Rand Paul never got a degree from Baylor and never corrected the record

Rand Paul is at it again. Sam Stein:

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul was caught in a now-familiar campaign mishap on Thursday when it was revealed that he has failed to correct mistaken assumptions about his educational achievement.

Contrary to popular belief, the Tea Party favorite never received a bachelor's degree from Baylor University, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Paul attended the school but left for Duke University after being accepted into its School of Medicine.

The mistake, the campaign insisted, was made by the press. "I guess many people and some in the media have assumed Dr. Paul had a bachelor's degree, but he has never said that," Doug Stafford, a consultant for Paul's Senate campaign said.

As for why the Paul campaign never asked publications to run a correction, Stafford insisted that the candidate and his aides were not aware that the erroneous assertion had ever been made.

Naturally, video was bound to surface testing that claim. And by Thursday afternoon, Paul's opponent Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway had unearthed footage of Paul sitting through an interview with the Louisville Courier Journal editorial board in which his bio was read to him as follows:

"Dr. Paul is the chairman and founder of Kentucky Taxpayers United. A native of Pennsylvania he is a graduate of Baylor University and the Duke University School of Medicine."

I'm shocked that Rand even went to Duke. Why didn't he start his own medical school to get his degree just like he did when he started his ophthalmologist certification group?

Instead he starts his own rival group "National Board of Ophthalmology."

He is listed as the group's president; his wife, Kelley, is listed as vice president; and his father-in-law is listed as secretary. Paul and his relatives receive no salaries from the organization, his campaign said.

Maybe his father could have been the principal of his new medical school...

And the only reason he's running is because of his father.

If you support a woman's right to choose then you're out of luck with Rand. Do we really need another Ben Nelson on this issue? The only thing he really has going for him is his father's name. I've heard many bloggers complain about nepotism being used to get elected to Congress and to acquire very sweet jobs on TV. As Scott Horton and Digby point out--rightfully so--that Paul's beliefs fall in line with your basic country club conservative republican, except he'll be more extreme. "Baby" Paul is nothing without Poppa Bear.

This man is unqualified to hold a position in Congress.



Blue America's Build-a-"Beat Boehner" Billboard Contest is Rocking

Our new Beat Boehner campaign which is highlighted by our push to buy as many as three billboards in Boehner's district has been doing incredibly well. Both the AFL-CIO and PFAW have been ecstatic at the results so far and are helping to fund this endeavor along with you. And you know, Boehner will hate this. He'll have to see these whenever he goes home, but more importantly, he'll also know that residents in his district will be seeing it every single day because they aren't either in DC sprouting off nonsense like defending K Street's wish to get rid of any type of regulation or out golfing all day long.

Here are all six billboards. Each graphic is a live link to its respective fundraising page. So just click on the one you like best and... vote. Which one receives the most donations goes up first. If we raise enough money, then we'll have a few running at the same time.


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Digby writes:

We've been getting an amazing response, far exceeding our expectations. We may just be able to keep the billboards up until the election.

Reminder: You can vote by clicking on the image below you like best. We'll choose the billboard design that gets the most "votes"-- a vote being defined as a contribution, regardless of amount. (In other words, whether you give $1.00 or $100, it's one vote.)

Each billboard is a live link to its respective fundraising page. Click on the one you like best and vote for it.

Howie Klein writes:

Now the good news: our friends at the AFL-CIO and People For the American Way Voters Alliance are big fans of Justin Coussoule, the progressive Democrat running against Boehner, and each is offering to match whatever you donate on this page. So... give $10 and the billboard fund winds up with $30. How's that for a deal? If you want to read more about Justin, we did a live blogging session with him at Crooks and Liars back in April.

And how did we come up with this idea?

Blue America was inspired by Boehner's golfing prowess and suggestions by Congressmen Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Alan Grayson (D-FL) to get a golfing billboard up in southwest Ohio to remind voters there what Boehner does with his time.



Blue America Special: Alan Grayson joins C&L for a Live Chat! "Peace Party"

If any of you have been over the Daily Kos or many other progressive blogs recently you know that today is the day of Alan Grayson's Peace Party --- a fundraiser to help Grayson keep his seat in this fall's election:

On JUNE 28, 1919, the United States put an end to a world war, after less than two years of fighting. In 1945, the United States ended another world war, after less than four years of fighting. But in 2010, we are embroiled in two wars, after almost nine years of fighting.

When will it end? When Blackwater and Halliburton say so? When we’re all broke?

It’s time that someone spoke out for peace.

Indeed. And it's not surprising that the person speaking out for peace today is none other than the progressive congressman from Florida. I don't know about you, but I am convinced that it takes political fighters to keep us out of war, and there's no smarter or more effective fighter in the Democratic Party than Alan Grayson.

Who else says things like this?

"Imagine if we had decided after 9/11 to wean ourselves off oil and other carbon-based fuels. We'd be almost ten years into that project by now.

"Imagine if George W. Bush had somehow been able to summon the moral strength of Mahatma Gandhi, Helen Keller, or Martin Luther King Jr, and committed the American people to the pursuit of a common goal of a transformed society, a society which meets our own human needs rather than declaring "war" on an emotion, or, as John Quincy Adams put it, going "abroad, in search of monsters to destroy".

"Imagine.

"Imagine that we chose not to enslave ourselves to a massive military state whose stated goal is "stability" in countries that never have been "stable", and never will be."

Blue America was the first Netroots PAC to endorse Grayson when he decided to run. None of the Very Serious People in politics thought he could win in what was a Republican district but we don't base our endorsements solely on electability, so that wasn't relevant. We felt he had a good chance and we knew that if he won, he would be an articulate and passionate advocate for our values. He has exceeded our expectations, to say the least.

One of the reasons Grayson can be so outspoken is that he takes no special interest money from businesses his committees oversee and so depends on small donations more than other politicians. So far, the netroots have come through for him, giving him an independent funding base and allowing him to operate with much more freedom than the average representative. Today, he's asking for your help again. If you can spare a few bucks, now's the time.

The world is full of supposedly indispensable men and women, virtually none of whom are actually indispensable. Grayson, in my view, is the exception. The progressive movement needs this man in congress, serving as an example of intelligent, aggressive, principled progressivism and hopefully building up a paradigm for others to follow.

Please donate to Grayson's campaign and help keep the progressive movement's most powerful spokesman in office for another term.



Alan Grayson to join C&L at 4:30 PDT/7:30 EDT PM for a Special Live Chat UPDATED: Now 5 pm PDT

Media error

Alan Grayson is joining Blue America on C&L today at 4:30 PST/7:30 EST [UPDATED] 5 PM for a Special Live Chat to help with his fundraising effort. Because the Congressman is so popular and willing to fight for American families like other Democrats refuse to do, he's become a major target for the GOP and their tea party off shoot. He'll be here talking about his new bill, "The War is Making You Poor Act, HR 5353," as well as his new speech which he premiered here Friday based on Eisenhower's "Chance for Freedom' Speech. Please join us later today.

Send Democrats and Tea Partiers a message in the process.



OFA should be ashamed of itself for supporting a putrid Blue Dog like Jim Matheson in Utah

Blue America must be shaking Jim Matheson up since we threw our support behind Claudia Wright in the upcoming primary. I know, you're thinking, could a progressive win an election in the state of "Big Love?" I think she has a chance to beat out a terrible Blue Dog, but in the end we're still sending a powerful message to the Dems. The culture to support an incumbent by Congress is very problematic for a variety of reasons. At times it's a smart play, but as we've seen with this White House, when they support a Joe Lieberman for example, they get nothing in return except for headaches.

Jim Matheson is a terrible Blue Dog who votes with Republicans to recommit bills all the time. As an example, he voted to recommit the hate crimes bill which was a favorite target for Tony Perkins and the Focus on the Family's of the extreme religious right. Luckily they lost and the bill passed.

And since we backed Claudia, Matheson suddenly stands up on the floor of Congress and demands the repeal of DADT. You see a pattern here, right?

OFA is also putting out the call to arms in support of Matheson:

Down with Tyranny:

Wednesday night Obama's inexperienced and astoundingly incompetent political team struck again. This time OFA head Mitch Stewart, who reports to conservative Democratic shill Tim Kaine at the DNC-- a bastion of people power under Howard Dean, now, once again, a failing cog in the corporate machine-- sent out an emergency letter to Utah Democrats begging Obama to help save the mangy ass of anti-healthcare, anti-Choice, anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-reform corporatist and Blue Dog Jim Matheson, whose support has been crumbling as Tuesday's primary nears. With Claudia Wright surging and Matheson panicking, OFA asked Democrats to forget Matheson's putrid voting record-- not putrid by GOP standards; he's one of the original Boehner Boys-- and remember that there was one vote sometime this year where Matheson voted with Obama:

President Obama needs us to elect strong allies who will help him continue his fight for change. This week, one of those allies-- Utah Rep. Jim Matheson-- needs our help. The primary election is June 22nd, so there's no time to lose. [Please kick me if I vote for Obama in 2012, even if the GOP runs Palin or Romney.]

Rep. Jim Matheson stood with the President in support of the Recovery Act in 2009-- creating or saving 25,000 jobs in Utah and helping millions more around the country. He fought hard for the recovery-- and was a major reason we all won this huge victory for families and small businesses. Now, we need your help to fight for him.

Can you help us get the word out? With our Neighbor to Neighbor tool, you can easily make calls from home to voters in Utah's 2nd Congressional District.

Yes, we do expect OFA to do the same thing for John Barrow because Blue America's Regina Thomas is running well in Georgia. In this time of unrest on the progressive side I think Blue America has stood tall and we're holding as many Blue Dogs accountable as possible. It took the conservative movement decades to carve up their party and we've been underway helping to elect as many progressives as we can because our policies actually would help Americans and their families instead of Big Corp.

Digby writes:

That OFA message is terribly misleading. The stimulus was the only vote Matheson took in support of the president's agenda. This makes it sound as if he's been a stalwart supporter and it's just ... a lie. If there's one thing we should demand of the White House and Party if they intervene in primaries (which they shouldn't do in the first place) it's that they don't pull that crap on their own voters. They can make the case that Matheson has seniority or that he's more likely to beat the Republican if that's what they think, but this is really dishonest. He is not an ally of the president unless the president is ready to concede that he's working behind the scenes with Republicans to tank his own agenda. (Well ...)

I hope the membership of the OFA is savvy enough to do their own research although you can't blame them for trusting the Party and the White House not to lie to them in quite this way. Who would guess that they would try to elect someone who repeatedly votes with the Republicans over someone who will vote with the Democratic majority most of the time? To anyone who doesn't subscribe to conspiracy theories, it just doesn't make sense.

It is possible to win Utah and Georgia and Blue America did a great job in 2008. I didn't endorse a presidential candidate and neither did Blue America:

Although pressured to do so, Blue America didn't endorse anyone in the presidential primary-- or even in the general election-- last time around. In the primary we didn't feel there was anyone really worth endorsing enough to take our efforts and resources away from helping elect now Congressmembers Alan Grayson, Gary Peters, Carol Shea-Porter and Donna Edwards...

As Digby sez, please Send a Message to the Democrats.



Blanche Lincoln's a lying liar: ads, attacks on Bill Halter based on blatant deceptions

Media error

(Audio via The Nation)

You can donate to Bill Halter's campaign on our Send The Democrats a Message page.

Blanche Lincoln must be real desperate at this point, and this article by John Brummett in Arkansas proves Blue America was right on the mark by taking her on when most people never heard of her back in 2009.

On the day that Lt. Gov. Bill Halter formally accepted the draft of national left-wing activists and announced he would run in the Democratic primary against U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, a person close to Lincoln told me Blanche was going to get tough.

There is a difference, though, between getting tough and getting bogus.

Lincoln’s first salvo was dishonest. The second was a smear...read on

Brummett rips her badly, but accurately. The Nation then catches her lying in radio ads to the African American voters in her district on health care. She has the audacity to say that she stood tall on health care.

Describing Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln's position on healthcare reform as a flip-flop doesn't do justice to her political flexibility. During a year of contentious debate on President Obama's signature domestic priority, she's been all over the map.

In July 2009, she offered her support for Obama's healthcare plan and his inclusion of a public insurance option. "Individuals should be able to choose from a range of quality health insurance plans," she wrote in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "Options should include private plans as well as a quality, affordable public plan or non-profit plan that can accomplish the same goals as those of a public plan."

Yet two months later, after the public option came under fire from insurance companies and Tea Partiers, Lincoln changed her tune. "I would not support a solely government-funded public option," she said on September 1 in Little Rock. "We can't afford that." She vowed to filibuster any healthcare bill that included the public option she once supported, even though 56 percent of Arkansans backed the provision.

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Now, in an attempt to court the Obama voters she's repelled throughout the past year, Lincoln is running ads on African-American radio in Arkansas claiming she "stood with our president to pass healthcare reform." The ad continues: "Even though the Tea Party and insurance companies attacked Blanche Lincoln, she never abandoned our president, nor you." Listen to the ads below.

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"Who is Blanche Lincoln trying to fool on healthcare?" says the narrator. "Here's the deal: she didn't stand up to the special interests, she worked for them. She sided with those Republicans who tried to kill President Obama's reforms unless insurance company profits were protected. Insurance companies and HMOs rewarded Lincoln with more the $800,000 in campaign cash...Senator Lincoln, my people aren't fooled. Bill Halter is the one who'll stand up for us." In addition to the healthcare ads, Lincoln has been touting her "A" rating from the NAACP, which the organization's Arkansas chapter takes issue with. "If I had to grade her even on health care reform she definitely wouldn't get an A," said Dale Charles, president of the Arkansas NAACP. "She'd maybe get a C minus.

Digby writes:

She deserves absolutely no support from her African American constituents. She voted for the Senate bill only after extreme coercion and we'll never know if she would have voted for the final conference bill. She didn't vote for the reconciliation fix, so I'm thinking probably not. In any case, she was an enemy of the kind of health care reform that her Democratic constituents preferred and made it more difficult to pass anything at all every step of the way.

She certainly does have chutzpah, though, in trying to send this message under the radar. I suppose she thinks that her Republican rivals won't use it against her because it's playing on black radio stations. Good luck with that.



Help us decide our next Blue America action!

http://www.actblue.com/page/healthcarechoice

We had great news yesterday as our Blue America ads against Senator Blanche Lincoln pushed her to shift positions and begin to talk about actually supporting a vibrant public option for health-care reform. She was a little fuzzy, but still stated a fundamentally different position than she had before the action.

Greg Sargent broke the story, and TPM weighed in as follows: Amid Pressure From Party Leaders And Reformers, Blanche Lincoln Now Open To A Public Option

The ads are running as we speak, so congratulations to all of you for helping make that possible. We're not done with Blanche, but we are having discussions to plot out our next move. I've been focused on the people involved in crafting the health-care reform legislation and the name Max Baucus comes to mind for me, but that doesn't mean we can't focus on somebody like Evan Bayh.

Howie Klein has more:

So where does that leave the Blue America community? Our first batch of TV spots started running all over Arkansas today. We're talking about putting the second wave on hold now that Lincoln (and Pryor) seem to be moving in the right direction. We'll re-assess in a week. Meanwhile, we're trying to decide what state our next target should be. Pennsylvania, where Republican-Democrat hybrid freak Arlen Specter take even more outrageous bribes from the Medical-Industrial Complex and Big Insurance than Lincoln and who is playing a devious behind the scenes role in trying to water down the effectiveness of a public option at the behest of his patrons?

Or how about Iowa, the home of Chuck Grassley, the Republican tasked by the Insurance Industry with being on the front line of offense against the entire concept of "robustness"in a public option. As ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee-- something he held onto rather than take on that position on the Judiciary Committee for the specific purpose of working with his pal Max Baucus to weaken any reform to the point of making it ineffective-- Grassley makes an excellent target of opportunity. He also has to face a politically well-educated voting base in a blue-trending state in 2010. Or maybe you have another suggestion? Let us know-- and, please, continue donating to the Campaign for Health Care Choice. We can make this work, one crooked senator at a time!

Anyway, we'd love to hear what you have to say. Maybe one of you can come up with an excellent action that we can take. We are all ears.

And don't forget to keep the funds rolling into Blue America's Campaign for Heath Care Choice. We're close to raising 25K and we'll need to reload to continue on.



Alan Grayson, a real maverick, takes on the lack of vacation time and the Fed

Blue American’s Alan Grayson has been a maverick -- I mean the real kind -- since he was elected to Congress when nobody said he had a chance to win except of course Blue America. And he is becoming a real leader and not a follower. First, he’s trying to get a bill passed that really does help working-class America:

Howie Klein:

Alan is introducing a bill, the first in (American) history, that guarantees paid vacations. (France guarantees a month of paid vacation per year.)

The bill's provisions, which are expected to meet stiff opposition from Republicans and Blue Dogs poll exceedingly well among average Americans. Nearly 70% of Americans support the idea. This is what Grayson's legislation would accomplish: • Requires one week of paid vacation for employees of companies with at least 100 employees. Three years after passage, the bill extends this requirement to companies with at least 50 employees, and requires two weeks for companies with 100 employees.

• Covers workers after one year on the job. Part-timers must work 25 or more hours a week and 1250 hours per year to be covered.

Read on.

You can be sure that the Blue Dogs and Evan Bayh’s garrison of phonies will do everything they can to block it, but at least Americans are seeing what a good and better Democrat can do.

Now he’s trying to audit the Federal Reserve to see exactly where the 2 trillion dollars that they dished out went.

Jane Hamsher writes:

Last month Charles Grassley tried to push a bill through the Senate which called for the Fed to be audited, but Richard Shelby watered it down before it passed. Now there are 165 cosponsors of Ron Paul's Federal Reserve Transparency Act in the House, but 135 of them are Republicans. (Bernie Sanders stands alone sponsoring the bill in the Senate.)

Alan Grayson is trying to bring Democrats on board: The Federal Reserve has refused multiple inquiries from both the House and the Senate to disclose who is receiving trillions of dollars from the central banking system. The Federal Reserve has redacted the central terms of the no-bid contracts it has issued to Wall Street firms like Blackrock and PIMCO, without disclosure required of the Treasury, and is participating in new and exotic programs like the trillion-dollar TALF to leverage the Treasury’s balance sheet.

Continue reading »




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