Rand Paul’s distancing himself from Libertarianism,
And he’s backing off from Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.
He’s shed Aqua Buddha,
And his old man Ron, too, ta
Hitch his star to something he calls Conservative Realism.
As a spate of new studies find positive results from the legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington state, including a dip in traffic fatalities in Colorado — and with Washington state accruing $3 million in taxes since pot was legalized in July, Colorado tallying $18 million in pot-tax revenue since January, including $7 million in July alone, and a projection that $3.1 billion in taxes would be collected if all 50 states legalized weed — voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. will decide whether to legalize marijuana on Nov. 4, and Floridians will decide whether to allow the sale of medical marijuana.
Vox.com has a round-up of the initiatives:
This floor speech from N.C. state Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat from Gastonia, a Charlotte suburb, is making the rounds. Here’s more information on Jackson, who is a veteran and was serving as an assistant district attorney when he was elected by the local party to succeed Sen. Dan Clodfelter, another Democrat who is now Charlotte’s mayor.
The Anchorage, Alaska, Police Department released 911 recordings yesterday from the Palin family’s drunken brawl at a party on Sept. 6.
It’s unclear why the Anchorage PD waited nearly two months to release the recordings, but the ultimate effect is to drag this unsavory story about the Republican Party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee into another news cycle. (And the next time you see John McCain holding forth on “Meet the Press,” keep in mind that selecting Palin to be vice president of the United States was the most important decision he ever made.)
TPM collected a few of the more interesting moments from the transcript:
The PewResearch Journalism Project has released a study that confirms what is already clear: The American right gets most of its information about politics from Fox News, while the left relies on multiple sources, including CNN, NPR, MSNBC and the New York Times.
According to the study, consistent conservatives:
Tragic as these cases are, the hysteria they have unleashed in the media and among Republican politicians is beyond over the top. The Ebola “crisis” has topped the hour on cable news channels for days. The lowest point, so far, was when news choppers tracked an ambulance for an hour or so one early evening last week as it transported one of the nurses to a hospital, bringing to mind the infamous “slow speed chase” on L.A. freeways that kicked off the O.J. Simpson murder scandal in 1994.
Meanwhile, with the midterm elections a few weeks away, Republicans have worked nonstop to blame the Ebola outbreak on Pres. Obama and, by extension, the Democrats. They have also incorporated the outbreak into their get-out-the-vote strategy by fanning the flames of fear to get their easily terrorized followers to the polls. Their unified message on Ebola — a call to ban flights into the United States from the affected areas in Africa — is typically anti-scientific and counterfactual. Experts say such a ban would likely create a bona fide crisis here, and there is the embarrassing fact that there are no direct flights into the United States from the affected countries.
The GOP and Fox News spent 2009 railing against so-called “czars” — actually senior level Executive Branch officials — appointed by Pres. Obama. Of course, presidents have been appointing czars for decades. See the chart below.
Recently, one of their leaders, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the GOP candidate for president in 2008, demanded that Pres. Obama appoint what he called an “Ebola czar,” to coordinate the government’s efforts in fighting the diseases. Predictably, after the president did just that — the appointment of Ron Klain, Vice Pres. Biden’s former chief of staff, was announced yesterday — now Republicans are in a full, spittle-spewing rage over the appointment.
Adding another layer of hypocrisy to the mile-deep pile: For over a year, Republicans in the Senate have blocked the appointment of a surgeon general, because the National Rifle Association objects to the candidate’s position that gun violence in America is a major health issue.
The budget deficit in the U.S. shrank in the last fiscal year to the lowest level as a share of the economy since 2007 as faster growth and falling unemployment boosted tax receipts, the Treasury Department said.
The shortfall was $483.4 billion in the 12 months to Sept. 30, compared with $680.2 billion a year earlier, the Treasury said today in Washington. That’s about a third of the record $1.4 trillion deficit reached in 2009. Revenue jumped 8.9 percent and spending gained 1.4 percent, the figures showed.
Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said the fiscal improvement is partly tied to stronger growth, as the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in September from 7.2 percent a year earlier. Still, the deficit is forecast by the Congressional Budget Office to start widening again as an aging population prompts more spending on Social Security and health care.
Of registered voters say they do not want to see most members of Congress re-elected — 14 points higher than in 2010 and 19 points higher than in 2006. And roughly a third (35%) say they do not want their own representative re-elected, compared with 32% four years ago and 26% eight years ago, according to Pew Research.
Amount Americans will spend on Halloween costumes, decorations and candy in 2014, according to the National Retail Federation.
Amount Arkansas U.S. Senate candidate Tom Cotton (R) disbursed to Right Solutions Partners for “fund-raising consulting,” the New York Times reports. “But here’s the catch: It’s not clear that such an entity actually exists. It has no presence on the Internet, it appears that no other campaign is paying it this year, and it has no office at the Washington address listed on the articles of organization filed with the city last year.”
Rand Paul’s distancing himself from Libertarianism,
My comments are never almost universally interpreted the way I mean them.
— New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), quoted by the New York Daily News.
I mean, we suck. We really do.
— U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, quoted by Bloomberg, on the minimum wage.
I don’t think so. If there’s any lesson I’ve learned in the last five years, it’s don’t be so sure about what lies ahead. There are amazing doors that could open.
—- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), in an interview with People, on whether she’s interested in running for president.