Daily Archives: May 21, 2010

World according to Rand Paul

paul,randFresh from his GOP primary victory in Kentucky’s Senate race, Rand Paul caused a stir when he declined to say that he would have voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. On an array of issues, it’s like libertarian father (Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas), like son. The question is whether the younger Paul’s fans will embrace the whole of the candidate, whose past statements include:
– “I think it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant — but, at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.”
– “Our national security is not threatened by Iran having one nuclear weapon.”
– “I am against any federal funding or control of education.”

Cut won’t reduce abortions

abortionprotestOdds are that Gov. Mark Parkinson, for the second year, will overrule state legislators’ cut of federal funding to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. If so, he’ll be recognizing the reality that the pass-through federal dollars are not spent — and cannot lawfully be spent — on Planned Parenthood’s abortion services in Overland Park, but rather fund low-income health and family planning services at clinics in Wichita and Hays. A separate clinic in Dodge City also could be affected. Cutting the funding would not reduce the number of abortions in the state, but likely would increase the number of unplanned pregnancies. Is that what anti-abortion lawmakers really want?

Open thread 5/21


Oil spill can be motivator

gulfspillThe oil spill is an opportunity that President Obama seems prepared to miss, writes Thomas Friedman. “He is rightly hammering the oil company executives. But he is offering no big strategy to end our oil addiction. Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman have unveiled their new energy bill, which the president has endorsed but only in a very tepid way. Why tepid? Because Kerry-Lieberman embraces vitally important fees on carbon emissions that the White House is afraid will be exploited by Republicans in the midterm elections.” Friedman saw the same hopes dashed by President Bush after Sept. 11, when Friedman proposed a $1-a-gallon “Patriot Tax” on gasoline to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and slow climate change. “Instead, Bush told a few of us to go to war and the rest of us to go shopping,” Friedman writes. “So today, gasoline costs twice as much at the pump, with most of that increase going to countries hostile to our values, while China is rapidly becoming the world’s leader in wind, solar, electric cars and high-speed rail. Heck of a job.”