The Ledes

Thursday, July 24, 2014.

Bloomberg News: "Jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 284,000 in the week ended July 19, the fewest since February 2006 and lower than any economist surveyed by Bloomberg forecast...."

Guardian: "A flight operated by Air Algérie carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early on Thursday, the plane's owner said."

The Guardian is liveblogging developments in the Gaza crisis. More than 700 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, many of them children.

Reuters: "A powerful Ukrainian rebel leader has confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had an anti-aircraft missile of the type Washington says was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and it could have originated in Russia. In an interview with Reuters, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, acknowledged for the first time since the airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday that the rebels did possess the BUK missile system and said it could have been sent back subsequently to remove proof of its presence."

Los Angeles Times: "The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday night lifted its ban on U.S. flights to and from Tel Aviv."

The Wires

The Ledes

Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

New York Times: "The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to establish an inquiry into human rights violations in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories at a special session on Wednesday in which the top human rights official, Navi Pillay, said Israel and Hamas had likely committed war crimes with indiscriminate attacks on civilians." ...

... New York Times: "As the death toll mounts and passions spike, the Foreign Press Association in Israel condemned on Wednesday what it called 'deliberate official and unofficial incitement against journalists' who are reporting on the fighting in Gaza. That includes 'forcible attempts to prevent journalists and TV crews from carrying out their news assignments,' the association said."

... New York Times: "Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Israel on Wednesday, as he pressed his effort to forge a cease-fire to bring a halt to the bitter fighting in the Gaza Strip. Mr. Kerry’s plane touched down at Ben-Gurion International Airport just a day after the United States Federal Aviation Administration suspended American civilian flights to Israel." ...

... Guardian: "International airlines halted flights to and from Israel indefinitely on Tuesday citing security concerns in an unexpected twist to the two-week-old conflict in Gaza." ...

     ... CW: Guess that puts something of a damper on the Summer Vacation Insurance Theory of War. ...

... Washington Post: "As Israel pummels Hamas’s infrastructure inside Gaza, it is also trying to prevent attacks originating from the West Bank and Israel — by obliterating the houses of the relatives of Palestinians who allegedly have harmed Israelis. In doing so, Israel’s military has returned to a controversial policy of punitive demolitions that has displaced thousands of Palestinians over the years."

Washington Post: "Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down Wednesday over rebel-held eastern Ukraine in the same vicinity as a Malaysian airliner that was downed last week, Ukrainian officials said." ...

... Time: "U.S. intelligence resources tracked the 'specific missile' that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a senior Administration official said Tuesday, saying intelligence adds up to a picture that 'implicates Russia' in helping to bring down the plane." ...

... Washington Post: "The Obama administration, detailing what it called evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysian airliner, on Tuesday released satellite images and other sensitive intelligence that officials say show Moscow had trained and equipped rebels in Ukraine responsible for the attack."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, May 29:"The ongoing measles outbreak in the United States has reached a record for any year since the disease was  eliminated in this country 14 years ago, with 288 cases of the potentially deadly infection reported in 18 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday."

White House Live Video
July 23

2:00 pm ET: Vice President Biden speaks at the NAACP national convention in Las Vegas, Nevada (audio only)

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

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

Washington Post: "On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years. 'If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,' physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA."

New York: "Governor Cuomo and CBS announced Wednesday that The Late Show will continue to be shot at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater, its home of 21 years, when David Letterman retires and Stephen Colbert takes over in 2015. While it had been assumed that the show would be staying put, CBS only made it official today, announcing that it had received $11-million in state tax credits and $5-million in renovation money for the theater in exchange for staying in NYC and guaranteeing the continuation of 200 jobs surrounding the show's production." ...

... Nice announcement, but not as long as Cuomo's 13-page response to a New York Times article that showed Cuomo is a pompous, corrupt, two-faced hypocrite.

Lunar Landing, Cable News Version. Slate: "In 2009, Andrew Bouvé imagined what it would be like if the moon landing happened today, unleashing cable news on the event.... This Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing."

 

New Yorker illustration.

The New Yorker has opened up its archives for the summer. An excellent opportunity to get in on some fabulous reading.

 

CW: Jordan Weismann of Slate presents this audio as an unusual customer service horror story. It is a nightmare, to be sure. But as someone who has had to deal with stopping & starting various utility & communications services recently, I can attest that it is par for the course for an American U.S. customer service rep. Dealing with non-Americans, who increasing represent U.S. companies, is worse. These reps all work from scripts, but the non-Americans don't understand my English, so their "responses" are even more non-responsive than are those of the Comcast guy there:

 

Airborne Dinosaur. USA Today: Paleontologists have discovered in China a new species of dinosaur that "had long feathers not just on its wings but also on its hind legs, making it one of only a handful of 'four-winged' dinosaurs. It also had big, sharp teeth and sharp claws, indicating it was carnivorous.... Scientists were surprised to find something so large that could take to the skies so early in the history of flying creatures." ...

     ... CW: Charles Pierce's take: "The Christianists have been wrong all these years. It's not Intelligent Design. It's Abstract Design. God The Dada."

Houston Chronicle: "The Palm Beach mansion known as President JFK's Winter White House has hit the market for a staggering $38.5 million. That price is even more gasp-worthy considering the same property sold for $4.9 million in 1995 and a mere $120,000 in 1933." More photos, including interior shots, at the linked page.

Heller McAlpin reviews Marja Mills' book The Mockingbird Next Door, a memoir of the writer's friendship with Harper Lee & her sister Alice Finch Lee, for the Washington Post.

According to this Daily Beast headline, the "World Awaits LeBron James' Decision." CW: Even though I so often do the sports report, it turns out I am not of this world.

Smart Girls Don't Swear. Vanity Fair "cleaned up, pored over, and painstakingly transcribed" some of the Nixon tapes, "many of which were muffled and, at times, indecipherable." The post excerpts a few: Nixon on gays, Jews, swearing.

New York Times: Hillary Clinton's "memoir, 'Hard Choices,' has just been toppled from its spot on the best-seller list by a sensational Clinton account by her longtime antagonist Edward Klein. It is a powerful statement about today’s publishing realities that Mr. Klein’s book, a 320-page unauthorized and barely sourced account full of implausible passages, including one about a physical altercation between Mrs. Clinton and President Obama, has landed atop the New York Times best-seller list, knocking 'Hard Choices' to No. 2." ...

... If by chance you believe the major media are the exclusive haunts of "elite leftists," here's evidence it ain't so. Klein, the Times story notes, is "a former editor at Newsweek  and The New York Times Magazine."

Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast interviews Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times. Abramson still doesn't know what "management skills" means. Kinda makes you think maybe she doesn't have any.

Tim Egan: American children are too sheltered. The world isn't as scary as we think it is.

... Thanks to Bonita for the link. CW: I except you actually could purchase the materials at Hobby Lobby you'd need to make an IUD. However, Dr. Weader strongly advises against this do-it-yourself project.

New York Times: "The New Yorker is overhauling its website, making all articles it has published since 2007 available free for three months before introducing a paywall for online subscribers."

The New York Times Magazine publishes excerpts from a few of Warren Harding's love letters to Carrie Phillips. Also, he was a worse poet than he was a president. And Phillips was unfaithful to Harding; then she blackmailed him. Maybe it was because she was so turned off by all those letters where he personified his penis as "Jerry."

Guardian: A Princeton archaeologist has found what may be the world's oldest extant erotic graffiti on the Greek island of Astypalaia in the Aegean sea. Also, it is so gay.

Wherever in the U.S. you may live, if you missed your local news last night, we have it here. In fact, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, here's what will be on your local news tonight. Thanks to Bonita for the link:

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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.