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Saturday, April 21, 2018

If you haven’t seen the video or photos yet, trust me, you will. Rand Paul in blue scrubs and hiking boots, bringing sight to the blind in an operating room in Guatemala — could there be a more perfect visual for a White House hopeful? And that’s before we even get to the metaphors about restoring vision and fixing problems.

A flattering segment on NBC’s Meet the Press was just the start of extracting the gold from this rich political vein. Campaign ads inevitably will feature video of the senator-surgeon performing the pro bono eye operations, as will a Citizens United documentary about Paul. The conservative group sent a camera crew and a drone to shoot footage him in action in Guatemala.

Let’s stipulate that whatever you think of Paul’s views or the political entourage he brought along, the Kentucky Republican transformed lives on that trip. It was a wonderfully compassionate volunteer act — and that’s where things get complicated.

Paul has been working steadily to create his personal brand of compassionate conservatism, and it’s more substantive than outreach. His causes include restoring voting rights to felons, reforming drug sentencing laws and — after Ferguson — demilitarizing the police. He is a champion of charter schools, which many black parents are seeking out for their children. He has proposed economic incentives to try to revive Detroit. He and Democratic senator Cory Booker are pushing legislation to make it easier for people to create new lives — including expunging or sealing convictions for some juveniles and lifting bans on post-prison food stamps and welfare benefits for some offenders.

All of that is broadly appealing. It’s also consistent with libertarian and conservative principles such as more personal choice, less government intrusion, lower taxes and — in the case of the prison and sentencing reforms — saving government money by reducing recidivism and prison populations. The emphasis is on the “conservative” part of the phrase.

The man who invented the brand and rode it all the way to the White House, George W. Bush, focused on the compassion part. To the dismay of conservatives, he enlarged the federal role in education (he called it “the civil rights issue of our time” and signed the No Child Left Behind Act) and spent a bundle of borrowed money to fight AIDS in Africa, launch a Medicare prescription drug program and try to impose democracy on Iraq.

What you might call fair-weather compassion — compassion that’s limited to policies that cut spending or, at the very least, don’t cost more — is a conservative hallmark in the post-Bush era. But Paul trumped his colleagues and won plaudits from groups like FreedomWorks with a 2013 budget that would have balanced in a lightning-fast five years. It repealed the Affordable Care Act and killed the departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development. It also privatized Medicare, allowed private Social Security accounts, and shifted Medicaid and food stamps — designed to grow and shrink depending on need — to a system of capped grants to the states. “Gut” was the liberal verb of choice.

Paul’s 2011 budget blueprint would have phased out all foreign aid. “This would cause misery for millions of people on AIDS treatment. It would betray hundreds of thousands of children receiving … malaria treatment,” former Bush aide Michael Gerson said last weekend on NBC after the Paul-in-Guatemala segment aired. “This is a perfect case of how a person can have good intentions but how an ideology can cause terrible misery.”

The ACA, with its premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion, is designed to help just the types of people Paul served in Guatemala. In fact, more than 290,000 newly eligible people had signed up for Medicaid in his home state by mid-April. Yet last year Paul was willing to shut down the government in an attempt to defund the law.

Paul did not release a budget this year, and he said in May that he is “not sure” that Kentucky’s ACA insurance marketplace (Kynect) should be dismantled. Is he giving himself some room to maneuver? Unclear. He continues to favor repeal of the entire ACA and seems most concerned about its impact on local hospitals. One had to lay off 50 people due to the law, he said, so “now we’ve got more people in the wagon, and less people pulling the wagon.”

What he said was debatable — CNHI News Service reported that the hospital, T.J. Samson in Glasgow, is expected to do better financially under the new health law than it did under previous policies. Beyond that, does Paul really want to snatch Medicaid away from nearly 300,000 of his least fortunate constituents? The answer to that question will help determine whether those compassionate images from Guatemala are merely images, or something more.

Follow Jill Lawrence on Twitter @JillDLawrence. To find out more about Jill Lawrence and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo: Talk Radio News Service via Flickr

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63 Responses to Rand Paul’s Fair-Weather Compassion

  1. Talk about being two-faced; there’s no better example of that than Rand Paul. One of America’s greatest narcissistic opportunists!!

  2. Like all Republicans, Paul’s interest in charity wanes whenever nobody can see him doing it. Like his father before him, all he wants to do is help himself.

    Yes, Paul absolutely wants to snatch Medicaid away from 300,000 of his constituents. I would even be willing to suggest that he is hoping all 300,000 of them will die because of it. After all, if they all die before 2016, they won’t be around to vote against him.

  3. What you might call fair-weather compassion — compassion that’s limited to policies that cut spending or, at the very least, don’t cost more — is a conservative hallmark in the post-Bush era. But [Rand] Paul trumped his colleagues and won plaudits from groups like FreedomWorks with a 2013 budget that would have balanced in a lightning-fast five years. It repealed the Affordable Care Act and killed the departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development. It also privatized Medicare, allowed private Social Security accounts, and shifted Medicaid and food stamps — designed to grow and shrink depending on need — to a system of capped grants to the states. “Gut” was the liberal verb of choice.

    In other words, it was a right-wing wet dream of a budget–or, in still other words, a total nonstarter.

    Rand Paul has an uphill battle persuading people that libertarians don’t pop out of Swiss clocks on the hour, and a budget proposal like this one won’t help.

  4. Rand Paul is another of the GOP’s loathesome control freaks. Power is all this Twerpie Generation GOP bull has in mind. The more power he amasses, the bigger his conceit and ego grows.

    I don’t vote for politicians with egos bigger than Zeppelins. On my list of those I consider the least likely to make the White House, Rand Paul is No. 2, after Numero Uno, Paul Ryan. Cruz is No. 3.

    These are young, middle aged white males who have yet to spend a day breaking a real sweat at any job. Lily white hands, expensive suits and Dress for Success ties are all these guys know.

    When it comes down to how good a job they will do for the people of the US, they are downright fools of the Koch bois. But, they Koch bois have theirs coming…sooner than later. They bigger they believe they are, the louder and harder their crash will be.

    Remember Kenny Boy Lay? Jeff Skilling? Madoff? Thought they were the best thing to happen to Americans since Mom and apple pied. Their fall was just dessert for the billions they stole from Main Street Americans.

    • This reminds me of one of the routines of metaphysical comedian Swami Beyondananda (the Yogi from Muscogee). Paraphrased (I don’t have the source available), it tells about a unique spiritual path which “concentrates all of one’s spiritual energy, or “chi,” towards making money.” He calls it “chi-ting” and says that many people have become real pros at chi-ting. But of course a PRO can very quickly become a CON!

      • Sometimes, when men in government begin to believe in their autonomous power, their hummingbird brains overload their cow mouths. This is what McConnell is doing at present. He and Rand Paul are a pair that need to be reminded in the harshest way possible their decision making isn’t born of their personal need for power.

        McConnell is beginning to sound more like a dictator with Rand Junior Johnny Jump Up salivating to take McConnell podium star spot.

        The joke us people up north have little respect for men who believe their are the only voice of government. We know better.

        The more these Joi Bois flap their gums, the more they sink all hope of any Republican taking the House or Senate. If they get “too powerful” the Constitution provides for their removal.

  5. Instead of bashing Rand Paul’s political tactics and stunts, which mimic what other highly successful politicians, such as Ronald Reagan did, we would be well advised to pay attention to the way things get done when the job is to brainwash the naive and win elections. Posting lists of facts on the Internet or popular social media forums, is not going to do the trick. For better or worse, many American voters are more inclined to vote for whomever comes up with a good retort or a nice visual than for someone who spends an hour explaining graphs to an indifferent audience, like Carter did.

  6. Ambition is no excuse for maiming half the nation. He had to license himself in order to work as an eye Doctor- good Doctors don’t have to do that.

    • This is a good example of liberals failing to take advantage of chance to inform people about just how radical Ron Paul really is. He formed his own board to certify himself to do eye surgery!! Since that board is now defunct he can’t even claim to have this kind of certification. People need to know if Paul gets elected they will be living in a libertarion’s dream country where people can legally certify themselves to perform surgery. The fact that Paul actually did this is clear proof that he is a libertarian extremist, that it is not just posturing.

      Liberals need to make it clear that many Republicans like Rand Paul take Ayn Rand’s crackpot, nasty philosophy seriously and they need to make sure that the public knows what she really stood for instead of letting guys like Paul Ryan distance themselves from their worship of her ideas. There are readily available video clips of Ryan praising Rand and of her telling Mike Wallace that altruism is evil (which would turn off a lot of right wing Christians if they had a clue).

  7. Paul is DOING GOOD while Obama PUTTS. If the left would actually do some good rather than try to tear down the good deads of others this nation might actually start to truely recover!

    • Oh come on!! Paul’s not doing this out of the goodness of his heart, he’s doing it to make political points because he wants to run for president in 2016. Rand Paul is one of the biggest opportunists in America.

      And stop bringing up Obama taking a few days away from Washington to give himself and his family a break from the White House. He’s taken around 150 days off when at the same time in his presidency, Bush Jr. had taken over 375 days off. And Obama has taken 20 trips away from Washington when Bush 2 had taken almost triple that – around 60.

      And here’s something you clueless RWNJs need to wise up to:

      5 Myths about presidential vacations

      1. Presidents get vacations.

      “Presidents don’t get vacations — they just get a change of scenery,” Nancy Reagan once said in defense of her husband’s frequent trips to his ranch in Santa Barbara, Calif.

      In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don’t so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go. Some 200 people accompany a president on vacation — including White House aides, Secret Service agents, military advisers, and experts in communications and transportation — to ensure that, while on vacation, the president can do nearly everything he could accomplish in Washington.

      He continues to receive daily intelligence and national security briefings while on vacation. Presidents also continue to tape weekly radio broadcasts, hold news conferences, attend political fundraisers and occasionally, as Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan did, entertain British royalty.

      Vacations don’t stop presidents from making major decisions. For example, Reagan was enjoying a quiet weekend at Camp David when he decided to fire striking air-traffic controllers in 1981.

      2. Presidential vacations harm the national agenda.

      This past week, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank accused Obama of “tone deafness” for going forward with his vacation while the world was in crisis. But when is the world not in crisis?

      A vacation can provide a president with that most precious and rare of commodities in the Oval Office: time to relax and think — including time to think about how to deal with a crisis.

      Shortly after his reelection to a third term in 1940, Roosevelt was criticized for taking a 10-day fishing trip in the Caribbean while Britain was under assault by Nazi Germany. But FDR used that rare opportunity for reflection to devise his ingenious Lend-Lease program, which would provide vital aid to Britain to stave off the Nazi attack.

      Presidents often feel the need to assure Americans that they’re using their vacations productively. Karl Rove, adviser to President George W. Bush, always alerted the media to the scholarly books the president intended to read while on vacation.

      It is also unlikely that Obama would have held a news conference on Iraqthis past week had he remained in Washington, but he did so while at Martha’s Vineyard to refute claims that he was seemingly “detached as the world burns.”

      3. George W. Bush took more vacation days than any other president.

      During his eight-year presidency, Bush did take 879 days of vacation, including 77 trips to his Texas ranch. So far, Obama has taken about 150 days off.

      To see the other 2 myths go here:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-presidential-vacations/2014/08/15/2aa969c6-2311-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html?wpisrc=nl_most

      • Keep
        believing your propaganda. The truth is obama vacations while the middle east
        burns, obama putts while Putin invades. There is no way you are going to
        convince any THINKING American that obama has the best interests of America at
        heart! He is utterly lost. Not any kind of Leader. At least Chamberlain didn’t
        know of Hitler’s death camps when he had his worthless treaty signed. Obama
        watched the terror on the TV and choose to sit by. And save the boots on the
        ground crap. We do have an Air Force that could carpet bomb these animals to
        ash. We just need a LEADER unafraid of his leftist base.

        • And let’s see you come up with all those great things Paul has done which even come close to one or two of Obama’s accomplishments listed here:

          Here’s just a partial list of Obama’s accomplshments:

          – Obama’s policies have resulted in the highest level of consumer confidence in the past 7 years

          – Obama’s policies have resulted in a stock
          Market that’s at the highest levels in history restoring retirement accounts for millions of American seniors that were trashed under Bush administration

          -Obama has been the smallest spending
          president since Eisenhower.

          -Obama has reduced deficit spending faster
          than any president since Truman.

          -There have been more than 54 straight months
          of job growth with more jobs created in last 5 years than Bush created in 8 years (Bush left office with more than 400,000 less people working in America
          than when he took office)

          -Obama ended the war in Iraq – AS PROMISED

          –The 9/11 perpetrator, bin Laden, was eliminated and al Qaeda severely weakened

          -The war in Afghanistan is almost wound down –
          AS PROMISED

          -Millions more students are receiving college
          loans than ever before because of Obama cutting the banks out of the loan process despite total inaction by the GOP members of congress

          – Obama saved the American auto Industry from
          bankruptcy and it’s flourishing again despite GOP

          opposition; making profits not seen since Clinton was in office.

          -More than 150 billion in taxes have been collected from auto industry related companies and workers over the past 5 years that would have been lost in industry went bankrupt

          -More than 1.5 million American jobs were saved through bailout helping keep America out of the GOP’s second created world-wide depression

          -Obama started a war on fraud in the defense
          and healthcare sectors with more fraudulently charged monies recovered (billions) and crooks brought to justice than had been recovered by the 3 prev. pres. combined

          -More PROBLEM illegal aliens have been rounded
          up and deported over the past 5 years than by any other president (more than 1.5 million)

          -Obama’s stimulus program energized America
          green

          energy initiatives such that alternative energies (solar, wind, hydro and plasma) may well make fossil fuels obsolete within the next 10 plus years.

          -More gas and oil pumped out of the ground

          the past 3 years than at any other tine in US in history; America is now the largest energy producer on the planet supplanting Russia and Saudi Arabia for that title.

          -America’s relationships restored with virtually all it’s international partners after Bush had virtually the whole world hating America (and that included the British people).

          Obama has accomplished more in last 6 years than any president since FDR

  8. What a worthless article! If someone does something good, good for all of us. I’m sure we wouldn’t vote for the new Mother Teresa if she proposed Rand Paul policies. And how are the people of Kentucky “suffering” from his policies? Paul is a member of the US Senate, which is not, and based on the primaries, will not any time soon be led by the Tea Party. If the people of Kentucky are “suffering” from what gets through the Senate, that would be a statement about the Democrat leadership. I sure hope that’s not what the author means.

    • Not sure what article you were reading, the only place I find the article referring to people suffering is with respect to those who are struggling with AIDS because Paul would stupidly shut down all foreign aid. What he and most politicians neglect to point out, is that studies done of U.S. foreign aid over the past 2-3 decades have shown that for each $1 of foreign aid the U.S. has provided, on average, America has realized $4 of economic benefit in return.

      But what would make the people of Kentucky suffer in a number of ways is if Paul was successful in getting one of his idiotic budgets passed which would not only destroy several critical government departments, but would also do this (from the article):

      The ACA, with its premium subsidies and Medicaid expansion, is designed to help just the types of people Paul served in Guatemala. In fact, more than 290,000 newly eligible people had signed up for Medicaid in his home state by mid-April. Yet last year Paul was willing to shut down the government in an attempt to defund the law.

      Paul did not release a budget this year, and he said in May that he is “not sure” that Kentucky’s ACA insurance marketplace (Kynect) should be dismantled. Is he giving himself some room to maneuver? Unclear. He continues to favor repeal of the entire ACA and seems most concerned about its impact on local hospitals. One had to lay off 50 people due to the law, he said, so “now we’ve got more people in the wagon, and less people pulling the wagon.”

      And Paul LIED about the latter or purposely distorted truth- it is possible that some hospitals may have had to lay off workers, but for the most part, that’s been because states have not implemented ACA quickly enough. A number of red states are seeing hospital closings because they refused to expand Medicaid. Even the red state of Arizona, has projected that over then next 2-3 years that hospitals will need to hire as many as 15,000 more workers because people will be using hospitals as they should be, and not just running to the ERs as if they were nothing more than walk-in clinics.

      And a number of hospitals in states like Washington and Colorado have actually recorded profits for the first time in their existence, because ACA has reduced the number of people coming in for treatment they can’t pay for by as much as 30-40%. Even Arizona hospitals have seen a sharp drop in its uninsured rate which they are projecting will save the state millions it doesn’t to spend
      reimbursing Arizona hospitals.

        • What does whether or not the Senate would pass Paul’s lowlife budget have to do with exonerating him from wanting to do such a heartless thing??

          Is that the way you judge politicians?? By what YOU THINK they may actually be able to get pushed through Congress? rather than by what their evil hearts are really wanting the American people to be subjected too?? If so, then you’re no better than they are!! And you deserve whatever nefarious thing happens to you.

          • If you READ the comments, I am not defending Paul, I am questioning the article. The article makes claims that are unreal. All it does is motivate someone like you to say hateful things about Paul and posters. That makes the article truly sick.

          • You may want to read the comments. I know you want to go on talking about hating Paul, but my point is that he and the Tea Party do not have enough support to do anything except make sure Republicans lose seats in the Senate and House. An article that states that Paul is causing harm is worthless, no matter how foul his positions may be, because they won’t be implemented.

  9. The “real” phony compassion is by Obama & the Democrats promising everything for votes when they know that eventually the bills will come due & we will never be able to pay for them. S.S. & Medicare are collapsing & the Democrat Party & Obama refuse to shore it up, leading to much misery in the future for Millions of Americans. Most Americans do not even save because they expect the “Government” to take care of them. When the time comes, there will be mass chaos, but they only worry about power, lefty ideology & re-election “today”! ! !

    • Social Security is not collapsing – it is solvent. The ACA has strengthened Medicare. Why don’t you check out facts before you post such drivel? And to state that most Americans do not save because they expect the government to take care of them is pure GOP nonsensical propaganda! You are nothing but a paid troll.

      • Taz this is the typical unfounded information that these trolls love to proclaim as the truth. With over $2 trillion in its trust fund SS is hardly collapsing. In fact the worst predictions for SS show SS payments going 75% of it payments somewhere in 2027 0r 2028. These trolls love to predict the ruin of this country. For people claiming to be so patriotic they surely don’t have much confidence in this country.

    • Liberals like to ignore that the Emperor has NO work experience, or a background that is not secret. Liberals ignore the lies and deceit of this regime. They seem to think that the new world order and tuning our country into a communist state is a good idea.

      • For someone who “has NO work experience” Obama sure has accomplished a lot – FAR MORE than all of the last 5 GOP presidents combined:!!

        Here’s just a partial list of Obama’s accomplshments:

        – Obama’s policies have resulted in the highest level of consumer confidence in the past 7 years

        – Obama’s policies have resulted in a stock Market that’s at the highest levels in history restoring retirement accounts for millions of American seniors that were trashed under Bush administration

        -Obama has been the smallest spending president since Eisenhower.

        -Obama has reduced deficit spending faster than any president since Truman.

        -There have been more than 54 straight months of job growth with more jobs created in last 5 years than Bush created in 8 years (Bush left office with more than 400,000 less people working in America than when he took office)

        -Obama ended the war in Iraq – AS PROMISED

        –The 9/11 perpetrator, bin Laden, was eliminated and al Qaeda severely weakened

        -The war in Afghanistan is almost wound down – AS PROMISED

        -Millions more students are receiving college loans than ever before because of Obama cutting the banks out of the loan process despite total inaction by the GOP members of congress

        – Obama saved the American auto Industry from bankruptcy and it’s flourishing again despite GOP
        opposition; making profits not seen since Clinton was in office.

        -More than 150 billion in taxes have been collected from auto industry related companies and workers over the past 5 years that would have been lost in industry went bankrupt

        -More than 1.5 million American jobs were saved through bailout helping keep America out of the GOP’s second created world-wide depression

        -Obama started a war on fraud in the defense and healthcare sectors with more fraudulently charged monies recovered (billions) and crooks brought to justice than had been recovered by the 3 prev. pres. combined

        -More PROBLEM illegal aliens have been rounded up and deported over the past 5 years than by any other president (more than 1.5 million)

        -Obama’s stimulus program energized America green
        energy initiatives such that alternative energies (solar, wind, hydro and plasma) may well make fossil fuels obsolete within the next 10 plus years.

        -More gas and oil pumped out of the ground
        the past 3 years than at any other tine in US in history; America is now the largest energy producer on the planet supplanting Russia and Saudi Arabia for that title.

        -America’s relationships restored with virtually all it’s international partners after Bush had virtually the whole world hating America (and that included the British people).

        Obama has accomplished more in last 6 years than any president since FDR

    • Bills coming due??? The bills sure have been going down fast – they’ve dropped faster in the past 4-5 years than at any time in American history. Here’s just a few graphs to prove that:

    • And if you’re talking about Americans who don’t even save because they expect the “government” to take care of them, you’re obviously taking about CONSERVATIVES, not liberals. Obama HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SHARP RISE IN WELFARE AND FOOD STAMP USE.

      The responsibility lies with the IDIOT REPUBLICANS IN RED STATES who right after the 2010 election decided to cut budgets and state services during a recession – THE DUMBEST THING THAT THEY COULD HAVE DONE!!! YOU DON’T CUT BUDGETS IN A RECESSION!!

      That’s why of the 24 states today with more than 12% of their residents living below the poverty level, 20 of them are, you guessed it, RED STATES.

      That’s why more than 75% of food stamps and government welfare assistance go to YOU GUESSED IT – RED STATES!!

      That’s why of the 456 counties in America that suck the most food stamps and welfare, more than 90% of those counties (421) voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

      YUP!! If you want to talk about people looking for handouts, YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT CONSERVATIVES WHO ARE LOOKING FOR HANDOUTS!!!!!!!!

    • Here’s the other graphs I promised. I’m not sure why Disqus wouldn’t download them with my previous post.

  10. I wonder if part of this disconnect is due to the American feeling of superiority. People in OTHER countries NEED help because they live in a lower class country. But people in America just want handouts because no one should be in NEED in America. They way our people flock to foreign countries to do good works and the way we spend money on aid to foreign countries just boggles my mind. I don’t understand it. I guess some people only see problems where they expect it to be (bad foreign countries) but not in America — the land of wealth and prosperity (for the privileged but not for a lot of others).

    • Sorry, but the vast majority of people in America DO NOT JUST WANT HANDOUTS!! THAT’S NONSENSE.

      The majority of people in America needing help, need help because Republicans have UNDERMINED the workforce, the economy the entire American way off life.

      The majority of the downslide began with Ronald Reagan – the guy who brainwashed people into believing that government is evil and is something to get rid off. And that unions are evil are something to get rid of. And that social programs which help people out at difficult times in their lives are evil and are something to get rid off. And that wealthy people shouldn’t pay their fair share of taxes but rather deserve enormous tax breaks, even enormous subsidies in the form of tax code giveaways.

      It’s America’s worst president ever, Ronald Reagan who’s the most responsible for America’s current income inequality (by cutting the max tax rate more than in half), the fact that the majority of red states are enacting “right to work laws” where employers can get away with paying people poverty level wages for 40 hours worth of work (by personally destroying the Air Traffic Controllers Union), the fact that the GOP has been brainwashed to believe that wealthy people are the benevolent keepers of the world when nothing could be more wrong (by harping constantly on his “trickle-down economics” fantasy, and on and on.

      Millions of Americans struggling in jobs that pay poverty level wages want badly to get out of their situation, but Republicans have stacked the deck against them by allowing CORPORATIONS to get away with paying virtually staqnant, poverty level wages for the past 2 plus decades – constantly widening the income inequality and driving more Americans into poverty. If you can’t see that, you really need to wake up!!!!!!

      • I thought my wording was more clear than it apparently is. I did not say, nor did I mean to imply, that people in America only want handouts. What I was implying was that the way people (meaning people like Rand Paul) go to foreign countries to help people rather than doing it in their own country shows a disconnect in their thinking. And so is the fact that we, as a country, send foreign aid but don’t like to take care of our own. I think there is a disconnect in the minds of people like Rand Paul that lets them see the poor and needy in other countries but he doesn’t see the ones that are right under his nose here at home.

        I was wondering if the reason is that Americans, many at any rate, feel that America is somehow superior to other countries and that we don’t have any poor or oppressed here. They seem to feel that if someone is poor in this country, it is their own fault but if someone is poor in another country, somehow it isn’t their own fault.

        I agree with you on just about every point except for the fact that you yelled at me. I’m living on Social Security only. I had a nice 401K account going and thought I had several more years to contribute to it before I would retire at age 66 when SSI would kick in for me. But then I got laid off 6 years early at the age of 60. No jobs to be had for a 60 year old in my field (computer programming) so I lived on my 401K until SSI started and by then the 401K was pretty much gone. So I know what it’s like. Also, years ago, I was on welfare for about three years while I went to college as the mom of a pre-school-age child. That was before Nixon and before Reagan and it really helped me become a tax-paying citizen. Then I worked for 30 years until being laid off.

        So I agree with you. Next time read twice and then ask before yelling.

        • I apologize if I misunderstood your intent but these two sentences from your post do not sound to me like you’re questioning a misguided notion that many Americans have about people in need within America:

          “People in OTHER countries NEED help because they live in a lower class country. But people in America just want handouts because no one should be in NEED in America.”

          Also, I do not yell at most people that aren’t clearly trolls. I know many think using caps is yelling, but I disagree with that notion. The vast majority of the time I use caps for emphasis. For example in my response to you I capitalized corporations just for that purpose:

          “but Republicans have stacked the deck against them by allowing CORPORATIONS to get away with paying virtually staqnant, poverty level wages for the past 2 plus decades”.

          In any case, I understand now the point you were trying to make and to be quite honest, I’ve struggled for some time in trying to figure out why
          so many Americans are so heartless when they’re dealing with other Americans. You may well be right.

          I also was forced to retire 5 years earlier than I had planned because the company I worked for sold the division I was in and the new company did not choose to pick me up because I was 60 at the time.

          • I thought my first sentence explained my next two but apparently not. My first sentence was, “I wonder if part of this disconnect is due to the American feeling of superiority. ” My next two sentences, which you quote, were to contrast the two lines of thought that seem to me to show that disconnect. People in other countries somehow deserve help but people in America don’t. I guess I also thought the last part of the last sentence would be a giveaway if nothing else was, “the land of wealth and prosperity (for the privileged but not for a lot of others).”

            Anyway, I guess it’s clear now what I meant.

            And by the way, I also capitalize for emphasis as I did in my first post but not long phrases/sentences (DO NOT JUST WANT HANDOUTS!! THAT’S NONSENSE) — to me THAT is shouting. I think that the majority of internet users consider caps to be shouting unless they are obviously for emphasis. But we can agree to disagree on that. I think.we agree on the major points of our discussion.

    • I think it’s great that doctors go to third world countries and provide free care, such as Doctors Without Borders. But you are right–to provide free care to Americans is tantamount to providing handouts to lazy people. Some doctors head up free clinics without a salary, but I don’t know any surgeons who provide pro bono services. I think they are paid something under a provider’s charity care budget and tax exempt status.
      I wonder if Rand Paul completely financed his own venture for equipment and supplies, or had some financing by someone or a corporation also seeking a tax break. Maybe I’m too suspicious.

      • I think it’s fine but I just wish that sometimes I would read about some group of doctors who go to some poverty stricken part of this country and do the same things. Or even just in their own cities. I live in a city of almost 800,000. There are plenty of poor people (kids) here who could use the kind of care the people (mostly kids, which is great) get from American doctors in other countries.

        Sure we have Medicaid in America but so many people don’t quality or get just partial coverage that doesn’t cover their real problems. And then the Republicans want to cut even that much help for our own people. And they want to kill off unions that have helped raise the standard of living in the county in ways that most of us will never know. And they want to leave the minimum wage at a level that wasn’t even a living wage when it was set 20 years (or so) ago and certainly doesn’t come close nowadays — OR ELSE, they want to get rid of it altogether!

        Don’t mind my ranting — I’m just sick and tired of Republicans, the RWNJs, and all the crazy people of that ilk.

  11. Allow me to explain YET AGAIN what’s behind Sen. Paul’s “compassion”
    There are four stripes of Republican these days…..three of them make up the lunatic wings of the party. The “sane” wing, Progressives and Moderates, have been suborning GOP criminality for years by voting GOP, something that needs to stop this fall…
    Getting back to Sen. Paul. He’s a “Firebagger”, a Libertarian working within the GOP. Cons, Tea Partiers and Libertarians compose the three lunatic wings of the GOP.
    Firebaggers have five Tenets. One of them and the only one with which the GOP disagree is “radical social liberalism”. So, when a “Republican” talks about demilitarizing the police or supports human rights, remember that, first, they’re a Firebagger and second, outside of radical social liberalism, Firebaggers are Republicans. Republicans with bongs, as the joke goes.

    • The other four Tenets of the Firebaggers: Everyone for Themselves; Extreme Fiscal Conservatism, Assumption of Risk and Delusions of Grandeur….

    • Not to say that OTHER Republicans don’t use bongs, they just don’t all SAY the do, or that it should be legal.

  12. The thing that looms the largest between myself, who I consider to be a Progressive, or Liberal. (By the way, nothing wrong with word.) And Rand Paul, goes to a lack of trust. A mistrust created in no small part by the inconsistencies reflected in his Party for those ideals. And by his own rhetoric, to truly care about anyone, not already perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. For example, how could a man who undertakes a very laudable, service to the poor of Guatemala. Have no problem repealing, on principle, some reforms in our healthcare system, that has not only slowed the rampant rise in the costs of medical care. But has made real healthcare possible for millions of his fellow citizens, many for the first time. And will without question, if allowed to continue, save countless lives and millions of unnecessary, and wholly preventable deaths? And I happen to believe Senator Paul knows enough about the Party he hopes to one day lead. To know they would not, and will never, come to address the problem of millions of his fellow citizens, desperately needing the kind of care ACA provides. That said, I commend his calls to reform our drug laws, and take steps, like expunging felony records after such a time a person that has made mistakes has shown themselves worthy of a second chance, and full Civil Rights. By removing the invisible ball and chain of a felony tacked on when they were 16. And now are 30, out of institution, and struggling to start their lives anew. It’s the right thing to do. But do Republicans especially, Republicans, have the political will to take on the vested interests, the corporate jailers, the court system, the local police, and so on, to make that happen? Even if I voted for a man, one of their own, who said, pre-election, that he would favor such an undertaking, it would be unlike any Republican Party that has existed in over a half century. Rand Paul can be good, but not that good.

  13. Last decent republician in my opinion was George Romney and when he came back from Vietnam his own party knifed him in the back. The party was always the rich man puppet since Lincoln. With the tea Party taking over the republicians, the GOP have become the ultra-rich man’s party. Only thing we could do short of having another civil war here in the states, is not vote republician until tea party goes 6 feet under.

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