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Rand Paul's college letters: Asked whether gov't should combat discrimination, worshipped Ayn Rand

I've obtained several letters and Op eds that Rand Paul wrote to his school newspaper in the early 1980s, and they provide a glimpse into Paul's budding libertarian mind as he grappled with his early hostility towards government.

In the letters, Paul questioned whether government should have any role in combatting discrimination and bigotry -- something that will surely resonate with his latter-day questioning of the Civil Rights Act -- and wrote worshipfully about Ayn Rand. He also cast doubt on whether government should, or can, define or try to achieve gender equality in the workplace, even as he suggested such equality is a worthy goal. And he showed hostility to government efforts to force companies to be consumer-friendly.

The letters, which are all right here, don't contain anything terribly damaging, but they do suggest Paul's antipathy towards government has been something he's nursed since college years. However, they also show that he wrestled with questions about politics and government at an early age, and opposed discrimination in any form, even if he was ambivalent about whether goverment should do anything to stop it.

In a 1983 letter about the Equal Rights Amendment to The Lariat, the paper at Baylor University, Paul wondered whether government should pass any laws to combat discrimination:

Should we enact laws that say "Thou shall not be prejudiced in business transactions," and then hope that the courts interpret such laws in a rational manner? Or should moral questions such as discrimination remain with the individual? Should we preach in order to bring about change, or should we compel?

In that same letter, Paul also offered a rebuttal to a professor who had argued for equality of wages regardless of gender:

Equality? Since when have any two people ever been equal?...

Have you some magical equation to determine equality in work? The answer must of necessity be a resounding "no!" Equality is a thing of the mind, originated, conceived and promulgated on a subjective basis.

However, Paul made it clear that he opposes discrimination in any form, arguing that "all must agree that bigoted discrimination is detrimental to the peaceful interaction of different sexes and races in the marketplace." And he held out hope for the advancement of women, but through "voluntary cooperation."

"Women inhabit virtually every sphere of our economic lives without the ERA," Paul wrote. "Change comes slowly, but it does come."

Paul spokesman Jesse Benton chalked up the letters to Dem desperation. "It is sad that Democrats are so desperate to prop up Jack Conway's failing campaign that they are digging up 30 year old College Op-Eds," he said. "This race is about repealing Obamacare, preventing tax hikes and fighting out of control debt and spending by Conway's liberal allies in Washington."

In a 1982 Op ed Paul published in the same paper, he wrote worshipfully about the "immortal words" of Howard Roark, the hero of Ayn Rand's novel "The Fountainhead." Displaying a taste for ambitious prose that betrayed his tender years, he lamented that "man" had lost touch with the Roark-ian ideal, and decried rank and file human beings as a "mindless mob of mediocrity" that hates and tries to stymie the achievements of great men:

The new world man crawls on all fours, submits, acquiesces and seeks the security of the mindless mob of mediocrity.

Such are the masses that cower before knowledge, that condemn science, and seek to become one with the inanimate earth. This subspecie of man rises from among us, consolidated in their hatred of achievement, and their fear of the unknown...Their defeat, however, is still possible if the few who still possess originality, those men who still dare to think, speak out and show the mob the reflection of their premises, the impotence of the conclusions, and the lifelessness of their entire ideology.

In a 1983 letter to the paper, Paul showed hostility to the idea that government should try to compel private companies to be more consumer-friendly. He claimed companies should not be compelled to disclose to consumers ways of saving money with their products.

"The implied conclusion" of that idea, Paul wrote, "is that the consumer does not possess the means nor the intelligence for securing his own savings; therefore, the ever-benevolent government should provide for the incompetency of the consumer."

Paul's letters are coming to light as Politico reports that the newsletter published by Paul's secret society had an anti-Christian tone and made fun of the faith orientation of Baylor, a Baptist college. Taken all together, the revelations provide an interesting glimpse into the non-comformist and intellectually wrestless milieu of his college years, suggesting his current libertarianism and hostility towards government and convention go back a long way.

By Greg Sargent  | October 13, 2010; 12:04 PM ET
 
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Comments

"Worshipfully", as in violating the First Commandment?! LOL!!!

Regardless, I will gladly take a witch or even Satanist in Congress, as long as they vote Republican, the threat from the Dems has never been greater in my lifetime.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Shakespeare also wrote "immortal words" (it's a figure of speech that in no way implies I literally worship the Bard of Avon ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul "wrote worshipfully about Ayn Rand"? "Worshipfully?" I doubt it. He and his Dad have never been objectivists. Objectivists don't believe in charity. She made some good points, though.

Posted by: sailingaway1 | October 13, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

30 year-old letters that show a libertarian bend: EXPLOSIVE BOMBSHELL eleventy!1!!!.

Cocaine use, no college transcripts, no articles as editor of Law Review, 20 years as a member of an america-hating church, and possibly ghost-written autobiographies? Nothing to see here, move along.

Posted by: bzod9999 | October 13, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

But but but ... Ted Kennedy, jake, what about Ted freaking Kennedy?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 13, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

FWIW: although Rand's father, Ron Paul, was a fan of Ayn Rand, her name was NOT the inspiration for Randal HOWARD Paul's first name; he went by "Randy" as a child through college and then "Rand" as an adult.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/us/politics/06paul.html?_r=1

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

pragmaticstill:

As you NoZe, I asked you on that prior thread whether Ted Kennedy deserved to be in the U.S. Senate (after killing a woman) BECAUSE you claimed that Ken Buck does not, simply for exercising prosecutorial discretion on an alleged rape case (not even that he raped the woman himself ; )

You still haven't answered my question to you.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

"Equality? Since when have any two people ever been equal?... "

Wow.

So much for "All Men Are Created Equal".

Hate the founding premise of the United States of America much?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

O/T but interesting:

Yesterday, Fox News “quietly” launched a new, bilingual website, FoxNewsLatino.com.

While Fox News Latino does indeed provide coverage of the issues that Latinos care about (particularly immigration), the tone and angle of the stories written for its Latino audience differ remarkably from what the main Fox News website is telling its presumably mostly white viewers and readers.

For example, one of the more recent immigration articles featured on the Fox News main website is “Obama Is Our ‘Me First’ Point Guard, Especially On Immigration,” an opinion piece by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) which basically complains that the Obama administration isn’t deporting enough people. Smith’s writing didn’t make it to the Fox News Latino website, though I’m sure the Latino community is interested in what he has to say. However, “Record Number of Deportations in 2010” did.

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/10/13/fox-news-latino/

Apparently "fair and balanced" depends on who is to be deceived.

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 13, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

How sad for Mr Sargent. The circumference of the circle drawn around his interests continues to shrink.

Now we're down to Rand Paul's early writings. Didn't the Democrats try this during the Virginia Govenor's race?

These nasty words are from a very popular liberal website, Wonkette:
"The dispatching of interns to college campus for purposes of digging up politicians’ old papers, newspaper columns, and self-effacing submissions to really radical but also really, like, awesome poetry ‘zines is a sacred tradition of journalism. And it is this custom that has made it possible for America to now enjoy the senior thesis of Virginia gubernatorial candidate/former attorney general Bob McDonnell, a 93-page musing on the fairer sex that is now forcing McDonnell to perform the PR equivalent of fellatio on fornicators, cohabitators, working mothers and other types of fallen women.

Read more at Wonkette: Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Bob McDonnell’s College Thesis Is Making Everyone, Especially Women, Totally Hysterical "

Hellllllooooooo liberals, who won that race? How well did slinging this stupid bit of "mud" work out in Virginia?

If Apple, Microsoft or Intel ever develop a system that allows the internet to transmit scent as well as sight and sound we'd be experiencing the stench of defeat emanating from this blog.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

zzzz skippy, Joke, zzzzzz

Posted by: Observer691 | October 13, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, funny point, thanks.

What's remarkable to me about some of the right-leaning commenters in here is that they're incapable of recognizing when their dear leaders have been actually treated quite fairly.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 13, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

These letters do show that Randy hasn't grown up at all.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 13, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"All Men Are Created Equal"

Unless you're a Republican... in which case, NO men are equal.

No wonder they hate America so much. They're being forced to live in a country where the founding premise of the country is in direct opposition to their ideological beliefs.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

It's called "knee-jerk," Greg. If you post it, these nuts have to respond as if what you wrote was negative.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 13, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Ted Kennedy is dead, jake. He is no longer in the Senate. Didn't they report that on Fox?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 13, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Most welcome Greg. That jumped out at me.

"What's remarkable to me about some of the right-leaning commenters in here is that they're incapable of recognizing when their dear leaders have been actually treated quite fairly."

Understatement of the millennium.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

You dems/msm are really pathetic. Where were Obama's college papers? Come to think of it, where were any records on this guy? The fact that you can dig up stuff on Mr. Paul from thirty years ago only proves to me that you really didn't try when it came to Obama. But there's no bias in the media, is there?

Posted by: AnnieP1 | October 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

Those of us who cling to our guns and religion don't take the word "worship" as lightly as you do, since you think it was so fair and balanced. As soon as you start trashing Dems even HALF as much as you do Republicans, I will gladly leave your website forever!

pragmaticstill:

Given that you have declined to answer my previous question to you, I hope that you will forgive me for declining to answer any of your later-asked question(s) to me.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "What's remarkable to me about some of the right-leaning commenters in here is that they're incapable of recognizing when their dear leaders have been actually treated quite fairly."

Am I going to have to post: "My, that was quite fair of you." on every article? ;)

Yes, indeed, it seemed quite balanced and non-mud slinging. Just so you know. Most of your posts, given the nature of the blog, seem pretty fair, to me.

@Ethan2010: "Unless you're a Republican... in which case, NO men are equal."

No, actually, all men are still created equal. Sorry. An interesting theory, though.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Obamacare funded by the Communist Chinese government! when deficit spending pushes the interests of our foreign enemies, no wonder obama wants to spend, spend, spend.

Posted by: dummypants | October 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"What's remarkable to me about some of the right-leaning commenters in here is that they're incapable of recognizing when their dear leaders have been actually treated quite fairly."

Could you direct me to the post where you introduced and opined upon the college writings of a Democratic candidate? Thanks.

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 13, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

In a letter sent to Angle Monday, Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly, Jr. fired back at the Nevada Republican.

“I am deeply distressed that you have been misled about our community and the way that we conduct our affairs,” O’Reilly writes.

After explaining that the Detroit metro area, which includes Dearborn, has one of the country’s highest concentrations of Arab-Americans in the country, O’Reilly also informs Angle that “Arab-Americans practice religions other than Islam and the Chaldean and Lebanese cultures in our area represent a substantial number of Christians.”

“I am afraid that many share the perception that Muslims have only recently immigrated to this area and are imposing their culture on our region,” O’Reilly also writes, directly addressing Angle’s claims about the role of Muslims in his community.

The Michigan mayor adds, “Muslims have been practicing their faith in our community for almost 90 years without incident or conflict. To suggest that they have taken over ignores the fact that Dearborn hosts 7 mosques and 60 Christian churches.”'

Posted by: Liam-still | October 13, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

If only we could look at Oblather's college work. I'm SURE American's would find it "interesting". No doubt why it is locked up tighter than the gold in Fort Knox. LMAO!!!!

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 13, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

AnnieP1:

Good point.

I wonder, now that the political tide had turned, if Sen. Bunning and other GOP Senators are having second thoughts about their decisions to retire? They clearly did not imagine that it was even possible to regain the majority this year.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "What's remarkable to me about some of the right-leaning commenters in here is that they're incapable of recognizing when their dear leaders have been actually treated quite fairly."

While Rand is certainly not any leader of mine, I think Greg's treatment here is quite fair - and I don't think anything revealed here makes Rand look bad at all. In fact, I reel rather more comfortable supporting Rand now.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 13, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

OT - Think Progress is out with another look at the Chamber of Commerce.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/10/13/chamber-foreign-funded-media/

Interesting.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 13, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

sbj3:

You don't "worship" any God, do you?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

When will we be seeing our first glimpse of Obama's college writings, or anything from his past? Oh I forgot, The Associated Press had shipped 100% of their resources during the last campaign to Alaska to do Opposition Research...I mean...background reporting.

Posted by: hastoglis | October 13, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I have to question your ability to understand anyone who disagrees with you. Your nastiness is well known but your inability to listen/read is now also on display.

I am referencing this, from yesterday:
"And your concern about legalizing cannabis was your fear of more people dying from intoxicated drivers? But you OPPOSE seatbelt laws? WTF is up with that? Do you have any idea how many lives per year do seatbelts save?"

Just because I love ya boy, I'm going to explain myself once again:

I question the desirability of legalizing marajuana because impaired drivers DO NOT JUST KILL THEMSELVES. Perhaps the concept of concern for others just doesn't sink into to you dogmatically driven mind.

I oppose laws such as mandatory seat belts because Americans should be free to look after themselves. Freedom is clearly something that makes you uncomfortable. I'm hardly surprised. Liberals have, at their core, a large streak of outright despotism built into thier belief system. commanding others "for their own good" is one of the fundamental tenants of liberalism.

Perhaps that's why Mr Sargent has such trouble with folks like Rand Paul. Libertarians think freedom first while liberals think they know the right answer and everyone should just obey them.

right about now Ethan's dogma is being roundly rejected across America. Such a repudiation is welcome as it will, I firmly believe, trigger an assessment of the role of government in our lives and therefore result in a roll back of the intrusiveness that we've permitted thus far.

Ethan, I question your ability to think critically about anything. Don't disappoint me now old chum. Make a post calling me names and telling me to take my meds. Go ahead, prove me right.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin: "No, actually, all men are still created equal."

Just not Gays, African-Americans, Hispanics, women... etc...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

@jake: Why do you ask me such strange questions?

Posted by: sbj3 | October 13, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

To be fair, Mr. Sargent is not the only journ-O-lister to misuse the word "worship" re: Rand Paul:

http://www.google.com/search?source=hp&q=%22rand+paul%22+worship

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"right about now Ethan's dogma is being roundly rejected across America"

Actually, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of Americans favor seat belt laws.

Skip,

Do you think that "All Men Are Created Equal"?

Or do you agree with Rand Paul when he scoffed: "Equality? Since when have any two people ever been equal?..."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Greg

You could change the name if this blog to "Desperately Seeeking Something To Trash The Tea Party"

Maybe you can get Madonnna and one of the Arquettes to star in the film adaptation.

Posted by: Classic777 | October 13, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Greg

You could change the name if this blog to "Desperately Seeeking Something To Trash The Tea Party"

Maybe you can get Madonnna and one of the Arquettes to star in the film adaptation.

Posted by: Classic777 | October 13, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

sbj3:

Because I am curious (you think it's "quite fair" for Greg to misuse the word WORSHIP, so I am asking about your worldview in that regard). As always, you are under no obligation to answer my questions to you. Just remember that when I stop answering your questions too ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

"Worship" is an act of religious devotion directed to one or more deities. The word is derived from the Old English "worthscipe", meaning worthiness or worth-ship.

Evelyn Underhill defines worship thus: "The adoring acknowledgment of all that lies beyond us — the glory that fills heaven and earth. It is the response that conscious beings make to their Creator, to the Eternal Reality from which they came forth ..."

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Skip - I get where you are coming from on seat belt laws, but as we've discussed, marijuana's effect on driving is far from clear.

Put that aside for awhile and look at the cost associated with not having seat belt laws. According to the NHTSA, "Seat belt use saves society an estimated $50 billion annually in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury-related costs. Furthermore, the average inpatient costs for crash victims who don’t use seat belts are 55 percent higher than for those who use them."

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/airbags/RuralCrashes/pages/CriticalNeed.htm

I'd guess a lot of those who are injured because they didn't wear a seat belt don't have medical insurance. Many of those people use the emergency room as their primary health care provider and then don't pay their bills. Therefore the costs associated with a lack of seat belt laws would be picked up by us, the American people.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Many people are upset that Greg has been attacked for publishing letters form Rand Paul's college days. Fair enought but the question needs still to be asked why the same question been asked about many Democratic candidates including Obama what was in their college papers? The left still wants to attack any Republican but will not look at any shortcomings or lack of full disclosure of the Democrats running or currently in office.

Posted by: sales7 | October 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

The president who campaigned for a more “open government” and “full disclosure” will not unseal his medical records, his school records, his birth records or his passport records. He will not release his Harvard records, his Columbia College records, or his Occidental College records—he will not even release his Columbia College thesis. All his legislative records from the Illinois State Senate are missing and he claims his scheduling records during those State Senate years are lost as well. In addition, no one can find his school records for the elite K-12 college prep school, Punahou School, he attended in Hawaii.

Posted by: hunter340 | October 13, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ‘til the end of time!

… But He loves you!

— George Carlin

Posted by: Liam-still | October 13, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@Jake: What's the big deal about Greg's use of the word "worship"?

According to Merriam-Webster, "worship" can also be defined as:

"extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem "

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 13, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

NUT JOB

Posted by: SmallBusiness | October 13, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

paul's thoughts.."Discrimination is not good, but (it doesn't effect me) the govt shouldn't do anything about it."

He a spoiled rich boy of a congresscritter.

a real rebel..yeah.
LMAO

Posted by: newagent99 | October 13, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

@cat,

Jake always makes a big deal out of some rabbit-trail, in this case, the word "worship". He's the master of sophistry, so it should not be much of a surprise he plays word games. Pay no attention if you want to hold onto some kind of reality.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 13, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

1 chiefly British : a person of importance —used as a title for various officials (as magistrates and some mayors)

2: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence

3: a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual

4: extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem

Examples of WORSHIP

worship of gods and goddesses

Worship services are held daily.

the media's worship of celebrities

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worship

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 13, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"If only we could look at Oblather's college work. I'm SURE American's would find it "interesting". No doubt why it is locked up tighter than the gold in Fort Knox. LMAO!!!!"

you can't look at randy's college work either... these are published in the school paper letters from randy.

showing that even as a 20 year old he had the intellect of a 13 year year old

Posted by: newagent99 | October 13, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"Fair enought but the question needs still to be asked why the same question been asked about many Democratic candidates including Obama what was in their college papers? "

These are not Paul's "college papers"....these were letters/opinion pieces published in public papers. Do you know of any op-eds or letters to the editor that Obama wrote? Do you think that maybe the question has been asked but that perhaps they don't exist?

I know it's hard to believe, but not everything is some grand liberal media conspiracy.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 13, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"given the nature of the blog"

By which you mean... a blog dedicated to treating the right differently than the left?

Sure, within the context of the obvious and blatant partisanship of Greg's mission here (ie his general lack of objectivity and fairness), I agree with you and sbj that his post was pretty evenhanded. But the very impetus for the subject of the post was clearly not evenhanded at all. As I asked him directly, has Greg ever investigated and disclosed the college writings of one of his favored candidates? Doesn't the answer to that question bear on a judgment of whether or not he is actually being "fair" to Paul?

Posted by: ScottC3 | October 13, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Just not Gays, African-Americans, Hispanics, women... etc..."

Nope, all are created equal. I'd be interested in hearing why you might think differently?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 13, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I doubt many people in America have even thought about seat belt laws. Just like they didn't think about transfat bans or lightbulb bans or gushing showerhead bans and so forth. Americans have, I believe, come to the conclusion that our freedom was dying a death of a thousand cuts and we're drawing a line. Step one is to stop the onslaught of new idiotic laws. Step two is roll back earlier assaults on our freedom. Step three is to defang the government(s) that are eroding our freedom.

And PR, here's the issue as I see it. "society" will ALWAYS bear the cost of freedom, one way or the other. The problem arises when "society" is replaced with "government". Seat belts are a great foil for this excersize.

At this point most hospitals in American are organized as not for profits. The are, in essence, charitable organizations. If the liberals achieve their wet dream of socialized health care, the non profits will be functionally replaced by government agencies. At that point the cost to society plea will shift to "cost to the taxpayers" and new laws will be tempting. The spiral will never end. Already we're seeing assaults on our freedom in the name of our health.

here's another perfect analogy: helmet laws. Ohio doesn't mandate helmets, but it does mandate seat belts. What that tells me is that the process isn't rational. If the Harley riders have a better lobby effort that other vehicle drivers, they get a different deal.

If the appeal is "cost to society" or "cost to taxpayers" why no helmet law?

but my fundamental question is this: does the government have a compelling interest in mandating my specific behavior? We have to question some of the laws/regulations that we've simply accepted in the past.

Isn't that the liberal bumper sticker? question Authority Or Question everything

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@ScottC3: "By which you mean... a blog dedicated to treating the right differently than the left?"

Meaning it's an opinion blog by a guy who characterizes himself as a progressive. I don't expect a lot of coverage of progressive back-patting at Ace of Spades or RedState. I expect positive coverage of things that advance the progressive cause, or things that make the progressive argument very well, just as NRO tends to cover conservatism, and arguments that make conservative look pretty good, thoroughly. If it was presented as an objective new column, I might think different, but I would expect, as an opinion blogger, for him to blog about the things he has the stronger opinions on or interest in.

It could be constant blogging about what he just posted to Facebook or namebrand pharmaceuticals at a fraction of the price. I mean, it could be a lot worse.

I think Greg is generally pretty thoughtful about what he writes (more so than Adam Srewer, but, again, it's a progressive-y blog) and that's good enough for me.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 13, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Sharron; You Ignorant....


" In a letter sent to Angle Monday, Dearborn Mayor John O’Reilly, Jr. fired back at the Nevada Republican.

“I am deeply distressed that you have been misled about our community and the way that we conduct our affairs,” O’Reilly writes.

After explaining that the Detroit metro area, which includes Dearborn, has one of the country’s highest concentrations of Arab-Americans in the country, O’Reilly also informs Angle that “Arab-Americans practice religions other than Islam and the Chaldean and Lebanese cultures in our area represent a substantial number of Christians.”

“I am afraid that many share the perception that Muslims have only recently immigrated to this area and are imposing their culture on our region,” O’Reilly also writes, directly addressing Angle’s claims about the role of Muslims in his community.

The Michigan mayor adds, “Muslims have been practicing their faith in our community for almost 90 years without incident or conflict. To suggest that they have taken over ignores the fact that Dearborn hosts 7 mosques and 60 Christian churches.”'

Posted by: Liam-still | October 13, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, there are aspects of life where we are all, or should be, equal. We are all, for example, endowed by our created with certain rights.

But we are not all endowed by our creator with other gifts. I could not play hockey well enough to make an NHL career of it. I can't see the seams on a fast ball travelling in my general direction at 90+mph. but others can. They got their gifts, I got mine (such as they are)

So in one sense, yes we're equal. In others, no we're not. Here's another perfect example. Children don't pick their parents. Yet nuturing has a huge impact on success. Are young children being raised by a high school drop out teenaged single mom getting equality when compared to the children born to functional intact families?

it is not a simple question. Let's see if you can engage in a decent discussion about this.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@Skip:

"I doubt many people in America have even thought about seat belt laws"

Yeah, nice try.

This is from a 2004 poll on traffic safety, page 11, pdf linked below:

The Harris poll shows 80 percent of Americans say that seat belt enforcement should be treated like any other traffic safety law, meaning a police officer should be allowed to ticket motorists just for not wearing their seat belts.

84% support booster seats for children
80% support helmets for all motorcycle riders
87% support drunk driving prevention
80% support sobriety checkpoints

http://saferoads.org/Roadmap2005.pdf

"If the appeal is "cost to society" or "cost to taxpayers" why no helmet law?"

Because some issues are left to the states to decide. You know, the whole "states' rights" thing that you conservatives supposedly hold dear.

If you were REALLY concerned about these issues you would support federal laws mandating seatbelts, helmets, baby seats, etc...

But since you don't support these laws -- *GAK* FREEDOMS !!111!!1 -- I guess that it's just another case where you stubbornly cling to a fraudulent ideology over the benefit to Americans across the country. In fact, it couldn't be more clear how morally bankrupt your ideology is than it is on the issue of seat belt laws.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

""Equality? Since when have any two people ever been equal?... "

Wow.

So much for "All Men Are Created Equal".

Hate the founding premise of the United States of America much?"

My response to this comment:

The founding premise of the United States is that all men are *created* equal. That does not mean that they grow to be equal. There is a vast difference between equal rights, and equal handouts. Rand Paul is right.

In regards to this article:

Thank you for posting these letters and op-eds; I now like Rand Paul even more than I did before!

Posted by: junechristopher1 | October 13, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Skip - And yet you are still pro-prohibition, even though the effects on driving are minimal?

I'm not the biggest Ethan fan either, but he has a point about your take on seat belt laws as they relate to prohibition. Your arguement really doesn't make much sense.

You say, "society" will ALWAYS bear the cost of freedom, one way or the other." Yet isn't that an arguement against prohibition?

You say, "Step two is roll back earlier assaults on our freedom." Hmm, yeah, that is also an arguement for legalization.

Helmet laws are a terrible anology in my opinion because they are set by the state, seat belt laws are national.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 13, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat:

I not interested in the "secondary" (much less the quaternary) definition -- some of my objections are already noted above including LOTS of journ-O-listers who just happen to attack Paul on the issue of "worship" in a not-so-veiled smear on his own belief system -- which is why I posted that I will gladly take a SATANIST over the Democrat at this point. Now, if you want to discuss further, rather than taking 12BarBlues advice, let me know.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Rand should have these letters framed. They'll look great on the walls of his new office in either Hart, Dirksen or Russell.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | October 13, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

junechristopher1:

Do either of you "worship" a God?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"it is not a simple question"

Actually, it is a simple question.

CLEARLY I was referring to the fundamental rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In fact, the founding document of our country holds these rights to be "truths" which are "self-evident".

Apparently, Rand Paul thinks, or thought, that the fundamental equality of mankind with regard to the rights of American citizens is something to be scoffed at and not taken seriously.

Assuming that you DO believe, unlike Rand Paul, that all people ARE indeed equal with regard to fundamental rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then, for example, why would you oppose the rights for homosexual Americans to marry?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ah, another day at the Plum Line. STRF has taken cover under a new moniker, and Jake has already gotten in a "Have a Nice Life" and a mention of Quo Warranto. Oh, and the sun rose in the east.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 13, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of invoking Ayn Rand, I saw the guy running against Feingold last night in a debate on CSPAN. He had a little exposition the meaning of the title "Atlas Shrugged". I was amazed.

Posted by: seattlechemfem | October 13, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin: "I'd be interested in hearing why you might think differently?"

Clearly I believe that all men and women are equal with regard to their fundamental rights.

It is the GOP that doesn't think so, as evidenced by their stance on gay marriage, immigration reform, and a myriad of other issues.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Another Drudge link?

Rand Paul wrote letters to the editor of various newspapers describing his thoughts and beliefs at that time. They don't appear to be terribly enlightening.

President Obama wrote 2 books, describing his thoughts and beliefs. People quote them all the time. What's the big deal?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 13, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"My Struggle" by Rand Paul.

Sounds creepily similar.

Posted by: wideblacksky | October 13, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Atlas should have used steroids.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 13, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Jake says, "I not interested in the "secondary" (much less the quaternary) definition"

So you only want words to mean what you want them to mean? Really?

If I were to say, "I worship Jennifer Aniston's body," everyone here would know what I meant. That is a common use of the word.

You should probably stay away from any profession that relies on the English language; you aren't very good with it. You can probably make it as a plumber or a sanitation engineer, but stay away from the teaching profession and anything dealing with the law.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 13, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Any questions? Anyone who votes for tea party people are just as crazy as they are. This country is heading down a road that will lead into a uncontrollable mess. I bet when these voters have to make a choice and that choice is no longer there, Angel will just say' Hey, Just make lemonade'...Or when they have an accident and become disable and have a hard time getting into building etc, Rand Paul will just say, "Hey we in the government can't make businesses spend money to make their building accessible to you, that will cost companies too much money. Hey, make lemonade". Or when they have daughters who are being treated unfairly, Rand P will say, "its all in the mind". Or even, lets just say, who needs OSHA anyway, what's the worst that can happen? A coal mine explosion, no way because coal mine companies are so concerned with their workers or better yet, get another job buddy. Or how aboutChristine, she's so fiscal responsible. Its not like she owed the IRS money or didn't pay her loans, its not like she got sued. I mean she is such a hard worker, what job did she have again? Oh yeah, she lived off money from her failed attempts to become a U.S senator, or its not like she dabbled in witchcraft or anything like that. And Yes she will stop all young people from having sex, yes she will, yes she can.

I can not wait til mid-terms are over and if these Tea party people win, people are going to be whinning and I will be laughing...This will be fun to watch and especially when you all who voted for them get affected by their lunacy..Hey people, better go places now because soon it will be up to the buisness owner if they want to serve you. Soon because of your color, religion and or political views, you might have to sit in a seperate room. Remember this, If they come after one religion today, what will stop them from coming after yours?

Posted by: Realistic5 | October 13, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

PR, I don't completely buy your assertion that the effects of marajuana on the ability to properly drive a car is "minimal". It might be and I'd like to think that it is because I am NOT opposed to legalization per se. I just seek assurances about that single issue.

but I predict that if marajuana is legalized no amount of highway slaughter will disuade legalization proponents that this was a bad idea. People will grieve in private and that will be that.

No PR it is not argument for or against anything. It is a simple statement of fact. We tried prohibition and as a society determined that the cost of legalizing alcohol was worth it. Organizations like MADD might disagree as we routinely experience slaughter on our roads due to drunk driving. My wife suffered significant injury when a drunk ran a stop sign and t boned her car while she waited her turn at the intersection. Yet I still don't think prohibition will work.

Once again, I don't think much of this is rational at all.

and of course helmet VS seat belt is a perfect analogy. Irrespective of the source of the law, our freedom is lost and the pattern is irrational. Everyone MUST wear a seatbelt. But motorcylists with good lobbying don't have to wear helmets. Yet both types of drivers suffer grave injuries and society must bear the cost of their care. that makes the analogy just about perfect for my purpose. And my purpose was to illustrate the fundamental irrationality of this entire process.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Now, if you want to discuss further, rather than taking 12BarBlues advice, let me know.
-------------------------------
@cat,

I like you. Take it from a veteran of the Jake sophistry wars--following his rabbit trails is a sure way to give up your sanity. Since we're into definitions, try this one:

Sophistry: subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation

Sound familiar?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 13, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Two things Ethan.

First, public opinion is hardly a valid basis for imparing our freedom. No doubt one could have done a poll in the antebellum south about the propriety of slavery and reach the conclusion that laws which permit the practice were good because a majority of people thought they were.

Next, much of your data really doesn't speak to the point of contention. I never said that I thought seat belts or child safety seats were a bad idea. I said I opposed laws mandating their use. Of course I think both are marvelous inventions.

the point of contention is the propriety of government mandates. If I only threaten my own well being, why should the government mandate any behavior modification from me? this is exactly the argument you make for the legalization of marajuana. If no one is harmed, why ban it?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"Worship" is an act of religious devotion directed to one or more deities.

Posted by: JakeD2
+++++++++++++

Thanks for clarifying. So it is possible for Rand Paul to worship both Ayn Rand and Aqua Buddha.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 13, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

PaciolisRevenge:

Too late, I retired in 1995 (thanks for the unsolicited advice, not ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

All, I've compiled a list of all the Chamber and Rove ads that have been debunked as false or misleading by fact checkers:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/rove_chamber_ads_widely_debunk.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 13, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1:

Anything's possible -- even you telling the truth or answering simple questions -- but that's not going to happen either.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

At least Rand Paul got one thing right:

His dismissal of equality gives an indication he is aware that he is not the equal of the rest of us.

His sense of inferiority is well-deserved.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 13, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Skip - I'm sorry about your wife; I hope she is okay.

Of course prohibition won't work, it didn't for alcohol and it never has for marijuana either. That is a big part of why conservatives should be for legalization. A strong pro-legalization argument can be made from both a conservative and a liberal perspective. I have yet to hear what I would consider a valid anti-legalization argument from either point of view. Your argument, that legalizing may lead to more traffic fatalities, is about as good as it gets and is based on a faulty premise, which means it is not really that good.

As to the seat belt vs. helmet issue I still say it is a faulty analogy. The federal vs. state issue is vital. Now, in many states cops can't pull you over for not wearing a seat belt, I can see making an analogy between that and helmets.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 13, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

for everyone quoting "all men are created equal" the line refers to equal protection under the law. not the abilities in the work place which is what rand paul was writing about.

I'm not saying I agree with Rand Paul, but you need to make sure your arguments are based on the correct premises.

The reason Rand Paul is wrong is because those in power seek to retain their power. As such, without being compelled to treat women/minorities equally, they will tend not to (of course there will be those who do, but only statistical anomalies).

Posted by: anti-elitist | October 13, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Nope, Jake, I'm not going to answer the question you asked many months ago, which is personal and of no relevance to the blog: "What kind of lawyer are you?"

Posted by: bearclaw1 | October 13, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Skip,

First, I'm not going to go back and get your quotation from yesterday but you very clearly stated that you oppose seat belt laws. If you want, I'll go back and find it, but I'm shocked to hear you now suggest otherwise.

Second, with regard to threatening your own well-being... Every single time someone gets injured in a car accident where the injury would have been prevented if they were wearing a seatbelt -- say the driver slammed his/her head into the dashboard instead of being held back -- the TAXPAYER covers the cost of taking that injured person to the hospital. Whether it is by ambulance or by helicopter, YOU pay that fare. Multiply that one stupid person by 100,000 and you can see how damaging these costs can become... all for not mandating seat belt use.

It is clearly and directly in the public's interest to make a law mandating seat belt use.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

No Ethan, it wasn't CLEAR at all. I stand by my response.

You are doing your usual projection, your usual thoughtless jumping to conclusions.

I can readily agree with Mr Paul's assertion that people aren't equal. They aren't. They all have certain rights, but that's just about all the equality we're ever going to see.

Oh BTW, I don't believe in fairness either. I understand the concept but I doubt our ultimately ability to achieve it. If you want fair go to your mom.

have I ever said that I oppose the "right" of gay people to "marry" Ethan? Like many others I have concerns about open homosexuality's impact on the fabric of our society. In a civil society these issues could be discussed and a process employed to decide what is best. At this point when taking the issue to the ballot box gay marriage is 0 for thirty something. Clearly the concept is not obtaining the approval of the people.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Good for him! I'm going to vote for him because he's honest. We're all sick and tired of the EASTERN/WEST COAST POLITICALLY CORRECT BS! Do you hear that, Liberals? You're going down! You disgust most Americans. You are not going to determine anything about my life, Obama, no matter what your chick Valerie Jarrett (spelling? Who cares?) says. It's none of her business. Nobody elected her. Nobody cares what she has to say!

Posted by: georges2 | October 13, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of lunatic fringe Republican whackjobs like Randy Paul here...

Speaking of two faced Republican crooks and liars like KKKarl Rove...

Republican Orange John Boehner Already Doling Out Pork To Fellow Republicans

Even as House Minority Whip Eric Cantor tries to fire up the Teabaggers (the Republican base) by saying he'll try to end earmarks (a promise that was missing from the GOP's phony Pledge to America)....
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43526.html

Orange John Boehner is already busy screwing them over by handing out pork by doling out Appropriations Committee assignments to vulnerable Republican candidates:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1010/43520.html


"Rep. Charles Djou of Hawaii was promised a seat on the Appropriations Committee and Vicky Hartzler, running against Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), was promised a spot on the panel that oversees the military. The pledges from Boehner (R-Ohio) indicate a push from Republicans in Washington to boost candidates in tough races. Djou, who won the Honolulu-based seat in a special election in May, released a statement indicating that Boehner pledged his “full support” for a seat on the powerful spending committee. “Charles would fight to curb government spending while working to ensure the Pacific Fleet, defense installations, and military personnel in Hawaii have the resources they need to help keep America secure,” Boehner said, according to the Djou release. “I look forward to working with him, the Republican leadership, and the Members of the Steering Committee to place him on the House Appropriations Committee at the earliest possible opportunity.”


Not that the drooling Teabagger cretins will pay any attention, but they ought to take note: The fact that Boehner and his crew are already trying to bribe voters by doling out committee assignments that they don't even yet have proves beyond a shadow of doubt that if the GOP does manage to regain control in November, nothing is going to change from the last time they were in charge. Given that GOP leadership couldn't even keep their no-pork pledge through Election Day, you'd have to be crazy to think they'd keep it once they take office.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | October 13, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"There is a vast difference between equal rights, and equal handouts. Rand Paul is right."

So, as a woman, when I request equal pay for equal work that means I'm requesting a "handout"? Somehow my degrees, my experience, my knowledge are worth less because I was born with a uterus?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 13, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Good for him! I'm going to vote for him because he's honest. We're all sick and tired of the EASTERN/WEST COAST POLITICALLY CORRECT BS! Do you hear that, Liberals? You're going down! You disgust most Americans. You are not going to determine anything about my life, Obama, no matter what your chick Valerie Jarrett (spelling? Who cares?) says. It's none of her business. Nobody elected her. Nobody cares what she has to say!

Posted by: georges2

_____________________________________

Judging by your overwrought, overly-emotional outburst, you care what she has to say.

You must be on a continual emotional roller-coaster ride if the reported words of someone you don't know and are never likely to meet affects you so deeply.

Have you considered getting help?

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 13, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Good for him! I'm going to vote for him because he's honest. We're all sick and tired of the EASTERN/WEST COAST POLITICALLY CORRECT BS! Do you hear that, Liberals? You're going down! You disgust most Americans. You are not going to determine anything about my life, Obama, no matter what your chick Valerie Jarrett (spelling? Who cares?) says. It's none of her business. Nobody elected her. Nobody cares what she has to say!

Posted by: georges2 | October 13, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

####################################

Well, you've had your say. Guess what - we don't care!

Posted by: maggots | October 13, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@Skip,

"have I ever said that I oppose the "right" of gay people to "marry" Ethan?"

So do you SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE? Yes or No?

Skip at 2:21 PM:

"public opinion is hardly a valid basis for imparing our freedom."

Skip at 2:40 PM:

"Clearly the concept is not obtaining the approval of the people."

So which is it Skip? It's like there's two of you! Two responses, which are totally at odds with each other, posted under 20 minutes apart! Gotta be a record. Someone call Guiness!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul = Libertarian loony.

That acorn did not fall from the tree.

Insanity obviously runs in the family.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 13, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

30 year-old letters that show a libertarian bend: EXPLOSIVE BOMBSHELL eleventy!1!!!.

Cocaine use, no college transcripts, no articles as editor of Law Review, 20 years as a member of an america-hating church, and possibly ghost-written autobiographies? Nothing to see here, move along.

Posted by: bzod9999 | October 13, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

######################################

"Nothing to see here" describes your posting very well - a rehash of trivia, distortions, and outright lies.

The fact is that Paul represents an extremist Libertarian viewpoint, both then and now.

Posted by: maggots | October 13, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"some of my objections are already noted above including LOTS of journ-O-listers who just happen to attack Paul on the issue of "worship" in a not-so-veiled smear on his own belief system"

No, you said the following:

"To be fair, Mr. Sargent is not the only journ-O-lister to MISUSE the word "worship" re: Rand Paul:" (emphasis mine)

He didn't "misuse" the word and since this is his blog, I don't think he's required to follow any ridiculous pc standards that you've decided to arbitrarily establish.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 13, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat, while Greg can post whatever he wants, I agree with Jake that Greg misused the word and is engaged in a coordinated smear attack against Rand Paul.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 13, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2: You can prove that Ted K killed someone right? Can I have your proof please? And no no no no, not some nonsense you can find on the web(heres a word of advise: You can't believe everything you read on the web: ie, like your thread)..So show us the proof please..Let me guess, you have some documents that prove that Ted killed a woman, can you share it with us, you genius(insert sarcasm)..Or were you there doing the investigation and you were told to stay hush about it or your career would be ruined. Well Jake, All Americans will have the proof now that we have been waiting for..And jake let me guess, you also have proof we didn't land on the moon, right?

Posted by: Realistic5 | October 13, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

People like Rand Paul always see the differences and not the commonality.

With their Ayn Rand-inspired projections of racial and intellectually superiority (masking their deeply-held feelings of inferiority), they could come to no other conclusion.

Are we all equal?

At the highest spiritual level, yes.

Are we all unequal?

At the basest worldly level, yes.

Rand Paul and his followers aren't intelligent enough to discern the difference.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 13, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@schrodginer: "So, as a woman, when I request equal pay for equal work that means I'm requesting a 'handout'?"

Absolutely not. Although I'm surrounded by women who make more than me, they probably work harder. ;)

Seriously, as a married guy, who wouldn't want their spouse to have the same earning power as them? It'd come in darn handy at the end of the month when the bills are due, I'll tell you that.

"Somehow my degrees, my experience, my knowledge are worth less because I was born with a uterus?"

Nope. Everybody should demand to be payed what they're worth, no matter their uterine state. That's how I see it, anyway.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 13, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Paul was intelligent enough to graduate from Duke medical school (with honors scores on M-CAT).

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 13, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin...thanks for educating Scott about the difference between a "progressive" and a "conservative" blog. Scott is a bright guy who has been on this blog longer than me, which is why it amazes me that he hasn't yet seemed to figure out the obvious. Do you suppose he is continually commenting on Fox about how they're not really fair and balanced? LMAO

@Skip "If the liberals achieve their wet dream of socialized health care, "

Do you know what socialized health care is skippy? Do we have to go through all this debate again about the difference in single payer versus socialized? BTW the socialized system in our nation the V.A. blows away your "non profits" by any number of metrics.
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_29/b3993061.htm

According to a Rand Corp. study, the VA system provides two-thirds of the care recommended by such standards bodies as the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality. Far from perfect, granted -- but the nation's private-sector hospitals provide only 50%. And while studies show that 3% to 8% of the nation's prescriptions are filled erroneously, the VA's prescription accuracy rate is greater than 99.997%, a level most hospitals only dream about. That's largely because the VA has by far the most advanced computerized medical-records system in the U.S. And for the past six years the VA has outranked private-sector hospitals on patient satisfaction in an annual consumer survey conducted by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan. This keeps happening despite the fact that the VA spends an average of $5,000 per patient, vs. the national average of $6,300."

But see Skip since you are a blind ideologue unable to actually THINK CRITICALLY you dismiss socialized medicine as evil even though the FACTS say something entirely different.

In addition you are completely mistaken about "liberals wet dreams". Most progressives wanted a single payer solution. For a dim bulb like you that means Medicare for all. Most progressives would have settled for a compromise...an OPTION to buy into Medicare with the rest of you zealots left to fend for yourselves amongst the private insurance sharks.

In addition any single payer plan that would have been enacted most certainly would have resembled Medicare for all meaning that the private companies would still fare well thank you by selling supplemental insurance as they do now with our seniors.

And just so you know skippy you are in the minority...the MAJORITY of Americans wanted a single payer solution. Just because the oligarchs like Rick Scott can spend a million $ passing out distortions which goobers like you believe..and then write if off his taxes so he only ends up paying 15% on an income of TEN MILLION does it make your ignorance accurate. Again most Americans...not just liberals..most Americans including many physicians groups wanted a single payer solution.

http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 13, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Paul was intelligent enough to graduate from Duke medical school (with honors scores on M-CAT).

Posted by: clawrence12

_____________________________________

Dr. Josef "Angel of Death" Mengele was intelligent enough have a Ph.D in Anthropology as well as a medical degree.

His "intelligence" did not stop him from joining the Nazi party or volunteering to join the medical service of Hitler's beloved Waffen SS.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 13, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

"Nope. Everybody should demand to be payed what they're worth, no matter their uterine state. That's how I see it, anyway."

And that's why we like you around here (mostly). :)

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@Skip,

One more try:

"have I ever said that I oppose the "right" of gay people to "marry" Ethan?"

Do you SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE?

Yes or No?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"Such are the masses that cower before knowledge, that condemn science, and seek to become one with the inanimate earth. "

Sounds like an elitist liberal.

Posted by: mikem1 | October 13, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

WhateverHeSaid, then we agree he is intelligent? At least he's never said anything like "People like Rand Paul always see the differences ... Rand Paul and his followers aren't intelligent enough to discern the differences." Make up your mind.

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 13, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Paul is not a "libertarian". He's in a world of his own. A small, simple, ignorant world. People like him are a dime a dozen, so it's easy to ignore him. The worrisome thing is the number of people willing to join ranks to put him in government. He's a dime a dozen, they're idiots.

Posted by: jckdoors | October 13, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"At this point most hospitals in American are organized as not for profits. The are, in essence, charitable organizations"

That's such a ridiculously wrong statement it's laughable. Non-profit does not automatically equate to "charitable" - I suggest you take a break and use the intertubes to do some research.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 13, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@S'sCat Great point but you must realize that skippy like most of the far out extreme righties...notice that leaves out folks like Kevin and SBJ...operate in a fact free zone.

Posted by: rukidding7 | October 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I thought liberals loved when college students spoke out against the norm and expanded their minds to think differently? Oh wait, I guess when they think the opposite way it doesn't count. Only liberal Berkeley college students are allowed to think differently. Hypocrites.

Posted by: Jsuf | October 13, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

S cat I simply disagree. Perhaps it is the thirty years of hospital finance experience I have.

You are right that non profit doesn't automatically equate to charitable, but wrong that hospitals aren't charitable organizations. They are.

Methinks you just needed something to argue about on this one.

Ethan, again I will point out your inclination to ignore what is being said to you. I will repeat myself yet again, although it grows tiresome. Try reading carefully and engaging in some critical thinking before hand. Just a simple suggestion.

I don't believe that the two statements I've made are at odds with each other at all.

I do not believe that public opinion is a valid basis for policy in most cases. What people think is right or wrong still must be tested against some benchmark of "truth". How else, Ethan, do you explain the fact that the courts overturned the will of the people in California vis a vis the gay marriage proposition?

What I said about gay marriage and the democratic process is absolutely true. They've lost everytime they've been on the ballot. That has little to do with whether the concept is right or wrong and everything to do with public sentiment.

Do try to think just a bit. socrates asked a question that I will now ask you: Are you trying to win an argument or are you seeking the truth.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"Are you trying to win an argument or are you seeking the truth."

Seeing as how you refuse to state your position on gay marriage and how you take conflicting stances on the value of public opinion, this isn't really an argument nor is it an attempt on your part to seek the truth.

What you are doing is called a charade.

Do you SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE?

Yes or No.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

WhateverHeSaid, then we agree he is intelligent? At least he's never said anything like "People like Rand Paul always see the differences ... Rand Paul and his followers aren't intelligent enough to discern the differences." Make up your mind.

_________________________________

We agree that Rand Paul is somewhat less intelligent (if, as you posit, educational attainment equals intelligence) than Dr. Josef Mengele.

Plus, Rand Paul sees the differences on a gross, mundane level.

He (like you, apparently) is unable to see the lack of differences that appear on a higher, more developed level.

He (like you) sees the coarse differences and makes his pronouncements from there.

That's why he lacks intelligence.

Posted by: WhateverHeSaid | October 13, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Electronic medical records are at the heart of the VA's improvement. The differential between them and the rest of the the industry will disappear shortly as everyone else moves to EMR's. Here locally the Cleveland clinic relies on EMR and it has created a significant competitive advantage for them. But it ain't cheap.

Medication errors are a huge issue, of that I have no doubt. PC based systems that use bar coding to verify patient and medication will reduce this significantly. then what will the PI bar live on?

I'd like to see the RAND study rather than base a position on the magazine's rehash of the study. Do you have a link to the study itself?

And what of scalability? What is the population served by the VA compared to the population of America?

and what of the population served by the VA. How does it differ from the population at large? Does that impact the extrapolation that you and others are engaged in here?

Sorry, I've looked at the various systems and concluded that our system is better now than either the NHS or the canadian system. With some tweaks around insurance coverage and malpractice claims we'd be even better.

I don't mind having the debate all over again. I've got facts and such that I gathered during the period when congress was figuring out how to jam this nightmare down the public's throat.

and I'm not at all sure that a majority of Americans want socialized medicine. I believe that much of the reaction we're seeing right now was engendered by the passage of Obamacare.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least you're not demanding that I "take my meds" Apparently if one is sufficiently "medicated" then one will more readily agree with the liberal position.

Is that why you favor legalizing marajuana Ethan?

I really haven't decided about gay marriage. Mostly because I haven't been offered an opportunity to vote on it. I have some concerns for our society but I also understand the notion of loving the sinner but not the sin.

I also understand the concerns of those who oppose the idea. As I said, in a civil society we could discuss the issue and rely on an agreed upon process to decide the issue. Liberals, apparently, don't like that idea. I believe that this is why they rely so heavily on judicial fiat. Letting the people decide, right or wrong, doesn't work for the liberals.

For me it is a complex issue and I'm not going to air my thoughts to you, of all people.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Belated kudos to Mr Sargent. He went on a fishing trip, came up dry, got skunked as we say and was adult enough to admit it.

But why the fishing trip at all? I agree with those who find the basis for the blog entry to be typical of the liberal press these days. Apparently the WaPo is doing opposition research for the Democrats.

Sure sounds like the return of the son of Macaca to me.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

What you need to decide, Skip, and this goes for all issues... is whether or not you place your religious faith above the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of others who may or may not subscribe to your same religion.

I, for example, am Jewish.

What right do you have to make a law based on your religion that would effect my fundamental rights?

You are obviously conflicted on gay marriage. That is a good thing. If you think that the Federal government should be governed exclusively by Christian mores, then you would be directly undermining the fundamental rights of every non-Christian in this country, as they are so exquisitely described in the Declaration of Independence.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

No Ethan, I don't need to do that at all.

In this I am no different that the militant gays. They will use every lever the can get their hands on to modify society such that it reflects their demands.

If that is OK for them it is certainly OK for those who are motivated by faith to do the same.

this is part of the cognitive dissonance of the left. If an activist group is aggressively acting to impose its vision on society and that vision somehow comports with the liberal agenda, the liberals are just fine. If a different group of people use the same tools and techniques to impose a vision that doesn't comport with the liberal agenda, then they are "creating a theocracy" or some such nonsense.

No Ethan, I don't see a difference between my faith and the desire for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at all.

do I think that the federal government, or any government should be solely guided by some religion's teachings? No, I don't. what I do expect is that people in authority will rely on their faith to guide their choices.

I don't believe, for example, that catholic dogma has an answer for everything. For example, I disagree with the American Bishops view about how to confront poverty in our society.

but I do believe that they relied on their understanding of their faith to reach the conclusions they did. We can disagree about what our faith calls us to do in a practical sense as long as we get the basic tenants of the faith right.

here is an example: I understand that my faith requires me to behave in a charitable way. I do not believe that huge, expensive and inept government programs are the best way to discharge my self assumed charitable obligation.

It is that simple, and it is that complex.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | October 13, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Wrong question. The correct one is; Does the US congress have the power listed in the Constitution to dictate personal relationships between individuals and companies? The answer, No. States of course are not bound by the limitations in Art. 1, Sec. 8.

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 13, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"You are right that non profit doesn't automatically equate to charitable, but wrong that hospitals aren't charitable organizations. They are.

Methinks you just needed something to argue about on this one."

I disagree. I, too, have worked for a not-for profit hospital. Trust me, we were no charity.

Label them however you want, but in practice, most not-for-profit hospitals do a dismal job of providing charitable care:

"The study found that the not-for-profit hospitals spent an average of 9% of their total revenues on community benefits, which include charity care, education and research (Strom, New York Times, 2/13). In addition, the study found that fewer than one-fifth of the not-for-profit hospitals accounted for 78% of the combined amount spent on community benefits. The study also found that 58% of the not-for-profit hospitals spent 5% or less of their total revenues on charity care and that slightly more than one-fifth of the hospitals spent less than 2% of their total revenues on community benefits (Martinez/Carreyrou, Wall Street Journal, 2/13)."

http://www.onlinecardonation.org/charity-news/not-for-profit-hospital.htm

Posted by: schrodingerscat | October 13, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

"do I think that the federal government, or any government should be solely guided by some religion's teachings? No, I don't."

Then you really should support gay marriage and a woman's right to choose to have an abortion, among many many other issue areas opposed by Christian theology.

Your Christian faith is guiding your positions on these issues. Your right-wing politicians seek to make laws based on the Christian faith. But there are millions of Americans whose fundamental rights would be squashed if these positions were to become law.

I don't see how you can hold the position that the American government should not be "solely guided by some religion's teachings," while at the same time espousing positions and supporting politicians totally the opposite of that sentiment.

Your views are inherently conflicting.

As I said, you really need to work these issues out yourself. But it is shocking how clearly contradictory your views really are. No wonder you seem so confused all the time.

I appreciate and support the authenticity of your Christian faith, but your Christian faith has NO BUSINESS governing my Jewish lifestyle. It's really that simple.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Where can you find any letters or anything about Obama?

Posted by: urscrewed | October 13, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Evidently Rand Paul's antipathy doesn't extend to not bellying up to the Medibar.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | October 13, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

"Regardless, I will gladly take a witch or even Satanist in Congress, as long as they vote Republican, the threat from the Dems has never been greater in my lifetime."

Actually, that is precisely the kind of anti-intellectualism and group think that is ironically working against the rights of individuals and turning our country into an oligarchy, dominated by corporate interests and the wealthy. But it does explain how the supposedly libertarian tea party crowd has been completely co-opted by corporate lobbyists, neo cons and religious zealots. I only wish that they could read and understand that despite the pronouncements of their candidates, if and when they reach Congress they will be expected to act like lemmings enabling the plunder. The idea that the same people who brought us the worst economic disaster since the Depression, for which they assumed no responsibility whatsoever and have conveniently decided to blame on public servants, will now charge in to "save the day" would be riotously funny, if it wasn't so tragic.


Posted by: Koko3 | October 13, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:
"Equality? Since when have any two people ever been equal?... "

Wow.

So much for "All Men Are Created Equal".

Hate the founding premise of the United States of America much?
-------------------------------------------
After rehabilitating yourself well in a number of later posts, I still can't get over this one. Either you just aren't as smart as you appear to be, or you were being intellectually dishonest with the above post. Given the context of the statement Paul was making, it is clear that by insinuating that people weren't equal, he was referring to ability, not their equality before the law. I am quite sure that neither you nor I are equal to Stephen Hawking when it comes to astrophysics, and that is the point that Paul was trying to make.

Given that the posts that followed, while not always agreeable, were at least well thought out and challenge peoples' points of view, I have to say, I am disappointed.

Posted by: mathewcarson1975 | October 13, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Matthew,

Fair enough, thank you for your comments.

I was thinking more broadly than Rand Paul was. And I stand by my comments even taking his out of context. But, the specific issue he refers to, gender equality in wages, revolves around the issue of equal pay for equal work. You may argue that in a specific instance a woman may be paid less for the same job if her skill-set is not as developed as another male worker. That is not the heart of the "equal pay for equal work" issue in the women's rights movement.

What happens far too often is that a woman will do equal work -- or in many cases MORE than equal work -- and be paid less BECAUSE she is a woman.

That happens. That is real. It is also gender discrimination.

And that is essentially what Rand Paul scoffed at, the very idea that equality of wages be tied to gender.

The women's rights movement is very clear on demanding "equal pay for equal work," and while that specific phrase is not explicitly stated in the snippet of conversation that Greg posted, it is the only way to approach the subject and have it bear any meaning.

OBVIOUSLY nobody is saying that women with a lower skill-set should be paid the same as a man with a more developed skill-set.

OBVIOUSLY nobody is saying that there should be a "magical equation to determine equality in work" -- a preposterous statement if I've ever read one.

CLEARLY the women's rights movement is demanding equal pay for equal work. And to have this person laugh at the concept of equality in this regard should be insulting to everyone.

And btw, I personally know that gender discrimination exists in the workplace.

But again, I find Rand Paul's comments to be idiotic and insulting even without basing my sentiment on my own experience. From a simple logical analysis, he is taking an asinine position that is impossible to rectify without a descent into the absurd.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

The author has taken Rand Pauls remarks out of context. Paul's comment regarding "no two people are equal", Paul was referencing unions. Anyone that has worked for a Union knows what Paul was talking about. One individual can work his butt off while his co-worker can sit on his rear and at the end of the day, both will be compensated the same. Is that fair? I've worked as a Union member and can concur with his comment. Everyone in the work place should be compensated for what they accomplish. No two workers are equal.Those that are productive should be rewarded well. Those that choose to sit on their rear end and do nothing should be compensated accordingly. That's why I enjoyed working most of my life on a commission. The ambitious hard working employees were well compensated, the lazy unproductive made what they deserved, peanuts. A good example is the UAW. We all witnessed the Chrysler employees on their lunch break, drinking and smoking weed. How productive can they be? When the day is done, they will paid the same amount as the hard working productive people. Will these people be fired? If you know Unions, you know the answer. Of course not. It takes an act of congress to fire a Union employee. Unions are destroying our country. As to Ayn Rand, she is one of my favorite authors. Read Atlas Shrugged.

Posted by: vmmagilke | October 13, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

The author has taken Rand Pauls remarks out of context. Paul's comment regarding "no two people are equal", Paul was referencing unions. Anyone that has worked for a Union knows what Paul was talking about. One individual can work his butt off while his co-worker can sit on his rear and at the end of the day, both will be compensated the same. Is that fair? I've worked as a Union member and can concur with his comment. Everyone in the work place should be compensated for what they accomplish. Those that are productive should be rewarded well. Those that choose to sit on their rear end and do nothing should be compensated accordingly. That's why I enjoyed working most of my life on a commission. The ambitious hard working employees were well compensated, the lazy unproductive made what they deserved, peanuts. A good example is the UAW. We all witnessed the Chrysler employees on their lunch break, drinking and smoking weed. How productive can they be? When the day is done, they will paid the same amount as the hard working productive people. Will these people be fired? If you know Unions, you know the answer. Of course not. It takes an act of congress to fire a Union employee. Unions are destroying our country. As to Ayn Rand, she is one of my favorite authors. Read Atlas Shrugged.

Posted by: vmmagilke | October 13, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Most of the items you posters are objecting to are the words of the "journolists" - NOT Rand Paul's comments. It isn't suprising because it reflects the level of reading comprehension of most democrats.

Posted by: IQ168 | October 13, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

As US citizens, we are all guaranteed an opportunity but not the results!

Posted by: rteske | October 13, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the comments about "equality" were in reference to gender discrimination, not unions.

Greg wrote: "In that same letter, Paul also offered a rebuttal to a professor who had argued for equality of wages regardless of gender"

As for unions, the only reason they exist is because historically large employers have treated their employees so poorly that they needed to form collective bargaining arrangements in order to receive fair pay for hours worked and safe workplace conditions. Regardless of the fact that in ANY workplace environment you can find motivated workers and lazy workers, the fact is that unions have made this country what it is and without them our labor force would be taken advantage of like we were in the 19th and 20th centuries. Only those whose sole concerns include those of the wealthy business owners take your narrow and shortsighted position.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the comments about "equality" were in reference to gender discrimination, not unions.

Greg wrote: "In that same letter, Paul also offered a rebuttal to a professor who had argued for equality of wages regardless of gender"

As for unions, the only reason they exist is because historically large employers have treated their employees so poorly that they needed to form collective bargaining arrangements in order to receive fair pay for hours worked and safe workplace conditions. Regardless of the fact that in ANY workplace environment you can find motivated workers and lazy workers, the fact is that unions have made this country what it is and without them our labor force would be taken advantage of like we were in the 19th and 20th centuries. Only those whose sole concerns include those of the wealthy business owners take your narrow and shortsighted position.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 13, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Ayn Rand has done more moral and intellectual damage to at once vain, impressionable and insecure young minds, eager to convince themselves that they secretly number among Rand's secular elect, the world's oppressed and unrecognized creative elite, than all the drugs ever smoked, ingested or injected on college campuses since there were college campuses.

Posted by: washpost29 | October 13, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

So, let me get this straight: Rand Paul is going to get crucified by the lame-stream media about something he wrote in college, but Chris Coons was just "joking" about being a bearded Marxist during college?!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 13, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD2 wrote:

FWIW: although Rand's father, Ron Paul, was a fan of Ayn Rand, her name was NOT the inspiration for Randal HOWARD Paul's first name; he went by "Randy" as a child through college and then "Rand" as an adult.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/us/politics/06paul.html?_r=1

Way to spout the party line. Sorry. Nice try but no cigar.

Its like a guy, Mr. Roast, names his son Charles. It's not his fault the kid winds up as 'Chuck' Roast.

Rand tried to explain this away in a video (link below)in which he says he was named Randal and was called Randy. It was his wife, he says, who dropped the 'Y' after they were married and began calling him Rand.

OK to this point but, then, like many poor liars, he can't leave well enough alone. He goes on to say that it never occurred to them that her shortened version of his name would ever be linked so strongly to Ayn Rand, though he and his wife were both fans of the third-rate writer/fifth-rate philosopher/fraud.

So, save the drivel. He and his father are so identified with Ms. Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum that for him to claim this naive ("I'm shocked, I tell you! Shocked!")stance is disingenuous at best, but more likely simply dishonest. Especially now, considering the college writing declaring "the immortal words of Howard Roark, the hero of Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead" which shows his youthful WORSHIP of the (see above description).

Funny thing about A. Rand: If the mediocrity she claims to so greatly despise (while embodying it so thoroughly in her work and life) did not exist, her books would have been out of print -- or rejected like her first -- long ago. (She had to boff the publisher to get it a read.) One would have to be classified as mediocre to consider her great. Her John Galt character is little more than a running joke, yet many mediocre people think he's some kind of superman. He reminds me of the old saying that a-holes are like cream: they rise to the top. If all the self-proclaimed John Galts would follow their hero out of society, it would be a better, more prosperous one for the rest of us.

Funny thing about Rand P.: he was treated more than fairly by Sargent considering the low quality of his college writing. Good thing he couldn't get into an Ivy League school or these would never have seen print. He still hasn't figured out that 'equality' refers to equality of opportunity, not outcome.

& IQ168, if that is your real IQ (what website did you get it from?) I've got you beat by double digits. I'd give you the number but I was raised to consider such a thing declasse.

Did you comprehend that, Bucko?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfQ04fmj9oc

Posted by: cdmomega | October 14, 2010 4:21 AM | Report abuse

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