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Thursday, July 25, 2024

The stupidity of Rand Paul

Rand Paul: Looney tunes (AP)

Kentucky Senatorial wannabe Rand Paul showcased his ignorance of the state he wants to represent as well as its history by flunking a simple test some weeks ago  on the history of “bloody Harlan County” and its meaning to the struggle of coal miners in that state.

When asked by Details magazine about the significance of Harlan and its role in the epic labor battles between coal miners and predatory mining companies Paul first responded that he thought the town was “famous for something” before admitting he didn’t know what it was.

When an aide tried to save Paul from his own ignorance, the Tea Party poster boy said “Maybe the feuding,” referring to the legendary Hatfields and McCoys family feud before adding that “the Hatfields and McCoys were more up toward West Virginia though.”

Then he offers that nearby Hazard, Kentucky, was the model for the TV series “The Dukes of Hazzard.” The Dukes of Hazzard was set in Georgia, not Kentucky, and spelled differently.

And this is not the only example of Paul’s ignorance about Kentucky. Notes Ben Smith of Politico:

In talking to both Republicans and Democrats at Fancy Farm, I found bipartisan wonder at just how foreign Rand Paul is to Kentucky’s treasured cultural and political traditions. He’s much more interested in, and comfortable with, discussing 20,000-foot national issues than his own state. Given the environment this year, Paul’s unfamilarity with the state may not matter — but it has the Kentucky political class buzzing.

The most striking example may have been the lede in the Details mag profile of Paul in which he was uncertain about why the town of Harlan — home to epic labor battles — was famous and suggested wrongly to the reporter that the nearby town of Hazard was the model for the fictional “Dukes of Hazzard.”

Now, Paul has offered up another doozy by claiming yesterday on Sean Hannity’s radio show that he was worried about being pelted with beer at Fancy Farm.  The problem with this claim: The picnic is put on by a Catholic parish and no alcohol is served.  And, in fact, the country where it’s held is dry.

This guy wants to be a United States Senator?  This is one of the candidates that the Tea Party “movement” points to as an example of its self-claimed — and illusionary — attempt to bring sanity to government?

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area we call the Twilight Zone.

(Edited on Aug. 18)

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53 thoughts on “The stupidity of Rand Paul”

    • What does the Associated Press have to do with this article? It is not an AP story nor was the AP cited in any of the sources or links. And this is certainly not a corporate news web site.

      I’m afraid the point, if there is one, is lost — at least from my perspective.

  1. Looks like I must have angered Doug. I guess it was too much to expect a fair exchange of views.
    That’s too bad because I have been reading this site since Doug broke the Juanita Brodderick story…

    • John:

      It takes a lot to anger me and you haven’t even come close yet. You posted several comments in quick succession last night and the Akismet spam filter kicked in. It happens sometimes and places all comments after that in a hold file until I can check it out.

  2. When you boil it all down you have to admit that at least in more than one State Dr. Paul’s group is recognized and so far I have been unable to find anyone who says that the group Dr. Paul began is worse or not as good as the other one.
    As far as the campaign money it was a gift and the recipient of the gift has the right to that money.
    I have yet to meet that Ron Paul donor who feels ripped off.
    Perhaps these sour grapes have another root, I don’t know.
    In any event I am happy with the money I gave to the campaign if for nothing else than the fact he brought issues up that nobody else has and began discussing the inflation tax.
    Rand Paul isn’t Ron Paul.
    Again we come back to the question, where’s the better candidate?
    (please don’t direct me to a phone book again, that’s lame)

  3. Have any of you gotten beyond the term FICA?

    The second word of that acronym is Insurance.

    U.S. Social Security is a social insurance program that is funded through dedicated payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).

    Social Security is NOT a retirement plan. Comparing it to Chile’s plan is comparing apples and bananas. They are not the same shape.

    If all else fails RTFM!

    • GHL is correct. At the term retirement is used quite extensively so I guess SS didn’t get the memo. But the perception of most Americans is that it is a retirement system and that is where it has failed. Why? Exactly what portion actually goes towards retirement? How much to “funny money?” Which would be better – SS or a 401(k)? SS is a safety net for those with low income or no saving acumen. IMO it is a good program gone bad thanks to Congress and a string of administrations.

  4. If a financial planner hit you with the concept of SS you would run out the door. This system has been used as a piggy bank for federal expenditures for decades and has been prostituted beyond belief to expand it into realms not designed just to buy votes. Privatize part of it would be fantastic. I look at my 30 years of contributions and my employers contributions in that time frame and if it was in index funds I’d be golden. I actually went into the dreaded private sector 20 years ago so I have not contributed in that time period but now collect. If somebody has a better idea I’d listen.

  5. No matter how you look at it, the social security scheme is reaching the end game as do all Ponzi schemes.
    Rand Paul is willing to accept the fact that we need change and I would vote for him in a heartbeat if I were in Kentucky.
    I believe he has more integrity than can be found in the entire Senate today so electing him would be a big step up from what we have now.
    Playing gotcha with a few questions will not advance the cause of ridding DC of the incumbents and given the product from DC since the Democrats took control after the ’06 elections we need replacements.
    If you can find a candidate better than Rand Paul I would like to know about them.

    • Oh yeah, Rand Paul has a lot of integrity. This man of integrity failed to correct media stories that incorrectly reported that he had an undergraduate degree. When asked about it, he claimed he was aware that the media was “misinterpreting his educational record.” Then a video of an editorial board meeting where Paul’s bio, which included a claim that he had an undergraduate degree, was read to him and he said nothing to correct the record.

      This man with “more integrity” is not board certified as an eye doctor by the his profession’s leading group but created his own board to grant himself “certification,”

      Yeah, real integrity.

      Want a better candidate? Try the phone book.

      • Gee, the phone book didn’t list better candidates, perhaps you have another source?
        He has more integrity than the current Senate and I trust him more than those who currently occupy that body.
        You didn’t name a better candidate because you can’t.
        I have yet to see this long list of complaints from patients who think his care was below par, perhaps you could share that with me?
        Isn’t his professions “main body” so full of liberals he didn’t see the need to give them anymore credibility?
        You sure bring a lot of questions to the table

          • Have you ever looked at the listings?
            It isn’t a medical board, it is opthamology and there’s no problem I see with setting up another board to certify eye doctors.
            Look at the group he refused to join before you knock him for not joining it.

            • The American Board of Ophthalmology is a medical board certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Rand Paul’s self-created certification board of not recognized or certified by the ADMS and Paul would not be allowed to practice in some states because he is not certified by a recognized board.

              You appear to buy into the mass hysteria that this man, or his father, is some sort of political messiah. I remember in 2007 and 2008 how the Ron Paul cultists claimed their hero would capture the Presidency when, in fact, he never stood a chance. When he finally abandoned his hopeless campaign for President, he converted $4.7 million in left over cash from contributions to his other causes, leaving some to wonder if the whole campaign was just another one of his fund raising schemes.

              (Comment Edited)

        • I question Obama’s integrity all the time but since that doesn’t fit into your plan of attack you choose to overlook it.

  6. Doug, is that all you can muster is ad hominem insults? Right wing pap? I didn’t ask about the law, I asked for your opinion. And it is a relevant, philosophical question. Would you feel a black business owner would be justified in denying service to a Klansman? Yes or no?

    I have had many philosophical debates here. Unfortunately none recently. It’s all reactionary garbage politics. Garbage in, garbage out as far as I’m concerned.

    I didn’t say you threatened me, I said “veiled personal attacks.” A thesaurus and dictionary may be some thing you’ll consider adding to your library, assuming you’re familiar with books.

    Really, if you were interested in philosophical debates on pertinent issues it would be reflected in your column. It’s all the same crap that you both promote and pretend to be disgusted with at the same time.

    But I’ll give it a try. If you knew any thing about or cared to research Chile’s Social Security program you would find that it is very popular and highly successful. Of course, there are many reasons why it is, but we Americans think we’re too good to learn from other countries, so we’re content to follow our Political Class down the rathole.

    • Yes let’s look at Chile’s program, Griff. And let’s see what St. Paul is touting. And let’s see if YOU know anything about it, since you asserted that it is both “very popular and highly successful.”

      First off, the burden was laid entirely on workers, with no employer contributions. The military junta ordered an 18 percent across-the-board raise in pay to cover the employee contribtutions of about 12 to 15 percent of pay, meaning that the employees got a very small net increase in pay at that time. But that’s wage-price controls under a military dictatorship. Our flirtation with such controls went NOWHERE!

      Chile’s AFP plan went ballistic when it first started, with an average annual yield of almost 17 percent. Unfortunately, those yields were at the expense of selling off government assets. After the assets were sold, the yield went into small (2 percent or so) to negative returns. This does sound like robbing Peter to pay Paul, doesn’t it?

      The AFP charges in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 percent on contributions every year to run the plan. Social Security in the US is less than 2 percent.

      The coverage sucks the big burrito:

      “A United Nations Development Program report estimates that 40% of AFP contributors will require additional assistance. The less one earns and the longer one lives, the more likely it is that an AFP account will not suffice. Since women in Chile, as in the United States, earn less on the average, leave the workforce more frequently to bear and raise children, and outlive men, they are particularly at risk. U.S. women, in contrast, benefit from the redistributive nature of Social Security, which provides more generous benefits, as a proportion of income, to low earners. The only safety net for the poor is a minimal pension that provides barely enough to pay for a loaf of bread and a cup of coffee each day. And even that austere program is limited to 300,000 Chileans, excluding thousands of the most destitute citizens. Moreover, most of the self-employed, who constitute more than 28% of the Chilean workforce, are especially vulnerable because participation in an AFP plan is not mandatory for self-employed workers; as of 1996, only 10% of them had voluntarily enrolled. “

      Other factors seem to indicate that comparison of Chile’s system to the US system is a matter of apples and bananas:

      The ratio of employee to pensioner in 1981 was 9 to 1 in Chile, and only 4 to 1 in the US, meaning that the Chilean system had deferred as opposed to immediate costs.

      Contributions to the system in Chile are affected by widespread cheating on reporting. Most people in the lower income brackets underreport income because they figure they will eventually qualify for the unpaid-for minimum pension and that will exceed what they would get through a privatized system. The result is a deferred demand for pensions which is unfunded and will remain unfunded.

      The system in Chile does provide death and disability insurance, so it is MORE than a retirement plan. Based upon the low percentage of premiums, however, one has to question whether the insurance liability is funded or if it a PAYGO.

      The system in Chile worked so well that in 2008 the government had to establish minimum pension plans for approximately one-third of the work force which had not been covered. Where did the money come from? Profits on sales of copper from the Government’s monopoly on copper mining. Which is very nice, but the sales of copper were expected to sink dramatically because of the lousy world economy. Where are they gonna be then?

      Hand in glove with privatization of Social Security is abandonment of the system now in effect. This is what one conservative columnist has to say about that:

      “Yet, the first thing that happens after the abolition of SS is that the working children and grandchildren of retirees instantly get a raise of about 12.4% in their paychecks.  This means that if you’re making $30,000, you get to keep about $3720 more than before; if you’re making $100,000, you get to keep about $12,400 more than before, etc.  That’s an extra three or twelve thousand dollars a year to take care of grandma.  And if grandmas and grandpas have a good handful of productive progeny, they might be able to live out their retirements quite comfortably with help from their caring kids.  For those retirees who might not be able to live that way, there will undoubtedly be a surge of private charity to fill the vacuum left by the abolition of SS. “

      “Undoubtedly a surge of private charity”? Yeah. Right. That’s gonna happen. When you see Beelzebub running the Zamboni. This is the sort of bulls**t that the citizens need to know about the thinking of the conservative spectrum.

      The Chilean system is NOT what St. Paul and Obtuse Angle want you to think it is, and I can lead you to the water but you’ll just call it Kool-Aid and refuse to drink it.

      Now, do you want to debate or do you want to just start beating up on the messenger? Your choice.

    • Yes, Mr. Griffin, I’ve been to Chile and prepared two reports on its Social Services program while working in Congress. Have you? Yes, I know a hell of a lot more about it than you because I’ve been there, talked to those who run the system and those who suffer under it. Yes, I’ve written two magazine articles and an op-ed about the system. What have you done except cite talking points?

      Unlike you, I don’t recite talking points from others and pass them off as fact. I research and learn. You should try it sometime.

      And if you think I issue veiled attacks you have a lot to learn about me, this web site and the art of debate. If and when I chose to really attack you will know it.

      As for the garbage on this web site, you have dumped a lot of it so don’t blame others for your crap.

  7. Paul certainly does not inspire me but it seems the gist of the story is his lack of knowledge regarding local historical facts. I imagine you could probably ask “the man on the street” and get a similar pattern of ignorance. I don’t know if this is really “Gotcha Journalism?”

    I remember several years ago a reporter at a political debate asking one of the candidates a question about members of the State Supreme Court in the state where I live. It was semi – significant at the time and the idea was to set a trap. Who actually knows even one? The pol was the quick thinking type (a rarity) who simply said “I will answer that if you can tell me the names of five board members on your paper.” That ended that discussion.

    With the restaurants there are public access laws and public health laws. In a shoeless and shirtless White guy was served and a similar attired – or lack of – Black guy was denied you would certainly have an access issue. Both should be shown the door since businesses are allowed a certain discretion on who they serve and race is not part of the equation.

    • I am inspired by Paul. Even though he didn’t choose politics, he was drawn to do something about the mess we are in. His motivation for seeking public office is one grounded in serving the people he represents when elected, not the whim of some reporter playing gotcha.

  8. Rand Paul on a bad day is still better than a liberal Democrat.
    At least the man understands economics and he sees that spending trillions you don’t have is unwise.
    For economic reasons alone he gets my vote.

  9. I think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 resolved that question, that if that restaurant was open to the public then klansmen would be served, if someone refused service then said klansmen could then file discrimination lawsuit against said restaurant. gee simple law or is there something else you had in mind … go ahead state your real purpose

    • Freedom of association. For instance, is there a law on the books that says businesses shall not serve shirtless, shoeless people? No. But businesses reserve the right to refuse to serve such people. Do we see millions of shirtless, shoeless people marching on Washington, demanding a change in the law regarding this?

      The whole question isn’t about race or gender, but of government mandated morality and interference with private sector business. Paul did say that he would have voted for the Civil Rights Act, and his only issue is with the one section concerning private business.

      But of course we simpletons can’t seem to get our heads around the idea that the private and public sector are two distinct entities; nor do we seem to grasp the basic idea of freedom of asscoiation as it pertains to the private sector.

      Government is incapable of solving moral dilemmas. Look around. Government is more apt to exacerbate these problems and then use them as campaign tools. Public pressure would do more damage to the hypothetical businessman than any lawsuit.

  10. It used to be that doctors generally thought themselves as God’s gift to the world of finance and business. Which probably explained why, at one point some years ago doctors were among the most likely of the professions to end up in bankruptcy.

    Why now do they seem to think they are God’s gift to the political world? What medical school training prepares doctors for either business or politics?

  11. No as if a Klan member would lower himself to be served by a black man. So on my property I can do anything?? start planting the MJ seeds.

  12. Oh gee, I wonder how many congresspeople have made such miniscule mistakes in their careers.

    Oh, he’s unfit for office because he didn’t know ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ was set in Georgia. Crucify him! Crucify him!

    What of policy positions? Ask him about economics or healthcare.

    • Well, let’s see. They’ve asked Rand Paul about civil rights and he said restaurant owners should be allowed to discriminate against minorities if they want.

      He has compared Medicare to the fall of the Soviet Union and cites Chile as an example of good, privatized Social Security programs.

      As Forrest Gump would say: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

      • It’s called private property rights. Would you think a black restaurant owner would have the right to refuse service to a Klansman?

        Funny how you rarely weigh in on any debates unless it involves Ron or Rand Paul.

        • Wrong. According to our comment logs, I have commented on 171 stores so far this year and only five involved Ron or Rand Paul. Of the 516 comments I have posted, only 29 have concerned either of the Pauls.

          Still, it’s fun to engage Paulites in debate — a little like shooting rubber ducks at a carnival 🙂

          If a Klansman were obeying the law and was refused service in an establishment owned by an African-American, then that owner would be guilty of discrimination under the law.

          • Yeah right. What debate? It’s too bad after all these years in politics you still can’t manage a real debate on real philosophical grounds. You didn’t answer my question. As usual you resort to veiled personal attacks because that’s about all your tired ass can muster these days.

            Your turn, ducky.

            • I answered your question.

              I’d love to debate on philosophical grounds but your only interest here lately is to be a bomb thrower.

              You have no real interest from you in philosophical debate griff. Your only interest appears to be trying is in trying to piss off people.

  13. The S in “The stupidity of Rand Paul” should be capitalized in the title of the story, “journalist” (sic).

    • The headline style on this web site is caps/lower, also known as “sentence structure.” The last time we checked, the word “stupidity” was not a proper name that needed capitalization unless it is the first word in a sentence.

  14. So weak dude. Seriously. Do you honestly think anyone is going to take your “reporting” here seriously when you simply delete the posts which question your motives and your means?

    So weak…

  15. I am not a Paultard. I support the 14th ammendment, a woman’s right to choose, the Civil Rights act of 1964, and various other non-paul ideas. Call me a liar some more though, the name-calling is really winning you points as a professional journalist.

    You take issue with a Congressman who voted no on the Iraq war and no on the TARP bailouts. Understood. Had I said “Congressman Kucinich” instead of Paul, you probably would have soiled your undies in delight. I tend to see things in a non-partisan way, you tend to like calling people “stupid” based on party affiliation (as evidenced by the insightful title of the above article).

    “if you want to engage me you will lose.” What a big man you are! Did they teach you to defend your shoddy re-stating of previously reported drivel that way in journalism school? Probably not. Me thinks you are the self-taught type.

    Shouldn’t you be re-hashing month-old stories right now, rather than saber-rattling at the likes of me? I’m sure there’s some great stuff you could dig up on the opthalmology board certification scoop that a million other people covered before you stumbled upon it 2 nights ago.

    I’ll be back in a few hours to see what’s the latest regarding your thin-skinned and mealy-mouthed personal assaults on my character. I have to go to work now. Working for a living & behaving in a professional manner is quite rewarding. You should try it sometime!

  16. DISCLAIMER: I am not a Republican, nor am I a Paultard. I do not support Rand Paul’s brand of pseudo-libertarianism.

    That being said, I absolutely adore the way the left revels in Rand Paul rumors. Clearly, the huff post is crushing on this guy. So cute!

    Your Dukes of Hazzard “story” is about 3 months old. Now that the whole “Aqua Buddha Kidnapping” fiasco has blown up in your faces, you seem hard-pressed for new material. Who the hell paid Doug Thompson for this ridiculuous “reporting?”

    Rather than sticking to substantive issues which might actually harm his polling numbers, the left-leaning media seems content with re-stating for the record: “We don’t like Rand Paul. He’s a dummy.” BRILLIANT! Somewhere, Edward R. Murrow is clearly impressed with your tireless devotion to the objective reporting of hard facts. How nice for you!

    You seem to be missing the point: The more you lecture and cajole the good people of Kentucky on their “political idiocy,” the better Paul polls against his status quo opponent. Clearly, this is the source of much frustration for the left. Instead of discussing issues which could potentially damage him, you stick with kidnapping hoaxes and headlines like “The Stupidity of Rand Paul.”

    NOTE TO THE LEFT: Intellectual efitism does not win any votes in the Blue Grass State. But please keep it up! You’re making me laugh so hard it almost hurts.

    • Nobody said the Harlan screw-up happened yesterday. His latest flub (as reported by Ben Smith) did happen recently and it just continues the ongoing stream of screw-ups that showcase the idiocy of Rand Paul and the movement that spawned him.

      • If by “his latest flub” you mean the Fancy Farms beer-throwing remark, that story is over a week old now and pre-dates the kidnapping hoax. Perhaps you need a new researcher. I’m sure you could find some undergrad to do it for you on the cheap.

        On the other hand, they make this one thing called “Google.” It might behoove of you to follow the news and do a bit of reading prior to writing.


        • I don’t care much for keyboard commandos or drive-bys by those who hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. Rand Paul’s flubs are so frequent that it would take a full-time staff of researchers to keep up with them all. His ignorance of issues about Kentucky is so great that it defies logic.

          The only person mentioning any kidnapping hoax is you. It wasn’t mentioned here until you brought it up and you’re the only one talking about it.

          (Comment edited)

          • You now have my last name, and you already had my email addy. If your means of engaging in debates relies on name-calling, I would advise you to email me. Posting that sort of thing for the public record may not serve your ends as a wannabe “reporter.”

            Regarding your “idiocy of Ron Paul” remark: I thought we were discussing Rand. If you are so out of touch with this nation’s contempt for its elected leaders that you are willing to go to war with me against admirable efforts of Congressman Ron Paul, I wish you the best of luck in your new career as a janitor or cafeteria employee.

            Keep digging that hole. Can’t wait to see which foot you shove in your mouth next…

            • Name calling? Go back and read your first post Mr. Herbst. You started this “war” as you call it.

              As for the typo of calling Rand Paul by his father’s name, it has been corrected. It’s hard to tell them apart since they both come from the same tinfoil hat mold.

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