Rand Paul Goes Transphobic During Senate Hearing

Left to right - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Pennsylvania Surgeon General Dr. Rachel Levine
Left to right - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Pennsylvania Surgeon General Dr. Rachel Levine
L-R Sen. Rand Paul, Dr. Rachel Levine (screen captures)

During a joint hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held today to confirm Surgeon General Nominee Dr. Vivek Murphy and Dr. Levine, most questions were focused on the issue of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) – who is also a self-certified ophthalmologist – came prepared with an unhinged transphobic rant which seemed to catch everyone by surprise including Dr. Levine, who is transgender.

Levine, currently the Secretary of Health for Pennsylvania, is President Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary of health. The position oversees the department’s key public health offices, several presidential and secretarial advisory committees, 10 regional health offices across the nation, the Office of the Surgeon General, and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

In addition to being the Keystone State’s Health Secretary, Levine has amassed a lengthy resume in the field of health care which includes being a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. It’s worth noting that Levine has been confirmed three times by the Republican-controlled state Senate of Pennsylvania.

“Genital mutilation has been condemned by the WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the United Nations Population Fund,” said Paul reading from a prepared statement.

He continued stating that such medical procedures are “nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children.”

The senator seemed to be conflating bottom surgery with castration and female circumcision, which is performed on children in some countries around the world.

Minors being treated for gender dysphoria almost never have bottom surgery. Instead, they are given puberty blockers which allows trans youth time to consider, weigh and explore who they are before teen hormones can permanently change their bodies.

Paul attacked the use of such puberty blockers citing the American College of Pediatricians. That might have sounded like a legit reference except the organization has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for promoting anti-LGBTQ bias.

The name is intended to be misleading as it is often confused with the American Pediatric Association, the actual recognized organization of pediatric physicians. That group advises parents of trans kids to “listen, respect and support their child’s self-expressed identity.”

Levine showed admirable composure during Paul’s lengthy tirade.

“Transgender medicine is a very complex, and nuanced field,” Levine said. “And if confirmed to the as assistant Secretary of Health, I would certainly be pleased to come to your office and talk with you and your staff about the standards of care and the complexity of this field.”

For the record, Dr. Levine never endorsed the idea of government overriding the involvement of parents being involved in their children’s health care issues.

Sen. Patty Murray, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, clapped back at Paul asking him to treat nominees before the committee with respect.

“It is really critical to me that our nominees be treated with respect and that our questions focus on their qualifications and the work ahead of us, rather than ideological and harmful misrepresentations like those who heard from Sen. Paul earlier,” Murray said.

Today’s hearing marked the first time an openly transgender person has sat for Senate confirmation for a presidential appointment.

Asymptomatic Sen. Rand Paul Tests Positive For COVID-19

Sen. Rand Paul (photo: Gage Skidmore)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has become the first U.S. Senator to test positive for coronavirus.

From NBC News:

“Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for COVID-19,” Paul’s account tweeted. “He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.”

“He expects to be back in the Senate after his quarantine period ends and will continue to work for the people of Kentucky at this difficult time,” the thread continued. “Ten days ago, our D.C. office began operating remotely, hence virtually no staff has had contact with Senator Rand Paul.”

Paul is the third member of Congress to announce a positive test for coronavirus, following Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah. Several Republican lawmakers also self-quarantined earlier this month after learned they had interacted with someone who tested positive for the virus at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Some might note the irony that Paul was the only senator to vote against a bipartisan $8 billion deal to provide emergency coronavirus funding earlier this month.

Earlier this week, I reported that Walking Dead actor Daniel Newman developed symptoms, knew he’d been exposed to the coronavirus, went to the ER and was told (after ringing up a bill for $9,000+) that his test couldn’t be “processed” because he wasn’t a senior citizen or traveled recently in China or Italy.

How did an asymptomatic U.S. senator get tested if Newman and others couldn’t?

Of course, we know the answer to that question.

Sen. Rand Paul Declines To Attend GOP “Undercard” Debate This Week

Fox Business has announced only 7 of the current GOP contenders for the Republican presidential nomination will take the stage this Thursday night.

Sen. Rand Paul did not make the cut, being relegated to an earlier “undercard” debate with Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

Paul says he won’t attend the undercard debate.

From CNN:

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday, Paul said he would boycott the Fox Business debate and called the network’s decision a “mistake.”

“It’s a mistake because the thing is we actually have been in the top five or six in most of the recent polls. In fact, last week in a national poll we were just one point out of fourth place. So I think it’s a mistake to try to exclude me from the national debate,” he said.

“I won’t participate in anything that’s not first tier because we have a first tier campaign,” the Kentucky senator told Blitzer.

Rand Paul Clarifies Gays In The Workplace Comment

Struggling GOP White House hopeful Rand Paul was recently asked if LGBTs should have the right to sue employers who fired them for being gay.

Paul responded to a group of Drake University students saying that the federal government shouldn’t be in the business of protecting LGBT employees from being fired because “there are plenty of other places that will hire you.”

“I think, really, the things you do in your house, just leave those in your house and they wouldn’t have to be a part of the workplace, to tell you the truth,” he said.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked him about the remarks last night. Paul stated more than once that he doesn’t think a person should be fired for being gay, but didn’t change much else from his original comment:

“I don’t think anybody should be fired for being gay. I do also, though, believe that your personal life should be personal and shouldn’t affect anyone firing you. So I don’t think the decision whether to hire or fire you should be based on things from your personal life. So when I say that it should remain in your house, yeah I don’t think it should be part of the decision-making of the business. So I might have been able to word it better, but I don’t think it should enter into the decision at all.”

So, basically, Paul says “don’t be gay at work if you don’t want to be fired for being gay?”

I still don’t know what he means. Does he mean you shouldn’t wear a wedding ring at work if you’re gay? Is he referring to be too “stylish?” Flamboyant? Does he also have boundaries for the straight folks to follow?

Sen. Rand Paul: It’s Ok To Fire LGBTs Because “Plenty” Of Place” Will Hire You

GOP White House hopeful Rand Paul, while campaigning at Drake University in Iowa, was asked whether an employer should be able to fire an LGBT person just because the employee was LGBT?

Paul worries that if it were illegal for employers to fire gays it would lead to lawsuits and that’s not good.

Paul also indicated that even if gays are fired for being who they are, no worries because there are “plenty” of other places that LGBTs can get a new job.

“I think really the things you do in your house, if you could just leave those in your house, they wouldn’t have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth,” Paul replied.

“I don’t know that we need to keep adding to different classifications to say the government needs to be involved in hiring and firing,” Paul said. “I think society is rapidly changing, and if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you.”

I’m not sure what “things you do in your house” Paul is talking about. Does he mean leave your wedding ring at home because it’s no one’s business if you’re married? Is that shoving your “lifestyle” down someone’s throat? Does that include straight people?

In addition, the senator from Kentucky says most major corporations already have LGBT protections in place, so the government shouldn’t get involved. That said, the federal government currently protects folks on the basis of gender, religion, race, age, familial status, disability or citizenship.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Rand, Ted and Marco Should Go Be Governors Before Running For Prez

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has advice for Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio: Go run for governor before you run for president.

He shared that thought with the Weekly Standard in an interview last week:

“I’ve had more than one individual say, ‘You know what, if you want to be the president of the United States, you ought to go back to your home state and be the governor and get that executive experience before you go lead this country,'” said Perry.

The former governor calls the senators “Marco, Ted, and Rand,” and made sure to say he has “great respect” for the trio. “They are smart as a tree full of owls,” said Perry, “These guys are very, very capable United States senators.”

Perry ran a short, unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination for president in 2012.

He has signaled he will probably announce a second presidential bid on June 4 near Dallas.

Rand Paul Staffer Licks Camera Lens

I really have no idea why this guy LICKED the lens of a camera, but it’s funny that he does it so earnestly.

Via Towleroad:

Democratic trackers typically follow rival candidates to events in order to keep an eye on them, as was the case at a Rand Paul event in New Hampshire on Monday.

But a tracker from the Democratic opposition research super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century found out the hard way that Paul’s staffers lick back.