, just to cover up his own deceit. Sweet. I’m out of Congress in two weeks. But I’m going to keep fighting. So should you.”

Without Grayson in Congress, there will be a lot the Republicans are going to be able to get away with that they shouldn’t. But I was gratified over the weekend to see PolitiFact Wisconsin call out one of the worst of that state’s most calculated liars, the shady Congressman from Janesville, Paul Ryan. They awarded his latest Big Lie a “pants on fire!”

Tom Kertscher took on Ryan’s latest fear-mongering about Obamacare impoverishing Medicare— as he prepares to gut both programs and blame everyone but the unhinged GOP. A couple of days after Hillary got nearly 3 million more votes than Trump, Ryan was on Fox News, looking into the camera and lying his ass off: "What people don’t realize is, because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke." Yes, people don’t realize it because it isn’t true. “[H]is claim about the law flies in the face of evidence that it actually helps shore up Medicare.”
Here’s how Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, lays it out:

On one side of the ledger, Obamacare slowed the growth of Medicare spending by, among other things, reducing increases in payments made to nearly all health care providers.

On the other side of the ledger, the law included a surtax on high-income earners that brings more money into Medicare.

Two health care policy experts further told us that the combination of spending curbs and revenue increases for Medicare Part A-- which covers hospital, nursing home and home care services, and is financed mainly through payroll taxes-- has extended the solvency of Medicare.

(Medicare Part B, which is voluntary, covers doctor visits and some medical care.)

Paul Ginsburg, a professor of the practice of health policy and management at the University of Southern California, pointed us to an October 2016 report from the nonprofit Congressional Research Service.

The report noted that in 2010, the Medicare trustees projected that Obamacare’s spending curbs and revenue increases would mean Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, which finances Part A, would remain solvent until 2029.

That’s 12 years later than had been projected a year before the Affordable Care Actd became law.

(The projection has since been revised to 2028.)

Michael Sparer, a professor health policy and management at Columbia University in New York, put it this way, financially speaking:

If Obamacare were repealed completely, "it would put Medicare in worse shape, not better shape."

Finally, it’s worth noting that both and the Washington Post Fact Checker also concluded that Ryan’s claim is wrong. They both also noted that, even if the Part A trust fund did become depleted in 2028, the program wouldn’t be broke, in that it is still set up to cover an estimated 87 percent of expenses.’s rating was false and the Fact Checker gave Ryan its worst rating, four Pinnocchios, which is for statements deemed to be "whoppers."

Ryan’s office opted not to provide us any information to support his claim.

Our rating

Ryan said: "Because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke."

Financially, Medicare isn’t entirely in the clear, given that actuaries project that a key reserve fund will run out of money in 2028.

But the Medicare trustees themselves, along with a host of experts, say the Affordable Care Act’s changes to Medicare-- including holding the line on spending and raising taxes-- actually puts Medicare in better shape than before the law was adopted. That’s a long way from making Medicare go broke.

We rate Ryan’s statement Pants on Fire.

This morning, Juan Williams penned an OpEd for The Hill, The Dangerous Erosion Of Facts, expressing his frustration, shared by so many people, that the severely brainwashed have overturned the old dictum that one if entitled to one’s own opinions, but not to one’s own facts. After years of Fox News and Hate Talk Radio and the recent machinations out of Russia, facts are just a matter of opinion for a majority of Republicans. Ergo: look what’s peacefully taken over the government. “The facts of political life,” he wrote, “are now subject to partisan interpretation. Despite an unprecedented wealth of news gushing from hundreds of cable networks, radio stations, newspapers, Facebook feeds and websites, Americans increasingly live in separate realities when it comes to the facts of our common political lives.”
The core threat to democracy is not that news sites are lying or telling people what to think. The danger is that they are presenting a narrow slate of what to think about.

That means that Trump supporters hear more about charges of voter fraud than Clinton’s victory in the popular vote — and that leads them to think such fraud must be real, giving them an excuse to ignore the factual vote count.

Similarly, they hear less about President Obama’s success in pulling the U.S. out of a deep recession than they hear speculation about the number of people who stopped searching for jobs.

There is no way to overstate that this is a challenge to democracy — a system that is, after all, based on the consent of voters who are fully informed.

Scottie Nell Hughes, the conservative CNN commentator and staunch Trump supporter, recently told radio host Diane Rehm: “There's no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.”

Hughes continued: “And so one thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch, is that people that say facts are facts — they're not really facts…. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth, or not truth,” Hughes explained.

The distressing impact of a world free of facts is clearly on Obama’s mind in his final weeks in office. He recently tied the trouble American voters have agreeing on facts to the impact of Russian efforts to influence the presidential race.

“Our political dialogue is such that everybody’s under suspicion, everybody’s corrupt, everybody’s doing things for partisan reasons…,” Obama told reporters last week. He said “talk radio” style news is breaking apart the sense of common destiny among Americans and opening the door to external interference.

“If we want to really reduce foreign influence on our elections, then we better think about how to make sure that our political process, our political dialogue, is stronger than it’s been,” Obama concluded.

Americans, both conservative and liberal, seem to agree with the president that something is haywire when the news media fail to give everyone a common set of facts as the basis for vigorous, partisan debate.

Even before the election, a Gallup September poll found the share of Americans with a “great deal” or “fair amount” of faith in the mass media has hit rock bottom, at just 32 percent — a drop of 15 points since 2007.

The crisis is prompting change.

Facebook, now the nation’s top news source, recently announced steps to label and combat what it considers to be “fake news.” They will have a consortium of independent fact-checking journalists, including people from the Associated Press and, review articles posted on their social media platform.

Facebook can check for fake stories and false information. But what happens when fact-challenged statements come from politicians and especially the President-elect?

And what happens when Trump is being fed fact-free conspiracy theories by his advisers?

Consider the possibility that Trump acts on “facts” as he hears them from his National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn (ret.). The former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency is infamous for disseminating so-called “Flynn Facts,” or dubious assertions.

Some “Flynn Facts” became public on Twitter, including a few with inaccuracies, some taken from fake news sites, and others containing what critics judged to be anti-Muslim sentiments.

A Fox News poll released last week found 25 percent of voters expect Trump to be an “above average” president. Only 11 percent say he’ll be one of the “greatest.” Thirty-one percent of voters say he’ll be “one of the worst.”

In a fact-free world, how does the press report on President Trump? Who will believe them anyway?

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh great. Give lying a nice esoteric label so the 80% of americans who are barely literate and who have a bare 3-digit vocabulary can't understand it.

Rs have been post-factual (lying sacks of shit) at LEAST since about when I was born (during the first Eisenhower admin).

The quality of their lies has plummeted coincident with the plummet in the IQ of American voters. When your voters get dumber, you don't have to lie as well.

Here is Ryan's governance philosophy in a nutshell: We will spend not one nickel to keep anyone alive that doesn't deserve it.
deserve is defined as anyone worth 8 figures or more and specifically EXcludes anyone that has over a quarter nonwhite heredity.
SSI, Medicare and, specially, Medicaid are all there to give comfort and good health to those that the Rs hate (the elderly, poor, children, minorities and ugly women) That money would make billionaires into multi-billionaires, so it surely being wasted keeping retirees and sick people alive.

The difference between the D philosophy and the R philosophy is this: The Rs just want to kill everyone they hate. The Ds don't much care about them dying, but they want to pretend to do just enough to keep the rubes voting for them while they make sure their donors profit from whatever they do.

Being a D is much harder than being an R.

At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hysteria over the alleged "recent machinations out of Russia" is an integral part of the fantasy machine with which both parties, clearly, are guilty of inflicting on the American public.

Let's stipulate that the arcane ACA has assisted the finances of Medicare through, in part, "surtax on high-income earners."
Of course, merely raising the amount of income subject to the Medicare payroll tax would have financed "Medicare E" --- "E" for everyone.

Apparently HRC's incrementalism was another act of homage to the Obumma "legacy."

John Puma

At 12:59 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

And Ryan is also introducing a bill to fine members who use social media during house sessions & when they recess just goes to show you where the GOP really stands on Democracy creeps.


Post a Comment

<< Home