It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When Rand Paul announced his candidacy for president in 2016, he probably didn’t envision his campaign launch becoming one of the worst in recent memory. But that’s exactly what it was.
What was supposed to be a great week for Sen. Rand Paul (R, Kentucky) turned into the worst week in Washington:
- The problems started right out of the gate, when Paul’s announcement video was automatically yanked from YouTube almost as soon as his campaign posted it, thanks to a copyright claim from Warner Music Group — the official owner of “Shutting Down Detroit,” which Paul used without permission.
- Paul clashed with NBC reporter Savannah Guthrie, lecturing her about how to do her job after she had the temerity to confront him about his legendary flip-flopping on various issues. Not a great look for a guy who “shushed” CNBC anchor Kelly Evans back in February.
- Later Paul got aggravated with an Associated Press reporter who asked for specifics about his views on abortion.
- Then Paul walked out of an interview with Guardian reporter Paul Lewis after being pressed for specifics on campaign strategy and criminal justice, allegedly leaving the reporter in the dark.
- Even Fox News host Chris Wallace was left to conclude Paul has an “issue” with female interviewers.
- Then Paul issued “cease and desist” letters to local TV stations, warning them to stop running an ad attacking his position(s) on Iranian nuclear negotiations.
- Somehow, Paul traveled to South Carolina and managed to say nothing about what everyone else is talking about —the shooting death of Walter L. Scott by police officer Michael Slager.
Paul’s campaign is less than one week old. There’s a lot more left to go, including the debates. This should fun.
Is It “Jeb” Or“Heb”
Likely 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush is absolutely, undeniably white. Sure, he was governor of Florida, lived in Venezuela for two years, speaks fluent Spanish, and has a Mexican-born wife. But he’s still white.
So, it raised a few eyebrows that on a 2009 voter registration application, Bush indicated that he was Hispanic.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) April 6, 2015
But Florida Democrats pointed not on their Facebook page that its also a 3rd Degree felony to give false information on a voter registration application.
It’s actually pronounced “Heb” Bush.
— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) April 6, 2015
I’m kind of embarrassed I have been pronouncing “Jeb” wrong all these years…
— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) April 6, 2015
@lizzwinstead I’m kind of disappointed to learn that George is the smart one.
— Sean McCabe (@darthstar99) April 6, 2015
mitt romney: i am the king of panderers. jeb bush: i see your pandering and register as “hispanic” mitt romney: pic.twitter.com/Yqz2KiCNyn
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 6, 2015
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) April 6, 2015
— Nessa. (@curlyheadRED) April 6, 2015
- After launching several dozen boycotts and pressure campaigns, the American Family Association’s director of governmental policy called said that “what just happened in Indiana and probably Arkansas was economic terrorism.”
- Four states will defend their same-sex marriage bans before the US Supreme Court this month, with the four worst anti-gay marriage arguments ever.
- South Carolina filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing that banning same-sex marriage is constitutional because the Fourteenth Amendment did not originally prohibit states from discriminating against women.
- Florida Republican State Rep. Charles McBurney cut off 10-year-old Nathan Gill as he testified against a measure to restrict the adoption rights of same-sex couples. The bill has been called “revenge legislation” against Gill’s adoptive parents, a gay couple who were plaintiffs in a 2010 lawsuit that overturned Florida’s ban on same-sex adoptions.
- The anti-gay adoption bill passed the Florida House by a vote of 75 to 38. The bill would allow private adoption agencies to refuse to let same-sex couples adopt children.
- Having learned nothing from the Indiana backlash, Texas is considering its own “religious freedom” legislation.
- Likewise, Louisiana Republican governor Bobby Jindal is supporting a “religious freedom” bill in his state, that differs from those in other states in that it “specifically allows discrimination based on an individual’s belief about marriage.”
- Three Colorado Republican State senators killed a bill that would have outlawed the use of “conversion therapy” on LGBT minors.
- Wisconsin Republicans voted to ban employees of a state agency from doing any work related to climate change; they can’t even answer emails about climate change.
- Wisconsin governor Scott Walkers appointee to the state Public Service Commission, Mike Huebsch said at his confirmation that we shouldn’t try to reduce emissions to slow climate change, because “he elimination of essentially every automobile would be offset by one volcano exploding.”
- Alaska Republican State Sen. Click Bishop proposed fixing the state’s education funding problem with a new “education tax” — that hits the poor with a rate 10 times higher than the rich.
- Maine governor Paul LePage (R) revived legislation requiring welfare recipients to apply for at least three jobs before receiving aid.
- Missouri Republican State Rep. Rick Brattin introduced legislation prohibiting food stamps recipients from using their benefits to buy “cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak.” Fortunately Brattin’s bill has no co-sponsors, and anyway states aren’t allowed by federal law to make up new restrictions on food stamps.
- Tennessee wants to make it legal to carry weapons in public parks, just in time for an NRA convention in Nashville.
- Six Republican North Carolina lawmakers introduced legislation to keep students from learning about Plan B contraception.
- Ironically enough, North Carolina legislators have also introduced legislation to stop medical schools from teaching safe abortion procedures to medical students.
- Arkansas lawmakers passed legislation forcing doctors to tell women planning to take abortion-inducing medications that their abortions can be reversed if they change their minds.
- After asking themselves, “What would Jesus do?”, Iowa Republican State Rep. Rob Taylor and some of his colleagues turned their backs when Priestess Deborah Maynard of the People’s Church Unitarian Universalist Church delivered the first Wiccan invocation in the state legislature. Taylor admitted he had not turned his back during Islamic and Jewish prayers.
- Illinois Republican governor Bruce Rauner chose World Autism Day to cut funding for the state’s best-in-the-nation autism assistance programs — which earn or save $7 for every $1 spend on them.
Here’s the best of the rest in wingnuttery this week:
- Fox News host Greg Outfield may be the only person in America who watched the video of Walter L. Scott’s death at the hand of Officer Michael Slager who “didn’t see a black man killed by a white cop.”
- Even likely presidential candidate Ben Carson called Scott’s death an “assassination in the streets.”
- Civil rights attorney Leo Terrell walked off Sean Hannity’s show after black conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson said black should stop “overreacting” to Scott’s death, “because I don’t think Americans understand how angry and brainwashed these young black folks are.”
- Rand Paul ally Alex Jones declared that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “was totally set up.”
- Likely Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum quoted Westboro Baptist Church’s “God Hates Fags” slogan, to make an argument in defense of Indiana’s Religious Freedom law.
- Another likely 2016 candidate may have picked his Veep already. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said that “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson would make “a great running mate.”
- New Jersey governor Chris Christie, another Republican expected to throw his hat in the ring for 2016, was scolded about his temper by a kindergarten teacher at a town hall meeting. “You need to tone it down a little if you want to become President of the United States,” Cheryl Meyer told Christie.
- During a debate on Fox News, former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie told Iraq veteran Amber Smith that women shouldn’t be given an opportunity to join elite fighting unites, because “they don’t have a place.”
- Former congresswoman Michele Bachmann is like a cold sore. She pops up with alarming regularity. This week, Bachmann said that President Obama “has been the best friend of terrorists,” and that the proposed agreement with Iran “virtually guarantees, in my opinion, a World War III.”
- Fox New host Andrea Tantaros suggested that President Obama will “trade” Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to ISIS, if a jury doesn’t sentence him to death.
- During a radio interview, Sen. Tom Cotton (R, Arkansas) assured the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins that military action against Iran wouldn’t be lat the last was with Iraq, because we could take care if Iran with “several days of bombing.”
- A Florida-based tea party chapter issued a casting call for actors to post as protestors outside of a South Florida Water Management District meeting about a plan to purchase — and protect — a large swath of the Everglades. The gig paid $75 for two hours “work,” with no breakfast provided.
- Fox News host Bill O’Reilly compared anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people to forcing black to attend KKK meetings.
- O’Reilly is also the subject of a new ebook by Media Matters for America senior fellow Eric Boehlert. Killing Truth chronicles O’Reilly’s many fabrications about his like and his background as a journalist.
- Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R, Texas) told a group of Iowa homeschoolers that gays are waging a “jihad” against Christians.
- Right-wing activist Bob Vander Plaats told Iowa talk show host Steve Deace that Republicans can’t abandon its anti-gay stance, because “They’ll never win again” without they conservative Christian base.
- Focus on the Family founder James Dobson warned that a Supreme Court Ruling in favor of marriage equality would lead to civil war. “Talk about a Civil War,” Dobson said in a “documentary” by Janet Porter about how the gay rights movement will outlaw Christianity, “we could have another one over this.”
- Radio host Bryan Fisher was in full agreement with a caller who said that AIDS patients should sue gay organizations for “promulgating the lie that a behavior, a choice, is good because all it does is it increases their risk to disease, illness, and suffering.”
- Fischer, also outraged by President’s opposition to the use of ex-gay “conversion therapy” on young people, declared that “the same spirit that will one day animate the Antichrist is the spirit and the energy that is at work today in President Obama.”
- During one of his classic rants, Pat Robertson said he will never change his mind about gay marriage until someone can “show me one couple that conceived a child through anal — through anal intercourse.”