ChrisWeigant.com

Please support ChrisWeigant.com this holiday season!

Rand Paul's "Mr. Smith" Moment

[ Posted Thursday, March 7th, 2013 – 17:19 PST ]

That title is, obviously, a bit of a misnomer, since Rand Paul didn't just have a "moment" yesterday on the Senate floor -- he had a whole bunch of them. Thirteen hours' worth, in fact. Senator Paul has a tool at his disposal that his father Ron never had, and yesterday he took that tool out of its box for the first time. Paul has been in the Senate for over two years now, but yesterday was the first time he staged a "talking filibuster."

I find Paul's filibuster fascinating for a number of reasons. First and foremost is the political theater aspect. There simply is no better theatrical stunt in Washington than the Senate's filibuster. Or, as we have to identify the old-school nature these days, a "talking" filibuster, since most cloture motions are now invisible and almost automatic.

Harry Reid missed a great opportunity a few months ago to force all filibusters to return to their roots -- complete with non-stop speechifyin' on the Senate floor. Reid did not support a movement to force all filibusterers to stand and deliver for hours on end. If he had, we would be seeing this spectacle on a weekly (if not daily) basis, which might awaken the public to how much Republicans are using what is supposed to be a rare tactical maneuver. There were actually two filibusters yesterday, one for a judicial nominee who has been waiting for an "up or down vote" since 2010. Only one of them made the news.

The one that did was Rand Paul's last stand against the use of armed drones to kill Americans on American soil. It was somewhat of an empty gesture aimed at the Justice Department and the White House, since Paul admitted very early on that his filibuster was going to ultimately fail because he "didn't have the votes" to sustain it. Also, no American citizen has ever been killed in such a fashion, and it's not all that likely to happen any time soon. Empty or not, however, it certainly spurred discussion in the chattering classes inside the Beltway, which is a measure of success on another level.

One Democrat joined in Paul's filibuster theatrics. Which is kind of an embarrassment for Democrats. Not because one guy crossed the aisle to support Paul, but because only one did so. Talking filibusters are rare, but what is almost unheard of these days is a bipartisan filibuster. And Rand Paul chose an issue which Democrats should really have supported.

Republicans and the right-wing media have a point when they cry "hypocrisy" on Democrats blithely allowing President Obama powers that they would have screamed bloody murder over if the president claiming them were named George W. Bush. Maybe everyone's just a little jaded and numb these days (it is now exactly ten years after the invasion of Iraq), and Obama's vice president is not out there using provocative "unitary executive" reasoning in public, but the Obama White House has indeed used similar "War on Terror" reasoning to either continue or even expand a lot of national security programs begun under Bush and Cheney. And the heart of these matters is not so much in their actual use as it is in the legal reasoning emanating from the Justice Department over why they are supposedly legal and constitutional. Remember John Yoo's memos on torture? What Paul was essentially focusing media attention on was a set of previously-secret memos on Obama's prosecution of armed-drone warfare. And I have to agree with Paul on one level -- these memos deserve a lot more attention and scrutiny than they've been getting.

Rand Paul, again like his father, is deeply concerned with constitutional issues. I can't fault him for that, although I certainly don't agree with all of his interpretations of our founding document. His filibuster was designed to gum up the works of the confirmation of a new director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the outfit that runs most of the drone operations. So it was indeed relevant to the business at hand.

But why weren't more Democrats on board with Paul yesterday? Picture the Bush White House making vague claims about their powers to kill Americans on American soil a few years back, and then picture how the Democrats would have howled. Which was noticeable yesterday by its absence. And please remember that what one president claims, all following presidents use as precedent -- the White House isn't going to be in Democratic hands forever.

The big question that remains, for me at least, is how often we'll see Rand Paul pull this stunt. He certainly is a man absolutely convinced of the righteousness of his own convictions, so it'd be easy to see him using the filibuster again on other subjects. Paul runs a risk of having filibuster stunts become commonplace if he goes too often to this well, but seeing as how this is the first time he's done so in over two years, perhaps that's too big a worry. If Rand Paul stood up and didn't stop talking every couple of weeks, soon the media would become jaded, and all the cocktail-party-circuit media talking heads would just begin to shrug and say "there he goes again." But I think Rand Paul is smart enough to avoid this fate.

His father Ron never had the chance to absolutely bring his house of Congress to a halt in such a fashion, so Ron never had to moderate his use of the tool. Rand has always painted himself as a man with a slightly-less-kooky version of his father's libertarianism, and filibustering even once a month would quickly relegate him to "crank" status. But, again, I think he's smart enough to know this -- especially if he is (as is widely suspected) seriously considering a run for the presidency in 2016.

Putting aside such speculation, and indeed putting aside Paul's issue and Democrats' response to it, I do have to say that I enjoyed watching Rand Paul's filibuster. But then I have always admitted a weakness for political theater in all its various forms, so call me biased if you must. America has always had a similar soft spot for the full-on Mr. Smith Goes To Washington old-style filibuster; even more so now that they have become so rare. Yesterday, Rand Paul taught us all a valuable lesson: this is what a filibuster is supposed to look like. This is supposed to be what a filibuster is all about. If Harry Reid had learned the poignancy of this lesson a few months ago, maybe the Senate would be presenting a much more accurate picture of the politics of filibustering right now. Maybe we would have had two real filibusters yesterday, and maybe Republicans would have had to get up and explain to America why they were holding up a judicial appointment for partisan reasons. That would have also been some interesting political theater to watch.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

59 Comments on “Rand Paul's "Mr. Smith" Moment”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    But why weren't more Democrats on board with Paul yesterday?

    Perhaps, it was because the arguments Paul was making were largely bogus.

    Picture the Bush White House making vague claims about their powers to kill Americans on American soil a few years back, and then picture how the Democrats would have howled.

    When has the Obama administration ever made vague claims about their powers to kill Americans on American soil, full stop? This is what I mean by a bogus argument or analogy. No one in this administration has ever talked that loosely about the use of drones.

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    When has the Obama administration ever made vague claims about their powers to kill Americans on American soil, full stop? This is what I mean by a bogus argument or analogy. No one in this administration has ever talked that loosely about the use of drones.

    I am sorry Liz, but you are wrong.

    Obama's AG, Eric Holder flat out stated that the President has the authority to order a drone strike on an American Citizen on American Soil if circumstances warranted it..

    Eric Holder: Drone Strike To Kill U.S. Citizen On American Soil Legal, Hypothetically
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/us-drone-strike_n_2813857.html

    In an effort to stop Paul's embarrassing (for the White House) filibuster, Holder admitted that the President can't order a drone strike on a NON-COMBATANT on American Soil..

    This allowed Paul to end his filibuster in victory, but it's a hollow victory.

    As has been well-established by the Bush AND the Obama administrations, the POTUS has the authority to declare anyone an enemy combatant w/o any due process whatsoever...

    No matter how you slice it, Democrats are being hypocritical in the extreme for going along with Obama on these policies, considering how they reacted to these policies under Bush...

    CW,

    While it's certainly possible, I don't think there has ever been a commentary of yours that I agreed with more than I agree with this one.. :D

    As David himself stated a bit ago, the subject of Drone Strikes in particular and Obama's CT policies in general needs to be fully and completely air'ed and discussed..

    But I doubt we will see it happen because it makes Obama look bad..

    And, unfortunately for us, our Democrat CongressCritters in Washington would rather chop off their hands rather then make Obama look bad...

    Awesome commentary.. :D And not just because it says what I have been saying for years..

    Well, not JUST because of that. :D It was a nice touch to give Paul the credit he deserves...

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    For the record, since one of my most er... annoying?? :D positions has been validated, I will make a conscious effort to reign in my O.D.S.

    I can't promise any success, but I can promise I will make a sincere effort... :D

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    You just made my point for me.

    The Obama administration has never talked about killing Americans on American soil, or anywhere else for that matter. No sane administration would ever talk about that or ever consider doing that.

    But, that's what I heard Rand Paul say during his silly, if real, filibuster. And, unfortunately, it is what was put forth in Chris's article, too. Actually, Rand Paul went quite a bit further into the sphere of the ridiculous when he likened Jane Fonda to a potential drone strike target and suggested that a non-combatant American might also expect to be a target of such a strike.

    These are important discussions to have - on drone activity and torture in an age of terrorism - and they should take place with clarity and wisdom. Sadly, this may not be the place for such a discussion.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Sadly, this may not be the place for such a discussion.

    Well, unless Michale takes a holiday. Heh.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Obama administration has never talked about killing Americans on American soil, or anywhere else for that matter. No sane administration would ever talk about that or ever consider doing that.

    And yet, AG Holder said EXACTLY that...

    http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/BrennanHolderResponse.pdf

    The only question is, why is the Left STILL defending Obama ??

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, unless Michale takes a holiday. Heh.

    Au contraire.. My presence will insure that the FACTS are adhered to.. :D

    Also, keep in mind, that I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with the policy.

    The policy is fully justified and justifiable...

    *MY* only beef is that these policies, while abhorrent and immoral under Bush, became necessary and perfectly acceptable under Obama...

    In other words under Bush, Democrats put National Security at risk just to further a political agenda...

    And THAT is wrong, no matter how ya spin it...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    akadjian wrote:

    AG Holder said EXACTLY that...

    Do you read what you post?

    “The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no President will ever have to confront.”

    "It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States."

    He said what you would say, Michale. And that is that it might be possible for a situation to occur in which it was necessary to use lethal force in the U.S. against terrorists.

    However, Paul is playing politics by twisting this and hyping fear that the U.S. government might go after Americans. I call BS.

    What gets me though is the poor response from the administration. Paul looks like he's standing for something. The administration looks like they're equivocating.

    I guess someone finally informed Holder about the game being played by Paul to which he finally responded better:

    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.

    But sheesh. You'd think these guys would understand the petty game by now.

    -David

  9. [9] 
    akadjian wrote:

    *MY* only beef is that these policies, while abhorrent and immoral under Bush, became necessary and perfectly acceptable under Obama.

    This is because Obama has worked to change some of the Bush policies. And people believe he is trying to change more. It's a simple answer really. And it's the same reason you supported Bush despite his horrible economic policies ... he went to war which is what you wanted.

    Question: If you support Obama's policies, why do you have such an issue with him?

    What is driving your hatred of him?

    -David

  10. [10] 
    michty6 wrote:

    And please remember that what one president claims, all following presidents use as precedent -- the White House isn't going to be in Democratic hands forever.

    Hello nail, meet hammer.

    Democrats who are ok with what the President is doing (which from polls appears to be most, with a massive majority of Republicans supporting it) should consider this. Can you imagine some of the previous Republican Presidents having this power? Well imagine some of the potential future ones may very well do...

    Fwiw most left leaning blogs and news sites have covered and continue to cover this issue a lot. For example, the drones document story was broken by Huffpo. It's a shame that the mainstream media are so far to the right and in the pockets of Corporations that this gets ignored.

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paul looks like he's standing for something.

    That's because he is... CW saw it... The Democrat who crossed the aisle saw it...

    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.

    Does the name Jose Padilla mean anything?? :D

    What is driving your hatred of him?

    He lied to me and played me for a fool...

    I don't like that. I don't like people who do that..

    Michty,

    Democrats who are ok with what the President is doing (which from polls appears to be most, with a massive majority of Republicans supporting it) should consider this. Can you imagine some of the previous Republican Presidents having this power? Well imagine some of the potential future ones may very well do...

    I'll thank you not to steal my arguments!! :D

    I have been saying that EXACT same argument for years...

    And it's a pretty dead on ballz accurate argument..

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    He lied to me and played me for a fool.

    You spoke personally with the President? :)

    Ok. Kidding aside. How so? It seems like he's exactly the center right President he said he'd be.

    Most left leaning blogs and news sites have covered and continue to cover this issue a lot. For example, the drones document story was broken by Huffpo. It's a shame that the mainstream media are so far to the right and in the pockets of Corporations that this gets ignored.

    Yep. It's kind of funny though how Paul picked it up and twisted it. Though I guess to some extent I'm glad he pushed the issue. Even if I disagree 100% with his Ayn Randian philosophy.

    -David

  13. [13] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Yeh the lack of media attention on the drones policy is largely a side effect of having a choice between a right-of-centre party and a right party (with large far right elements). Both parties think the policy is fine because both parties are right of centre. Only the left-wing media thinks differently.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ok. Kidding aside. How so? It seems like he's exactly the center right President he said he'd be.

    Really??

    He changed the way Washington works??

    I must have slept thru it...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Was just thinking that Foreign policy is the one aspect that the Libertarian wing of the Republicans actually probably is pretty decent...

  16. [16] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Despite the Obama administration's doomsday warnings about the impact of sequester, hiring picked up last month as the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in four years.

    Hahahahahahhaa I love Fox News. So good. Yes the sequester signed into law on March 2nd didn't impact the February job numbers - SHOCKING!

    Loololololololol amazing.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/08/unemployment-rate-falls-to-77-percent-in-february/?test=latestnews

  17. [17] 
    akadjian wrote:

    He changed the way Washington works?

    Heheh. Fair enough. Though I think everyone running for President promises to change Washington. Romney did.

    How come you weren't mad about any of George W. Bush's broken promises?
    - Paying down the debt
    - Tax cuts will focus on low and moderate income families
    - Social security funds should be used for Social Security

    Or ... “It’s time for a change” in Washington. “Some say [the economy] is doing pretty well - well it may be,” Bush said. But “People need more money in their pocket, as far as I’m concerned.”

    Hmmm. I wonder if the financial collapse was what he was talking about.

    Yet none of this makes you mad. Why?

    -David

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yet none of this makes you mad. Why?

    Simple..

    Obama made me believe that he was a different kind of politician.. A politician who actually cared about this country and cared about Americans...

    Nothing he has done to date indicates that he was truthful...

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Obama made me believe that he was a different kind of politician.

    And you were happy with the George W. Bush style of politician ...?

    Because you seemed really happy with him. I mean even to this day you get mad when anyone even suggests that his policies weren't good for this country.

    -David

  20. [20] 
    michty6 wrote:

    David,
    You are searching for logic where none exists. Obama ran as a left of centre candidate and has governed from a right of centre position. Almost every single policy he ran on he moved to the right when he won.

    Republicans should be ecstatic with how he has governed; Democrats should be disappointed. Instead they are stuck in this irrational illogical hatred of him based (for many) on his race and the perceived idea (linked to his race) that he wasn't born here or 'hates America.'

  21. [21] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    The problem I have with the Paul filibuster is he is trying to make a boogie man out of a next gen weapons platform. Guess what? When you have the most technologically advanced and powerful military in the world, you are usually first to field with new weapons systems. But lets turn it around a bit. If the NSA had good intel that Timothy Mcveigh was heading to the Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a truck full of fertilizer explosive, and there was a police station with a sniper unit in between, I have no problem with the President calling them up and ordering them to set up and take him out. I would prefer, if there is time, to go through channels first. Call up the governor and have him order it, but I also except in very rare circumstances there might not be time. Now if there was a police helicopter with sniper that's fine too. But what if the only unit able to stop him was at the local military base? I'm fine with that as well as long as there is organizational oversight afterword that confirms that it was appropriate and has enforcement powers if it was not. The use of military assets should be possible but used only in very exceptional situations with independent investigation and oversight afterword and serious legal penalties for misuse. Agents of federal, state and local government kill Americans on American soil all the time. The question is what level of activity triggers that action. I am less concerned with the specific weapons platform used and much more concerned about what organization has the assets, who they report too, does congress (or local/state equivalent) have some sort of oversight and will I know about it eventually. That last part is the real difference between Obama and Bush. Bush passed Executive Order 13233 limiting access to presidential records and Obama passed Executive Order 13489 resending it. The action I'm not too worried about. Possibility never hearing about in the future? Not so good. I also would be very concerned if the only asset in field was a CIA drone. The CIA should not be active domestically. Period.

    My main concerns with drones are:

    The CIA becoming a fifth military wing but without congressional oversight

    Lack legislative limitations of who can operate drones domestically, for what purposes and some guidelines of when specific uses require a warrant.

    What are the privacy implications of both government and private drones? Can no one ever sunbathe nude in the privacy of their backyard without a reasonable chance of images of your naked bod ending up on the internet, for example?

    On the other hand I expect that Drones, possibly armed, will replace police helicopters in the near future if the cost is significantly cheaper to operate.

    Just call me when they are completely autonomous. An AI controlled drone killing Americans on American soil without direct orders from a human, I do have serious problems with that...

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Republicans should be ecstatic with how he has governed; Democrats should be disappointed.

    LOL. Very true.

    My big takeaway from the Obama years is that the fight really isn't about any one politician.

    The fight is about changing the culture. This is why conservatives have worked so hard to put in place their propaganda outlets.

    Politicians will be politicians and follow the polls. The bigger game is winning over people.

    -David

  23. [23] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hey CW-

    A quick submission for most impressive Dem of the week: Elizabeth Warren

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/03/elizabeth-warren-senate-banking-committee-hearing-money-laundering

    -David

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    And you were happy with the George W. Bush style of politician ...?

    7 years w/o a terrorist attack on US proper??

    Yea, I was happy with that...

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Lol I like how you start counting from one of the largest attacks on American soil ever seen...

  26. [26] 
    michty6 wrote:

    A quick submission for most impressive Dem of the week: Elizabeth Warren

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/03/elizabeth-warren-senate-banking-committee-hearing-money-laundering

    Money laundering = how terrorism is funded.

    But naaaaaaah let's let the banks get away with it cos regulation is bad remember.

  27. [27] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, everyone,

    I can't answer these now, because it is Friday and hence FTP day which takes a powerful amount of writing time...

    But I will later, as I think it's an important debate.

    One thing I'd like to toss out there -- I heard a pundit on a show bring up an example which made me stop and think. This was before Rand's filibuster, actually. The point was "if, on 9/11, the plane that crashed in PA hadn't crashed, would the president have legally been able to order an airstrike to bring it down?" There were hundreds of non-combatant American citizens on the plane.

    Now, this is a special case and not really what Paul was talking about, but legally it is indeed a question to ponder. Should the president have this power? The deaths would have been classified as "collateral damage" or "friendly fire" but how does that change anything legally?

    I don't have a clear answer -- obviously if a plane is coming in to DC and three have already been used as weapons, the president should (reluctantly, of course) be able to act, considering the problem militarily, but considering it legally, it should at least make you stop and think for a minute.

    Anyway, discuss. I'll be back to answer comments later.

    -CW

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And you were happy with the George W. Bush style of politician ...?

    Obama IS a George W. Bush style of politician, just a significantly more effective one than the original.

  29. [29] 
    akadjian wrote:

    7 years w/o a terrorist attack on US proper?

    What about the attack which happened during his Presidency?

    If you're going to give Bush credit for 7 years, why don't you assign him any blame for the attack which did happen?

    I mean, if this is your only criteria, you should love Clinton. He had none. And Obama's had none too.

    -David

  30. [30] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Now, this is a special case and not really what Paul was talking about, but legally it is indeed a question to ponder. Should the president have this power?

    Great question, CW. Bashi's example of stopping the Oklahoma City bombing is another great one.

    I'd say 'yes' but would want some checks and balances put in place to make sure that the power wasn't abused. There would have to be some pretty strong evidence and maybe even something like a warrant issued by a court. The idea would be to allow a speedy reaction while at the same time preserving the individual rights of citizens.

    -David

  31. [31] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Ah the Trolley Problem, a classic moral dilemma...

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    If you're going to give Bush credit for 7 years, why don't you assign him any blame for the attack which did happen?

    Simple..

    Because, as has been well established, Clinton is as much to blame as Bush for the rise of Bin Laden..

    Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20...

    CW,

    One thing I'd like to toss out there -- I heard a pundit on a show bring up an example which made me stop and think. This was before Rand's filibuster, actually. The point was "if, on 9/11, the plane that crashed in PA hadn't crashed, would the president have legally been able to order an airstrike to bring it down?" There were hundreds of non-combatant American citizens on the plane.

    Actually, it is likely that THAT is exactly what happened...

    However, if you want to play Devils Advocate, I am sure you wouldn't be surprised if I told you that it was a perfectly justified shoot-down...

    The aircraft became an enemy weapon the minute it was commandeered by terrorists..

    A shoot-down was as justified as if it was a Tupolev Bomber..

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obama IS a George W. Bush style of politician, just a significantly more effective one than the original.

    True, but there is a reason for that...

    It's because Obama doesn't have to fight Democrats harder than he fights Al Qaeda..

    Bush wasn't so fortunate...

    Given Obama's proclivity for Machiavellian politics, he wouldn't have lasted an hour facing the kind of resistance that Bush had to face..

    It's fortunate for this country that Bush cared more for America than he did for his political career...

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now, this is a special case and not really what Paul was talking about, but legally it is indeed a question to ponder. Should the president have this power? The deaths would have been classified as "collateral damage" or "friendly fire" but how does that change anything legally?

    I don't have a clear answer -- obviously if a plane is coming in to DC and three have already been used as weapons, the president should (reluctantly, of course) be able to act, considering the problem militarily, but considering it legally, it should at least make you stop and think for a minute.

    That's one of my biggest beefs against the Left...

    It's EASY for Obama to make the kinds of decisions he is making because he knows he won't have to pay ANY political price for them.

    Obama knows that the Left will kowtow and follow him regardless and that the Right can't complain about these very Bushonian decisions..

    Bush had it TONS harder than Obama because, as I have said, he had to fight Democrats harder than he had to fight Al Qaeda...

    Obama has a cake walk compared to what Bush had to endure...

    That's why I respect Bush and find Obama contemptible..

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Obama IS a George W. Bush style of politician, just a significantly more effective one than the original.

    True, but there is a reason for that...

    It's because Obama doesn't have to fight Democrats harder than he fights Al Qaeda..

    hogwash, repubs have fought obama just as hard as dems fought bush. obama has just been better at fighting back, or the congressional repubs have been worse, take your pick. in either case, obama has been significantly better at being bush than bush was.

    ~joshua

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    not that that's necessarily a compliment, you understand...

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    hogwash, repubs have fought obama just as hard as dems fought bush.

    But NOT when it came to National Security and Counter Terrorism..

    in either case, obama has been significantly better at being bush than bush was.

    ONLY because Democrats allowed it..

    If Democrats had fought Obama as hard as they fought Bush when it came to CT policies, Obama would have folded faster than an empty suit...

    It's to Bush's credit that he told Democrats where to stick it..

    Obama doesn't have the balls to do that...

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Regarding drones:

    "no American citizen has ever been killed in such a fashion, and it's not all that likely to happen any time soon."

    I agree, and in times of sequestration, a conventional black sedan and sniper rifle would be a more fiscally responsible, if unglamorous, approach to governmental abuse of power within US borders.

    Still, I applaud Senator Paul for, in effect, inventing the "Preemptive Filibuster."

    On the flip slide, do US citizens have a 2nd amendment right to bear drones? In opposition to potential governmental tyranny, of course. Seems to me they must, so this would be a natural topic for Paul preemptively filibuster something, or someone, over.

  39. [39] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    On the flip slide, do US citizens have a 2nd amendment right to bear drones?

    I don't know about 2nd amendment rights, but if I had the money I could buy an unarmed drone tomorrow. There are a few companies that are selling them and most of the technology has been around for awhile, basically a long range remote controlled aircraft. The civil and criminal ramifications of using that drone is still being worked out though.

    We are at a point that you have to make the distinction between armed and non-armed drones. Drones are about to become quite common in both civilian and government uses.

  40. [40] 
    Michale wrote:

    On the flip slide, do US citizens have a 2nd amendment right to bear drones?

    Assuming you mean ARMED drones I am sure I don't have to explain the distinction between firearms and ordinance..

    The 2nd Amendment guarantees the rights of citizens to keep and bear {fire}arms.

    Not ordinance..

    We are at a point that you have to make the distinction between armed and non-armed drones. Drones are about to become quite common in both civilian and government uses.

    Yep... And the silence from the Left is deafening..

    If we had had a GOP POTUS during the great Drone Awakening, drones would have been regulated and/or banned six ways from Sunday...

    Cylons are just around the corner.. :D

    Michale

  41. [41] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Because, as has been well established, Clinton is as much to blame as Bush for the rise of Bin Laden.

    Your assignment of blame and credit seems to follow a pretty well-worn path.

    Conservatives get credit, liberals get blame.

    Obama IS a George W. Bush style of politician, just a significantly more effective one than the original.

    Hmmm. "style of politician" could mean just about anything. Could you be a little more specific?

    I do know that Obama is winding down wars and not trying to start new ones. This is a significant improvement.

    He also is not pushing "trickle down" theory as much as Bush would have. His approach to the economy is much more balanced.

    Do you mean that he tends to look for corporate solutions? i.e. Obamacare and his approach to education.

    -David

  42. [42] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Re (41), Michael

    The term ordnance is a used very broadly, it can refer to any military equipment or supplies, including rifles, ammunition, boots, beans and drop tanks. In some contexts it signifies artillery pieces, in others it is the administrative branch controlling who gets what ordnance.

    The term dates back to the 14th century and it's not clear to me how the Framers would have used the term. In any case, the terms ordnance and firearms are not in the 2nd Amendment, so I'm back to my original question about the right to bear drones, armed or otherwise.

    The language of the Constitution is often vague, and difficult to apply to new technologies. The Framers should have included a glossary of important terms, and a Constitutional Problem Set, with an answer key for the odd numbered problems.

  43. [43] 
    TheStig wrote:

    BashiBazouk

    Your comments were right to the point and spared me a lot of typing.

    I've seen plans for a fully functional, GPS guided drone, built entirely from off the shelf components that I price in the range of $3000 US. Short range, short duration, but it will give you nice video of your neighborhood.

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    Your assignment of blame and credit seems to follow a pretty well-worn path.

    Conservatives get credit, liberals get blame.

    No.. Conservatives get the credit/blame when it's deserved..

    Just as liberals get the credit/blame when it's deserved..

    It's ya'all that deal in absolutes...

    Not I...

    I do know that Obama is winding down wars and not trying to start new ones. This is a significant improvement.

    Thanx to the actions of Bush....

    Remember, we were just talking about deserving credit..

    He also is not pushing "trickle down" theory as much as Bush would have. His approach to the economy is much more balanced.

    Hmmmmmmm

    ALL taxes and NO cuts..

    Your idea of "balanced" is a tad whacked.. :D

    TS,

    The term ordnance is a used very broadly, it can refer to any military equipment or supplies, including rifles, ammunition, boots, beans and drop tanks. In some contexts it signifies artillery pieces, in others it is the administrative branch controlling who gets what ordnance.

    With due respect, that is not accurate.

    In military parlance, firearms refers to man-portable weapons that use propellent/gases to propel lead/steel projectiles at terminal velocities directed at specific targets.

    Ordinance is defined as weapons that are (with few exceptions) not man-portable and deliver explosive projectiles to a targeted area.

    Of course, some weapons systems share characteristics of one while actually being the other.

    A shoulder mounted SAM weapon is one example. While considered man-portable, it delivers an explosive yield to it's intended target, as opposed to the projectile being the weapon...

    Basically, think grenade (ordinance) vs M-16 (firearm)...

    Even in the days of our founding fathers, the distinction was clear..

    Horse drawn cannons (ordinance) vs musket (firearm)..

    In the here and now, it's the difference between being allowed to possess an "assault" {sic} rifle vs being allowed to posses a MIRV ICBM Nuclear Device...

    The former is a firearm, the latter is ordinance..

    I've seen plans for a fully functional, GPS guided drone, built entirely from off the shelf components that I price in the range of $3000 US. Short range, short duration, but it will give you nice video of your neighborhood.

    And yet, the outcry from the Left over this is one big YYYAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWNNNNNNNNN

    Whereas, if we had a GOP POTUS, the hysteria from the Left would reach a crescendo on a daily basis..

    Funny how that is, eh? :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    akadjian wrote:

    ALL taxes and NO cuts.

    Except this isn't true. Obama has reigned in spending the most since Eisenhower.

    http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-05-22/commentary/31802270_1_spending-federal-budget-drunken-sailor

    -David

  46. [46] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW, Michale. My stock investments are absolutely destroying this year in part thanks to our socialist President!

    Hope you're making out ok as well!

    -David

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    Except this isn't true. Obama has reigned in spending the most since Eisenhower.

    And yet, the previous budget battle was ALL taxes and NO CUTS...

    Further, Obama tried to exchange his Sequester for ALL taxes and NO CUTs...

    So excuse me if I have somehow missed the "balance" in his so-called balanced approach..

    Hope you're making out ok as well!

    I only did about $1100 today... Slow day :(

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    BTW, Michale. My stock investments are absolutely destroying this year in part thanks to our socialist President!

    Too bad all your hard work is going to pay taxes instead of keeping the fruits of your labors. :)

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Stig,

    In military parlance, firearms refers to man-portable weapons that use propellent/gases to propel lead/steel projectiles at terminal velocities directed at specific targets.

    Ordinance is defined as weapons that are (with few exceptions) not man-portable and deliver explosive projectiles to a targeted area.

    That came out a little convoluted and (likely) unhelpful..

    Firearms produce a projectile whereas it is the projectile itself that is primary to the lethality of the weapon.

    Ordinance delivers a projectile whereas the projectile itself is secondary to the lethality of the weapon. The primary lethality of the ordinance is explosive, penetrative (shrapnel), chemical, biological, nuclear or a combination of the afore...

    Hope that makes it more clear...

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I only did about $1100 today... Slow day :(

    Heheh. Good for you!

    Too bad all your hard work is going to pay taxes instead of keeping the fruits of your labors. :)

    I get more than enough. And ... if we want a great country, we should be willing to pay for it.

    -David

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    I get more than enough. And ... if we want a great country, we should be willing to pay for it.

    I am more than willing to do so..

    I just don't view supporting crackheads and lazy assed losers as the best way to build a great country...

    Michale.....

  52. [52] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I just don't view supporting crackheads and lazy assed losers as the best way to build a great country.

    Hmmm. That's certainly an interesting view.

    So all benefits go to crackheads and lazy assed losers? What about senior citizens? Veterans? The disabled?

    You do know that most benefits go to people who worked hard all their life and paid for those benefits, right?

    I don't support my money going to pay for wars we don't need. Maybe you're onto something here though. What if we could choose where we wanted our tax dollars to go to?

    Do you think people would choose war or education?

    Social security or homeland security?

    I bet we wouldn't have any worthless wars if people had to pay for them instead of putting the cost on a future generation. I also bet we wouldn't have bailed out the Wall Street banks.

    -David

  53. [53] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't support my money going to pay for wars we don't need. Maybe you're onto something here though. What if we could choose where we wanted our tax dollars to go to?

    Tell ya what...

    You get Democrats to cut unemployment benefits to MAX 6 months... And you get your Democrats to enforce strict drug testing for all welfare recipients..

    You put those into play and I'll support your Democrats to the HILT about stopping "needless" wars...

    Fair???

    Michale

  54. [54] 
    Michale wrote:

    Social security or homeland security?

    Where do YOU think the priority should be??

    Michale...

  55. [55] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You get Democrats to cut unemployment benefits to MAX 6 months.

    During a recession, longer unemployment benefits are needed. I might support 6 months if the economy were better.

    You put those into play and I'll support your Democrats to the HILT about stopping "needless" wars.

    What would qualify as a "needless" war in your mind?

    Afghanistan?

    I bet if people got to choose where their money was spent, you'd see much more money going to education and infrastructure.

    What gets me the most are people who want to go to war but don't want to pay for it. I'll support drug testing for welfare recipients if you'll support math tests for these people :)

    -David

  56. [56] 
    akadjian wrote:

    BTW- Does it bother you when banks like HSBC launder $881 million for Mexican drug cartels?

    Does it bother you that banks like this are now not just too big to fail, but too big to prosecute?

    -David

  57. [57] 
    Michale wrote:

    During a recession, longer unemployment benefits are needed. I might support 6 months if the economy were better.

    Needed only by the lazy...

    I bet if people got to choose where their money was spent, you'd see much more money going to education and infrastructure.

    That's because most people don't understand the threats this country faces.. Present company excluded, of course. :D

    I'll support drug testing for welfare recipients if you'll support math tests for these people :)

    Deal!! :D

    Like you are fond of saying, if WE ran the country, things would be settled in an hour, with plenty of time left over for beer! :D

    BTW- Does it bother you when banks like HSBC launder $881 million for Mexican drug cartels?

    Yes it does. As much as the Obama Administration arming the cartels with "assault" rifles that are used to kill our people..

    Does it bother you that banks like this are now not just too big to fail, but too big to prosecute?

    Of course it does.. Which is why I was against Obama *AND* Bush when it was time to bail them out..

    Michale

  58. [58] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Needed only by the lazy.

    If there's no jobs, there's no jobs. It doesn't matter how hard you work.

    Like you are fond of saying, if WE ran the country, things would be settled in an hour, with plenty of time left over for beer! :D

    Heheheh. Agreed. The beer component is absolutely critical! :)

    -David

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    If there's no jobs, there's no jobs. It doesn't matter how hard you work.

    There were no jobs here in St Augustine 4 years ago.

    So, what did I do??

    I CREATED jobs..

    The problem with most people is that they won't work jobs that are "beneath" their dignity..

    They would rather sponge off of American taxpayers..

    Heheheh. Agreed. The beer component is absolutely critical! :)

    :D Last year, when we were flying back from California, the airlines was playing an episode from The Discovery Channel. It was all about beer and, to watch that episode was to learn that beer solely and completely made the modern society we live in today. :D It was awesome..

    “Well, you see, Norm, it’s like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it’s the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

    In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive intake of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.

    And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”
    -Cliff Claven

    :D

    Michale

Comments for this article are closed.
[Powered by WordPress]