Tuesday Reads: Learning about Paul Ryan

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday reading about Paul Ryan. There was so much information out there! I guess that’s what happens when you start rolling out a big news story late on Friday night and early Saturday morning.

Late Friday is the time that politicians generally use to release stories that they don’t want too many people to hear about. I have no idea why Romney chose that time, but it seems that it allowed writers to dig up lots of background over the weekend to publish on Monday. So I’m going to share some of the more interesting Ryan pieces I came across yesterday.

First, The New York Times had a lengthy puff piece: Conservative Star’s Small Town Roots. The best thing about this story was Charlie Pierce’s takedown of it: The Ryan Family’s History of Fakery

Still, the NYT article is worth reading to get the adoring media perspective on the mysteriously popular Ryan. The story reveals that Ryan and his wife are each quite wealthy through inheritance. Other than losing his father when he was in high school, which is tragic, Ryan seems never to have experienced a single setback along his education and career tracks.

Ryan studied under a conservative professor at Miami of Ohio–he paid for his college education with Social Security survivors’ benefits–and that professor pulled strings to get Ryan a political job. recommended Ryan for an internship with Wisconsin’s then Republican Senator Bob Kasten. Ryan has been sucking on the government teat ever since.

Mr. Ryan’s trickle-down economic theories were already in place, said Professor Rich Hart, who would help Mr. Ryan hone his political persona.

“I think Paul came to Miami University with these core conservative beliefs from an economic standpoint,” said Professor Hart, an outspoken libertarian who taught an intermediate macroeconomic theory course that Mr. Ryan took in his junior year. “He was reading Locke and Hayek, and I don’t know if he was reading Ayn Rand, but I had certainly read Ayn Rand, and I talked to him about it.”

The two would often meet outside class, not to talk about the course, Mr. Hart said, but to discuss political philosophy. “We had these discussions about the role of government. We both believed in the conservative view that government should be limited, because the most important thing is individual freedom, individual liberty, and along with that freedom goes individual responsibility.”

Professor Hart helped Ryan get a job working for Republican Senator Bob Kasten, and through Kasten Ryan met his “mentor,” Jack Kemp. They became close, and when Ryan ran for the House in 1998, Kemp campaigned for him. I’m sure Ryan worked hard, but he has certainly never had to worry about where his next meal was coming from. And where did the family money come from? Charlie Pierce found out via the Rude Pundit:

Where does the family dough come from? A construction company founded by Great Grandpa Ryan. The Rude Pundit went a’wandering through Googlestan, and what did he find? Among other great nuggets, this thing right here:

“The Ryan workload from 1910 until the rural interstate Highway System was completed 60 years later, was mostly Highway construction.”

IOW, Ryan’s multimillion dollar nest egg was built on taxpayer funds from We the People. So much for all that self-reliance Ryan is always touting.

There was another interesting tidbit in the NYT piece that Sam Stein wrote about at HuffPo. Here’s the relevant quote from the NYT:

Mr. Ryan is a strict supply-side budget expert and social conservative who counts fans across the Republican spectrum. He has been a driving force, if not always a visible one, in the party’s biggest fights with President Obama, including last year’s budget impasse that took the nation to the brink of default.

Mr. Ryan’s enormous influence was apparent last summer when Representative Eric Cantor, the second most powerful House Republican, told Mr. Obama during negotiations over an attempted bipartisan “grand bargain” that Mr. Ryan disliked its policy and was concerned that a deal would pave the way for Mr. Obama’s easy re-election, according to a Democrat and a Republican who were briefed on the conversation.

So did Ryan oppose a bipartisan deal for political reasons–fearing that it would help Obama? It’s an interesting question.

Here are a couple of interesting pieces on the Ryan plan for Medicare that I found helpful–both are relatively brief and informative.

Bloomberg: Ryan Plan To Redo Medicare With Private Choices Stirs Doubts

Forbes: Why Ryan’s Medicare Fantasy Doesn’t Merit Adult Conversation

I loved this piece at the Guardian by Giles Fraser about Ryan’s Ayn Rand obsession.

When I was a teenager, my American girlfriend at the time gave me Ayn Rand’s cult novel Atlas Shrugged to read. It changed her life, she said. It changed mine, too. She was not my girlfriend by the morning. It was the most unpleasant thing I’d ever had the misfortune to read.

As a work of literature, Atlas Shrugged is drivel, and not simply because it is so up itself with its own perceived radicalism; fundamentally, all propaganda is drivel, even if it is propaganda in a good cause. Rand’s cause was to celebrate what she called “the virtue of selfishness”, to denigrate the poor as scroungers and to celebrate the muscular individualism of the creative heroes of capitalism. Altruism, she contends, is “complete evil”. The question she poses: what would happen if all the bankers and captains of industry went on strike? What would happen if these Atlas-like gods, who hold up the world, decided one day to shrug and refuse to support everyone else? Then the world would be buggered, she contends. Atlas Shrugged is cheap pornography for the nastiest side of capitalism.

Fraser discusses the obvious clashes between Rand’s philosophy and Ryan’s Catholic faith.

By your deeds shall you know them. And Ryan’s deeds, and in particular his budget plan for slashing the role of the state, are pure Rand, as a group of Jesuits from Georgetown University have insisted: “Your budget appears to reflect the values of your favourite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.” The US Catholic bishops’ conference, not well-known for its progressive politics, has said much the same.

It feels odd to be arguing that there ought to be more religion in US politics. In many ways, I’d prefer there to be a lot less. And certainly a lot less of the hard-right hogwash that borrows the wardrobe of Christianity but has no intention of being subject to its moral values. Jesus said nothing whatsoever about homosexuality or abortion. He said a great deal about poverty and our responsibility for the vulnerable. Which is why Paul Ryan is little more than Ayn Rand in Christian drag.

He also implies that Rand wouldn’t be too impressed with Ryan:

Ironically, he is a “second-hander” – Rand’s terminology for those who take their values, prêt-à-porter, from others. The trouble is that Christianity in the US has become so widely hijacked by the right that not enough people will actually notice.

Ayn Rand in Christian drag…I love it!

Just one more humorous tidbit on Ryan: In his speech on Saturday, Ryan used an aphorism that was very famous in the counterculture in the late 1960s.

Recalling words of advice offered by his late father, Mr. Ryan said, “I still remember a couple of things he would say that have really stuck with me. ‘Son, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.’ Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution.”

That quote is famous for its use by Eldridge Cleaver in his book Soul On Ice. Cleaver was famous as one of the founders of the Black Panthers. From the NYT Campaign Stops blog:

With Cleaver’s name attached, the phrase appeared on banners, buttons and picket signs at demonstrations well into the 1970s, and was picked up by other radical leftist leaders.

It’s perhaps unlikely that Mr. Ryan’s father, a lawyer in Janesville, Wisc., was present at a political gathering in 1968 when the Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale, urging his followers to smash “the American Empire,” proclaimed:

Everyone falls into two categories. You are either part of the problem – or part of the solution. Being part of the solution means you’re willing to grab a shotgun and take to the barricades, killing if necessary. Being part of the problem means you’re on the other side of the shotgun. There is no in-between.

It turns out the turn of phrase may have originated with Charlie Rossner, a graphic designer for the VISTA program in 1967, but Cleaver and the Panthers made it famous.

I’m running out of time and space, and this has been all about Paul Ryan. Oh well…I guess I’ll go with that, and let you post other news in the comments. I’ll end with this short video of Ryan’s first solo appearance–at the Iowa State Fair. It didn’t go that well.

What are you reading and blogging about today?

UPDATE: This post has been updated to correct the assertion that Professor Rich Hart of Miami University (Ohio) “pulled strings” to get Paul Ryan a job with Wisconsin Senator Bob Kasten.  Professor Hart explains in a comment that all he did was write a letter of recommendation to support Ryan’s application for an unpaid summer internship with Senator Kasten.  I had gotten the impression from The New York Times article that Professor Hart had been an important mentor who had been very instrumental in getting Ryan involved in politics.  I apologize for the misunderstanding.


51 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Learning about Paul Ryan”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    From Alternet on why picking Ryan for veep was a smart choice:

    If Romney wins, then Ryan occupies the Number Two spot with a money base and huge constituency of his own, far more than any vice president has ever enjoyed. With his own leadership PAC and a close relationship to the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity astroturf group, it is hard to imagine how Ryan doesn’t immediately become a co-president or, at least, the most powerful VP in history. And, and this is a win-win for Charles and David Koch, the right-wing billionaire brothers: If Romney loses, then Paul Ryan is sitting pretty to be the nominee in 2016, when there is no incumbent….a far easier race to win after eight years of President Barack Obama, the Democrat, presiding over a difficult economy whose recovery Republicans have done everything they can to obstruct. I have always felt that many conservatives intent on taking over this country, known for their long vision and patience, have this strategy.

    The full story here: http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/9-reasons-romneys-choice-paul-ryan-veep-smarter-you-think

    Personally, this is what I was thinking. This introduces Ryan to the general population. A familiar, well-known face in 2016 will make his candidacy much easier to be elected prez.

    • Oh yeah, I agree with you Connie, I thought the same thing…bout the 2016 election.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Except the polls show that Ryan is well known only in the Village, and his constituency consists of about 800,000 people in his district and the right wing Villagers. It may help donations, but the Koch Brothers were already supporting Romney. Ryan is polling around the same level of approval as Dan Quayle.

        This is a decision made from weakness. Romney saw he was losing and now instead of making the election about Obama’s failures, Romney has made it a battle over the social safety net. We’ll see how well the actual voters respond to the notion of ending Medicare. If Romney loses the election, it will be because the Ryan philosophy is rejected by the voters. I doubt if they will suddenly turn around and elect Ryan president in 2016 after that.

      • BB, I think Ryan is part of the GOP move to get the young tea party/ultra wingnut politicians into the public eye. There are a lot of young people who see that selfish Ayn Rand as someone who was on to something, and I think that Ryan, Paul, Rubio, Cantor are being “branded” by the GOP as the next cool group of congress that their folks can get behind…

        And the propaganda machine of Drudge and Fox and the rest are using it for all it is worth.

        This is the headline at drudge,ROMNEY SOARS WITH YOUNG VOTERS, and it goes to a Washington Examiner link. A Romney first: over 40% of youth vote back him | WashingtonExaminer.com

    • NW Luna says:

      most powerful VP = Dick Cheney. I sure hope Ryan never gets a chance to top that.

  2. Excellent post BB, off to read the links!

  3. This is something, no surprise: Report: Fukushima disaster ’caused mutant butterflies’ | The Raw Story

    Genetic mutations have been found in three generations of butterflies from near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, scientists said Tuesday, raising fears radiation could affect other species.

    Around 12 percent of pale grass blue butterflies that were exposed to nuclear fallout as larvae immediately after the tsunami-sparked disaster had abnormalities, including smaller wings and damaged eyes, researchers said.

    The insects were mated in a laboratory well outside the fallout zone and 18 percent of their offspring displayed similar problems, said Joji Otaki, associate professor at Ryukyu University in Okinawa, southwestern Japan.

    That figure rose to 34 percent in the third generation of butterflies, he said, even though one parent from each coupling was from an unaffected population.

    The researchers also collected another 240 butterflies in Fukushima in September last year, six months after the disaster. Abnormalities were recorded in 52 percent of their offspring, which was “a dominantly high ratio”, Otaki told AFP.

    Otaki said the high ratio could result from both external and internal exposure to radiation from the atmosphere and in contaminated foodstuffs.

    The results of the study were published in Scientific Reports, an online research journal from the publishers of Nature.

    Which makes me think of one thing: Mothra – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  4. bostonboomer says:

    GOP fearful of Ryan’s effect on downticket races. Many Republicans were already distancing themselves from the Ryan budget. Now it is front and center.


  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Nothing says “love one another” than a bunch of wealthy men talking of eliminating the safety nets from their fellow man while telling them they are on their own.

    Ryan’s “Catholicism” is a corrupted view of what it means to practice a religion based on that theory. Or any religion for that matter. Substituting the views of governance with a book by a government hating lunatic who championed the rights of the “haves” by dismissing the “have nots” as unworthy is not the core of what Jesus preached. Rather the opposite.

    It is a means of establishing a “ruling class” with all the perks along with a plantation mindset that contradicts even the mildest admonition of “doing unto others”.

    Substitute the word “cold” with the word “bold” and you have the GOP agenda in a nutshell.

  6. Beata says:

    Great post, BB. You’re exposing the real Paul Ryan the same way you did the real Mitt Romney – with solid research. Keep up the good work!

    Video of a 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha, WI, being thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and arrested after speaking out against the Romney-Ryan plan to destroy Social Security and Medicare. As the elderly man points out, he paid into these programs for 50 years and they are not “entitlements” as Ryan calls them. Ryan proceeds to make a joke about the man, dismissing his concerns with breezy contempt:

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks for posting that. In all the videos I’ve seen of Ryan interacting with constituents who disagree with him he has this same dismissive attitude, even turning his back as people are speaking. Here’s one from last spring:

      • Seriously says:

        What’s hilarious is that there are TONS of these videos demonstrating that Ryan doesn’t seem to have much respect for the people of his district and, as a side note, can’t seem to muster viable answers to basic questions, but despute all this, one of the big memes being pushed is that he’s a uniter not a divider, a true intellectual wonk who converts his opponents through his reasonableness and brilliance. Um, yeah, maybe if they were paid shills, they’d be miraculously converted, but it;s hard to find a whole lot of examples of him bringing anyone to Jesus.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I can’t understand why they keep electing him. His district is majority Democratic. I hope he loses in the November! Wouldn’t that be hilarious if the Republican’s future presidential candidate lost his House seat?

    • I agree with this senior and any politician that calls Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Social Security, entitlements needs to be thrown out of office and move to a banana Republic. These programs are paid for by the employees, and employers with their money and hard work, it is these very programs that make America great and why American workers work hard every day.

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    Ryan also signed on to the “fetus is a person” campaign and is against abortion even in the cases of rape and incest. He is also against gays in the military.

    Best to note that, like Romney, he was pro choice before he was against it.

    Why these people are acting against the 70% of the population who are in favor of the programs they wish to eliminate is beyond my understanding.

    Like Romney just revealing his tax returns, some of these policies would not be in play if the rich just paid a few percentage points more.

    I still find it difficult to understand anyone supporting this ticket for any reason. We are talking radicalization here not simply a difference in opinion.

    • Fannie says:

      He’s perfect pick for Romney, lest we forget he voted one way for 8/9 years, and then flip flopped and voted another way for the next 5 years, both of them are the closest flip flop friends evah.

  8. mablue2 says:

    Here is a Must-Read for the day. I know it’s from some obscure guy working in a gay communist tree-hugging non-anglo-saxon think tank.

    Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan

    A true agenda to reform the welfare state would require a sweeping, income-based eligibility test, which would reduce or eliminate social insurance benefits for millions of affluent retirees. Without it, there is no math that can avoid giant tax increases or vast new borrowing. Yet the supposedly courageous Ryan plan would not cut one dime over the next decade from the $1.3 trillion-per-year cost of Social Security and Medicare.

    Instead, it shreds the measly means-tested safety net for the vulnerable: the roughly $100 billion per year for food stamps and cash assistance for needy families and the $300 billion budget for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

    Did Krugman ghostwrite this op-ed?

    The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends. The crony capitalists of K Street already own more than enough Republican votes to stop that train before it leaves the station.

    In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices.

    In other words, Paul Ryan is a fraud.
    Oh and btw, the person writing this is David Stockman, Ronald Reagn’s OMB Director.

  9. RalphB says:

    PoliticalWire Quote of the Day:

    “I think it’s a very bold choice. And an exciting and interesting pick. It’s going to elevate the campaign into a debate over big ideas. It means Romney-Ryan can run on principles and provide some real direction and vision for the Republican Party. And probably lose. Maybe big.”

    — Former Bush adviser Mark McKinnon, quoted by Politico, on Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate.

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    I am a product of a 12 year education in Catholic schools. I recognize the Paul Ryan type from an up close and personal observation.

    These guys were the “asskissers” who hung onto every word the nuns and priests preached.

    They were the ones chosen to erase the blackboards, take attendance, acted as hall monitors, and “tattle taled” on their fellow students because it was rewarded. In other words, they saw themselves as “adults” long before they actually achieved that level of maturity.

    Where the “Ryan types” saw themselves then as holding sway over their peers because they knew how to “suck up”, Ryan was able to carry this behavior into the political spectrum by knowing whose ass to kiss. He was putting it into practice long before he left Janesville for greener pastures.

    Ironic now that he seems to “know more” than the Catholic bishops who are demeaning his attempts to pull the rug out from the poor. But this is what “superiority” get you.

    Truth is, he is less “Catholic” than I am who abandonded the church some years back for their position on women and gays.

    • Beata says:

      Pat, I think it is interesting that Ryan apparently never went to a Catholic school. He attended public schools, and then went on to Miami ( of Ohio ) University, part of Ohio’s state university system, for his undergraduate degree. I am very familar with Miami of Ohio, a picture-perfect college untouched by time. When I was there, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.

      • bostonboomer says:

        One of my closest HS friends went to Miami of Ohio. I agree with you about the atmosphere–at least in those days (late ’60s).

  11. RalphB says:

    Somewhat sound reasoning that’s really surprising to me.

    Excommunication Coming

    The National Catholic Reporter calls Obama the more pro-life candidate

    “There is no doubt Obama is pro-choice. He has said so many times. There is also no doubt Romney is running on what he calls a pro-life platform. But any honest analysis of the facts shows the situation is much more complicated than that.
    For example, Obama’s Affordable Care Act does not pay for abortions. In Massachusetts, Romney’s health care law does. Obama favors, and included in the Affordable Care Act, $250 million of support for vulnerable pregnant women and alternatives to abortion. This support will make abortions much less likely, since most abortions are economic. Romney, on the other hand, has endorsed Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan’s budget, which will cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the federal plans that support poor women. The undoubted effect: The number of abortions in the United States will increase. On these facts, Obama is much more pro-life than Romney.”

  12. ANonOMouse says:

    The most amazing aspect of the spin machine around Ryan is how Romney and the GOP/TP tried to paint him as an “every man” during the VP roll out. This guy has never had an “every man” worry in his life. Losing his father during his teen years was very sad for him and his family, but dealing with grief and becoming acclimated to the new reality of life after the death of a loved one, is an occurrence that happens to us all. That event certainly wasn’t an event that changed his role in his family from son to provider or substitute parent, as happens to so many people who lose a parent during their teen years.

    I can’t find a circumstance that points to Paul Ryan as an “every man”, he looks like your run-of-the-mill silver spooner.

  13. peregrine says:

    Sununu and Gingrich are out trying to convince everyone that the Romney-Ryan budget plan will not effect those over 55. Are there ever ways to change Medicare as we know it, especially if you don’t give a damn about those depending on it for their healthcare; such as, raising Medicare Advantage monthly premiums (I’m in a hurry, but my recall is that all of Medicare Plan B is paid for by a monthly premium) and deleting Medicare services offered now, one by one. If the Republicans win the voucher battle for those younger than 55, the Medicare accounts will lose money and don’t count on Republicans shoring up this program from the general budget. I can only see a lose-lose situation for seniors if the twin twits win the election.

    If only they could find some use for the elderly poor like they do with recruitment into the military of poor youth.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      They have Sununu running all over cable “screaming” at anyone who challenges the facts.

      BTW: I always saw myself running all over mall parking lots “shagging” carriages just to pay for my prescripiton drugs when I retired.

      Oh well, I guess I need apply now before the lines get too long.

    • peregrine says:

      If Medicare will be at the core of the next 12 weeks of campaign discussions and arguments, may I suggest that you read about the 47 year old liberal program that, along with Social Security, has kept tens of millions of Americans from gut-wretching poverty, or early death?:


      All Medicare Part B enrollees pay an insurance premium which was $99.90 per month for 2012. “Neither Part A nor Part B pays for all of a covered person’s medical costs.” There are deductibles, premiums, and co-insurance which individuals have to pay out-of-pocket.

  14. RalphB says:

    John Cole after a few Ryan mancrush quotes from the MSM.

    I’m Not Sure How Much of This I Can Take

    The greatest irony of this election may be that one of the most anti-gay bigots in the House, Paul Ryan, who has been and will continue to be one of the most virulently anti-gay congressmen, will be the source of some of the biggest mancrush reporting we’ve ever seen. This stuff challenges even the thoroughly embarrassing David Brooks “Fifty Shades of Gay” reporting regarding John Thune that made us all hysterical, and you can bet your sweet ass we’ll be hearing this shit until we beat down these sociopathic Galtian douchebags on November 6th. This may be the gayest election ever (not that there is anything wrong with that), now that David Gregory and the rest of the lot have two full haired American beauties to dazzle them with their high cheekbones and lean bodies and to tell them they and the rest of the country will get the fiscal spanking they so clearly lust for and desire.

    Shakespeare was wrong. The lawyers should go second.

    • Beata says:

      The picture on that link is hilarious!

      • RalphB says:

        Comment from Spaghetti Lee:

        Scene: DAVID BROOKS, RICHARD COHEN, and MARK HALPERIN are playing Truth or Dare at a sleepover.

        David: OMG, OMG, my turn! My turn! Uh, Truth!

        Richard: OK, David, do you think Paul Ryan is…cute?

        David: Omigaw! Paul Ryan?! He is like, the most adorable guy e-ver. Sometimes I write ‘Mrs. David Ryan” in my math notebook just to see what it looks like!

        Mark: OK, like one time, I was on my way to English class? And I passed Paul in the hallway, and, he looked at me! Oh my god, right at me!

        Richard: And now he’s, like, going to be Vice President. So adorable! Hey Mark, it’s your turn.

        Mark: Dare.

        David: I dare you to go ding-dong-ditch at Mr. Obama’s house!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Where is all this crap about Ryan being “hot” coming from? Men! To me, he looks like Eddie Haskell.

        “Fiscal spanking” LOL!

        • He has that Eddie Munster glow about him, the widows peak that seems to zero in on the space around his brow…coupled with that nonchalant front facing silhouette of Alfred E Newman. (you know, his ears)

      • pdgrey says:

        I’d like to add, Ryan has no lips. Never trust a man with no lips!

  15. RalphB says:

    Soladad O’Brien doing what a journalist should and sticking it to Sununu.

  16. Rich Hart says:

    You state: “Ryan studied under a conservative professor at Miami of Ohio–he paid for his college education with Social Security survivors’ benefits–and that professor PUULED STRINGS strings to get Ryan a political job ”

    Here is what Hart actually did. During his Junior year Miami, Paul Ryan applied for a summer internship with Sen. Bob Kastens. He (Paul Ryan) asked Hart to write a letter of recommendation in support of his application. Hart said yes (just as he says ‘yes’ to numerous other requests from students for letters of recommendation). No strings were pulled, at least not by Hart. Funny that the other 20 to 30 letters of recommendation Hart writes for students (many of whom are students who are liberal) have never been characterized as “Hart pulling strings”, but a letter for Paul Ryan for what was, I believe, an UNPAID internship to a Senator Hart did not know is pulling strings.

    Rich Hart
    Economic Department
    Miami University .

    • bostonboomer says:

      Prof. Hart,

      Thank you very much for the clarification. I have corrected my post, which was based on the NYT times article. I got the impression from that article that you had been an important mentor to Rep. Ryan and that you had been instrumental in his getting into politics. I apologize for the misunderstanding.