Can Paul Ryan Devote Full-Time to Milking Lobbyists?

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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Undercovered: Rep.  Kevin Brady has decided to run against Rep. Paul Ryan in the latter’s bid for chairmanship of the Ways & Means Committee. (Ryan currently chairs the Budget Committee but is about to be termed out of that position.) The complaint against Ryan? As WaPo‘s Robert Costa reported, in a tweet more informative than his actual piece:

The backstory: priv some W&M Rs don’t like idea of Ryan toying w/ WH bid as he launches tax overhaul, want chair focus on raising $, cmmte

Brady certainly agrees with the “focus on raising $” part. He says, “The expectations are very high for the next chairman, both on policy and on financial support for others.” In other words, the role of the Republican chair of Ways & Means is to milk money from lobbyists terrified that the committee is rewriting the whole tax code (which touches on the profitability of every business in America) — and then to distribute that money to other Republicans.  It’s almost as if they’d pretend to rewrite the tax code every few years just to scare more  protection money contributions out of K St., whether the committee actually reformed anything or not. … And they say Washington is corrupt.


Which Republican Campaign Theme Are You? Undocumented Central Americans surge through our Southern border and Republican campaign consultants (rightly) capitalize on the development. ISIS stages some beheadings and suddenly the midterms seem to be all about ISIS, for a week anyway. Does it seem to you that campaigning has become more like Web journalism — where the only way you can get people’s attention is to latch on to what is trending in the news right now? Yes, politicians always tried to employ the day’s headlines to illustrate their major themes. But now they seem to use the news to give them the themes themselves — immigration! terrorism! … Maybe if Republicans actually had a national election message they wouldn’t have to behave like Buzzfeed editors. ..


Question Mark, singer of “96 Tears,” is a Latino from Michigan who doesn’t fall for the reified, externally imposed categories of ethnic identity politics. He says he is from Mars. My idea of a Great American.


Mickey Kaus