• Paul Ryan Really Likes '90s Metal and Fisting Catfish

    With debt and taxes continuing to dominate national politics for the second year in a row, you're probably familiar with rising GOP star Paul Ryan. But how much do we really know about him? Every now and then, he'll pop up on the news holding some big shiny budget proposal, but beyond that, he's kind of a cipher.

    Until now. Thanks to two sprawling magazine profiles, one in New York, and the other in the New York Times, we now know a bit more about the mysterious young congressman from Wisconsin, including his predilection for choking catfish

    Representative Paul D. Ryan strolls the halls of Capitol Hill with the anarchist band Rage Against the Machine pounding through his earbuds.

    At 6:30 every morning, he leads an adoring cast of young, conservative members of Congress through exercise sessions in front of a televised trainer barking out orders. For fun, Mr. Ryan noodles catfish, catching them barehanded with a fist down their throats.

    He may be, as a friend described him, “a hunting-obsessed gym rat,” but Mr. Ryan, 42, of Wisconsin, has become perhaps the most influential policy maker in the Republican Party, its de facto head of economic policy, intent on a fundamental transformation of the federal government.

    Of course, Ryan is totally qualified to be the GOP's head of economic policy because he holds a B.A. in economics. By that logic, he could also be the head of energy policy since he once pumped his car full of gas.

    By the way, for those not familiar with the term, "noodling" — aka "catfisting" — is a form of bare-handed fishing practiced in the South in which the fisherman reaches his bare hand into a catfish hole. As much as we like to make fun of Mitt Romney for animal cruelty, at least he's never fisted another living creature. Not that we know of.

    Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Animals, Budget, Economy, Music, New York Times, Paul Ryan, Wisconsin

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