Even though Queen Mother Catherine de Medici's reputation as a ruthless poisoner seems broadly known, the residents of the French court eagerly accept or even solicit gifts from her, which inevitably turn out to be fatal. It seems likely that Paul Ryan's election as House Speaker will prove to be just such a poisoned chalice
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A year ago, few Americans would have predicted that Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, would be leading a formidable insurrectionist challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Presidential Primary, or that real estate magnate Donald Trump would be leading in the polls in the Republican Primary.
This is what ex-members of Congress and their staffs do nowadays. Rarely do they follow the example of ancient Rome's Cincinnatus and go back to the farm -- or take that teaching job at the local university or join a hometown law practice. They stay in DC to reap the bountiful harvest that comes from Capitol Hill experience and good old fashioned cronyism.