U.S. Senator Rand Paul

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Last night, President Obama laid out his agenda for the coming year and there was no shortage of Republican responses.

SIEGEL: Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the official rebuttal. Senator Mike Lee spoke for the Tea Party. And then, there was an online response from Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. And Senator Paul spoke to Audie today.

CORNISH: Senator Paul, welcome to the program.

Even taken together, the charges didn't seem to amount to that big a deal — just a matter of quoting a few factual statements and a Wikipedia passage without attributing them. But as Rand Paul discovered, the word "plagiarism" can still rouse people to steaming indignation. Samuel Johnson called plagiarism the most reproachful of literary crimes, and the word itself began as the name of a real crime. In Roman law, a plagiarius was someone who abducted a child or a slave — it's from "plaga," the Latin word for a net or a snare.

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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is instituting new approval and citation rules for his staffers and researchers as he faces accusations of plagiarism.

Paul initially tried to downplay revelations first reported by MSNBC that he had used material from Wikipedia without attribution.

After slamming reports of plagiarism as the work of "hacks" and "haters," U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., admitted on Tuesday that his office has been "sloppy" in his speeches and writings.

But the acknowledgment came too late for a Washington newspaper that has published hundreds of Paul's op-ed columns—and won't anymore.

The story began last Monday when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow found parts of Paul's speech at Liberty University referring to the science fiction film Gattaca were lifted from the movie's Wikipedia page.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell visits Murray Thursday to speak with employees at the Murray-Calloway County Hospital. The Senate Minority Leader has held over 50 hospital town hall meetings to discuss the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare,’s impact on Kentucky and Kentucky businesses. 

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced a constitutional amendment that would forbid Congress from passing laws that don't apply equally to lawmakers, Executive Branch and U.S. Supreme Court.

According to Paul himself, the proposal is aimed at Chief Justice John Roberts over his swing vote last year upholding the constitutionality of the president's health care law.

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U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is making visits across western Kentucky today. His stops range from speaking with students at Lyon County High School to the Marshall County Rotary Club.

The campaign to elect Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Tuesday it raised over $2.5 million in the third quarter, topping Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell's fundraising totals for the same period.

Over the past three months Grimes received support from all 120 Kentucky counties and all 50 states with around 13,300 contributors, which is more than twice the number of McConnell's donors.

Acknowledging racial disparities in U.S. drug and sentencing laws, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is calling for the restoration of felon voting rights in state and federal laws.

The Tea Party favorite also says the consequence of those punitive measures is the chief culprit behind voter disenfranchisement in African-American communities.

"The biggest impediment to voting rights, right now, are convicted felons. One in three young black males has been convicted of a felony and they’ve lost their voting rights. I think it dwarfs all other (election-related) issues," says Paul.

Paul made the comments at a forum hosted by the Plymouth Community Renewal Center in west Louisville on Monday. It is part of the libertarian-leaning senator's continued effort to close the gap between Republicans and black voters, which began with a speech at Howard University this spring.

Among the measures Paul's office touted to those in attendance was co-sponsoring a bill with Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont to give judges more discretion in sentencing federal drug cases.

Speaking to a handful of community activists and residents, Paul outlined how he also hopes to put forward a measure that would restore a felon's voting rights at the federal level five years after their release.

"We haven't decided which crimes yet, but I think particularly for non-violent drug crimes where people made a youthful mistake I think they ought to get their rights back," he says.

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