The Elevation of Idiotic Republican Shills: Rand Paul, SCOTUS & Russia Edition [Updated 8/7] | #MSM on Blog#42

The Elevation of Idiotic Republican Shills: Rand Paul, SCOTUS & Russia Edition [Updated 8/7] | #MSM on Blog#42

Rand Paul was in the news today July 15th, for expressing his opinion on Russian interference in our election and how the matter should be handled.

Ok. That’s an excellent current topic of discussion. The main quote from Paul’s statement is this one:

““I think we mistake our response if we think it’s about accountability from the Russians. They’re another country, they’re going to spy on us, they do spy on us, they’re going to interfere in our elections,” Paul said.

“I think because this has gotten partisan … we’ve forgotten that the most important thing is the integrity of our elections,””

Let’s do a bit of unpacking. Rand Paul is a pseudo libertarian. He never gets the ethics of things right, or down to the depths of issues all the way.

It is a no-brainer that we can and should beef up voting machine software. At this point in time, any sane official at DHS, especially, should be working to get all 50 states to immediately prepare for paper ballots for the mid-term election. Next, the Federal Election Commission, Congress, DHS, and the White House, were they not all infested with corrupt, treasonous politicians, should be working double time at removing the ownership and operation of voting machines everywhere from private to public ownership. It, too, is a no-brainer that voting machines in private hands are more – not less – vulnerable to all kinds of hacks, for all kinds of reasons, the least of which is cheaping out on maintenance and software updates.

As a nation, we can and should get voting systems out of the hands of political cronies, private concerns, especially if they’re publicly traded, and we should assign full-time government resources to keeping our voting systems safe.

But any and all this needs to be IN ADDITION to using the FBI and CIA to ward off foreign intruders and with congressional budgets including the allocation of funds to keep elections safe from hacking. The last bit wasn’t the case in the last budget Congress passed. Politico reported last year that time was running out to beef up protection for our voting systems. What ended up passing was a very modest allocation. In a piece related to the Mueller indictment of 12 Russians in hacking our voting systems, Politico reported last week that:

““The charges indicate that this wasn’t just a campaign by Russia to influence voters, but an effort to hack election software to change the outcome,” Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney in Michigan, told POLITICO. “This should be a wake-up call to safeguard our upcoming elections as a matter of national security.”

Earlier this year, Congress gave the federal Election Assistance Commission $380 million for states to bolster security at the polls. So far, many states have described how they plan to use the money to replace voting systems and upgrade software, but this week lawmakers criticized 18 states for not moving fast enough to protect election systems.

In a report this week, Democrats on the House Committee on Administration said that states would likely need some $1.4 billion over 10 years to properly enhance cybersecurity at the polls.”

Rand Paul sits on the following committees:

  • Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    • Chair, Subcommittee on Children and Families
    • Member, Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
  • Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    • Chair, Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management
    • Member, Subcommittee on Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
  • Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
    • Member, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy
    • Member, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation
    • Member, Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development
  • Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

In short, you need to walk AND chew gum and not just pontificate and then vote with the majority, as Rand Paul almost always does. Rand Paul always gets painted as a maverick, just like Lindsey Graham, when he says something that sounds vaguely counter to current Republican doctrine. Sounds is the operative word. When you look up his votes, they’re no different than that of his fellow senators on the right.


Senator Paul has thrown his usual caution to the wind of late, in that he has placed himself squarely on the side of Trump. He had this to say on July 16th:

In short, Paul accuses the media and the left of having the same kind of Trump Derangement Syndrome as the right had about President Obama. Ok… President Obama was never suspected of maintaining a treasonous relationship with a hostile foreign power, or of having won an election thanks to its material and agitprop support.

Then, just to blur the issue a bit, he draws a parallel with President Kennedy, who had a direct line to Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev? Really? How exactly are we in anything like the circumstances of the cold war?

Rand Paul gets away with this because of America’s dismal track record of educating its population in a uniform way. If a child in Alabama received the same quality education as her counterpart in Massachusetts, Paul would be laughed out of town. Come to think of it, Trump would never have dared run for office.

But I digress…

This morning, exactly one week after Trump’s disaster of a press conference with Vladimir Putin, Paul has this to tweet:

As long as he doesn’t divulge classified information, last time I looked, John O. Brennan is as entitled as I am to use his right to free speech in any way he likes. But as Politico reports, Tucker Carlson, last week, set his sights on Brennan. Rep. Goodlatte asked for Brennan to come and testify. Clearly, something is afoot.

“Paul’s request comes after Fox News host Tucker Carlson said last week that Brennan still had a security clearance despite not working for the federal government anymore.

Carlson, who called Brennan an “out-of-the-closet extremist,“ went on to call for his security clearance removed.In addition, other lawmakers have started to attack Brennan.House

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) Sunday called for Brennan to testify on Capitol Hill for his role in the investigation of Russia in the 2016 election.

Goodlatte said it’s “extremely disturbing“ to see Brennan and former FBI Director James Comey “express the kind of extreme bias that they’ve shown now.””

See how the unseen hand works? All of a sudden, everybody is swarming Brennan. What is different here is that Rand Paul is a part of the swarming party, and an indication that he is now a definite part of the GOP establishment.

Rand Paul has always shared one quality with Trump: flame-throwing. The purpose of making statements like that tweet is to devolve ongoing discourse into a knock out, drag down fight, in order to deflect from other ongoing issues. Other issues, you say? Carter Page and the declassification, this weekend, of the FISA requests for a wiretap. Politico:

Trump makes new call to end the Mueller probe

Trump began his venting by writing online that the probe was triggered by a now-infamous dossier of salacious but unverified information detailing ties between Russia and the president’s campaign.

“So we now find out that it was indeed the unverified and Fake Dirty Dossier, that was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC, that was knowingly & falsely submitted to FISA and which was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted on Monday morning.

The president’s tweet comes on the heels of the FBI’s release of documents related to the wiretapping of Carter Page, a former aide to the Trump campaign who plays a central role in the allegations of collusion between the Russian government and the president’s 2016 election team.

Contrary to Trump’s Monday morning tweet, the newly declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court wiretap application shows that investigators did not base their request solely on the infamous dossier, compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and funded in part by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, but also on other sources of information.

Then, Trump tweets:


It really isn’t all that hard to see the Republican wood burning. What is hard, is keeping track of all the goings on. Things got started with Tucker Carlson on the right. Then, we had rumblings from House and Senate Republicans, Rand Paul is one.

Then, in the liberal mainstream media, we had Ross Douthat’s rather odd op-ed, wondering whether Trump had co-opted the libertarian movement. I say odd, because it seemed out of the blue with his other concerns of late. Now we know why… The endgame for all this is to ensure Brett Kavanaugh is installed as Supreme Court Justice, so he can keep the Trump presidency safe. This isn’t about keeping the nation safe from foreign interference at the government infiltration level or in the voting booth. It is raw tribalism and keeping the party, as corrupt as it is, in power.

Wavering Rand sets off Supreme Court spectacle

The Kentucky Republican says he’s genuinely undecided on whether to back Brett Kavanaugh. His vote could be decisive.

Rand Paul is one of a handful of senators who’ll determine whether Brett Kavanaugh lands on the Supreme Court — and the Kentucky Republican has every intention of maximizing his leverage.

Paul is again inviting fellow senators to play the will-he-or-won’t-he guessing game when it comes to his decision — expressing grave concerns about Kavanaugh’s approach to personal privacy while insisting his vote could go either way, depending on what the judge says in the coming weeks and months.

“I am honestly undecided. I am very concerned about his position on privacy and the Fourth Amendment. This is not a small deal for me. This is a big deal,” Paul said in an interview last week. “Kavanaugh’s position is basically that national security trumps privacy. And he said it very strongly and explicitly. And that worries me.””

Come now, Senator Paul… These games you play, they’re old and tired. How many times can you play the indecisive damsel?

The media characterizations of Rand Paul as some sort of maverick libertarian with an independent bent need to stop. Like his father before him, Rand Paul is a complete fraud and a total shill for the corrupt, treasonous Republican establishment.

UPDATE: July 30

Rand Paul Announces He Will Vote for Judge Kavanaugh

Update: August 6

Senator Rand Paul is in Moscow

“We had general discussions about a lot of issues [but] our biggest issue is no dialogue,” Sen. Rand Paul replied when asked if he discussed U.S. election interference with Russian statesmen before inviting them to Capitol Hill”

Fast forward one week and in a Politics section article, “Rand Paul Continues His One-Man Détente With Russia, This Time in Moscow,” the New York Times continues to portray Senator Paul as some kind of contrarian, a maverick, instead of sticking to reporting straight news:

“So it was on Monday when Mr. Paul, decamping for the Senate’s one-week recess, took his lonely defense of President Trump’s Russia policy to Moscow to deliver a show of contrarianism all too familiar to his colleagues back home.

“I’ve traveled here to say that there are many Americans who want to have diplomacy, that want to have engagement; I’m one of them,” Mr. Paul said, standing beside Konstantin Kosachyov, the chairman of the foreign relations committee of Russia’s senate who has been subject to American sanctions since April.

At home, Mr. Paul’s fellow senators speak in grave tones about how to respond to an alarming pace of revelations about the scope and durability of Russia’s campaign to undermine the democratic process — an effort that American intelligence officials warn remains active despite American retaliation”

This isn’t a show of contrarianism. Rand Paul has stopped displaying any pretense of libertarian independence and is now squarely in the pro-Trump camp. He’s pro-Trump on Russia, pro-Trump on the budget, pro-Trump on Kavanaugh as a supreme court justice, pro-Trump on rolling back Dodd-Frank, and any number of detrimental legislation he voted yes on. There is nothing contrarian about the way he’s been voting. He has conformed with the other members of his party. As for his trip to Moscow, one might considering a consultation with his counterparts at the Politburo.

Why portray Rand Paul as anything? He’s a sitting Republican senator from a red state, and one of many who’ve aligned themselves with Donald Trump since January 20, 2017. In these times, the way Congress has turned out to be, this is par for the course.

So much for contrarianism, and so much for an impartial press…

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Election meddling bill would curb president’s power, Paul warns

Sen. Rand Paul warned on Wednesday that a bipartisan bill meant to deter foreigners from meddling in future U.S. elections would weaken the president’s abilities to strike back at adversaries.

The bill, known as the DETER Act, is backed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). The proposed law would bar foreign governments from buying ads to influence U.S. elections, and would also give the director of national intelligence the power to deploy “national security tools” like sanctions if the Kremlin interferes in another American election.

But speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Paul cautioned that the legislation might hamstring the president’s ability to protect elections.

“It … takes the power from the president and gives it to the director of national intelligence,” Paul said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in the hot seat during Wednesday’s hearing. He echoed Paul’s sentiment that transferring election security power away from the president is unwise.

Read the full report on Politico

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