The Ledes

Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

New York: "The FBI arrested three North Carolina men on Saturday for allegedly planning to go to war with the United States when the government imposed martial law."

AP: "Two people were killed and more than 20 injured when a circus tent collapsed in a storm during a performance in New Hampshire. Authorities said about 100 people were inside the tent at the Lancaster Fairground, about 90 miles north of the state capital in Concord, when it fell down on Monday."

The Wires

The Ledes

Monday, August 3, 2015.

Guardian: "Former City trader Tom Hayes has been sentenced to 14 years in jail after becoming the first person to be convicted by a jury of rigging the Libor interest rate. Hayes, 35, a former UBS and Citigroup yen derivatives trader, was convicted of eight counts of conspiracy to defraud."

New York Times: After being closed for five weeks, the Greek stock exchange reopened today, & prices plummeted.

AP: "Fire officials called for thousands of evacuations as numerous homes remained threatened by Northern California wildfires Monday, while more than 9,000 firefighters battled 21 major fires in the state, officials said. Wildfires were also burning in Washington and Oregon as the West Coast suffered from the effects of drought and summer heat."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

AP: "Federal health advisers on Tuesday[, June 9,] recommended approval for a highly anticipated cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, but with the caveat that more data is needed about its long-term ability to reduce heart attacks. The expert panel recommended by a 13-3 vote that the Food and Drug Administration approve the injectable drug, called Praluent."

Washington Post (June 4): "The first-ever 'female Viagra' came one step closer to coming to market, as a key advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted Thursday afternoon to recommend that the FDA approve the drug with conditions. The committee voted 18-6 to recommend that the FDA approve flibanserin, a drug designed to boost the low sexual desire of otherwise healthy women."

White House Live Video
August 4

12:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

2:00 pm ET: White House Demo Day

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

***********************************************

New York Times: "Jason Fine, the editor of Men’s Journal, will take over as the managing editor of Rolling Stone as part of what the magazine’s publisher, Jann S. Wenner, described as a 'shake-up.'”

"Where Are My Pancakes?"

The Word Salad King. If Donald Trump's good friend & possible running mate Sarah Palin is the Word Salad Queen, it stands to reason that the Donald would be the king. Slate challenges you to diagram this "sentence." To help you out, Slate has transcribed the words in the order delivered. Not that the order delivered matters much:

Obama Slept Here

For a mere $22.5MM this Martha's Vinehard house on 10 acres can be yours. The Obamas stayed in the house for 8 days in 2013. The current owner bought the property, which has expansive views of the Atlantic & Chilmark Pond, in 2000 for about $3MM. So, hey, the price is negotiable. Slide show.

The Birth of Franklin. Washington Post: After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Glickman, a white California mother wrote to cartoonist Charles Schultz urging him to introduce a black character to his "Peanuts" cartoon strips. When Schultz demurred, saying he was afraid "it would look like we were patronizing our Negro friends," Glickman got two of her "Negro friends" who backed the idea to write to Schultz. A short time later, Schultz introduced Franklin. Oh, yes, & strips showing Franklin in an integrated! classroom upset Southern editors, according to Glickman.

Jane Hamshire of Firedoglake: "... I have decided to pass the torch on to Kevin Gosztola and Brian Sonenstein, who will launch their own media organization called Shadowproof that will build on the success of FDL."

Dylan Byers: "MSNBC has formally decided to cancel three programs -- 'The Cycle,' 'Now with Alex Wagner' and 'The Ed Show' -- as part of a larger effort to shift its daytime lineup away from opinion programming.... Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, a 'Cycle' co-host and MSNBC's chief legal correspondent, will remain with the network. Ed Schultz, the host of 'The Ed Show,' will leave the network, as will 'Cycle' co-hosts Abby Huntsman, Krystal Ball and Toure.... In September, MSNBC will add a 5 p.m. program hosted by 'Meet The Press' moderator Chuck Todd, while Brian Williams, the former 'Nightly News' anchor, will serve as the network's breaking news and special reports anchor."

If you can memorize & learn to use the University of New Hampshire's long list of "bias-free language," you can be the most politically-correct person in your neighborhood. Via Jonathan Chait. ...

... CW Etiquette Tip: calling out your friends for using outmoded terms like "overweight" & "rich" is not politically correct. Simply try to steer the conversation in a more "inclusive" direction. So if your friend says to you, "My rich neighbor got so overweight he has to use a wheelchair now," you say, "Oh, that person of material wealth has become a person of size who is wheelchair mobile? Wow! He's your neighbor? I remember him when he was a person experiencing homelessness who lacked advantages that others have." It sounds so natural, your friend will never realize you've corrected his biased, dated stereotypes. ...

     ... UPDATE: Turns out the university's president is biased against the bias-free language guide & he was unaware of its existence until this week. Also, a Republican state legislator is "outraged" & finds the guide a good excuse to cut funding for the state university. Naturally. Thanks to MAG for the lead.

Will Oremus of Slate likes Windows 10. CW: I haven't had the courage to try switching over yet. I'll lose EVERYTHING!

Fuck off! I’m done with you. -- Jon Stewart, to Wyatt Cenac

... Alex Jung of New York: Jon Stewart repeatedly yelled at Wyatt Cenac when Cenac questioned a "Daily Show" segment meant to be a defense against Fox "News" allegations that Stewart's Herman Cain imitation was racist. ...

... Maron's WTF podcast of his interview with Cenac is here. ...

... CW: Here's the thing, black people. When you confront white liberals with accusations of racial bias, WE WILL NEVER ADMIT IT. We will remind you that we have been fighting for black civil rights for 50 years (Bernie Sanders). We will tell you all lives matter (Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley). We will tell you that white people are responsible for expanding your rights (Hillary Clinton). We will deny your accusations (Every one of us). And all the while, we will be highly insulted, even if we don't tell you to fuck off. Because white people's feelings matter. And, after all we've done for you, we can't believe you would accuse us of racism.

Even when they're only lip-syncing, some entertainers are pretty damned talented. I'm not much of a fan of Tom Cruise's, but ...

Tech Crunch: "It’s no secret that Google+ didn’t quite work out the way Google envisioned and now, after already moving Google Photos out of the service, it’s starting to decouple Google+ profiles from its regular Google accounts."

Stupid Pet Tricks, Reptile Edition:

Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast: NBC News Chairman Andy Lack is replacing MSNBC's Ed Schultz with -- Chuck Todd. [CW: Excellent decision! Let's change "MSNBC" to "VPN" -- "Village People's Network."] "The only programs that appeared safe from disruption were Morning Joe..., hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski; Hardball ... with Chris Matthews; and The Rachel Maddow Show at 9 p.m. Those programs have performed respectably...." ...

We live in a time when much of the corporate media regards politics as a baseball game or a soap opera. Ed Schultz has treated the American people with respect by focusing on the most important issues impacting their lives.... I am very disappointed that Comcast [the parent company of NBC & MSNBC] chose to remove Ed Schultz from its lineup. We need more people who talk about the real issues facing our country, not fewer.... At a time when a handful of large, multi-national corporations own our major media outlets, I hope they will allow voices to be heard from those who dissent from the corporate agenda. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders

Washington Post: "The latest update from NASA's Kepler space telescope — designed to spot distant exoplanets — adds more than 500 new possible planets to the fray. That's in addition to the 4,175 planets already found by Kepler. And of those 500 new potential planets, scientists say, a dozen could be remarkably Earth-like. That means they're less than twice as large as Earth, are potentially rocky and are at the right distance from their host stars to harbor liquid water." ...

... Guardian: "Scientists on the hunt for extraterrestrial life have discovered 'the closest twin to Earth' outside the solar system, Nasa announced on Thursday."

Worst Person Ratings in the World. Andrew Kirell of Mediaite: Rumors are a'flyin' that MSNBC is headed for another line-up shake-up, which could include the Return of Dr. Olbermann, who is departing ESPN -- again. Because their third place in cable ratings wasn't as bad as their third place is now (sometimes 4th, behind Al Jazeera). And because the New Olbermann is now a suits-licking pussycat, unlike the Old Olbermann from way last week.

Some Would Be Heroes. Washington Post: Coast Guardsman Darren Harrity swims a mile in choppy, fuel-slicked sea to save four men in a leaky lifeboat.

New York Times: "What Pet Should I Get?" -- an aide to Dr. Suess's widow found the manuscript in a box. Dr. Suess -- Theodore Geisel -- died in 1991.

     ... Via BuzzFeed, for the fun of it.

Washington Post: "On Monday, famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian tycoon Yuri Milner held a news conference in London to announce their new project: injecting $100 million and a whole lot of brain power into the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, an endeavor they're calling Breakthrough Listen." ...

... CW: What a waste. You know all they'll find is angels hovering around a pantheon of some sort & maybe, if they're lucky, their long-dead pooches floating around Pet Heaven, which is real & wonderful.

Contact the Constant Weader

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Kentucky

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Courier-Journal, November 12: "Lexington lawyer Andy Barr conceded Friday to U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler after a recanvass of voting machines in the 6th District showed that he lost the Nov. 2 election by 648 votes."

NBC News projects Republican Rand Paul will win the Kentucky Senate seat. 7:02 pm ET. Lexington Herald-Leader report here.

Lexinton Herald-Leader: "The Paris man accused of stepping on a liberal activist at a U.S. Senate candidate debate in Lexington on Monday will go before a district court judge next month. Timothy Mark Profitt, 53, is charged with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for stepping on the shoulder and neck of Lauren Valle, a MoveOn.org activist...."

Huffington Post: "In a statement sent to reporters on Friday, Lauren Valle, the MoveOn.org activist who was stomped on during a pre-rally demonstration outside the Kentucky Senate debate, addressed her antagonist's insistence that he is the one owed an apology":

It is evident that your physical assault on me is symptomatic of the crisis that this country is struggling through.

** Matthew Mosk of ABC News: "In the bitter U.S. Senate race in Kentucky, a local millionaire [Terry Forcht] has helped launch a barrage of ads attacking [Jack Conway] the Democratic candidate – a candidate who, as the state's attorney general, is prosecuting the businessman's nursing home for allegedly covering up sexual abuse, records show."

A Kentucky Democraic Party Ad that's Hard to Watch:

Louiseville Courier-Journal: "The Kentucky man who stomped on a woman protesting against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul before Monday night’s debate in Lexington has called for her to apologize to him for her actions. And on Wednesday Paul’s campaign said that it won’t return $1,950 in contributions from the man, Tim Profitt, who had been Paul’s campaign coordinator in Bourbon County before the campaign said it was 'disassociating' itself from him."

 

 

Editors of the Lexington Herald-Leader on Rand Paul: "With apologies to the Republican Senate candidate in Delaware, about the only thing Paul hasn't done is say he has dabbled in witchcraft."

Politico, October 25: "Rand Paul and Jack Conway sharply attacked each other’s honesty and credibility Monday night, in a high-profile forum that highlighted how the GOP wants to tie Conway to the souring national mood and how Democrats are trying to paint Paul as far out of the country’s mainstream."  Louiseville Courier-Journal story here. Watch the debate on C-SPAN. ...

... Fox 41, Louisville: "A Rand Paul supporter stomped on the head of a woman after she was wrestled to the ground by two men Monday night outside the studios of Kentucky Educational Television. The woman, Lauren Valle, identified herself as a member of Republicorp, a fictitious merger between corporations and the Republican party. The organization is part of Moveon.org, a liberal political group, that has appeared at Paul event's before." This is pretty sickening to watch:

     ... AP Update: Tim Profitt, "the volunteer with Rand Paul's Republican U.S. Senate campaign who stepped on the head of a liberal activist and pinned her face to the concrete, said Tuesday the scuffle was not as bad as it looked on video and blamed police for not intervening.... Paul's campaign dropped Profitt as campaign coordinator in Bourbon County in central Kentucky and banned him from future events.... Officers will deliver a summons to Profitt to appear in court. A judge will determine whether to proceed with an assault case."

Profitt & Paul in happier days. Photo via the Huff Post.

     ... Barefoot & Progressive blog: "Rand Paul took out a full page ad on the back page of the Herald Leader today" boasting that he had the support of Tim Profitt & a number of others from Central Kentucky. ...

     ... Gawker: Lisa Graas, a Kentucky tea partier who opposes Rand Paul, identified one of the men who wrestled Valle to the pavement & held her down while Profitt stomped her head. He's Mike Pezzano, an open-carry advocate & Paul supporter. ...

     ... Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo: Lauren Valle, "the woman who was dragged to the ground and stomped by Rand Paul supporters outside of the Kentucky Senate debate last says her assailants recognized her as a regular anti-Paul protester and premeditated their attack.... Valle was hospitalized and diagnosed with a concussion and mild sprains."

     ... Blue Texan at Firedoglake: right-wing blogosphere immediately vilifies the victim. ...

     ... Civility Is Nice, but Sometimes You Gotta Stomp a Girl's Head. David Neiwert of Crooks & Liars: Randy goes on Fox "News" & doesn't condemn his supporters for throwing Valle to the ground & stomping on her head; calls it an "unusual" situation. With video.

Editors of the Louisville Courier-Journal endorse Jack Conway for Senate.

This Can't Help. Louisville Courier-Journal: Matthew Conway, "a Jefferson County prosecutor, was tipped off by Louisville narcotics detectives twice in the past two years that he was under investigation for possible drug use or trafficking.... Conway [is] the brother of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.... Jack Conway’s office said in an e-mail to the newspaper Thursday that his only involvement was to advise his brother to obtain legal counsel."

Unfit for Any Office. Rand Paul is still foaming at the mouth over Jack Conway's Aqua Buddha ad. Katharine Seelye of the New York Times reports. Update: Paul has since said he would participate in the October 25 debate. No link.

Lexington Herald-Leader: "U.S. Senate Republican nominee Rand Paul failed to disclose on his financial disclosure form with the U.S. Senate more than $20,000 he received from Medicaid through his medical practice at a Bowling Green clinic, the campaign of Democrat Jack Conway said Friday [October 22]." According to the Conway campaign, "Paul billed Medicaid in 2007 'over $70,000 and received more than $20,000 in payments.' ... Paul has criticized Medicaid."

So Were You Drunk or Stoned? Politico: Rand Paul tells conservo-radio host Laura Ingraham that he can't recall a thing about Aqua Buddha or the woman who claims he & his friends dragged her from her dorm & made her worship whatever Aqua Buddha is. CW: so then how do you know you didn't do something really awful, Randy?

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is running this spot featuring Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway. If you wonder what you can do to help progressive candidates this year, go to the PCCC site:

Greg Sargent, October 19: "Dem Jack Conway's new ad hammering Rand Paul over his college excesses is accurate on the facts, and it's legit to raise questions about his past views as a way of probing whether his current posture as a conservative Christian is genuine, the victim of Paul's Aqua Buddha prank just told me in an interview. But the woman ...also took issue with the ad's overall tone, claiming it depicted the episode as more ominous than the 'hazing prank' warranted."

As the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I'm always amused to get a lecture on constitutional law from a self-certified ophthalmologist. -- Jack Conway, in his debate with Rand Paul

The trouble with Conway's ad is that it comes perilously close to saying that non-belief in Christianity is a disqualification for public office. That's a pretty sickening premise for a Democratic campaign. -- Jonathan Chait, The New Republic ...

... Digby differs with Chait: "Rand Paul, the pot smoking libertarian Tea Partier is now rending his garments like a typical social conservative Christian and condemning Jack Conway for being insensitive to his religion.... He's become a Church Lady Bible thumper, excoriating Conway for saying the word 'hell' at a political picnic. This is a bullshit game and Conway has every right to call him out as a hypocrite." ...

... AND Matt Yglesias adds, "This ad has the virtue—not that common in politics—of being accurate. It also has the virtue of raising actual policy issues about the consequences of Paul’s position on tax reform."

AP, October 17: "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul angrily accused Democratic rival Jack Conway of gutter politics for running a TV ad that questioned Paul's affiliation during his college years with a group that mocked Christianity. Paul demanded an apology.... Conway offered no apology and even repeated the accusations in his ad, which started airing statewide Friday night.... The candidates wrangled over health care, taxes and entitlements, but those issues were overshadowed by a contentious back-and-forth over the ad." Louisville Courier-Journal story here. C-SPAN has the video here.

The Lexington Herald-Leader endorses Jack Conway. The editorial is a fun read inasmuch as the editors really don't like Rand Paul, whom they describe as "a drive-by candidate ... [who] never stopped to smell the bluegrass and learn about his adopted state's history, culture, problems or needs." They write,

As a senator, his [Paul's] mission would be a chain-saw massacre of federal government that lays waste to farm subsidies, education spending, mine-safety regulations, federal aid in fighting the scourge of drugs and numerous other programs of significant benefit to Kentuckians.

Lexington Herald-Leader. Rand Paul has been touting his leadership of a 1,000-member anti-tax group as part of his qualification for office. Trouble is, the group doesn't exist & hasn't since at least 2000 when the Kentucky Secretary of State dissolved it "because Paul had not filed the required annual report, according to state records. It is listed as being in bad standing." And according to Paul's own campaign manager, the group never had dues-paying members, as Paul has asserted. CW: it is possible that Rand Paul is just plain crazy. ...

     ... Herald-Leader: "Democrat Jack Conway's campaign Friday accused Republican Rand Paul of a 'hoax' by touting his long affiliation with an anti-tax group that was registered with the state for only about one year a decade ago.

Holy Shit! Jack Conway Plays the Acqua Buddha Card:

Ben Smith of Politico has more details on Rand Paul's college crew: "Issues of the newsletter published by Paul's secret society, the NoZe Brotherhood, during his time at Baylor reveal a ... specific political problem for the Kentucky Republican: The group's work often had a specifically anti-Christian tone, as it made fun of the Baptist college's faith-based orientation." CW: this is an example of straight reporting that can't help but be an enjoyable read.

AP: "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul sidestepped questions Wednesday about revamping the federal tax code, a day after the tea party favorite took a stand to replace the income tax with a national sales tax.... An anti-tax group on Tuesday released to The Associated Press a written statement from Paul saying he would support changing the federal tax code to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service, and he would vote to repeal the 16th Amendment. Paul's statement called the federal tax code 'a disaster' and said he supports making taxes 'flatter and simpler.'" ...

     ... Paul hasn't changed his views; he just doesn't know what they are. And it's somebody else's fault. Or something like that. AP Update: "Republican Rand Paul hasn't endorsed a proposal to replace the federal income tax with a national sales tax, his campaign manager said Friday, blaming a former aide for distributing a statement that said he had."

Dear Dr. Paul: You fiscally-irresponsible charlatan. Programs that pay for family planning save the state money; they give a four-to-one return on investment. Regards, the Guttmacher Institute, where we know what the fuck we're talking about. (CW: okay, they said it a lot more politely.)

C-SPAN has the video of the Jack Conway-Rand Paul debate on October 11. The Courier-Journal has an extensive print report.

Lexington Herald-Leader, October 12: Bill Clinton campaigned for Jack Conway yesterday & warned against Rand Paul's "radical ideas." Paul's reaction:

I'm not sure I would trust a guy who had had sexual relations with an intern. I mean, do you think he's an honorable person? I think that's disgusting. It gets to the point where we discount what he says.

But he still looks insane. AP photo.Kathleen Hennessey in the Los Angeles Times: in campaign mode, Rand Paul has dropped his libertarian/tea party references & started sounding evah-so-mainstream Republican. He mostly just unloads on President Obama now. Getting a boatload of funding from the National Republican Senatorial Committee & Karl Rove has helped temper his message.

What It Looks Like when the Only Way to Win Is by Lying. Louisville Courier-Journal: "Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul claims in a new TV ad he does not support higher deductibles for Medicare and that his Democratic rival, Jack Conway, is 'deliberately distorting" his views on the issue.'" Paul's ad first, which distorts the provisions of the Affordable Care Act by implying a cost-saving measure would reduce benefits, which it does not:

     ... Then Conway's little compilation of Paul repeatedly saying there should be a $2,000 Medicare deductible:

Rand Paul hires an Obama impersonator to read his campaign ad script. The ad is kind of funny when you know it isn't Obama speaking, but some viewers could be fooled:

AP: "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul says Medicaid has turned into 'intergenerational welfare,' saying coverage has spread beyond those truly in need."

Louisville Courier-Journal, October 3: "Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway squared off on national television Sunday, each stressing themes that have marked their campaigns since they became their parties’ nominees for the U.S. Senate seat on this year’s ballot."

AP, October 1: Conway & Paul spar over the proper approach to addressing the federal budget.

"Rand Paul Is Off the Wall":

CW: a reader in Bowling Green notes that "The Paul signs in the neighborhood are extra large.   Must be for all Paul's patients he can't treat due to his campaign schedule." I think the extra-large signs might be for the benefit of all of the patients Paul has treated. See Stephen Colbert's analysis below.

The Voodoo Factor, a/k/a the Hypnotic Oath. Joseph Gerth of the Louisville Courier-Journal: "Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul belongs to a conservative doctors’ group that, among other things, has expressed doubts about the connection between HIV and AIDS and suggested that President Barack Obama may have been elected because he was able to hypnotize voters." Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link.

Louisville Courier-Journal: "Democrat Jack Conway has cut sharply into Republican Rand Paul's once-commanding [15-point] lead in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, moving into a statistical tie with a little more than five weeks before Election Day, according to the latest Courier-Journal/WHAS11 Bluegrass Poll." Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link.

Jason Zengerle, in GQ, profiles Rand Paul, & doesn't make young Paul sound as bad as he is. What Paul does appear to be, is totally uninformed & willing to change his views, such as they are, on everything. 

You Can Be an Opthamologist, Too. CW: I missed Stephen Colbert's important examination of Rand Paul's board certification in opthamology. Better late than never:

USA Today, September 17: Rand Paul gets some county sheriffs to reluctantly endorse him after he sends out a press release announcing they had endorsed him.

Consistency Is, well, just a Hobgoblin. Lexington Herald-Leader, September 15: "Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul said he would vote to extend federal tax cuts even without proposed spending cuts, a move that would dramatically deepen a federal debt he has railed against."

The Hill, August 28: Jack Conway, "the Democratic nominee vying to fill Sen. Jim Bunning's seat in Kentucky, sent out a fundraising email Saturday calling for former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) to step down as co-chairman of President Obama's deficit reduction commission."

AP: "Newspapers in Kentucky's mountain region, a key battleground in the U.S. Senate race, have been sharply criticizing Republican Rand Paul for his opposition to using federal money to combat local drug traffickers." ...

... Larry Webster writes a flat-out funny column in the Lexington Herald-Leader against the Aqua Buddha high priest Rand Paul & everything he gets wrong. Thanks, once again, to Jeanne B. for the link. A sample:

If we switch to Aqua Buddha, will he call off hurricanes, not flood Pakistan and put autumn back into the seasons so we won't have to watch basketball in August and learn a new set of names?

... AND the Editors of the Herald-Leader call out Paul for being an ignorant liar after he pretends he never downplayed Kentucky's drug problem:

His assertion that drug abuse and drug trafficking are issues best handled at the local level is just one indication of lack of knowledge. He holds the same simplistic — and highly unrealistic — view for regulating mine safety and water quality.

... AND there's this:

Rand Paul is dangerous because his views resonate with people who blame government for everything that's bad, including salmonella and hemorrhoids. -- Editors, Mountain Eagle of Whitesburg, Kentucky

Ben Smith of Politico points to more trouble for Rand Paul as the Kentucky Republican Senatorial candidate refuses to talk to a reporter at a Lexington Fox affiliate:

It's one thing, of course, to try to defuse a controversial story by giving an interview to a sympathetic media figure — but then to walk away from a local reporter in the reporter's studio is puzzling.
-- Ben Smith

     ... Smith's whole post is instructive. The original GQ story is here. Here's the video, & it's pretty sweet:

But I will categorically deny that I ever kidnapped anyone or forced anybody to use drugs. -- Rand Paul

... Rand Paul parses the GQ Aqua Buddha story & the editors of the Lexington Herald-Leader parse Paul: if the story can be verified, voters will know "the darling of the conservative Tea Party movement intentionally misled them about his involvement in a prank that included smoking pot and bowing down before Aqua Buddha."

AP, August 10: "Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul angered a small-town Kentucky church on Tuesday by saying politicians who attended its fundraising picnic had to worry about having beer thrown on them.... Parisher Mark Wilson, who helps organize the picnic, said the comment simply wasn't true, that beer sales aren't even legal in the tiny farming community served by the church. He wants Paul to take it back." Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link. ...

     ... Jeanne sends this AP update: "Republican Rand Paul apologized Wednesday for saying he worried beer would be thrown at a church picnic he attended last weekend in western Kentucky."

Oh, here's some fun. Jason Zengerle writes a GQ post on "Randy" Paul's escapades as a member of a secret society when he was an undergrad at Baylor....

... AND Ben Smith of Politico reports the Paul camp is threatening a lawsuit against GQ, which stands by its "exhaustively fact-checked" story.

I think they should name it something better.... Most people would say the land is of enhanced value, because now you can build on it.... Really, it's a private-property issue.... If you don't live here, it's none of your business. -- Rand Paul, on the mountaintop removal mining method

Jonathan Miles of Details magazine profiles Rand Paul. The profile is not as boring as you might surmise.

Greg Sargent: Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Ben Chandler is caught on a 2009 tape talking chickens for checkups. Even before the video surfaced, Republicans considered this race a likely pickup. Roll the videotape:

AP: as the U.S. celebrates the 20th anniversary of President George W. Bush's signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway criticizes his son Jeb for headlining a fundraiser for Conway's opponent Ron Paul, who opposes the legislation.

The Lexington Herald-Leader compares the campaigns & the media coverage of U.S. senatorial candidates Rand Paul & Jack Conway.

AP: "U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul's campaign acknowledged Friday that his in-laws had benefited from federal farm subsidies that he has been criticizing in stump speeches.... Paul, a tea party-backed Republican, has been critical of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's farm subsidy program even though his father-in-law received more than $10,000 in payments over 12 years." ...

... Here's the halfwit, self-certified doctor trying to flimflam his position on the USDA:

Gail Collins: in the Kentucky Senate race, Democrat Jack Conway's entire campaign message is "putting Kentucky first," & Republican Rand Paul's is Rand Paul’s is "slashing the federal deficit ('our national nightmare'). As Collins observes, "Most of the voters who will be deciding the race would probably like to slash the deficit while also putting Kentucky first, but ... Kentucky has more than its fair share of poor people, who are dependent on federal programs" and "the state sends less money to Washington than it gets back." Paul, who is a medical doctor who must have had trouble getting thru those required math courses, says, "I don’t think anything coming from the federal government is a net-plus." ...

    ... Here's a "net-plus" for you: Akhilleus assesses Rand Paul & "his cloud-cuckoo land of libertarian hogwash" on The Blog.

Courier-Journal: in Louisville, Senate candidates Jack Conway & Rand Paul square off in their first debate.

Borderline Schizophrenic. Sam Stein: "Rand Paul's Senate campaign has clarified yet again the Kentucky Republican's position on how to stem illegal immigration, this time fully embracing a proposal he once criticized: the construction of a physical fence along the border. In an email statement to the Huffington Post, Paul's chief spokesman also insisted that Paul does not, as he has stated previously and on his own campaign website, support building an underground electrical fence along the border."

Don't Blink. Louisville Courier-Journal: "U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul says he is a 'board-certified' ophthalmologist -- even though the national clearinghouse for such certifications says he hasn't been for the past five years. Rand Paul...says he is certified by the National Board of Ophthalmology, a group that he incorporated in 1999 and that he heads. But that entity is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which works with the American Medical Association to approve such specialty boards." ...

     ... USA Today Update: "Rand Paul says questions about whether he's board certified as an eye surgeon are an attack on his livelihood."

The Limits of Libertarianism. Here's Kentucky Republican Senate nominiee Rand Paul talking about "knocking down a few hills" via mountaintop-removal coal mining because the land "has become quite valuable when it's become flattened." Do read David Neiwert's article which accompanies this Crooks & Liars vidieo:

Washington Post: "Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul has reshuffled staff and replaced campaign manager David Adams in the wake of last week's Civil Rights Act blow-up. The new campaign manager: Jesse Benton, the communications director for Rep. Ron Paul's (R-Tex.) 2008 presidential bid who's done substantial work in that capacity for the younger Paul."

Matt Corley of Think Progress: Senate Minority Leader & Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell says Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul was wrong to call President Obama "un-American" for criticizing BP. McConnell also said Paul has done quite enough national TV. With video.

Joe Arnold of WHAS-TV (Louisville, Kentucky) interviews Rand Paul. Paul says Maddow was "very fair" in her interview but Stephanopoulos & Chris Matthews were not. With video.

McClatchy News: national Republicans have urged Rand Paul to get off the teevee, where's he's daily revealing new evidence of his stupidity & insensitivity. (CW: not quite the way McClatchy put it, but close enough.)

Rand Paul continues his refusal-to-answer-questions tour. Stephanopoulos, for once, does his job:

     ... Related AP story: "GOP Senate candidate Rand Paul scorches Obama for criticizing BP, says it sounds 'un-American.'" (CW: over & above the obvious stupidity of his remarks, I wonder if Paul knows BP is one of them foreign oil companies.)

Courier-Journal: Democratic Kentucky AG Jack Conway will face Republican Rand Paul in November for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jim Bunning.