When Your Talk Is Over Tilt That Bottle in the Air

It’s possible to believe that Rand Paul is the douchiest douche who ever douched, and also to believe that, like the blind pig that finds an ear of corn, he’s right once in a while. But before we go throwing roses at Rand, let’s review the bidding:

  • Paul’s filibuster was about the use of drones against American civilians on American soil:

    Paul dug in, saying he would be happy to end it, but only “if the president or the attorney general will clarify that they will not kill Americans on American soil.”

    Paul was talking about something that’s a far-off hypothetical when the reality of killing American citizens with drones has already happened, and the Obama Administration has repeatedly dodged Congressional oversight of the drone program. Paul’s stunt wasn’t aimed at addressing either of those substantive issues. Instead, he was, as is typical of the true glibertarian, chasing a dark shadow in a corner while ignoring what was obvious to all in the bright sunshine. The reason is simple: the people who write Paul checks are fine with killing brown Muslim Americans in a far-off land, and are irrationally afraid of a black president sending a Hellfire missile down their chimney.

  • Paul chose to filibuster the nomination of the head of the CIA, even though he stated repeatedly that his concern was the killing of Americans on American soil (read that story linked above, or this one, because that was really his only concern). Would the CIA do that? Maybe, but even if you grant that the fantasy that the CIA would kill Americans on American soil (versus the reality of them having killed Americans overseas), the place to protest that is when the defense and intelligence appropriation bills come to the floor. At that point, Paul could filibuster until an amendment was added to the bill to compel the Administration to release more information on drone killings, at a minimum, or to require specific authorizations of force before drones are used in any foreign country, or any number of other limitations that tied drone use and disclosure to funding. But that would be possibly effective and certainly risky to Paul’s electoral future, so instead he filibustered Brennan, an act that even Mitch McConnell briefly joined, simply because it was of a piece with the rest of the sand that McConnell likes to throw in the Senate’s gears. If Paul would threaten the drone program in a way that could actually change the drone program, then shit would get real on the Senate floor very quickly.

I agree with John that the national security state is a fucking mess and needs reform. So, even though Rand Paul was advancing a conspiracy theory rather than addressing the real issue, the fact that he talked about it at all is worth some respect. I’m just not going to give him the serious nod that he’s getting around DC today because he made much ado about a peripheral issue.

Also, too: if the DC media weren’t a re-animated corpse, they’d point out that McConnell and the rest should be forced to stand on the Senate floor until their bladders are full when they “filibuster” something, just as Paul did last night.






156 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Forget it, mistermix. It’s Chinatown.

  2. 2
    Laur says:

    Maybe if Paul drafted some legislation I would give a flying fuck about his pathetic attempts to grandstand.

    Anyone who rationally believes the government is going to hunt you down with a drone because they believe you’re discussing secret terrorist acts at the corner Starbucks should be smacked in the face.

  3. 3
    Shalimar says:

    Paul dug in, saying he would be happy to end it, but only “if the president or the attorney general will clarify that they will not kill Americans on American soil.”

    In other words, he wants to be reassured that they will never kill white people.

  4. 4
    RaflW says:

    Do you seriously f’ing think Rand or any of these assclowns would be talking about US drone strikes if Mittens of Massachusetts were the Preznit today?

    No?

    Then this whole damn thing is Obama-blackity-hate, verse #447.

    The part about how if Paultard jr. was serious, he’d do this in appropriations is dead on. Poseur, prancer, bastard.

  5. 5
    Rex Everything says:

    Wow, even the liberal Mistermix is daring to hint at embarking on making rudimentary movements in the direction of stating the obvious.

    I wonder if even the liberal DougJ will ever abandon his principled, ballsy stance of not stating any position at all.

  6. 6
    RosiesDad says:

    Yeah, but tell me that you wouldn’t be happy if they took Dick Cheney out with a drone strike.

  7. 7
    4tehlulz says:

    Rand Paul has an opportunity to actually back his shit up with action; he could probably co-sponsor a bill with Ron Wyden.

    HAHA who am I kidding he doesn’t really give a shit.

  8. 8
    Todd says:

    There is always the next Timothy McVeigh to pre-excuse and to give succor to, and that is who Paul and Cruz are protecting.

    Discuss….

  9. 9
    dr. bloor says:

    Would the CIA do that?

    No, I believe that would be either the FBI or the NSA.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    the fact that he talked about it at all is worth some respect.

    Okay, but then doesn’t one have to apply this “trade off” approach consistently? Rand Paul is absolutely awful on every issue except he aligns with your views on nat sec. This happens all the time. Bloomberg is a Wall Street cheerleader and school privatizer, but he’s FOR gun control. I can ignore the aspects I hate if gun control is a huge issue for me, or I can apply a zero-tolerance analysis and reject Bloomberg’s help because he’s horrible in areas other than gun control. This would also apply for administration picks, would it not? Jack Lew is great on poor people BUT he has Wall Street ties. If you’re going to make a pragmatic “move the rhetorical ball on my issue” argument here, in this case, with Paul, I would submit that should be consistent across the board.
    I think it’s perfectly legit to completely reject Paul based on what is the most important issue or issues to an individual. Paul”s rhetoric on this issue is not enough for me to outweigh his views on everything else. In a transactional, pragmatic analysis, that’s a perfectly defensible view.

  11. 11
    Emma says:

    The problem with this is that I keep hearing a little voice in the back of my head reminding me that just because you’re on their side it doesn’t mean they’re on your side. Making common cause with Paul and other libertarian types is making common cause with scorpions. Sooner of later, they will do what is in their nature.

  12. 12
    Boots Day says:

    Does anyone think Rand Paul would have had a problem with Bush sending drones after Flight 93 on 9/11?

  13. 13
    Cassidy says:

    @RaflW: Yup and all our purity trolls are slurping it down like porn shoot. Who could have known that such serious and deeply held principles were so easily led around. Fuckin’ self-important wankers.

  14. 14
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Paul dug in, saying he would be happy to end it, but only “if the president or the attorney general will clarify that they will not kill Americans on American soil.”

    I’ll only buy this if people stop using the word “drone”. The drone doesn’t do anything special that a manned plane couldn’t do. Now if Paul wants to talk about the US government not killing any person on US soil, that would be a talk worth having, because at that point, people will finally realize that no government can make that guarantee and yet follow the constitution. You know, that whole “enemies foreign and domestic” thing.

  15. 15
    Cassidy says:

    Rand Paul wouldn’t think twice about using drones to take out an abortion clinic or a gathering of brown Americans demonstrating their lack of satisfaction with domestic policies.

    I dub thee the John Cole Sucker Brigade.

  16. 16
    4tehlulz says:

    @Boots Day: Well that was targeting Congress, so that’s legitimate self-defense (of the Paul family).

  17. 17

    You been tossing back more than your share mistermix?

  18. 18
    Hill Dweller says:

    ThinkProgress has a post up about Paul praising the Lochner v. New York decision, which is widely regarded as one of the worst in the history of the Supreme Court.

    Paul is a lunatic.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    Jesus, Kay. Our political system can’t survive the end of the double standard against Democrats.

  20. 20
    mistermix says:

    @Kay: Yeah, that was a bone, maybe I shouldn’t have thrown it, because I don’t have a whole lot of respect for the raggedy-ass way Paul chose to address the drone issue.

    That said, isn’t it pragmatic to build a coalition on an issue with someone with whom you mostly disagree? The difference between Paul, and, say, Bloomberg, is that Bloomberg is putting serious effort into gun control and has actually had some success (that IL-2 primary is a good example). I think it’s fine to make common cause with someone who can get things done on something you care about. The reason I’d be skeptical about common cause with Paul is that he’s always going to run off into the conspiracy theory weeds to appease his nutbag supporters.

  21. 21
    f space that says:

    @Kay: Thank you for this.

  22. 22
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “At that point, Paul could filibuster until an amendment was added to the bill to compel the Administration to release more information on drone killings, at a minimum, or to require specific authorizations of force before drones are used in any foreign country, or any number of other limitations that tied drone use and disclosure to funding.”

    Exactly!

    If Paul or any other Senator (Repub or Dem) filibusters a bill that could actually force the Obama administration to authorize oversight of how and when the drone program is used, I’ll applaud that Senator to the highest heavens. Otherwise, Paul was just grandstanding.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    Well, I just went thru it for Bloomberg. He can donate to gun control all he wants. I’m not aligning with a public school privatizer and union hater. One outweighs the other for me. To someone else, it may be quite different, obviously. They would put gun control ahead of labor or privatization, which I disagree with but is not “wrong”.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Boots Day

    They’re not magical. Flying at large passenger airplane cruising altitudes (30,000 feet and above) is not within their normal operational parameters (hard to assess what with newer and secretive models constantly coming up, but most credible reports give a top altitude efficacy of near 20,000 feet – usually significantly lower for surveillance in places such as Waziristan, where there are independently confirmed reports of being able to clearly hear the motor noise from the ground). Neither is successfully hitting a target which is itself moving at several hundred miles per hour.

  25. 25
    wonkie says:

    I don’t see why a person can’t both recognize Paul’s sophistry and hypocrisy while also reconginzing that Obama has been (especially for a COnstitutional lawyer) disappointing on some aspects of national security. The drone issue is rightwing paranoid bull crap, no different than the birth certificate stuff. Wing nuts are afraid tha tthe President they hate will use power agaisnt them becuase if they were in power they wouldn’t hesitate to kill their fellow Americans for domestic political reasons. But a real issue remains which neither Obama nor the Rethugliacns wants to touch: the lack of limits on Homeland security, the Fbi, the Cia to prevent abuse of power, one of those abuses being the use of those agencies by an adminitration for its own domestic poliical purposes. In other words Rethugs are afraid that Obama will do what they would do if they had the chance, but meanwhile, there is a real lack of reform of real problems. That’s how I see it anyway.

  26. 26
    BobS says:

    I’d put this in the ‘stopped clock is right twice a day’ category.

  27. 27
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @wonkie: Republicans want the power, but don’t want a Democrat, and especially a brown one, to have it. And we know that Obama is going to use drones in the US precisely because he hasn’t used drones in the US.

  28. 28
    burnspbesq says:

    the Obama Administration has repeatedly dodged Congressional oversight of the drone program.

    False. You can’t dodge something that doesn’t exist. Even if you fallaciously assume that the Constitution allows Congress to micro-manage a declared war, Congress has shown no sign of being interested in taking on that responsibility.

  29. 29
    Alex in NYC says:

    Excellent 10,000 Maniacs reference in the title…

  30. 30
    Cacti says:

    Paul dug in, saying he would be happy to end it, but only “if the president or the attorney general will clarify that they will not kill Americans on American soil.”

    How does one expect the POTUS to make such a blanket promise, when there are situations that keeping it would be an abdication of the duties of the office?

    Oh, wait, it wasn’t a serious question. It was just Baby Doc Paultard, Jr. pulling out his pud and fapping on the senate floor for 12 hours.

  31. 31
    Jane2 says:

    @Kay: This all or nothing attitude is what poisons American politics. I’m no Rand Paul fan, but I think his point about killing US citizens without benefit of charge or trial is rather important. I don’t have to like one other thing he says to acknowledge that that point is legitimate and worthy of debate.

    And I’m glad he did a real filibuster, and I’m glad a Democrat joined him to make the same point.

  32. 32
    Kay says:

    @mistermix:

    Bloomberg, is that Bloomberg is putting serious effort into gun control and has actually had some success (that IL-2 primary is a good example).

    Sure, but for me, Bloomberg’s harm outweighs his help. I can see joining with him on gun control, I wouldn’t kick you out of my house if you did that, but that’s not a trade-off I’m willing to make. Partly it’s regional and local. We have a much stronger connection with labor here than we do with gun control advocates, so in that sense it’s also pragmatic for me. Labor are effective here, in the same way Bloomberg’s money may have been effective in the Illinois House race. I didn’t look at the Bloomberg IL candidate on school privatization and labor issues, but that is what I would do if I were making that choice. Bloomberg’s views are a deal breaker (for me!) on those. If she’s pro gun control but bad on unions and school privatization I break off there.
    Civil libertarians (liberal) are doing the same thing, in my view, making a trade-off.

  33. 33
    Jane2 says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): The fundamental difference is that a drone is completely risk free for the aggressor.

  34. 34
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cacti: however, what would the consequences be if holder had answered that question “no. We can’t use drones here.”

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @Jane2:

    The fundamental difference is that a drone is completely risk free for the aggressor.

    As opposed to a cruise missile?

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    @Jane2:

    This all or nothing attitude is what poisons American politics.

    Well, I’m not saying you have to adopt an all or nothing approach. Actually I’m saying the opposite. I’m saying you’re applying a transactional, pragmatic, move the rhetorical ball approach HERE, perhaps because this issue is very important to you. Another person would use your same analysis and reject Paul, because his views here don’t outweigh the bad on their issue.

  37. 37

    Some thoughts…

    – I give Senator Aqua Buddha credit for actually performing a filibuster instead of the weaselly way it’s usually done. Maybe that will give some Senate Democrats an idea that it’s not a particularly bad thing to code into their rules.

    – I wish Sen. Aqua Buddha had expanded his discussion and started talking about how maybe using freedom bombs based on pattern identification and causing civilian deaths in the process is not making us safer as a nation. But he probably saw dad’s presidential polling numbers and realized that saying things like that makes you radioactive to the GOP.

    – Wanting some checks and balances on a drone program does not mean I am embracing Republican policies, nor rooting for Republicans, nor planning on voting for Republicans, nor taking wide stances in the bathroom hoping to run into Senate Republicans. I have a memory of the last time the GOP was in charge. Obama is better than Bush by 100 degrees of magnitude. I’d still like more checks on Presidential power.

  38. 38
    Cacti says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    however, what would the consequences be if holder had answered that question “no. We can’t use drones here.”

    It would be a distinction without any meaningful difference, except for drone fetishists.

  39. 39
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cacti: then perhaps he should have just said no.

  40. 40
    Kay says:

    @Jane2:

    All I’m saying is I can do the same thing, and reach a different conclusion, and we’re using the same approach. I’m not using “all or nothing”. Instead I’m looking at the whole picture and rejecting that particular trade-off. Paul’s role as an advocate here doesn’t outweigh his advocacy elsewhere, on many, many things I disagree with, to me.

  41. 41
    Todd says:

    @Jane2:

    This all or nothing attitude is what poisons American politics. I’m no Rand Paul fan, but I think his point about killing US citizens without benefit of charge or trial is rather important. I don’t have to like one other thing he says to acknowledge that that point is legitimate and worthy of debate.

    Cognitive dissonance is ironic. Wasn’t the whole dustup about Holder refusing to give an all or nothing blanket statement?

  42. 42
    Jane2 says:

    @Kay: I reject 98 percent of what Paul says (I do like his TSA stance as well). But on the 2 percent, I’m glad that he’s making a public issue because precious few are.

    I don’t think of it in terms of good outweighing bad, but in terms of a policy position on an issue that is important to me. If we agree, that’s all to the good for me, regardless of the political affiliation, because the issue may never be resolved to my satisfaction, but at least it gets air time where it needs to get air, in the decision-making chamber.

    Whether it’s the deterioriation of the rule of law, institutionalized union busting a la Wisconsin, rolling back voting rights…it’s darned near impossible to find political debate among the people who are making the decisions. For that alone, Paul’s day in the Senate should be applauded.

  43. 43
    Todd says:

    @Jane2:

    The fundamental difference is that a drone is completely risk free for the aggressor.

    The redcoats were displeased by the notion that the colonials refused to engage in honorable face to face combat by massed battalions of men in lines.

  44. 44
    Chris says:

    @Boots Day:

    Yes, insofar as “meaningless grandstanding which you eventually back down from with absolutely nothing accomplished” can be construed as “having a problem with.” His dad did his fair share of meaningless grandstanding against the war on terror in his day.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suffern ACE: He didn’t say a categorical no because he didn’t want to lie.

  46. 46
    Cacti says:

    @Chris:

    Yes, insofar as “meaningless grandstanding which you eventually back down from with absolutely nothing accomplished” can be construed as “having a problem with.” His dad did his fair share of meaningless grandstanding against the war on terror in his day.

    Might as well have had a 12-hour discussion about who farted in the chamber.

  47. 47
    Jane2 says:

    @Todd: Cognitive dissonance? Giving a non-answer as Holder did is a time-honored official response. The fact that he works for an administration of which you approve does not change that.

    The legal goalposts have moved a long way since the hallowed 9/11. It’s worth it to have a discussion, even if we don’t agree.

  48. 48
    Hoodie says:

    @burnspbesq: Ding. All we have is the AUMF, and they’d be using it to crawl up Obama’s ass for dereliction of duty if he wasn’t sending out the drones. Anyway, I seem to recall Brennan is advocating getting the CIA out of the drone business and having congress lay down some rules in this area, so what exactly is the point of filibustering his nomination? Rand Paul is a grandstanding asswipe, he’s just playing to the Ruby Ridge crowd. I wouldn’t give him the sweat off my balls, much less credit for anything. Give him credit for using the talking filibuster? What nonsense. You give credit for the substance, not the form. Use him as an example of what a filibuster should be limited to? Sure.

  49. 49
    Cacti says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    He didn’t say a categorical no because he didn’t want to lie.

    The drone fetishists don’t do nuance.

    Robots is ebil.

  50. 50
    Jane2 says:

    @Cacti: Fair point. To me the point is killing US citizens with no oversight and no pretense of due process. The fact that it’s from afar and couched in national security and 9/11 9/11 9/11 seems to make it unworthy of debate.

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    @Jane2:

    regardless of the political affiliation

    But you’re making it about a “political affliliation” which would tend to discredit people who disagree with you. They’re ALL about the politics, while you’re an issues person. They could be an “issues person” and reject Paul. They simply weigh issues differently than you do, which is FINE.
    We just had a discussion like this regarding Hagel. If someone tells me “I don’t support people who have a 90% rating from conservative lobbyists” and another tells me “it’s so important to have someone reject neoconservative views that I support Hagel because of that” BOTH of those people are talking about issues, and BOTH of those people are using the same analysis.

  52. 52
    some guy says:

    dear John Cole,

    Thank you for raising a middle finger and giving a big FU to the amoral monsters and reactionary assholes among your commentariat.

    made my morning.

  53. 53
    geg6 says:

    Again, I am puzzled by all this fuss over DRONEZ! Since when has the federal government NOT had the power to kill Americans on American soil? I guess when you grew up in the ground zero of the Whiskey Rebellion, you know these things from birth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiskey_Rebellion

  54. 54
    Todd says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    however, what would the consequences be if holder had answered that question “no. We can’t use drones here.”

    Then the right wing freakout would be that Obama is weak on national security and wants to use poorly armed police to arrest terrorists, try them in civilian courts with tax-paid lawyers and then put them in cushy prisons with cable TV and gyms.

    Remember, the goal is to oppose anything Obama does. If the man runs this whole anti-terror apparatus effectively and on a low-key, no drama basis, he is a powerful bloodthirsty criminal mastermind. If in the process, he draws down forces and makes life safer for US servicemen and the indigenous residents of one of the areas, he hates the troops and is an incompetent weakling, regardless of the effectiveness of the drone list.

    And if he has an Awlaki or Bin Laden killed, the same people who were hunky dory for killing Salvador Allende in order to install Augusto Pinochet are now sobbing like crocodiles.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jane2:

    To me the point is killing US citizens with no oversight and no pretense of due process.

    Which US citizens are being killed with no oversight and no pretense of due process?

  56. 56
    Todd says:

    Moderation?

    ETA – don’t know the trigger.

    Had Holder categorically ruled out US drone use against citizens, the right wing freakout would be that Obama is weak on national security and wants to use poorly armed police to arrest terrorists, try them in civilian courts with tax-paid lawyers and then put them in cushy prisons with cable TV and gyms.

    Remember, the goal is to oppose anything Obama does. If the man runs this whole anti-terror apparatus effectively and on a low-key, no drama basis, he is a powerful bloodthirsty criminal mastermind. If in the process, he draws down forces and makes life safer for US servicemen and the indigenous residents of one of the areas, he hates the troops and is an incompetent weakling, regardless of the effectiveness of the drone list.

    And if he has an Awlaki or Bin Laden killed, the same people who were fine with killing Salvador Allende in order to install Augusto Pinochet are now sobbing like crocodiles.

  57. 57
    the Conster says:

    @Cacti:

    Baby Doc Paultard, Jr.

    LOL, and exactly. I don’t care if he was filibustering in support of nuking Dick Cheney, he’s an entitled nutbag pissant who should be treated with nothing more than scornful contempt by anyone to the left of Evan Bayh. Him raising this issue should only be understood as sheer self-promotion and careerism and not about principle, but then I don’t have an inner Greenwald that gets all tingly about this.

  58. 58
    liberal says:

    @Kay:
    I don’t think his nat sec views are all that good. I can’t remember if it was re Iran or re the hawkish nuttiness in general, but he gave a “major” nat sec policy speech recently and was full of equivocations.

  59. 59
    scav says:

    heavens, that dick-swinging torture-approving ticking-bomb ‘mercans are now fainting over the prospect of killing the same individuals they’d cheerfully waterboard while trumpetting their supreme patriotism and adherence to the grim realistic grit of 24. . . amusing as ever.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Also, if Rand Paul is actually interested in this issue, let’s see him introduce legislation repealing or severely limiting the AUMF.

    ::watches tumbleweeds roll past::

  61. 61
    chopper says:

    @BobS:

    yes, and just because a stopped clock is right twice a day doesn’t mean I’m hanging it up on my wall. fuck rand paul.

  62. 62
    Cacti says:

    @Jane2:

    To me the point is killing US citizens with no oversight and no pretense of due process. The fact that it’s from afar and couched in national security and 9/11 9/11 9/11 seems to make it unworthy of debate.

    An authorization for the use of military force places the POTUS at the zenith of his powers as CinC of the armed forces. If Congress wants to rein things in, they can rescind the AUMF or use the power of the purse. Arguing over the use of drones on domestic belligerents vs. some other lethal means is hair-splitting wankery.

  63. 63
    General Stuck says:

    Great. The axis of stupid. Rand Paul Mr. Mix, and John Cole, our moral ethical superiors in every way. Just turn your brains off and emo prog drones all day long. Stupid motherfuckers, and Iraq war supporters have zero zilch nada credibility. Especially running their mouths drunk most of the time. Rand Paul?, seriously, that is who you are breaking intellectual bread with?

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    however, what would the consequences be if holder had answered that question “no. We can’t use drones here.”

    I, for one, don’t want to “can’t use drones here.” They’re fucking useful little buggers, performing the same duties as police helicopters in a much more convenient way. Would I have a problem with drones being used to kill Americans? Well, it’s kind of hard for me to argue that there could never be a situation where they could be put to that use, considering that we DO allow our police to use lethal force under certain circumstances. I can think of a few heavily armed militias and compounds sprinkled across the country where the use of an armed drone MIGHT be preferable to storming the castle should they ever start any shit.

  65. 65
    Jane2 says:

    @Kay: Totally agree. It’s why I jumped into the conversation even though I know I’m a minority in the BJ community on this.

  66. 66
    PeakVT says:

    Looks like Rodman’s peace initiative has failed.

    Fortunately, the Hagel nomination hearings showed that Washington is deeply concerned with the matter.

  67. 67
    chopper says:

    @some guy:

    i’m a big bad monster because I can’t see any legal or moral difference between dropping a bomb from a manned plane and dropping one from an unmanned plane! buuuur, spooky!

  68. 68
    f space that says:

    I guess the anti-drone folks don’t remember that we live in a country with the Republican party. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are not to be trusted. Cruz was questioning Holder with malicious intent to be used against Obama. How anyone who lived through the 90’s and the last 5 years can make common cause with a Republican is beyond me. The whole national security state is B.S. we all know that, but Obama has to govern in a world where these bastards will impeach him at the drop of a hat. You don’t think they’ll try if they get control of the Senate and House in 2014.

    If Paul and the rest of those grandstanding assholes had said that the drone program needs to end AND we will live with the consequences should there be an attack I might be inclined to be sympathetic to him. We all know what will happen if the program ends and a preventable attack occurs.

  69. 69
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Where’s the legislation? Where’s the committee hearing? Where’s the amendment?

    The guy has a bunch of effective tools at his disposal, but used the most useless. I’m not applauding him.

    The Republicans want to criticize over actuals and hypotheticals without doing the real job of proposing legislation because doing so would open them up for the criticisms they are leveling at the the executive.

    Anyone applauding Paul for this is an idiot blinded by style over substance. Also too, you are legitimizing an approach that weakens the president politically and does nothing to curtail the real problem of the national security state.

    In short, you are being treated like the GOP base. If you like that, then you have more lizard brain than you think.

  70. 70
    Jane2 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi?

  71. 71
    Todd says:

    @scav:

    heavens, that dick-swinging torture-approving ticking-bomb ‘mercans are now fainting over the prospect of killing the same individuals they’d cheerfully waterboard while trumpetting their supreme patriotism and adherence to the grim realistic grit of 24. . . amusing as ever.

    Is it the incompetent black Jimmy “Flower Lover” Carter singing Kumbaya we’re dealing with, or is it the evil genius President for Life Shabazz X Stalin Bin Roosevelt?

    I guess it depends on the Meme of the Day.

    I just wish the Kenyan atheist Muslim socialist crony capitalist would announce a public service effort to get people to stop pissing on electrical outlets.

  72. 72
    geg6 says:

    @Cacti:

    Arguing over the use of drones on domestic belligerents vs. some other lethal means is hair-splitting wankery.

    THIS. THIS. THIS.

  73. 73
    Cacti says:

    @chopper:

    i’m a big bad monster because I can’t see any legal or moral difference between dropping a bomb from a manned plane and dropping one from an unmanned plane! buuuur, spooky!

    Count me in as one of those who doesn’t consider one killing machine more gentlemanly than another.

  74. 74
    crosspalms says:

    At least Paul gave us 12 hours of quotes to hang around his neck.

    “That Americans could be killed in a café in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in Bowling Green, Ky., is an abomination,” Paul said. “It is something that should not and cannot be tolerated in our country.”

    Gun control, Senator, glad you’re behind it.

  75. 75
    Jane2 says:

    @Cacti: Are CIA assassinations military operations?

  76. 76
    Todd says:

    @Jane2:

    Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi?

    Your tears over that sick dead fuck taste sweet.

  77. 77
    Jane2 says:

    @Todd: That would be the US-born son of the sick dead fuck.

  78. 78
    Cassidy says:

    Whoop….I made it. I had to sprint and do a few 3-5 second rushes and a combat roll from my car to the building. It may have been a model airplane, but you never know when the drones are coming for you.

  79. 79
    Culture of Truth says:

    Paul’s filibuster was not really about drones. It was about whether the US can be part of the battlefield under the AUMF, and therefore can the President target a person, more specifically an American, on American soil, which seems incongruous, to say the least, although it follows logically from current policy. Indeed, Lindsay Graham said the President could do so yesterday.

    So it’s a decent question, but a fairly narrow one. If a President were to use military force against a target here in America, why would he use a drone? Wouldn’t he just assassinate via a SEAL team? In any case, the real question is, can the President designate an American an enemy combatant, which Bush did in 2002, to the cheers of conservatives. As recently as 2010, conservative Senators attacked Eric Holder for giving suspects too many 5th Amendment rights. Do they still feel this way? Who knows?

  80. 80
    Robert says:

    Is Rand Paul okay with other methods of killing US citizens? Or is it just limited to the wingnut fantasy that Obama is turning over the sovereignty of the US to the UN/WTO and declaring himself permanent dictator of the US by way of drone strikes and gun bans?

  81. 81
    Kay says:

    @liberal:

    Who? Hagel? I sort of agree. He may have been a tad oversold as this big principled opponent of Empire :)

    He hasn’t said anything that strikes me as unusual. Hopefully he’s horrible at talking but better at acting.

    Not that it matters, but I also think Paul is a poor advocate, if we’re looking at effective advocacy, as in “persuasion”. I actually watched his Senate race closely, because it was ABOUT very fundamental legal theories, the entire underpinning of the New Deal and civil rights, thru the commerce clause (his opponent was a very good lawyer) and he was terrible. Sneering, dismissing settled case law, etc. I’m not all that sure he has a huge affection for the ACTUAL Rule of Law. He seems to have an alternate, libertarian view of “US law”. You can hate what’s happened to US law since Lochner, and libertarians do, but you can’t deny it’s lawful. The SCOTUS says “what the law is”. You can try to change that, but denying it is current law is really uncharted waters.

  82. 82
    Todd says:

    @crosspalms:

    “That Americans could be killed in a café in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in Bowling Green, Ky., is an abomination,” Paul said. “It is something that should not and cannot be tolerated in our country.”

    Gun control, Senator, glad you’re behind it.

    Sadly, local news is treating the applause as if it were congratulatory, when it was undoubtedly from relief.

    Guess I’m glad I’m not a Senator. I’d have slow clapped the fucker over that one, just like high school, right in the middle of him talking, Senate rules be damned.

  83. 83
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’d definitely make an exception to the “no killing Americans on American soil rule” if the drone targeted Ron Paul and his entire fucking family, to include all his vile spawn.

  84. 84
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    When the local police can call up snipers. SWAT, and other forces trained specifically to kill US citizens without due process, this notion that the president is somehow the tipping point of tyranny is laughable.

    The sniper iz a R0BOT1!1!!!!!1!

  85. 85
    Marcelo says:

    @Chris: I agree, and I think saying “can we use drones” or not misses the point. The question isn’t whether or not we can use them, the question is whether we’re going to have oversight, court orders, legal redress available, that sort of thing.

    If we need to storm Waco again, I’d like to do it in a way where people can ask questions about it and the government can talk about it openly. It’s not the tech, it’s the “just trust us” that doesn’t work.

  86. 86
    chopper says:

    @Cacti:

    of course republicans in congress won’t rein in AUMF. not only because it would make them look ‘weak on defense’, but they really do want the president to kill al qaeda dudes. they just want it to be a GOP president doing it, and until that is the case they’ll piss and moan about any and every manner in which obama tries to accomplish it. because they absolutely have to complain about everything the guy does.

    that’s all this is really about. it’s just goopers being goopers.

  87. 87
    Todd says:

    @Jane2:

    That would be the US-born son of the sick dead fuck.

    Guess his daddy should have thought about that before bringing him so closely into the family business of terror.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jane2: That’s what I thought you would say. There are very few US citizens who are arguably senior operational al-Qaida leaders living in a desert beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement. al-Awlaki is sui generis; I am uncomfortable with the idea of basing policy on a one in 300 million case.

  89. 89
    Peter says:

    If you want greater congressional oversight of the drones program – and I fully support this goal – you should focus on the people who actually have the power to enact it: congress. All they would need is to repeal or modify the AUMF and then use the powers at their disposal. Ranting and raving that Obama is history’s greatest monster for using the powers granted him by congress isn’t going to help jack fucking shit.

  90. 90
    jibeaux says:

    + 10 for the 10,000 Maniacs reference in the title in a piece about our representative democracy, mistermix

  91. 91
    Todd says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That’s what I thought you would say. There are very few US citizens who are arguably senior operational al-Qaida leaders living in a desert beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement. al-Awlaki is sui generis; I am uncomfortable with the idea of basing policy on a one in 300 million case.

    Jane just wants Obama to be able to send sternly worded diplomatic notes to rogue governments unwilling or unable to turn over nonstate actors, while he wrings his hands over powerless and the right wing flogs him mercilessly about him being weak on security. Then, when the right wing takes over every organ of government, she can moan about the loss of life on both sides resulting from profitable massive military invasions of the neighbors of rogue states.

    Its a twofer from her end.

  92. 92
    geg6 says:

    @Jane2:

    Yeah. Too bad, that, right? A totally innocent kid of another victim of the World’s Greatest Monster, just hanging around in Yemen on vacation with dad and, after dad was so unfairly killed by OMG!DRONEZ!, having dinner with dad’s fraternity buddies, who were also totally innocent and deaths that Obama should be impeached for, right?

    Whatever…I’m just glad I’ve never been so naive in my entire life as to think that there are never any real enemies out there who want to kill Americans and that humans, especially American humans, prefer non-violence over violence when dealing with an enemy that wants to kill them. A born cynic, that’s me.

  93. 93
    Cacti says:

    In the Civil War era, one can readily imagine the emo progs and glibertarians chastising Lincoln for his unsporting use of Monitor class ironclads against wooden hulled Confederate blockade runners.

  94. 94
    f space that says:

    @Cacti: I thought Civil War analogies were now off limits.

  95. 95
    scav says:

    could Florideans use drones to stand their ground in this brave new paul principled world? Or can ground only be stood with the holy handgun held by private individuals of the proper kind of ‘mercan?

  96. 96
    Chris says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Paul’s filibuster was not really about drones. It was about whether the US can be part of the battlefield under the AUMF, and therefore can the President target a person, more specifically an American, on American soil, which seems incongruous, to say the least, although it follows logically from current policy.

    See, that’s a better question. And if that really is what he was talking about (I didn’t watch), I am less mad.

    Personally, the reason I’ve always been on board with the war on terror (e.g. using the military and intelligence community to chase down terrorists overseas) at least in principle is simply the fact that if your terrorists are based in foreign countries where the local government is either on their side or not in control of the region housing them, that pretty much ends all your options for bringing down Bin Laden, Zawahiri, Awlaki and all the others through police and judicial means. So if you want that organization taken down, you’re pretty much going to have to use the national security state.

    American soil, of course, is not Yemen or AfPak or Somalia – we control the territory, we have effective legal and police means at our disposal, so there’s no reason to treat it as a battlefield (except in the event of a really serious uprising like the Civil War, but that is not and never will be the case with islamist cells). Similar argument applies to places like Britain, Germany and France, allied countries controlled by an effective government where, again, the military needn’t be used – police cooperation is all it takes. I wouldn’t mind the U.S. government making that distinction clear as a matter of policy.

    (That of course doesn’t mean that drones can’t be a part of that police and judicial system, or that they can NEVER be used to kill people since the police does have the authority to kill people under some circumstances).

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    @liberal:

    And I’m sorry because you were probably talking about Paul and nat sec, not Hagel.

  98. 98
    Chris says:

    @Marcelo:

    I agree.

  99. 99
    Redshirt says:

    I have no idea what all the yakking is about.

    Is it about war? War is bad? Yeah, killing is bad?

    Is it about technology? Robots is bad? More efficient killing methods are bad as opposed to less efficient?

    What the heck is going on?

  100. 100
    Kay says:

    @scav:

    I think that’s a fair question. SYG (the modern, lobbyist version) is state-sanctioned (possible) execution sans trial. That’s what it is. Since they’ve taken it out of the castle doctrine (your home) and out to the street, car, wherever, that’s some broad leeway for a possible mistaken execution with no prior investigation. It’s not a state actor, but it’s state-sanctioned, obviously.

  101. 101
    LAC says:

    Oh, please. Rand Paul is a dick that hasn’t fallen too far away the dick tree. He did his grandstanding shit for the same reason Lindsey Graham is having the vapors over not having access to an AKA in order to protect his his liza minnelli wigs, caftans, and cats family. Trying to show up the President and solidfy his base of weird fucks. Giving him even a semi handy because the word DRONES was a part of it is a stretch. That fucking hypocrite has no problem with the gun situation in this country, which is real. Fuck him and his whole family.

    And again, not losing sleep over some fuck with U.S citizenship that leaves the country and aligns himself with those that want to blow us up by land, sea or air. You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

  102. 102
    Jeremy says:

    I’m so tired of hearing about drones. They act like the government going after American citizens who are domestic enemies never happened before. It’s been going on since this country was established. This reminds me of the Bin Laden raid where some on the left were complaining because they killed him instead of arresting him. It really was pathetic seeing people complain about that. Yes, there should be more oversight but the hysteria is annoying.

  103. 103
    Cassidy says:

    @Redshirt: We’re having our weekly schism.

  104. 104
    f space that says:

    @LAC: Gun death count since Sandy Hook as of today 2,506. Where’s the concern Rand “Shit Weasel” Paul ?

  105. 105
    Redshirt says:

    @f space that: I’ll wait for Some Guy to list all their names and shame us all as monsters for not… doing something.

  106. 106
    Culture of Truth says:

    See, that’s a better question. And if that really is what he was talking about (I didn’t watch), I am less mad.

    It is. Actually he got his answer earlier in the day but he had planning the filibuster, so he spent 12 hours pretending he didn’t, making it all the stranger.

  107. 107
    Boots Day says:

    @Jane2: The reason it’s about 9/11 9/11 9/11 is because that is what Holder specifically claimed would be the type of scenario in which they’d use drones on American soil, that or Pearl Harbor. Given Paul’s quote about “if the president or the attorney general will clarify that they will not kill Americans on American soil,” it seems reasonable to ask if he would have been opposed to the use of such force on 9/11.

    There’s really no good answer that Holder could have given. If he had ruled out the use of drones even in the event of a terrorist attack on the homeland, he could have been accused of being a Muslim sympathizer who hated America. But giving the answer he gave left him open to attack by Kentucky militia members who are sure Obama’s going to send a drone after them since they represent such a threat to his socialist republic.

  108. 108
    gVOR08 says:

    Somebody needs to explain to Rand Paul that there are in fact hypothetical situations in which the President would be expected to attack US citizens on US soil. If, just to construct an example, Kentucky were to secede from the Union and Rand Paul were to lead resistance to Federal authorities, the rest of us would still regard Kentucky as US soil and Rand Paul as a US citizen, and I, for one, would expect Obama to put a Hellfire where the sun don’t shine on rand posthaste.

  109. 109
    the Conster says:

    @Jeremy:

    Yes, there should be more oversight

    Too bad Paul the Younger Idiot doesn’t have any say in the only institution that could accomplish that. Oh, wait…

  110. 110
    Jeremy says:

    @geg6: And I recall the hysteria during the underwear bomber plot, and people were complaining that Obama should do something. Now some are saying that Obama should not go after terrorists.

    If America were to be attacked under his watch I bet you the tune would change real quick.

  111. 111
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Boots Day: That’s right. Holder’s statement was relatively innocuous but Paul had to make it seem outrageous. Paul backed himself into a somewhat tight corner, claiming this was only about killing a non-combatant American on American soil, and claiming this was “simple question.” But lawyers do like to get boxed in on such questions, especially when competing Constitutional provisions are involved. For example, if the President shot down hijacked plane,non-combat involved civilians would be killed.

  112. 112
    bargal says:

    I’m comforted by the knowledge that Rand Paul and most of you don’t give a shit if the CIA drones the fuck out of non-American me while I sleep in my non-American bed.

  113. 113
    opie jeanne says:

    @Kay: Los Angeles just had an election on Tuesday for the office of mayor and for school board members and school issues. Bloomberg spent a lot of money backing certain candidates and the commentator on KNX radio made some noises about how embarrassing it is that the mayor of NY was spending money on the local school elections, how far Los Angeles schools are behind when compared to Chicago and New York. There was something mumbled about charter schools, right at the end, but there was no explanation of what that meant but it sounded like LA is behind those other two cities in instituting charter schools. Originally in SoCal I don’t think they were what they are now, I don’t think they were a business.

    Washington state voters passed a law in November to allow charter schools, while rejecting the gubernatorial candidate who was behind the charter schools measure. Right now Olympia is fighting it, saying it’s unconstitutional, trying everything to avoid setting them up.

  114. 114
    General Stuck says:

    @bargal:

    Wrap your pillow in tin foil. It blocks the drone signals and you should be okee dokee, at least till morning.

  115. 115
    Culture of Truth says:

    He spent about two hours railing about Lochner and slavery too.

  116. 116
    eemom says:

    the fact that he talked about it at all is worth some respect.

    oh for fuck’s sake.

    I’ll say it again for the third time: I cannot fathom the idiocy that deems the simple act of uttering words the idiot wants to hear as worthy of respect.

  117. 117
    Kay says:

    @opie jeanne:

    Thank you, but this is what I’m currently following (obsessively) so I was aware of both of those.
    I keep waiting for Arne Duncan to show up close to here, so I can go and ask him thousands of questions, but he spends all his time with Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee and the Wal Mart heirs. Famous people.
    I read email correspondance between Booker and Duncan’s office (the ACLU sued to get it) and it was just all billionaire “school reform” donors and government (Booker, Duncan).
    I have concerns, and I’m a public school parent! When do I get a hearing? Do I need a billion dollars?

  118. 118
    Boots Day says:

    You know what would be worth some respect? If Rand Paul was willing to do the hard work of crafting legislation that would help to accomplish the goals of liberty he professes to believe so deeply in, rather than pulling a stunt that accomplishes nothing other than to draw the entire nation’s attention toward Rand Paul.

  119. 119
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Redshirt: Some are upset about the lack of oversight, which it reasonable. And there are others who just irrational.

  120. 120
    Todd says:

    @bargal:

    I’m comforted by the knowledge that Rand Paul and most of you don’t give a shit if the CIA drones the fuck out of non-American me while I sleep in my non-American bed.

    As long as you’re not a terrorist or living next door to one, you should be fine.

  121. 121
    scav says:

    @Todd: Well, that’s an optimistic view of USian targetting. proximity to wedding parties also seems to carry risk.

  122. 122
    chopper says:

    @bargal:

    you live in an al qaeda camp? man, this is really a diverse blog.

  123. 123
    f space that says:

    @chopper: Well if Ted “Calgary” Cruz is ever elected President they better hope they aren’t involved in a labor dispute. I suspect Cruz would be all for droning some striking commies.

  124. 124
    Chris says:

    @Jeremy:

    And I recall the hysteria during the underwear bomber plot, and people were complaining that Obama should do something. Now some are saying that Obama should not go after terrorists.

    It always depends on who the terrorists are. Wingnuts were tying up Bill Clinton’s attempts at anti-terrorist legislation in the late nineties out of terror that he’d use them to go after right-wing militias which are of course perfectly inoffensive and upstanding citizens. (Even after OKC).

    It’s a very interesting if sick situation, actually. Generally, the way things work is “the higher up the targets of terrorism are, the more the state will overreact.” Which is why, for example, a spate of anarchist bombings towards the end of World War One provoked a much more hysterical reaction than the Ku Klux Klan resurgence in that same time period – the anarchists were targeting Important People, the Klan mostly targeted the underclass.

    But nowadays, you’ve seen the rise of a right wing militia movement that DOES target the authorities (OKC being the most blatant case of that), but can still count on support from a fuckton of said authorities, which will do everything they can do deny the security state the ability to go after them.

  125. 125
    General Stuck says:

    OH NOES!! I had a thought that Obama could nuke us all because he can. discuss.

  126. 126
    Bobby Thomson says:

    The Company is already prohibited by law from acting in the United States. Not saying that they don’t, just that it’s already been banned. And of course, there are plenty of alphabet agencies with domestic jurisdiction.

  127. 127
    FlipYrWhig says:

    People have latched onto “drones” because they sound dystopian, I think, but the real issue is “I don’t like the idea that the government can draw up a list of people who need killing, then kill them.” Which is a valid point.

    But Coming up with the process by which the infinitesimal number of “people who pose an imminent and catastrophic threat” (about whom most people would say, OK, I see why it would be a good idea to assassinate that guy rather than arresting him) are sorted out from “people who are irritants or dissidents and may be carrying weapons” (about whom most people would say, Hell no, you can’t assassinate that guy) strikes me as somewhat difficult to do in a process that isn’t shrouded in secrecy. How does the government make assurances that the secret process is also fair? Kinda difficult by nature, isn’t it?

    ETA: got sidetracked partway through… It’s also possible that the government does have the power to do terrible things to you, legally. The way to change that is to make law against it.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peter:

    If you want greater congressional oversight of the drones program – and I fully support this goal – you should focus on the people who actually have the power to enact it: congress.

    And this, of course, is what drives me absolutely insane about people applauding Paul for this bullshit move. You know who could get some congressional oversight of the drones program implemented? United States Senator Rand fucking Paul. But, no, he’d rather grandstand on the floor of the Senate than actually take action.

    No wonder the emoprogs love him now.

    @geg6:

    I do feel sorry for al-Awlaki’s son, because a 16-year-old is not going to be able to make a good choice when it comes to being in a war zone.

    You know who could have made a good choice and kept his son away from that war zone? His father.

    So, yeah, sorry, the person who is primarily responsible for the death of Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi is his own father, not the US government.

  129. 129
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @f space that: Paul doesn’t want the drone program to end — just wants a promise that it will never be used against him and his ilk. If he wanted it to end or to come under Congressional review, he’d propose some legislation to that end.

  130. 130
    Cassidy says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    If he wanted it to end or to come under Congressional review, he’d propose some legislation to that end.

    But why do that when you can grandstand and make all the glibertarians, purity lefties and Cole cream their panties.

    Although, to his credit, he stood there and fillibustered. The man knows how to make a scene.

  131. 131
    Mutaman says:

    “Also, too: if the DC media weren’t a re-animated corpse, they’d point out that McConnell and the rest should be forced to stand on the Senate floor until their bladders are full when they “filibuster” something, just as Paul did last night.”

    Well, thanks to the Democrats we don’t have to worry about that happening, do we?

  132. 132
    bargal says:

    Self -absorbed fucking Americans who don’t see non-Americans as real people.

    Time for you to blow the shit out of another country and have a moral crisis because you didn’t give your killbot army a parade when they got home. Because it’s always about you.

  133. 133
    Cassidy says:

    @bargal: Wow, you are so on the wrong blog dude/ dudette. If you want to go and piss and moan about American Exceptionalism, at least have the balls to do it on a conservative site.

  134. 134
  135. 135

    @Jane2: and @geg6:
    More importantly, Al-Awlaki received due process of law. Fucking Greenwald goes around pretending this wasn’t approved by two different judges.

    Mind you, thanks to the AUMF he does not have to get due process of law like a civilian criminal, but he got it anyway.

  136. 136
    MomSense says:

    @Robert:

    The Paulians are worried about drones because they are not sure they can go to their local WalMart, or gun show and get the adequate defense to resist that particular tyranny.

    The solution to a bad guy with drones is a good guy with shoulder fired surface to air missiles.

  137. 137
    Svensker says:

    but even if you grant that the fantasy that the CIA would kill Americans on American soil (versus the reality of them having killed Americans overseas), the place to protest that is when the defense and intelligence appropriation bills come to the floor. At that point, Paul could filibuster until an amendment was added to the bill to compel the Administration to release more information on drone killings, at a minimum, or to require specific authorizations of force before drones are used in any foreign country, or any number of other limitations that tied drone use and disclosure to funding. But that would be possibly effective and certainly risky to Paul’s electoral future, so instead he filibustered Brennan,

    No time to read the comments so maybe this has already been answered, but who are you quoting Mistermix?

  138. 138
    bargal says:

    @Cassidy: No, I’m obviously at the right place.

    The discussion here stinks of American exceptionalism, because every American here believes deep in their heart that Americans are exceptional.

  139. 139
    opie jeanne says:

    @Kay: Yes, I guess you do need a billion dollars.

    What was particularly galling was the reporter making no explanation of the charter schools issue, she didn’t explain that Bloomberg was backing school board members who were in favor of for-profit charters. This was on KNX which is usually fairly liberal.

  140. 140
    scav says:

    The gift of knowing the inner thoughts of every single person reading a blog post, in fact, every single person in an entire largish county, is given only to non-americans, clearly.

  141. 141

    @scav:
    I understand what you’re saying, but man, so many of the locals claim this same power.

    What’s the odds that bargal is a new name for the guy who gave the unfortunate speech about buying a wife? I guess it’s too easy for this to be coincidence.

  142. 142
    opie jeanne says:

    @Kay: And I am spectacularly unimpressed by billionaires right now.

    Rob McKenna was the gubernatorial candidate who was pushing the private charters issue, and the voters didn’t elect him; it’s as if the voters had no idea what the charter schools issue was about, and I’m still a bit vague about the exact plan other than that it takes money away from public schools, which is Not Good.

  143. 143
    Cassidy says:

    @bargal: You’re trying to hard.

  144. 144
    Kay says:

    @opie jeanne:

    I think he would not say he was “in favor” of for-profit schools, because that isn’t his approach. He’s insisting he isn’t “picking winners”, public versus for-profit. He thinks public schools should be just like markets, so he would say for-profits will WIN if they’re better. It’s the same argument they use for all privatization.

    They don’t use “for-profit”, ever. I feel as if the NYTimes editorial page will twist themselves into knots rather than say “these are for-profit schools”.

    I laughed yesterday, because I knew they had to come up with a better market-tested phrase, and they found one. It’s “private sector” schools, so look for that. We ALL KNOW the private sector is just…better than the public sector, right? “Private sector” sounds so much nicer than “for profit”. Roll out the new words!

  145. 145
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @bargal:

    And of course, bargal doesn’t think he’s exceptional. Because he just thinks that, without the slightest fucking evidence, every American here believes deep in their heart that Americans are exceptional.

    You fucking need to have a drone up your ass, just like Rand fucking Paul.

  146. 146
    opie jeanne says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Gave a speech about buying a wife???? I missed that one.

  147. 147
    opie jeanne says:

    @Kay: We are big fans of public schools. I was in a very active PTA, was president for two years, and we did battle with our own school board over all kinds of nonsense all the time. I’m relieved that my kids are grown now, but if this keeps up I will get involved again. I learned how to fight city hall when I was in that PTA unit and this might be my pet project now that I’m retired.

  148. 148
    My Trth Hurts says:

    The real question is why has the United States been engaged in perpetual war since 1945? I am 40 this year and we have been at war with someone somewhere my entire life. Tnat is the real scandal, our entire geo-political strategy, not the tactical question of drones vs tanks vs jets.

  149. 149
    jonas says:

    @Mnemosyne: You know who could get some congressional oversight of the drones program implemented? United States Senator Rand fucking Paul.

    This.

    His whole sideshow was one long dogwhistle at neo-confederates and all the other Wolverines! out there, nervously perched on a chemical toilet in their prepper bunkers stroking their Bushmasters, waiting for the black helicopters (now black drones, I guess) to arrive, that he would never allow federal power to push them around.

  150. 150
    liberal says:

    @Kay:
    Yeah, sorry about the vague reference, I meant Paul.

  151. 151
    chopper says:

    @bargal:

    you’ve gone all the way past ’emo’ to ‘shoegazer’. nice.

  152. 152
    liberal says:

    @Kay:

    Sneering, dismissing settled case law, etc. I’m not all that sure he has a huge affection for the ACTUAL Rule of Law. He seems to have an alternate, libertarian view of “US law”. You can hate what’s happened to US law since Lochner, and libertarians do, but you can’t deny it’s lawful.

    Agreed. While I do think there’s limits to Constitutional interpretation, this libertarian fetishism of what they perceive to be the ur-meaning of the Constitution is amusing. Also seems to be related to the Salem Hypothesis.

  153. 153
    J.W. Hamner says:

    I suppose it can’t hurt that Paul tried to use the BULLY PULPIT! to make a point about the national security state.

    But to agree with many above… until he proposes to amend or end the 9/11 AUMF he’s just bloviating.

  154. 154
    Ethan Gach says:

    This is the liberal blog, right?

  155. 155
    JP7505A says:

    iF the CIA wanted to kill and American on American soil without due process they would do it the old fashion way – a saturday night special. WHy go the expense of a drone

  156. 156

    @Ethan Gach:

    It was until a right-wing Democrat was elected.
    ~

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