Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rand Paul Endorsed Mark Sanford for Congress

Senator Rand Paul just endorsed Mark Sanford in his race for Congress.  Hopefully that will help send Sanford over the top as right now he is behind in his race against Stephen Colbert's wife.  Although Mark Sanford has an irresponsible personal life, he did receive the highest grade of any Governor in the country from the Cato Institute, so he clearly would be a great addition to Congress:

"More than anything, Washington needs strong and consistent voices for fiscal responsibility and liberty," Paul said in a statement. "Mark has proven during his time in office that watching out for taxpayers and holding the line on spending are his top priorities. What we absolutely cannot afford is someone like his opponent, who will be yet another vote for a return to the [Rep. Nancy] Pelosi speakership, for disastrous programs like Obamacare, and for more spending and debt. I am pleased to endorse Mark and stand with him in this race."

Paul has made no secret of his presidential ambitions, and South Carolina, one of the early primary states, is a place he will be spending a lot of time in the lead up to 2016. CNN reported that Paul is laying the groundwork there with a number of events in June, where he will woo both rank and file Republicans and conservative activists.

Paul's endorsement for Sanford comes one week after his father, former Congressman and many-time presidential candidate Ron Paul, endorsed the former governor.

"Rand has been an incredible advocate for both today's and tomorrow's taxpayers in the way he's pushed for fiscal sustainability in Washington," Sanford said of the younger Paul's endorsement. "It goes back to this larger idea of walking the walk, and governing in the same way you campaign. I think in looking at my own record, there's been a consistent theme of looking out for taxpayers and the bottom line. And unfortunately, with respect to my opponent, it simply isn't believable that she would be an independent voice given who has been funding her campaign."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rand Paul Thinks the WSJ Editorial Board Are Like Children in the Schoolyard

Rand Paul responds to the WSJ with a Letter to the Editor:

The Journal wants those of us who believe in the Bill of Rights to shut up about civil liberties in the wake of the Boston bombings ("Enemy Combatants in Boston," Review & Outlook, April 22). Like children in the schoolyard you chant: "See, look at these bombers, they don't deserve trials or lawyers!"

But the Journal wants to gloat about a case where the evidence has already been paraded across every television in America. Most of us have seen enough of the tragedy in Boston that I doubt anyone can conceive that a jury will find Dzhokhar Tsarnaev innocent in a court of law.


What the Journal ignores are the difficult cases where guilt or innocence can be more elusive. What if the evidence is not very clear? What if the suspect is an American college student, perhaps an Arab-American, whose parents have been here for three generations? Does that person have the right to a trial? Yes.

Because some terrorists will battle us here at home doesn't mean we want the laws of war or martial law at home. The Bill of Rights still needs to reign supreme. Our soldiers have sacrificed life and limb for our Constitution—it seems the least we can do is defend them in the homeland.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Great Politico Story on Rand Paul Going Mainstream

A must read piece on Rand Paul and his political strategy:

"He can be a serious presidential candidate because he represents a segment of Republicanism that hasn't had a voice," said Steve Schmidt, who ran John McCain's 2008 campaign, speaking of Paul's libertarian views. "But he can't just be a neater package of his dad — that won't work. He needs to convey his own domestic and foreign vision, and continue to overcome the kook factor, which he inherited."


Rand has tried to maintain this delicate balance by latching onto hot issues at strategic times — like drones, immigration and gun control — that at once thrust him onto the national stage and also appeal to libertarians. "He's either remarkably lucky or he instinctively knows how to effectively drive a media story," said Brian Jones, a Republican political and communications strategist.

Many Republican strategists have indeed been impressed with Rand's natural communication and political skills as he skillfully maneuvered himself into the center of a number of high-profile battles — including his successful filibuster of U.S. drone policy that attracted copious media attention and bipartisan support.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Advisory Board of Ron Paul's Think Tank Has Come Close to Ruining Rand Paul's Chances in 2016? Really?

People keep trying to make Rand Paul answer for every idiotic and fringe action of his father.  The latest is forming a new think tank called the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, which, in the words of Walter Russell Mead, has an advisory board full of "Putin shills, Serb genocide apologists, 9/11 truthers, and pro-Confederate loons."  Mr. Mead then says "Ron Paul has come close to wrecking his son's presidential hopes, and there is no telling just how much more trouble he and his friends will be making."

First, who cares?  Can you imagine the negative ad?  "Lew Rockwell sits on an advisory board for a think tank run by his father.  Rand Paul should have to answer for that".  People's first reaction will be "Lew is a funny way to spell Lou".    This is pure nitpicky inside the beltway stuff that nobody cares about except the chattering classes.  In America, we generally don't judge people by who their parents are, judging people on their own individual merits.  Let's just take a look at some recent Presidents (and wannabe Presidents) to see how their dads stack up.  Obama's father was a drunk, a bigamist and a wife beater.  Al Gore's father voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Clinton's stepfather was a drunk and wife beater and his biological father had 3 secret marriages before he married his Clinton's mother.

What's much more important than what his father does is how he comes across to the American people.  My guess is that a Senator who continues to do pro bono work as a doctor and famously stands up for what he believes in is going to come across pretty well.

Rand Paul: We Must Include National Security in Immigration Reform

From his latest piece in the Washington Times:

Any meaningful immigration reform must implement strong national security protections. After the Boston tragedy, there are basic questions: How did two individuals immigrate to the United States from a known hotbed of Islamic extremism, the Chechen Republic in Russia, to then allegedly commit acts of terrorism? Were there any safeguards? Could this have been prevented?

Does the immigration reform proposal before us address this?

Our immigration and visa system should give more scrutiny to individuals from high-risk areas of the world. We know that our flawed visa system was a significant part of the intelligence failure that led to Sept. 11. As National Review's Kevin Williamson noted, "If our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, particularly the State Department, had been doing a minimally competent job vis-a-vis visa overstays and application screening, at least 15 of the 19 [hijackers on 9/11] would have been caught."


In 2002, Congress created the National Security Registration System, but it was suspended in 2011 by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano. We know that system had problems, but the basic premise behind it — that extra screening is necessary for immigrants from nations that have a higher population of extremists — needs to be revisited and reinstituted. This should be a part of any comprehensive immigration reform.

In my home state of Kentucky, our refugee program has proven to be a problem. On Jan. 29, two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green, Ky., were sentenced to long prison terms for participating in terrorism and providing material support to terrorists while living in the United States. Does the current immigration reform address how this might have happened? Regardless, we need more scrutiny when accepting refugees from high-risk nations.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rand Paul Discusses Orphan Diseases on Senate Floor

Public Policy Polling Full Results Show Rand Paul Lead in New Hampshire in 2016 Race

Public Policy Polling just released their full results from their poll of New Hampshire voters on the 2016 race.  In a 9 way race, Rand Paul leads the entire Republican field with 28%, followed by Rubio at 25% and Chris Christie at a paltry 14%.  People like Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan don't even break into double digits. 

What's interesting is that even though Rubio is generally thought of as more establishment friendly and electable, Rand Paul actually does better in a trial heat against Hillary Clinton thanks to quite a few self-described "liberals" crossing over and surprisingly a slightly better score among non-whites..  

Amongst Republican primary voters, Rand Paul does best with the very conservative and the very liberal and leads among independents 32% to 17% for Rubio.  What is interesting is that there appears to be a gender gap forming within the Republican primary with men overwhelmingly favoring Rand Paul by 10 points while women prefer Rubio by 5 points.

I realize it's early but these are very interesting results nonetheless.  PPP is a Democratic party affiliated shop but they did excellent work during the GOP primary season.  What these results show is that Rand Paul could attract some crossover voters in the general election, as well as the primaries and that could help him win the nomination and possibly the Presidency.  

NAACP President: Rand Paul's Outreach Strategy Could Work

It sounds like Rand Paul struck a chord when talking about criminal justice reform:

Paul received applause when he told the Howard crowd, "We should not have drug laws or a court system that disproportionately punishes the black community." He illustrated using one issue where the GOP can connect with black voters: criminal justice reform.

Just before the 2012 elections, the NAACP took a nonpartisan survey of black voters in key swing states. We found that 55% of African Americans believe Republicans "don't care at all about civil rights" while another 32% think the party "just says what minorities want to hear." But 14% said they would be more likely to vote for a Republican in the future, if they found a candidate who demonstrated a strong commitment to civil rights.

Mass incarceration is a fundamental civil rights issue. African Americans make up 40% of the 2.4 million people in America's bloated prison system. That includes the vast majority of those in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his life.

As Paul demonstrated, mass incarceration is also a fundamental conservative issue. State spending on prisons has tripled over the last 30 years, reaching $70 billion in 2008. Federal prisons are at 139% capacity, often thanks to harsh mandatory minimum sentences. And who pays for all these guards, beds and three square meals a day? Taxpayers.

In fact, some red states have led the way on criminal justice reform. In Georgia, South Carolina and Texas, Republican legislatures have teamed up with progressives to increase options for parole and reduce mandatory minimums. In Texas, the NAACP and progressive activists worked with leaders of the Tea Party to pass a dozen reform measures. Last year, Texas scheduled the first prison closure in state history.


According to the NAACP's election survey, 42% of African American voters believe the Democratic Party is failing them on criminal justice. The GOP has a chance to fill the leadership vacuum and demonstrate their civil rights bona fides.

Paul is poised to lead the conversation on criminal justice reform. At Howard he touted the "Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013," which he recently introduced with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, the Democratic senator from Vermont. The bill would allow federal judges to bypass federal mandatory minimum sentences if the sentence is too lengthy or if it simply does not fit the crime.

Paul told students that his friends called him "either brave or crazy" for showing up at Howard University, a statement that says more about his friends than the audience at Howard. Nonetheless, Paul and his Republican Party would display true bravery, and political savvy, by taking this opportunity to walk Lincoln's walk and take on the new Jim Crow.

Moving from "tough on crime" to "smart on crime" would be good for this country. It would also be a smart move for the Republican Party if they ever hope to get on base with black voters.

Clip from Rand Paul Filibuster Where He States Drones Can Kill Those Robbing a Liquor Store

Just to further put this non-issue to bed, Rand Paul's office released this clip from the filibuster showing that he used the liquor store example during his epic speech, so he hasn't flip flopped for using the same example (of when he would have no problem with the use of drones) a few days ago:

Rand Paul on Hannity Radio Clarifying His Position on Drones

Rand Paul clarifies his position on drones, once again, after some of his father's supporters and some liberals go crazy claiming he changed his stance.  It's pretty clear he hasn't changed:


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Public Policy Polling: Rand Paul Leads 2016 Field in New Hampshire!

Public Policy Polling, which I found to be very accurate in predicting the 2012 GOP primary races, sent this tweet:

Judge Napolitano Backs Up Rand Paul on Drones

Karl Rove Giving Rand Paul a Seat at the Table

It looks like Karl Rove isn't stupid and has enlisted a top adviser to Rand Paul to join American Crossroads:

A top adviser to Ron Paul and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has signed on with the American Crossroads super PAC — a move designed to increase input from conservative grass-roots supporters who have grown suspicious of the super PAC's activities.

Trygve Olson, who advised Rand Paul in his 2010 Senate campaign and then moved over to the elder Paul's 2012 presidential campaign, will serve as an adviser to American Crossroads on House and Senate races, Post Politics has learned.


Doug Stafford, who serves as Rand Paul's chief of staff, said Olson's hiring is a step in the right direction for Crossroads.

"I think there were and probably still are conservatives concerned about what direction Crossroads is taking, and it's good news that Trygve's going to be involved," Stafford said. "He'll be a good voice in that organization making sure the conservative point of view is listened to."


Crossroads isn't the first GOP establishment group to reach out to the conservative wing of the party through its staffing in recent months.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee earlier this year announced Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) would serve as one of its two co-chairmen (both Rand Paul and Cruz upset heavily favored establishment candidates in primaries and have been among the most outspoken conservatives in the Senate), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hired a top adviser to both Pauls, Jesse Benton, as his campaign manager.

Rand Paul Didn't Flip-Flop on Drones

Some people are getting their panties in a bunch about comments the Senator made on Fox Business in which he said drones could have been used against the Marathon bombers.  They claim this was a flip flop, though they clearly weren't listening to him during his filibuster.  Here is what he said:

There is no question what is imminent lethal force. Someone aiming a gun at you, a missile, a bomb, any of these things is imminent, and no one questions that. No one questions using lethal force to stop any kind of imminent attack. But we become a little bit worried when the President says imminent doesn't have to mean immediate. And when that happens and then when you see, from what we can tell from the unclassified portion of the drone attacks overseas, many of these people are not involved in combat.

It seems that a group of terrorists running around suburban Boston with explosives  and using them against both civilians and police counts as an imminent and immediate threat.  Hence, it falls under the definition of a situation where Rand Paul previously stated he would approve of the use of drones.  Seems pretty clear, no?  Just in case, Rand Paul did send out a statement yesterday pointing out that his drone position hasn't changed:

"My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed.

"Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat. I described that scenario previously during my Senate filibuster.

"Additionally, surveillance drones should only be used with warrants and specific targets.

"Fighting terrorism and capturing terrorists must be done while preserving our constitutional protections. This was demonstrated last week in Boston.

As we all seek to prevent future tragedies, we must continue to bear this in mind."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rand Paul Explains His Approach to Gun Control

Check out his latest op-ed in the Courier-Journal:

I want to do what we can to prevent these horrific mass murders. I supported amendments that would have increased prosecution of felons attempting to buy guns. Last year, 15,000 felons tried to buy guns, but only 44 were prosecuted. This is inexcusable — a tragic lack of enforcing current law. I, along with other concerned legislators, tried to fix this problem.

I voted to punish states that don't turn over the records of criminally convicted mentally ill individuals.

I voted for increasing the prison sentences of people who purchase guns and then transfer those guns to people who are ineligible to buy guns.
I have let the president know that I will work with him on any legislation that might help prevent shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary. The disagreement is not over wanting to prevent tragedy, but how to do it.
The president wants to place restrictions and penalties on law-abiding citizens. I want to place and enforce penalties on the people who break the law.


The young men who have been committing these mass murders are not deterred by death (most have willingly accepted death at the end of their rampage). Nor have they been deterred by the death penalty or life in prison.

I see no logical reason why they would be deterred by gun registration. In fact, almost 90 percent of crimes are committed with weapons bought illegally.

These sick young men choose gun-free zones to do their killing. These murderers don't go to the local police station looking for a shootout. They go to places where no one is armed.

When I see the sad, grieving faces of parents who lost their children at Sandy Hook, I want them to know I want to do everything possible to try to prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again. But the only proposal I know of to deter an armed madman is an armed defense. Many states are now legalizing concealed carry for teachers and principals. Some schools are hiring armed security guards and retired policemen to defend our kids.

Perhaps if these killers knew they would be met with armed resistance, then maybe our kids would finally be safer.

Rand Paul on Fox Business: The Boston Marathon Bomber Is Not an Enemy Combatant

Great Wall Street Journal Profile of Rand Paul

This is a must read piece in the Wall Street Journal.  Here are some excerpts:

Sen. Paul faces an "uphill climb" to become the Republican nominee, but "he's suddenly viewed as a serious player who will impact 2016," said Brian Jones, a senior adviser to the past three GOP presidential campaigns. "He has uncanny political instincts."

GOP strategist Scott Reed said Sen. Paul was "doing outreach unlike any other Republican, sticking it to the president and the Democrats, and on the front line of new ideas."


"We love you, Rand Paul!" yelled Lisa Gianardi, of Nicholasville, Ky., when the senator entered a recent lunch meeting of Women Republicans of Central Kentucky. "Rand Paul for president!"

Many of the women clutched his book "Government Bullies" and wore "I Stand with Rand" buttons. They applauded when he said the role of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—a potential 2016 rival—in the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi during her tenure "should preclude her from ever holding high office."


Sen. Paul said regardless of whether he stays in the Senate or runs for president, he would continue providing free eye operations to keep up his skills. "My goal is to make my country solvent and prosperous," he said, "or be an eye surgeon back in Bowling Green."

A day earlier, he had performed cataract surgery on Peggy Clark, 48, of Benton, Ky., who couldn't afford the $2,000 operation. "He's a wonderful eye doctor," she said. "But I can't vouch for him as a politician. Besides, I'm a lifelong Democrat."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rand Paul: We Need to Delay Immigration Reform

Rand Paul sent a letter to the Senate leadership calling for a delay in immigration reform until we address some issues stemming from the Boston marathon bombing. Personally, I think reform should be delayed simply because the Democrats (and Marco Rubio) are trying to ram it down our throats just like they did Obamacare.  Something as important as immigration should be reformed through an informed, measured approach.  Anyway, here is the text of the letter:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid,

As our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those affected by the tragedy in Boston, I urge you to incorporate the following national security concerns into the comprehensive immigration reform debate. Before Congress moves forward, some important national security questions must be addressed.

I believe that any real comprehensive immigration reform must implement strong national security protections. The facts emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing have exposed a weakness in our current system. If we don't use this debate as an opportunity to fix flaws in our current system, flaws made even more evident last week, then we will not be doing our jobs.

We should not proceed until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system. Why did the current system allow two individuals to immigrate to the United States from the Chechen Republic in Russia, an area known as a hotbed of Islamic extremism, who then committed acts of terrorism? Were there any safeguards? Could this have been prevented? Does the immigration reform before us address this?

There should be hearings in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that study the national security aspects of this situation, making sure that our current immigration system gives individuals from high-risk areas of the world heightened scrutiny.

In the wake of 9/11, there was a comprehensive reform of our intelligence gathering system, yet our improved intelligence gathering system did not adequately detect these extremists. We need to understand possible intelligence failures and craft solutions.

Media reports indicate that the deceased bombing suspect was interviewed by the FBI two years ago at the request of a foreign government. We need to know the details of this interview. We need to know if this interview might have given investigators any reason to conclude that this individual might be dangerous or at least worthy of further inquiry. If so, was there an intelligence failure? At the very least, it should be examined.

Media reports indicate that both the bombing suspects were legal permanent residents and one is reported to be a naturalized citizen.  We need to make sure that we have safeguards against this type of situation happening again.

In 2002, Congress set up the National Security Registration System (NSEERS), yet it was suspended in 2011 by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.  That system had problems, yet was still based on the practical idea that extra screening is necessary from nations that have a higher population of extremists. Congress might need a similar system updated for current circumstances to be rolled into comprehensive immigration reform.

I would like the US-VISIT/OBIM program studied to see if it actually works, or at least study the process by which we collect and analyze biometric data on immigrants.

Our refugee programs have proven to be a problem. On, January 29, 2013, two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green, in my home state of Kentucky, were sentenced to long prison terms for participating in terrorism and providing material support to terrorists while living in the United States. How did this happen? Does the current immigration reform address how this might have happened? We may need more scrutiny when accepting refugees from high-risk nations.

I want to make sure that any new bill addresses the visa entry and exit programs, in addition to refugee programs that have proven problematic in Bowling Green and possibly, if media reports are correct, in Boston.
Finally, do we need to take a hard look at student visas? Should we suspend student visas, or at least those from high-risk areas, pending an investigation into the national security implications of this program?

I respectfully request that the Senate consider the following two conditions as part of the comprehensive immigration reform debate: One, the Senate needs a thorough examination of the facts in Massachusetts to see if legislation is necessary to prevent a similar situation in the future. Two, national security protections must be rolled into comprehensive immigration reform to make sure the federal government does everything it can to prevent immigrants with malicious intent from using our immigration system to gain entry into the United States in order to commit future acts of terror.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Rand Paul, M.D.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rand Paul's Time Magazine Cover

Video: Glenn Beck Interview of Rand Paul on Gun Control and the Boston Marathon Bombing

Time Magazine Names Rand Paul to their Time 100 Most Influential People List

What's even better is that Rand Paul will grace one of the 7 Time covers for the list and that Sarah Palin wrote the blurb for him, something I am sure she wouldn't have done for her father.  Clearly that is a sign that he is doing a very good job of getting conservatives behind him, expanding the base of that his father built.  Here is some of what Palin wrote:

In a D.C. too often defined by the venal equivocations of a permanent political class more interested in consolidating its own power than in upholding the Constitution or defending the common good, Senator Rand Paul is a voice of reason awakening the public to what must be done to restore our prosperity and preserve the blessings of liberty for future generations.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Video: Rand Paul Talks about Immigration Reform at the CS Monitor Breakfast

Rand Paul: Obama Using Newtown Families as Props

Rand Paul hits the nail on the head:

"I think gun control is a legitimate issue for our country to debate," he said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Wednesday morning. But the Kentucky senator said that looking at the parents of Newtown victims who have spoken in favor of gun control legislation, "I think in some cases the president has used them as props."

"When I see the father and the mothers and them testifying — and I know they're coming voluntarily, and they want to come and be part of this debate — but it still saddens me just to see them, and I think that in some cases the president has used them as props. And that disappoints me," he said.

The gun legislation up for a vote today, he suggested, was mostly for show.
"A lot of things in Washington are window dressing, it's a dog and pony show, it's a parade, it's theatrics it's histrionics, all to show people that something bad happened — which it did something terribly tragic happened," he said. But the response, he argued, wouldn't do anything to prevent Sandy Hook from happening again: "None of the proposals really would have addressed the tragedy."

Rand Paul to Make Trips to Early Primary States

The good Senator from Kentucky keeps dropping stronger and stronger hints that he is running:

Tea Party favorite and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday said he is strongly considering a 2016 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, announcing plans to travel to at least three key primary states this summer.

"We're considering it," he said at a morning newsmaker breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Paul, heir to his father Rep. Ron Paul's libertarian voting and fundraising base, said that he is already planning to visit three early primary states, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina this summer. And Paul said that he "will continue to travel to the early states."

The plain-spoken senator has been hinting of a 2016 run, saying it helps to give him a national voice on key issues. But his comments Wednesday were much stronger, though he said he will not make a final decision until next year.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Text of Rand Paul Speech at Howard University

I thought the speech went okay.  I thought he spent way too much time on how Republicans have historically been pro-civil rights (which the audience basically knew already) and not enough time on how Republican policies can help the African American community today (which the audience didn't know).  I'm sure he'll be better next time as he figures out from experience what works and what doesn't.  Anyway, here are some excerpts (full text here):

If you hear me out, I believe you'll discover that what motivates me more than any other issue is the defense of everyone's rights.
Of strong importance to me is the defense of minority rights, not just racial minorities, but ideological and religious minorities.
If our government does not protect the rights of minorities, then democratic majorities could simply legislate away our freedoms.
The bill of rights and the civil war amendments protect us against the possibility of an oppressive federal or state government.
The fact that we are a Constitutional Republic means that certain inalienable rights are protected even from democratic majorities.
No Republican questions or disputes civil rights. I have never waivered in my support for civil rights or the civil rights act.
The Democrat promise is tangible and puts food on the table, but too often doesn't lead to jobs or meaningful success.
The Republican promise is for policies that create economic growth. Republicans believe lower taxes, less regulation, balanced budgets, a solvent Social Security and Medicare will stimulate economic growth.
Republicans point to the Reagan years when the economy grew at nearly 7% and millions upon millions of jobs were created.
Today, after four years of the current policies, one in six Americans live in poverty, more than at any other time in the past several decades.
In fact, the poor have grown poorer in the past four years. Black unemployment is at 14%, nearly twice the national average. This is unacceptable.
Using taxes to punish the rich, in reality, punishes everyone because we are all interconnected. High taxes and excessive regulation and massive debt are not working.
The economy has been growing at less than 1% and actually contracted in the fourth quarter.
I would argue that the objective evidence shows that big government is not a friend to African Americans.
Big government relies on the Federal Reserve, our central bank, to print money out of thin air. Printing money out of thin air leads to higher prices.
When the price of gas rises to $4 per gallon, it is a direct result of our nation's debt. When food prices rise, it is a direct result of the $50,000 we borrow each second. Inflation hurts everyone, particularly the poor.
If you are struggling to get ahead, if you have school loans and personal debt, you should choose a political party that wants to leave more money in the private sector so you will get a job when the time comes.
In Louisville, in the predominantly African American west end of town, it was recently announced that 18 schools are failing. The graduation rate is 40%.
The head of Kentucky's education called it academic genocide. Johns Hopkins researchers call these schools dropout factories.
I defy anyone to watch Waiting for Superman and honestly argue against school choice.
A minister friend of mine in the West End calls school choice the civil rights issue of the day. He's absolutely right.
By the sixth grade, Ronald Holasie was failing most of his classes, but through school choice he was able to attend a Catholic school in the DC area.
There he learned that he had a natural gift for composing music, but before that, his reading level was so low that he had struggled to write lyrics. Ronald then went on to matriculate at Barry University.
There are countless examples of the benefits of school choice – where kids who couldn't even read have turned their lives completely around.
Maybe it's about time we all reassess blind allegiance to ideas that are failing our children.
Every child in every neighborhood, of every color, class and background, deserves a school that will help them succeed.
Those of you assembled today are American success stories. You will make it and do great things.
In every neighborhood, white, black or brown, there are kids who are not succeeding because they messed up.
They had kids before they were married, or before they were old enough to support them, or they got hooked on drugs, or they simply left school.
Republicans are often miscast as uncaring or condemning of kids who make bad choices. I, for one, plan to change that.
I am working with Democratic senators to make sure that kids who make bad decisions such as non-violent possession of drugs are not imprisoned for lengthy sentences.
I am working to make sure that first time offenders are put into counseling and not imprisoned with hardened criminals.
We should not take away anyone's future over one mistake.
We must always embrace individual liberty and enforce the constitutional rights of all Americans-rich and poor, immigrant and native, black and white.
Such freedom is essential in achieving any longstanding health and prosperity.
As Toni Morrison said, write your own story. Challenge mainstream thought.
I hope that some of you will be open to the Republican message that favors choice in education, a less aggressive foreign policy, more compassion regarding non-violent crime and encourages opportunity in employment.
And when the time is right, I hope that African Americans will again look to the party of emancipation, civil liberty, and individual freedom.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rand Paul on Hannity's Radio Show Talking Minority Outreach, Immigration and Gun Control

The National Journal of Rand Paul's Planned Speech at Howard University

Hopefully he makes some headway.  If he can just steal a few percentage of the African American vote from Democrats, their gloating would stop.  Anyway, here is the National Journal on his upcoming speech:

The Kentucky Republican's appearance echoes the recommendations made in the Republican National Committee's autopsy report, detailing why the party lost the 2012 election and urging the party to court minority and young voters. Paul's positions on foreign policy, Internet freedom, and reforming drug laws appeal to younger voters on college campuses. He also has targeted mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes, which disproportionately affects African-Americans.

But Paul makes for an unusual GOP emissary to black voters. His libertarian, small-government bent is a tough sell in the African-American community, which has long viewed federal government intervention as necessary for securing equal rights. Blacks also make up a disproportionate share of the federal workforce.

While running for Senate in 2010, Paul's comments that the federal government shouldn't be involved in forcing private businesses not to racially discriminate created a firestorm. He had to scramble to clarify that he supports the Civil Rights Act and is against segregation in public spaces, and by the next day, he seemed to reverse his position on discrimination by private entities.

The choice of venue for Paul's speech is also notable. Howard University rarely draws prominent Republican speakers to campus: Colin Powell gave Howard's commencement speech in 1994, and in 1981, then-Vice President Bush received an honorary degree and delivered the commencement speech. But George W. Bush declined the invitation to speak at Howard during his 2000 campaign, and Al Gore spoke instead. The younger Bush's name was floated to deliver the 2002 commencement speech, which was met with wide protest.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Time Magazine Profile of Rand Paul

Not much new there but it's nice that he is continuing to get the exposure:

"A new Republican Party," he says, "will emerge over the next four years."

Paul, 50, has won exactly one election in his life, but his sudden star power suggests it may be wise to listen to him now. After a month marked by an audacious 13-hour filibuster and his victory in a conservative straw poll, he has vaulted from quirky rabble rouser to GOP agenda setter. From Iowa to Israel, a man just three years removed from his Bowling Green, Ky., ophthalmology practice is laying the groundwork for a presidential bid, and the party can't afford to ignore him.

One reason is that Rand Paul is not his father. The libertarian agenda of Ron Paul's presidential bids drew a following as narrow as it was zealous. The younger Paul seems determined to broaden his father's base of perhaps 10% to 15% of the GOP electorate and is hunting for new recruits across the political spectrum. That means freshening up his dad's familiar message and downplaying hoary crusades like the gold standard and auditing the Federal Reserve. It means policy surprises, like his outline of a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. And it means a stage sense and media savvy his father lacked.

But Rand Paul's rise hasn't come without friction. Many party elders doubt the Paul family brand is the solution to their identity crisis. GOP hawks are dismayed by his critiques of Barack Obama's drone policies, not to mention Paul's calls to curb foreign aid and shrink the U.S. military's footprint overseas. His blueprint for balancing the federal budget in five years through massive spending cuts and fewer federal agencies won just 18 GOP Senate votes. When Republican colleagues John McCain and Lindsey Graham tore into Paul for showboating on the Senate floor, they said publicly what others mutter in private.

Paul shrugs off the slights. After two White House defeats in a row, he says, his party needs new blood, and his message of libertarianism and constitutional conservatism can connect with people who don't see a GOP that speaks to them. And while his dad was never viewed as a viable standard bearer for his party, "I don't think many people are saying that about me. I think the ideas are becoming more popular, and I think there is a large coalition out there," he says from the front seat. "But I don't think people can glibly write off the ideas that we're talking about anymore.

Public Policy Polling: Rand Paul in 2nd Place in the 2016 GOP race

Although PPP is a Democratic outfit, I actually found them to be quite accurate in predicting sentiment in the 2012 GOP primaries as well as the general election.  Anyway, it looks like Rand Paul is now #2 nationally thanks to the support of the self-described "very conservative", a smidge behind Marco Rubio, who gets his support from the "somewhat conservative":

Rand Paul's well publicized filibuster last month has vaulted him up the list of Republican contenders in PPP's newest look ahead to the 2016 Presidential contest.

Marco Rubio continues to lead nationally, as he has on all four of our 2016 polls so far. He's at 21% this month, basically the same as 22% the month before the State of the Union address. Rubio's favorability of 62/10 is slightly better than 59/12 in early February. The whole water drinking episode hasn't had any effect on his standing- nor has his stance on immigration reform.

The big move though has come from Paul. In early February he was in 6th place among Republican contenders at just 10%. Now he's vaulted all the way up to 2nd place at 17%. Chris Christie is 3rd at 15% and Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush are tied for 4th at 12%. Rounding out the folks we polled are Rick Santorum at 5%, Bobby Jindal at 4%, Rick Perry at 2%, and Susana Martinez at 1%.