Tag Archives: filibuster

If Only Progressives Stand Tall Like Paul

8 Mar

060313holderNow that my Rand Paul-induced swoon through Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-tinted glasses has been flushed from my body, I’m just depressed. We still live in a world where Americans believe making war on abstract nouns and anyone or anything that says, “Boo!” or seems strange is a reasonable argument and a prudent policy. And, “[n]ot only did Paul stage a pointless piece of political theater, he managed to obfuscate and mischaracterize the debate while simultaneously helping to worsen public perceptions in a misleading way.” (via Erik Loomis)

First, let’s review Paul’s actual question. Regardless of how people want to interpret the question as being solely about targeted killing policy regarding the war on terror, Holder clearly interpreted it as whether or not there is a legal right for the President to employ lethal force within the United States in SOME circumstances. As Holder makes clear in his letter, he views the scenarios where such a use of force would be authorized and legal to be highly unlikely and illustrates the hypothetical with situations that are quite out of the ordinary.

While one might quibble about his use of Pearl Harbor as an example (as it was a foreign enemy) the 9/11 example is apt, because that was a situation where lethal force against American citizens could have been deployed without trial. How is this, you ask? Specifically we’re talking about the possibility of the Executive Branch authorizing the shoot down of hijacked airliners. While the hijackers weren’t citizens, each airliner had scores of American citizens, who, if shot down by an F-16 would have been killed without due process or trial. Does this really seem like an outlandish use of force? And let’s remember that Holder is saying that it would take that sort of extreme scenario for the contemplation of that authority to even be invoked.

Matt Binder and Michael Brooks talk about Paul’s filibuster, the cast of Republican clowns, and Matt’s refusal to kill Americans under any circumstances (~41 minutes).

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Rand Paul’s Stand (Video)

7 Mar

Mr. Smith, 2013Kentucky’s junior senator, Rand Paul, (with Ron Wyden‘s help) is not my first choice for any elected office, but he’s earned both my admiration for his quixotic quest to rescue Congress’ abysmal ratings with a filibuster. I’m not a libertarian. I like Americans that stand for what’s right.

Paul’s speech began on the Senate floor at just after 11.45am ET on Wednesday. After about an hour, he admitted his throat was getting dry and said: “I can’t talk forever.” But after more than two hours he was still going strong, striking the themes of citizens’ constitutional rights over government power that have made him a Tea Party favourite and hero of libertarian-leaning followers of his father. “The constitution limits power given to Congress. But it does not limit rights,” he said.

And more than four hours after beginning Paul was joined by the Democrat Wyden. Though Wyden said he was still supporting Brennan’s appointment, he raised many of the same questions as Paul. “Every American has the right to know when their government can kill them,” he said. He added: “More needs to be done … What are the limitations with respect to this lethal authorities, in particular whether they can be used inside the United States?”

Spencer Ackerman explains that Paul’s filibuster is ultimately a challenge to the executive branch asking the question, “Is perpetual war OK with everybody?

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The Senators from Big Health Care

30 Oct

Sen. Lieberman, who has received over three million dollars in donations from the healthcare and insurance industries and whose wife works for the lobbyist group Hill & Knowlton’s health and pharmaceuticals practice, said….

What if, as Mike the Mad Biologist says, newspapers reported the news with a little decency> Instead, Rachel Maddow has to do it.

I couldn’t agree more: “It’s just pathetic that this type of reporting is the rarity instead of the norm on cable television.” (video clips available through link).

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