The Wires

White House Live Video
February 10

2:10 pm ET: President Obama addresses the Illinois General Assembly

2:30 pm ET: Vice President Biden participates in a discussion of the "cancer moonshot" (audio only)

4:25 pm ET: President Obama speaks at the Hoogland Center for Arts in Springfield, Illinois

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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Public Service Announcement

New York Times (February 4): "Pregnant women whose male sexual partners have spent time in a country with confirmed transmissions of the Zika virus should either abstain from sex or use condoms during intercourse for the duration of their pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.'

USA Today: "Women of childbearing age should avoid alcohol unless they're using contraception, federal health officials said Tuesday, in a move to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome. 'Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,' said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and even if planned, most women won’t know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking.'"

New York Times (January 14): "Federal health officials are debating whether to warn pregnant women against travel to Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in newborn babies. Officials say it could be the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises pregnant women to avoid a specific region during an outbreak." ...

     ... NYT Update (January 15): "Federal health officials on Friday advised pregnant women to postpone traveling to 13 Latin American or Caribbean countries and Puerto Rico where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in babies." ...

... The Washington Post reports on the crisis in Brazil.

CW: Not sure if the movie is any good, but Ron Howard's intro is primo. Here's the trailer:

... The New York Times story, by Brooks Barnes, is here. "Kept a secret for months — no small task in Hollywood — 'Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie' was released to coincide with Mr. Trump’s victory on Tuesday in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary."

New York Times: The leader of a group of "aging thieves" who last year pulled off "the largest burglary in England’s history" may have been an ex-policeman. The others have been captured, but "Basil" is still at large & his identity is unknown to investigators. Surely there will be a movie.

Washington Post: "Media mogul Sumner Redstone has resigned as board chairman at CBS Corp. after a court battle raised questions about the 92-year-old executive’s mental competence. He was replaced by Leslie Moonves, the longtime CBS president and chief executive, CBS announced Wednesday. The transition took effect Tuesday when Redstone was appointed to the role of CBS chairman emeritus, CBS said."

... New York Times: "A small 16th-century oil on panel largely kept in storage at a Kansas City, Mo., museum is a work by the Dutch Renaissance master Hieronymus Bosch, researchers [in the Netherlands] said on Monday, a finding that, if accepted by other scholars, would add to the tiny list of about 25 recognized Bosch paintings in the world. The painting, 'The Temptation of St. Anthony,' dated 1500-1510, had previously been attributed to the workshop of Bosch or to a follower of Bosch, known for his comic and surreal images of heaven and hell and the earthly moral purgatory in between."

Radio host Diane Rehm discusses her "retirement" plans with Karen Heller of the Washington Post.

Washington Post: "A lost story by famed British children’s author Beatrix Potter — the Tale of Kitty-in-Boots — has been discovered among her memorabilia and will be published this year more than a century after she wrote it. Jo Hanks, a publisher with Penguin Random House who made the discovery at London’s Victoria & Albert museum in 2013, called the story the biggest Potter discovery in generations and almost certainly the last, the London Times Newspaper reported Tuesday."

Boston Globe: "Late Night host (and New Hampshire native) Seth Meyers stars in this trailer for his fake movie, Boston Accent, which just laughs at all the devices used in every movie ever made in Boston":

Tim Egan's Confession: "I can no longer wait in a grocery store line, or linger for a traffic light, or even pause long enough to let a bagel pop from the toaster, without reflexively reaching for my smartphone."

Planet Nine. Caltech: "Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun. The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, discovered the planet's existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations but have not yet observed the object directly." ...

... CW: Planet Nine, my ass. I will never abandon Pluto! But this is a mighty thrilling development. ...

... UPDATE. Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post interviews Mike Brown, one of the discoverers of Planet Nine. It turns out, as certainly every astronomer knows, that Mike Brown was also the guy who killed Pluto! Even his daughter is mad at him for that.

New York Times: "Five planets will parade across the dawn sky early Wednesday[, January 20,] in a rare celestial spectacle set to repeat every morning until late next month. Headlining the planetary performance are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. It will be the first time in more than a decade that the fab five will be simultaneously visible to the naked eye, according to Jason Kendall, who is on the board of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York."

Los Angeles Times: "The backlash against this year's Academy Award nominations escalated Monday with announcements by director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith that they would boycott the Feb. 28 Oscars ceremony, citing the absence of people of color in all four acting categories for the second year in a row. If other prominent entertainment industry figures join the boycott, it has the potential to spoil Hollywood's annual showcase event."

Donald Trump playing Donald Trump in movies & on teevee shows:

New York Times: "#OscarsSoWhite, that damning hashtag that made the rounds last year, can again, unhappily, be revived for this year’s Oscar nominations, which were announced Thursday morning.... The only Academy nods for two of the year’s biggest films about African-American characters went to white people.... In all the lead categories — best director, picture, and all four acting categories — only Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the Mexican auteur who won best director and picture last year, for 'Birdman,' adds a note of diversity. This year he was nominated for 'The Revenant.'”

Los Angeles Times: "Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards have been announced, and 'The Revenant' is leading with 12, including for best picture. Other nominees for best picture are 'The Big Short,' 'Bridge of Spies,' 'Brooklyn,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'The Martian,' 'Room,' and 'Spotlight.' All the snubs, surprises and reactions from nominees coming below." Full coverage via the linked page.

Christian Science Monitor: "... thanks to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University, the lowly incandescent bulb is getting a jolt of new life. The six-researcher team says it has found a way to boost the bulb's efficiency twenty-fold, which would leave today's favored compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the dust, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology." ...

     ... CW: If these bulbs go into production, it should make Rand Paul very, very happy. If only MIT could do something about his big-shit problem. Science does have its limits.

Los Angeles Times: "A 21-year odyssey came to an end Tuesday when National Football League owners voted to allow the St. Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season and gave the San Diego Chargers an option to join the Rams in Inglewood."

** Washington Post: "In a paper published in the open-access journal eLife this week, researchers say they have pinpointed what may well be one of evolution’s greatest copy mess-ups yet: the mutation that allowed our ancient protozoa predecessors to evolve into complex, multi-cellular organisms.... Incredibly, in the world of evolutionary biology, all it took was one tiny tweak, one gene, and complex life as we know it was born." The paper is here. ...

... CW: Sorry, fundies, this is a lot more exciting than a trip to the Noah's ark amusement park or whatever it is.

The Los Angeles Times' Golden Globe coverage is here.

New Yorker: More Pluto!

New York: "Lumosity is one of these 'brain training' programs, and yet, according to the Federal Trade Commission, many of those claims aren’t backed up by science. On Tuesday, Lumos Labs — the company behind Lumosity — agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission for $2 million for misleading consumers on claims that playing these mental games would help with cognitive performance and prevent mental decline as we age. 'Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,' Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. 'But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.'”

New York Times: "Twitter is experimenting with introducing a longer form of tweet, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans, in what would be another gradual move away from the simplistic design sensibility that the service was originally founded upon. The project, which internally has been referred to as 'beyond 140,' is still in its testing phase and is not set to be introduced until at least March...."

Washington Post: "Four newly discovered elements managed to squeak their way in[to the periodic table] just before the end of 2015, filling up the table's seventh row and marking the first additions since 2011." CW: Since I know squat about chemistry, let me say here -- in the fullness of my ignorance -- that the periodic table should stick with elements that occur in nature. If chemists want a "sub-periodic table" to show off their lab-created, unstable elements, let 'em have it. I don't see how an "element" can be artificial. Anyone who knows what s/he's talking about is free to set me straight.

TPM: "Twitter announced Thursday it's bringing back Politwoops, the popular gaffe-tracking transparency tool that tracked politicians' deleted tweets, after unceremoniously killing off the service earlier this year.... Twitter revoked developer API access for the project, a venture of The Sunlight Foundation and The Open State Foundation, in August 2015."

If you are interested in what George Lucas thinks about the "Star Wars" series & other stuff, you can find out here, presuming Charlie Rose doesn't monopolize the conversation (okay, silly presumption). ...

... Later Lucas said he was sorry he said some of those nasty things.

Contact the Constant Weader

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Kentucky

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holy Shit! Jack Conway Plays the Acqua Buddha Card:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Rand Paul Is Off the Wall":

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... AND there's this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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