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.
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.