The stupidity of Rand Paul

Rand Paul: Looney tunes (AP)

Kentucky Senatorial wannabe Rand Paul showcased his ignorance of the state he wants to represent as well as its history by flunking a simple test some weeks ago  on the history of “bloody Harlan County” and its meaning to the struggle of coal miners in that state.

When asked by Details magazine about the significance of Harlan and its role in the epic labor battles between coal miners and predatory mining companies Paul first responded that he thought the town was “famous for something” before admitting he didn’t know what it was.

When an aide tried to save Paul from his own ignorance, the Tea Party poster boy said “Maybe the feuding,” referring to the legendary Hatfields and McCoys family feud before adding that “the Hatfields and McCoys were more up toward West Virginia though.”

Then he offers that nearby Hazard, Kentucky, was the model for the TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The Dukes of Hazzard was set in Georgia, not Kentucky, and spelled differently.

And this is not the only example of Paul’s ignorance about Kentucky. Notes Ben Smith of Politico:

In talking to both Republicans and Democrats at Fancy Farm, I found bipartisan wonder at just how foreign Rand Paul is to Kentucky’s treasured cultural and political traditions. He’s much more interested in, and comfortable with, discussing 20,000-foot national issues than his own state. Given the environment this year, Paul’s unfamilarity with the state may not matter — but it has the Kentucky political class buzzing.

The most striking example may have been the lede in the Details mag profile of Paul in which he was uncertain about why the town of Harlan — home to epic labor battles — was famous and suggested wrongly to the reporter that the nearby town of Hazard was the model for the fictional “Dukes of Hazzard.”

Now, Paul has offered up another doozy by claiming yesterday on Sean Hannity’s radio show that he was worried about being pelted with beer at Fancy Farm.  The problem with this claim: The picnic is put on by a Catholic parish and no alcohol is served.  And, in fact, the country where it’s held is dry.

This guy wants to be a United States Senator?  This is one of the candidates that the Tea Party “movement” points to as an example of its self-claimed — and illusionary — attempt to bring sanity to government?

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area we call the Twilight Zone.

(Edited on Aug. 18)

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The “Cheney has no pulse” Sermon

I was tempted to add “breaking”,  but, given his behavior over the decades, a lack of pulse seems to be the norm, not the exception.

Anyway, Cheney had massive heart surgery last week. Three points:

1. He apparently had some heart tissue remaining in his chest cavity prior to his most recent trouble.

2. His treatment involved new, TEMPORARY technology that uses an impeller to bypass his heart completely. He has no pulse.

3. His plans to run for president will find him in a super sophisticated, Star Trek like powered chair, that follows his every command, mimic’ing critical body functions, perhaps even supplementing his brain with  Information gathered by the NSA.

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1798 – the Sedition Act makes it a crime to make malicious statements against the US government.

2003 – Under Patriot Act II, The government would no longer disclose the identity of anyone, including US citizens, detained in connection with a terror investigation – until criminal charges are filed, no matter how long it takes.

COINCIDENCE? I think NOT!

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FROM THE CHURCH OF INEFFABLE STUPIDITY:

A. Cheney’s Got A Pump

30 some years following his first heart attack, some new technology was installed in Dick Cheney’s chest, effectively bypassing his entire heart. The impeller blades, spinning at several thousand RPM, now move what purports to be human blood throughout his body and brain, without any beat at all.

Somehow that seems fitting.

When I was in the third grade, I had an epiphany. I clearly remember the circumstances. Each day, the school I attended would barricade the street in front, at either end of the block, giving us an asphalt playground after lunch.  One day, some “moran” decided to avoid the barricades, and drive her car on that street. A friend of mine was going after a ball, and bam, the next instant, she was laying on the street, out cold. Blood flowed from her face. Most kids were laughing, mainly because her undies were visible to all. But, in the span of a pico-second, I switched places with her, trying to see what she was feeling. I sensed the pain, the agony, the fear, and even more the embarrassment because so many students were pointing and laughing. As I said, it was an epiphany.

From that moment, I frequently found myself thinking about how others felt and how they sensed issues and processed information. It was weird, because for years to come, no one else my age would do that. It even freaked out the parental units. Even today, I am constantly surprised that others deliberately ignore, or are incapable of putting themselves in other people’s shoes.

Being a male of 53 young years, being happily involved with Honey, and doing a job that involves much pain, strife, and other people’s troubles, I still shed tears when I see injuries, emotional pain, death or the suffering of animals.  Yet, either through major mental callouses, regression of my emotional condition, or perhaps, a higher evolution of it, I feel absolutely nothing when it comes to Dick Cheney.

If he felt pain, I would not care. If he felt fear of his upcoming demise, I would ignore it. If he was regretful of all the death and destruction he personally caused to this country, this world, and to humanity’s future, I would find myself in utter disbelief, greeting his regretful words with sneering curmudgeonly sarcasm, and salted with asides containing many four letter words.

Could it be that I suffer from an Empathy Deficit Disorder? Or could my internal mechanism suffer such disgust and revulsion about Cheney and some of his spawn, that empathy simply has no place when the topic is Cheney?

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B. Financial Regulation  – The Little Train that Couldn’t

Amazingly, Senator Reid found 60 votes for a pathetic shadow of a bill, one which makes most corrupt financial institutions on Wall jump for joy.

Of course, the shadow of reform has not kept the GOP house puppies quiet. Already, they seek its repeal, right after they repeal Health Insurance  Reform.

President Obama will sign this bill into law early next week. I suggest he use either invisible ink, or a gray tone so slight, so inconsequential, that future presidential historians will wonder what all the fuss was about.  Pyrrhic victory, indeed.

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C. Sarah’s Got a PAC

That which we call a  hippo-crite, by any other name would smell as rat-tish.

“No word yet on wardrobe costs, but Politico is reporting that Sarah Palin’s political action committee, Sarah PAC, garnered more in fund-raising cash, $866,000, in the second quarter of 2010 than it had in any three-month period since Sarah Barracuda formed the PAC in early 2009. Sarah PAC had revved up its fund-raising efforts as of late. Its expenditures were nearly double those of previous quarters, and were used to mostly to bolster her base via list-building and direct-email campaigns. The committee also contributed more than it ever had in campaign donations to other candidates, a cool $87,500. Her various national speaking engagements and her requisite $17,000 private jet bumped up her travel costs as well. This sophistication is a marked shift from her PAC’s previous m.o., and, as Politico speculates, is more akin to that of a political figure gearing up for a Presidential bid.”

The Daily Beast took a look into her investments in other races. Tea Baggers, ultra conservatives, and conservative christian types are happy, giddy recipients of her rather small largesse.

Despite Bible Spice’s verbal, if not financial,  support of Tea Baggers across our country,  the shine is definitely off. Candidates across the country find themselves failing, falling, faltering, and floundering.  Even Caribou Barbie can’t help.

The future of the Tea Baggers, perhaps even the GOP’s future (at least in its current ultra-conservative, “Just Say No,”  christian based, existence) really revolves on two November races, perhaps three. If Democrats win two, or all three of these races, today’s GOP will have a lot of soul searching to do. Even the cheapest meat thermometer will tell you that they are toast.

Sharron Angle (somewhat ill in NV)
Harry Reid may be no slouch.  I often rag on him for failing to stand up to and pressure DINOs and the 2-3 potentially moderate people in the GOP. But, he is in the middle of this cultural war, and so far, he appears to be winning. At least within the Bloatway.

Back in Nevada? Who knows?

The best thing that could happen to Reid’s campaign is that Angle keeps opening her mouth. Unless all that nuclear testing has created some strange hallucinogenic bacteria to thrive in Nevada’s water supply, the chances that an entire state has collectively lost its mind, and would even consider a nutcase like Angle is simply unthinkable.

Yet, poll numbers are showing a tight race, which itself is a somewhat disturbing idea. A future Senator “41 to Angle” would have one good result – once America saw her in action, not one other Tea Bagger would ever come close to winning any other election. We may be a strange country, but we are not suicidal.

Rand Paul (quite ill in KY)

Ayn’s illegitimate son is even weirder than Angle. Just how weird he is may be impossible to fathom. His positions are so far out of the mainstream, that even conservative GOPers have been privately counseling him to shut up and sit down. It won’t last. The debate he had against his democratic opponent did not go well, and with his libertarian lobotomized mindset, combined with his contention that he is on a crusade, means that we will have Paul to kick around until November.

We just hope that this red state goes purple – for the health and future of our country, that is.

Mark Kirk (ill)

Captain Kirk has been caught in so many lies, that even the Federation would expel him if they had the chance. If he were a Democrat, his serial lying would have been the fodder for months of political hack reporting, talk show hosts, and the source of bets in Vegas, wondering when he would withdraw. Luckily, MSM and others have a double standard when it comes to blatant misbehavior and lying by GOPers. (Vitter? Gingrich? Delay? Issa? McCain? The list is too long.)  Even though MSM tries its best to protect and coddle this Romulan agent, there is some chance that he will prevail. What most Ill in noisyans don’t know or don’t remember, is just how ultra-conservative he is. The neocons would have a stalwart soldier in the senate, should he win.

Right now, the Democrat is losing the money war. As Huffpo reports,

On May 31, footage surfaced of his opponent, Republican Mark Kirk, making the false claim that he won the Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year Award, an award that doesn’t exist. Kirk spent much of the next month weathering a long string of revelations about exaggerations and embellishments of all kinds on his resume.

But despite the lambasting Kirk took in the media, the one thing in politics that talks louder than pundits is money–and the money had harsh words for the Giannoulias campaign this past quarter.

In the fundraising period from April 1 to June 30, Alexi Giannoulias took in just over $900,000, and he ended the period with over $1 million in hand. These numbers pale in comparison to Kirk’s take, $2.3 million during the quarter, and his cash on hand, $3.9 million.

Alexi, come on. Get a move on it. How many openings can you expect even from a serial liar like Captain Kirk? Especially since he put his media deflector screens up, and hides from any reporter. Seriously, Alexi, his engines can’t take anymore.

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D. Argentina insults God

Watch for America’s doltish conservative preacher crowd to start attacking all things Argentinian. And no, the utter lack of a defense, the complete lack of a coaching plan, and the embarrassingly quick exit from the Whirled Cup has nothing to do with it.

Rather, Argentina voted to completely erase all laws against same sex marriage. What seems to natural, so logical to them, remains an alien notion to much of America. Luckily, this appears to be our Christian Reich’s last gasp, and over time, this issue will disappear from our political framework. Just how many hetero marriages in America have been damaged or destroyed by Mass’ gay marriage legislation? One?  None? Any one at all? How a loving couple in Vermont can somehow destroy a South Carolina couple’s marriage, simply because both happen to be the same sex has always escaped me.

Consider this: Argentina’s life expectancy is 75.38 and rising. US has 78.4 and is stagnant or falling.   Argentina spends 1/4 per capita of what the US spends on health care. Argentina’s health care infrastructure is improving. Ours? not so much.

And most of all, Argentina has fantastic soccer fans, especially the female ones who make great offers.

We have Glenn Beck.

sigh.

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Tea Party using oil spill to advance agenda

Tea Party centerfold Sarah Palin: Mining a tragedy (AP)

A tea party favorite running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky says President Barack Obama is using the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to advance an energy tax.

While Democrats denounce BP for the spill, a Republican congressman from Texas accuses the White House of performing a $20 billion “shakedown” by pushing the company to create a compensation fund for spill victims. Rep. Joe Barton also apologizes to BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward at a Capitol hearing, although he is later pressured by GOP leaders to apologize for his apology.

In the two months since BP’s underwater well ruptured and started belching millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf, many conservatives have expressed fears that Obama and his allies will use the spill to make government bigger and intrude more into private enterprise.

Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky said Friday that he was disturbed by Obama’s promise to find out “whose ass to kick.”

“I’ll move past the obvious problem with the appropriateness of the comment to just say this: Look in the mirror Mr. President,” Paul said in a statement. “This crisis has been a case study in failure to lead, failure to act, and using a crisis to advance your own agenda rather than solve the problem.”

Erin Ryan, a tea party activist in Redding, Calif., said Barton was correct to use the word “shakedown.”

“Wow,” Ryan said. “Somebody finally said it out loud?”

Conservative talk show host Mark Williams, chairman of the California-based Tea Party Express, said the White House went too far by pressuring BP to create the fund while the Justice Department is conducting criminal and civil probes of the spill.

“I’m accustomed to mobsters behaving that way, I’m just not accustomed to it from the president, especially when he’s standing there with the attorney general threatening legal action,” Williams said. “Where I come from, they call it extortion.”

Even in the Gulf states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, where people’s daily lives are affected by beach closures, tar balls and the endangerment of the seafood and tourism industries, some say they’re not angry at BP.

“I think BP is being extremely generous and they should be commended for that. They’re going above and beyond, as far as I’m concerned,” said retired civil servant and tea party organizer Charlie Purchner of Long Beach, Miss., where booms are floating less than a mile offshore in case oil approaches.

Mississippi’s Republican governor, Haley Barbour, said he expects BP to pay all legitimate claims but he believes making the company set aside $5 billion a year over four years could hurt BP and, ultimately, the coastal residents and businesses who are supposed to be compensated for losses.

“If they take a huge amount of money and put it in an escrow account so they can’t use it to drill oil wells and produce revenue, are they going to be able to pay us?” Barbour said.

Donn Janes, an independent running for Congress on a tea party platform in Tennessee, said he considers the Obama administration to be “anti-oil,” but doesn’t think BP is being mistreated.

“I don’t see that as shakedown on big business,” Janes said. “BP is definitely not blameless in this — they’re the cause.”

In Oklahoma, where oil and natural gas drive the state’s economy, tea party favorite Randy Brogdon, a Republican candidate for governor, said federal involvement in the BP disaster is only making the situation worse.

“This is a perfect example of why government should never be involved in the private sector,” said Brogdon, a state senator campaigning on limited federal government. “Government is not the solution. It’s the problem. The more government tries to get in and regulate the free market, the worse things become.”

Many conservatives believe, like Paul, that Obama is using the oil spill to push a climate change bill they believe will raise the cost of energy and kill jobs.

“Why the hell are you bringing up cap and trade and increased carbon taxes in the same breath as dealing with this emergency?” asked Mark Falzon, who’s active in three New Jersey tea party groups and is state coordinator for the national Tea Party Patriots.

Seattle blogger and tea party activist Keli Carender said Obama should focus on controlling and cleaning up the oil spill by marshaling the National Guard and other federal resources to the Gulf Coast.

“Nobody’s asking him to close the hole. We understand he doesn’t have a secret weapon, like the presidential lock box that he could unleash,” Carender said. “But there are many things that he could do.”

Trent Humphries, co-founder of a tea party group in Tucson, Ariz., said Obama has spent too much time criticizing BP and not enough using the government’s vast resources to stop the leaking oil.

“Goodness knows they deserve it, but bashing BP is not a solution to this problem,” Humphries said.

Republicans and tea partiers aren’t alone in being wary about the federal response to the oil disaster. Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat and early Obama supporter, said he’s concerned the Gulf spill could prompt an overreaction from federal regulators. Wyoming is among the top states in natural gas and oil production and leads in coal production.

Underwater drilling is occurring at depths that exceed technological capabilities, Freudenthal said. “It’s one thing to drill at 300 feet, it’s quite another to drill at 5,000.”

Freudenthal said he doesn’t want the federal government to impose strict drilling regulations that would hurt Wyoming: “We’ve kind of got it figured out here on land.”

____

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Roger Alford in Frankfort, Ky.; Robin Hindery in Sacramento, Calif.; Michael R. Blood in Los Angeles; Erik Schelzig in Nashville, Tenn.; Geoff Mulvihill in Philadelphia; Sean Murphy in Oklahoma City; Curt Woodward in Olympia., Wash.; Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix; and Ben Neary, in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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Rand Paul’s hyprocrisy on Medicare

Rand Paul: Says one thing, does another (AP)

Kentucky GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul says he opposes federal handouts, but the eye doctor takes government payments for treating Medicare and Medicaid patients.

The dichotomy has drawn taunts of hypocrisy from his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway who on Tuesday called on Paul to quit “stonewalling” and release his Medicare billing records.

“When it comes to government spending that benefits Paul, suddenly deficits don’t matter,” Conway’s campaign said in a release this week.

Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton defended Paul’s acceptance of Medicare and Medicaid payments, saying that to shun the two health care programs would “penalize his older patients or his poor patients.”

Paul said he sees patients who rely on the government programs, private insurance or who pay for their own care.

“I don’t discriminate in my practice, and though I’d prefer to have less government intervention in … medicine, I put my patients first in this matter,” the Republican said. “My medical practice has never been about any ideology or running for office.”

His campaign has said about half of Paul’s medical income in Bowling Green has come from Medicare and Medicaid payments — which it says is in line with the average for eye doctors around the country.

Since 2005, Paul has received slightly more than $130,000 in Medicaid funds, about one-third of the amount he billed the program, according to the Kentucky cabinet that administers the state-federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

On the campaign trail, Paul says the nation’s biggest problem is its rising debt and calls for deep spending cuts. He condemns federal earmarks and other spending that he deems excessive.

Asked how the libertarian-leaning Paul justifies his hawkish stand on the deficit while accepting federal payments as a doctor, Benton replied, “He’s not a career politician that has made every single move and calculation in his life or his medical practice based on PR purposes for runs for future office.”

Paul’s campaign has steadfastly refused to disclose his Medicare payments, despite ongoing pressure from the Conway campaign.

“That’s just not something we having lying around the office,” Benton said. “That’s a pretty difficult thing to pull together.”

Paul, a favorite of the tea party movement, once referred to Medicare as “socialized medicine,” but has since toned down his rhetoric about the health insurance program for seniors.

Paul opposes cutting benefits for current Medicare recipients, Benton said.

“We’re going to need to make some other tough choices about how we fix the insolvency problem,” he said. “But cutting benefits for current recipients or near recipients would be immoral.”

Benton said Paul would support cutting Medicare reimbursement payments to physicians as part of sweeping cuts in federal spending, but “to single out doctors would be unfair.”

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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Rand Paul goes after the gun vote

Senate wannabe Rand Paul: Praise the Lord and pass the ammo (AP)

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul reached out to gun advocates on Saturday, trying to shore up support from a major voting bloc in Kentucky also being courted by his Democratic opponent.

The Bowling Green eye doctor whose campaign Web site sports footage of him blasting away with an automatic rifle signed autographs and glad-handed with well wishers at a Louisville gun show. It’s not an unusual venue for Paul, who attended similar events during his GOP primary race.

“I’m a proud defender of the Second Amendment,” Paul, a member of the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America, told gun advocates Saturday. “We must be ever vigilant of our Second Amendment Rights.”

Murray Republican Lewis Drake worked his way through a throng to encourage Paul, son of former Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, to continue his candor on the issues.

“I want honesty,” Drake said. “Our country is in a terrible fix, and trying to find out the truth is hard to do. That’s what I like about Rand Paul. He tells it like it is.”

Some of Paul’s recent statements, however, had sparked widespread anger, causing him to retreat from the national scene for nearly two weeks. He had suggested that government shouldn’t require private businesses to serve minorities. He defended the oil company blamed for the Gulf oil spill. And he told a Russian TV station that babies of illegal immigrants shouldn’t automatically receive U.S. citizenship.

Paul addressed none of those issues on Saturday, instead putting the focus on gun rights.

Paul faces Democrat Jack Conway in the November general election in Kentucky, where the NRA routinely gets involved.

Conway, the state’s attorney general, also is vying for the NRA endorsement, said campaign spokeswoman Allison Haley.

“Jack Conway is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and gun owners’ rights,” Haley said, noting that the group has given Conway an “A” rating for his record on gun issues.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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Rand Paul breaks copyright law with fundraising video

Rand Paul: Laws? We don't need no stinkin' laws

Right-wing Republican Senatorial Candidate Rand Paul of Kentucky feels businesses should have a right to ignore the law and discriminate against minorities and gays if they want and he also apparently feels his campaign can ignore copyright law if it wants.

An attorney for the Canadian rock band Rush sent Paul’s campaign a “cease and desist” letter this week for using using the group’s music without permission.

The Paul campaign used a Rush song in a fund raising video and also at a rally in Kentucky.

Rush attorney Robert Farmer of Toronto says the band’s objection to use of the video is purely a copyright issue and not a political one.

Paul’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, calls it a “non issue.”

Tell that to those who have paid fines for breaking federal copyright laws.

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Rand Paul plans to dump his campaign staff

Rand Paul: Tough times in the big leagues (AP)

It’s the oldest ploy in politics. When a candidate screws up, blame the staff and start firing people.

Rand Paul, the Tea Party darling that upset the political establishment to win the Kentucky GOP Senatorial nomination and then upset most everyone else with off-the-wall comments about racial segregation, announced Tuesday he’s dumping his staff of political novices and volunteers and turning to more established political pros.

Palul said he’s planning a campaign staff shakeup but would not elaborate on the details.

Campaign manager David Adams, a Republican blogger before entering the heady world of statewide politics, will most likely be demoted and a longtime aide to Paul’s father, Jesse Benton, appears to be taking a more active role in the campaign.

Paul stuck his foot in his mouth right after his primary win by telling MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that he believes restaurants should have the right to discriminate if they wanted — a reflection of some of the more extreme views of the libertarian philosophy that his Father, Texas Congressman and failed Presidential contender Ron Paul, follows.

Paul, a doctor, appeared in hospital scrubs while addressing a lunch meeting of the Bowling Green Lions Club Tuesday and echoed the words of Charles Dickens in saying the past week “was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

But political pros say the worst is yet to come for Rand Paul.

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Rand Paul runs and hides from ‘Meet the Press’

Rand Paul: Running away from his past

Kentucky Republican Senatorial candidate Rand Paul, the shoot-from-the-lip embarrassment for the GOP, decided the heat was too great from recent off-the-wall comments and skipped a scheduled appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

Paul joined black activist Louis Farrakham and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan as the guests WHO pulled out of an appearance on the top rated Sunday morning news show.

After upsetting the GOP establishment with his win in the GOP Senatorial primary last week, Paul stuck his foot in his mouth and swallowed it with a serious of political statements ranging from supporting a restaurant’s right to discriminate against minorities and gays to calling the giant oil spill in the Gulf to just an “accident that happens.”

Paul’s misstatements has brought many of his extreme libertarian positions into public debate and the inexperienced candidate has decided to try and avoid future embarrassments.

“Rand did ‘Good Morning America,’ set the record straight, and now we’re done talking about it,” Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton said in a statement. “No more national interviews on the topic.”

Paul may be “done talking about it,” but the topic still dominated “Meet the Press” and other talk shows.

David Gregory, host of the show, said Paul found the national spotlight “a little too hot” over the past week.

On Fox News Sunday, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said “Rand Paul’s philosophy got in the way of reality.”

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Rand Paul’s verbal diarrhea adds to GOP heartburn

GOP loose cannon Rand Paul (AP)

Even as national Republican officials seek ways to limit damage from Rand Paul’s unorthodox remarks, the Kentucky Senate nominee raised more eyebrows Friday by defending the oil company blamed for the Gulf oil spill.

Those comments, on top of Paul’s earlier suggestion that businesses should have the right to turn away racial minorities, sent gleeful Democrats into full attack mode while top Republicans pondered how to calm things down.

It’s a delicate issue. The Republican establishment spurned Paul and supported his opponent, Trey Grayson, the hand-picked choice of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Paul, a favorite of the tea party movement, walloped Grayson in Tuesday’s primary. Now, chastened GOP leaders are dealing with a novice and outsider who, feeling his oats, has expressed his robust libertarian views in a series of interviews that have caused political pros to wince.

High-ranking Republicans from Washington have quietly reached out to Paul and his aides, trying to start healing the breach and to nudge him toward greater campaign discipline, said three GOP operatives close to the situation.

The three, who would speak only on background to avoid antagonizing Paul and his supporters, disagreed on how the initial exchanges have gone. A Washington-based Republican official, who has spoken with Paul’s campaign advisers, said the harsh national reaction to the nominee’s MSNBC interview on Wednesday “was like a wake-up call” to his inner circle.

“They know they messed up” by allowing liberal show host Rachel Maddow to draw out Paul’s thoughts on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the official said. Paul told Maddow he abhors racial discrimination, but he also suggested the federal government shouldn’t have the power to force restaurants to admit minorities against their will.

There were signs late Friday that Paul was getting the message. His campaign canceled his scheduled appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” accusing reporters of being obsessed with the civil rights flap.

“They just want to keep beating this same dead horse,” said campaign manager David Adams. “We’re finished talking about that.”

Whether Paul will embrace other advice from outsiders is unclear. A well-connected Republican official, based in Kentucky, said the nominee is extremely self-confident and may resist the idea of bringing more experienced and mainstream GOP strategists into his circle.

“There’s lots of chatter, ‘we’ve got to get this guy some help,'” the official said, adding that he’s not convinced Paul realizes the danger of saying yes to so many interview requests.

Washington-based Republican strategists hope to strike a balance. They’d like to persuade Paul to be more selective and disciplined in his remarks but not lose the freshness and candor that appeal to voters seeking a change in Washington.

Paul, an eye doctor and son of libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill Friday, calling it overtly antibusiness.

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,'” he said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.”

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told CNN on May 2: “Our job basically is to keep the boot on the neck of British Petroleum.”

Other Republicans have criticized the government’s handling of the oil spill. But few have been so vocal in defending BP, the company responsible for the deep well and offshore rig that exploded last month, killing 11 workers and spewing millions of gallons of oil.

Paul said BP has agreed to pay the costs of the cleanup and damage. “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,” he told ABC.

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

“We had a mining accident that was very tragic,” Paul said. “Then we come in and it’s always someone’s fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.”

Mine safety advocate Tony Oppegard said it’s premature to make such comments because the federal investigation of the Dotiki mine cave-in is not finished. “It’s easy for him to say we look for someone to blame,” Oppegard said, “but the fact is, this company had a horrible safety record.”

Democratic groups, meanwhile, are issuing almost nonstop streams of Paul-bashing video clips, e-mails and statements. Paul is not just a Kentucky phenomenon, they contend, taunting Republican senators in Gulf coast states to say whether they agree with his comments about BP.

“Republicans have eagerly tried to claim the energy of the tea party, and with that — as exemplified by Rand Paul — they’ll have to answer for a number of positions outside the mainstream,” said Hari Sevugan, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee.

Citing a Kentucky poll showing Paul with a big lead over Democratic Senate nominee Jack Conway, several Republican officials said there’s sufficient time to bring more discipline and discretion to the newcomer’s campaign. A key step will occur Saturday, when McConnell, Paul and other state GOP officials meet privately and in public at a long-scheduled postelection “unity” event in Frankfort.

___

Associated Press writers Roger Alford in Kentucky and Michele Salcedo in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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The Tea Party pot boils over

Rand Paul: Don't look now but the truth is closing in (Reuters)

An old proverb states: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.”

The Tea Party cult got its wish this week with the election of Rand Paul — son of the sometimes Republican, sometimes libertarian, always controversial Ron Paul — to the Republican Senatorial nomination in Kentucky.

Now the Tea Party pot is boiling over and scalding anyone standing too close.

Like his father and many libertarians, Rand Paul is an extremist, driven by an unrealistic belief that government must be driven from nearly all areas of life. While government is too pervasive in modern American life, it also is a necessary evil in a democratic Republic. The problem cannot be solved by going to far in the other direction.

Rand Paul proves this point by saying that a private business like a restaurant should be allowed to discriminate against minorities, gays or anyone else they don’t like.

When asked about his stance right after his election, Paul again answered “yes” when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked if he still supported the right of a business to discriminate.

“It was stupid,” conservative Republican talk show host Joe Scarborough said today. “It makes us wonder if Rand Paul is ready for prime time.”

Defenders to the mantra according to Rand Paul defend his actions by saying he makes it clear that he would not discriminate but defends the rights of others to do so.

This is a standard libertarian cop out. They claim that they are not racist but defend the rights of others to be so. By doing so, they condone racism in our midst and that — in my view — makes them just as racist as those they ignore.

Such passive racism is just as racist as those who don white sheets, burn crosses and terrorize minorities.

It also reinforces that belief that the Tea Party is driven, in part, by racism.

Writes Arian Camp0-Flores in Newsweek:

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.

Paul later told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he would have voted for the Civil Right Act but on screen he looked like a man with a gun to his head.

By condoning racism as an American right, Rand Paul is a racist.

So is his father.

For many years, Ron Paul’s newsletters — used primarily as a fundraising tool — were filled with racist diatribes. The elder Paul later claimed he didn’t write the pieces and didn’t even know such trash was being distributed in his name.

Ron Paul’s claims are hard to believe because while he has disowned the comments made in his name, a Nexis search of news articles plus transcripts of radio and television appearances has not uncovered a single apology for the racist comments.

Both Pauls offer a similar defense to past statements and misdeeds: It’s all the fault of a liberal media that they claim constantly misquotes and misinterprets their comments.

It’s a tired old excuse that Republicans have been using since the days of Spiro Agnew.

Didn’t work then. Won’t wash now.

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