July 31, 2018 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 235

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Topics: Populist and radical politics of West Virginia and Kentucky. People: Bill, Rachel, Nate. Recorded: July 29th, 2018.

Episode 235 (29 min):
AFD 235

Note that all episodes for the rest of the summer will only be a half hour long.

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AFD 235 Links and Notes (PDF)

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Music by friend of the show Stunt Bird.

Rand Paul tries to pay for an election he’s in

Freemarketland: The Rand Paul camp continues to innovate the process of buying elections.

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To circumvent state election laws that keep him from running for both U.S. Senate and the presidential nomination on the same primary ballot, Rand Paul claims he’s paying to move his own state’s presidential nominating contest (now a caucus) up to the Saturday after Super Tuesday:

[…] the Kentucky senator said he gave $250,000 to his state’s Republican Party for the explicit purpose of funding its presidential caucus in March. He promised to pony up another $200,000 in the fall, enough to cover the entire cost of the nominating event. Put another way: Paul is paying the party to hold an election in which he is running.

 
Hey, that’s only six times more than it costs to pay an Iowa state senator to switch his endorsement from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul!

Previously from the Rand Paul camp

AFD: Iowa state senator admits Rand Paul aide bribed him on behalf of Ron Paul
Washington Post: “It’s actually legal to buy a political endorsement. You just can’t cover it up.”

Mitch McConnell tries to run for and against Obamacare

Mitch McConnell is trying to convince Kentuckians that if “Obamacare” is fully repealed, the popular state-run Kynect insurance exchange would magically keep going and not suddenly become meaningless. If it wasn’t obvious that he was blatantly lying to win votes, one would wonder what he thought the website does, if not for serving up private insurance plans regulated and formulated by the very law he wants to repeal, the Affordable Care Act. Repealing the standards, of course, would then make a comparison of plans impossible.

Radio Archive: Sasha and I discuss how Kynect was set up and why it works so well. [Produced October 29, 2013; Running Time: 14:13]
AFD 62 – Part 1 – Kynect discussion

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Confirmed: Ron Paul’s 2012 team bribed a state senator

After a guilty plea this week, we now have confirmation that Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign bribed an elected official $73,000.

A former Iowa state senator pleaded guilty Wednesday to receiving and concealing payments in exchange for switching his support from one presidential candidate to another in the 2012 election, the Justice Department said.

The former lawmaker, Kent Sorenson, resigned from the Iowa Senate last year after an investigation found that he probably violated ethics rules by taking money from presidential campaigns.

Mr. Sorenson, 42, of Milo, Iowa, had been the state chairman for the presidential campaign of Representative Michele Bachmann, Republican of Minnesota, but then switched his support to former Representative Ron Paul of Texas just days before the state’s caucus.

In a statement filed with his plea agreement, Mr. Sorensen admitted that he agreed to switch his allegiance in exchange for $73,000 in payments.

 
Please tell me more about Congressman Paul’s integrity and principles and blah blah blah. Though I suppose that buying elected officials is very free-market and all that.

The fallout began Friday night, as a Paul family insider, Jesse Benton, was forced to resign as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign manager in Kentucky.

Benton has worked in high-ranking positions in Rand Paul’s first Senate bid in 2010 and Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign, and he has married into the family, as well. It’s not known whether Benton himself knew about the bribe, but there would be a lot of questions either way, and so he had to go. If he’s cleared, I’m guessing he’ll be back for Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign team, which he had already been slated to join before this scandal broke.

#McConnelling: Which one is the robot?

You may have heard of the “McConnelling” meme circulating based off the inexplicable decision of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign staff to release video that is purely composed of silent clips of the uncharismatic and deeply unpopular conservative Senator giving borderline B-roll reaction shots, for use in DIY pro-McConnell ads.
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Of course, no one was really interested in that idea, so they just did DIY nonsense with it (especially after The Daily Show got in on the act, encouraging people to make mashups of the video with unexpected content). Which is good too.

One of the better ones I have seen is this RoboCop (1987) mashup with the McConnell footage, created by Nerdy Little Secret’s Martin, the man behind the brilliant new “Cyvlorg” video series on cyborgs in pop culture.

You couldn’t really put a McConnell/RoboCop mashup in better hands than Martin’s:

Really does raise the question as to which one is the robot: the distinctly non-human Mitch McConnell or ED209?

As you may or may not have worked out, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, is up for re-election this year.