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Ear to the Ground

Rand Paul Calls Obama’s Treatment of BP ‘Un-American’

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Posted on May 21, 2010
Rand Paul
Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore

Will he bite? Rand Paul has thrown out the bait to President Obama in the form of a critique of Obama’s take on BP.

Since when is coddling big businesses gone horribly awry a pro-American value? Although it could be inferred that several successive administrations have abided by this economic ethic, leave it to the GOP’s newly christened Next Big Thing, Rand Paul, to champion the cause by slamming President Obama’s critical stance toward British Petroleum since the Gulf of Mexico disaster erupted. It’s “un-American,” see, to come down hard on those poor suits at BP, once the terms free market and freedom are so confusingly conflated.  —KA

AP via Google News:

Taking another unconventional stand, Kentucky’s Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of the Gulf oil spill Friday as anti-business and sounding “really un-American.”

Paul’s defense of the oil company came during an interview as he tried to explain his controversial take on civil rights law, an issue that has overtaken his campaign since his victory in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

“What I don’t like from the president’s administration is this sort of, ‘I’ll put my boot heel on the throat of BP,’ ” Paul said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I think that sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.”

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By Alphysicist, May 25, 2010 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Tobysgirl,

  You may be confusing me with someone.  I sincerely do not recall a discussion with ‘moonraven’. 

  Although I have heard of some sympathy for nazism in the US (like Henry Ford), I guess I am not as thoroughly familiar with this subject as you appear to be.  I alo read Chomsky, who at times describes how American and English investment in Germany increased as Hitler came to power.

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By Tobysgirl, May 25, 2010 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

What happened to moonraven? I thought this was the story we were communicating on, and now I cannot find any of her comments. She wrote about genocide in this country, Alphysicist, and you referred to her as a racist. Not being able to find these comments, I feel a bit unsure about them.

I’m really not worried about the racism of native Americans. Yes, there are a few with power, and they are busy toting water for the ruling class.

I guess the key is that though I can see Ron Paul has a few good ideas mixed in with the nutty ones, I have no illusion that he would be an improvement over the status quo. Sarah Palin doesn’t deserve mentioning due to the fact that she is a brainless idiot. Rand Paul is telling us a heck of a lot about the values and parenting skills of the family he was raised in. How anyone can take these people seriously is beyond me. They don’t scare me, but their followers led by a truly charismatic (a charisma I don’t understand, but which Hitler reputedly possessed) leader would.

I really wish you would do some reading about American fascism, about the rise of Nazism in Germany. Check out what happened in Peekskill, New York, in 1949. Look into the history of the American Legion and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Not a pretty sight, and an excellent explanation for the absence of a vigorous Left in the United States.

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By samosamo, May 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

****************

 

Oh yes, I see where that little gadget, racism, in the politicians
bag of tricks is working just fine. Bet those jackals are laughing
their collective asses as off at the sight of racism card being
chunked around calling any and everybody racist and trying to
define ‘racism’ down to a finite point, then when it is thought of
as resolved, here comes another thinker chipping into the fray.
Kind of like injecting the blogsphere with quips and quotes on
greed, religion and all the rest of it, and all of it made to divert
attention away from the main problems, a treasonous
government, traitorous aristocracy and the GREEDY criminal elite.

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By Alphysicist, May 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Tobysgirl,

  I guess our opinions differ on some issues.  I am not convinced about what you and some others on sites like truthdig write regarding the Tea Party.  I do sympathize with some of the ideas Ron Paul has expressed, with others much less, but he would be an improvement over the neocons/neolibs.  I am not a fan of Sarah Palin (although I do not hate her as much as for example Bill Maher does), and I am increasingly disillusioned with Rand Paul.  I read today on antiwar.com, that he could be into nuking Iran.  I am also not sure whether if what I read from you regarding the Tea Partiers is true, and they gained power, what exactly would be so much worse than now.

  I don’t claim to know your country better than you.  The way I saw it we were having a discussion and our opinions differed.

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By Alphysicist, May 24, 2010 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

Where did I call native Americans racist?  Not to mention, being a native American does not mean that one cannot be racist.

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By Tobysgirl, May 24, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

You know, Alphysicist, I’m not particularly immigrant-friendly when immigrants come here and call native Americans racists (which you did) and suggest that African-Americans need to go back where they came from (which you did not do, but which plenty of immigrants do). My sister-in-law is from Thailand and screams about the Chinese people who run the little grocery in her neighborhood. I find this monstrous lack of self-consciousness appalling.

What I object to regarding your two decades in the U.S. is that you presume to know my country better than I do.

You keep misreading my notes. I didn’t say poor people have vintage cars, I said my neighbor who has vintage cars—who actually is NOT a whiner—grew up poor but now lives a comfortable life, largely because he has worked for the state for many years.

What you describe is American culture. Many, many people find no value in books, people all across the class spectrum. I loved the description of George W. Bush’s childhood home: not a book in sight. I don’t think this culture leads to an informed populace, but I have begun to think that the notion of an informed populace is perhaps fantastical. Think about the votes in Venezuela. People voted overwhelmingly for Chavez, but they did not vote for changes that would have benefited their daily lives, such as social security for domestic workers. Not so different from here, where people thought electing Obama was going to make a genuine difference, though it was obvious from the advisors he chose to his own statements that “change” was a slogan not a genuine shift in policy.

I am not a liberal and never have been. I grew up in a radical household (my mother slept on the sofa with a baseball bat in case one of our neighbors decided to throw a rock through the window) and have always been poor to working-class in economic status. I’m not whining about teabaggers, I am horrified by them. They are the same people who thought Hitler had the right ideas (Nazism sounded pretty good to lots of Americans), the same people who supported McCarthyism, the same people who thought more students should have been killed at Kent State (I can only imagine what people said about Jackson State, as I lived in Ohio at the time, and heard these sorts of comments regarding the deaths at Kent State). As far as I’m concerned, the more people who recognize teabaggers for the vicious element they are, the better.

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By Alphysicist, May 24, 2010 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

Dear Tobysgirl,

“Alphysicist, I don’t really need to hear about the U.S. from someone who lived here for “two decades.” ”  In other words those foreigners should just keep their mouths shut, huh?  Very immigrant friendly…

When my family moved to the U.S. we also lived in two working class immigrant towns in the Boston area.  After that we lived in a town which was more affluent, albeit in a condominium apartment where, again, many recent immigrants of that town lived.  In my high school, a significant portion of the “kind and generous” white population refused to associate with me or my brother (even though we were also white), because of having lived in that segment of town.  Later in life, when I read Max Weber about the puritan roots of America, it actually all made sense: we were poor by their standards, so we were not chosen or blessed according to protestant theology.  To some extent it adds a dimension of irony (and contradicts the idea of protestant thrift, also detailed by Weber) that they did not own their houses…

  Your description of the “poor” with satellite TVs and vintage cars, etc. is also familiar to me.  Yes, many people in the US/West live in large houses, which they do not own!, have large cars (which is not entirely their choice, as there is no public transportation), not to mention that they often lack health insurance or access to a decent education.  Not only because the school buildings are underfunded, but also because even when they are not, politically correct ideology takes over, and substance is often sacrificed.  Many of these “poor” have never read a book for pleasure in their life.  I entirely agree with your critique about drowning the population in debt and keeping them complacent, although I also think that this is becoming unsustainable.

  But what solution is offered by the liberals/dems or in general the current political establishment?  None.  The only person I was capable of voting for was Ralph Nader, who I think did represent genuine change in the right direction, and interestingly, he had no chance.  He had no chance primarily because of the Democratic party, which did everything possible to exclude him from the so-called democratic process, even by calling him a racist at times.  Today the same liberals are whining about the tea party.  How convincing!  So, to say the least, this whining about the tea party, and Rand Paul, from the liberal side, is horribly hypocritical…

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By Ken, May 23, 2010 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OK, so we’ve got Rand Paul accusing Obama of being
too harsh with BP. Here’s Sarah accusing Obama of
being “in bed with big oil:” http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/usoilpollutionenvironment
palinobama. Don’t ya just love the tea partiers?

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By cyrena, May 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

By diamond, May 22 at 6:20 pm #

“Go Tobysgirl go! You are a voice of reason in a sea
of insanity. The kind of insanity that allows someone
like Rand Paul to get where he is at all. The Tea
Party movement is playing to the working class vote
but the working class doesn’t realize that these
people are their worst enemy and will do them down
any way they can.”

I agree with diamond. Thanks Tobysgirl!

Still, it makes me sad that you are a pretty single
voice of reason in a sea of insanity, (presumably
that would be the majority of the readers/commentors)
because after reading and contributing to this site
for so many years, I would have hoped to have seen
some of these wacko’s gone to other places with their
insanity.

But, that’s pretty much a continuing sign of the
times I suppose, just as is the appearance of Rand
Paul on the political scene. His racist mentality is
a chip off the little shriveled up knot that it is
pa. Ron Paul has this very same ideology in terms of
civil rights, and his Congressional Record is a
testament to it. He’s spent the majority of his time
in office trying to derail anything that has promoted
civil equalities.

And OF COURSE he would say something stupid like this
about Obama and BP, aka Beyond Prosecution.

There’s a really excellent report (several actually)
on the criminal life and times of BP from Truthout’s
Jason Leopold.

http://www.truthout.org/how-bushs-doj-killed-a-
criminal-probe-into-bp-that-threatened-net-top-
officials59648

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By TrueVirginian1, May 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

To Barbara,

Your comment was very simplistic and incorrect.
http://watchingamerica.com/News/54847/did-obama-get-too-much-money-
from-b-p/
Obama was BP’s #1 recipient of political donations! Why did it take him 8 or 9
days to respond? Did he forget about Katrina and President Bush?
Who in your mind benefits the most from the recent healthcare reforms? How
about big pharmaceutical companies. Who would end up paying for it? You and
me.
Big companies are pouring their money on whoever they think has a better chance
of winning. Their lobbyists are “schmoozing” Senators and Congressmen,
democrats and republican alike. The whole system needs to be changed.

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By ofersince72, May 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

But Dear, that is the difference

Obama has given BP full control in the Gulf, only in
words has he smitten them.

Same ole story,
The Democrats give the corporations everything they want
and more ...then
the Repulicans come along accuse the Democrats of being
anti-corpotists.
Same song and dance, over and over.
Keeps foolish voters into believing the lesser than evil
doctrine… thus voting Centrist..either Dem or PUb
Wall Streets bread and butter.
That is Rand Paul’s job right now,  it will keep
Obama progressives from bolting.
They Powers That Be that run this country have had this
figured out for a long, long time…

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By Tobysgirl, May 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Alphysicist, I don’t really need to hear about the U.S. from someone who lived here for “two decades.” Of course, my account has elements of subjectivity; it is entirely subjective. I have lived here all my life, and I remember the photos in Life magazine of the angry whites snarling at schoolchildren. The teabaggers look quite familiar.

None of my family emigrated to the U.S. after the 1750s, so I not only have my own experience to refer to, but my parents’ and grandparents’ as well. My father was stationed in Iowa during WWII before shipping out to Europe, and my mother told me about the town’s refusal to bury a native American soldier who had been killed in the war in the town cemetery. That’s the U.S.A., not the privileged view of it you must have experienced.

I grew up in a working-class suburb of Akron surrounded by migrants from Kentucky and West Virginia who had come north to work in the rubber plants, car factories, steel factories. I then lived in Kent, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; rural Ohio; Columbus, Ohio, followed by a long stint in Boston in a working-class, immigrant neighborhood, and eventually one in New York City (in a poor/working-class immigrant neighborhood). Between urban stints (the second undertaken in order to make some money, because just surviving in rural America can be challenging), we lived in our current rural state.

I did not say the doctor had a 12-room apartment; he has a 12-room house. There are plenty of 12-room apartments for your information, and plenty that are larger. And many houses far larger than 12 rooms. A friend with lots of Republican ties told me, for example, that Dick Cheney’s monthly electrical bill was $36,000. I don’t think that was for a 12-room house.

Yes, there is grotesque wealth inequality, but lots of people who are not wealthy live very comfortably. I know someone who works in the state prison, formerly as a guard; he and his wife, who both grew up poor, have a new house, two new vehicles, two vintage cars, a boat, and snowmobiles. This is not uncommon, and this is a poor state. Even many people who are techically poor live in a luxury unimagined in really poor countries. You could not guess how many of those shacks people live in have TV satellite dishes hooked up. The stuff we are drowning in serves its purpose well; it keeps us complacent and many of us overwhelmed with debt.

Come back to the U.S.A. and don’t spend your time in elite circles. Get out and about, and talk to ordinary people. They are often kind and generous as long as you are white-skinned, and they seem like fine people as long as you don’t talk about taxes (which most of them whine endlessly about, while expecting every government service imaginable to be available to them if they need it), immigration, welfare, etc, etc, etc. And really! How dare you call someone indigenous to this continent a racist? You need to do some serious studying.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 23, 2010 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

As for Rand Paul, what can you say, he’s a Republican, and Republicans only represent big capitalists of business that have huge revenue streams; like big revenue stream oil corporations, big revenue stream banksters, big revenue stream insurance moguls, etc. if the business doesn’t have a huge revenue stream then Republicans do not consider it part of their constituency.  BP does have a huge revenue stream, therefore Republican Rand Paul will fend for BP who caused the whole environmental and economical crisis.  I am in full agreement with the President.  Make BP be responsible; instead of poaching off the populace.

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By ofersince72, May 23, 2010 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

So I will join them with a cup of columbian this
morning..

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAR DE HAR HAR HAR HO HO

Report this

By ofersince72, May 23, 2010 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

They have good reason to share this laugh together
at Americans debating the contrast and comparasions
of the two

Report this

By ofersince72, May 23, 2010 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Paul and Obama probably have dinner together
once a week and laugh about it.

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By ofersince72, May 23, 2010 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

rand paul is going about his job quite well

keeping Americans contrasting
Democrats and Republicans

Report this

By Alphysicist, May 23, 2010 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

Dear Tobysgirl,

  I think your account has elements of subjectivity and bias.  For example, your claim that the teapartiers look as the angry whites snarling at school integration seems to lack basis. 

  I lived in the U.S. for two decades, and I don’t think I ever knew anyone with a 12-room apartment.  I do not doubt your account, as I know that there is immense wealth inequality in that country, but for most, I believe that is out of reach.  The immense wealth inequality is also coupled with close to zero upward social mobility, and more recently, downward social mobility due to economic collapse.  This economic collapse made many people, black and white, significantly worse off than before. 

  What is, to say the least, ironic is that this immense wealth inequality and economic collapse arose as a result of the last few decades.  Even in the Reaganite 80s the richest American was Lee Iacocca, whose wealth did not total 99% of the rest, as was the case with Bill Gates, under Clinton.

  In a normal situation, I would be supportive of what you write: higher taxes to improve public education, healthcare, etc.  Unfortunately, given that the government is so tied to big business, and to ideology, I suspect that in the present situation, more taxes for public education mean, ideologically biased training for children, and, as Chris Hedges detailed in a previous account, the healthcare bill is about subsidizing insurance companies.

Best,

Alphysicist

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By Alphysicist, May 23, 2010 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

Dear diamond,

  If what you say regarding the Tea Party movement is true, then the working class was indeed disenfranchised in the last few decades.  Otherwise the Tea Party movement would not be able to manipulate them.  I think what you attribute to Hitler is far from unique either to Hitler or the Tea Party; it seems to be the essence of politics.  One way or another all participants manipulate the emotions of the demos.

  Chris Hedges often describes places like the Rust Belt, where people have seen their livelihood and future prospects collapse in the last decades, and how the religious Right, and other groups are trying to capitalize on their emotions and gain influence.  He also calls this fascism.  I wonder though, how much worse fascism really is than the existing system?  The Dem/Rep political elite could easily take the wind out of the sails of these movements by genuine reform, but they just will not do that.

  The problem with your summary of Rand Paul is that the issues which you list are ones on which the Dem/Rep one-party system has been scoring miserably.  So in the worst case, success of the Tea Party will simply maintain the status quo.

Best,

Alphysicist

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Not One More!'s avatar

By Not One More!, May 23, 2010 at 12:56 am Link to this comment

Rand Paul and Sarah Palin sitting in a tree.

Then they cut it down.

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By TrueVirginian1, May 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tobysgirl, what are you talking about? This is an article about BP and R.Paul’s
comment, right?
Lets start with facts:
1.there had not been a big leak from an offshore oil well for 40 years
2.avg.annual spill from underwater pipeliness declined from 2.5 mln.gallons in
1980-84 to just 12 000 gallons in 2000-04
3. Offshore drilling accounts for 1% of the oil floating in the country’s waters,
In my opinion a very tragic accident.
Read an article by Chris Hedges from NYT about illiteracy in this country! 92
mln. people illiterate or at 4-5th. grade reading level, without ability to
understand written contracts and policies. In my mind this is a true slavery!
Without “free” healthcare, welfare and food stamps they are not able to support
themselves! Anybody that promises to keep them a float will get their vote.
Many of those poor folks can’t understand the loan agreement, credit card
restrictions or navigate through the job market complements of our school
systems. Instead of blaming “white people” for all the world’s problems focus
on changes in your local school system. As far as “immigrants"go you FORGOT
to say “illegal” first! If someone came to your house without invitation he would
have been tresspassing or braking the law (illegal entry). Why would we treat
them differently?? President Obama promised these people a lot and now they
are loosing their houses, jobs and savings because they did not understand
what was truly happening. Government is NOT a solution. Someone said:
Government is a poor servant and a fearful master! Be careful what you wish
for.

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By passerby, May 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Suggestion to your readers. Educate yourself about free-market principles instead of building your philosophy from tv soundbites. Google “economics in one lesson” then proceed to Mises dot org.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

Deleuze and Guattari put together an ironclad case that Capitalism by its nature is schizophrenic.

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Night-Gaunt's avatar

By Night-Gaunt, May 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

We are fortunate that Rand Paul is a blabber and hasn’t learned the nuance and careful articulation of ideas that are patently bad for us. So he proclaims he isn’t a racist but all he supports would promote that racism. We would have been much worse off if such ideas were implemented say 100 years ago onward?

I would have liked to ask some of those question and really put him in a quandary he worked to avoid. Right now he is laying low so his people can prep him on how to answer from now on. But for him it may be too late. Which might be good for us. Now if we could just deal with Bush Dark i.e. Obama and his crypto-fascist goons with an “D” instead of an “R” which in the long run is really an “F” for fascist as they destroy our republic in order to make way for a new empire. (30 years in the making.) A Holy American Empire to rise from its ashes when they are done. At least the way I see it at this time. They are winning.

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By diamond, May 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Go Tobysgirl go! You are a voice of reason in a sea of insanity. The kind of insanity that allows someone like Rand Paul to get where he is at all. The Tea Party movement is playing to the working class vote but the working class doesn’t realize that these people are their worst enemy and will do them down any way they can. Hitler spelled it all out in ‘Mein Kampf’ and they are following Hitler’s playbook on political strategy to the letter. He said that the workers can’t be appealed to on an intellectual level, they only understand emotion and if you create a narrative that captures their emotions you will succeed. The Tea Party are doing exactly that but their policies are hideous, reactionary, fascist. There is no reason or logic in anything they say but they don’t care because it worked for Hitler and numerous other lying politicians ever since so they hope it will work for them too.

They are an extremely dangerous group which is being run by the ultra right of the Republican Party so the people who think a vote for the Tea Party is a vote against the Republicans are just being duped. The snake has shed its skin but its still a snake. The purpose of the Tea Party movement is to siphon votes away from the Democrats but it may also siphon votes away from the Republicans, in which case you could end up with a Tea Party president who wants to abolish public education, public health, taxes, repeal the 1964 law against racial discrimination and has no clue on how to run an economy - except into the ground. The Republicans wouldn’t get any of the blame either, I’m sure the Democrats would be blamed for ‘failing’: as they always are.

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By Tobysgirl, May 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Alphysicist: [To Tobysgirl] “Your generalization about white males does not survive closer scrutiny.  If you only see white males with high incomes, yachts, and new cars, then you must be in a very special environment.  Moreover, given the flaws of the system, visible from just about everywhere, everybody should be angry, regardless of race, religion, etc.  Being angry is definitely a step in the right direction.”

I’ll tell you about the white males I’ve seen. I live in a very poor county in a poor, rural state. Plenty of people go hungry here, and plenty of people live in shacks. The whiners range in class from working to upper-middle. The two things they have in common are comfortable lives for which they feel not the slightest gratitude, accompanied by one form or another of substance abuse.

A teacher retired before age 60, had a truck, a boat, an RV, and whined about how little his retirement pay was. He whined to my husband and myself, who at the time had to use a credit card to pay our mortgage, which was the only thing that kept us from losing our house (recession of early 1990s).

The doctor has bucks coming out his wazoo, and just put a piece on the internet about ending public education (as usual with such garbage, filled with spelling and grammatical errors). Our schools are largely funded by our property taxes and he doesn’t want to have to pay taxes on his 12-room house, 3-car garage, 3 enormous barns, farm equipment, etc. It is outrageous that our children now have a decent school to go to, instead of having classes in trailers (I kid you not).

All one needs do is look around and everywhere one finds angry white men resentful of the tiniest loss of entitlement. This is not healthy anger, this is rage which is the result of spiritual bankruptcy and intense self-involvement. These are the people who have supported and will support fascism. I am willing to state that they are mentally ill and subscribe to insane philosophies. Look at some of the photos of teabaggers on the internet; they look just like the whites snarling at little African-American children during school integration.

I have no sympathy for these people. It is not the few people I know struggling for peace and justice who are at fault for our nation going down the toilet. It is the people who have plenty (or as my husband says, too much) who are angry that anyone else has anything. THEY are the reason we do not have national health care, free education, public transportation, income support. THEY are the people flushing this nation down the toilet while thumping their chests about how patriotic they are. The Democratic Party would not be in the state it is today if crap like welfare reform and law and order didn’t sell. As Angela Davis put it, we may not say nigger anymore; the words are “crime,” “immigrant,” and “welfare.”

I’m sorry if I offended anyone but I hate stuff like “the n-word.”

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By Alphysicist, May 22, 2010 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

“No, no “solution” to the black/white problem I ever
heard had anything to do with “robbing” the white
middle class.”

What I mean is: in the last decades the American middle class (which was mostly white) was robbed by the existing political establishment. This does not mean that blacks were not treated similarly, but I suspect that was harder as the white middle class had more that could be taken.  Overall the working class was robbed.  Actually you are right that it was not as a solution to the race problem (the solution of which is not even on the menu of our political elites for whom the race card is quite useful), the race card, however, was played by both the dems and the reps in different ways to suit this goal.  At the same time, the solutions to the problem (like affirmative action) were usually insufficient, or remained at the level of lip service (compare to the egregious examples Cockburn lists, about which very little or nothing was done).

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By Alphysicist, May 22, 2010 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Dear FiftyGigs,

“If they’re racist in nature, they deserve to be called
that.”
OK, but are they?  Or is the race card being played (as usual), so that the disenfranchised remain disunited and as a distraction from real issues.  Even on this site the evidence for their racism that has been given is: “they are all privileged white christian males”.  As a result we are supposed to think that they are all racist, and they should not be angry about their tax money going to wars and bank bailouts.  Not to mention that the Tea Party is hard to pin down, as it started out as a Ron Paul affiliated movement, but now the Republican party is trying to Sarah Palinize it.  My overall point BTW is that there is a large segment of the population which is white and ALSO has reasons to be angry. 

I also agree with Cockburn regarding the Rand Paul issue: everyone jumps on Paul, a politician not in office, regarding his comment (rightfully so!) on BP, but Obama and Salazar get off the hook.  Regarding the issue of racism, it is the same thing:

“this ritual flourishing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act doesn’t have too much to do with what has happened to blacks since that glorious day, from an appalling school system, to blighted housing, constricted employment possibilities, shriveled share of the national income and most recently the great transfer in US history of money and assets from African Americans to rich white people by the mortgage speculators, given free rein by Democrats and Republicans.” (Cockburn)

In other words when liberals (and politicians in general) play the racism card it is likely a distraction. Rand Paul’s liberal opponent, for example, is hardly an improvement either from the point of view of the problem of racism or the environment. 

Best,

Alphysicist

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By bogi666, May 22, 2010 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The ending of official State racism has provided a wedge issue to continue society divided and to provide distraction from legitimate issues affecting society. For the loser whites it provided them with an excuse for not being successful by blaming their declining opportunities on favoritism which favored black and women for that matter. The fact being that when official State racism was banned America began its economic decline simultaneously which it enjoyed after WW2 as this was the only country with its means of production intact. Once the destroyed countries had rebuilt their means of production the U.S. CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS lost their monopoly status in the world but the Corporate culture failed to adjust accordingly having convinced themselves of their superiority when in fact they were just the beneficiaries of no competition until about 1970.

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By FiftyGigs, May 22, 2010 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

No, no “solution” to the black/white problem I ever
heard had anything to do with “robbing” the white
middle class.

Unless you mean, robbing their advantage to
discriminate. The Affirmative Action program may have
had some ideological issues, and it may have been a
quota system, and it may have been federalism, and it
may have had a lot of ideological things wrong with
it.

But it clearly did not “rob” white people of anything
but institutional advantage over human property, and
what it clearly DID do was avoid an all-out race war.

To say that America’s solution to racism was to make
it hard for whites is really the kind of statement
made by a privileged one. Sorry if you read that as
calling you a racist. Nothing personal. I happen to
think racism is at least as hard to conquer as sin,
and, yes, that makes me a racist.

We’re all sinners.

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By wildflower, May 22, 2010 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

RE: “Paul said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I think that
sounds really un-American in his criticism of business.”

Rand’s comment is not really surprising - after all he is a Libertarian. I suspect Rand also believes it’s un-American for the U.S. to establish and/or enforce any kind “safety and health regulations” on privately owned businesses like BP.

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By purplewolf, May 22, 2010 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

So this Rand guy thinks that Obama is un-American in his attitude toward BP. Then what the hell did he think of Bush’s attitude and treatment of people-not just Americans-lied for wars, special privileges for mega corps and rules of law the 2 terms he stole and served as a puppet for the Cheney regime? And Rand also thinks we have too much regulation, we don’t have enough on the big companies that are wrecking the planet and they want less? Talk about who else has their hands in the corporation cookie jar. Now that was UN-AMERICAN.

This newest GWH-great(goofy)white(whiny-ass)hope(hype)will soon be forgotten almost as quickly as Brown the semi-nude centerfold model. And what have we heard from Michael Steele lately? Too bad Sarah hasn’t faded as quickly.This man is an idiot.

As Queen Elizabeth would say, “We’re not amused.”

AS for the BP latest “accident” as Paul claims it is an accident, so too was his conception. BP has a past track record of this same type of accident happening more than twice. It should have known that the cap put in place by Haliburton would probably fail as they have so consistently in the past several years, so no surprise there. Before it declares bankruptcy, seize all of the profits from BP,Haliburton, Cheney and any other company involved in this latest “accident” from BP irresponsible drilling and make them pay all expenses with the clean up, they will never be able to begin to pay for the cost of the damage to the environment,all industries that rely on the waterways for a living and all of the related job losses because of their greed.They broke it, they bought it should apply in this case. No excuses or favoritism.

And besides, just because they drilled for oil in the Gulf doesn’t mean it would belong to America for its oil needs, it would go to the highest bidder on the open market, something the repukes still fail to mention or maybe they don’t realize that fact, but Sarah the non-great oil expert she claims to be should have known long ago. But by paying these ignorant corporate whores enough money, they can forget all the facts and truth and spread the lies they are so comfortable with, works every time you betcha.

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By Alphysicist, May 22, 2010 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Dear Tobysgirl,

  Your generalization about white males does not survive closer scrutiny.  If you only see white males with high incomes, yachts, and new cars, then you must be in a very special environment.  Moreover, given the flaws of the system, visible from just about everywhere, everybody should be angry, regardless of race, religion, etc.  Being angry is definitely a step in the right direction.

  Once again, I do not mean to understate real racism, and that whites are on average better off than other groups.  The issue is that the solution to the problem of black white inequality was, in the past few decades, to rob the white middle class, instead of to raise the living standards and opportunities of blacks.  This is why many white christian males, already or about to be ex-middle class, are angry, as they should be.  Their anger is entirely justified, independent of the issue of race.

  The destruction of the middle class is not only a bi-partisan project, of course.  It is mostly the Republicans who do the work of destroying infrastructure (they oppose socialized healthcare, funding for public schools, public transportation, etc.) that would enable blacks to rise on the social ladder, and for white middle class to maintain their lifestyles.  The Democrats provide some of the ideological backing.  To summarize this narrative (in a possibly somewhat oversimplified way), the destroyed white middle class deserves their fate, they were a bunch of racists anyway.  Not to mention, they also wage a war on education on the grounds that it is too “euro-centric”, and that they themselves are not exactly champions of quality civilian infrastructure as of late. 

  I guess the middle class is a problematic issue for our elites: their living standards are too high, that is not good for short term profit.  They have too much leisure time, they can read books, internet, etc. and think about distrusting the system. 

Cheers,

Alphysicist

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By Ken, May 22, 2010 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jesus… Obama effectively gives BP a pass on the oil spill, and here comes some right wing crank saying “I can do better than that.” Jesus…

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By FiftyGigs, May 22, 2010 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Alphysicist: “I also resent the left’s “racism”
claims every time the part of the disenfranchised
working class protests and when that part happens to
be mostly white and christian.”

With respect, your thoughtful comment cut a few
corners, like, what the protests are about. If
they’re racist in nature, they deserve to be called
that.

What Paul is trying to say in his novitiate way is
that he’s pro-business, and he doesn’t consider it to
be private enterprise if the public (government) is
giving all the orders. Well, duh. Based on what I’ve
heard him say so far, he DOES seems to acknowledge
that private enterprise DOESN’T mean the government
(public) CAN’T give ANY orders, but he’s clearly
waffling about where the line exists. He’s wants to
have his cake and eat it too.

Well, duh again—he’s a politician—but that’s
his problem to clear up.

The issue is his philosophical Freedom To
Discriminate, because it translates into the Right To
Treat Anybody Anyway You Want, and it can’t be
confined neatly to just the business setting or to
non-violent behavior, as he idealizes. What a private
business can do, I can do as a private citizen.

Lester Maddox escorted a black man out of his white-
only establishment at gunpoint. Rand Paul would
apparently have giggled at the faux gun threat. In
fact, if Maddox had actually used the gun,
libertarianism would not necessarily have put him in
jail. He was, after all, “simply” enforcing the law,
wasn’t he?

According to Rand Paul, I have the freedom to judge
who I think is a racist based on my personal, secret
criteria, and having made my judgment I am
subsequently entitled to refuse to treat that racist
as a human being. If the racist doesn’t like it, he
can walk somewhere else. (Like he’d do just that.)

That’s the essence of Paul’s conflict, and it seems a
strange one to me, considering that he’s a
libertarian, but then I’ve been able to reconcile
libertarian’s seeming elevation of the individual
with what seems to be their rationalization of
inhumanity.

It’s not that their philosophy condones inhumanity,
but if inhumane treatment results from somebody’s
“free” behavior, well, then… gee, it sucks to be
you. Huh? That’s a philosophy?

As a liberal, there’s no issue. All men are created
equal and are entitled to be treated as human beings
—the simple Golden Rule. Goes back to Jesus. We
determine what constitutes humane treatment by coming
to an informed consensus. With consideration of the
minority, the majority rules, and everybody complies.

I don’t understand why libertarians have such
difficulty with that, and I frankly don’t want to
live in the anarchy that Rand Paul proposes.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, May 22, 2010 at 6:26 am Link to this comment

I thought the new “American way” was to throw them in jail and waterboard them awhile.

This event is all tied into Cheney’s secret meetings with oil officials.

http://salem-news.com/articles/may142010/oil-cheney-ro.php

It was preventable.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 22, 2010 at 4:52 am Link to this comment

Hampton’s murder was one of ten thousands.

For all that, that does not make a smarmy, Narcissistic coffee-colored Corporate Fascist Democrat any less of a Corporate Fascist, or any less of a predatory Capitalist warmonger and war criminal.

In fact in one light it makes him even worse.

Maya Angelou adsurdly dubbed Clinton, a jiveass pathological liar, “the first black president.”

In that case, Obama is unveiling himself as the first beige George Bush.

A Corporate Fascist Imperialist is a Corporate Fascist Imperialist whatever color he or she comes in.

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By bogi666, May 22, 2010 at 4:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paul is just posturing for campaign contribution from BP and the others oil companies.He’s just another phoney politician with a niche for oil company corruption.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 22, 2010 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Fred Hampton was murdered in his bed—deliberately and as part of a premeditated conspiracy—headed by a Democrat politician, and Democat-controlled police. The Democrat official was protected for the rest of his long natural life by the Democrat Party.

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By Tobysgirl, May 22, 2010 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

Alphysicist: “I also resent the left’s “racism” claims every time the part of the disenfranchised working class protests and when that part happens to be mostly white and christian.  The left’s claims that white christian males are the most privileged is highly doubtful.” 

Excooooooze me! Working class, are you kidding? The two teabaggers I have the misfortune of knowing too much about are an ex-doctor and an ex-banker. Probably Christian, too, if that consists of sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself and hurling misspelt insults at atheists and everyone else who thinks you’re insane.

Racism = prejudice + power. All my life I have been subjected to the spectacle of angry white men and they sicken me. What a collection of whiners, bitchers, pissers and moaners. Houses, boats, new cars, nice incomes, and you would think they’re suffering the worst oppression known in human history. How dare anyone with a brown skin have anything when they are so deprived!

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By Eugenio Costa, May 22, 2010 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

The Gulf Disaster will bring down not only the Republicans, but also the Democrats, who are almost without exception Corporate Fascists,and that obviously includes both Biden and Obama.

A truly radical and leftist Obama, with a lot more insight, and intelligence, and experience than he has, might have cut a way out of the ambush that is closing in with immediate, decisive action on several fronts.

These were measures that would not have solved anything in themselves, but would have prepared the way for effective solutions.

Instead,Obama and his administration have gone the way of the Spectacle, attempting to restore the status quo ante with dumbshow and rhetoric, and curing nothing—only making matters worse.

In this contet electoral politics are irrelevant.

Just another stale joke of the clowns and incompetents that engineered the collapse and now expect the population to pay for their mistakes with thirty years of debt credit slavery, followed by another thirty years by their children, and thirty years by their children’s children.

At this point nothing but radical restructuring will work, and no American politico is capable of it, nor even capable of analyzing the elements of the catastrophe, which was man-made in all its aspects.

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By Inherit The Wind, May 22, 2010 at 4:05 am Link to this comment

I said it before: Stick a fork in him—Rand Paul is done.

I’ve forgotten which Justice said the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

A major corporation has created a natural national and international disaster of unprecedented size.  Paul would say would should just happily let them keep on drilling and pumping while the Gulf of Mexico, the shorelines, ALL the related industries, waters and beaches are clogged with stinkin’ oil, all caused by BP, Halliburton and their third partner cheating and screwing up.

I thought it was both a Conservative and Libertarian axiom that you TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.

Yet Paul would allow BP to destroy the resources and incomes of millions and millions of people on the grounds that forcing them to fight a disaster THIS INSTANT that they created is somehow “unConstitutional”.

What law school did this shlub graduate from?

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By bogi666, May 22, 2010 at 4:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

BP is not even an American company! Does the SCOTUS decision that makes Corporations person apply to corporations world wide, thereby making them all American citizens without having to go through an immigration process! Why is it that corporate persons have different standards for citizenship, none for corporations while flesh persons can be shot and killed for doing what the corporate person can do. The more Paul opens his mouth the nuttier he is which should fit right in with the mentality of Kentuckians.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 22, 2010 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

Gold won’t work, even if the US still had any.

It would all be in Asia in two weeks.

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By Alphysicist, May 22, 2010 at 2:17 am Link to this comment

It’s also worth considering the following commentary from Alexander Cockburn:

http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn05212010.html

“The truth this year is that liberalism is in awful crisis, symbolized by BP’s broken oil pipe spouting maybe 70,000 barrels a day into the Gulf of Mexico, not on Rand Paul’s say-so but on that of Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar. Obama to Salazar: helluva a job, Kenny! (As a evidence of Rand Paul’s utter insanity he says Obama is being too tough on BP.) Forty–six years after the Civil Rights Act, with its noble liberal principles one can smell not just the nuttiness and often straight-up racism of the Teabaggers but the un-nutty, methodical corruption of liberalism in fifty thousand concrete instances, most of them well known to ordinary Americans.”

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By Alphysicist, May 22, 2010 at 1:57 am Link to this comment

Actually Rand is right: it is un-American.  Unfettered capitalism without regard to nature, human life, or anything of intrinsic value is indeed the American way.

Personally, I have sympathy with Ron Paul and co. on the issues of being against the war (there seem to be more antiwar people on the right nowadays), and that reintroducing the gold standard and reigning in the Fed could at least, and likely would, lead to more fiscal responsibility.  More local instead of centralized authority would also lead to better handling of the environment, IMHO.

I also resent the left’s “racism” claims every time the part of the disenfranchised working class protests and when that part happens to be mostly white and christian.  The left’s claims that white christian males are the most privileged is highly doubtful. 

On environmental issues the Paulistas have it entirely wrong.  Global warming is not overblown, and environmental regulation on corporations is urgently needed. It is very crucial to realise, however, that the difference between the left and right on this point is only in their rhetoric.  Nothing different will happen under a democratic administration from a republican one.  Al Gore’s approach to Kyoto, or Obama’s approach in Copenhagen is ample proof of that, even if the former became an environmental activist, and has made an informative movie, after losing the 2000 elections.

In Europe the left advocates (often useless) restrictions on citizens (separating trash), which at least raises awareness, but no limits on big industry.  True, European cars are on the average more fuel efficient, but this is due to how expensive oil is in Europe in the first place.  If efficiency was really the goal they could do yet much better: just by reducing the weight of cars, for example (most compact cars carry ca. 200 kilos of useless stuff, like GPS, etc.).

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Ouroborus's avatar

By Ouroborus, May 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

Rand’s handlers (GOP) have advised him to lower his
profile and basically shut up.
But it’s likely his ego will not allow that. One can
only hope…

http://tinyurl.com/3y47yz6

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amunaor's avatar

By amunaor, May 21, 2010 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

How soon before this slippery chameleon, Rand Paul, dawns his KKK dunce cap? What sort of rot-gut moonshine were the primary voters imbibing down there when they selected this nut-job?

It’s not un-American! It’s criminal negligence resulting in death. Why are these perpetrators, BP, allowed to trample all over the crime scene? To paraphrase Senator Bob Menendez, given BP’s implications here, BP cannot be trusted with anything it does or says.

These ‘Libertarians’, just like Rand’s daddy Ron, sing some very nice, sweet sounding harmonies when defending the Constitution, but those harmonies always fall into disarray when the Diablo fascist note appears; distilled from the harmony, defending unmitigated, do as you please, high flying corporate egos. The latent bigotry residing in Rand’s defense of unbridled free-market egos should make Rand’s position even more worrisome.

Peace, Best Wishes and Hope

WikiLeaks – Collateral Murder
http://collateralmurder.com/

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By Mike, May 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Someone described Rand Paul’s worldview as heartless, hard to disagree. The gulf is turning into a dead zone, wildlife dying and continuing to die because of this oil spill, people sickened, dead from the blast itself, and he defends BP.

The best description I’ve heard of Libertarianism is “FU,I got mine”.

On another topic where the f is Al Gore? Its been a month and he is awfully quiet about the biggest ecological disaster, possibly in US history. This is the man who won the Nobel prize for environmentalism.

Hell, Kevin Costner and Robert Redford are playing a more active role in this and they are celebrities. Costner put in tens of millions of his own money to help clean up the mess but I hear Al just bought a big new multi-million dollar mansion near Hollywood!

I don’t expect him to clean up the mess himself but he should be at least adding his voice and his stature as an “environmentalist” to the discussion. And no, a brief comment at a seminar does not count.

It would be great if Truthdig would look into this.

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By Commune115, May 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Scheer, we await your response to this new round of whacky brain puking from Paul.

And can stupid teenagers please finally stop telling me to “support Ron Paul” in order to bring about real social change?

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By Jean Gerard, May 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s “unAmerican”  to talk about putting your boot heel on British Petroleum to
make them pay for disobedience and carelessness, but it’s NOT unAmerican to
bribe your way out of regulations or ignore safety measures, and your negligence
causes inestimable damage from the ensuing explosion.  Go figure

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By samosamo, May 21, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Aw, what should I expect of anyone seeking orifice as a
republican even though he called down the ‘lobbying’ industry
for what they are, criminals by bribing elected persons. This is
the kind of ‘no one everything their own way’, meaning rp will
slam lobbyists but will defend the corporation bp like a tigress
protecting her young, in what I can only guess would be for
some type of recompense for doing so.

So randie is off my list and libertarian is shyster term for
‘robbing peter to pay ‘paul’.

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By Jim Yell, May 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I never expected Obama to be left and only thought he would be progressive in a marginal way, but he has morphed into a right wing President, although he still sometimes talks like he is moderate with a social conscience, but no his actions speak louder than words.

He is another right of center, self serving politician, who like the Republicans, who dishonored the country for 8 years of ignorant, bullying, has proven that he is one more in a long list of corporate controlled so called leaders of the country.

I big disappointment. All I can reccomend in the next election is refuse to vote Republican or Democratic and instead find a 3rd party candidate to support. Enough votes away from the corrupted two parties, might at lest catch their attention. Short of that I have no idea what to do. I voted for Obama thinking he would be if not inspired at lest honest. Now I have grave doubts and see no one offering to lead who is not in the pockets of corporate pirates.

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By Gremlin, May 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It looks like no one here took the time to watch the interview and took the AP spin as gospel. If you did you would have noticed that AP is taking the comments out of context and adding its own conjecture.

Get a clue, he is a “Paul”, a “libertarian”, meaning the establishment WILL attack, WILL smear.

Every one of you get an F.

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By Eugenio Costa, May 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

“What’s good for British Petroleum is good for America.”

Rand Paul

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, May 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He’s just like his old man - 50% bold, decisive, visionary, and 50% blind, deaf, reactionary, but I think he is going to go a lot further than his father.  After all, if he can inspire Robert Scheer….

In a recent interview with Bill Moyers, author Margaret Atwood said that in these chaotic times the country could go for a charismatic, potentially despotic leader if he could convince people that he would “keep the trains running on time.”  Rand Paul is that kind of guy.

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By truedigger3, May 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

One thing is sure. That Rand Paul has a very elastic body. He keeps putting his foot in his mouth and eventually he will choke on it.

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By Tobysgirl, May 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Like all politicians, this guy is just a self-promoting egotist. He’s pandering to the scum of our society, and believe me, I know whereof I speak. To paraphase Howard Zinn regarding big government, all politicians are self-promoting, the question is whether you can detect any ethics when faced with their stupendous egos. I certainly don’t detect any ethics or morals here!

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By felicity, May 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

I’m still stuck on the vision of a Rand Paul facing an oil-soaked sea and sand from his summer retreat on the Gulf.  Who’s going to clean this up, he asks.  Not BP because it didn’t intentionally fuck up.  And the government won’t force BP to clean it up because the government’s big heel on the corporate world is a mortal sin. So who’s going to clean it up.

Guess the government is stuck, or not stuck if the mess doesn’t bother Mr. Paul, and Mr. Paul along with the rest of us funds the government so in the end Mr. Paul will end up footing a share of the bill.  Somebody should ask him if that meets with his approval.  Want to bet on his answer?

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By c.hanna, May 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Rand Paul, unlike his father Ron, gives away his obviousness at being a shill. I am neither republican nor democrat and would never vote for either “leading” corporate candidate….but at one time I at least thought Paul was with the American People. Now I think this family is some kind of shills.

Unaware folks may be taken by either Obama or Rand, but closer scrutiny and you will see the obvious push to keep people divided and VERY confused on issues like “what is socialism” or “what is free market”, etc.

The fact is Obama is burying himself with this Gulf disaster. I am now reading obvious Dis-information pieces, such as this one at huffington:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/21/gulf-oil-spill-vast-major_n_584813.html

This one at huffington is bad. They pull out the good ‘ol “experts” to push their agenda to get the entire subject off what really happened:

Nothing mentioned about the Corexit Chemical BP used, even after being warned that it would seal the fate of the Gulf to Dead zone. Obama is up to his eyeballs in the cover-up. The fact is YOU WANT the oil to rise….the chemicals prohibited this, sealing the death fate of marine life. It was designed to keep under water (literally and no pun intended) and keep secret just how much oil is GUSHING (not spilling) from this monstrous rig.

By now people know how a CBS crew was threatened by the Coast Guard to withdraw from area or be arrested. They said they were “following orders from British Petroleum”....Our coast Guard is being controlled by a corporation! You can find it on YOUtube by now I think.

J. Speer-Williams has written about the Chemical Corexit being used and many more lies and ramifications. He lives on the Gulf Coast. He sent this article (and a couple others on the subject):

http://www.americanpendulum.com/2010/05/flash-bulletin-corexit-is-killing-the-gulf/

More and more its getting to be Republican versus Democrat. Both parties and politicians from both, including Obama, are only interested in their political image and the money and backing they get from their paymasters: the corporations.

I saw Newt Gingrich on today on Cspan, helping to maintain divisions, as well as this nutcase Glen Beck. The liberal side (such as huffington post and even some time truthdig) are working to promote democrats that have no interest in representing the average man/woman.

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By Jimnp72, May 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

So lets see Obama gets slammed by the right wing nuts for not doing enough and
they are calling it “Obama’s Katrina’ in order to fulfill their loony cause of
destroying him, while other right wing nuts are decrying him for overdoing it.
I bet Sara is getting jealous of Rand at this point as he is stealing all of the
attention she lusts for herself.

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By marcus medler, May 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

you know he be nutty enough for other nuts to
support him—but lets face it you put a naked
girl atop a dodge ram and people buy it.

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By kerryrose, May 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Maybe Scheer should justify this piece of idiocy.

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