by Benjamin J. Kirby
I was hoping to avoid starting another week with news like this -- as were we all. But here we are, tragically, once again:
Texas A&M University says a shooter has been taken into custody near its campus in College Station.
The university issued a warning on its website just before 12:30 p.m. Monday warning of an active shooter near the campus football stadium, Kyle Field. The warning tells residents and students to avoid the area.
We have got to stop this insanity.
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Yes, lots of stuff out there now about Mitt Romney's pick to be his Vice Presidential running mate...
Well, read Stephanie McCrummen's piece, anyway, on how folks really don't know much about Representative Paul Ryan, or his apocalyptic Medicare plan:
A conservative rock star in the marbled halls of Congress, Paul Ryan — his ideas, his politics, his very name — was just barely beginning to register at the Spot Cafe off State Road 16 here Sunday.
Rick Paul, said one diner, was a brilliant vice presidential choice. Mike Ryan, said another, would surely boost Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and help “save the country.” At last, said Jim Smith, 74, Romney made a decision that solidifies his conservative credentials.
“Paul — from Kentucky?” Smith said, referring to the junior Kentucky senator, Rand Paul. “Definitely a good move. I didn’t support Romney in the primary, but I will now with Paul in there.”
Ah, Paul from Kentucky.
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Of course, this is hardball politics, and the big-guns are already criticizing Congressman Ryan, saying he is simply unfit to be President of the United States.
Wow, harsh words.
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Dem operative: "We've spent 18 months trying to make House races about their plan for Medicare and Mitt Romney just did it for us overnight"
My experience with a campaign of a President running for re-election is that it's all about the President. They are almost always a referendum of the last four years. How has the guy currently in office done? If you like the way things are or are going, vote to give the guy four more years. You don't? Then vote for the other guy.
And, with respect to down-ballot races, that's about it. Yes, there's some turnout factor there, for sure, but I just don't buy it that the incumbent tends to carry heavy coat-tails, or that the other guy sweeps in a giant majority for his party.
This time may be different, and it's because of what Congressman Ryan represents: the wholesale dismantling of Medicare (not to mention untenable -- at best austerity measures we know don't work).
The idea that incumbent Congressional Republicans supported -- voted for -- "the Ryan Budget" is what most, if not all Democratic challengers are hanging their hats on. Just ask Keith Fitzgerald, who is running against Republican Vern Buchanan:
Over 190,000 seniors living in Manatee and Sarasota counties experience first-hand the benefits of Medicare. Earlier this year, the Paul Ryan-Vern Buchanan budget plan attempted to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program which should never be a solution to solving our nation’s budget woes. Our community deserves pragmatic, common sense ideas to solve our nation’s budget challenges, but they can't be on the backs of Suncoast seniors and middle class families.
Naturally, Romney & Company are backing way from the Ryan Budget -- but it's not clear that's going to work real well for them.
And Ryan's presence on the ticket may just help some of those races a little further down the ballot, too.
-- More later --