Saturday Links from The Political Carnival
Well, Rand Paul is at it again. After being caught plagiarizing passages from other people's work and passing them off as his own in speeches late last year, the junior Kentucky senator evidently hasn't learned his lesson. In making his un-heartfelt semi-apology after being confronted, he promised to correct this "oversight." via Talking Points Memo:
Paul was hammered by critics last year after news outlets uncovered a string of his speeches and op-eds that seemed to lift material from Wikipedia and other sources. He has since vowed to better vet his material and offer footnotes.
Okay, it happens. But Rand Paul should know better. Anyone who publishes or makes public speeches knows how easy it is to simply acknowledge the source of their materials, just like I did above with linking to Talking Points Memo for the passage above.
This latest theft of intellectual material stems from a class action law suit he's filed against President Obama regarding the NSA.
It's not just a large law suit, it is the largest class action suit ever filed.
Now its not to be unexpected that there would be some similarly worded "boiler plate" and references to the broken laws in the filing. But that's not the case here. It's more than that. Paul and his attorney, former Virginia Attorney General Ken "the Cooch" Cuccinelli allegedly stole or lifted entire passages from the work of another attorney, Bruce Fein, who recently served as an attorney for former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's father.
From the Washington Post's Dana Milbank:
But a Jan. 15 draft of the complaint written by Fein has long passages that are nearly identical to those in the complaint Cuccinelli filed Wednesday. Except for some cuts and minor wording changes, they are clearly the same documents.
Now the Cooch and Rand Paul's defense is not that they stole from Bruce Fein but that he did this work, (evidently quid pro quo) for some future consideration. Of course acknowledging this would have saved them a lot of embarrassment, but that's never been an issue for either Paul or the Cooch. The two shysters just slough this claim off by saying, again via TPM:
Doug Stafford, the executive director of Paul's political action committee RandPac, told Bloomberg Businessweek that “allegations that Bruce Fein was not paid are false, he was paid. Additionally, Bruce was one of several attorneys involved in this lawsuit.”
I know you were waiting for that three-letter word... But, it seems this is all news to Bruce Fein. He claims this is not true. He was never "hired" by them nor was he compensated.
Fein's ex-wife and spokeswoman, Mattie Fein, told Milbank that Cuccinelli stole "the work product, intellectual property and legal genius of Bruce Fein" without payment.
If you ask me, if anyone would know whether or not payment was made, it would be Fein's ex-wife and spokesperson. Who better than his ex-wife, knows and cares extensively whether or not her ex got paid? Future alimony payments could be affected.
So I'm going to leave it with you to sort this one out. Who do you believe, confessed plagiarist Senator Paul along with his extremist attorney the Cooch, or lawyer Bruce Fein and his ex-wife/spokesperson, Mattie Fein? It does make you ponder what's next from Senator Paul. A new Constitution that he'll take credit for that still has the faint signature of Thomas Jefferson on it? I hope Paul doesn't tire too soon from all the "heavy lifting" he's been doing during the campaign. He's fun to watch when caught -- he squirms and sweats profusely.
Republicans are positively out of control these days, aren't they? Why, it's almost as if GOP scandals are everywhere! That's because they are everywhere; if it's not one corrupt politician, it's another.
Here's a visual guide to some of the most recent culprits. Think of it as a pictorial road map that's so easy to follow, even a right wing nut job could understand it. And if I omitted any other obvious GOP Moments o' Disgrace that broke over the past couple of years or are currently rearing their ugly heads, please let me know. I'm still not myself yet, so the ol' brain is barely functioning:
Yesterday, India's Supreme Court struck down a law which makes some common heterosexual activity as well as homosexual contact punishable by prison.
In a major blow to gay rights in the world's largest democracy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a 2009 ruling by a lower court that had decriminalized gay sex.
"Criminalizing private, consensual same-sex sexual conduct violates the rights to privacy and to non-discrimination enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which India has ratified," Pillay said in a statement issued in Geneva.
"Yesterday's Supreme Court decision in this case represents a significant step backwards for India and a blow for human rights."
And speaking of blows, this Supreme Court finding also outlaws all "blowjobs" whether same sex or mixed.
The law criminalizes all acts of carnal intercourse other than heterosexual penile-vaginal intercourse, irrespective of consent.
This sounds like Ken Cuccinelli is the Chief Justice of the India Supreme Court. Fortunately, the outrage this finding has caused is now coming under review of the national congress in India. The Indian government under their rules, can override or rewrite this ruling.
The top court stated that India's government could change the law, deeming the Delhi High Court had overstepped its powers.
Let's hope saner minds take hold. Along the lines of this backward thinking by the India Supreme Court, here's a very short video that demonstrates what type of HARM this narrow thinking can cause --not just in India, but everywhere.
Those who victimize their loved ones don't realize the harm they do. Their ignorance results in shame and in some cases, far more severe outcomes.Victimization should be criminal. This video is an eye-opener. Imagine if this was your son these people were talking about! This is a definite must viewing:
While all the attention was going to Democrat Terry McAuliff's race against Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia's governorship, there were two other important, state-wide contests going on. The Commonwealth also elected a Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Ralph Northam and just a few hours ago, the close race for Attorney General was declared. It took nearly three weeks, but it's over -- unless there's a recount.
The winner is -- drum-roll please -- Mark Herring, also a Democrat. He prevailed by a 165 vote margin out of more than 2.2 million votes cast. This is well within the margin that could be justified for a recount. And this will probably be the case.
Herring's opponent, State Sen. Mark Obenshain is most likely going to ask for the recount. I mean, truthfully, why not?
With Herring having just been certified the winner today of the Attorney General's race, the Democrats have swept the top three offices in purple Virginia. And it's a final slap in the face to the tea party. And that's why Obenshain will probably ask for a recount. He's part of the Tea Party.
But will this narrow lead hold if a recount is demanded? It's hard to tell. There was the much criticized vote counting rules changes AFTER the election that nothing should surprise us. Maybe they'll change the rules again. Also there was the case of 5000 votes that were missing for three days in Democratic leaning Fairfax County that suddenly, under pressure from the Democrats, showed up. Imagine that? Those are the votes that put Herring into the lead for the first time. That's a lead he's held ever since. Who knows what other bags of ballots might turn up?
Also we must consider this -- it's losing Republican Gubernatorial candidate Cuccinelli, still the states Attorney General who will supervise this recount. He's the Tea Party darling who could try to go out with a bang -- clogging up the commonwealth's political machinery and a smooth transition of their justice department, for no other reason than he can. And he's not called 'the Cooch' for nothing.
The Cooch's political future in Virginia is probably gone. Obershain still has a possible election or two in his plans. The next step he takes will be noticed. Will he take it like a man, or like a Tea Party wimp? He has about ten days to decide.
This should be interesting.
Rachel Maddow revealed a remarkable newsflash last night that inexplicably hasn't made the media rounds yet. Please watch the entire video, but starting at around 14:00, she reports the following:
University of Virginia politics guru, Larry Sabato... reported for the first time something truly amazing about this story and Virginia politics. He reported today for the very first time that Ken Cuccinelli had in the works a plan for throwing Bob McDonnell out of office.
Remember, Ken Cuccinelli is the attorney general, Bob McDonnell is the governor. When in August and September, it first looked as though Governor McDonnell was going to be indicted by federal prosecutors, Ken Cuccinelli reportedly had a secret plan.
He, quote, planned a dramatic public break with Bob McDonnell by invoking a specific section of Article V of the Virginia constitution, which had never been used before in the entire history of the Virginia constitution. It's the part of the Virginia constitution that would allow other officers of the state government to throw the governor out! To declare the governor, quote, unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, thus throwing him out of office against his will, if he refused to quit.
Why did this not get reported until 48 hours after the election?
I mean, Ken Cuccinelli also took gifts from that guy. Ken Cuccinelli was totally implicated in that same scandal. Ken Cuccinelli didn't disclose his gifts from that guy. Initially, he waited until he was getting asked about it before he paid the gifts back. He never had any explanation for why he took those gifts for himself. He was never able to explain himself.
All the while, everybody's waiting for the indictment against Bob McDonnell, and Ken Cuccinelli is not able to distance himself from this horrible scandal, and he needed to be able to distance himself from it.
And all along, he had a plan to forcibly throw Bob McDonnell out of office?
This is amazing! why didn't we know before?
Cooch had a secret plan. Ken Cuccinelli had a secret plan for a coup to oust the scandal-ridden governor. The Cooch had a plan. There was going to be a coup.
Oh, my god, why didn't we know this before?
You are telling me there was -- I could have been -- you are telling me there was a secret Cucci Coup planned in Virginia?
All this time we didn't know about it. I could have been using this phrase all this time on TV, for months, since August? Virginia, do you realize what this does to me? I could have been using Cucci Coup as a banner on all of these slogans on all of these segments all of this time? Virginia, you are killing me. you are killing me, I am dead.
The Washingon Post is reporting that Ken Cuccinelli is every bit the infantile embarrassment we thought he was (my words, not theirs). Here is how they put it:
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) congratulated McAuliffe and pledged a “seamless and smooth” transition. As of late morning Wednesday, Cuccinelli had not called McAuliffe and had no plans to do so, according to two people close to the campaign.
TPM adds, "At a press conference later on Wednesday McAuliffe said he had still not heard from Cuccinelli."
Meantime the press is having a field day mocking VP Biden for calling the wrong Marty Walsh to congratulate him. But come on media, that's a mistake for the better. Biden may have goofed, but it was a good goof, a positive goof; at least he called. But are they saying as much about Kenny's little omission?
Get over it Cooch, TMac won, you lost. Apparently more voters are pro-sodomy, pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-union, pro-civil rights, and pro-Obamacare. Or anti-gun. Or anti-tea party. Or anti-you.
Now grow up, get yourself some manners and a sense of decency, borrow your mom's phone, and call McAuliffe.
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