Flashback: Rand Paul Accused of Tying up, Blindfolding and Abducting a Female College Student in Aqua Buddha Bong ‘Prank’

Paul on ‘Meet the Press’ in January 2014

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday to slander former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by suggesting she was somehow complicit in the affair her husband had with Monica Lewinsky nearly 20 years ago. When “Meet the Press” host David Gregory asked Paul if he was in fact blaming Hillary Clinton for Bill’s affair, Paul said he wasn’t — but then immediately contradicted himself, adding, “Sometimes it’s hard to separate one from the other.”

It is beneath contempt — and yet typical of the low esteem with which Republicans view women — to blame a wife for her husband’s infidelity. Compounding his contemptible behavior, of course, is the fact that Paul’s slander is based on half-truths and outright lies, nearly all of which went unchallenged on “Meet the Press,” as usual.

Bully Boy: Staten Island GOP Rep. Michael Grimm Threatens Reporter Who Asked Him about Corruption Charges
Grimm later issued a statement blaming his bad behavior on the reporter he threatened

Earlier this month Diana Durand, a Republican operative who raised donations for New York City GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, was arrested by federal officials and charged with donating nearly $10,000 to Grimm’s campaign via an interstate “donor swapping” scheme. The stress of the federal investigation has apparently gotten to Grimm, who threatened to NY1 reporter Michael Scotto after Scotto asked him about the scandal in a post-State of the Union interview last night.

Grimm at first walked away from the camera, but then returned to threaten Scotto after he had wrapped the live interview. The camera and Scotto’s microphone were still on, however, and Grimm’s verbal assault was captured on video and has been transcribed by NY1:

Prominent Republican Propagandist Indicted for Voter Fraud
And, no, it's not Ann Coulter

D’Souza

One of the conservative movement’s most polished and successful propagandists was indicted yesterday for voter fraud:

Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for arranging excessive campaign contributions to a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D’Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate’s campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment…

D’Souza was charged in the indictment with one count of making illegal contributions in the names of others, and one count of causing false statements to be made.

Federal law in 2012 limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.

The Senate candidate was Republican Wendy Long, who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012.

Indictment Details How GOP Former Gov. McDonnell and Wife Single-Handedly Put an End to the ‘Virginia Way’

Charlie Cook: Christie Was a Long Shot for 2016 Before Bridgegate

Charlie Cook is one of the most hard-nosed — and accurate — political prognosticators around. When my take on political events agrees with his, it’s reassuring. When it doesn’t, it is alarming or worse, depending on the issue at hand. In the case of Chris Christie’s chances of becoming president in 2016, even prior to the Bridgegate scandal, it is reassuring to learn Charlie Cook’s take was similar to mine:

Think for a moment who makes up the Republican Party, and most specifically the part of the GOP base that dominates the presidential nomination process. Think about the people they seriously considered for their party’s presidential nomination last time around. Think Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich. Now, quickly, think Christie. Now think Sesame Street: “One of these things is not like the others; one of these things just doesn’t belong.”

International Group Accidently Provides Evidence that Obamacare is the Best Health System

If you want to live a long life, don’t come to America. According to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the average lifespan of people in the United States is only 78.7 years, putting us at number 26 among the OECD’s 34 member nations. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the research shows there is hope for Americans in the future.

The Wall St. Journal recently looked at the new OECD study, and counted down the top five countries.

  • #5: Spain — Life expectancy of 82.4 years, even with a low gross domestic product of only $33,000 per capita
  • #4: Iceland — Life expectancy is also 82.4 years, and Iceland is third lowest in smoking rates and last in diabetes
  • #3: Japan — Life expectancy is 82.7 years, thanks to very low rates of heart disease and obesity
  • #2: Italy — Life expectancy is also 82.7 years, yet Italians spend only $3,000 per capita on health care
  • #1: Switzerland — Life expectancy of 82.8 years, but third highest in spending on health care (you already know who spends the most). Switzerland is the only country on the list that does not provide single-payer, universal access to health care. Instead, it uses a system very like the Affordable Care Act that requires citizens to buy a health plan. Doh!
What is Your State Worst At?


Chart courtesy of Pleated Jeans.

TIME’s Politics Prediction Survey Misses the Mark


TIME Magazine has an online survey that purports to be able to assess your politics based on a series of questions that seem to be apolitical (although they aren’t really, if you read them closely). I came out 32% conservative and 68% liberal, which is about as accurate as a Rush Limbaugh commentary.

There is a final question that allows you to self-identify, so you can correct the survey results to some extent.

Take the survey and leave a comment about how accurate you think the survey is.

Oh, and if you’re a dog-lover, beware.

Fox News Ignores Christie’s Bridgegate Scandal – Until Shep Smith Mentions It Briefly, Invites Viewers to ‘Google It’

This is how propaganda works, Fox News-style.

Nearly six hours after the story first broke — and well after both CNN and MSNBC first covered it in detail — Fox News finally devoted a short segment to the bridge scandal during Shepard Smith Reporting.

While declining to delve into the details of the damning emails — Shep Smith informed viewers that “they’re an easy Google away if you want to take a look” — Smith nonetheless concluded that, “the emails will be trouble for Governor Christie at least in local politics for quite some time. And if he decides to run for president, rest assured they’ll end up in campaign ads. There’s no question about it.”

Jon Stewart Identifies ‘the Tone’ Set by Gov. Chris Christie
It's F-U sharp

Enumerati

  • 52%

    Percentage of Americans who don’t see President Obama as black but instead consider him mixed-race, a new Pew Research poll finds.

  • 48% to 42%

    Margin by which Democrats have staked out a lead over Republicans in the generic Congressional ballot, a new McClatchy-Marist poll finds. However, just 45% approve of President Obama’s job performance, while 52% disapprove.

  • 52%

    Of Americans say the amount they have to pay in federal income tax is “too high,” while 42% say it is “about right,” according to Gallup. The percentage who say their taxes are too high has hovered around 50% since 2003, although the current 52% is up from 46% two years ago.

Poetic Justice

What’s an angry white supremacist to do?
They don’t make ‘em wear stars like they used to.
So it’s prudent to inquire
Before you open fire
Whether your intended targets indeed are Jews.

Verbatim

  • The president has made some tough decisions. But it’s been a mixed record, and the concern is, the president defining what America’s role in the world is in the 21st century hasn’t happened. Hopefully, he’ll do it and certainly, she would.

    — Former CIA Director Leon Panetta, telling the New York Times that President Obama had a “mixed record” on making difficult national security decisions and suggested that Hillary Clinton would be better.

  • I don’t have sizzle.

    — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, quoted by ABC News, when asked if he’d consider running for president again.

  • I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close.

    — Michael Bloomberg, quoted by the New York Times.

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