Posts Tagged ‘rand paul’


I’m now confused as to the controversy over domestic drones. 

Rand Paul’s concern, in a nutshell, was that the government may blow you up while you eat breakfast because you are, in the government’s opinion, a terrorist. The government will never have to substantiate that opinion to anyone and thus the government can blow up anyone it wants for no reason at all. 

The filibuster was brought about because when Paul asked if this was, in fact, the government’s position, he was told that the government believes it has the right to respond with lethal force when attacked. Of course this isn’t what Paul was asking. So he filibustered. 

Today he got his answer from the Attorney General: 

“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” The answer to that question is no”

So there you have it. That’s about as unequivocal as you get. If you aren’t engaged in combat, the President may not kill you. By extension: If you are engaged in combat, he can, but this shouldn’t be even a little bit controversial or surprising. It should be exceedingly obvious. If you crash the gates at Quantico and start shooting, the obviously legitimate result would be for the military to shoot back.

Paul’s response:

“I’m quite happy with the answer and I’m disappointed it took a month and a half and a root canal to get it,” Paul said. 

He couldn’t resist a little jab but that’s fine, he may rightfully declare victory. The administration handled the whole thing rather poorly, and I agree that the drone program overall needs to be subject to a much greater level of scrutiny, oversight, and transparency. I’ll grant that one can be concerned that someone will torture the definition of “engaged in combat” to be “thinking about maybe engaging in combat in the future, possibly”, but the intent of this seems very clear. The administration may not kill you because it feels like it. They never claimed to be able to kill Americans on American soil just for the hell of it, but they refused to explicitly say they couldn’t and that was legitimately concerning. But now they have.  
I should add: Kudos to Paul for this. This is what a filibuster is actually for. 

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Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday which is more important than watching the SOTU, so I’ll preview it for you.

Obama: Jobs, economy, immigration, guns, shit congress won’t let me do, thank you and God Bless America.

Rubio: We won’t change our policies but we’ll try to be nicer to the brown people and also not say rape as frequently. And Obamacare is bad mkay.

Paul: (unintelligible)

Now you can go drink.

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Rand Paul wants us to build missile shields around DC and other cities!

One reportr asked whether he favored continued funds for the Iron Dome missile defense system. “Exactly how it’s funded, or how the money changes hands, I’d have to look into how we do it,” he said. “But absolutely I’m in favor of it. Think about on 9/11. There’s no reason our White House, our Capitol, and our major cities shouldn’t have a missile defense… I argue that there will be irrational actors on the stage. There’s no way to stop irrationality from eventually getting weapons into the hands of people who might attack us.”

Really? No reason? None at all?

Keep this in mind next time Rand Paul is bitching about “wasteful” or “out of control” spending.

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Rand Paul does not understand basic facts about the American economy as it exists today. Paul Krugman hilariously informs him.

PAUL: The thing I don’t understand is that you’re arguing that the government sector is struggling. Are you arguing that there are fewer government employees under Obama than there were under Bush?

KRUGMAN: Of course. That’s a fact. That’s a tremendous fact.

PAUL: No, the size of growth of government is enormous under President Obama.

KRUGMAN: If government employment had grown as fast under Obama as it did under Bush, we’d have a million and a half more people employed right now —directly.

PAUL: Are there less people employed or more people employed now by government?

ThinkProgress has the video. Its a lot of fun to watch the fantasy world these people have built for themselves come crashing down around them. This isn’t rocket science.

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I don’t understand Rand Paul. Or more specifically, I don’t understand why libertarians like Rand Paul. Actually I don’t understand why anyone likes Rand Paul. Here’s why:

Speaking in Iowa last week, Rand Paul had this to say on Obama’s marriage equality “evolution”:

“Call me cynical, but I didn’t think his views on marriage could get any gayer”

Now I’m not a libertarian, but it seems to me that the appropriate, libertarian response to the President’s support of marriage equality would be something along the lines of “I believe that, personal feeling aside, everyone should have equal marriage rights, because the constitution guarantees Americans equal protection under the law. I’m glad to see that President Obama has finally figured that out”. See, I even threw a bit of backhandedness in there to make it a bit more palatable to the base.

But that’s not what Rand Paul said. No, instead he went with “that’s gay”, which is a level of discourse that could be expected from a middle school boy, not a prominent national figure. I won’t call him cynical, but I will call him a jackass. The quote above was what made news of course, but here’s the rest of it:

“Now it did kind of bother me, though, that he used the justification for it in a biblical reference. He said the biblical Golden Rule caused him to be for gay marriage. And I’m like: What version of the Bible is he reading? It’s not the King James version. It’s not the New American Standard. It’s not the New Revised version. I don’t know what version he is getting it from. Now that doesn’t mean we have to be harsh and mean and hate people, we understand sin and if we believe it’s sin we still understand that people sin. And we understand that we are not out there preaching some sort of hateful dogma against people. But that doesn’t mean that we have to go ahead and give up our traditions. We’ve got 6,000 years of tradition. There’s a lot of stability, even beyond religion, there’s stability in the family unit. Just from an anthropological point of view, the family is really important thing. We shouldn’t just give up on it.”

Has it not fucking occured to Rand Paul that marriage equality is a pro-family position? How is telling someone they are not allowed to have a family going to promote families? Of course he may also note that there are plenty of instances throughout the history of marriage where it has changed, so saying it can’t change because it never has is just completely wrong. What Rand Paul is saying here is that family is important, provided it fits his personal idea of what a family should look like. That doesn’t sound like a very libertarian position to me.

Neither does this, from last year (emphasis in original):

I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.

Yep, that’s right folks, if you’ve been traveling to places with funny sounding names, and heard someone say something nasty about the government, then you might be a terrorist, and should be deported or jailed. The constitution be damned.

Oh, and then there’s this (emphasis mine):

Leading United States Senate candidate Rand Paul today criticized the Obama administration’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and try terrorism suspects in United States Civil Courts.

“Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution,” said Dr. Paul. “These thugs should stand before military tribunals and be kept off American soil. I will always fight to keep Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies.”

Dr. Paul believes in strong national defense and thinks military spending should be our country’s top budget priority. He has also called for a Constitutional declaration of war with Afghanistan.

Rand Paul: More War! More Military Spending! Less Due Process!

Am I just really confused on what libertarians think? Because this guy sure doesn’t sound like one to me. But the Ron Paul crowd seems to love the guy! It’s been suggested Ron Paul’s delegate strategy’s end game is to secure the VP slot for Rand Paul, or that the ultimate goal is to build a base for a Rand Paul for President bid in 2016.

I honestly don’t get it.

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