6.27.2010

Rand Paul Continues to Show Extremist Colors (UPDATED)

Rand Paul might not be sitting down for interviews with the "lamestream" media, but that certainly isn't stopping him from opening his big mouth every chance he gets.

Emperor Paul would have pardoned himself if he were in corrupt Republican Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher's shoes.

Via Think Progress: Flashback: Rand Paul said that if he were a governor hit with an ethics scandal, he’d just pardon himself.

In 2006, Ernie Fletcher was the Republican, scandal-plagued governor of Kentucky, fighting off charges that he concocted a “a scheme to illegally award state jobs to political supporters.” After a two-year probe by the state attorney general into his hiring practices, Flether was indicted by a “special state grand jury on three counts of criminal conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination.” Fletcher later signed an agreement with the attorney general conceding that there was “wrongdoing by his administration” in exchange for dropping all charges. But in August 2006, Rand Paul — now the GOP Senate candidate — penned an op-ed in the Kentucky Post offering a different solution. Paul said that if he were Fletcher, he’d simply pardon himself:
Now to give Fletcher a break, we have to acknowledge that having a bulldog attorney general who is a wannabe Democrat contender for the governorship has driven this nightmare. If you had a Republican attorney general, there would be no indictments and no case. Food for thought for Republicans: Apparently you can’t govern peacefully unless you win the governorship and the attorney general’s office.

Which gets me back to my daydream. What would I do if I were governor?

First, I’d have pardoned myself and everyone included nearly a year ago. Without a pardon the case goes on and on. Fletcher has gotten no kudos whatsoever for not pardoning himself.

Also see: FLASHBACK: Rand Paul Said In '06 He'd Pardon Himself If He Were Governor

Here's more on Rand's intent to strip American born children of the citizenship if their parents are undocumented.

Via TPM: Rand Paul Wants Amendment To Deny Citizenship To Illegals' Kids

Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-KY), in an interview this week with Right Wing News, doubled down on his assertion that the children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States should not be citizens.

In the new interview, Paul said he believes the courts should review whether the Fourteenth Amendment actually grants citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants. And if they decide it does, he said, we should amend the Constitution.

"I also think that we need to have the courts review whether or not -- if you break the law to come into the U.S. -- whether your child would be a citizen just by being born here," he said. "The Fourteenth Amendment actually says that you will be a citizen as long as you are under the jurisdiction of the United States. Many argue that these children that are born to illegal aliens are really still under the jurisdiction of the Mexican government. I think we need to fight that out in the courts."

And if the courts rule against such a challenge?

"If we lose, then I think we should amend the Constitution because I don't think the 14th amendment was meant to apply to illegal aliens," Paul said. "It was meant to apply to the children of slaves."

read more....

Rand Paul said he wouldn't accept contributions from any senator who had voted for the financial bailout.

That was during the Republican primary. This is now.

The libertarian-leaning Paul, who condemns taxpayer-backed bailouts of the private sector, will benefit from a Thursday night fundraiser at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in Washington, D.C. Nine of 12 GOP senators listed on the invitation voted for the $700 billion bank bailout in 2008. Tickets to the event went for $1,000 per person, with sponsorships up to $5,000 per group.

During the primary, Paul pledged not to accept contributions from any senator who had voted for the financial bailout. That promise was included on his campaign website at the time but has since been removed.

The first-time candidate slammed his main primary opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, for taking campaign cash last year at a Washington fundraiser hosted by a number of senators who backed the bailout.

That was then, but now the Paul campaign is welcoming support from lawmakers it once shunned.

"We considered that the primary was a fight over the direction and the soul of the Republican Party," Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton said this week. "By Rand taking that hard stance in the primary, we think that those ideas won."

read more...

Also see: Paul schedules 2nd fundraiser in Washington

Keith Olbermann reported on his financial bailout flip-flop
Stephen Colbert lampooned Paul for his phony Ophthalmological license:
USA Board of Ophthalmological Freedom

Stephen becomes a certified ophthalmologist, and Professor Buttons performs Lasik surgery on Jay.

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Rand Paul certainly has disdain for the unemployed, much like his fellow Republicans.

Via TPM: Rand Paul To Unemployed: Quit Whining And Get Back To Work

In an interview with WVLK-AM in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday, Paul told host Sue Wylie he supported the Republican filibuster last week of more than $100 billion in emergency spending that includes extended jobless benefits. Paul said the bill must be paid before the extension is voted into law -- and if that can't happen, it's time for America's unemployed to face facts and stop holding out for jobs similar to the ones they've lost.

"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."

Paul also suggested that regardless of whether the benefits could be paid for with cuts somewhere else, it might be time for some people to just stop asking for government aid.

"I think the issue is bigger than unemployment benefits." Paul said, referring to government spending. "It's all about priorities, what is the priority. And sometimes tough decisions will have to be made."

read more...

How about that Underground Electric Border Fence?

Via Sam Stein:

Republican Senatorial candidate Rand Paul wants to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a rather ho-hum proposition in the larger context of conservative ideas -- except that Paul wants that fence to be electric and he wants it built underground.

Among the variety of proposals to stem illegal immigration along the southern border, the construction of an underground electrical fence appears to stand alone on the extreme. There is little contemporary evidence of other Republican officials proposing such a project, even among the most conservative of the bunch. Indeed, when approached in the halls of Senate several weeks ago and asked about the idea (though not told who proposed it), National Republican Senate Committee Chair John Cornyn (R-Tex.) assumed it was a joke.

"I have not heard that," the Texas Republican said. "Underground? What would happen? How would that work?"

read more....

Even Sen. John Cornyn seemed confused.

UPDATE: Sam Stein has a follow-up on the "Electrified Fence" story where Rand expands a bit more on his little fence: Rand Paul On Underground Electrical Fence: Cost Effective And Humane
In a speech in downtown Paducah, Kentucky, Paul pegged the cost of his quixotic idea at somewhere between $10 and 15 million dollars (a relative pittance when compared to other border-fence proposals, and likely far too rosy a projection). The benefits of an underground fence, he argued, were that it would not have the symbolism of a Berlin Wall-like structure and it would be considered less offensive to Hispanic voters who are already fleeing the country.

"Where I disagree, maybe with some people on the immigration issue, I don't like the symbolism of a 15 foot fence going the whole border. It's extraordinarily expensive, and it reminds me of the Berlin Wall which was built to keep people in and from fleeing to the west," Paul said. "I think you could actually put an electronic fence under the whole for border for $10 or $15 million, which sounds like a lot to us but that's peanuts. And you could probably have helicopter stations in maybe five different locations, and I think you could have any breach of the border could be stopped at any point and we send them back."

Rand Paul still defending BP - can't answer simple question: Does he still not support the setting-up of the $20 billion escrow fund?

Via Dave Weigel:

RN: You've started to take heat for your approach to the BP escrow fund. Do you support the fund, the way it's set up?

PAUL: Well, I don't think there are many people who don't believe in any regulations, myself included, and even my dad -- I don't think you'll hear him say he doesn't believe in any regulation. But I'm not sure I have the answer to that, sincerely. I think everyone in the country wants BP to pay for the clean-up, myself concluded. I've never had any argument with that -- it's amazing how you say things and they get blown into things you didn't say! I'm not even sure I can talk to some people anymore because they take things out of context.

RN: But do you support the set-up of the fund? Do you oppose regulating offshore drilling?

PAUL: There should be some regulations, but I want to do it in a rational, reasonable way, and ask: Did they obey the regulations? Do we not have enough regulation, and do we need two blow-out preventers from now on? These are the things scientists and inventors should tell us. Should we be drilling at that level? There are a lot of issues, but we shouldn't react in an emotional way and say no more drilling. I see some of that emotionalism happening because the president feels trapped -- his advisers say you've got to be tough, you've got to have tough language. I'm not sure that's a rational way to handle this.

RN: To finish up, though: Do you oppose the fund? I'm not going to trap you and ask whether or not it was a "shakedown," but do you think it's legal and legitimate?

PAUL: I was listening to some people on the Hill today, and they were looking for the justification for setting it up. I don't know what the legal justification is -- I'm not an expert in whether Congress has to give you authority or the president has authority to do it. Those issues take research and time, and I'm not going to make an off-the-cuff response.

Rand Paul has said some really outrageous things, and Talking Points Memo reports on Louisville Courier-Journal's Andrew Wolfson's compilation of them in, "S**t My Rand Says: A Compendium Of Paul's Wacky Quotes."

Rand Paul's unique mix of libertarianism and conservatism has been around for years, just waiting for an intrepid reporter like the Louisville Courier-Journal's Andrew Wolfson to pore through it. After watching hours of old Paul footage -- much of it from the archives of Kentucky's public TV network -- the Courier-Journal published the best nuggets in a massive piece.

What emerges from the story, which covers interviews beginning in 1998, is a picture of a candidate very different from either political party. In one interview he's claiming he understands the reasoning behind suicide bomb attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq. In another he's repeating his problems with civil rights law, claiming that "decisions concerning private property and associations should in a free society be unhindered." In a third he's calling for social security to be privatized.

It's so comprehensive, it probably deserves it's own blog post. In the meantime, click on over and check out the litany of mind-boggling, Rand Paul statements over the past decade or so.

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