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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

This week we discovered that no one wants to read about Mitt Romney and no one wonders why.  He’s got the charisma of damp white bread and is purposely trading in vagaries. By simply not being Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann or Newt Gingrich, he’s remained somewhat competitive with President Obama. So Mitt’s job until November is to stay boring. Shouldn’t be hard.

But he does have to pick a running mate.

Given that boredom and winning Ohio are key Romney strategies, you’d expect he’d pick Rob Portman. Except Portman served in two administration posts under George W. Bush. Yes, W. Portman once said about the worst president of the last century, “He has a clear sense of what makes this country great.”  Even The National Journal has figured out you aren’t going to beat President Obama by reminding people of George W. Bush.

So that leaves Marco Rubio, who Republicans offer instead of an actual immigration plan. But it turns out Rubio isn’t even being seriously vetted. If past were prologue, this means he’d end up being the nominee. But Romney needs boring. And Rubio’s fictionalized bio and questionable campaign spending and allies are not boring.

Ultimately, team Romney could be down to Tim Pawlentyzzzzzzzzzzz… Sorry, I just took a nap. Or Bobby Jindal.  Pawlenty certainly won’t outshine Mitt, so he will likely be the nominee. Jindal borders on interesting if for no other reasons than he’s of East Asian descent and speaks as if he’s running for 11th grade class treasurer. We can add Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) to the shortlist if Mitt has any hope in Pennsylvania. That’s a full medicine cabinet of sedatives right there.

But now comes news that the Romney campaign is vetting Rep. Paul Ryan.

LOL.

Let me do you a favor, Governor Romney. I’ll vet Paul Ryan for you.

I don’t care if he’s NEVER paid taxes. I don’t care if he has nine mistresses who are all Putin sex slaves/spies. I don’t care if he sells crack to Iran to pay for Sheriff Joe’s birther investigations and an abortion ring. There can be nothing in Ryan’s past worse than what Ryan considers to be his greatest accomplishment: The Ryan Plan.

Yes, the Ryan Plan, which has already cost the GOP two special elections. It’s a plan to deal with what Ryan calls a debt emergency, which actually explodes the debt. His plan cuts taxes for the rich even more than Bush did, without eliminating a single deduction to pay for those tax cuts. So the nation’s richest, who are doing as well as they’ve ever done, would get a huge break. What happens to everyone else?

Some dispute the charge that Ryan’s plan will end Medicare as we know it. But what no one disputes is seniors will pay more for fewer benefits. And the number of the uninsured will skyrocket.

So as the wealthiest enjoy another massive bonanza, courtesy of Ryan, his budgets would slash or even erase nearly any service that helps working people—college financial aid, assistance to hire police, fire fighters and teachers, Headstart, food stamps, unemployment insurance, medical research, and on and on. The Ryan Plan is an obituary for the Middle Class.

It’s so unpopular, even Republicans are running against the Ryan Plan.

Yet Mitt is vetting Paul Ryan. Is this just meant to impress his billionaire donors, who are all getting “I heart Paul Ryan” tattoos? Or does Mitt just charmed by Ryan’s incredibly boring yet condescending affect? I can’t wait to find out.

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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