.@SenRandPaul and @NJGovChristie blow #vaccine dog whistle to #GOP base, playing them for fools

Rand Paul and Chris Christie are playing to the lowest common denominator of the GOP base and, IMHO, playing them for fools…..again.

Rand Paul: Vaccines Can Lead to ‘Mental Disorders’

paulEven if the chances of a vaccination going wrong are not zero, no one gets to claim “freedom” while they put the rest of society at risk.

Unless you’re a doctor and you or your doctor can determine conclusively that your child will be harmed by any one vaccine, then I think kids should be vaccinated even if that means against their parents’ wishes.

christieThis is not about freedom. That’s a cheapening of the word that the GOP stoops to at every turn. I’m way past sick and tired of hearing them do it, and every real American should be, too.

These guys know their base constituents all too well. They know that all they have to do is throw the word “freedom” around, and the right-wing dogs will come barking to that whistle every time.

(AP Photo/Jim Mone)
(AP Photo/Jim Mone)

BTW and as a refresher, Palin and Bachmann oppose vaccinations, too. Now, those two ARE fools. The fact that Paul and Christie are taking the same position speaks volumes about their utter disregard and disrespect for the level of intelligence of all but the most extreme Palinites and Bachmannites in the GOP.

Vaccination is about the health and welfare of kids, their teachers, other children, and society at large. None of us should be put at risk from the petty politicizing of science – something only Republicans do – or from the arrogance and ignorance of adults who identify with them and their denial of science.

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/rand-paul-vaccines-can-lead-mental-disorders-n298821

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WATCH: Rand Paul Says Jimmy Carter Was Better For Economy Than Ronald Reagan – The National Memo

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), a likely 2016 presidential candidate, has some explaining — and penance — to do. On Wednesday, Mother Jones dug up some old videos of the self-proclaimed libertarian slamming Republican hero Ronald Reagan’s economic policies for increasing government spending and debt. In 2007, while stumping on behalf of his father’s presidential campaign, …

See on www.nationalmemo.com

Young (and Old) People: Do Not Be Fooled by Rand Paul

I’m all for….
….putting the NSA and the CIA back in their cages,
….taking drones out of the hands of presidents,
….spending tax revenues in wiser ways,
….legalizing marijuana (which, btw, Paul is NOT in favor of doing; see here and here) and
….shrinking our global empire.

That does NOT make me a libertarian. It shouldn’t make anyone else believe they might be one, either.

I want to encourage everyone, but especially young people, to not be fooled by Rand Paul just because he successfully delivered some none-too-surprising applause lines, “…thanks, presumably, to the first-come, first-served ticketing system used by the student-run Berkeley Forum, which sponsored the event in collaboration with the Berkeley College Republicans.”

What he didn’t have the courage to do was to address, “….Republican red-meat subjects like abortion, Obamacare and gay marriage.” To his credit, he did say, “Clapper lied in the name of security; Snowden told the truth in the name of privacy.”

As with every politician, he played to the audience before him. Sure, a little silver lining was visible.

After all, not all libertarian ideas are bad ideas, just like not all Green, Republican, Democratic, or any other political party’s ideas are all bad.

While we might all find some amount of common ground everywhere, we should not mistake that for support.  Yes, I share some ideas with libertarians, but make no mistake about it. I consider hardcore libertarianism as not only bad for America, it’s bad for humanity and for civil society.

In fact, the only ones who actually benefit from libertarianism are the wealthy corporatists.

Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago economist who, it's now known, was discoveed by the Buchanan Committee in 1946, to have arranged along with with George Stigler, an under-the-table deal with a Washington lobbying executive to pump out covert propaganda for the national real estate lobby in exchange for a hefty payout. (http://www.alternet.org/visions/true-history-libertarianism-america-phony-ideology-promote-corporate-agenda)
Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago economist who, it’s now known, was discovered by the Buchanan Committee in 1946, to have arranged, along with George Stigler, an under-the-table deal with a Washington lobbying executive to pump out covert propaganda for the national real estate lobby in exchange for a hefty payout. (http://www.alternet.org/visions/true-history-libertarianism-america-phony-ideology-promote-corporate-agenda)

Milton Friedman would either have to agree or lie to our faces about that fact.

Why do I say that? Well, I wonder how many self-proclaimed libertarians and so-called “libertarian populists” actually know about their movement’s history?

Let me share some here.

“Libertarianism” was a project of the corporate lobby world, launched as a big business “ideology” in 1946 by The US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. The FEE’s board included the future founder of the John Birch Society, Robert Welch; the most powerful figure in the Mormon church at that time, J Reuben Clark, a frothing racist and anti-Semite after whom BYU named its law school; and United Fruit president Herb Cornuelle.

The purpose of the FEE — and libertarianism, as it was originally created — was to supplement big business lobbying with a pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-economics rationale to back up its policy and legislative attacks on labor and government regulations.

This background is important in the Milton Friedman story because Friedman is a founding father of libertarianism, and because the corrupt lobbying deal he was busted playing a part in was arranged through the Foundation for Economic Education.

The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda, Sept. 6, 2013, Mark Ames

Seems that lobbying and corrupt lobbyists aren’t new ideas, and that even movements who profess to want smaller government aren’t above lobbying that very same government under the table.

In a recent Politico article, Ready for Rand? Americans hate Rand Paul’s libertarianism. They just don’t know it yet, Kevin D. Williamson explains succinctly why Rand Paul and his flavor of libertarianism will fail. (Note the dripping sarcasm below. It strikes me as meant mostly for conservatives.)

The problem for libertarian politicians is that Americans hate libertarianism. They like Social Security and minimum-wage hikes, they are still somewhat wary of free trade and they resent that the world is full of conniving and frequently swarthy foreigners who are scheming to provide us with goods and services in exchange for little green pieces of paper.

Smaller government. Unfettered and unregulated free trade. Ending the Fed, the IRS, the EPA, the DOE, the ED. If not eliminating, at least privatizing federal social safety net programs. Banning abortions. Putting more and more decisions like voting rights, gun laws, and marriage equality into the hands of locals.

These are libertarian ideals, and they are an anachronism. It is a way of thinking about and seeing the world, people, society, and governance that belongs more to the 18th century than it does to the 21st.

Unregulated markets have proven time and time again to be a recipe for environmental and economic disaster. It is exactly what is causing our ever-widening wealth gap, and it is precisely to blame for what looks more and more like a caste system in America.

As for the social issues, we have seen time and again what locals do the minute they are given the chance to turn their parochial thinking and ideology into legislation.

We never would have had the Voting Rights Act or the Civil Rights Act had it been left to the states. The latest and most obvious example of the abuse of power at the state level is voter suppression. Some states leapt at the first chances they’ve had since the 60s to institute the very same voter suppression laws that the feds have denied to them for years because those laws aim squarely at limiting minority voters. States are getting it wrong.

Yes, the movements for marriage equality and marijuana legalization, as well as for reforming gun laws if the majority of Americans ever find the courage to stand up to the gun manufacturers, the lobbyists, the NRA, and the minority of Americans who oppose them, are movements today at the state level. They are meant to do one thing: Make these federal issues and, eventually, federal law because each state should NOT get to decide who marries whom, what vices we choose to indulge in, or whether or not the person in line with us at the grocery checkout – or in the pew next to us on Sunday – is carrying a concealed weapon. That’s not only parochial, it’s uncivilized.

So, young people, please do not be fooled or seduced by Rand Paul. Just because he went to Berkley and just because he’s talking the talk on domestic spying, drones, and military interventions does not make him your friend, your ally, or your advocate. (And remember, he’s NOT for legalizing weed. He just thinks you should spend *less* time in jail if you’re busted.)

Conservatives of all ages need to know that Rand is not your friend, either, at least not according to those ostensibly speaking for that ideology like Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post.

In fact, Paul might have created what has become a rarer and rarer occurrence. He’s created agreement between extremist tea partiers and their intra-party nemeses, the so-called “mainstream” Republicans, that he’s not a conservative.

(Editorial note: The 2012 presidential election results prove that the GOP is anything but mainstream. All one has to do is look at the demographics. Data does not lie.)

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul fields questions following his talk at International House. (Photos by Kevin Ho Nguyen)
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul fields questions following his talk at International House. (Photos by Kevin Ho Nguyen)

Rubin excoriated Paul for how he insulted the intelligence of Berkley students and young people everywhere, first by wearing “baggy jeans” to Berkley (btw, what is it with conservatives and jeans?) and then for, “…pretending to be an undergrad who’d just rolled out of bed,” something Rubin says Jack Kemp wouldn’t have dreamed of doing.

On the more serious issues, Rubin exposes Paul’s, “…lack of forthrightness about conservative policies and solutions when it might prove uncomfortable – the desire to be something very different than what he’ll be in Iowa or New Hampshire.”

But what about CPAC and Paul’s straw poll victory, you ask?

Well, in this Bloomberg video (by way of The Christian Science Monitor) Dr. Larry Sabato tells us what Paul’s 31% straw poll win at CPAC means: Nothing.

First, there’s the math. Sabato reminds us that 7 in 10 at CPAC voted for someone else.

Next, he reminds us that CPAC is not the GOP. It is, he says, where, “…one goes to show a little leg – the right leg.”

Finally, he leaves us with this, and it’s something that everyone must understand about Rand Paul and libertarianism in general: Paul is very conservative on social issues like abortion, and he ran a very conservative campaign when he ran for Senate, but he is anything but conservative on homeland security issues like defense spending, the Patriot Act, and trials for Gitmo detainees.

What this all means – and what Sabato is pointing out to us – is the obvious about what Rand Paul is trying to do now. Rand Paul is simply trying to meld libertarianism with conservatism to appeal to younger voters.

Do not fall for it, younger voters.

The only kind of governance that would be worse for you than straight-up libertarianism would be libertarianism melded with conservatism.

Don’t believe it? Don’t think that’s what he’s doing, and don’t think it would necessarily be a bad thing if it were true?

Then understand this about what merging libertarianism and conservatism might mean. It comes from Paul’s own words from page 78 in his book, The Tea Party Goes to Washington:

In talking to Palin, one of the primary things I wanted to do was allay her fears about social issues, telling her, “My opponents call me a libertarian but I want to assure you that I am pro-life.” Palin responded, “Oh, we all have a little libertarian in us.”

Palin and Paul. Try that on. Take it for a little walk.

Now, is that even an idea with any appeal at all, and to whom?

Again, my advice is don’t be fooled by Rand Paul or any hard-core libertarians, for that matter. They are not your friends, they are not our friends, and they are no friend to young people. They are, in fact, no one’s friend or champion except for those who believe the corporatist ideology and propaganda that comes out of places like The Cato Institute.

It’s way too early to be prognosticating 2016. Between then and now, I encourage everyone to put a little time and effort into keeping yourselves informed.

If you’re curious and want a more in-depth analysis of the GOP’s 2016 contenders – and you may be surprised at what you find! – then check out Dr. Sabato and the UVA Center for Politics. Start with this March 20th report, 2016 Republican Presidential Update: A New, Familiar Name at the Top

For more details on Rand Paul – or any politician, for that matter – my advice is to avoid their web sites. You simply won’t find deeper and faster spinning pits of political bull chips anywhere in the universe.

Stay away from cable news and most corporate media, too. They are corporatists with a single goal: To attract and retain your attention in service to advertisers and their shareholders.

Instead, look for independent and non-partisan sources. Here’s a site I came upon recently. It’s called OnTheIssues, and I’m already finding it to be pretty helpful.

You should also join the conversation with your fellow citizens of all stripes and ages. Below are a few organizations I like and recommend.

The future is yours, young people, and, like it or not, someday you’ll be in charge. It’s up to you.

For what it’s worth and speaking on behalf of the Baby Boomers willing to tell you the truth, we effed things up royally, and we’re very, very sorry. We were the generation that bought the lies of trickle-down economics, worshiped the “greed is good” ethos, and have been governing and running businesses with sadistic selfishness and unbridled narcissism born of Ayn Rand’s perverse Objectivism.

For your own sake and for the sake of the planet and humanity, please don’t miss the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, and please don’t make the same ones we did.

http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/
http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/

10/1/2016: For the record, I no longer support CoffeePartyUSA as they have become a corrupt organization led by people who pick and choose whom they allow to have a voice and whom they allow was voting members as their way of holding onto power. Click here to read more.

http://www.wolf-pac.com/
http://www.wolf-pac.com/
https://represent.us/
https://represent.us/
https://movetoamend.org/
https://movetoamend.org/

Obama, Drones, and the 11th Commandment

Double standards are anathema to most Americans. This ought to be especially true when it comes to civil liberties, executive powers, and justice.

So where is the outrage from the Left and Democrats about drones and the executive powers born of Bush and being wielded still by Obama? We may no longer torture people, but Gitmo remains open and the President is choosing targets and authorizing the killing of American and non-American civilians.

Image
This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Photograph: AP

To Liberals, Progressives, Democrats, and supporters of the president everywhere, Glenn Greenwald’s piece in The Guardian last week, “Three Democratic myths used to demean the Paul filibuster”, is especially for you. It will probably make you uncomfortable. It should.

If you identify yourself as a Conservative, Libertarian, Republican or some combination thereof, then I suspect that you’ll enjoy and embrace Greenwald’s article. On some level, you should. It has all the talking points you could want for calling out the Left’s hypocrisy and double standards, at least on the issues of civil liberties and executive power. That is, of course, provided that you remain comfortable defending Bush and his administration for their atrocities and their violations of power and of the civil liberties conveyed on us by the Constitution. It was, after all, W and his administration who laid the foundation for your sworn mortal enemy, President Obama, now to be the one using – and even expanding – those executive powers.

Greenwald sheds truthful light on well-accepted Democratic values. He reveals the truths of a Democratic “empathy gap”, liberal authoritarianism, and the distortions of AG Eric Holder’s letter. He makes clear the case for why the attacks from the Left on Rand Paul for his criticisms of the president and his drone policy are partisan, disingenuous, and a glaring double standard by Democrats.

It comes down to this. One’s outrage over the abuses of power is almost always a matter of convenience and political persuasion.

It seems reasonable to ask where Rand Paul was between October of 2001 and March of 2013 when it comes to his filibustering strategy as a means for making any points about civil liberties and executive power. Late is better than never.

His 13-hour talk-a-thon has opened a door of opportunity for every American to be more aware of the abuses of executive power and the fact that those abuses continue today under Obama. Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and everyone on the Left should not squander this opportunity. They should unite to press for the kind of changes in DC and from this president that are supposed to be at the core of Democratic and democratic values.

Late is better than never.

If Americans truly believe in our Constitution and in a way of life in which laws and justice are applied equally and to all, then we should be outraged with Obama and how he is wielding his executive power.

Late is better than never.

Our civil liberties have been under threat since 2001. The threat is not foreign, it is domestic. It’s the result of our willingness to accept that an extremely small number of very powerful people – the very same people presumably elected by us to represent us and our values – have been granted and are now abusing that power. Obama’s actions don’t seem all that different from W’s. They seem to be getting ever more dangerous and unilateral.

I still want to believe that one of the things that make Democrats more appealing than and different from Republicans is that Democrats reject Reagan’s 11th Commandment as utterly and completely wrong-headed and wrong for America. It is the epitome of partisan politics. Every thinking person knows that it’s only through the courage to speak truth to power, and to challenge that power and its self-perpetuating and self-serving conventional wisdom, that progress can be made.

So I ask again, where’s the outrage? Where are the Democrats in DC standing up to challenge the Executive Branch? Why does it take a Libertarian to shed light on the dangers of unchecked executive power which defines ‘war’ and ‘battlefield’ and ‘enemy combatant’ to now encompass the entire planet and even an American citizen on American soil?

I marched in DC twice during the Bush years.

Where are the marches now?

Late is better than never.