5.31.2010

Blanche Lincoln, Progressive Hero? Her Current Ad vs. the Videotape

Here's Jed Lewison exposing the claim by Arkansas, soon-to-be ex-Senator, Blanche Lincoln, that she is a real progressive. Ha!



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Robert Redford Calls On Obama For Clean Energy Now

I never got around to post this until now, but Robert Redford is calling on the Obama Administration to work for clean energy now, in this new ad from the Natural Resources Defense Council (h/t TomP):


The Gulf disaster is more than a terrible oil spill. It's the product of a failed energy policy...one that puts oil company profits ahead of people and the environment.

America needs safe, clean and renewable energy -- not more oil spills.

That means politicians in Washington have a choice: keep bowing to the demands of Big Oil, or stand up for the American people.

You can tip the balance.

Tell President Obama to lead America toward a clean energy future.
Unfortunately, I don't think they're listening.

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Sarah Palin's Speaking Demands

Here are some of her demands (via The Onion):

  • Hotel room must have a "moose couture" styling to it
  • Most recent copy of all newspapers
  • Children's caretaker must be of Korean ethnicity or higher
  • 50-gallon aquarium containing a minimum of eight piranhas that haven't been fed in a week and a bucket of ducks
  • If the name of the speaking venue exceeds four syllables, then it must be temporarily changed to "Thompson Hall"
  • Book of word searches and package of string cheese for Todd
see the rest...
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Paranoia Strikes Deep: Glenn Beck Sees Enemies Everywhere

Glenn Beck gets more unhinged with each ratings - point - drop. Just when you think he can't get any crazier, he outdoes himself, and usually by miles. Via Media Matters:

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Hey Rand Paul! When You've Lost Ron Christie, You're Totally Screwed

Republican political strategist& former Vice President Dick Cheney's staff member, Ron Christie, has never met a right-wing talking point, no matter how absurd, that he would go on the cable news networks and sell his little heart out for. Until Dr. Rand Paul, that is.

Here's he is on the May 28, 2010 episode of MSNBC's Ed Schultz show, tearing Dr. Paul apart, from end to end. I never, ever thought I'd say something like this: Go, Ron Christie!?



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5.29.2010

Weekly Presidential Youtube-Radio Address

In his Weekly Presidential Youtube-Radio Address for Memorial Day, President Obama asks all American's to honor our military's men & women who have died in service to the country, and to remember and take care of our veterans and their families:



Read the full transcript...
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"Laughing Stock" Kentucky's Answer to Dr. Rand Paul: State Adopts Civil Rights Resolution (UPDATED)

Kentucky is furious with Dr. Rand Paul now that they're being thought of as a "laughing stock" due to his extremists views on Civil Rights.

Via the AP (h/t @ahuntre):

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Senate, reacting to a divisive comment by Republican Rand Paul, has adopted a resolution declaring any form of discrimination to be inconsistent with American values.

Louisville Democratic Sen. Gerald Neal introduced the resolution Friday during a special session on the state budget. It was adopted without objection in the predominantly Republican chamber.

Neal, Kentucky's only black state senator, said he took personal offense at the comment made last week by Paul, a U.S. Senate candidate, who was criticizing the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Paul said in an MSNBC interview that the federal government shouldn't have the power to force restaurants to serve minorities if business owners don't want to.

Neal said Paul's "extreme belief" has made Kentucky "a laughingstock."

UPDATE I:

The AP also picked up on Paul's crazy & unconstitutional opposition to citizenship for babies of illegal immigrants as called for in the 14th amendment, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., whether or not their parents are U.S. citizens (and as I blogged about here).

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5.28.2010

Rand Paul's Race Problem (and Other Inherent Flaws)

Rand Paul might have advised to step out of the spotlight -- at Karl Rove's behest -- but that doesn't mean the spotlight has been turned off. Not by a long shot. Over the last week, numerous stories about Rand Paul have continues to come to light. And what has come to light is very ugly.

This is a followup to my posts Meet Dr. Rand Paul, Meet Dr. Rand Paul - Day 2 & Meet the Press v Rand Paul, but before I get into all that, let's look at the latest polling from Research 2000.

Jack Conway has gone from a 25 point deficit -- according to this conservative Rasmussen Poll taken just after the primary before the firestorm Rand Paul created, to a 3-point race.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 5/24-26. Likely voters. MoE 4% (5/10-12 results)

Rand Paul (R) 44 (42)
Jack Conway (D) 41 (39)
Undecided 9

Favorable/Unfavorable

Paul 53/33 (56/27)
Conway 48/43 (46/44)

Paul's favorabilities are down among Independents -- from 62-16 to 58-20, and among Democrats -- from 37-45 to 29-57. Lucky for him, railing against the Civil Rights Act plays to his base. Among Republicans, Rand is now up to 79-9, from 76-10.

This race's big battleground will be independent voters -- Paul is currently winning them 42-31, with 27 percent undecided, and Democrats, where Conway is only getting 75 percent to Paul's 7 Percent, with 18 percent undecided. Remember, this is Kentucky, where a significant number of voters who vote Dem in statewide elections vote GOP for federal races. Paul has already consolidated GOP support, winning them 86-6, with just 8 percent undecided.

Hmmm. I wonder what could have caused this uphill battle Conway was facing to turn into a 3-point race?

Rand Paul's White Supremacist Funding: Rand Paul MUST return Neo-Nazi funds NOW and DENOUNCE Stormfront.org:
Stormfront.org, which was founded to support David Duke for senate by another KKK Grand Dragon, Don Black, has been promoting and contributing to Rand Paul's moneybombs. Palling around with WhiteSupremacists much?

That's a tweet from Don Black, head of the white supremacist group Stormfront. Wow.

~snip~

So, Trey Grayson should reject donations from Republicans who voted for the bailout........but it's okay for Rand Paul to accept donations from Stormfront?

genuineGOPmom.blogspot.com

Newsweek: Rand Paul Feeds Suspicions About Tea Party Racism

Try as it might, the Tea Party just can't shake the accusations of racism. As I wrote in an article last month, recent polling seemed to confirm many people's darkest suspicions about the movement—that it was motivated not just by antipathy toward big government but also by racial animus. When confronted with such allegations, Tea Partiers offer a standard response: any evidence of racist sentiment can be chalked up to a tiny minority, and hey, what group doesn't have a freaky fringe?

Rand Paul has just severely compromised that argument. By refusing to say whether he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act and claiming that the federal government has no business fighting discrimination in private establishments, he comes across as an avatar of 1950s thinking on race. And as Kentucky's newly crowned Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, he is anything but fringy. In fact, he's about the closest thing to a national leader that the Tea Party has.

Newsweek's Howard Fineman: Rand Paul and D. W. Griffith
Some of that old-time, race-based attitude—a Kentucky mix of romantic benevolence and cruel disdain (immortalized in D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation)—has seeped into the groundwater of the Tea Party. I attended one of its first rallies, in Louisville more than a year ago, and I saw on the ground some of the anti-busing elements of old there.

If Dr. Rand Paul doesn't immediately apologize for holding his victory rally at a private club—and doesn't abandon his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act—then he will not only pollute the Tea Party, he will severely damage the GOP's chances of winning control of either the House or Senate this fall.

Politics operates serendipitously in America, thank goodness. One little slip can open the door to a wider, even profound discussion. The Tea Party has rocketed to prominence with a seething anti-federal message: that Washington is spending too much, controlling too much, and taxing too much, and is doing it unconstitutionally.

All that might explain this interview Rand did with Russian television....

TPM: Rand Paul Suggests Children Of Illegal Immigrants Should Not Be U.S. Citizens

Paul recently suggested to a Russian TV station that the U.S. should abandon its policy of granting citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants -- even if they're born on U.S. soil.

Paul also said he's discussed instituting an "underground electrical fence" on the border to keep out unwanted elements, though he emphasized that he's "not opposed to letting people come in and work and labor in our country."

[snip]

He added: "We're the only country that I know that allows people to come in illegally, have a baby, and then that baby becomes a citizen. And I think that should stop also."

The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States, regardless of whether or not their parents are U.S. citizens.

Immigration talk comes in at around the 8:30 mark:

The American Prospect: Is Rand Paul Good For Civil Liberties?
Yesterday on Twitter, Radley Balko warned liberals, "Lefties: Before you start fringe-baiting [Kentucky Senate Nominee] Rand Paul, note that he's better on civil liberties than most Democratic senators. And Obama." I responded that Paul was indistinguishable from the rest of the GOP on national security issues, but that's not totally accurate.

[snip]

It should be said that Paul appears to have a fairly consistent -- if nativist -- constitutional philosophy: The Constitution grants certain inalienable rights to Americans but not to foreigners. That shouldn't be mistaken for Constitutional fidelity, the Constitution distinguishes between "citizens" and "persons" for a reason, and foreigners charged with crimes in the U.S. have always been given the same due process rights as anyone else, precisely because freedom is as much about what government is allowed to do to you as much as it is about what you are allowed to do.

So is Paul better than "most Democratic Senators" or Obama? Outside the PATRIOT Act, he seems to be your average Republican. If he wins his Senate race and teams up with Russ Feingold to reform the PATRIOT Act, I wouldn't be disappointed -- but I'm not hoping for anything more from him.

Salon's Joe Conason: The roots of Rand Paul's civil rights resentment (h/t America Blog):
The last time that anyone examined the details of the Paul family's gamy history was back in 2008, when the New Republic dug up copies of newsletters sent out under Ron's name to raise money, and found that they were replete with ugly references to blacks, Martin Luther King, homosexuals and other targets of the racist far right. At the time, Reason magazine, a libertarian magazine that opposed the "paleo" deviation, gave the most revealing account of its movement's degenerate element in a long article by Julian Sanchez and David Weigel.

[snip]

According to Sanchez and Weigel, the tone of Paul's newsletters shifted to reflect his political circumstances. Between his first presidential campaign and his return to Congress in 1996 as a Republican, they were filled with slurs against blacks generally and Martin Luther King Jr. in particular, including the accusation that the civil rights leader "seduced underage girls and boys." Rothbard hated King deeply, describing him in November 1994 as "a socialist, egalitarian, coercive integrationist, and vicious opponent of private-property rights ... who was long under close Communist Party control," and concluding that "there is one excellent litmus test which can set up a clear dividing line between genuine conservatives and neoconservatives, and between paleolibertarians and what we can now call 'left-libertarians.' And that test is where one stands on 'Doctor' King." (Then again, he hated Lincoln too, whom he disparaged in the same essay as "one of the major despots of American history.")

[snip]

No wonder Sanchez and Weigel concluded with a forthright condemnation of Ron Paul's dishonesty on race. "Ron Paul may not be a racist," they wrote, "but he became complicit in a strategy of pandering to racists." The same polite formulation could be applied to the hard-line activists behind the Goldwater campaign in 1964, or the "Southern strategists" of the Nixon White House, or the "populist conservatives" of the George Wallace campaign, many of whom still remain active on the right today.
Jack Conway To TPM: Paul Civil Rights Comments 'Relevant' To General Election Campaign

[...] Conway told me this afternoon he will make sure voters know about Paul's remarks, especially about his views on the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"What does that say to our disabled veterans coming back from two wars," Conway said.

At the same time, Conway said his own campaign would focus on the distinctions between the candidates on the economy and the need for "robust" financial reform, and I asked him how the Civil Rights Act comments come into those policy issues. "It's certainly relevant," Conway said. "People fought and bled for the ability to be served in a non-discriminatory fashion. It's problematic and abhorrent that he'd say in 2010 the government would not have a role ... I'm happy to have that discussion."

Wonkroom: What Does Rand Paul’s America Look Like?

First, Paul believes that the federal government has minimal power to regulate how private property owners use their property, or how private business owners manage their businesses or employees. In Paul’s interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, he explains that he opposes the ban on whites-only lunch counters because he “believe[]s in private ownership.” During his lengthy interview with Rachel Maddow, Paul explained that he supports the parts of the Civil Right Act of 1964 that limit government discrimination, but that he rejects the “one title” of the Act that limits private activities (for the record, there are at least two titles of the original Civil Rights Act that limit private actors. Title II prohibits discrimination by restaurants, hotels and other public accommodations; Title VII forbids employment discrimination). Similarly, in his interview with NPR, Paul explains that his shield surrounding private businesses extends well beyond the civil rights context. When asked how he feels about “the degree of oversight of the mining and oil-drilling industries,” Paul responded “I think that most manufacturing and mining should be under the purview of state authorities.”

Second, Paul would drastically reduce–if not eliminate altogether–federal agencies’ power to regulate business. In a January interview with Fox Business, Paul called for drastic regulatory rollbacks, stating that we should “get rid of regulation. Get the EPA out of our coal business down here. Get OSHA out of our small businesses.”

Third, although Paul leaves no doubt about his opposition to virtually all government regulation of private business, he does name one exception to this rule in his Rachel Maddow interview. When asked about his views on supporters of whites-only lunch counters who resorted to violence against civil rights activists, Paul replied that people who engage in “violence” should go to jail. There are any number of federal laws restricting mining companies, the oil industry and other private businesses which do not actually prohibit acts of violence, however, and Rand Paul has not clarified how he views these laws.

The Atlantic's Joshua Green: Explaining the Rand Paul Disaster
The second point, which gets directly to why Rand Paul is suddenly flailing, is that the local Kentucky media--in particular the newspapers, and especially the flagship Louisville Courier-Journal--has been decimated by job cuts, as has happened across the country. This came up several times in discussions with Kentucky politicos and local journalists. The reason it matters is that because there is no longer a healthy, aggressive press corps--and no David Yepsen-type dean of political journalists--candidates don't run the same kind of gauntlet they once did. They're not challenged by journalists. And since voters aren't as well informed as they once were (many are "informed" in the sense of having strongly held views about all manner of things--they're just not "well informed"), they can't challenge the candidates either.

Thus, when Rand Paul appeared on "Maddow" and the other shows, I expect he was prepared to offer the same sermon I heard on the trail. Problem is, he was encountering an aggressive, experienced press corps that appropriately had its own agenda and was eager to challenge Paul to elaborate on his views.
Also from Newsweek's Howard Fineman: Rand Paul: No Babe in the Woods

If McConnell is to have an outside chance of becoming majority leader (the GOP would have to pick up 10 Senate seats), he has to make peace with Paul and do everything he can to help him defeat Democrat Jack Conway. But if Paul doesn’t tone down his more extreme views, Democrats will use the Kentucky campaign to frighten independent voters, in Kentucky and (more important) across the country, about the risks of a GOP takeover in Congress. Then again, if GOP handlers stifle Paul—unlikely as that is—that too will become a story, and stoke the anger of his Tea Party followers.

[snip]

Paul’s views are stark, and some are problematic. His purist laissez-faire economics are inspiring to some, but can sound shocking. The West Virginia mine disaster was lamentable, he said, but sometimes “accidents happen.” He sounded like a shill for BP when he complained that the administration’s harshly worded rebuke of the oil company was “un-American.”

Paul also opposes farm subsidies; wants to abolish the Fed, the original act that founded it, and the currency-reserve system; wants to abolish the departments of education, energy, and commerce; opposes U.S. involvement in the United Nations; opposes the Patriot Act; wants to vastly reduce Pentagon spending; is strictly anti-abortion; and favors legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. If properly framed, some of those positions could be sold to Kentucky voters at least; others need to be “reframed” into oblivion.

[snip]

A senior Republican in Washington, who spoke to me only if I promised not to use his name, said that Paul could not afford to make more mistakes like the one he made on civil rights—even though Kentucky has a tiny African-American population and voted overwhelmingly in 2008 for Sen. John McCain. “Look, it’s still early, this is Kentucky, and this is 2010,” the senior Republican said. “Rand Paul hasn’t blown himself up—yet. But he can’t afford to keep making mistakes.”
Macon.com: Kentucky GOP urges Rand Paul to avoid national spotlight

Paul is facing a firestorm of criticism by the very national media that just a few short days ago rushed to book him for appearances. He and his supporters blamed the Democrats for painting comments as incendiary and the mainstream media for fanning the flames.

Democrats say they have no need to twist Paul's words - he does a fine job of that himself.

Political analysts say it's too early to tell exactly how Paul's statements and libertarian, limited-government philosophy will affect the outcome of November's general election. But one thing is certain: The more Paul talks about topics other than the economy and the national deficit, the more fodder he provides for Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, his Democratic opponent in the fall.

Conway's camp wouldn't say Friday how it planned to use some of Paul's beliefs or stances in its campaign. However, campaign manager Jonathan Drobis sent a letter to supporters Friday afternoon saying, "You and I both know Rand Paul is out of touch with most Kentuckians. His worldview is so narrow and outside of the mainstream, he opposes even the most fundamental protections for citizens. As Jack said - it's up to us to stop him."

Political analysts say Conway will have to poke truck-sized holes in Paul's conservative armor to win in a state that voted overwhelmingly for John McCain in 2008 and where Obama remains unpopular.

"Rand Paul has to be the issue," said Danny Briscoe, a former Kentucky Democratic Party chair and a campaign consultant. "Conway has to show that these beliefs are emblematic of a group of ideas that could be dangerous to the people of Kentucky."

Time: Rand and Ron

His outsider success is hardly unique in Republican circles this campaign season, after all. In Arizona, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth is mounting a strong, Tea Party–backed challenge to his party's last presidential nominee, Senator John McCain. Tea Party power forced Florida's moderate governor, Charlie Crist, to flee a Senate primary fight with young conservative star Marco Rubio and try an independent bid. And less than two weeks before Paul knocked off his opponent, Kentucky's secretary of state Trey Grayson, activists at a Utah GOP convention dumped three-term Senator Bob Bennett, long a reliable conservative vote, for such sins as flirting with compromise on Obama's health care plan and supporting the 2008 Wall Street bailout.

Rand may be the talk of Washington at the moment, but his meek-mannered 74-year-old father Ron is in many ways the improbable godfather of the Tea Party movement. In a GOP lacking for compelling leaders, he may be the man with the most potential influence as the 2012 campaign approaches.

Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign, with its message of limited government and its anti-Establishment ethos, created a kind of do-it-yourself model for the current activism shaking up politics around the country. The Paul campaign even inspired the first modern-day tea party that anyone can remember: a December 2007 antitax protest re-enacting the original Boston Tea Party on its 234th anniversary. (On that same day, Paul's fervent supporters raised an astounding $6 million online, a single-day record.) The message then, as now, was a revolt against government taxes and spending and what his supporters called "tyranny." "Dr. Paul was pushing for fiscal responsibility and limited government long before the Tea Party moniker was slapped on it," says John O'Hara, author of the book A New American Tea Party.

WaPos' Eugene Robinson: Rand Paul's Libertarian La-La Land

Republican crisis managers wisely didn't allow Paul to stray within range of the Sunday talk shows, but they can't keep him hidden away in some Kentucky cave until November. Sooner or later, the Senate candidate is going to have to answer a direct question: Was he being untruthful on the occasions when he said the federal government has no authority to outlaw racial discrimination in private businesses such as restaurants? Or is he being untruthful now in claiming he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Actually, there are quite a few direct questions that Paul will be asked. Does he still believe it ought to be permissible to deny Americans access to housing because of the color of their skin, as he argued a few years ago? I have a personal stake in this one, since I live in a neighborhood where a legal covenant once kept African Americans out. Is this sort of thing cool with him?

I'd also like to know whether Paul really believes in a conspiracy among the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments to turn North America into a "borderless, mass continent" bisected by a 10-lane superhighway. Because that's what he said in 2008.

[snip]

Now that he is running for the Senate as a card-carrying Republican, Paul is going to have to abandon, or pretend to abandon, many of his loopy beliefs. This won't be easy, as illustrated by the hemming and hawing he did before finally endorsing the Civil Rights Act. Even then, he suggested that the law was justified only by the prevailing situation in the South. As soon as Paul is allowed out of his cave, someone should ask him whether the landmark legislation properly applies to the rest of the country.

Sarah Palin accused reporters of practicing "gotcha" journalism in seeking to elicit Paul's views. As we know from the 2008 campaign, Palin's definition of a "gotcha" interview is one in which actual questions are asked. But think about it: Did anyone imagine that the Republican Party could field a candidate who makes Sarah Barracuda sound like the voice of reason?

Atlanta Journal Constitution: How Rand Paul's libertarian streak ran afoul of history

Some of you may remember the famous Jesse Helms ad of 1990 in his race against Democrat Harvey Gantt, a black man. It featured a pair of white hands angrily crumpling up a letter, while the announcer explained that the man had just been informed that he didn’t get a job because a less qualified minority did. (The ad was written and produced by Alex Castellanos, now a regular on CNN).

Until this week, when I ran across the political flyer to the right from the 1964 campaign, I didn’t fully appreciate the rich political heritage behind the Helms ad, or why it drew such a strong reaction. In ‘64, in the wake of the signing of the Civil Rights Act by President Johnson, Barry Goldwater and his advisers had decided that their best chance was to play to white Southern resentment by pitting white against black on economic terms. (To be fair, it was an age-old tactic that southern Democrats had been using at the state and local levels for decades to keep themselves in power.)

(Rand Paul picture at top right corner of this post via The Pink Flamingo)

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5.25.2010

Union Ad Obliterates Conservadem Blanche Lincoln

This Arkansas Senate runoff ad from AFSCME completely obliterates Conservadem Sen. Blanche Lincoln. I'd say it adds a whole new dimension to 'anti' in an 'anti-ad' campaign:

Via Greg Sargent:

The new minute-long spot, from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is backed by an $855,000 buy, an official says, underscoring how heavily invested labor is in taking her down. It throws a whole fusillade of charges at Lincoln, even ridiculing her recent election-day snafu, in which her campaign forgot she'd requested an absentee ballot for herself:

The ad will be running all the way through June 7th, the day before Lincoln faces Bill Halter in the runoff, according to Ricky Feller, who oversees AFSCME's advertising in Arkansas. It represents the lion's share of the $1.4 million the union has pledged to spend on the runoff.

"This one of our largest shots," Feller tells me.

read more....
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Mark Fiore: Inky Al-Jihadi

Here's Mark Fiore's latest animation, "Inky Al-Jihadi." I wonder if he has budgeted for round-the-clock bodyguards? Hmmmm.

Can you find Muhammad in this cartoon? So many Muhammad-type drawings to choose from! Let Inky Al-Jihadi help you sort this out and take charge of those blasphemous cartoonists!

See more from Mark at http://www.MarkFiore.com

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BP - Bringing People Together

The latest video from Addy Cobb & Second City, "BP - "Bringing People together," is based upon the video, "BP - New sources of energy":


Follow Second City & Andy Cobb on Twitter: @SecondCityNetwk & @AndyCobb

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5.24.2010

What Conservatism v Progressivism Really Looks Like

h/t Fixed_News:



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Meet the Press v Rand Paul (Updated)

David Gregory was not happy about the Rand Paul cancellation, as you can see by this segment from Sunday's Meet the Press (h/t John Aravosis):


We now know his cancellation was orchestrated by Karl Rove (h/t Media Matters' Karl Frisch):
Politico is reporting that Rove urged Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul to cancel his appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend after several days of tough media coverage following his comments on the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
[...] Karl Rove, the former top adviser to George W Bush, called Paul's campaign manager this week and said the candidate was hurting himself with all the exposure, according to a source familiar with the conversation (In an email, Rove only said "no comment" when asked about the matter)

At this point one could easily come to the conclusion that Fox News only pays Rove to underwrite his political activity. After all, they’ve shown no concern whatsoever over the ethical implications of his dual role as a network “political analyst” and his work for the GOP "campaign apparatus.”

Those ethical implications are further complicated by news that Rove is purportedly advising partisan political campaigns directly.

read more from Media Matters...
UPDATE II: Rand Paul's bad week continues...

Via TPM: Rand Paul Slams MSNBC 'Bias'
Paul downplayed his comments to Rachel Maddow, saying they were part of "a philosophic debate about a moot point." But he also blasted MSNBC for "bias," charging that in the days after his appearance, commentators on the network had inaccurately accused him of wanting to repeal the Civil Rights Act. (On Thursday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews corrected that error.) "I need to be very careful about going on certain networks that seem to have a bias," Paul told WHS's Joe Arnold. "Because it really wasn't the interview so much that was unfair. The interview I think was very fair. But then they went on a whole day repeating something over and over again. It makes me less inclined to go on a network."

Read more...
I guess Rand Paul didn't get the message about shutting up...nationally.

Also via TPM: GOP Backs Away From 'Novice' Rand Paul
Protesters turned out at the Paul-Grayson unity rally on Saturday, local GOPers said he had hit a "rocky start" and top Republicans in Washington did not seem eager to defend the party's newly crowned nominee, distancing themselves from Paul's remarks about the Civil Rights Act.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele was the harshest, saying on Fox News Sunday in response to Paul's comments on discrimination that the country already has "litigated the issue of separate but equal" and praising his own Republican party on civil rights. "I think his philosophy is misplaced in these times ... But I think in this case Rand Paul's philosophy got in the way of reality," Steele said.

Steele later said on ABC's This Week that he "can't condemn a person's view" and that it was up to the people of Kentucky to judge whether they want to elect someone with such a view.

Asked repeatedly by host Jake Tapper if he was "comfortable" with what Paul said, Steele responded, "I am not comfortable with a lot of things, but it doesn't matter what I'm comfortable with and not comfortable with. I don't vote in that election. The people of Kentucky will."

read more...

Via HuffPo: The Rand Paul Opportunity: Hang the Tea Party Albatross Around the GOP's Neck in 2010--Nationwide
There are signs in that last link and this one that Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, Dr. Paul's Democratic opponent, is sensing which way to go in his election.

But here's my point: it's not just Conway who should laser in on the role of government in protecting the public against corporate carelessness or malfeasance. Every Democrat in the country who is running against a Tea Party Republican--or even just one who is kowtowing to them--should be focused on Rand Paul's libertarian views and pushing opponents to answer questions like this:

What about salmonella in spinach and chicken--do you think government has a role to play in preventing that? What about E coli bacteria in ground beef--do you think government has a role to play in preventing that? What about new drugs from big pharmaceutical companies--do you think government has a role to play in ensuring their safety? What about the language that banks use when they peddle mortgages and credit cards--do you think government ought to set some standards of clarity there? What about sticky accelerators in cars?

read more...

Via Think Progress:

Protesters Rebuke Rand Paul: ‘I Know From Experience’ Private Businesses Will Discriminate Without The ADA
Last Saturday, Kentucky Republicans, along with Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Trey Grayson, held a unity rally to express their unflinching support for tea party extremist U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-KY). [...]

Sonka spoke to several of the protesters, and reported that one child held a sign, “In Rand’s world, do I have to play in the Negro League?” Others activists protested Paul’s defense of BP, his opposition to Civil Rights laws, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

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5.22.2010

Does Rand Paul Believe In The Minimum Wage?

Rand Paul is a Libertarian to the extreme. He can't even acknowledge that the Federal government is correct in setting a minimum wage.

Via Greg Sargent (h/t Laurence Lewis):

But there's another, perhaps more telling, nugget that came at the very end: Paul was unwilling to say unequivocally that the Federal government has a proper role in setting the minimum wage. The exchange comes at the 7:45 mark of the interview:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Should the Federal government be able to set a minimum wage?

PAUL: It's not a question of whether they can or canot. I think that's decided. I think the question you have to ask is whether or not when you set the minimum wage it may cause unemployment.

Paul went on to argue that a high minimum wage risks pushing up unemployment among unskilled workers.

Paul was asked a straight Yes or No question: Does the Federal government have a valid role setting minimum wage? He declined to answer.

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Mark Fiore: "Give Him a Hand"

Mark Fiore looks at government meddling and regulation on Wall Street in his latest poltical animation, "Give Him a Hand."

Dogboy and Mr. Dan are back, this time talking about the stock market, Europe and debtor nations! Will Dogboy and Mr. Dan ever see eye to eye? Take a look at government meddling and regulation and find out!



See more at: MarkFiore.com
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Rand Paul: "Helping Himself"

From the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC):

Helping Himself

While pushing for the elimination of the Department of Education and cutting corporate taxes, Rand Paul works to help himself.

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WAH! Rand Paul Wants A Honeymoon!

From the DNC:

Rand Paul Wants A Honeymoon


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Rand Paul- The Gift That Keeps on Giving

From the DNC:

Rand Paul- The Gift That Keeps on Giving

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"Dirty"

Americans United latest ad:

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TLC -- Sarah Palin's Alaska!

From Second City Network:

No really, it's true.



Media Fail: Discovery Defends Sarah Palin's TV Show as 'Not Political'
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Media Matter: "Does Fox News Have a Race Problem?"

That was, of course, a rhetorical question I presume?

UPDATE I:

Also see: Fox's Stossel Advocates Repealing Part of the Civil Rights Act
"Private businesses ought to get to discriminate"
Also see: Wrong side of history: Conservative media coming out against 50s/60s civil rights accomplishments, leaders


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If Rand Paul and Sarah Palin got married...

From DKos' Jeff Lieber:

If Rand Paul and Sarah Palin got married...

...America would not be forced to build unconstitutional elevators for the handicapped in all the buildings where we are currently executing grandmothers on the health care death list.

If Rand Paul and Sarah Palin got married... Vladamir Putin would dare never rear his head over Alaska for fear of all the gun-toting, whites-only, lunch counters at Alaskan Woolworths.

If Rand Paul and Sarah Palin got married... we would finally be able to control our run-away moose population by removing all hunting restrictions in the Fair Housing Act.

read the full piece...
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Weekly Address: BP Spill Independent Commission

I wish he would stop calling it a spill. This is NOT a spill. This is a catastrophe of biblical proportions spewing the equivalent of two Exxon Valdezes a week.

From the White House Website:

The President announces that the independent commission he created for the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling will be chaired by former Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham and former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly. He promises accountability not just for BP, but for those in government who bore responsibility.


The bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling is tasked with providing recommendations on how we can prevent – and mitigate the impact of – any future spills that result from offshore drilling.

  • The commission will be focused on the necessary environmental and safety precautions we must build into our regulatory framework in order to ensure an accident like this never happens again, taking into account the other investigations concerning the causes of the spill.
  • The commission will have bipartisan co-chairs with a total membership of seven people. Membership will include broad and diverse representation of individuals with relevant expertise. No sitting government employees or elected officials will sit on the commission.
  • The Commission’s work will be transparent and subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Commission will issue a report within six months of having been convened.
Read the Transcript
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5.21.2010

Meet Dr. Rand Paul - Day 2 (UPDATED)

6:25 pm UPDATE: Rand Paul Cancels His Meet The Press Interview. Only 3 people have in MTP's 62 years history have canceled: Rand Paul, Louis Farrakhan & Saudi Prince Bandar bin Khaled al-Faisal (h/t @tlw3). He's in great company.
Yesterday, I introduced you Dr. Rand Paul, the GOP's Conservative-Libertarian, Teabaggging Senatorial candidate from Kentucky who:
Suffice it to say, the interview didn't do him any favors:
In fact, one could say that Rand Paul had the worst 36 hour Honeymoon period in modern political history, particularly after summarily wiping his opponent out in the Kentucky primary, with 67% of the vote.

Here's were the headlines from included in my Rand post from yesterday:
Via TPM:
Via Think Progress:
Via Daily Kos:
Well, I have a feeling today isn't going to get any easier for him.

First, last night, Keith Olbermann reported on the days events. He was then was joined by Newsweek's Howard Fineman, to discuss the effect of Paul’s comments on his election race in November against Democrat Jack Conway.
Is Pauls' Senate bid over?


Then, Keith was joined by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C. -- still incensed by Rand’s comment -- to lay into him some more.
Did Rand Paul cross a line?

But it was Rachel Maddow, who, once again, in a follow-up segment from last night's show, owned Rand Paul. It was truly mesmerizing:
Ezra Klein posted this late yesterday: Rand Paul may not be a racist, but he is an extremist
[...] I take Paul at his word that he's not a racist. What he is, however, is an ideological extremist. He is so categorically opposed to public regulation of private enterprise that he cannot even bring himself to say that the Woolworth lunch counter should've been desegregated. Instead, he falls back on the remedies of the market: "I wouldn't attend, wouldn't support, wouldn't go to," a private institution that discriminates, he told Rachel Maddow. But he would let them discriminate. And in the segregated South, that would've been a perfectly viable business model for many, many very important institutions.

"I think what you've done is you bring up something that really is not an issue," Paul said to Maddow, "nothing I've ever spoken about or have any indication that I'm interested in any legislation concerning." That's actually wrong: Paul isn't likely to get the chance to modify Title IX of the Civil Rights Act anytime soon. But he will have to vote on quite a bit of legislation that uses the commerce clause to regulate private businesses. And that's why this matters.

Paul's defense of himself is that his take on the Civil Rights Act has nothing to do with race and so he is not a racist. But by the same token, the fact that Paul's view on the Civil Rights Act is so dominated by his libertarian ideology that he cannot even admit race and segregation into the calculus is exactly why this is relevant to Paul's candidacy, why it's an issue and why it's among the best evidence we have in understanding how he'll vote on legislation that comes before him. If this isn't about race, then it is about all questions relating to federal regulation of private enterprise. As a senator, Paul will be faced with that question frequently. And his views on it are clearly very, very far from the mainstream.

Dave Weigel reported on his opponents reaction to Rand's walking back of his beliefs: Rand Paul's opponent decries rival's 'Washington flip-flop' on Civil Rights Act
I just spoke with Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) about his claim that his opponent in the state's U.S. Senate race, Rand Paul, wants to "repeal" the Civil Rights Act and Paul's 2002 letter stating his opposition to the Fair Housing Act.

"I meant that he rejected a fundamental provision of the act," said Conway, defending his use of the term "repeal" after Paul said he would not repeal the act. "He was on Rachel Maddow for 20 minutes, saying that, had he been there in 1964, he would have taken this provision out. That's basically what he said."

Conway called the 2002 letter that Paul wrote to his local paper "troubling." In it, Paul opposed the Fair Housing Act on the grounds that "a free society" should allow private discrimination even if he finds it abhorrent.

"I don't believe our society in 2010 ought to tolerate that," Conway said. "I think it's just this narrow and rigid worldview that he has, this philosophy. I don't know if it comes from his father. Tim Russert, a few years back, asked his father a few years ago about this. And his father said that, based on property rights, he doesn't support a few provisions of the Civil Rights Act. He said that point blank to Tim Russert.

"It seems like Rand Paul has been espousing this same point -- it seems like he was espousing this in 2002, he was espousing it a few weeks ago, and he was espousing it last night. If he's trying to backtrack now, he's just doing a Washington flip-flop," Conway said.

The next video is of highlights of Rand's victory speech on election night, only a few hours before he imploded on Rachel Maddow. This is not sane man.

Via Jed Lewison over at DKTV:
What if Glenn Beck ran for U.S. Senate? Highlights from Rand Paul’s nutty victory speech


Of course, Pat Buchanan loves him. This is from last week, but it's telling about the kind of supporters he has: Rand Paul (Son of Ron) Could Just Save the Republican Party Donate to Jack Conway.

Friends like the entire Fox "news" network: GOP candidate Rand Paul on Fox "all of the time": 21 appearances since last May

Just before Kentucky's Republican Senate primary, Trey Grayson complained that his opponent Rand Paul is "on [Fox] all of the time ... His dad [Rep. Ron Paul, R-TX] had these phenomenal contacts, so ... he's on Fox News every couple of weeks with softballs." Paul's certainly been a frequent guest on Fox: From May 2009 to May 17, Paul appeared on Fox programs at least 21 times. Paul has also been endorsed on-air by Fox News "political analysts" Dick Morris and Sarah Palin.

[snip]

The following is a list of the appearances Paul has made on Fox News, Fox Business and FoxNews.com between May 20, 2009 and May 17:

see the full list with links....

Some more highlights...

Via the NY Times: Tea Party Pick Causes Uproar on Civil Rights

WASHINGTON — Rand Paul, the Tea Party candidate who overcame opposition from the Republican establishment to win the party’s nomination for Senate in Kentucky two days ago, placed himself on Thursday into a potentially damaging dispute over civil rights and race.

In doing so, he provided Democrats an opportunity to portray him as extreme and renewed concern among Republicans that his views made him vulnerable in a general election.

Mr. Paul, in a series of television and radio interviews, suggested that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was too broad and should not apply to private businesses, such as luncheonettes. As his statements drew a swarm of attacks from his opponents, Mr. Paul issued a statement declaring that he would not support repealing the landmark 1964 statute and blaming political opponents for trying to distort his views by saying he favored repeal.

[snip]

While those views reflect the libertarian philosophy that Mr. Paul and many Tea Party members have embraced, they are politically treacherous for someone making an appeal to the electorate at large, as Mr. Paul learned as he struggled with questions about whether he thought the government had a role in regulating food safety and working conditions.

Congressional Republicans were peppered with questions about Mr. Paul’s position on civil rights. “I just want to be on the record that I believe the Interstate Commerce Clause was properly used by the courts and the Congress to make sure that when you travel in this country you can’t be denied food and lodging based on your race,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said. “That is not a big heavy lift for me.”

[snip]

Mr. Paul also found himself on the defensive on Thursday when he sought to justify his decision to hold his election night celebration at a country club in Bowling Green, arguing that was not in any way at variance with the grass-roots movement he has come to epitomize.

“I think at one time, people used to think of golf and golf clubs and golf courses as being exclusive,” Mr. Paul said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” adding, “Tiger Woods has helped to broaden that, in the sense that he’s brought golf to a lot of the cities and to city youth.”

Via the L.A. Times: 'Tea party' candidate faces civil rights controversy
In two separate interviews Wednesday, Paul seemed to suggest that he did not favor the way the courts settled those issues. He said he did not think the federal government should intervene to force private businesses to desegregate or accommodate the needs of the disabled.

Paul, the son of libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), likened forced desegregation of lunch counters to the government forcing a business to allow patrons to carry guns.

"Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant? Or does the government own his restaurant? These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion," Paul told host Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

[snip]

The discussion could affect the Senate race in Kentucky, where a history of racial violence led to forced desegregation. Paul's statements threaten to alienate many of the black voters whom the Republican Party has spent decades trying to attract.

The issue also highlights what is sure to be the Democrats' chief line of attack on Paul: That some of his views are far out of the mainstream.
Via The Wall Street Journal: Paul's Civil-Rights Remarks Ignite Row And the day hasn't really gotten into full swing yet.

Via USA Today: Rand Paul Embodies the Republican Tea Party Problem
[...] Paul and the Tea Party crowd threaten to leave the GOP unbalanced. They are so convinced of their own civic righteousness that they are blinded to the fact that they have minority views.

They see no need to moderate (or, in office, compromise) because they believe themselves to be fundamentally in the middle of the main stream of political thought. And the true believer's predilection toward philosophy makes them easily drawn into grand philosophical debates, which The Fix points out, is a losing proposition in high stakes politics. Theoretical discussions lend themselves to taking beliefs to their logical conclusions. And true believerism keeps candidates like Rand from having the good sense to not go there.

[snip]

Democrats have pounced on this in an effort to define Paul as a radical. "We're learning that Rand Paul has this narrow and rigid philosophy when it comes to government interacting with business in any sort of way," says Jack Conway, Pauls' Democratic opponent. Paul's first couple of days as certified GOP nominee--starting with having his victory rally at an exclusive country club--have been like manna from heaven for Conway, literally. According to Conway, online fundraising has ticked up as the media has turned the spotlight on Paul's nuttiness. (And as I wrote that a fundraising email came in from the Conway campaign asking for a $5 donation to battle Paul's--wait for it--"narrow and rigid" ideology.)

So Paul's radical image does double duty, not simply isolating swing voters, but raising funds for Conway. The portrait of the young doctor as wild eyed and dangerous could well stick. That's why the GOP establishment was so anxious to keep Paul from winning the primary.

Via the Louisville Courier-Journal: Rand Paul embroiled in Civil Rights controversy over remarks made on Courier ...
Former state Sen. Georgia Powers, the first African American elected to that body, said she was furious when she heard about Paul's position.

"I don't think he's thinking clearly and not considering how minorities will react to this," she said. "Maybe he doesn't expect to get any votes from any minorities. I hope he doesn't."

[snip]

"Among Senator McConnell's most vivid memories and most formative events in his career was watching his boss, Sen. John Sherman Cooper, help pull together the votes to break the filibuster and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964," McConnell spokesman Robert Steurer said in a statement. "He has always considered the law a monumental achievement for the country and is glad to hear Dr. Paul supports it as well."

It was a question about that law, posed during The Courier-Journal editorial board interview, that prompted Paul to elaborate on his views.

"Under your philosophy, it would be okay for Dr. (Martin Luther) King to not be served at the counter at Woolworths?" he was asked during the meeting.

[snip]

Pageonekentucky.com, a Louisville-based blog, uncovered a letter to the editor that Paul wrote to the Bowling Green Daily News in 2002.

In it, he said: "A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination ... even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin. It is unenlightened and ill-informed to promote discrimination against individuals based on the color of their skin. It is likewise unwise to forget the distinction between public (taxpayer-financed) and private entities."
Via Daily Kos: Kentucky Dems Speak Out About Rand Paul
From the Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-3) press release:

"The comments by Senate candidate Rand Paul opposing the Civil Rights Act are simply appalling, and make it abundantly clear that he has no place holding public office in Kentucky in the 21st century. Our Commonwealth was the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to establish a Commission on Human Rights dedicated to ending discrimination and we have worked hard to show the nation that Jim Crow laws are a distant part of our history.

Rejecting the fundamental provision of the Civil Rights Act is a rejection of the foundational promise of America that all men and women should be treated equally -- a promise for which many Americans have lost their lives.

Leading is not hypothetical debating; it’s about solving real problems. It is the job of a Member of Congress to represent the needs of every one of their constituents, not to allow businesses to segregate or discriminate against them.

Rand Paul has already embarrassed Kentuckians in the eyes of the world. The Commonwealth deserves better because we are better - and I call on Mitch McConnell and my other colleagues in the Kentucky Congressional Delegation to join me in condemning his despicable views."

Via HuffPo: Race Trips up Rand Paul Too
Things may be different with Rand. There's his widely quoted smoking gun interview with the Louisville Courier Journal in which he blew off the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a slap against private businesses' right to racially discriminate. He had a second and third chance to eat his words in two separate interviews after his primary win. He blew both. He did the obligatory disavowal of racism, but did not back away from his belief that the Civil Rights Act went way too far in telling private businesses that they couldn't racially discriminate. Junior Paul, unlike dad, is suddenly a national figure and counted on by legions of revved up tea party activists to carry the party flag into battle against President Obama. Rand hasn't disappointed. He made it clear that he'll pound Obama and his agenda at every turn.

[snip]

If Rand and company have to reach back nearly half a century and dredge up a monumental piece of legislation that totally remade the racial map in America to fire up the faithful, then so be it. After all, why let a little thing like racial bigotry trip a Paul up. Ron tipped around it. Rand will do the same. The frightening thing is that he may get away with it.

Via WaPo: Rand Paul comments about civil rights stir controversy

Throughout the day, Paul accused political opponents of manufacturing the controversy, telling conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham that the "loony left" was attempting to discredit his candidacy.

But Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic Senate nominee, told The Washington Post's David Weigel that Paul's statements on MSNBC made it clear that the Republican "rejected the fundamental provision of the Civil Rights Act, and to me that's a rejection of the progress we've made over the last half-century."

Democrats also pointed to a 2002 letter Paul had written to a Kentucky newspaper arguing that private individuals and businesses should have the right to discriminate, even if it is abhorrent.

[snip]

Whether Paul's statements will hurt the tea party movement is another question. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, six in 10 opponents of the movement said they think racial bias against President Obama has a great deal or a good amount to do with its appeal. Tea party supporters disagree, saying the movement is fueled by concerns about the size and scope of federal spending and the deficit, although many activists have argued that the government is infringing too much on individual liberties.

Via WaPo: The Fix: Ron Paul's political problem

Democrats immediately pounced -- gleefully sending around the clip (as well as another interview Paul gave to National Public Radio that touched on the Civil Right Act) designed to cast the self-proclaimed candidate of the tea party as out-of touch with average voters in the Bluegrass State.

"Rand Paul is running for a narrow political philosophy that has dangerous consequences for working families, veterans, students, the disabled, and those without a voice in the halls of power," said state Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee for the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Bunning (R).

From the Democratic perspective, the aim is clear: kill Paul's candidacy before it has a chance to grow and, in so doing, avoid the mistake that Grayson made in the primary -- allowing Paul to use his grassroots support to build momentum.

[snip]

Here's Paul's political problem in two easy steps.

1) He was trying to make a theoretical argument about what role the government does (or should) have telling private businesses what to do. (Weigel has the full explanation of what he believes Paul means here.)

2) Theoretical arguments are stone cold losers in the context of political campaigns.

Via HuffPo: Rand Paul Keynoted 2009 Rally for Far-Right Constitution Party

All you really need to know about Christian Reconstructionism is in the title of a January 2008 Talk To Action story of mine, More From The Biblical Stoning & Legalized Slavery Movement.

Enter Rand Paul.

Amidst the hullaballoo over Republican Rand Paul's upset victory in the Kentucky GOP primary for US Senate, one of the few journalists to raise the issue of Paul's somewhat uncomfortable proximity to Christian Reconstructionism has been Alternet's Adele Stan, who observes that Rand Paul's father Ron Paul is personal friends with one of the bigger names in the Christian Reconstructionist movement, Howard Phillips, founder of the US Taxpayers Party -- now re-branded as The Constitution Party. But there's much more direct evidence tying Ran Paul to the Constitution Party, whose national platform declares,

"The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations... The U.S. Constitution established a Republic rooted in Biblical law"
Also Via HuffPo: Rand Paul Is 'Kentucky Fried Candidate' Over Civil Rights Comments

During an appearance on MSNBC's Ed Show, Democratic National Committee chairman referred to Paul as a "Kentucky fried candidate."



The DNC also released a web ad midday on Thursday, hammering away at the Tea Party favorite.

Via Slate: Rand Old Party - Why Democrats can't wait to use Rand Paul against the GOP.

Democratic Party operatives must have melted their servers with all the e-mail messages they sent to reporters questioning Paul's views on racism and his libertarian beliefs. Were they so extreme that he would not support one of the signature laws of American equality?

This is what opposition parties do. With Paul, the Democrats have ample material from his past. But rarely does the candidate help his enemies by providing a fresh moment to paint him as an extremist.

[snip]

Democrats are pressing Paul so hard for several reasons. It's not just that they want to win his seat. They want to make every Republican defend Paul. Democrats need African-American turnout to be high this election. Getting into a debate about civil rights would help that. But they'll also try to keep Republicans responding to Paul's other non-establishment views—such as the need to abolish much of the federal government, including the Federal Reserve and Social Security Administration.

This one from Politico can't help: Jim Bunning: Mitch McConnell should be more like Rand Paul‎.

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) said Thursday that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't always represent what's best for the Republican Party.

When asked whether McConnell's positions reflect what most Republicans would like to see out of their leader, Bunning said: "Not all the time." And he said that many Republicans would like to see McConnell and the Senate GOP act more like Rand Paul, whose libertarian views thrust him to a huge GOP primary victory Tuesday night.

[snip]

Bunning also blamed the "far left" editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal for the controversy that has flared over Paul's statements that he was concerned about the 1964 Civil Rights Act's regulation of private businesses.

Via Time's Joe Klein:

The latest--an update from Michael Scherer's smart post below--is that Rand Paul is now saying that he regrets the appearance with Rachel Maddow, not the ridiculous statements he made in favor of a private business's ability to discriminate according to race. I suspect that this will be the first of many such disasters for the Tea Party libertarians. They are about to find themselves faced with actual political rivals who will be more than happy to expose the utopian foolishness of their ideology. This will be a rare moment of public education for an electorate that doesn't pay sufficient attention to even the most important aspects of democracy.

If Democrats play their cards right, by November most Americans will know that Medicare is government health care, that social security is a government pension service, that all the bank bailout money either has been paid back or will be covered by a modest tax on too-big-to-fail banks, that the Obama stimulus package mostly consisted of tax cuts for them and support for necessary local government functions like schools and cops--and that the jobs-creating aspects of the stimulus package have been remarkably free of corruption.

Updates to follow....I'm certain of it.

UPDATE I:

Via TPM: Paul Has Been Guest Of Conspiracy Theorist Shock Jock Alex Jones (VIDEO)

Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul has been a guest on the show of wacky conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones multiple times in the past couple years.

For Jones, who runs the site Infowars.com and broadcasts his eponymous radio show out of Austin, 9/11 trutherism is only the beginning. He regularly devotes his show to investigating the Bilderberg Group, the "rise of FEMA," the Bohemian Grove, how to fight the New World Order, etc.

The ideologies of Rand Paul and Jones overlap when it come to areas like the Fed and the putative assault on U.S. sovereignty by international institutions (or, as Jones would say, "totalitarian world government"). Paul appeared on Jones' show at least three times in 2009.

see the video...

Via David Corn: Rand Paul and His 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Friend

Paul, like his father Ron (the libertarian Republican congressman), fancies himself a strict constitutionalist opposed to globalists and what he and others in the so-called "Patriot movement" call the New World Order. And this view of politics has led Paul to keep unusual company—such as his appearances on the radio show of Alex Jones, an anti-government conspiracy theorist and one of the more prominent proponents of the idea that the Bush administration was complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

Jones, who sees big government conspiracies elsewhere, as well, has been an enthusiastic supporter of both Ron and Rand Paul. Both men have appeared on his show, which, of course, doesn't mean they endorse his 9/11 views and other opinions. (Last December, Rand Paul's campaign communications director, Chris Hightower, resigned after a blogger exposed Hightower as an anti-Christian who believed that the US government was responsible for 9/11. The Paul campaign, asked by a local newspaper, if Paul agreed with Hightower on 9/11, said it was a "complicated situation" with "truth on both sides.") But Rand Paul has shown sympathy for Jones' overall view of a world of global conspiracies, and he has expressed support for some of Jones' unconventional ideas.

During a July 23, 2009 show, Jones, decrying the Wall Street bailout, asked Paul, "This isn't really socialism….Isn't this more akin to fascism?" Paul replied, "You're exactly right." Later on the show, while Jones was denouncing cap-and-trade legislation (which he says could lead to "toilet paper taxes") and calling for investigating Al Gore, Paul noted that should the climate bill become law, "we will have an army of armed EPA agents--thousands of them." These EPA troopers, according to Paul, would be free to burst into homes and apartments to determine if they were meeting energy-efficiency standards.

UPDATE II:

Here's some of the bigger headline from the rest of today involving the gift that keeps on giving, Rand Paul:

Via TPM:
Rand Paul: Economic Collapse Could Lead To 'A Hitler' Coming To Power

Rand Paul warned last year that a worsening economy could lead to "a Hitler" coming to power in the U.S.

During an August 2009 speech at a "machine gun shoot" in Knob Creek, Kentucky, the GOP Senate candidate -- last seen walking back his opposition to a key piece of the Civil Rights Act -- declared that "we are on the precipice of an economic calamity", and asked: "What happens if the entire dollars collapses because we have so much debt?"

A little later in the speech, he offered an answer:

If we get economic calamity even worse than we have now, you will lose your rights. And we have to be vigilant and watch.

What happened in Germany, when the Weimar Republic printed up so much money and you carry it around in wheelbarrows? There was a collapse, and they actually voted in a Hitler. You could get something like that in our country if we're not careful and vigilant.

Watch the video...
Also via TPM:
Rand Paul In '08: Beware The NAFTA Superhighway! (VIDEO)
Campaigning for his father in Montana back in 2008, Rand Paul spoke out against the NAFTA Superhighway, encouraging Congress to stop the mythical project that would connect Mexico, the U.S., and Canada and, critics say, deal a fatal blow to American sovereignty. Long a bugaboo on some segments of the Right, the NAFTA Superhighway does not actually exist.

"It's gonna go up through Texas, I guess, all the way to Montana," said Paul, at an event in Bozeman. "So, it's a real thing, and when you talk about it, the thing you just have to be aware of is that, if you talk about it like it's a conspiracy, they'll paint you as a nut."

As was amply documented by The Nation a few years back, "There's no such thing as a proposed NAFTA Superhighway." It represents, Newsweek put it, "a strange stew of fact and fiction, fired by paranoia" that was popularized by Jerome Corsi, the man who spearheaded the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry in 2004.

Watch the video...

Via Think Progress: Paul Calls White House Pressure On BP ‘Un-American,’ Says That ‘Sometimes Accidents Happen’

In an interview on ABC News’ Good Morning America today, host George Stephanopoulos pressed GOP Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul on “how far” he would “push” his anti-government views. Playing a clip of Paul telling Fox Business that he wants to “get rid of regulation” and “get the EPA out of our coal business down,” Stephanopoulos asked if Paul believed “the EPA should not be allowed to tell oil companies they can’t use certain chemicals to enforce safety regulations on that rig out there?” “No,” replied Paul, saying that he was referring to the EPA’s effort to regulate carbon emissions.

When Stephanopoulos followed up with a question about getting “rid of the EPA,” Paul defended BP’s response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last month and attacked the Obama administration’s crackdown on the oil giant as “really un-American“:

Watch the video....

Via Bob Cesca, who referring to the Stephanopoulos interview just above: Wow. Rand Paul Is Insane.

Apart from being outrageously wrong, this latest news from Rand Paul verifies that he's either suffering from an epic meltdown or he's just plain crazy.

Accidents happen? The CEO of BP didn't stub his toe on the coffee table. BP has successfully dumped tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, destroying both the environment and American jobs. And I'm fairly certain that they delayed plugging the leak in order to find a way to continue harvesting the oil.

So in addition to opposing a crucial section of the Civil Rights Act this week, Rand Paul is also defending BP? Unbelievable. Not surprisingly, Kentucky Republicans will love him for both.

Via Daily Kos: Rand Paul on Miner deaths: "accidents happen"

From the WaPo:

On the oil spill, Paul, a libertarian and tea party favorite, said he had heard nothing from BP indicating it wouldn't pay for the spill that threatens devastating environmental damage along the Gulf of Mexico coast.

"And I think it's part of this sort of blame-game society in the sense that it's always got to be somebody's fault instead of the fact that maybe sometimes accidents happen," Paul said.


The Senate candidate also referred to a Kentucky coal mine accident that killed two men, saying he had met with the families and he admired the coal miners' courage.

"We had a mining accident that was very tragic. ... Then we come in and it's always someone's fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen," he said.

UPDATE III:

Let's end today's post with link to a look back at Rand Pauls debut week, compiled nicely by TPM's Evan McMorris-Santoro:

Rand Paul And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week. Check it out.

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