Paul Ryan Susan Feinberg: Ryan Pays for Wine Out of His Pocket, Not Ours: Feinberg Pitches a Fit

If stories are accurate, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and two friends ordered two bottles of Echezeaux Grand Cru at restaurant, at $350 a cork. Professor Susan Feinberg, an associate business professor at Rutgers quickly looked-up the wine on the wine list and threw a nasty and very public fit. The manger was called. See an update below.

Susan Feinberg


After ending their meal and paying the check, Feinberg decided to give Ryan a piece of her mind. She approached the table and asked Ryan “how he could live with himself” sipping expensive wine while advocating for cuts to programs for seniors and the poor. Some verbal jousting between Feinberg and the other two men ensued. One of the two men said he had ordered the wine, was drinking it and paying for it. In hearing how much the wine cost, Ryan said only: “Is that how much it was?”

The clash became especially heated when Feinberg asked the men if they were lobbyists.

They were not lobbyists, they were economists.

“F—- her,” one of them replied and stood up in a menacing way, according to Feinberg’s account. Feinberg said her husband then “puffed out his chest” in response before the manager and a waiter came over and Feinberg decided she had said her piece and it was time to leave.

Ryan does not dispute most of the details of Feinberg’s account, although he told TPM the two men are economists, not lobbyists, and characterized Feinberg as “crazy” and possibly drunk. For her part, Feinberg said she believes the economist at the table who got out his seat to challenge her was the one intoxicated.

Flashback: Gateway Pundit noted that no one blinked when the White House served Quilceda Creek Cabernet at $399 per bottle (lots of bottles) and we taxpayers paid for it.

Flashback: Nancy Pelosi’s taxpayer funded jet spent almost $1,000.00 per week on top-shelf branded alcohol for one year. John Boehner turned the jet back to the military and uses commercial airlines.

Ryan said he had only one glass of wine and paid for one of the bottles “out of an abundance of caution.” Ryan said he wanted to “pick the brain” of one of the economists and that’s what the dinner meeting was about. Leave it to a Republican to continue educating himself on the important issue of our economy. Doesn’t happen with Democrats.

In one of the nastiest articles I’ve read, on this story, DJ Pangburn asks if Ryan should face ethics charges.

And one can certainly derive from this “dinner” the sort of fine dining and other upper-class entertainment that occurs outside of the public eye, in secret clubs, the homes of the rich and famous, etc.

Does Pangburn have a clue how Nancy Pelosi lives, wines and dines in the Napa area, or the powermongers she hangs with? Or the extravagant life of Congressman Charlie Rangel? If he does, his dialog isn’t honest. So many examples. It would take all day to list them.

Of the 10 wealthiest members in Congress, 7 are Democrats. If they come by their money legally and pay their taxes – that’s the American way.

The point was that Ryan said he didn’t have a clue how much the wine cost. He didn’t order. He thinks it’s stupid to pay that much for wine and wouldn’t have done so had he known. The bottom line is, Ryan as a Congressman makes about $174,000 annually and if he wants a nice bottle of Burgundy, he should be able to have it, and it is certainly none of Feinstein’s business.

UPDATE: Outside the Beltway tells us that Feinberg took a photo of Ryan and his dinner partners…from her table…with her own wine of the evening, an $80 bottle (some reports say two bottles) of Thierry et Pascale Matrot 2005 Mersault in the photo. This bottle of white Burgundy is from a very good vintage and should still be drinking beautifully if well-cared for.  It would be nice to know the vintage of Ryan’s Pinot Noir. By the way, this woman, Feinberg, got her photo to the press ASAP. Sheeeeesh!

Linked by Tucker Scofield at TheDCPost who names the M.O.R.O.N. of the Week(Malicious, Offensive, Radical, & Obtuse Newsmakers). Is the M.O.R.O.N. of the week Feinberg? Have to read it to find out but you have to admit, the professor should have a leg-up on the honor.


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  • Maggie, I had read in one early account that Feinberg had some connection to Al Gore/Edwards campaign as an economic adviser…have you seen that anywhere?

  • Ran

    I have not a wisp of sympathy for the poor, deluded twit. There is something of dessert in the sweet irony of her predicament. Had she been a tad more inquisitive, a wee bit more discreet she’d not have planted both feet firmly in her mouth. One hopes that Feinberg’s research and teaching is rather better conducted.

  • Cut me a break. Feinberg studies the behaviors of U.S. multinational corporations, not Meals on Wheels kitchens.

    Methinks if Feinberg was drinking the $350 bottle that evening with a leader of one of the U.S. multinationals she studies, she would never have given a thought to what was–or was not–appearing on the tables of hungry seniors and the homeless.

  • Feinberg had no right causing a scene. What a person does with THEIR money is their business as long as it is legal. She is at best a mean, spiteful woman. At worse a liberal idiot who should be relieved of her position at Rutgers.

    Or at least she should be treated the same way.

  • Cha Cal

    Perhaps she should have had her birthday bash at Chuckie Cheese and told him to dine there also. I mean she went to obviously a pretty swanky restaurant, where the owner must be ‘rich’ and the chef and sous chef have to be up there. what was her tab, the tip must of been up there. She could have saved 2/3 of her bill and employed the more needy who work at Chuckie Cheese and perhaps start a trend which would put that rich owner out of biz!!!

  • Sanford Aranoff

    I was a professor at Rutgers, and am currently a professor at another local university. It saddened me greatly to read in today’s Star Ledger how a Rutgers senior professor embarrassed herself and the entire academic community. We know the facts are true, for this professor wrote a column in the newspaper.

    She went to a restaurant. She noticed a U.S. Congressman eating at a nearby table. She went over to him and embarrassed herself, the Congressman and his guests, and the other patrons by complaining that he spent too much money on his dinner. The Congressman had every right to reply to the professor as did Governor Christie, saying it was none of her business. Instead, Congressman Ryan politely responded to Professor Feinberg that he did not pay. This did not satisfy the professor, who then accused Ryan’s dinner guests of violating the law. She is not a law officer, and has no right to make such accusations in public. I do hope they sue her for her behavior. If the professor felt a law was broken, she should have written up the details and presented it to the relevant authorities. It also shows that Governor Christie may have known that he had to respond the way he did!

    We expect teachers and professors to set positive examples to the community, which Professor Feinberg failed to do.

    There is a more serious point to this story. In the same newspaper, a letter writer wrote about the dumbing down of America. “Our ability to gather and understand facts, analyze and test them and draw informed and credible conclusions has significantly declined. This is what happens when we ignore or undermine facts, knowledge, reason, and science.” Professor Feinberg complained to Rep. Ryan that he is working to take away Americans’ benefits. The facts are the opposite. The Federal government does not have the money to continue paying benefits such as Social Security. If the Democrats have their way, our seniors will not get their benefits. Obama is already stating that if the debt ceiling is not raised, Social Security checks may not go out. Congressman Ryan has a plan that will give seniors all the benefits they were promised. Younger people will have to plan for other arrangements. This is the only logical plan that can save Social Security.

    My concern is for the professor’s students. If she treats her students the way she treated the Congressman, she is doing a disservice to her students. Rutgers University may want to look into this matter. If she uses strong emotions rather that clear analytic reasoning, she is not acting as a professor should act.

    If we “gather and understand facts, analyze and test them” we will understand that socialism has never worked anywhere, and so the present path of Obama and the Democrats towards socialism cannot possibly work.

    Professor Feinberg should have praised Congressman Ryan for his efforts to lead our country America away from socialism, by weaning people from an unsustainable national benefit program.

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