Tag Archives | Rand Paul

Rand Paul: From Purist to Politician

One thing you can say about former Congressman Ron “Dr. No” Paul: he never compromised his libertarian views. It definitely held him back, career-wise; now his son Rand seems to have learned this lesson and is showing all the signs of a politician whose opinions change with the wind. Major profile in the Washington Post:

Sen. Rand Paul wanted to eliminate aid to Israel. Now he doesn’t. He wanted to scrap the Medicare system. Now he’s not sure.

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He didn’t like the idea of a border fence — it was expensive, and it reminded him of the Berlin Wall. Now he wants two fences, one behind the other.

And what about same-sex marriage? Paul’s position — such marriages are morally wrong, but Republicans should stop obsessing about them — seems so muddled that an Iowa pastor recently confronted him in frustration.

“With all due respect, that sounds very retreatist of you,” minister Michael Demastus said he told Paul (R-Ky.) after the senator explained his position during a stop in Des Moines.

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#OpFerguson: Martial Law, Demilitarization & Camera-Wearing Cops

 

On Thursday, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) went on MSNBC and voiced his opinion that Obama should declare martial law in Ferguson, Missouri:

“Ferguson, Missouri, is part of the United States of America. People have a right to protest. They have a right to dissent. They have a right to march in an orderly, peaceful, nonviolent fashion. And the press has a right to cover it. So my own feeling, right now, is that President Obama should use the authority of his office to declare martial law. Federalize the Missouri National Guard to protect people as they protest.”

A disturbing suggestion, though I can sympathize with the level of intensity which prompted it…the anger, frustration, and seeming helplessness. Thankfully, it sounds like things have calmed down somewhat since Lewis made that statement, and without the need to escalate matters even further:

Just 24 hours after police SWAT trucks, riot gear and tear gas defined protests of Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri, an entirely different scene appeared on Thursday.

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Rand Paul, Kennedy and the ‘Libertarian Moment’

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Rand Paul. Photo: Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One has a feeling that we’re going to be seeing an awful lot more of Rand Paul in the media over the next two years. The New York Times Magazine kicks off with a lengthy piece about Paul and the “libertarian moment” (whatever that is):

“Let’s say Ron Paul is Nirvana,” said Kennedy, the television personality and former MTV host, by way of explaining the sort of politician who excites libertarians like herself. “Like, the coolest, most amazing thing to come along in years, and the songs are nebulous but somehow meaningful, and the lead singer kills himself to preserve the band’s legacy.

“Then Rand Paul — he’s Pearl Jam. Comes from the same place, the songs are really catchy, can really pack the stadiums, though it’s not quite Nirvana.

“Ted Cruz? He’s Stone Temple Pilots. Tries really hard to sound like Pearl Jam, never gonna sound like Nirvana.

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Confessions of a Right-Wing Shock Jock: I’m Not a racist; I Just Played One On The Radio.

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“Conservative, libertarian, independent”

Could this be a kook, a racist and a white supremacist calling in the cleaning crew to “white wash” his political image?

via Politico Magazine

In July, the neoconservative website Washington Free Beacon published an article with the headline “Rebel Yell: Rand Paul aide has history of neo-Confederate sympathies, inflammatory statements.” The subject was a peculiar one—a staffer for Sen. Paul (R-Ky.) who had worked as a radio shock jock with the nickname “Southern Avenger” while wearing a Confederate-flag wrestling mask.

The Southern Avenger had said some pretty atrocious things. He toasted John Wilkes Booth’s birthday each year and believed that Lincoln “would have had a romantic relationship with Adolf Hitler if the two met.” He worried about “racial double standards for white people” and that “a non-white majority America would simply cease to be America.”

That Rand Paul aide was me. I had written and said all of these things.

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Rand Paul – Drone Hero to Drone Zero?

Barack Obama won acclaim from civil libertarians in 2008 when he pledged to close Guantanamo Bay. Five years later, the prison camp remains open, costing taxpayers $900,000 per-prisoner, per-year.

Rand Paul scored similar praise this year when he challenged Attorney-General Eric Holder on the domestic use of armed drones. Now, the Kentucky senator may be doing a bit of back-peddling himself. In an apparent move to position himself for a 2016 presidential bid, Paul has softened his position on the use of drones over U.S. cities, controversially indicating he’d be okay with drone-fired Hellfire missiles being used to stop convenience store hold-ups, according to Politico. The son of Ron Paul was swept into the Senate with support from civil libertarians of the right-leaning variety but now wants to unshackle himself from that “vocal group” of tantrum-prone “contrarians.”

“Rand is a grassroots champion and has a huge, devoted following that will be with him through thick and thin,” said Benton, who ran Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in 2012 and is managing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign.

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Ron Paul: “Gitmo Sucks!” | Rand Paul: “Gitmo Rocks!”

Paul & Paul | image courtesy Gage Skidmore

Just like Baskin-Robbins, the Paul brand has learned it can increase its customer base by offering both chocolate and strawberry. Therefore,

- Ron Paul is continuing to advocate closing Guantanamo Bay,
- Rand Paul is advocating keeping Guantanamo Bay open.

Reporting on the opening of the Ron Paul Institute, whose board of directors has been joined by former Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich, Politico noted the Gitmo issue as one of several gaps between the older Dr. Paul and the younger Dr. Paul:

It will not be surprising if the younger Paul receives less than a 100 percent rating from his father’s group.

The elder Paul, for instance, said Guantanamo is “outside the law” and symbolizes torture, secret prisons and an assassination list.

The Kentucky senator, 50, gave a carefully nuanced answer Wednesday when a reporter asked his position on Gitmo during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

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The Black Hornet Is Here To Help.

After Rand Paul's filibuster this last week, many people are paying a bit more attention to the idea that our government may not always be using their cool toys for our own good. RT's Abby Martin reported on mini drones and the possible ways in which they could be used against the public. One has to wonder if these little dandies might slip through the cracks of public awareness due to their size. Will Rand Paul get up again and passionately rail against the use of these cute lil' fellas? Presently in military use abroad, it seems like only a matter of time before these mini-drones hit the ghettos and suburbs of America to quietly keep an eye on the malcontents. If you can imagine it, it's probably going to be done at some point. Easy as 'playing an Xbox'; mini drones offer a new way for those in power to keep an eye on you...through your second floor bedroom window. Nice undies!
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Ayn Rand Has Done Some Good Things for Us: An Interview with Chelsea Wolfe

Last year I was presented with the opportunity to interview the lovely and talented neo-psych-folk-doom chanteuse Chelsea Wolfe. Now, I agreed to do this based solely on the fact that I absolutely love her 2011 album Apokalypsis. Truth be told, I knew nothing about the girl other than that I like that album when I signed on. So, I was more than a little confused when I started peruse through her press materials to help come up with, you know, something to ask her about and found that the first person she cites as an influence is none other than…Ayn Rand. Seriously, so of course that was the first question I asked her and I found her response rather compelling:

THAD: You’ve been largely inspired by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged which I find kind of fascinating. That work has recently been closely associated with the Tea Part’s slash-social-program insanity despite the fact that Rand herself was decidedly anti-Ronald Reagan (and Jesus for that matter).

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