Senator Rand Paul severely beaten while mowing lawn, unable to return to DC; neighbor arrested

Senator Rand Paul, architect of some of the most extreme policies of the Republican Party, had five of his ribs fractured (three were "displacement fractures") and suffered lung bruising after being beaten at his Kentucky home; his next-door neighbor, Rene Boucher (59), an anesthesiologist/inventor who is thought to have worked at a nearby hospital with Rand Paul, was arrested and bailed for fourth-degree assault.

Though Paul's injuries were initially described as minor, his staff now says that it is not clear when he will be able to fly to DC again to resume his duties in the Senate.

The Washington Post reports that "there is no indication that the attack was political in nature."

In a season of extremely close votes, including one in which Mike Pence was called in to break a tie (in order to immunize fraudulent banks and other financial institutions from lawsuits by the people they've wronged), a single lost vote on the Republican side could make an enormous difference.

On the other hand, Paul's intransigence and insistence that any new health care deal should be maximally cruel to poor people was responsible for the collapse of the GOP's attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and so perhaps in his absence, Senate Republicans will be able to reach consensus.

Robert Porter, a friend of Paul's, said late Saturday that the senator was mowing his lawn moments before the attack.

Paul and Boucher live side by side along a small lake in Rivergreen, a close-knit gated community with large houses. On Sunday afternoon, nobody answered at Boucher's home. Next door at the Paul residence, four people were seen doing yard work. Other neighbors were out walking, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

Sen. Rand Paul's injuries far more severe than initially thought
[Brandon Gee and Ed O'Keefe/Washington Post]