Usually there's not much to say about Rand Paul. He's a giant pain in the ass who likes to grandstand and pretend he's going to hold legislation hostage, who then always gives up once he's failed to make his point. One time his neighbor knocked him off his riding lawn mower and broke his frail body because of some sort of landscaping disagreement. What. EVER.

And that is the story of Rand Paul, ladies and gentlemen!

But we have an article to share with you that leads us to ask whether there's something else going on with dear young Rand. We already know that he, a die-hard non-interventionist, always votes "no" on foreign policy stuff that literally everybody else in the Senate votes "yes" on, because of his "principles." But more and more, Paul doesn't seem like just a non-interventionist, but rather a person who, like Donald Trump, curiously seems to always take the Kremlin's side on issues.

Author Greg Olear details the evidence in a Medium post, which starts back during the 2016 GOP primary when Paul, like Lindsey Graham, had at least a modicum of sense when it came to Donald Trump. He called Trump a "delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag" on a TV show in 2016, an assessment that is factcheck true. Fast forward to today, and Paul is as close or closer to Trump than Graham is, and Olear notes that on foreign policy issues, when Trump every single time takes Russia's side, it's often seemingly because Paul has recently butt-whispered his thoughts into Trump's mouth, because Trump is famously a person who only believes/remembers the thing he heard most recently. Is Paul delivering the Kremlin's messages to Trump? Or is he just a fucking idiot? COULD IT BE BOTH? And can't Putin just talk to Trump on their special iPhone Trump keeps hidden inside that one Big Mac nobody in the White House is allowed to touch?

Olear points us to a big fight Paul had with John McCain back in 2017, one that Wonkette wrote memorably about under the headline John McCain And Rand Paul Are Fighting Like MEOW HISS GRRR ARGH! The Senate was debating letting Montenegro into NATO, and Vladimir Putin didn't like that because he thinks the Balkans should be his, and Montenegro is a Balkan state, therefore NATO NOPE! McCain said you'd have to be a total idiot to oppose Montenegro joining up, that there were literally no reasons to oppose it, and that if you do oppose it, you are literally working for Putin. Rand Paul responded by huffing and puffing and queening the fuck out of the room. He probably went back to Kentucky to neglect his yard work some more, or to find somebody who would let him play fake doctor with their eyes.

Olear's question is simple: Did John McCain actually mean it when he called Rand Paul a Russian agent? Here are some examples of Maybe Rand Paul Really Is Turnt For The Russians, from Olear's piece:

Since the day John McCain called him out, Rand Paul has been a veritable lobbyist for the Kremlin. On matters large and small, Paul has supported Moscow's positions. He's pushed for open and active dialogue with the nation that engaged in cyberwarfare against us. He's argued for the lifting of sanctions on Russian individuals close to Putin. He was one of few politicians who defended Trump after his disastrous showing in Helsinki, when Trump more or less kissed the ring of the Russian dictator. He joined Trump in seeking the revocation of a security clearance on John O. Brennan, after the former CIA director denounced the Helsinki summit as "nothing short of treasonous." In recent weeks, Paul has held with the Kremlin's position on Syria.

That is a veritable TRUMP-LENGTH LIST of times Rand Paul has been in lockstep with Putin. Maybe it's not a coincidence!

For the record, the American positions on all those issues are:

  • Don't give complimentary blowies to the country that literally attacked our presidential election.
  • Trump lying down like a star-struck dachshund for Putin in Helsinki was literally the most embarrassing fucking thing ever.
  • John Brennan = cool.
  • Whatever you think about Syria -- seriously! -- it's insane to just pull out without a fucking plan for keeping our troops safe or protecting our allies the Kurds from getting murdered by the Turks.

The Donald Trump/Rand Paul positions are the opposite of the American positions, and so are the Kremlin's.

But if Paul has been turned, when did that happen? You'd think if Paul was going to become a Russian agent, some Igor from the FSB would have at least knocked him off his riding lawnmower and wrassled him to the ground and punched him in the face while yelling things about proper lawn maintenance. But no, that was just his neighbor. (OR WAS IT?)

Olear points out a trip Paul took this past summer to Moscow that really didn't get enough attention at the time. He said he went there because he believes in "engagement" with America's enemies, which is not in and of itself bad. He reportedly delivered a hand-written letter from Trump to Putin, which we assume was undecipherable, as the president's penmanship is that of a four-year-old syphilitic goat, but we imagine the glitter and the Old Spice Trump sprayed all over it conveyed the message. (This caused a White House FREAKOUT, as they jumped up and down and insisted Rand Paul wrote the love note all by himself.) Paul also met with Konstantin Kosachek, the chairman of the Russian Council's foreign policy group, so you could sort of call him a "counterpart" of Paul's in Russia, as NPR notes.

But Olear notes that Kosachek's name shows up a few other places, also too. For instance, on the list of sanctioned Russian individuals! Kosachek was placed on the list in April of 2018, part of a round of sanctions specifically targeted at Russians for election meddling and other malign activity. (Paul Manafort's Russian oligarch babydaddy Oleg Deripaska's companies were also sanctioned at the time, along with Deripaska individually. Click here to read about how the sanctions are being lifted on Deripaska's companies, and how fucked up that really is.)

The other place Kosachek shows up is the DODGY STEELE DOSSIER. Oh yeah, baby, we got the sweet sweet DOSSIER SHIT for you. Let's revisit our very recent post about how Michael Cohen maybe really did go to Prague in late summer 2016 to talk with the Russians about their joint op with the Trump campaign to hack Hillary and the Democrats and steal the election.

You see there where Kosachev is listed as a "'plausibly deniable' facilitator" for the meeting, because of his position in the legislature, and how the meeting was allegedly put on by a "parastatal organization" called Rossotrudnichestvo, because that would provide good cover?

Wonder what other "plausible deniability" Kosachev is involved in (allegedly!) and if any of it (allegedly!) features Rand Paul.

Oh God, is there a Rand Paul pee tape? Is it gross? It's probably so gross, Jesus Christ, we bet he narrates all the peeing with that voice of his, like it's some kind of goddamned special on the National Geographic channel.


OK anyway, those are all good questions to put on your stomach right before lunch, goodbye now!


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Welcome to another edition of Yr Sunday Nice Things feature, where we take a break from the daily craziness so we can decompress for a little while. Today, we're going to relax with the ineffable mental calm that comes from an oddly rectangular English cow. It's really beautiful to see what can happen when people all over the internet come together to collaborate on a little art project. We call it...

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