Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on April 23, 2014 by Allahpundit

Rand Paul came to Chicago yesterday and did something a Republican thinking about running for president typically wouldn’t do: subject himself to a nearly hour-long grilling by the one-time chief political strategist for President Barack Obama.

“You are an intriguing person,” David Axelrod, the former White House senior adviser, now leading the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago, said at the start of his on-stage conversation with the U.S. senator from Kentucky.

Paul, a favorite of the limited-government Tea Party movement who is considering a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, used stops in Chicago — Obama’s hometown — as the latest venues in offering himself as a different kind of Republican pushing his party to grow beyond its base.

***

Sen. Rand Paul is taking full advantage of Congress’s recess with a tour of speaking engagements in Real America. But more importantly, he used the time away from Washington to cultivate a decidedly different image: not the libertarian spark plug most people think of when they think of Rand Paul, but an old-fashioned, issues-oriented compassionate conservative.

Speaking at Josephinum Academy, a Catholic girls’ high school in Chicago, Paul talked to parents and students about public-school alternatives and supported the right for religious schools like Josephinum to receive federal money. School vouchers and charter schools have long been conservatives’ workaround to push against the public education system without seeming like they were pricing out low-income students…

Since starting his first term in the Senate, Paul has made a point to travel around the country speaking to urban communities struggling with poverty—not exactly a friendly setting for Republican politicians.

Some have said that promoting school choice and urban revitalization is part of Paul’s grand plan to welcome minority voters into the GOP’s fold.

***

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) shot back at Bob Dole on Tuesday by arguing that a lack of political experience can be seen as positive.

Speaking to reporters in Chicago, Paul said that he was first a physician and then became a senator, despite people advising him to work his way up through the public service ladder as mayor and state legislator.

“I absolutely disagree with that because I think in some ways, when you have people who are career politicians, they’ve been beaten down by the system and are so part of the system that they can’t see all the problems of the system,” Paul said, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.

***

Despite the factual and political accuracy of Paul’s lamentations about Reagan-era fiscal policy, will conservatives reflexively outrage about this? Will it become fodder for the likes of Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum to pledge their undying love for Reagan’s ghost, in contrast to that turncoat Rand?

If any of the above does happen, it will be more of the same from conservatives. Overlooking the party’s 1980s failings is a key component of Reagan idolatry, and, sadly, it would prove they still have no interest in thinking about economics in a truly principled manner…

Yes, Reagan had to contend with a Democratic Congress, but many of the above policies were directly supported and/or proposed by the president. There’s simply no way around it; and Republicans would be better off listening to Rand Paul’s tough words rather than dismiss them as blasphemy.

***

In case you missed it, a minor controversy has erupted over Rand Paul’s recent comments about abortion…

From a pragmatic standpoint, however, Paul seems to be saying two things: 1). That he believes in the Thatcher maxim that first you win the argument, then you win the vote, and 2). That the pro-life cause is best served when it stresses areas where their is consensus (banning late-term abortion, for example) and doesn’t get too far over its skis (talking about rape, or stressing “personhood,” transvaginal ultrasounds, etc.)

The real problem for Paul, in my opinion, is that he’s having an honest discussion about a very sensitive topic. There’s no place for that in politics!

This is what happens when politicians think out loud and actually verbalize the things they are thinking. We often complain about scripted politicians who stick to talking points and sound bites, but there’s a good reason why the most boring, disciplined politicians seem to succeed. Would Paul have been better off by simply parrying the question? Probably.

***

Many other Republicans are nervous about Paul’s rising stock, much more than they were about the presidential bids of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)…

In a general election Paul would have to defend his proposals to raise the Social Security eligibility age and eliminate capital gains taxes. He would also have to fend off questions about his 2010 statement that the 1964 Civil Rights Act was wrong to prohibit businesses from discriminating against customers and his 1990s description of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme.”

“He’s never had to defend these views. At some point in a debate with the Democrats, he’ll have to defend these views,” said a senior House Republican aide…

“If there’s a nut movement in the country that he hasn’t found, please call me. He’s now getting involved in the sagebrush matter with Mr. Bundy,” said the GOP staffer. “I worry about a lot of things, but my biggest concern isn’t that Barack Obama is going to take me out at Starbucks with a drone.”

***

Kentucky voters are apparently split on whether home-state Sen. Rand Paul should run for president in 2016.

About one-third of Bluegrass State voters, or 31%, say the freshman senator should make a White House bid, while 34% say the Republican shouldn’t seek the presidency, according to a New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Wednesday.

Another 32% say they don’t know enough about Paul to say what he should do in 2016.

***

Let’s say the Kentucky legislator makes a strong run — winning some states and coming close in others — but doesn’t win the nomination, a scenario that seems more likely than not. He has something going for him in the veepstakes that other Republican also-rans would not: a constituency that might well defect in large numbers from the party in November.

Assuming Paul loses, the Libertarian Party will have an easier task than usual: It will be able to concentrate its organizing among the people who voted for Paul in the primaries. That could easily amount to enough voters to deny Republicans a victory in the general election. (In other words, the libertarian candidate in this situation would be Ralph Nader in reverse.)…

Because Paul has a distinctive constituency … he still has a pretty good shot of being on the ticket — even if he doesn’t make it to the top spot.

***

What the GOP needs is an honest, stringent account of how it has ended up where it is – a party that has piled on more debt than was once thought imaginable and until recently, has done nothing much to curtail federal spending. Reagan was a great president in many ways, as Paul says explicitly in these clips.

But Reagan introduced something truly poisonous into American conservatism.
It was the notion that you can eat your cake and have it too, that tax cuts pay for themselves and that deficits don’t matter. This isn’t and wasn’t conservatism; it was a loopy utopian denial of math. And the damage it has done to this country’s fiscal standing has been deep and permanent. It is one of modern conservatism’s cardinal sins. And Paul is addressing it forthrightly – just as he is addressing the terrible, devastating consequences of neo-conservatism for America and the world in the 21st Century.

What we desperately need from the right is this kind of accounting. It’s what reformers on the left did in the 1990s – confronting the failures of their past in charting a new future. Taking on Reagan on fiscal matters may be short-term political death, as Corn suspects and maybe hopes, but it is vital if the GOP is to regain some long-term credibility on the core question of government solvency. Compared with the ideological bromides and slogans of so many others, Rand Paul is a tonic. And a courageous one at that.

***


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NATOSource ‏@NATOSource 4m

@RutheniaRus: @NATOdsg statement is quoted in this article: Russia says it will respond if Ukraine interests attacked http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSBREA3L11A20140423
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WATCH: US troops put boots on Polish ground as #Ukraine crisis spirals http://youtu.be/uHn-mQwjjZg pic.twitter.com/xWd1OL09io
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Jim Roberts ‏@nycjim 16m

#Ukraine update 5: #Putin responds to military operation, saying #Kyiv will pay if it uses army against its people. http://bit.ly/RO52Ac
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Ukraine says its forces killed five militants while trying to remove pro-Russians’ roadblocks. http://cnn.it/1iPXhmT
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canopfor on April 24, 2014 at 7:32 AM

My take: What is Happening to the Soul of Our Nation?

kingsjester on April 24, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Rush Limbaugh’s morning spot made me ask the very same thing you’ve titled your take.

Limbaugh talked about the fact that most of those on food stamps these days are working-age adults not children and the elderly. Well, I’ve got to wonder what happened to our nation that the able bodied make up the majority of those looking for welfare instead of doing what it takes to get off welfare. And how do we recover from the selfishness that is engendered by a culture of welfare?

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 7:34 AM

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NATOSource ‏@NATOSource 29s

Most dangerous statement in 21st century: FM Lavrov says “Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation”
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@RutheniaRus: @NATOdsg statement is quoted in this article: Russia says it will respond if Ukraine interests attacked http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSBREA3L11A20140423
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WATCH: US troops put boots on Polish ground as #Ukraine crisis spirals http://youtu.be/uHn-mQwjjZg pic.twitter.com/xWd1OL09io
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Jim Roberts ‏@nycjim 19m

#Ukraine update 5: #Putin responds to military operation, saying #Kyiv will pay if it uses army against its people. http://bit.ly/RO52Ac

canopfor on April 24, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Until Kentucky law is changed, Paul wont run for President. Our State Constitution prohibits him from running for two Offices at the same time

Johnnyreb on April 24, 2014 at 7:31 AM

That’s a law I think should be practiced everywhere. It’s absurd when these critters hedge their bets by hogging more than one slot on a ballot (as Paul Ryan did in 2012).

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Johnnyreb on April 24, 2014 at 7:31 AM

That’s a law I think should be practiced everywhere. It’s absurd when these critters hedge their bets by hogging more than one slot on a ballot (as Paul Ryan did in 2012).

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 7:38 AM

Especially when they are just using the job as a stepping stone to a higher one. It means they don’t care about the current job and don’t do it very well.

crankyoldlady on April 24, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Rand is popping my balloon..
But this is still my all time fave.

bazil9 on April 24, 2014 at 7:43 AM

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NATOSource ‏@NATOSource 4m

Russia says it will respond if Ukraine interests attacked http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSBREA3L11A20140423 … pic.twitter.com/1PSPR7VZOM
===================================================

Russia says it will respond if Ukraine interests attacked

By Pavel Polityuk and Alastair Macdonald

KIEV Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:21pm EDT
********************************

(Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of being behind the political upheaval in Ukraine and said Moscow would respond if its interests came under attack.

Lavrov’s comments came a day after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in the Ukrainian capital with promises of support for the pro-Western government, and a warning to Russia not to interfere in Ukraine.

The crisis in Ukraine, now in its fourth month, has dragged Russia’s relations with the West to their lowest since the Cold War. In the east, pro-Russian armed separatists have seized about a dozen public buildings and are defying Kiev’s authority.

A further escalation could lead to damaging economic sanctions, and raises the risk of a disruption to the Russian gas supplies on which Europe depends.

NATO says Russia has built up a force of about 40,000 troop in its border with Ukraine. Moscow says some are stationed there permanently, while others have been deployed as a precaution to protect Russia from the instability in Ukraine.

In Moscow, Lavrov said Moscow would respond if its interests, or the interests of Russian citizens, were attacked.

“Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” he said according to excerpts of an interview with the Russia Today news channel.

“There is no reason not to believe that the Americans are running the show,” RT quoted him as saying.

Washington said that suggestion was “ludicrous”, while NATO’s deputy secretary general, Alexander Vershbow, said Russia must de-escalate the situation and avoid “inflammatory rhetoric and misrepresentations of the situation inside Ukraine”.

Russia justified its intervention in Crimea earlier this year by saying it had to defend Russians living there. In eastern Ukraine some people hold Russian passports.

Ukraine called on Moscow to pull troops back from the border, saying it feared pro-Russian separatists could use their proximity to provoke a Russian invasion.

ARMED GROUPS

Lavrov’s ministry, in a separate statement, accused the United States and the interim government in Kiev of a “distorted interpretation” of an international accord, signed in Geneva last week, under which illegal armed groups in Ukraine are to disarm and give up buildings they have occupied.

Russia said that applies not only to the pro-Russian separatists in the east, but also to groups in Kiev whose protests helped bring Ukraine’s new government to power.

Earlier, Ukraine’s government relaunched a security operation to crack down on the pro-Russian armed groups after an Easter pause and said it had the backing of the United States.

But it was unclear what steps Kiev could take to restore its authority in the mainly Russian-speaking east, without wrecking the Geneva deal.

“The security forces are working on the liquidation of illegal armed groups,” in the east of Ukraine, First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema told reporters.

“The corresponding activities will be carried out in the near future, and you will see the results.”

The Interior Ministry said it had flushed armed separatists out of a town which they had controlled in eastern Ukraine in an “anti-terrorism” operation.

It said the operation took place on the outskirts of the town of Sviatogorsk and that no one was injured. There had been no previous reports of gunmen in the town, which lies just outside the stronghold of pro-Russian militants in Slaviansk.

Ukraine’s SBU state security service warned that it would attack militants who held out. It said the Geneva accord required all illegal militias to lay down their arms:

“If not, the law enforcement agencies will use all their forces, means and capabilities to put an end to criminal activities and restore law and order and communal security.”

Kiev’s decision to resume its security operation in the east was prompted in part by the discovery of two bodies in a river in eastern Ukraine. One body was that of Volodymyr Rybak, a member of the same party as Ukraine’s acting president.

AID PACKAGE

The Ukrainian government, which took power after Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovich fled the capital in a row over whether to strengthen ties with Europe, appeared emboldened by Biden’s visit on Tuesday.

He brought a package of aid and urged Russia to curb the separatist militias in the east.

“We have obtained the support of the United States, that they will not leave us alone with an aggressor. We hope that in the event of Russian aggression, this help will be more substantive,” Yarema said.

The United States and NATO have made clear they will not intervene militarily in Ukraine. But the Pentagon said it was sending about 600 soldiers to Poland and the three Baltic states for infantry exercises, to reassure NATO allies.

Russian gas giant Gazprom has said it will turn off supplies to Ukraine next month unless Kiev pays its outstanding debts. That would have a knock-on effect on deliveries to Europe, because much of the gas shipped westwards has to pass through Ukrainian territory.

The European Commission said it would meet Slovakian and Ukrainian ministers on Thursday to discuss the possibility of pumping gas back to Kiev. Another meeting between the Commission, Ukraine and Russia is due on Monday on Moscow.

UNDER PRESSURE

The crisis in Ukraine began when Yanukovich, under pressure from Moscow, pulled out of a planned cooperation agreement with the EU. Pro-Western protesters took to the streets and Yanukovich fled after bloody clashes.

As a caretaker leadership of pro-Western protest leaders took over the government in Kiev, the Kremlin sent its forces into Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula, and shortly after annexed the region. Moscow said it acted to protect local people who were being persecuted by Kiev’s new rulers, while the West called it an illegal land grab.

Mediators from the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe, tasked with helping the sides implement the accord, were in eastern Ukraine trying to encourage illegal groups to disarm. There was no sign yet they were backing down.

In areas under the separatists’ control, there was growing evidence of arbitrary rule by self-appointed local officials, backed up by heavily armed militias, and of violence being meted out against opponents.

A video released on a local news site, gorlovka.ua, purported to show Rybak, the councilor whose body was found in a river, being confronted by an angry crowd outside the town hall in Horlivka, where he was a councilor.

Rybak can be seen being manhandled by several men, among them a masked man in camouflage, while other people hurl abuse.

After several minutes, Rybak appears able to walk away. The Interior Ministry said he was seen being bundled into a car by masked men in camouflage later that day. His body, and that of a second man, was found on Saturday in a river near Slaviansk.

Ukraine’s SBU security service issued a statement accusing a rogue SBU officer and an officer in Russia’s GRU military intelligence of involvement in Rybak’s murder.

In nearby Slaviansk, pro-Russian militia were holding three journalists, including a U.S. citizen, Simon Ostrovsky, from the online news site Vice News.

The United States said the detentions amounted to kidnappings which violated the Geneva agreement.
===============================

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/23/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSBREA3L11A20140423

canopfor on April 24, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Canopfor…. yup he’ll fall in lockstep with Carter

cmsinaz on April 24, 2014 at 7:44 AM

From a pragmatic standpoint, however, Paul seems to be saying two things: 1). That he believes in the Thatcher maxim that first you win the argument, then you win the vote, and 2). That the pro-life cause is best served when it stresses areas where their is consensus (banning late-term abortion, for example)

1) Right, there’s no way Obamacare will ever get passed. No one likes it. … Wait, what?
Seriously, a ban on abortion is the right thing to do, it is endorsed by our nation’s founding documents, & it is more popular than Obamacare. So we ought to do it.

2) “Late-term abortion” is more accurately described as partial-birth abortion, but that’s not p.c. enough for the writer.

itsnotaboutme on April 24, 2014 at 7:46 AM

Especially when they are just using the job as a stepping stone to a higher one. It means they don’t care about the current job and don’t do it very well.

crankyoldlady on April 24, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Exactly! If Paul wants to run for President, then he doesn’t need to be campaigning for Senator as his Plan B. He needs to commit to six more years in the Senate or furthering his Presidential hopes. And frankly, I think he’s better off staying in the Senate. Few Senators make it to President, he’s only had one term in national politics, and his daddy is still Ron Paul.

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 7:47 AM

Excellent take KJ

Read it y’all

cmsinaz on April 24, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Rand is popping my balloon..
But this is still my all time fave.

bazil9 on April 24, 2014 at 7:43 AM

That’s a good video. He is clearly a libertarian. But I don’t agree with everything he says and frankly I don’t see him as someone who can run a country.

crankyoldlady on April 24, 2014 at 7:50 AM

cmsinaz on April 24, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Thank you, ma’am!

My “conversation” with our latest idiot Troll, whom I believe is a sockpuppet, got me fired up.

kingsjester on April 24, 2014 at 7:56 AM

crankyoldlady on April 24, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Never met a politician I agree with 100% of the time…however there are deal breakers for me.

bazil9 on April 24, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Go get’em kj :)

cmsinaz on April 24, 2014 at 8:16 AM

cmsinaz on April 24, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Funny. When I asked the Troll I gave a shout-out to earlier, if he was a sockpuppet of the other one, he went away for several minutes and never answered me.

kingsjester on April 24, 2014 at 8:20 AM

I’ve got to go to work-so here’s a hearty wave/ FU/*glare*/BITE to all the son-to-be Noobs from HA’s unofficial Mascot.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 24, 2014 at 8:22 AM

FU too ALT. lol

I forgot today was OR.

bazil9 on April 24, 2014 at 8:24 AM

That’s why I love you two.

You’re both such shy little wallflowers.///

LOL!

kingsjester on April 24, 2014 at 8:28 AM

And how do we recover from the selfishness that is engendered by a culture of welfare?

Happy Nomad on April 24, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Problem is that Medicare and SSA are now welfare in my opinion, well non-means tested welfare to be accurate. The 7.65% tax we pay/paid and the matching 7.65% matching tax was just a tax. Nothing more and nothing less. Again, the problem that I don’t see going away is for folks to understand that “welfare” today means more than means tested benefits going to the “poor”.

Last time I looked at the budget……Health was 941B (mainly Medicare and then Medicaid), SSA was 883B, Defense was 673B, Interest on the debt was 241B, Agriculture was 155B, VA was 140B, Treasury was 110B, Labour was 102B, Transportation was 99B, Other was 454B….for a total of 3.803T. If you dig through all the numbers around 600B was direct transfer payment for means tested welfare. Point being……..the hole we are in is huge and getting bigger by the tune of 8T per year in unfunded liabilities, with the majority of that being Medicare and SSA.

Not to pick a nit, I wish our problem was as simple as being transfer payments to the poor; as that number can be managed. We cannot manage Medicare and SSA with increased taxes via normal growth in the GDP. The country will never be broke; it just cannot meet the promises made by Congress.

Oh, I am old and I live what I believe. Somehow America has forgotten the two financial Golden Rules (1) live below your means, especially when times are good and (2) save for a rainy day. Drives the young wife crazy sometimes. Chuckle!

HonestLib on April 24, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I’ve got to go to work-so here’s a hearty wave/ FU/*glare*/BITE to all the son-to-be Noobs from HA’s unofficial Mascot.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 24, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Bah, you never liked my much anyway!!! Chuckle.

HonestLib on April 24, 2014 at 8:51 AM

My take: What is Happening to the Soul of Our Nation?

kingsjester on April 24, 2014 at 7:24 AM

When you’ve lost connection with the Head, the soul is on it’s own.
Good one, KJ.

pambi on April 24, 2014 at 8:53 AM

My take: What is Happening to the Soul of Our Nation?

kingsjester on April 24, 2014 at 7:24 AM
When you’ve lost connection with the Head, the soul is on it’s own.
Good one, KJ.

pambi on April 24, 2014 at 8:53 AM

I have pondered that question and by the time I finish looking within first, I am too sad to place any blame on others ’cause I ain’t blameless.

HonestLib on April 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM

I have pondered that question and by the time I finish looking within first, I am too sad to place any blame on others ’cause I ain’t blameless.

HonestLib on April 24, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Truth. Thankfully, He never LEAVES me in that state.
Coming away refreshed in the knowledge of His forgiveness and Grace always follows.
He’s that good. :-)

pambi on April 24, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Good morning HAers and welcome Newbies. I’ve only read a little of the comments and just want to say to the veteran HAers, I’m just so happy to be among you.

To the Newbies: Make sure your seat belt is on for the first day (it may be a little bumpy), wait for the all-clear sign (it’s either a pat on the head or they want to adopt you), and should you get in a tussle with a fellow HAer, shake hands and get back in your corner asap. Elections are coming up and we gotta stick together to “fight the good fight”.

Concerning trolls: If you haven’t noticed before hand, there’s a Troll Patrol here. You may want to take notes from their troll interactions before committing to a verbal tussle. Personally, I enjoy reading how they chase the troll back down the basement stairs, as the troll screams for his/her mama. Should you feel a bit trounced yourself, keep it in back of your head that you’ve got supporters here. HAers have got your back.

31giddyup on April 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

First time poster.

It’s been awhile since I last viewed the Hot Air site. I’m really impressed by the breadth and depth of the articles and comments.

I look at the 2016 election as a make-it-or-break-it proposition for America. That’s why I’m becoming involved now.

Mudhead on April 24, 2014 at 2:59 PM

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