News Roundup – Rand Paul, Shooting at LAX, Alan Greenspan

Senator Rand Paul, if you didn’t know it, is running for president. The last thing he needs is to stick his foot in a big vat of nastiness. There may not be enough time to get the smell off between now and the presidential election. Back in 1988, Senator Joe Biden was running for president. He got caught up in a plagiarism scandal that took him more than a decade to shake. He has never really been a serious presidential contender since (when he was running in 2008, he really was not running for president, but was auditioning for the vice presidential spot.) So, now we have Rand Paul. He is a self-proclaimed Libertarian, which is some sort of flavor of Republican-lite. Anyway, the Rachel Maddow Show found that Senator Paul basically took a whole section from Wikipedia and read it verbatim. Following that, BuzzFeed found a couple more incidences in which Senator Paul burrowed information from Wikipedia… and, here’s the important part… without citing the source. I don’t mind his borrowing sections from Wikipedia or from wherever, as long as he says, “I read this in Wikipedia the other day.” He can even use the obscure reference, “I remember reading the somewhere…” He does neither here. So, just like other conservatives before him, he is now blaming Rachel Maddow and stating that she has “an agenda.” It appears to me that Rand Paul has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

There was a shooting at the LA airport. It appears the gunman was targeting government employees, specifically folks who worked for the TSA. One TSA official is dead and the gunman is in critical condition.

Alan Greenspan continues to amaze me at his own intransigence… That’s not the right word… Stubbornness? For some reason, Time magazine sat down with Alan Greenspan. Time: So you change your position to bank regulation? Greenspan: of course. I was wrong. You have to regulate the system. My concern about regulation is that it is more vindictive than curative. (Editor’s note: this is sounding pretty good.) Time: Do you feel personally responsible for anything? Greenspan: I was responsible for lots of things! Some good, some bad. But unrealistic. Given what I knew at the time, could I have done better? Probably. Did I know it at the time? No. (What the heck? All the goodwill he got answering the first question correctly was flushed down the toilet by his inability to understand that all the information was available to him long before the crisis started. All he had to do was pay attention to it.

Actually, an article in the Wall Street Journal does an excellent job of explaining (requires a subscription, sorry) what happened to the troubled website. Here’s the meat of the issue – As it becomes clear that no single leader oversaw implementation of the health law’s signature online marketplace—a complex software project that would have been difficult under the best circumstances—the accounts of more than a dozen current and former officials show how a disjointed bureaucracy led to the site’s disastrous Oct. 1 launch.

I have a question for you. If you are a sitting senator and attend some neo–Confederate conference in which the conference members support seceding from the union, are you a traitor? Have you violated the U.S. Constitution? I’m just asking.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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