Posts tagged ‘Rand Paul’

May 27, 2011

The PATRIOT Act Stays Alive

by Vince Giordano

This was a bill that was anathema to the Democratic party. It now has bipartisan support. Crazy. Some are even calling this secret bill more secret than we even know.

This law has its objectors. One to mention is Senator Rand Paul. He is basically met with this rhetoric about patriotism: 

Paul and the other dissenting Senators better give up their objections and submit to quick Patriot Act passageor else they’ll have blood on their hands from the Terrorist attack they will cause.  That, of course, was the classic Bush/Cheney tactic for years to pressure Democrats into supporting every civil-liberties-destroying measure the Bush White House demanded (including, of course, the original Patriot Act itself), and now we have the Democrats — ensconced in power — using it just as brazenly and shamelessly (recall how Bush’s DNI, Michael McConnell, warned Congressional Democrats in 2007 that unless they quickly passed without changes the new FISA bill the Bush White House was demanding, a Terrorist attack would likely occur at the Congress in a matter of “days, not weeks”; McConnell then told The New Yorker: “If we don’t update FISA, the nation is significantly at risk”). Feinstein learned well.

Greenwald challenges the myth that there is no bipartisanship in Congress.

So when they were out of power, the Democrats reviled the Patriot Act and constantly complained about fear-mongering tactics and exploitation of the Terrorist threat being used to stifle civil liberties and privacy concerns.  Now that they’re in power and a Democratic administration is arguing for extension of the Patriot Act, they use fear-mongering tactics and exploitation of the Terrorist threat to stifle civil liberties and privacy concerns (“If somebody wants to take on their shoulders not having provisions in place which are necessary to protect the United States at this time, that’s a big, big weight to bear,” warned Feinstein).  And they’re joined in those efforts by the vast majority of the GOP caucus.  Remember, though:  there is no bipartisanship in Washington, the parties are constantly at each other’s throats, and they don’t agree on anything significant, and thus can’t get anything done.  If only that were true.

I would add bipartisan support for Israel to that short list.

Herman Cain’s take on security issues here and Julian Sanchez explains that much of the PATRIOT act would continue on even if parts of it expired.

Conor Friedersdorf explains why this matters to us and brings Barack Obama into the mix:

Contrary to the misleading reassurances of PATRIOT Act apologists, some provisions of the legislation aren’t merely likely to be abused by law enforcement in the future — they’ve already led to civil liberties violations, many of them documented circa 2009 by the Justice Department. Through National Security Letters, for example, law enforcement is permitted to obtain sensitive information from the banks, phone companies and Internet service providers of any American citizen. The FBI doesn’t need a warrant to request this private data, and the target of the snooping needn’t even be suspected of any connection with terrorism! More than 6,000 Americans were spied on in this manner during 2009 (the most recent year data is available), and the federal government has itself documented flagrant FBI abuses. All that’s missing is a desire to fix the problem. There are plenty of other objectionable PATRIOT ACT sections too: the “lone wolf” provision, roving wiretapsSection 215 notices. All are worthy of study, especially since now the American people won’t learn more about them through a Congressional debate.

President Obama’s support for this latest re-authorization matters because it bears on a central promise of his candidacy. During Election 2008, he made it seem as though a vote for him would signify and end to the Bush Administration’s excesses in the war on terrorism: its tendency to needlessly sacrifice civil liberties even when less intrusive measures were sufficient, its disdain for checks and balances on executive authority, its habit of using scare tactics to insist that national security legislation be passed quickly and without a debate. Hope. Change. Those were the slogans. They weren’t about getting Osama bin Laden, nice as that was.

May 13, 2011

Comparing Health Care to Slavery of the Day

by Vince Giordano

“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses. … You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be,” – Senator Rand Paul.

Some days I like Rand. Today, I feel he is off kilter.

April 1, 2011

Rand Paul: Newt Gingrich Has More Positions On Libya Than He’s Had Wives

by Vince Giordano

This is an epic quote from Rand Paul:

>PAUL: I was happy to see that Newt Gingrich has staked out a position on the war, a position, or two, or maybe three. I don’t know. I think he has more war positions than he’s had wives. […]

There’s a big debate over there. Fox News can’t decide, what do they love more, bombing the Middle East or bashing the president? It’s like I was over there and there was an anchor going, they were pleading, can’t we do both? Can’t we bomb the Middle East and bash the president at the same time? How are we going to make this work?

Rand Paul continues to surprise me, especially with his shots at Fox News. I am starting to like him more and more.

H/T: Outside the Beltway

March 25, 2011

Rand Paul in 2012

by Vince Giordano
It’s possible
, that is as long as his pops doesn’t run again:

At an appearance earlier this week in South Carolina, the first-term senator and member of the Senate’s Tea Party Caucus said the only decision he’s made on 2012 is that he won’t run if his father opts for a bid.

The elder Paul is seriously considering what would be his third presidential bid, but hasn’t made an official decision.

Rand Paul has trips to both Iowa and New Hampshire on his schedule in the coming weeks.

Rand is a Tea Party politician that I can actually digest. He seems to be acceptable in my eyes except when he says that he wouldn’t of supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because corporations should be allowed to discriminate when hiring workers.

December 16, 2010

The Tea Party is not Love

by Vince Giordano

Lisa Sharon Harper explains:

Last week I sat at a breakfast table with prominent New York City faith leaders. The topic of the morning was: “In this post-election moment, what issues are you passionate about? And what scripture lays the foundation for your passion?” Great question. We each had five minutes to share.

I answered that there are two major commands in scripture. 1. Love God/ love your neighbor, 2. Do not fear. Why does fear matter so much? Because, according to Jesus, fear is the opposite of faith. Fear compels us to take things into our own hands. It tells us to crush our neighbors and ultimately, to crush the image of God on earth through oppression, greed, and apathetic disengagement, which allows poverty and injustice to thrive.

I’m heartbroken right now. The Tea Party movement rose in this country on a wave fear. It is a fear-based movement. It is not based on love.

Rand Paul was elected to the Senate after saying he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act in 1964. This is not love.

The irony continues, especially since the majority of the Tea Party claims a divinity in either the Constitution or the Bible.

November 9, 2010

Meet the Freshman Class

by Vince Giordano

I have only followed Rand Paul to a certain degree. Being a libertarian, he doesn’t agree with the Civil Rights Act or the government stepping in with the BP spill or any other kind of government intervention that works to help the environment, alleviate racist conditions, or, you know, work for the common good.

November 7, 2010

Defense Spending Cuts

by Vince Giordano

“Republicans also should resist pressure to take all defense spending cuts off the table. Newly elected Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky had the courage to say he’d go after defense waste during his campaign, and I look forward to working with him. We should start by taking common sense steps like freezing defense spending until the Pentagon can pass an audit and remove all nondefense spending from the Pentagon’s budget.

Our nation’s military leaders understand the need to cut spending. As Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “Our national debt is our biggest national security threat.” History shows that every nation eventually adopts the foreign policy it can afford. Taking defense spending off the table is indefensible. We need to protect our nation, not the Pentagon’s sacred cows,” – Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Please let there be more rational Republican leaders out there!

October 1, 2010

“Tea and Crackers”

by Vince Giordano

Matt Taibbi visited Kentucky to see Sarah Palin speak:

Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry’s medals and Barack Obama’s Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them.

Taibbi continues on, describing the Tea Party as “not really caring about issues” or fundamental changes in political policy but truly a group characterized by seeing with a “psychological divide” between purist fundamentalism and “the far left”.

Taibbi centers his piece mainly on railing against Rand Paul (“he is a fake”), his father Ron, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party. I could care less about the politics of Rand Paul. I actually find some of the libertarian views that he and his father take up as intriguing. But Taibbi includes a note about the group Americans for Prosperity, which Barack Obama has called out:

Joining them in the fight was another group, Americans for Prosperity, which was funded in part by the billionaire David Koch, whose Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company in America. In addition to dealing in plastics, chemicals and petroleum, Koch has direct interests in commodities trading and financial services. He also has a major stake in pushing for deregulation, as his companies have been fined multiple times by the government, including a 1999 case in which Koch Industries was held to have stolen oil from federal lands, lying about oil purchases some 24,000 times.

Which then calls for the question: how are a ton of middle class Americans lobbying hand and foot for a few billionaires and their views? I still don’t know the full answer to that. Oil (domestic, that is) is still a friendly ally to many TP followers. Conspiracy theories and overestimated fears are legion amongst their views but they, along with many other Americans who may not even subscribe to being a follower of the TP, can at times be oblivious to their hubris:

What they are, in truth, are narcissists. They’re completely blind to how offensive the very nature of their rhetoric is to the rest of the country. I’m an ordinary middle-aged guy who pays taxes and lives in the suburbs with his wife and dog — and I’m a radical communist? I don’t love my country? I’m a redcoat? Fuck you! These are the kinds of thoughts that go through your head as you listen to Tea Partiers expound at awesome length upon their cultural victimhood, surrounded as they are by America-haters like you and me or, in the case of foreign-born president Barack Obama, people who are literally not Americans in the way they are.

September 20, 2010

“Government is the Problem” – The Alaskan Demagogue

by Vince Giordano

So said Sarah Palin. Much more below from her appearance at Rand Paul’s fundraiser and the National Quartet Convention. Supposedly, no media was allowed in. Gotta love camera phones.

This one above is a kicker. I finally wonder if she has a learning disability or if she simply is an extreme right wing cook. She throws heavy laden and toxic words and phrases around and somehow plays them into one sentence (“exceptionalism”, “mosaic of patriots”,  “ordinary Americans like, myself, *flaps hand*, like all of you”, “peace and freedom loving”, “united under God”, “all wrapped up under our Constitution”, “under the hand of providence”, and my favorite, “WE (America, an exceptional nation under the providence of God) HAVE NOTHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR”.) This is who wants to possibly run for president in 2012. Imagine the ideology of “not having to apologize for anything” playing out in foreign policy.

Watch the videos for yourself. Don’t pay a ton of attention to the descriptions by the blogger because they are not fully accurate or fair. I wonder if Barack Obama openly prayed in elevators and behind the scenes at conventions would there be less doubt related to him being a Christian? In the end, I don’t doubt that he is a Christian and if he was in fact not a Christian, I wouldn’t be let down either. I respect the man.