In her fourth book Mayer draws on court records, extensive interviews, and many private archives to examine the growing political influence of extreme libertarians among the one percent, such as the Koch brothers, tracing their ideas about taxation and government regulation and their savvy use of lobbyists to further an agenda that advances their own interests at the expense of meaningful economic, environmental, and labor reform.
In a normal time, the announcement that the Republican speaker of the House is retiring to spend more time with his family — after just a few years on the job — at a moment when Republicans control the federal government and have more officeholders nationwide than at any time in almost a century and the economy is roaring would be almost unimaginable.
Most politicians are actually pretty boring
Many are conniving and needy
Very few of them are intellectually interesting
.. I’ve long argued, friendship can be far more corrupting than money
.. if you personally hate Paul Ryan, that’s an indicator to me that you’re an unreasonable person.
.. But if you buy the claptrap from the Krugmanite Left or the Bannonite Right about Ryan, if you think he’s evil or a fraud, I’m going to assume you’re part of the problem in our politics.
.. boils down to simply two things: The idea that character matters and the idea that ideas matter.
.. The fact that Paul Ryan was a man out of place in his own party says far more about the state of the GOP than it does about the man.
Consider this week alone:
- A president who cheated on his first wife with his second and “allegedly” cheated on his third with a porn star is tweeting that Jim Comey is a “slimeball.”
- The president’s personal PR team over at Hannity HQ is calling Robert Mueller the head of a crime family.
- The CBO just announced that we’re in store for trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see.
- The president is tweeting taunts about how his missiles are shinier toys than Putin’s.
- The president’s nominee for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, a once passionate and thoughtful defender of Congress’s sole right to authorize war, is now invoking law-review articles as justification for a president’s right to wage war on a whim.
- The president’s lawyer’s office was raided by the FBI (not Bob Mueller’s team, by the way) after getting a warrant from a judge and following all of the onerous protocols of the Justice Department, and the former speaker of the House — and avowed historian — is insisting that the Cohen and Manafort raids are morally equivalent to the tactics of Stalin and Hitler. I’m pretty sure the Gestapo didn’t have “clean teams” to protect attorney-client privilege (particularly of dudes named “Cohen”), and last I checked the KGB wasn’t big on warrants.
- On Monday evening, the president convened a televised war council and spent the first ten minutes sputtering about how outraged he was by an inquiry into a pay-off of his porn-star paramour.