Paul Ryan in the photo series that will forever haunt his career
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan released a Spotify playlist yesterday, as part of a promotion between the streaming music service and members of Congress whose details we do not understand. Was it a paid endorsement? Or are American lawmakers promoting a foreign company for free? It doesn’t matter. What’s important is that we analyze Ryan’s musical tastes right now, before he has a chance to change them. Here’s his tweet:
People always ask, “What music are you listening to?” Find out → Check out my Spotify playlist: https://t.co/r2bOym97Gk
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 11, 2016
You can follow that link for the Spotify playlist, or go right to it here. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t contain any Rage Against the Machine, which Ryan claimed to love in 2012 and then walked back from in 2014. He’s gotten into new stuff since then, like “Enter Sandman.”
A possibly Photoshopped image of Rep. Paul Ryan
We all remember the highlight of the 2012 presidential election, when then-Republican nominee for vice president Paul Ryan told the New York Times that Rage Against the Machine was one of his favorite bands. It wasn’t quite irony, exactly. It was more like the twist in Terminator Salvation: with a rush of existential horror, we realized this guy thought he was a real person. But don’t you worry—he’s corrected that misapprehension in a new interview with the Times. Quote:
They were never my favorite band. I hate the lyrics, but I like the sound. Led Zeppelin has always been my favorite band. Again, these urban legends get going.
By “urban legends,” Ryan means things he told the most respected and carefully fact-checked newspaper in America. But he was never directly quoted, so he has some wiggle room. Uncomfortable writhing after the jump.
Paul Ryan, who has worked in politics since graduating college in 1992.
After over-composing to make deadline yesterday, I am enjoying my first semi-day off in weeks. While I propagate a culture of laziness and entitlement, how about we check in with a guy who knows all about that stuff from the perspective of righteous election? I refer of course to Paul Ryan, who recently complained that poverty is largely due to people in the inner cities “not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” In case this blog post falls into a time machine set for 1954, “inner cities” is futurespeak for “people who are not white.” We need to stop spending money to help them, or this poverty thing might spread to another demographic.
I will never stop loving this photograph.
Paul Ryan has released his new budget plan, and it is not well received. The editorial board of the Washington Post starts with the good ideas to be found therein, “since that is the shortest list.” At the New Yorker, John Cassidy all but calls it a work of fantasy. It balances the budget by 2023. It fixes the top marginal income tax rate at 25%. To reconcile these two conflicting and unrequested achievements, it A) forecasts much higher economic growth over the next ten years than any reputable economists predict, and B) repeals Obamacare while keeping the tax increases on high earners and $700 billion in cuts to Medicare that pay for it. You might remember that $700 billion as an aspect of Obamacare that Ryan and Mitt Romney relentlessly criticized in the 2012 election; now Ryan likes it. In fact, you might remember the whole budget as one of the most unpopular ideas of last year. Which begs the question: why is he proposing it again?
We think of history as a pretty much continuous forward march of human knowledge, but it’s not as if there are a fixed number of things we are ignorant about. We know more than our medieval counterparts, sure—but can we really say that what we don’t know is any less? There’s our expanding territory of knowledge, and beyond that there is conjecture, limitless the way the space outside a picture frame is limitless. Today is Friday, and ours is a baffling universe. Won’t you comfort yourself through supernatural explanations with me?