The Ledes

Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

New York Times: "Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan lifted a moratorium on the death penalty Wednesday as the government declared three days of official mourning and grappled with the aftermath of an attack on a school by the Pakistani Taliban that killed 145 people. The national flag was lowered to half-staff on all official buildings and prayer services were scheduled across the country." ...

... The Washington Post profiles "Mullah Radio," the leader of the Taliban attack on schoolchildren & teachers.

The Wires

The Ledes

Tuesday, December 16, 2014.

New York Times: "In one of Pakistan’s bloodiest attacks in recent years, scores of people were killed after a group of Taliban gunmen stormed a school in northern Pakistan, officials and rescue workers said on Tuesday. Hundreds of students remained trapped inside the compound as security forces exchanged fire with the gunmen, officials said. The toll of dead and injured remained uncertain, but the local news media, citing government officials and hospitals, reported 126 dead, more than 100 of them children. The army press office announced that five attackers had been killed."

New York Times: "President Obama has decided to sign legislation imposing further sanctions on Russia and authorizing additional aid to Ukraine, despite concerns that it will complicate his efforts to maintain a unified front with European allies, the White House said on Tuesday. The legislation calls for a raft of new measures penalizing Russia’s military and energy sectors and authorizes $350 million in military assistance to Ukraine, including antitank weapons, tactical surveillance drones and counter-artillery radar. The bill was approved unanimously by Congress, but Mr. Obama hedged for days on whether he would sign it." ...

... Washington Post: "Russia appeared headed Tuesday into a full-fledged currency crisis after the central bank imposed a massive, middle-of-the-night interest rate hike but failed to halt the plummet of the ruble."

Philadelphia Inquirer: "In one of the region's deadliest shooting rampages, an Iraq war veteran shot and killed his ex-wife and five of her relatives early Monday, terrorizing four upper Montgomery County communities and sparking a manhunt that continued deep into the night, officials said.The suspect, Bradley W. Stone, 35, of Pennsburg, had a 'familial relationship' with all of the victims, officials said. Besides his ex-wife, he allegedly killed her mother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law, and niece. The couple's two daughters were unharmed....A 17-year-old boy, Stone's former nephew, was shot and wounded."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, November 21: Learn how to use your thermostat & save $$$.

New York Times, November 17: "For the first time since statins have been regularly used, a large study has found that another type of cholesterol-lowering drug can protect people from heart attacks and strokes."

White House Live Video
December 17

12:01 pm ET: President Obama makes a statement about Cuba

1:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

4:15 pm ET: President Obama speaks at a Hanukkah reception

8:00 pm ET: President Obama speaks at a Hanukkah reception

If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

Los Angeles Times: "A hashtag about asking police officers questions for a CNN panel turned extremely negative almost as soon as it was posted Tuesday. #AskACop was meant to be used by viewers who wanted to tweet questions to officers for the town hall segment "Cops Under Fire,” hosted by Don Lemon. There was an overwhelming response -- most of which were criticisms toward police." CW: Apparently CNN had no idea people were pissed at the police.

Bill Carter of the New York Times: "For nine years, Stephen Colbert has relentlessly maintained his pompous, deeply ridiculous but consistently appealing conservative blowhard character on his late-night show, 'The Colbert Report' — so much so that when he puts the character to rest for good on Thursday night, he may have to resort to comicide. The Grim Reaper is his last guest."

New York Times: "Life on Mars? Today? The notion may not be so far-fetched after all. A year after reporting that NASA’s Curiosity rover had found no evidence of methane gas on Mars, all but dashing hopes that organisms might be living there now, scientists reversed themselves on Tuesday. Curiosity has now recorded a burst of methane that lasted at least two months. For now, scientists have just two possible explanations for the methane. One is that it is the waste product of certain living microbes.... It could have been created by a geological process known as serpentinization, which requires both heat and liquid water. Or it could be a product of life in the form of microbes known as methanogens, which release methane as a waste product.... The scientists also reported that for the first time, they had confirmed the presence of carbon-based organic molecules in a rock sample. The so-called organics are not direct signs of life, past or present, but they lend weight to the possibility that Mars had the ingredients required for life, and may even still have them."

"Oh, God, It's Mom." Kelly Faircloth of Jezebel: "Oh my Lord, shut it down, here is the greatest moment in the history of C-SPAN: A (very Southern) mama called into one of their shows to yell at the guests. Not because she disagrees, but because the guests are brothers and both her sons and she is sick and tired of their shit":


Escape from Alcatraz. Live Science: "... on the night of June 11, 1962, three inmates left Alcatraz in one of the most mysterious prison breaks in American history. John Anglin, his brother Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris tucked dummy heads into their bed sheets and snuck into an unused utility corridor through holes they had crudely drilled through their cells. Then, from the prison roof, they shimmied down the bakery smoke stack and climbed over the fence. From the northeast shore of the island, they floated away from the prison on a small raft made from more than 50 stolen raincoats that were inflated with a musical instrument that was converted into a pump. Even the FBI still calls the plan 'ingenious' on its website. After a 17-year investigation, federal authorities concluded that the men most likely drowned during the escape...."

... BUT ...

... The linked story above has a better video, but it's not embeddable.

Rolling Stone: "David Letterman will retire from late-night television on Wednesday, May 20th. The Late Show host's production company Worldwide Pants announced the news, according to Deadline, with CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves praising Letterman’s 'remarkable legacy of achievement and creative brilliance [which] will never be forgotten.'"

Washington Post: "New information from NASA's Curiosity Rover suggests that Mars may once have had large, long-lasting lakes above ground. That would challenge the more popular theory that water on the planet was only underground, or only appeared in a few areas for a short amount of time. The key to this latest theory is Mount Sharp, which stands 3 miles tall and sits in the red planet's Gale Crater. But Mount Sharp is a curious formation: The layered mountain is made of different kinds of sediment. Some layers were probably deposited by a surrounding lake bed, and other seem more likely to be the result of river or wind deposits." CW: Yeah, there was probably once a really well-developed life on Mars with flora & fauna & -- eventually -- little green men who didn't believe in climate change.

New York Times: "After weeks of planning, New York City welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Sunday for a three-day visit, greeting Prince William and his wife, Catherine, with the blend of enthusiasm, sarcasm and bemusing antagonism that tends to tail the urban celebrity tourist."

The Wrap: "Longtime CNN political anchor Candy Crowley is leaving the network."

December 6: Max Fisher of Vox: So two white guys -- guys who will have no trouble finding other jobs -- get fired, & half the New Republic staff walks out in protest. Where was the outrage when Marty Peretz was editor & writing racist screeds? The contrasting reactions speak "to a larger problem of how we think about racism in American society and particularly in the elite media institutions that have badly lagged in employing people of color." ...

... Scott Lemieux in LG&M: "For all its sins [of the past], I don’t see how turning the magazine into another traffic-chaser under the aegis of a CEO who speaks Meaningless Buzzword and apparently lacks the attention span to read more than 500 words at a time is a good thing." ...

... Charles Pierce: "... contra Chait, and even though the magazine unquestionably has regained a lot of its lost quality, especially in its actual reporting, I think the notion that The New Republic is 'an essential foundation of American progressive thought' is a ship that sailed a long time ago." ...

... Zandar in Balloon Juice: " The number of damns I give about TNR as a going concern at this point equals approximately the number of black voices writing for the magazine, which is to say zero, but YMMV."

... December 4 & 5: Dylan Byers of Politico: "Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier, the top two editors at The New Republic, quit on Thursday amid a shakeup that will relocate the Washington-based magazine to New York City, sources there told Politico on Thursday. Gabriel Snyder, a Bloomberg Media editor who previously served at The Atlantic Wire, has been tapped to replace Foer as editor. The magazine will also reduce its print schedule to 10 issues a year, down from 20." ...

     ... New York Times Update: "More than two dozen members of the staff of The New Republic, including several contributing editors, resigned on Friday morning, angered by an abrupt change of editors and what they saw as a series of management missteps. The resignations include the senior editors Alec MacGillis, Julia Ioffe and Isaac Chotiner, and the contributing editors Sean Wilentz and William Deresiewicz, according to several staff members who are leaving. A list compiling the names of those resigning was obtained by The New York Times." ...

     ... AND more from Jessica Roy of New York. ...

... Jonathan Chait: The New Republic has lost its way. ...

... Ezra Klein: "It's a bit early, I think, to write The New Republic's eulogy. Gabriel Snyder, the magazine's new editor, is a smart and web-savvy guy." ...

... Leah Finnegan of Gawker: "Indeed, an entire magazine is now doomed to fail because a white man has been fired and — gasp — an internet-savvy white man has been brought in to replace him! In TNR's 100-year history, I never would have imagined such a triage of injustice. It's clear that the new leadership of the magazine—with all their greasy Facebook money—is dead set on ruining a (historically racist) publication no one ever read in the first place, and was on the slow road to Irrelevance City. What will Chris Hughes do next? Perhaps the publication might even become interesting. Scream!"

Charles Pierce is completely taken with Ed Snowden. He's brave, credible & intelligent, blah-blah, & the film "Citizenfour" is bee-youtiful. For an antidote to starry-eyed Charles, see this review by Fred Kaplan of Slate.

This is quite cool:

 

Washington Post: "Scientists are 99.999 percent sure, in their most conservative estimate, that remains found in 2012 really do belong to King Richard III. These results, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, put a 529-year-old cold case to rest -- all thanks to some intense genetic detective work." CW: Let's hope one of the expert detectives wasn't Shaun Parcells. You may weigh in, Dr. Schwalb. ...

Welcome to Gramercy Park! -- "one of the most forbidden places in Manhattan." New York Times: Woody Allen couldn't get in to film, Robert De Niro couldn't get in, but Shawn Christopher, who was honeymooning in Manhattan, borrowed a key and "took three 360-degree panoramas using Photo Sphere, a Google app, and then uploaded them to the company’s ubiquitous Maps site. He had gotten into the park using another of his favorite technologies, Airbnb, where the room he rented included not only fresh linens and Wi-Fi but also one of the 383 coveted keys to the park. Mr. Christopher was unaware at the time that guests had to be accompanied by key holders on their visits and that commercial photography was prohibited." So take an insider's view of the park.

CW: For those of you who don't like hassling with DVDs, I accidentally found a cheap alternative to Netflix. Although I will continue to subscribe to Netflix's streaming videos, Netflix doesn't stream most decent movies. Instead, you have to maintain a (second) monthly subscription, then order & return the DVDs. However, YouTube now allows you to stream movies (you can watch them -- more than once -- during a 48-hour period.) There's no monthly fee, & you can play the movies on your TV via various devices. I have a Google dongle on one TV & a Blu-Ray box on another. The YouTube streaming videos work on both (you have to download on the Chrome browser). Setting up an account was very easy. Since I watch few movies, this works perfectly for me. When Ben Bradlee died, I watched "All the President's Men" for the umpteenth time, & today I watched "Good Night & Good Luck." Big advantage: instant gratification! I'm not sure if YouTube is good for more recent movies.

The Rockefellers Are Leaving the Building. New York Times: "By this time next year, they will have vacated the 56th-floor aerie [in 30 Rock] they have occupied since 1933 and moved to somewhat less rarefied headquarters across 49th Street. One of the country’s great dynastic families is downsizing."

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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.