Tag: Rand Paul

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Time for a GOP Purge?

 
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A small business?

Sorry to sound like Robespierre, but the disgraceful goings-on described in this National Review article deserve to be investigated and the responsible parties exposed. Simply put, Congress was exempted from Obamacare on the basis of a fraudulent application to the District of Columbia’s health exchange that described the Hill — which employs thousands — as a small business eligible for taxpayer subsidies under the ACA:

When [Small Business Committee chairman Sen. David] Vitter’s staffers tracked down the application and discovered obvious signs of fraud, Vitter requested approval to subpoena an unredacted copy of the application. The value of that document, says Cannon, is that it would reveal the name of the person who filed it. “Now you’ve got someone to call to testify,” he says, predicting that testimony would precipitate a congressional vote on whether to end the congressional exemption altogether.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Handicapping the Republican Presidential Hopefuls

 

shutterstock_121492783The biggest issue with the current crop of Republican presidential candidates rests in the one characteristic they all share: that they are all politicians. Okay, so Dr. Carson is no politician, but he’s not a viable candidate, either. Let’s start with Jeb Bush. He used to be the most conservative of the Bushes, but he traded that in for what I’m sure he believes is practicality. It’s not. It’s not even compromise. It’s weakness. The media senses it, and they cheer for him. DocJay is right: Jeb is Hillary’s mark and nothing smacks more of politics than the Bush Dynasty.

Scott Walker is a fighter, no doubt, but his hands are still stained permanently with the ink of taxpayer dollars. In his short life, he’s been a politician… and nothing else. Chris Christie was a prosecutor before he immersed himself in politics. If there’s one thing nearly as disqualifying of politicians as politics, it’s the practice of law and — worse yet — the practice of law on the government payroll. Private practice is narrowly qualifying, but double-damn on those who cash a government check. And while Christie never had my vote, he earned my contempt when he wrapped his beefy arm around our President, seeking favor after disaster.

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One thing I’ve noticed about Hillary is the measured way that she has responded to controversial issues like vaccinations and others. She lets others go first and stir up controversy, risking a loss of popularity, then comes out with a reasonably sounding statement. Rand Paul, by contrast, recently threatened legal action against some media outfit […]

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Poverty Trifecta: Despair, Dependency, Drugs

 

I’ll admit that our justice system is discriminatory: it favors those who can afford a viable defense and it disfavors the defiant. I’m no sociologist, but I guarantee that defendants represented by private counsel are more apt to receive leniency than those represented by public defenders. Defendants invested in private counsel are more likely to take the advice of counsel seriously and conduct themselves with humility and contrition throughout the judicial process. This garners leniency. These observations are intuitive and cannot likely be proven or reasonably measured; nonetheless, I’m confident they are true and profound.

Consider the state of the poor communities in urban America. Crime rates in these urban areas are legion, but this is not just an African-American problem. The problems of gangs and drugs go hand-in-hand with welfare dependency and persistent single parenthood, and it’s not hard to find pockets of white or Hispanic citizens where these problems persist. In fact, this is not even an urban problem. These problems are epidemic in many small rural towns (especially in California), on the reservation, and in rural Appalachia. That they are most acute in urban black communities does not mean the issue is fundamentally about race.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Dear GOP Candidates: Beat the Press

 

shutterstock_120719548This new generation of GOP hopefuls understands what only Newt Gingrich knew in 2012. If you want a chance at the White House, you need to beat the other candidates and you need to beat the press.

Mitt Romney, decent fellow that he is, tacitly accepted the press’ claims of objectivity, even if he didn’t believe it in his heart. Romney grinned and nodded at reporters from CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC, even though their initials could have been DNC.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Rand Currency?

 

635640152486121192-RAND02-SAMAnd then there were two announced presidential candidates (well, more like 195 if you dig a little deeper through the FEC’s files), now that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has officially tossed his hat in the ring (here’s the video). About the announcement: it wasn’t No Child Left Behind. More like No Box Left Unchecked.

Before an enthusiastic Louisville crowd, Paul was (in addition to being an incumbent U.S. senator offering himself as an enemy of the “Washington machine”): (a) an advocate of limited government and a supporter of a big investment in infrastructure; (b) a former arguer in favor of defense cuts, who now wants to invest more in the military; (c) a tough guy on national security who also wants to pull back from countries that don’t like us; (d)his father’s son as both a physician and a libertarian practitioner (Ron Paul was in attendance for the kick-off, but not on the front stage), with at least one big notable difference; (e) a candidate for the GOP nomination who believes the party needs a kinder, gentler approach to non-traditonal constituencies — all the while telling his announcement crowd that it’s time to “take our country back”.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Please Stop the Pandering, Senator Paul

 

shutterstock_180495284You may count me among those unenthused by the prospect of a Rand Paul presidency. To understand why, look at the speech he gave in announcing his candidacy on Tuesday. Using an old and stale a rhetorical device, Senator Paul proclaimed his visions of an America he assures us would exist under his stewardship. Among these visions was this: “I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color is repealed.”

Senator Paul cannot possibly be so uninformed as to think that crime is committed in equal proportions across all ethnic lines. The only explanation for including that little nugget in the speech is that he is pandering to those who cling to the discredited belief that the criminal justice system is rigged against racial minorities.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Skepticism, Yes. Cynicism, No.

 

Senators Call For Passage Of Military Justice Improvement Act “Leave no tired cliche untouched..is this all there is?”
“Do young people like all these catch phrases?”
“Anyone who thinks college liberals will warm to an anti govt tirade or conservs will buy empty platitudes on def? Get real”

When Rand Paul announced his candidacy this morning, I had one eye on his speech and the other on the Twitter reaction. About a quarter of the tweets were positive to neutral reactions while the rest mocked the candidate, denigrated his fans, and ridiculed his chances in the primary. All the above comments were from a single Beltway GOP voice, but the jaded tone dominated my feed. These weren’t snarky reporters and Democrats, but Republicans who claim to want victory in 2016.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Rand’s Reforms: The Ricochet Survey

 

RandHere’s a protip for the approaching presidential campaign season: when the candidates take to the stump, always read the transcript rather than watching the speech. I adopted this technique during the 2008 presidential campaign, when it simply became too arduous to sit through 75 minutes of mass hysteria (and at least one audience member fainting) to get through 15 minutes worth of Barack Obama’s cotton candy remarks.

The transcripts are clarifying. You’re not distracted by the delivery or the audience dynamics. You’re essentially alone with the candidate and his thoughts. And, nine times out of ten, you’re going to be disappointed — because the vast majority of these guys don’t have much to say.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Senator Rand Paul Formally Announces Candidacy

 

shutterstock_180495377From the Washington Post, Senator Ted Cruz now has some official competition:

Sen. Rand Paul, the maverick first-term senator who rode a tea party wave from a Kentucky ophthalmology practice to Congress, on Tuesday formally announced a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The GOP’s Fight Club

 

621_356_fight_club1Sometimes, late-night television writers have to scrounge for material. Other times, comedy falls right in their laps. For example: news reports that a 68-year-old Mitt Romney plans to climb into the ring with former boxing champ Evander Holyfield.

It’s part of a May 15 card in Salt Lake City. And before you think Romney’s lost his mind (or suffered damage from too many political campaigns), rest assured that (a) his heart’s in the right place (it’s a fundraising event for Charity Vision, a humanitarian organization founded by retired Salt Lake physician Bill Jackson) and (b) the former GOP nominee hasn’t lost his sense of humor (“It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious,” he told reporters. “It won’t be much of a fight. We’ll both suit up and get in the ring and spar around a little bit.”).

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Is it Rich Lowry only? NR’s YouTube feed often uploads interesting newsclips — they love Charles Krauthammer, for example — but yesterday someone saw fit to upload a fifteen second clip of Bibi’s speech that was titled “Rand Paul’s Reaction to Netanyahu.”‘ It shows the PM waving to the chamber, and then thunderous applause, during […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Andy Ferguson Narrows the Field

 

In all the hoo-hah about them over the last 10 or so days, one of the things I found most annoying was that Brian Williams and Jon Stewart kept being described as journalists. Performers, yes, but journalists? Either of them? Not even close.

That was my reaction, anyway, but then I got to wondering: Does journalism, real journalism, even exist anymore? Original research and reporting, good, accessible writing, all presented with freshness and energy and intelligence? Is it still around? Or has journalism become so debased that we might as well concede the collapse of another corner of what used to be called Western Civilization and go ahead and grant that, by current standards, Williams and Stewart really sort of were journalists?

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Fed’s Hawk Tells Rand to Back Off

 

The Federal Reserve normally stays out of political fights but when it comes to its own independence, it seems, it has no problem throwing down.

Richard Fisher, the soon-retiring president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and arguably the most inflation-hawkish member of the Fed, had some choice words on Fox Business this afternoon about Rand Paul’s Audit the Fed bill.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Vaccine Question

 

Update: At this hour Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, and George Pataki (with a great response by the way) have spoken out in favor of vaccination, full stop. No responses yet from Bush, Huckabee, and Santorum.

If you followed me on Twitter today, you saw my largely unbounded anger at Chris Christie for giving exactly the wrong answer on the question of childhood vaccinations, and for opening up an issue harmful not just to the GOP, but to society as a whole.

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Is this the deepiest GOP bench evah, OR WHAT!?!1??!? In all previous presidential elections, I’ve known years in advance whom I would support in the GOP primaries. Even in 2012, although technically I did cast a vote for Santorum, that was merely a “message” and I (reluctantly) supported Romney. But this year, I find myself […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Rand is Wrong on War Powers

 

Senator Rand Paul published an editorial in the Daily Beast claiming that the war on ISIS is unconstitutional. He accuses Republicans of hypocrisy or of supporting the view that Article II of the Constitution gives the President unlimited powers. He singles me out as a defender among Republicans of presidential war powers. I’m flattered.

The op-ed shows why Senator Paul should stay right where he is — in the Senate. We should never put someone in the Oval Office who thinks that the United States can only use force when it is actually attacked, as he argues. That is the mindset that led the United States to ignore events in Europe as they spiraled out of control 100 years ago and to withdraw from the continent in the interwar years, leaving it to fascists who ultimately drew the U.S. back into another destructive war. It is a point of view that would have led to defeat in the Cold War and would handcuff the United States from protecting its security by intervening against security threats before they arrive on our shores. It is a point of view that no serious candidate for President should hold and that no great President in our history has ever held.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Rand Paul: Republicans Have An Attitude Problem

 

As has been pointed out innumerable times, the Republican Party has a hard time attracting non-white voters. And — as has been pointed out an equally uncountable number of times — this is likely to become a bigger problem as non-whites become an increasingly large percentage of the electorate. In a recent forum, Senator Rand Paul said this is less a matter of our policies being rejected than of the attitude we’re (perceived) to project:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Teachable Moment for Rand Paul?

 

We now have on our hands Barack Obama’s War, for our latest Middle Eastern war belongs entirely to him. And someone — let it be me! — should alert Sen. Rand Paul to this teachable moment, for Obama’s War (which Rand Paul supports) was brought on by the very policy of non-intervention that he, his father, and the Cato Institute all championed. As Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has testified in word and deed, there is essentially no difference on foreign affairs between left-wing Democratics and arch-libertarians who sometimes vote Republican.

This war might have been avoided. Had Obama taken the trouble to arrange for a few thousand American soldiers to remain in Iraq — as he easily could have — the Iraqi’s coalition government between Shia, Sunni, and Kurd would have held, despite Maliki’s perfidy. That, in turn, would have prevented al-Qaeda’s reemergence in the Sunni-dominated provinces of Iraq. Moreover, ISIS would not be in control of great swathes of Syria had the president followed the advice of his advisors and allies and backed the secular-minded opposition to Bashar al-Assad from the start.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. That Awkward Moment When Your Father Costs You the Presidency

 

shutterstock_79457221Ever since the idea of Rand Paul as a serious presidential candidate has emerged, I’ve thought the trajectory of the project inevitable: things start falling apart when the candidate’s father comes in for close scrutiny.

Now, maybe this isn’t fair. If kooky relatives are disqualifying for the presidency, after all, we might as well abolish the office tomorrow. When your dad has held federal office and created a distinct ideological brand of which you’re the direct inheritor, however, you’re going to be perpetually yoked to one another whether you like it or not. My guess is that this moment falls into the “or not” category. From the Washington Free Beacon:

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