Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President highlighted the progress our economy is making, and the commonsense policies that could make it even stronger by ensuring that everyone who works hard has the opportunity to get ahead, especially women and working families":

The Wires

The Ledes

Friday, October 31, 2014.

Reuters: "The ringleader of a beating ritual that led to the death of a Florida college marching band member was convicted on Friday of manslaughter and felony hazing, the first case to go to trial in an incident that drew national attention to hazing abuses. A jury convicted percussionist Dante Martin, 27, for his role in a November 2011 ritual involving the Florida A&M University's celebrated 'Marching 100' band that led to the death of Robert Champion, a 26-year-old drum major." ...

... CW: Why are these college students so old?

Los Angeles Times: "Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, part of a commercial space venture founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, crashed during testing Friday, according to a Mojave Air and Space Port spokesperson and the FAA. At least one person was killed." MSNBC is saying two were injured as well.

New York Times: "Less than a day after restricting the movements of a nurse who treated Ebola victims in West Africa, a judge in Maine has lifted the measures, rejecting arguments by the State of Maine that a quarantine was necessary to protect the public. Within an hour of the decision, state troopers who had been parked outside the nurse’s house for days had left. The order, signed on Friday by Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere, the chief judge for the Maine District Courts who serves in Kennebec and Somerset counties, said the nurse, Kaci Hickox, 'currently does not show symptoms of Ebola and is therefore not infectious.' The order requires Ms. Hickox to submit to daily monitoring for symptoms, to coordinate her travel with state health officials, and to notify them immediately if symptoms appear. Ms. Hickox has agreed to follow the requirements.” Thanks to James S. for the link.

AP: "Eric Frein, 31, appeared gaunt and battered as he answered yes or no questions and listened as a judge read the criminal complaint detailing the Sept. 12 attack that killed Cpl. Bryon Dickson and critically wounded Trooper Alex Douglass."

Washington Post: "Russia agreed Thursday to resume selling natural gas to Ukraine, ending a cutoff.... The stopgap deal will secure critical energy supplies for Ukraine through March and will also help assure European countries that their own natural gas supply will not be disrupted during chilly winter months."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, September 17: "Artificial sweeteners might be triggering higher blood-sugar levels in some people and contributing to the problems they were designed to combat, such as diabetes and obesity, according to new findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

New York Times, September 1: "People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study [financed by the N.I.H.] shows."

White House Live Video
October 31

9:15 am ET: President Obama & Michelle Obama greet the kids for trick or treat (CW: looks like the time is wrong on this; the video has a countdown which shows the event won't occur for about 8 hours)

11:10 am ET: President Obama speaks about the economy

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

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Rolling Stone: Jon Stewart that NBC News approached him about hosting "Meet the Press.": "My guess is they were casting as wide and as weird a net as they could. I'm sure part of them was thinking, 'Why don't we just make it a variety show?'"

We're Fairly Wonderful, and the Boss Sucks. Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill & John Cook: "Matt Taibbi, who joined First Look Media just seven months ago, left the company on Tuesday. His departure ... was the culmination of months of contentious disputes with First Look founder Pierre Omidyar, chief operating officer Randy Ching, and president John Temple over the structure and management of Racket, the digital magazine Taibbi was hired to create. Those disputes were exacerbated by a recent complaint from a Racket employee about Taibbi’s behavior as a manager." ...

... CW: This article is an extraordinary exercise in using a publication's content to bitch about the publication's financial backer. Let's see if Omidyar just takes his own money & runs.

He Took the Money & Ran. New York Times: When Credit Suisse erroneously dropped $1.5MM in the business account of hedge-fund manager Joseph Galbraith, Galbraith kept the money & has moved to parts unknown. He has not completely disappeared as he's had contact with the New York Times (directly or indirectly): in an e-mail he called Credit Suisse's suit against him “ridiculous, bordering on laughable.”

Andrew Rice of New York: "Matt Taibbi, the star magazine writer hired earlier this year to start a satirical website for billionaire Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, is on a leave of absence from the company after disagreements with higher-ups inside Omidyar's organization, a source close to First Look confirmed today. Taibbi's abrupt disappearance from the company's Fifth Avenue headquarters has cast doubt on the fate of his highly anticipated digital publication, reportedly to be called Racket, which First Look executives had previously said would launch sometime this autumn." CW: Ah, "creative differences." ...

     ... "UPDATE: Taibbi has left the company."

Ancient Grains! Jeez, people will buy anything. CW PS: Unless you're a scientist with specific knowledge about the benefits of ancient grains as opposed to say, oats, don't write in & bitch about my ignorance. We all have our pet peeves, rational & irrational. Fad foods -- in fact, fads in general -- are one of mine.

Washington Post: A "virtual autopsy" of King Tut suggests the boy king had "buck teeth, club foot and a pronounced overbite."

Stephen Colbert describes his workday:


No Surprise Here. Valerie Tarico of AlterNet, in Salon: "... online search traffic from behind closed doors in Jesusland suggests that the bad, nasty, sexual impulses righteous believers are trying so hard to shut down may be their own. And if Google search patterns mean anything, they’re not succeeding too well: studies consistently demonstrate that people in conservative religious states search for adult materials online far more often than people in blue states."

Jeffrey Frank reviews, for the New Yorker, a new biography of Nelson Rockefeller by Richard Norton Smith. The review is fairly entertaining & informative.

Michael Cieply of the New York Times: "... several of the companies behind 'Citizenfour' — which takes issue with Mr. Obama’s expansion of Bush-era surveillance, and his administration’s attempt to prosecute [Edward] Snowden for espionage — are led by some of the president’s close political allies. They include Harvey Weinstein, the Weinstein Company’s co-chairman, as well as Jeff Skoll, the founder of Participant Media, and Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, who all have been major contributors to Mr. Obama’s political campaigns."

Washington Post: "President Obama's credit card was rejected last month at a restaurant in New York. 'I went to a restaurant up in New York when I was -- during the U.N. General Assembly, and my credit card was rejected,' Obama said Friday while signing an executive order to protect consumers from identity theft. 'It turned out I guess I don’t use it enough. They were -- they thought there was some fraud going on. Fortunately, Michelle had hers.'"

"Who's Gonna Stand Up & Save the Earth?" Not Stephen Colbert:

Novelist John Grisham recants his apologia for child porn. Good to know.

New York Times: "CBS announced a new subscription Internet streaming service on Thursday that allows people to watch its live television programming and thousands of its current and past shows on demand without paying for a traditional TV subscription. The new 'CBS All Access' service, costing $5.99 a month, is the first time that a traditional broadcaster will make a near-continuous live feed of its local stations available over the web to non-pay-TV subscribers. At its start, the live stream will be available in 14 markets in the United States." ...

... New York Times: "HBO announced Wednesday that it would start a stand-alone Internet streaming service in the United States in 2015 that would not require a subscription to a traditional television service, a move that intensifies the premium cable network’s growing rivalry with Netflix. Just hours after HBO unveiled plans for its new service, Netflix announced that its subscriber growth was slower than expected...."

Joe Coscarelli of New York: "Following its initial mercy killing at the hands of Jon Stewart, Crossfire was rebooted last year with Newt Gingrich and Van Jones to dismal returns..., CNN ... scrapped it for good today [October 15] so that Newt can spend more time with his animals — and hopefully run for president again."

Joe Concha of Mediaite: "A well-placed source tells me MSNBC will be announcing major programming changes sometime in the next month, including the cancellation of Ronan Farrow‘s afternoon program, Ronan Farrow Daily." CW: I've caught a few minutes of Farrow's show a couple of times, & it was clear the guy was in way over his head. His performance was as embarrassing as the Russert kid's, though he isn't an obnoxious bro in the Russert-kid mold. I'm not sure if the suits will ever figure out that legacies & children-of-famous-people are usually not the best & brightest, perhaps because a lot of the suits themselves are legacies.

Philip Shenon in Politico Magazine: "If even Robert Kennedy was a conspiracy theorist, it is hard to see how millions of other Americans will ever be convinced to accept that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone."

Bill Carter of the New York Times: "MSNBC has seen its ratings hit one of the deepest skids in its history, with the recently completed third quarter of 2014 generating some record lows."

Snowden, The Movie:

... AND, Snowden's girlfriend is living with him in a Moscow apartment. David Harding of the New York Daily News: "His girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, moved into his apartment in the Russian capital in July, a detail that was revealed in the new documentary, 'Citizenfour.'” ...

... George Packer of the New Yorker on Laura Poitras & making the film "Citizenfour." ...

... Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times discusses the film. He attended the premiere at the New York Film Festival, where the documentary got a rare standing O. CW: I'm kinda sensing that "Citizenfour" can best be described as "documentary as hagiography." And, yes, I'm definitely seeing an Oscar here. Call me an oracle.

 

 

A video for Marco I'm-Not-a-Scientist-Man Rubio & Bobby I'm-Not-an-Evolutionary-Biologist Jindal, & all their non-scientist Republican friends:

"An FBI wanted poster shows William Bradford Bishop Jr. The image on the left shows how Bishop would look now. (Getty)"Dan Morse of the Washington Post: "For nearly 40 years, the legend of Bethesda fugitive William Bradford Bishop Jr. carried an air of not just evil brutality but refined sophistication. This was a man suspected of killing his family with a small sledgehammer in 1976 and setting their corpses on fire. Then he vanished, taking with him fluency in five languages, the experience of a world traveler for the State Department, and a fondness for playing tennis, flying airplanes and drinking Scotch. There were alleged sightings: a public park in Stockholm, a restroom in Sorrento, Italy, a train station in Basel, Switzerland. Now, in a potentiality stunning development in the case — centered in a municipally owned cemetery in the northeastern corner of Alabama — remains that were exhumed Thursday may tell a different story. Bishop could be the heretofore unidentified man called John Doe, who was struck by a car while walking down a highway in 1981, a person who appeared to be homeless, who’d worn several layers of heavy, dirty clothes and weighed just 155 pounds." ...

... CW: If you like mysteries & enjoy reading about how they're unravelled, you should find this a compelling story. ...

... UPDATE. Unsolved Mystery. Washington Post: "Human remains recently exhumed from an Alabama grave are not those of the notorious fugitive William Bradford Bishop, who is accused of killing five family members with a small sledgehammer in Montgomery County in 1976 and setting their bodies on fire, law enforcement officials said Wednesday. The FBI said that DNA taken from the unidentified body in Scottsboro, Ala., on Oct. 9 did not match Bishop, who is a member of the Ten Most Wanted list." Original story further down this column. Thanks to Haley S. for the lead.

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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.