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I must admit, that was my first thought when I heard the news that Mitt Romney had tapped Paul “kill Medicare” Ryan as his running mate.  Seriously. The guy who wants to destroy Medicare as we know it? That’ll help Mitt in Florida (not).

As I attempted to ask the guy who is supposed to be representing me in Congress, “Give me the name of the for-profit insurance company who’ll sell a policy to an 85-year old with high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.”  It doesn’t exist.  And certainly not for $8000 a year!

Although his quest to kill Medicare is the big exclamation point on the end of Ryan!, there are plenty of other reasons why those of us on the left cheered Romney’s last gasp pick. 

* In 13 years in Congress, Ryan has actually only passed two bills of his own, one to rename a post office in Wisconsin and one to change the tax status of arrows (as in bows and arrows)
* He’s voted to cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood and the Title X family planning programme, also backed bills to establish criminal penalties for certain doctors who perform the procedure known as partial birth abortion
* He’s a co-sponsor of a bill that would define fetuses as people entitled to full legal protection
* He voted in 2006 for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage
* He voted in 2009 against a bill that would expand federal hate crime laws to cover offences based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity
* He voted in 2007 for a bill that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation
* He voted for legislation that would generally bar people from suing gun manufacturers for damages caused by misuse of their products
* He voted in 1999 against a proposal that would have established much more stringent requirements for background checks on people buying firearms at gun shows
* He voted last year for a gun-rights bill under which a permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state would be valid in almost every other state

This is going to be a long few months….

By the way, the Agenda Project has updated its Throw Granny off the Cliff ad:


On the show this morning, I spoke with syndicated columnist, Democratic strategist, progressive radio personality anda founding partner of the Washington-based strategic communications firm Bullfight Strategies, Karl Frisch.  As a public service, Karl embedded all 290 pages of opposition research done on Paul Ryan by American Bridge… for those nights when you just can’t get to sleep.. 

And of course, the Sunday talking head shows were all about the new Romney-Ryan ticket.  Crooks & Liars Nicole Belle joins us every Monday morning to dissect those shows in a segment we call Fools on the Hill.  Here’s what she brought us today:

So obviously the naming of Paul Ryan to the Romney vice presidential slot sucked the air out of the room for any other discussion, which may have been Romney’s intent since the discussion surrounding his tax releases was getting disturbingly bipartisan and intense.

But Ryan is not without his own pitfalls for Romney. For example, what exactly does it bode for Romney’s success that he had Dick Cheney and John McCain praising it. Does either one of those elder statesmen of the GOP have an approval rating in the double digits? McCain actually thinks that Ryan is a ‘bold’ choice, like Palin. Gosh, we can only hope that he has a similar effect as Palin did on the election.

Ryan also got some truly backhanded compliments, too.

Peggy Noonan thinks that the time is now for Ryan to go out there and do some interviews, before the mean ol’ Democrats have a chance to define him. Her criteria? That Ryan doesn’t look like a guy who would throw Grandma off the sled. Appearances can be deceiving, Peggy.

RNC Reince Priebus told David Gregory that he thought that Romney and Ryan combined are ready on Day One. Apparently, neither is qualified on their own.

And FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe told Chris Matthews that if he really wanted to understand Paul Ryan, he needed to go back and re-read Ayn Rand, an author Tweety admitted he outgrew long ago, as does most critical thinking people.

And because it’s Sunday, one liberal is worth a dozen right wingers, let’s end with Stephanie Miller reminding Howie Kurtz that there’s nothing “bold or refreshing” about wanting to destroy Medicare.