Go to Memeorandum.com’s regurgitation of putrid punditry only if you have the stomach for it. There’s the junk food: New York magazine dishes up plenty of empty calories in “The Paul Ryan Announcement: If These Clothes Could Talk.” If you’re still hungry, try the New York magazine’s John Heilemann who rejoiced in his “chance” encounter wth David Axelrod as he was writing “The Ryan Pick: Why Romney Changed to Obama’s Game” (Memeorandum).
You can find pulled-pork fare here: “CNN’s Candy Crowley Claims Some GOPers Think Ryan Pick ‘Some Sort of Ticket Death Wish’,” NewsBusters.org (Memeorandum); “12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan,” ThinkProgress (Memeorandum); and “Michael Tomasky on Romney’s Stunning, Terrible Choice of Ryan for VP,” The Daily Beast (Memeorandum).
For meager sustenance, try Niall Stanage’s “In Ryan pick, echoes of Obama’s selection of Vice President Biden” (Memorandum) at The Hill, at times a four-star restaurant in a city full of roach-infested dives frequented by rats. Stanage writes:
For two men who are so different … President Obama and Mitt Romney have chosen running mates with strikingly similar cultural contours.
In 2008, the youthful, black, Democratic son of a single mother chose a white, Catholic, Irish-American running mate. On Saturday morning, the middle-aged, wealthy Republican son of a governor did exactly the same. [Mr. Stanage, do you detect any bias in your descriptions of the two men?]
So why did both men select “two people with near-identical demographic profiles”? Is it the voting bloc of “white working class voters” crucial in key swing states? (Yup, it’s white people’s fault — again.)
And what’s with one of the biggest rats in town gorging himself on the Secret Service’s (taxpayers’) dime?
First, more Stanage:
Both Biden and Ryan exhibit an ease in personal encounters with voters that is lacking in Obama and Romney, neither of whom is likely to be mistaken for a natural backslapper and flesh-presser.
Even if Biden’s garrulousness can cause him problems or Ryan sometimes departs from the safety-first script of many Washington politicians, Obama and Romney evidently consider these prices worth paying.
“When I listen to the president, sometimes I feel I want to take out my notes — it’s the constitutional law professor speaking, you know?” said Terry Madonna, a professor of public affairs at Pennsylvania’s Franklin and Marshall College. “And with Romney, what more can be said about how he’s aloof, detached, distant and all the rest?
“But Biden connects very well at that level, and Ryan connects very well too. They offer a very clear contrast with the president and Gov. Romney.”
Political partisans are already trading verbal punches over whether Biden or Ryan has the more genuine everyman appeal. […
Here I part company with Stanage’s analyses: I have never seen in the pretentious Joe Biden an “everyman appeal.” Those all-too-obvious hair plugs don’t help his supposed likeness to blue-collar voters. To me, he looks like a rich fat cat and he lives like one, surprising for someone who’s never worked for anybody but the U.S. taxpayers.
Then there’s that he gouges the U.S. Secret Service for $2,200-per-month rent of the cottage his protectors need in order to serve Mr. Biden, their V.P. [Very Pompous] protectee. From “Biden collects rent from Secret Service” in The Washington Times on July 31, 2011:
The U.S. Secret Service does more than protect Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — the agency also pays him rent.
Since April, Mr. Biden has collected more than $13,000 from the agency charged with protecting him and his family for use of a rental cottage adjacent to the waterfront home he owns in a Wilmington, Del., suburb.
Mr. Biden, listed not as vice president in federal purchasing documents but as a “vendor,” is eligible for up to $66,000 by the time the government contract expires in the fall of 2013, the records show.
Officials say the arrangement came about when a previous tenant moved out of the cottage and the Secret Service moved in.
Edwin M. Donovan, special agent in charge at the Secret Service’s Office of Government and Public Affairs in Washington, said the agency pays $2,200 in rent per-month, the same amount a previous tenant had paid before moving out.
Taxpayer watchdogs aren’t happy:
“He should be afforded every single protection available to him and his family, as should every vice president and president,” said Leslie Paige, spokeswoman for the Washington-based Citizens Against Government Waste.
“But this arrangement seems bizarre to me,” she added. “You’d think the vice president, who shepherded the deficit committee, would think twice about charging the Secret Service rent. Why would he need the money? I don’t get it.”
And what about Obama/Bidens vaunted promises “to end the abuse of no-bid contracting and require competitive bidding on nearly all contract orders for more than $25,000 across the federal government”?
The first purchase order to Mr. Biden, for $2,200, was signed April 1, and the second, for $11,000, was signed June 2. The records both list Mr. Biden by name as the vendor under a section of the purchase order called “contractor information.” The purchase order describes Mr. Biden as a sole proprietor with no employees and no annual revenue.
The Washington Times inquired about the rental arrangement after Mr. Biden’s name appeared as a vendor in federal spending records. As the vendor on a fixed-price contract, Mr. Biden technically now is a federal contractor.
He’s been outspoken in calling for greater accountability in federal contracts. When Mr. Biden and President Obama launched the “Campaign to Cut Waste” last month, Mr. Biden said, “The President and I are committed to changing the way government works and we are stepping up the hunt for misspent dollars.”
Though the overall rental contract has a total value of up to $66,000, the agreement was approved through simplified acquisition procedures that do not require bidding.
“To an outside observer who pays the taxes that help fund protective services, this might seem like an odd arrangement, but apparently there’s some law or administrative procedure that facilitates it,” said Pete Sepp, vice president of the National Taxpayers Union in Alexandria, which monitors federal spending.
Sniff, sniff. I smell a rat.
You and I know that, in the V.P. debate, Mr. Biden will not be asked about that $2,200 per month rent through 2013, but nothing bars Paul Ryan from slipping the rent in as a primo example of the plain ol’ greed that propels Biden to suck at the teat of taxpayer money for every penny he can get.