Rand Paul

Republicans Flip Out After Rand Paul Treats Them The Same Way They’ve Treated Obama

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Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

POLITICUS USA

Getting a taste of their own medicine is not sitting well with Republicans.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has made some powerful enemies in the Republican Party and conservatives are taking note. It was bad enough when Paul accused Republicans of emboldening ISIS and called them “lap dogs for Obama.”

The last straw came as the Republican trolled national security, leaving the nation vulnerable so that he could fundraise for his 2016 presidential campaign by pontificating from on high Smug Mountain.

Jim Geraghty writing in the conservative National Review today took Paul to task for accusing other Republicans of wanting a terrorist attack on the US so they can blame Paul:

Say the 2016 Republican presidential primary comes down to Rand Paul and… well, just about anybody else in the GOP field.

Don’t you think that a lot of Republicans will line up behind “Anybody Else”, compared to the senator who said: “People here in town think I’m making a huge mistake. Some of them, I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me.”

Sigh. Rand Paul seems to believe that Republicans hate this country so much they’d love to see it blown to bits just to prove him wrong. So yeah. Republicans are a lot of things, including reckless and irresponsible and out of touch and at times ridiculous — but I don’t believe for one second that they would like the country to be blown up due to their failure to govern just so they could blame their teenage son.

That’s just crazy. Paul’s narcissism flag was in full flight.

Rand’s antics have long wearied the sanes, but now even Republicans are annoyed. How dare Paul accuse them of things they accuse Obama of every day?

Just recently Republican Lindsey Graham accused Obama of hating Christians and loving Muslims (apparently it’s bad to love Muslims). They falsely accused Obama of lying and being guilty of worse than Watergate based on flimsy, faux evidence that was later revealed to be Republican-manufactured, with the help of a willing press. Of course all of this was to be expected by the party that let their Vice Presidential candidate accuse the then Senator of “Pallin’ around with terrorists” and not loving America “like we do.”

Mind you, the above quotes come from the party that likes to accuse Obama of the “politics of division”.

Poser Senator Rand Paul is catnip for the frothing Kenya, fake birth certificate, conspiracy-obsessed conservatives, in addition to appealing to bored, sheltered, suburban types who like to imagine themselves to be highly unique and edgy-interesting. Yes, it’s so unique to see naïve people falling for a shyster who sells them a load of rhetorical crap about “independence” that somehow always involves donating to him. SO NEW. Only Rand Paul cares about liberty. (*Snicker*) Everyone else is out to get you.

Rand Paul is the Republicans’ perpetual teenager-in-rebellion. The brawl between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the junior Senator from Kentucky continued on the Senate floor Monday with McConnell desperately blocking amendments from Paul and Paul finding petulant ways to get back at McConnell by blocking the Senate from speeding up the vote.

But somehow, teeny bits of reality penetrated the Galtian smog surrounding Paul so that he must have realized that everyone from his own party hated him. This would not do, for all of his talk about liberty, the teenager needs his parents. So he sort of walked back his latest accusation, attributing it to “hyperbole”. Because yes, hyperbole and hysteria and not watching your words and launching rhetorical grenades at people just because you disagree with them is totally leadership material. Or it is exactly how a teenager behaves when a parent explains that the garbage must be taken out or else it accumulates.

From the Hill:

“Sometimes, in the heat of battle, hyperbole can get the better of anyone, and that may be the problem there,” the Kentucky Republican said Monday on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom.”

“The point I was trying to make is, I think people do use fear to try to get us to give up our liberty.”

LOL. Rand Paul would never use fear to get a political outcome. I mean, he did, but it’s different when he does it. Because it’s for “LIBERTY”. Anyone who disagrees with him wants to kill everyone just to get even with him! Rand Paul hates haters.

Republicans opened the door to this kind of crazy “governance” with six years of conspiracy theories gone wrong. Now that they invited the vampire in, they can’t get him out. And like everyone else, they don’t like being on the receiving end of crazy.

Sarah Jones

10 things you need to know today: May 6, 2015

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1.The U.S. investigates ISIS claims it staged Texas attack
Skeptical U.S. investigators are looking into the Islamic State’s claim that it wasbehind the attack at a Texas cartoon contest featuring images mocking Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. The White House said it was too early to say whether ISIS really was involved in what would be its first strike in the U.S. Police shot and killed two men — Elton Simpson and his roommate Nadir Soofi — after they allegedly opened fire, wounding a security guard. A federal law enforcement agent said Simpson was under investigation before the attack.

Source: Reuters, Fox News

2.Mike Huckabee launches second White House bid
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee on Tuesday became the latest in a flurry of candidates to jump into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Huckabee, a former president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention, made a strong showing in his first White House bid, in 2008. On Tuesday, he jabbed at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, and GOP rivals such as Senators Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, saying he would be “funded and fueled not by the billionaires but by working people across America.”

Source: Bloomberg

3.Hillary Clinton backs citizenship path for undocumented immigrants
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday publicly backed establishing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States. “We can’t wait any longer for a path to full and equal citizenship,” she said at a Las Vegas high school. Seeking to draw a contrast between her view and that of rivals in the Republican party, the Democratic frontrunner said, “When they talk about legal status, that is code for second-class status.”

Source: USA Today

4.Investigators say Germanwings co-pilot rehearsed crash
French investigators reported Wednesday that the Germanwings co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing his airliner in the French Alps had entered crash settings on the plane’s previous flight in what appeared to be a rehearsal for the tragic fatal dive. Andreas Lubitz repeatedly set the altitude dial to 100 feet on a flight to Barcelona that ended normally, French safety agency BEA reported Wednesday. On the return flight to Dusseldorf, he allegedly locked the captain out of the cockpit and crashed, killing himself and 149 others.

Source: NBC News

5.Baltimore officer challenges prosecutor claim that Freddie Gray’s arrest was illegal
One of the six Baltimore police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death has filed court papers challenging prosecutors’ claim that Gray was falsely arrested. A lawyer for Officer Edward Nero, who has been charged with assault, misconduct, and false imprisonment, said Gray had an illegal knife, and challenged prosecutors to produce it. Baltimore City’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby filed the charges last week after receiving a police investigative report. She said the knife was legal under state law.

Source: Baltimore Sun

6.French lawmakers back bill likened to U.S. Patriot Act
The lower house of French parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would broaden the government’s spy powers. The bill, which is expected to easily pass in the Senate, was drafted days after gunmen killed 17 people in separate attacks — including one on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The so-called French Patriot Act would let intelligence agencies tap phones and monitor email accounts without a judge’s permission. Critics say it it is an unnecessary encroachment on liberty.

Source: The New York Times, AFP

7.Four sentenced to death for mob killing in Afghanistan
An Afghan court on Wednesday sentenced four men to death for participating in the March mob killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda who was wrongly suspected of burning a copy of the Koran. Forty-nine people, including 19 police officers, were tried for their alleged roles in the fatal beating, which caused widespread anger and spurred calls for greater women’s rights in Afghanistan. Eight others were convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison. Charges were dropped against 18, and the rest will be sentenced Sunday.

Source: The Associated Press

8.California water regulators adopt mandatory conservation rules
California’s State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday approved the state’s first rules for mandatory water conservation as the state struggles with an historic drought that is entering its fourth year. The emergency regulations require communities to slash water use by as much as 36 percent. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) ordered the cutbacks, which hit urban users hardest while giving broad exemptions to the state’s giant agricultural sector, even though it accounts for 80 percent of the state’s water use.

Source: Reuters

9. Loretta Lynch meets with Freddie Gray’s family and police in Baltimore
Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Baltimore on Tuesday, saying she was considering a request from City Council President Jack Young for a civil rights investigation into the city’s police department after the death of Freddie Gray. He suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody. Lynch met with Gray’s family, protesters, city officials, police, and religious leaders. Calm has returned to the city following protests and riots, but Lynch said tensions between residents and police remain.

Source: Politico, The Associated Press

10.Federal government approves ferry service to Cuba
The Obama administration on Tuesday granted licenses to at least four companies to offer ferry service between Florida and Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years. “I’m very excited, because this is a historical event in U.S.-Cuba relations,” said Leonard Moecklin Sr., managing partner of one of the companies, Havana Ferry. The move is part of an effort, announced by President Obama in December, to restore diplomatic relations between the U.S. and its former Cold War antagonist.

Source: Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, The Wall Street Journal

Rand Paul Tries to Prove He’s Not a Racist By Making Jokes About Baltimore Protests

Government Shutdown Enters Second Week

Sen. Rand Paul – Attribution: none

PoliticusUSA

Rand Paul’s (R-KY) public relations tour is meant, in part, to assuage the narrative that he’s a racist. This narrative is based on things like Paul being against Civil Rights and his knowingly hiring a secessionist who cheered the assassination of President Lincoln. So he found himself joking on the radio Tuesday morning that his train went through Baltimore and he’s glad it didn’t stop.

Being a Republican, Paul knows he can fix erase the facts surrounding the narrative that he’s a racist with some sweet talk, without changing a thing about his policies. If he just tells black people he is not a racist, they will believe.

This explains why the Republican presidential candidate went on the Laura Ingraham show Tuesday and cracked wise about the protests in Baltimore and said it was not appropriate to discuss the “root cause” of the protests at this time, and then blamed the “lack of fathers and lack of moral code” for the protests (that’s Southern Republicans for “black people”, FYI):

Audio from Media Matters via TPM:

Paul said:

I don’t know if there is an answer from the federal government. It obviously. It’s a local problem primarily, but you have to have enough show of security, enough show of a police force to deter the kind of action. I think once it happens it sort of spirals out of control, and it’s depressing. It’s sad. It’s scary. I came through the train on Baltimore last night (sic). I’m glad the train didn’t stop. (laughter).

But the thing is, is that really, there are so many things that we can talk about that I think it’s something we talk about not in the immediate aftermath, but over time. You know, the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in society, and this isn’t just a racial thing.

It goes across racial boundaries, but we do have problems in our country and you see this and you that we’re close to the tipping point and closer to the tipping point than many think, so there are a lot of things that can be done, but there can be no excuse for the behavior.

Lest anyone get the idea that Paul is being a racist, he assured Ingraham, “This isn’t just a racial thing.”

OH. Just “lack of fathers” and “morals”, which is how Republicans describe African American families. Also known in GOP circles as “welfare moms”. Yes, plenty of conservatives have already blamed welfare for the riots, which makes no sense if they want to blame black people because there are more southern rural whites on welfare but whatever. We can’t keep running after facts in a Republican narrative or we’ll get motion sickness.

What Rand assures us is that we must not discuss the root cause of the protests, which is the entire purpose of protests, unless we were to blame the lack of fathers. In that case, we should talk away.

Thus we get to: It’s single moms’ faults that police are killing black men. This Paul feels is the appropriate discussion to have rather than discuss police violence against black people and inherent racial bias.

The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday morning:

Fifteen police officers were injured in a clash with school-age children that began around 3 p.m., and two remain hospitalized, police Col. Darryl DeSousa said in a press conference Monday night. Earlier, police spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk said one officer was unresponsive and others suffered broken bones.

The incident stemmed from a flier that circulated widely among city school students via social media about a “purge” to take place at 3 p.m., starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending downtown. Such memes have been known to circulate regularly among city school students, based on the film “The Purge,” about what would happen if all laws were suspended.

Kowalczyk called the demonstrators “lawless individuals with no regard for the safety of people that live in that community” and said they would be identified and arrested. Police said via Twitter many of the rioters were juveniles and urged parents to bring their children home.

Rand Paul is saying that these school children lack fathers and morals.

In truth, the violence erupting in Baltimore can’t be hung on the peaceful protesters of police injustice in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. But it can be hung on anger. And while it is wrong and it is not productive, it is the inevitable result of relentless injustice. We are assured of this inevitability by Republicans, actually, who argue that they must have the rights to own any gun with no background check in case the government comes after them. They need the right to murder the government for liberty. That is the Republican argument against reasonable gun laws.

The real irony here is that the “everyone carry a gun with no background checks for liberty against big government!” crowd, the people who say this even after the slaughtering of innocents — statistically carried out by young, white men by the way — these people have an issue with protesters looting and getting violent as they protest what they see as government abuse via the police.

If the looters were all white and they were protesting the continuous murdering of white men by mostly black police, Republicans would deem the protesters to be warriors of liberty “for Christ” and claim martyrdom. Republicans have repeatedly justified breaking the law in order to fight things they don’t like, including affordable healthcare for all. They call this righteousness.

But when black people protest being murdered by the government, Republicans declare that they lack morality. Not the best way for Rand Paul to make the argument that he’s not a racist.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness has a deep influence on the mindset of the right

A postage stamp showing an image of Ayn Rand, circa 1999 (catwalker / Shutterstock.com)

A postage stamp showing an image of Ayn Rand, circa 1999 (catwalker / Shutterstock.com)

The Raw Story

Ayn Rand (1904-82) has arisen from the dead. Over the last decade the pop philosopher and propaganda fictionist extraordinaire has moved steadily from the cultish margins to the mainstream of US conservatism.

Her ghost may even haunt the current presidential race with the candidacy of Republican Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian darling who received a set of Ayn Rand books for his 17th birthday.

In her bestselling books and essays, Rand frankly celebrated selfishness and greed – and the underside of this celebration is a scorn toward and demonization of any simple caring about other human beings. Such a stance has become a hidden, yet driving force behind such loaded catchphrases as “spending cuts” and, more grandiosely, “limited government.”

In a larger sense, though, Rand had never died. Sales of her books remained steadily in the six figures in the years following her demise, their underground influence an unacknowledged-if-discomforting fact of American life. A couple of reader surveys carried out in the 1990s by Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress, and by the Modern Library imprint, showed Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead near the top of the polling results, according to author Brian Doherty. And, in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, sales of her works tripled.

Randianism, what she called Objectivism, now exists as a mass phenomenon, a grass-roots presence, a kind of folklore. “Who Is John Galt?”, her recurring slogan from Atlas Shrugged, can be seen on placards at Tea Party rallies, on leaflets casually affixed to telephone poles or on the shopping bags of Lululemon Athletics, the Canadian sports apparel company. The firm’s CEO, Chip Wilson, is an avowed Rand fan. So are the current corporate chiefs at Exxon, Sears, the BB & T Bank in North Carolina and the funky Whole Foods chain.

And of course, there’s Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, who started out in the 1950s as Rand’s star disciple and never in the course of his career was to abjure the special relationship.

Rand and the mindset of the right

Randthought, which I discuss in my book, On Nabokov, Ayn Rand and the Libertarian Mind, serves as a major doctrinal component within the mindset of the libertarian, the latter being the most significant American ideological development of the last 35 years.

The title of a 1971 book by Jerome Tuccille (a libertarian journalist and Libertarian Party candidate for governor of New York State in 1974) says all: It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand. Rand’s fan base has since grown to include Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice-presidential nominee, who in 2005 openly credited Rand with his having entered government service and who reportedly has had his staffers read the market guru’s books.

Rand did not invent libertarianism. The thinking, sans the name, had been around since at least the 1920s. And her contemporaries, economists such as Milton Friedman and the so-called Austrian School, gave the set of ideas academic standing and respectability. In Rand’s truculent fiction, however, an abstract theory effectively took on flesh via dashing heroes and unabashed hero worship, vivid myths and technological magic, page-turning suspense and torrid, violent sex. For every studious reader of economist Friedrich von Hayek, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of eager devourers of Rand.

Curiously, an aging Rand loathed libertarians, attacked them as “scum,” “hippies of the right” and “a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people.” She hated them in great measure because, in her view, they had adopted her economic principles yet ignored her total “philosophy.” (Rand also disliked any situation over which she couldn’t exercise personal control.)

Her heirs and successors in the so-called Objectivist camp have since waged a kind of sectarian cold war with libertarians. One thinks of the split between Stalinists and Trotskyists or between Social Democrats and Communists.

Meanwhile the libertarians themselves have gone their merry way with their political party (the nation’s third largest) and Tea Parties, and with their myriad think tanks and media organs.

The GOP’s fraught affair with Rand

In the interim, starting with Ronald Reagan, the GOP has absorbed selected aspects of the rhetoric and larger aims of the libertarian purists (much as the New Deal did once pick and choose rhetoric and programs from the socialist left). At the same time, official party conservatism took to cultivating the evangelical Christian sectors, marshaling issues such as abortion and evolution in an aggressive bid to gain favor with fundamentalist voters.

In addition, picking up from the “Southern Strategy” of Republicans in the 1970s who wooed Southern Democrats by catering to racial tensions, candidates and publicists now play on continuing resentment over the Civil War defeat and the Civil Rights struggles. They deflect blame onto “Big Government” for any and all ills, much as libertarians and Randians are wont to do. The result is a marriage of convenience, an uneasy alliance between a pro-market, secular Right and the older, faith-based forces who make common cause against a perceived common enemy.

Rand, ironically, was an outspoken atheist, a fact that eventually led VP candidate Paul Ryan to publicly repudiate her “atheist philosophy,” claiming disingenuously that his once-touted Randianism was merely an “urban legend,” and that, as a Catholic, his thought came rather from St Thomas Aquinas.

Still, whatever these doctrinal differences, Rand’s vision will continue to provide inspiration and intellectual ammunition for the foot soldiers of US conservatism, libertarian or otherwise.

In many respects, America is becoming — in echo of the title of a book by journalist Gary Weiss — an “Ayn Rand Nation.”

The ConversationBy Gene H. Bell-Villada, Williams College

Rand Paul: Hillary Has So Much ‘Baggage’ She Needs An Extra Plane

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AP Photo | J. Scott Applewhite

TPM LiveWire

“I’m starting to worry that when Hillary Clinton travels, there’s gonna need to be two planes – one for her and her entourage, and one for her baggage,” Paul said. “I’m concerned that the plane with the baggage is really getting heavy and teetering.”

Paul, who, like Clinton, recently announced his 2016 presidential candidacy, criticized Clinton for using a private email account while she was secretary of State, according to The Hill. The Republican candidate also reportedly took issue with the fact that the Clinton Foundation had accepted monetary contributions from foreign governments.

Paul has recently faced criticism over his comments and behavior toward women, prompting accusations that he’s sexist and forcing his wife to defend him against the claims.

Watch Rand Run: Paul Cuts Off And Flees Live Interview When Questions Get Too Hard

Rand Paul Guardian interview | You Tube Screencap

PoliticusUSA

Sen. Rand Paul had another disastrous interview with a member of the media today. Watch Sen. Paul walk out on an interview with The Guardian just as he was being pressed on his flawed campaign strategy.

Video:

As you can see, in the video above, The Guardian’s Paul Lewis was in the middle of asking Sen. Paul about how he plans on winning the Republican nomination on a platform of criminal justice reform when the vast majority of Republicans believe that the law is being applied fairly to all Americans. Sen. Paul didn’t say goodbye, or excuse himself from the interview. He just walked out.

The media initially reported that Paul campaign staffers turned out the lights on Lewis, but the Paul folks claim that it was a CNN producer who was setting for Paul’s next interview that left the scene in darkness.

Rand Paul is getting a taste of what happens when journalists hold him accountable for his policy inconsistencies. Sen. Paul seems to be running a very entitled campaign for a family that has perpetually run for president and never come remotely close to winning anything of consequence.

Paul has defined himself as the angry lightweight who is going to deflect from his flip-flops by either attacking or running away from the media. If Sen. Paul wants people to vote for him, media engagement is a free way to reach millions of potential voters. So far, Paul has hit the 2016 campaign trail and fallen flat on his face.

Sen. Paul may not have had the time to answer Lewis’s question, but there are more graceful ways of ending an interview than walking out. If Paul had excused himself politely from the interview, there would be no story, but if Rand Paul can’t handle NBC’s Today show and Paul Lewis from The Guardian, voters shouldn’t have any faith that he can handle being president.

Pastor Who Spoke At Rand Launch: We Don’t Yet Know Obama’s ‘Real Religion’

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C-SPAN

I wonder how much he got paid to say that.  I’m sure all speeches go past Rand Paul or his aids first, so one could surmise that Paul espouses this guy’s train of thought…

TPM LiveWire

“In five years we’ll find out what [Obama’s] real religion is,” Rev. Jerry Stephenson told reporters after the event, according to Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins.

Stephenson, a Louisville-based preacher, voiced his discontent with the Democratic Party in 2010 and then embraced the tea party movement, as well as then-Senate candidate Paul. He’d been discussing the issue of religious freedom after Paul’s presidential announcement when a radio interviewer pressed him to explain his belief that Obama wasn’t supporting conservative Christians, according to Coppins’ report.

Asked to expand on the comment about the Obama’s “real religion,” Stephenson explained that he didn’t believe Obama had been friendly toward Christians.

“Once he’s out, he will ‘evolve’ like he did on gay marriage,” the pastor added, according to Coppins. “I just believe that’s what he will do.”

Stephenson declined to say how he believed the President’s faith would evolve.

10 reasons Rand Paul will never set foot in the White House — except on a tour

Rand Paul (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Rand Paul (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

The Raw Story

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is officially running for president, but his White House aspirations are just as clumsily implausible as an Ayn Rand plot.

The son of conservative folk hero Ron Paul, the retired Texas congressman and failed Republican presidential candidate, likes to present himself as a civil libertarian.

But his actual positions on many issues are mean-spirited, religiously tinged claptrap that’s reactionary enough to win a GOP primary, but far too hard-right to win a national election.

For example, Paul thinks six months is plenty of time to pay unemployment benefits to jobless workers – and anything beyond that does them a “disservice” by encouraging them to remain unemployed. “I don’t doubt the president’s motives, but black unemployment in America is double white unemployment — and it hasn’t budged under this president. A lot of African-Americans voted for him, but I don’t think it’s worked.”

Paul is against public assistance on a fundamental level, once suggesting the possibility of cutting government benefits for unwed mothers to discourage them from having more children. “Maybe we have to say ‘enough’s enough, you shouldn’t be having kids after a certain amount.’” The small-government conservative admitted that would be unpopular and difficult to implement, but he thinks it’s worth a shot. “It’s tough to tell a woman with four kids that she’s got a fifth kid we’re not going to give her any more money, but we have to figure out how to get that message through.”

The libertarian senator’s views on abortion are right in line with the GOP establishment, and the self-certified ophthalmologist touts his professional bona fides to argue that life begins at conception. “I often say in my speeches that I don’t think a civilization can long endure that doesn’t respect the rights of the unborn,” said Paul, who supports fetal personhood legislation that would outlaw abortion and likely prohibit contraception, stem-cell research, and in-vitro fertilization.

Paul also cites the same ridiculous slippery-slope arguments as any religious conservative against same-sex marriage. “If we have no laws on this people take it to one extension further,” Paul said. “Does it have to be humans?” He later claimed his warning against human-animal marriage was sarcastic and pointed to other arguments he made during the same Glenn Beck radio appearance, saying that he opposed marriage equality on economic grounds. “What is it that is the leading cause of poverty in our country? It’s having kids without marriage. The stability of the marriage unit is enormous and we should not just say, ‘Oh, we’re punting on it, marriage can be anything.’”

Paul agreed with Beck during another radio appearance that Obama’s immigration policies would make most Americans “second-class citizens” compared to undocumented migrants. “I’m thinking about lobbying to become an illegal immigrant so I wouldn’t have to participate in Obamacare,” Paul said.

Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, the senator backed the Republican shutdown of the federal government in an ill-fated attempt to defund the health care law – although Paul publicly said he was willing to compromise. “I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re going to win this, I think,” Paul told then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

He used the death of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by officers while selling untaxed cigarettes, to argue against government regulation. “I think it’s hard not to watch that video of him saying, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,’ and not be horrified by it,” Paul said. “But I think there’s something bigger than the individual circumstances. Obviously, the individual circumstances are important. But I think it is also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes, so they’ve driven cigarettes underground so as to not make them so expensive.”

The self-certified physician expressed doubts about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines in the midst of a measles outbreak linked to anti-vaxxer families. “I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines,” Paul said, citing evidence that directly contradicts the scientific and medical consensus.

The senator furiously sniffed that he didn’t realize speeches required citations after MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow caught him plagiarizing a Wikipedia article on the movie, Gattaca. Additional analysis found that Paul had lifted portions of other speeches without citing his sources, and the senator later scrubbed those remarks from his website. “I will admit sometimes we haven’t footnoted things properly,” he said. “I’ve written scientific papers. I know how to footnote things, but we’ve never footnoted speeches — and if that’s the standard I’m going to be held to, yes, we will change and we will footnote things.”

Paul and Maddow famously tousled before over his controversial remarks on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paul, during his 2010 Senate run, defended the property rights of restaurant owners who wished to bar blacks. “Does the owner of the restaurant own his restaurant — or does the government own his restaurant?” he said at the time. “These are important philosophical debates but not a very practical discussion.” Maddow mocked Paul four years later, when the Kentucky senator celebrated the 50th anniversary of the landmark legislation.

Clown Car Watch 2015: Rand Paul Declares His Candidacy

Screenshot: NBC News

Addicting Info

Hooray! Rand Paul, libertarian wonderboy, has announced he is running for president, and the GOP establishment must want to commit suicide right about now:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky declared himself a candidate for the Republican nomination for president on Tuesday, aiming to upset the political order in Washington and disprove those in his own party who doubt that a fiercely libertarian conservative can be a serious contender.

“I am running for president to return our country to the principles of liberty and limited government,” Mr. Paul wrote in a post on his website on Tuesday.

Let’s be honest here: Just like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul is not running for president. Rand Paul is simply continuing his father’s legacy of scamming gullible libertarians into sending him their money. But, unlike Ron, Rand is a darling of the “liberal” media, and will get a ton of airtime. That’s great for him and his bank account, but absolutely terrible for the Republican Party. Rand’s brand of pretend libertarian craziness is the LAST thing the GOP needs on the airwaves.

I say “pretend libertarian craziness” because Rand Paul is not really a libertarian. He’s an opportunist that will flip flop his position depending on who he is talking to. He believes in absolute freedom. Unless you’re gay or want an abortion. Then he’s all about government control. He hates drones. Unless they’re being used to kill a guy robbing a liquor store. He’s against war and military spending. Except when he’s trying to increase the Pentagon’s budget by $190 billion over two years.

By the time Rand is done pandering to all the far right special interest groups that make up the Republican Party’s base, look for a new record in flip-flopping.

Democrats, of course, are going to be over the moon about the whole thing. The Republican primaries leading up to the 2012 election were absolutely brutal. Republicans have become so conditioned to negative campaigning, they spent a year destroying each other in the dirtiest ways imaginable. Even worse, the numerous televised debates gave the country a crystal clear picture of just how sick and hateful the Republican Party had become. Remember, during the debates, the audience cheered the idea of executing innocent people, booed a veteran because he was gay, and really got off on the idea of letting a person die because they couldn’t afford health insurance.

The more fringe candidates that enter the fray, the nastier and crazier the primaries will be. That’s great news for both the Democrats AND the country!

Here’s to Rand Paul running for president for the next 30 years! Go, Rand! Go!

10 things you need to know today: April 7, 2015

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Week

1.Duke wins its fifth NCAA basketball title
The Duke Blue Devils defeated Wisconsin 68-63 Monday night to win the school its fifth national college basketball title, all under coach MikeKrzyzewski. Duke’s four freshmen — Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, and, off the bench, Grayson Allen — scored 60 of Duke’s 68 points. Okafor made two straight baskets, sandwiched by two three-pointers by Jones, to help Duke bounce back from a nine-point deficit and take an eight-point lead with just 1:22 remaining.

Source: ESPN, The Washington Post

2.Rand Paul expected to unveil plan for White House run
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is expected to announce Tuesday that he is launching a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Paul said in a video previewing his campaign that he wants to “defeat the Washington machine.” The libertarian Tea Party favorite is expected to unveil his campaign plans at a rally planned Tuesday in Louisville, Kentucky. He will simultaneously run to keep his Senate seat. So far, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is the only major candidate from either party to officially declare a White House bid.

Source: Politico, USA Today

3.UVA fraternity vows to pursue legal options againstRolling Stone
The University of Virginia fraternity identified as the site of a gang rape in a now-retracted Rolling Stone story said Monday it would “pursue all available legal action” against the magazine following a scathing independent report on the now discredited article. The Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi said Rolling Stone “admits its staff engaged in reckless behavior” but refuses to punish those involved, apparently referring to publisher Jann Wenner’s statement that the reporter and editors involved would not be fired.

Source: MSNBC

4.Boston Marathon bombing case goes to jury
Attorneys in the Boston Marathon bombing trial made their closing argumentson Monday, sending defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s fate to the jury, which begins deliberating Tuesday. Defense attorneys did not deny that Tsarnaev participated in the attack, but insisted he was manipulated into committing the bombing by his older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police. Prosecutors said the brothers deliberately targeted as many civilians as possible to bring Islamist holy war to the U.S.

Source: New York Daily News

5.Israel lists demands for Iran nuclear deal
Israel’s minister of intelligence and strategic affairs, Yuval Steinitz, on Mondayissued a list of requirements for an Iran nuclear deal that would be deemed “more reasonable” to Tel Aviv. Israel wants Iran to end all nuclear research and development, ship all its enriched uranium out of the country, lower the number of centrifuges below the 6,104 (out of 19,000 currently) agreed to in the framework deal, disclose all previous nuclear activities, and shutter its underground Fordo facility, which under the current framework could be used for medical purposes. Analysts say that reopening the talks could easily start them unraveling.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times

6.Iraq exhumes mass graves holding ISIS victims in Tikrit
Iraq’s government said Tuesday that forensic teams had begun exhuming bodies from mass graves in the newly liberated city of Tikrit. The graves are believed to hold the bodies of hundreds of soldiers summarily executed by Islamic State fighters after they seized control of the city — Saddam Hussein’s hometown — last June. ISIS captured 1,700 soldiers trying to flee after it overran the town last year, and later posted images online showing gunmen massacring captives.

Source: The New York Times

7.Clandestine group puts bust of Edward Snowden in Brooklyn park
An unidentified group erected a bust of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden at a New York City park early Monday. The work of art in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park was quickly covered up by park officials. The monument reportedly was installed on the site of an existing structure with a bronze eagle. A voice on a video showing the Snowden bust before it was covered said it was mounted so that it could be taken down “without doing permanent damage to the structure.”

Source: Los Angeles Times

8.Kenya says it took out two al-Shabab bases behind cross-border attacks
Kenya’s military said Monday that it had destroyed two al-Shabab camps in neighboring Somalia in the first major response against the Islamist group since it claimed responsibility for the massacre of 148 people at a Kenyan college last week. Military jets targeted the camps of the al-Qaeda-linked group with intense airstrikes on Sunday. “Our aerial images show that the camps were completely destroyed,” Kenya Defense Forces spokesman David Obonyo said.

Source: Reuters

9. Rutgers bans fraternity parties after alcohol incidents
Rutgers University in New Jersey on Monday banned all fraternity and sorority parties on campus for the rest of the semester, due to several recent alcohol-related incidents. Students are calling the ban a form of informal “social probation.” It applies to all 86 of the school’s fraternities and sororities. “Rutgers takes seriously its commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe campus environment,” Rutgers spokesman E.J. Miranda said.

Source: NJ.com

10.Woman dies after five days as world’s oldest person
Gertrude Weaver died Monday at age 116 just five days after becoming the world’s oldest person. She was aware that she had taken on the status after the death of 117-year-old Misao Okawa of Japan last week. Weaver, who lived at the Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center in Arkansas, fell ill with pneumonia on Saturday. “She was alert and oriented,” the facility’s administrator, Kathy Langley, said. “She knew that she was the oldest person in the world, and she enjoyed that distinction greatly.”

Source: The Washington Post