You’re late to the party, Stephen, but welcome:
As I’m sure you know by now, Rand Paul went on the radio last week to suck up to Sean Hannity, assuring him that he’s actually tough on national security despite his opposition to the Patriot Act. And how did he manage to suck up to Caveman Hannity? By saying that people who attend speeches by “radicals” advocating the violent overthrow of the government should be put in jail or deported. In its full context, there is absolutely zero doubt that is what he said and meant.
And it wasn’t just me and ThinkProgress and Krugman and Maddow and Cenk and Glenn Greenwald and Steve Benen saying that. Even the libertarian fanboys of Rand Paul at Reason Magazine agreed that this was really messed up:
Having listened to more of the interview…, I can’t say it makes the Kentucky senator, whose principled criticism of the PATRIOT Act I praised a in my column yesterday, look much better.
But Paul goes completely off the rails when he suggests that merely attending “radical political speeches” is “an offense that we should be going after,” one that justifies deporting or even imprisoning someone. (On what charge?) That does not sound like the same man who the day before insisted that we can “capture terrorists and protect our liberties at the same time” and who the day before that challenged conservatives and progressives by declaring that “if we do not protect the entire Bill of Rights, we are not going to have any of it.” It’s not surprising that Hannity did not press Paul for an explanation, but Paul had a chance to clarify his position and did not. You would think that a self-identified defender of civil liberties who goes on a nationally distributed radio show and hears himself suggesting that people should be imprisoned for attending speeches would be in a hurry to explain that is not what he really meant.
Another person at Reason wrote Paul to clarify what he meant, but he still hasn’t responded.
But what Rand did do yesterday is go on Mandy Connell’s show for some damage control, where Connell served up some huge softballs and slobbered all over him, like the no-talent hack that she is. In the “interview” Rand “clarifies” his views, of course blaming his “enemies” for taking him “out of context”. This is the first real 100% instance of “Rand’s Law” that we’ve seen in a while, as those who quote him full and in context are liars (yes, Newt has appropriated this Law).
But does Rand Paul fully back down from his views on Hannity’s show, especially his belief that Rand Paul himself should be a person of interest for federal authorities? Not so much. As you can see when he summarizes his views at the end of the interview:
Well heaven forbid that we should think about our political discourse some and have debate. But, no I don’t, I think if people hear enough of it, that’s one of the beauties I think of talk radio, is that you can have a more full discussion of things. The people on the internet who are talking that out of context, are obviously people who are my political enemies. So they are going to do anything to try to promote that.
But I think it’s a consistent position, and all I’m saying is that attending a rally where you call for the violent overthrow of the United States, one, it’s against the law to say that. But attending the rally I think would be supportive evidence to a judge to say, well maybe that person should be somebody, if he’s taking 25 calls from Pakistan, he’s been to Yemen twice, perhaps that’s enough evidence that a judge could grant a warrant to look further into his activities.
OK, looking past the hilarious praising of right-wing radio’s service of allowing people like Rand Paul to do unchallenged PR spin when they say something idiotic, let’s look at the basic argument which remains.
According to Rand, if you attend one of those radical speeches, Big Brother should be watching and listening to you, but only if you’ve been cavorting with Muslims, it appears. Now, does the fact that Rand Paul attended a speech where militiamen with assault rifles were calling for the violent overthrow of the government implicate himself and justify his spot on their Naughty List? Or does the fact that these militiamen were good white Christians mean that there is no harm here, and that Rand doesn’t have to be taken down to the station for questioning or have his phone tapped? Or is the fact that Rand Paul is a good white Christian allow him to go to radical violent speeches without impunity, while Muslim students do not have that right?
It’s still a little cloudy, as Rand’s Reason Fanboy Jacob Sullum agrees:
Paul has managed to construct a clarification that is alarming as well as reassuring. Instead of saying that he misspoke, he seems to defend the idea that people should be imprisoned for advocating violence. But in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from criminalizing “advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” That test is very hard to meet in practice, and an anti-American speech by a radical imam is unlikely to qualify unless his listeners immediately go out to plant bombs. In any case, people who merely listen to the speech have not committed any conceivable offense by doing so…. It is hard to tell exactly what he meant to say, since in both interviews he conflates several different scenarios, including airport screening, search warrants, deportation for violating student visa rules, and both listening to and giving radical, violence-promoting speeches. But at least he has made it clear that he does not favor punishing people for exercising their First Amendment rights. I think.
They truly are trying very hard to get him off the hook here, but… Rand’s making it kind of difficult.
Anyway, if this PR Bailout didn’t fully do the trick to quiet the storm, I’m sure Mandy Connell would invite him back to finish the job, true professional that she is.
Rand Paul, fearless defender of Liberty from having its door bashed in by government thugs and drug away, told Sean Hannity on Friday that if you attend a speech by a “radical” promoting the violent overthrow of the government you should be put in jail or deported:
“I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.“
That’s certainly an interesting point of view by Rand.
Made all the more interesting by the fact that Rand Paul attended, even spoke at, a rally where militia members holding assault rifles advocated the violent overthrow of the government and execution of liberal journalists. You know, the same militia that is good buddies with the Hutaree out of Michigan that where arrested for plotting just that.
Let’s refresh your memories, if this oldie but goodie has slipped your mind:
The question is: do we have the courage and the spirit of our forefathers? Our people do. Today we want to tell the Marxist control freaks out there, don’t dare cross that bridge. But we know they will. We the militia, and hopefully with your support, stand ready with no apologies, cause what we have forced upon us is not from a legitimate government, or the American values of self reliance and independence. If you want to be a European, move.
The Declaration of Independence says that when a government is no longer beneficial or responsive to the people, it is our right and duty to change it. Now some citizens are holding out hope that the upcoming elections will better things, and you know we’ll wait and see. Lots of us believe that maybe that’s not reliable, considering the fact that the Fabian progressive socialists have been chipping away at our foundations. Regardless, the founders made sure we had plan B (holds up his gun). You know what that is.
The treasonous left wing socialist politicians, and their lapdogs in the press, have gotten a wedgie here recently in their underpants over the tea parties. And a little broken glass (wink, wink). I sure hope they’re out there today. If they read history, they should know and fear what came after those events over 200 years ago. This latest forced health care bill, which is really about people control, the same thing as gun control, is the modern day equivalent of the 1765 Stamp Act, its only more disastrous to our freedom living way of life, etc…
History it seems is ready to repeat itself. After a long and costly civil war that is eminent, and sure to be forced upon us, we are taking note of those who are responsible for the treason, and they will be held accountable. I advise the press to start getting it right from this moment on, and stop aiding and abetting un-American activities. Like the Tories of old, the worst shall be hung, most will be exiled, and I’m a contractor so I have a little bit of tar and feathers for those who are only partially guilty.
In closing, let me implore you to keep the torch of freedom burning bright, god bless the republic, death to the New World Order. We shall prevail.
And here’s Rand Paul speaking to the militia advocating the violent overthrow of the government, which he never saw, of course (wink, wink):
I, for one, would like to go on the record as disagreeing with Rand Paul, as I do not believe his attendance at this rally warrants his imprisonment or deportation from the country. I personally felt last year that this disqualified him from receiving my vote, sure. But I do not share Rand Paul’s advocacy for a Big Brother police state where the government thought police breaks into your house and drags you out so they can throw you in the gulag if you listen to crazy idiots say stupid things.
I’ll be the bigger man here, Rand.
But I do think your Father Liberty was onto something when he called you a “Sunshine Patriot”. What a sorry excuse for Liberty Christ.
Jonathan Meador has a must read story on the Great Ark Encounter Scam in the new edition of LEO.
As we mentioned last Thursday at the Beshear administration’s ceremonial rubber stamping of $43 million in tax breaks for Ark Encounter, Mike Zovath from Answers in Genesis is claiming that they are open to taking the sell out, compromising, non-Young Earth approach to their new park. We believed (and still do) that this was just spinning the consultants and Beshear in order to guarantee that their big government handout was not jeopardized on Thursday. They’ve compromised in words, but they’re still going to stick some dinosaurs on that giant boat before they open (and pray that it doesn’t burn).
But in Meador’s story, check out this on the record compromising on Ken Ham’s “missionary lizards”:
Zovath has told multiple media outlets that the park will pursue scenario A; however, the choice to pursue a mainstream version of Christianity within the park’s programming represents a capitulation of sorts for Answers in Genesis, most notably for Ham, whose most recent book, “Already Compromised,” chastises Christian colleges for deviating from fundamentalist “Young Earth” teachings and argues that “Christians can’t compromise God’s Word.”
So if Ark Encounter is in danger of straying from Answers and Genesis’ literal interpretation of the Bible, a burning question must be asked: Will there still be dinosaurs on the Ark?
“(We’re) not positive,” Zovath explains. “The fact that it gets so much publicity is probably a good reason to consider having (dinosaurs) on the Ark, because people write about it. Just like in the Creation Museum, we get so much press and so much publicity and so much interest in the lobby where the dinosaurs and the kids are playing together. People get interested in it, and they want to know more about it, so that could be a strong reason to include that in the Ark itself. Again, we’ve got an awful lot of exhibits, and it’s a pretty complex project, really large, as you can imagine, so we’re kind of concentrating on the big chunks and then working our way down to the specific details of each exhibit.”
That quote, perhaps more than any other I’ve ever seen, speaks volumes about what a charlatan, grifter organization Answers in Genesis is.
Despite the fact that half of what Answers in Genesis is in the business of doing is vilifying and discrediting Christians who don’t advocate their version of biblical literalism (i.e., Flintstone Truth), here is their spokesman on the record yet again saying that he is willing to do just that in order to receive his big government handout. Maybe Ken Ham can put himself in a new chapter of the book he just released, joining the rest of the Young Earth compromisers.
But this quote also reveals something that I’ve always suspected: their use of and emphasis on dinosaurs is nothing but a cynical con game that allows them to market to children and their parents the economic equivalent of crack. They push Flintstone Truth not because they actually believe such insanity, but because it allows them to milk lots and lots of money out of stupid people.
I went into this in much more detail in this post from late-December, but it’s no coincidence that Ken Ham took his Flintstones Freakshow to America the year after Jurassic Park became the number one box office and marketing juggernaut in the history of motion pictures. He saw the dinosaur craze taking off, and he wanted to cash in. Just like the recent surge in children’s movies with dragons has lead to Ken Ham’s new push that dragons were real.
Despite his repeated claims, dinosaurs are not “missionary lizards” to Ken Ham. They are “merchandise lizards”. Plain and simple.
So the Great Con of Ken Ham and his Answers in Genesis grifters continues. Of course, now it’s not just weak-minded parents that they are grifting. It’s the Commonwealth of Kentucky, to the tune of $43 million.
Yesterday we discussed how odd it was that Rep. Geoff Davis would spend 8 years vilifying critics of the Iraq War as al-Qaeda appeasing cut-and-runners who don’t support the troops, and then casually said that the Iraq War was a mistake yesterday. Without being prefaced by, you know, a big apology.
Well, we’ve had more time to dip into the archives, and boy did we find some more stuff. This is from November 3rd, 2005 on the House floor, as Republicans sought to show the “truth” about the War in Iraq. Iraq was going swimmingly, you see, unlike what those liars in the liberal media and cut-and-running Democrats were saying.
One of the speakers that day to explain the treachery of those who criticized the war was Rep. Geoff Davis. Enjoy:
The whole thing is quite fascinating. But here’s some of the fun parts:
Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to share a perspective that I think is often lost in the freedoms we enjoy, the freedom to meet in this Chamber, the freedom to reflect upon the great decisions that have been made here through the generations, The decision to enter into a war, to provide freedom and the maintenance of our union, the decision to free peoples in Europe and ultimately preserve our security at home.
On December 7, 1941, President Roosevelt stood in this Chamber and declared that December 7 was a day of infamy. He shared that this unprovoked attack which moved the United States to war, eventually into Europe as well. In the Korean War, we stopped Communist aggression. In Vietnam, the American people responded. During Operation Desert Storm, the American people responded.
In this Chamber in September of 2001, President Bush responded to an attack that was not brought about, my friends, by some nebulous global war on terror. I think it is important that we understand this war is not about some nebulous terrorist concept. This is about Islamic extremism that chooses to impose itself on the world. These people who largely act as agents of states, these non-state actors do not follow the teachings that they purport. Yet if we look more deeply, we see that they are seeking to be true to their interpretation of that religion.
More than that, I would suggest to you that these same people who want to talk about numbers and these liberal reporters who do not care about this Nation, who do not care about the price that was paid for the freedoms that they enjoy, where were you for the last 25 years? Where were you when 16,000 American soldiers died between 1983 and 1996 in service to this Nation? Where were you when 24,000 American men and women gave their lives between 1980 and 2004? Your comments, frankly, are despicable, dishonorable, uninformed, unhistorical, anti-intellectual and, frankly, un-American. But I respect your freedom to make those statements, because they were purchased with the blood of all of those who served.
But now you disagree with the policy when our Nation is threatened by extremists, and soldiers and Marines and airmen and sailors have responded to that call, and you sit here mouthing your empty words.
To me, I think the lesson that we have to ask ourselves is how do we get around this, how do we avoid this problem. Well, the media is not going to be helpful to this country because I think they have lost their connection with the heartland of this Nation, with the people who have borne the burden of the price of freedom through the generations.
That is the contrast that we have here: freedom, opportunity, hope, true faith, or extremism, persecution, tyranny and hatred. Thank you for you who serve.
So there’s that…
What’s that word I’m looking for that describes Geoff Davis?
So this is some good stuff, right here.
Last month the House Republicans voted to end Medicare, then realized that it might not have been a good idea to end one of the most popular programs in American history. Mitch McConnell certainly isn’t dumb, therefore he knows that the Republican Party needs an escape plans before the Democrats start roaring back to power next year.
This is that escape plan:
A bipartisan agreement to curb entitlement costs would reassure financial markets concerned about the nation’s ability to rein in its spiraling debt, McConnell told reporters after the meeting. Doing it now, he said, would neutralize the issue for the 2012 presidential campaign.
“If there’s a grand bargain of some kind with the president of the United States, none of it will be usable by either side in next year’s election,” McConnell said. “That is the importance of this debt-ceiling moment.”
So this is what you have here: Mitch McConnell is telling the President that he’s willing to let the American government default, unless Democrats agree to cut Medicare too, thus talking away the Democrats’ electoral advantage next year.
Very “grand”, and very “important” this bargain moment is.
Also fun considering that Mitch McConnell railed against “cutting” Medicare in late 2009 on the Senate floor when the Affordable Care Act was nearing a vote. Seriously, watch:
That was the same day that his office released this press release with the same title as this video, “Cutting Medicare is not what Americans want“.
So if you’re keeping track, Senator Mitch McConnell voted to slash Medicare in the 90′s and 00′s, then was against slashing Medicare when he wanted to attack the Affordable Care Act (Americans didn’t want that!), then was against expanding Medicare when Democrats proposed that the next day, then was for ending Medicare when the Paul Ryan plan came out, and now he’s for cutting Medicare as long as Obama does it too so that voters think there’s no difference between the parties.
I’m shocked that you can get away with it too, Mitch.
And as Digby notes, I wonder if Karl Rove and David Koch have signed on to this “neutralize” pact for the 2012 race. I’m sure we can trust them, just like ole Mitch.
Today Senator Mitch McConnell tried, and failed, to filibuster the nomination of John McConnell to serve as a district court judge in Rhode Island.
Funny that he should try to filibuster a judicial nominee, considering these past Greatest Hits from Mitch:
- “Any President’s judicial nominees should receive careful consideration. But after that debate, they deserve a simple up-or-down vote. . . . It’s time to move away from advise and obstruct and get back to advise and consent. The stakes are high . . . . The Constitution of the United States is at stake. Article II, Section 2 clearly provides that the President, and the President alone, nominates judges. The Senate is empowered to give advice and consent. But my Democratic colleagues want to change the rules. They want to reinterpret the Constitution to require a supermajority for confirmation. In effect, they would take away the power to nominate from the President and grant it to a minority of 41 Senators.” (States News Service, May 19, 2005)
- “Because of the unprecedented obstruction of our Democratic colleagues, the Republican conference intends to restore the principle that, regardless of party, any President’s judicial nominees, after full debate, deserve a simple up-or-down vote. I know that some of our colleagues wish that restoration of this principle were not required. But it is a measured step that my friends on the other side of the aisle have unfortunately made necessary. For the first time in 214 years, they have changed the Senate’s ‘advise and consent’ responsibilities to ‘advise and obstruct.’ [...]Given those results, many of us had hoped that the politics of obstruction would have been dumped in the dustbin of history. Regretfully, that did not happen.” [Senate Floor Speech, 5/19/05]
- “What we’re talking about here is not the filibuster rule overall, but getting back to the practice of allowing judicial appointments for judge candidates who have a majority support in the Senate to have an up or down vote.” [CBS News, The Osgood File, 4/25/05]
- “…I don’t want to get too technical here, but the point is, what Senator Frist is considering doing is not unprecedented. It was done by Senator Byrd when he was majority leader. What is unprecedented is the fact that the Senate, for the first time in 200 years, last Congress chose to filibuster judges for the purpose of defeating them. That had never been done before in the history of the Senate. That’s what’s new…What Senate Republicans are contemplating doing and what I think they should do is to get us back to the precedents that were established prior to the last Congress, in which judicial appointments were given an up-or-down – that is, a majority – vote.” [Fox News Sunday, 3/27/05]
- “Let’s get back to the way the Senate operated for over 200 years, up or down votes on the president’s nominee, no matter who the president is, no matter who’s in control of the Senate. That’s the way we need to operate.” [Los Angeles Times, "The Nation; Clock Ticks on Effort to Defuse Senate Battle," 5/23/05]
The biggest hypocrite in Washington D.C. simply has no equal. Kentucky Pride.
Have you heard about how Barack Obama and his tax and spend big government regulating agenda is killing jobs? Literally strangling them to death? It’s just a big death machine of…
Oh… you see what he did there?