Hello Ernst and Ryan; Goodbye Social Security and Medicare

Joni Ernst is in serious trouble in her Iowa senate race. Paul Ryan really wants to be president. So when Ryan comes to Iowa to campaign for Ernst tomorrow, everybody’s a winner!

Except Iowans.

Paul Ryan pioneered plans to privatize Social Security and slash Medicare, and Joni Ernst was his number one cheerleader. Ernst said “Ryan is a do-er, especially on budget issues,” and she gleefully voted to endorse his budget in the Iowa Senate. She’s voiced her support for privatizing Social Security on the campaign while refusing to offer any details, and claimed that Medicaid recipients “have no personal responsibility for their health,” another program that would be gutted by Ryan’s budgets.

Joni Ernst is a fringe candidate, and it shows in the company she keeps and the people she admires. She’s thanked the Koch brothers for “starting her trajectory.” She said she was flattered to be compared to Sarah Palin because Palin is the kind of politician she admires. She appeared with Ted Cruz, who said there was no candidate he was more excited about across the country than Ernst. And now she’s campaigning with anti-retirement crusader, Paul Ryan, who she calls a “do-er.”

Joni Ernst doesn’t want Iowans to believe that she’s extreme. But facts are facts. Ernst and Ryan want to privatize Social Security and roll back Medicare. That’s pretty extreme.

Paul Ryan’s Poverty Plan: Stop Being Poor

Five years to the day after our last national minimum wage increase, Paul Ryan is set to lay out a “new” six-pillared poverty plan. Ryan has long preached about how to tackle poverty and fashions himself as a serious politician and policy wonk. But if you believe that, I’ve got a 2 hour marathon time to sell you!

Here are the six tenets of Paul Ryan’s poverty plan, as told by his career rather than his rhetoric:

  1. Never Raise The Minimum Wage. Time and time again, Ryan has voted against raising the wage for hardworking Americans, and even argued that doing so would actually harm low income Americans.
  2. Oppose Unemployment Insurance. Since 2010, in the depths of the Great Recession, Ryan has voted at least six times against extending unemployment benefits for American job-seekers.
  3. Gut Medicaid, Leaving Low-Income Americans Uninsured. Ryan’s most recent budget would take an ax to Medicaid, taking health care away from between 14.3 and 20.5 million low income Americans.
  4. Slash Nutrition Assistance Programs. The FY15 Ryan Budget would slash an astonishing $137 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, which lifted 4 million Americans out of poverty in 2012. Almost half of SNAP recipients are children.
  5. Fight Against Protections For Low-Income Consumers. Ryan has consistently taken the side of big banks and credit card companies over Americans fighting to stay afloat, even after the 2008 financial crisis.
  6. Divisively Demonize The Poor For Their Situation. As if his policy attacks on low-income Americans weren’t offensive enough, Ryan infamously blamed poverty in part on the “real culture problem” of “inner city” men who don’t want to work.

Paul Ryan can say whatever he wants about poverty today. But it’s akin to a lesson on fire safety from the cow who kicked over the lantern.

Check out his record for yourself.

Floundering Republican Elites Lose Control of Party, Ask “What Civil War?”

Ask the elites of the Republican establishment in Washington about the civil war within their party, and you’re likely to be met with feigned bewilderment. Well golly, I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about!

It’s a strategy that has been an almost religiously adhered to by the so-called adult types – the John Boehners and Paul Ryans in Congress, and George Wills and Charles Krauthammers of the punditry class – who are grasping at straws in an effort to keep the party from coming completely unglued.

But now, even the most wide-eyed supporters must now see through this guise of unity. This week House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who boasts a 95 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, was tossed aside for Dave Brat, an unknown ultra-conservative Tea Partier. That’s right, the same Eric Cantor who has been long-considered a young star of the party, known for being a constant thorn in the President’s side for his refusal to compromise his conservative values, was toppled by the Tea Party in the blink of a primary. He became the sitting first majority leader in history to lose a primary since the position was created in 1899. Just hours later, extreme Tea Partier Chris McDaniel, who is running to unseat incumbent conservative Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran in another nasty and drawn out intra-party fight, sent a fundraising email with the subject line “We Just Beat Eric Cantor.”

Now that the Tea Party has killed the narrative of its decline with a single swift victory, what will be their next target? The American people can only await complete and utter government gridlock in the coming months.

Unequal Pay Day

It’s 2014. Paying women the same as men for the same work should be a no-brainer, right? Not for many right-wing Republicans. The extreme conservatives highlighted in American Bridge’s new website UnequalPay.com have gone to absurd lengths to block and even undo equal pay protections for women: voting against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, paying female employees less than their male counterparts, and arguing that women don’t really want equal pay anyway, so what’s all the fuss about? The list of these shameful tactics and faulty arguments goes on and on.

In honor of this year’s Equal Pay Day, check out American Bridge’s new website and read below for a few highlights of Republican office holders and candidates whose opposition to equal pay protections should give female voters serious pause at the ballot box:

unequalpay

American Bridge Announces New Effort To Defend 2016 Dems From GOP Smears

CorrectTheRecord2016.org will fight back against Republican attacks

WASHINGTON – Expanding its scope beyond Republican candidates for office, American Bridge 21st Century announced today the launch of Correct the Record, a dedicated research, tracking and rapid response communications project to defend Democrats in preparation for the 2016 Presidential election.

The website, CorrecttheRecord2016.org, will introduce an aggressive rapid response program to defend potential Democratic candidates from false attacks leveled by Republicans, and also will house the early opposition research and video tracking already being done by American Bridge on potential Republican candidates.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Romney’s Record on Women

During the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney was asked a question about pay equity for women. Rather than admit that he has refused to say whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and that his running mate voted against it, Romney instead spoke about being given “whole binders full of women” to consider when his closest advisers were incapable  of identifying qualified women for his cabinet. But as governor of Massachusetts, Romney neglected to elevate women to the bench by disproportionately nominating white males for judicial appointments.

Additionally, as both governor and as a presidential candidate, Romney has advocated policies that hurt women. Romney wants to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides access to basic health care for millions of women. In 2008, he claimed he was “not familiar” with the Violence Against Women Act. And in Massachusetts, Romney vetoed funding for breast and cervical cancer treatment and prevention on multiple occasions.

View full memo after the jump.

DEBATE PREP: American Bridge Releases 13 Issue Briefs On Paul Ryan’s Record

In advance of the vice presidential debate, American Bridge has released 13 policy-based research briefings laying out the truth about Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan’s record.

Find these briefings at the links below.

BRIDGE BRIEFING: Ryan And Trade

Ryan Opposed Efforts To Punish China For Currency Manipulation

In 2010, Ryan Opposed The “Currency Reform Fair Trade Act” To Impose Tariffs On Countries With Undervalued Currencies. According to the Boston Globe, “In 2010, when the House voted on the Currency Reform Fair Trade Act, Ryan was among the 79 congressmen who opposed the measure. The bill passed – 348 to 79, with 99 Republicans voting in favor – but was not taken up by the Senate so it never became law. The legislation would have given the president expanded authority to impose tariffs on the imports from countries that have ‘fundamentally undervalued’ currencies.” [Boston Globe, 8/16/12]