Rand Paul Hub




Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll with 31 Percent of Vote

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Rand Paul won the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll, the WaPo reports:

Paul won 31 percent of the vote (compared with the 25 percent he won last year), beating a crowded field of more than two dozen names, including a number of potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders. He crushed second-place finisher Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who came in with 11 percent.

Rounding out of the top finishers in the poll, which was voted on by 2,459 CPAC attendees, were former neurosurgen Ben Carson (9 percent) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (8 percent).

Paul's father Ron and Mitt Romney have been the top picks in the CPAC straw polls since 2007.


Rand Paul Calls Federal Judge's Kentucky Gay Marriage Ruling 'Illegitimate'

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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul released a statement following U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II’s ruling that Kentucky must recognize legal same-sex marriage from outside the state.

Said Paul:

"I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage. I also believe this power belongs to the states and the people, not the federal government. It is illegitimate for the federal courts to intrude here."

Governor Steve Beshear is hiring an outside counsel to defend the state's ban in the appeal of the ruling after Attorney General Jack Conway, in an emotional and tearful announcement, said he would not.


Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to Sue Obama Administration Over NSA Surveillance: VIDEO

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GlobalPost

US Sen. Rand Paul filed a lawsuit Wednesday against President Barack Obama and others over the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs, citing constitutional violations.

“The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants," the Republican from Kentucky said when he announced the litigation. "I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court and I predict the American people will win.”

Paul filed the lawsuit with Matt Kibbe, president of the tea party-aligned group FreedomWorks.

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will serve as lead counsel.

Besides Obama, the lawsuit also named National Intelligence Director James Clapper, outgoing NSA Director Keith Alexander and FBI Director James Comey.

Other lawsuits over the NSA's phone surveillance practices have been filed in recent months, but Paul's legal challenge is different because it's a class-action suit.

“A class action would be Rand Paul, not just suing on his own behalf, but on behalf all people, known and unknown, who are similarly situated,” Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University, told MSNBC. “Ostensibly, he could be suing on behalf of all Americans, or all Americans hypothetically affected by these court orders.” 

Earlier this month, Paul said he believed every American with a cellphone would be eligible to join the class-action suit.

The son of three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul, Rand Paul has long been an ardent critic of US surveillance programs, which he says infringe on the basic civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution.

In a YouTube video released this week, Paul compared the NSA phone surveillance to the warrantless searches practiced by the British military prior to America's independence.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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GOP Senators Attach Anti-Union Right-to-Work Amendment to ENDA

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul have attached a right-to-work amendment to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the HuffPost reports:

McconnellThe measure -- which, as Roll Call reported Monday, was tacked onto the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- would forbid contracts between companies and labor unions that require workers to pay the union for bargaining on their behalf. Prized by Republicans and business groups and loathed by unions, such laws have made it onto the books in 24 states, most recently in Michigan...

...Right-to-work laws diminish union membership and weaken the clout of organized labor. Unions like to refer to such legislation as "right-to-work-for-less" laws, pointing to studies finding the laws depress wages. Right-to-work's boosters, including McConnell, portray the laws as a matter of workplace choice and a necessary counterweight to "Big Labor," even though unionized workers now make up only 6.6 percent of the private sector.


Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell Discuss Shutdown Messaging Strategy on Hot Mic: VIDEO

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Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell work out their shutdown messaging strategy over a hot mic:

"I'm all wired up here," McConnell replies. Paul continues anyway.

"I just did CNN, and I just go over and over again, 'We're willing to compromise; we're willing to negotiate,'" he says in the video. "I don't think they poll-tested 'We won't negotiate.' I think it's awful for them to say that over and over again."

McConnell responds: "Yeah, I do too, and I just came back from the two-hour meeting with them, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly."

"I think if we keep saying, 'We wanted to defund it. We fought for that, but now we're willing to compromise on this,' I think they can't - we're going to win," Paul says. "I know we don't want to be here, but we're going to win this, I think."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Rand Paul Equates Food Stamps with Slavery

RandpaulRand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky, is no stranger to Towleroad, given some of the comments he's made in the past. The bombastic senator has previously linked marriage equality to "polygamy" and "non-human marriage", and also encouraged anti-equality advocates to do everything they can to delay marriage equality at the state level. Paul is making even more headlines today, thanks to a profile of the senator's opthalmology practice in National Review Online, in which he compared social safety net programs, such as food stamps, to forced slavery. 

According to ThinkProgress, this isn't the first time Paul has falsely linked the two phenomena:

"The comments are an echo of his 2011 claim that accepting a human right to health care 'means you believe in slavery,' but the Senator’s new variation on the theme is notable because it puts the reasoning behind the crazy in stark relief."

The quote in question ironically comes from a portion of the profile that claims that Paul "loves people":

"As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care, but it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do."

Rand Paul LiesIronically, he has compared food stamps to slavery in two aspects. The first is the statement you see above: providing someone with food, water, and shelter automatically makes them indebted and subservient to you. He has also made the logical leap that providing people with food stamps means the forcible seizure of food, the by-product of workers such as farmers and manufacturers. ThinkProgress thankfully pointed out several flaws in Paul's logic. First, most academics have accepted the fact that this country currently produces enough food to feed everyone in it. Also:

"A moderately bright high school student could spot the leap of logic here: no one’s forcing anyone to farm against their will. In a democratic-capitalist economy, people have a right to choose their career... A socially-accepted “right to food” merely means the government should pay for the provision of food to those who can’t afford it. No stealing, and definitely no slavery...

"So an influential Senator, a much-ballyhooed candidate for his party’s nomination for the presidency, has been consistently espousing a worldview, reflected in his budget, that logically implies virtually all major government programs are slavery. And we live in times where that’s acceptable enough that it’s buried in the middle of a piece about volunteer ophthalmology."

Of course, the fact that quote comes from a piece about volunteer opthalmology makes it sort of doubly ironic. According to the piece, Paul performs approximately 10 to 15 pro bono eye surgeries a year. He says that “I’ve always done some since I’ve been in practice, because I wanted to be able to give back to the community." Would that sort of admission constitute a slavery of Paul by his less fortunate patients? Precisely what difference is there between slavery, by his standards, and "giving back to the community"? 


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