Rand Paul

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz move to the left of Lindsey Graham on terrorist rights

Featured image Earlier this week, the Senate passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that limits the entire U.S. government to only the interrogation and detention techniques outlined in the Army Field Manual. The vote was 78-21. The Army Field Manual does not permit physical contact with detainees, not even a slap. The harshest method it permits the “Fear-Up (Harsh).” In this approach, “the interrogator behaves in an overpowering »

The Insincerity of Rand Paul

Featured image I had hopes at the outset that Rand Paul would be more sensible than his father, and for a while it looked like this might be the case. He has been about the only prominent Republican trying to broaden the base of the Republican Party by speaking on college campuses and to minority groups, and he made measured attempts to set out a “non-interventionist” foreign policy vision that was not »

The real Rand Paul stands up

Featured image As John notes below, Rand Paul has used his Senatorial prerogative to block the Patriot Act. As a result, its provisions will expire at midnight. A new Act will be passed, but probably not for at least 72 hours. Let’s hope that terrorists worldwide respect Sen. Paul’s prerogative and wait 72 hours before using using U.S. phone lines to plot attacks on U.S. interests. Rand Paul is concerned, as he »

Rand Paul Blocks Patriot Act Extension, For Now

Featured image Important provisions of the Patriot Act expire at midnight tonight, unless renewed by Congress. The House has passed such a bill, and the Senate has been in session today, trying to do the same. This effort was blocked, in the end, by one senator: Rand Paul. Fox News reports: The Senate failed Sunday to strike a deal to extend the NSA’s phone surveillance program before the midnight deadline. … The »

Megyn Kelly takes down Rand Paul on the Patriot Act

Featured image John has flagged Rand Paul’s ISIS whopper — the claim that Republicans are to blame for the rise of ISIS. When Republicans controlled the White House, ISIS was, as John says, little more than a dream in the minds of a few fanatics. The dream was realized not because of Republicans, but mostly because President Obama reversed President Bush’s policies and prematurely withdrew American forces from Iraq. But Rand Paul’s »

The Washington Post and Rand Paul: Who Is More Wrong About ISIS?

Featured image The Washington Post’s fact checker, Glenn Kessler, undertook yesterday to assess the truth or falsity of these remarks by Jeb Bush about ISIS: ISIS didn’t exist when my brother was president. Al Qaeda in Iraq was wiped out when my brother was president. Those statements are, by any normal standard, true. But this is what Kessler had to say: Islamic State, also known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and »

The Paul Campaign Borrows From Obama

Featured image I don’t think Barack Obama is particularly talented, with one exception: he is the greatest money machine in the history of politics. So when it comes to fundraising, if you’re going to steal, you may as well steal from the master. One famous aspect of Obama’s email campaign was his team’s use of seemingly odd or inappropriate subject headings. Foremost among these was “hey.” A tech publication writes: President Obama’s »

Rand Paul backpedals, but the embarrassment continues

Featured image Yesterday, in announcing his run for the presidency, Rand Paul demonstrated his unfitness for the office by calling for the repeal of any law that “disproportionately incarcerates people of color.” In effect, as John and I pointed out, Paul thereby called for the repeal of virtually every criminal law. Paul’s team has now “clarified” his statement. The campaign told Byron York that the Senator’s words were misunderstood: “Sen. Paul was »

Rand Paul remains an embarrassment

Featured image Rand Paul has been trying to improve his presidential prospects by posing as something of a defense hawk and as less than a full libertarian on social issues. However, in announcing his presidential bid today, Paul again betrayed his lack of seriousness, while demonstrating the threat his presidency would pose to America. In his speech, Paul stated: I see an America where criminal justice is applied equally and any law »

Rand Paul Announces For President

Featured image Senator Rand Paul announced his campaign for the presidency this morning, in a speech in Louisville. The speech was well delivered and has gotten a generally positive reception. Here is the text of the speech in full, with a few observations: I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We have come to take our country back. We have come to take »

Rand Paul’s gambit

Featured image With Rand Paul set to announce his bid for the presidency, the Washington Post reports that the Kentucky Senator is straying from his libertarian roots in an attempt to make himself acceptable to defense-oriented and religious conservatives. The Post cites his support for a proposed $190 billion increase in defense spending over the next two years; his signature of Tom Cotton’s letter regarding a nuclear deal with Iran; and his »

How Republicans can give Obama leverage against Iran, whether he wants it or not

Featured image Negotiations between Team Obama and the mullahs of Iran failed to result in an agreement before the supposed deadline. However, to no one’s surprise (except the Washington Post) the parties will continue to negotiate. White House spokesman Josh Earnest intoned that “it’s time for Iran to make the serious commitments that they know the international community is expecting them to make to reach an agreement.” Actually, it’s past that time. »

The Strengths and Weaknesses of Rand Paul, In One Interview [Updated]

Featured image This interview with CNBC’s Kelly Evans sums up Rand Paul’s strengths and weaknesses as a presidential candidate nicely. Start with this observation: when a journalist or television presenter interviews a Democratic politician, the implicit assumption is that the interviewer is honored to have the privilege of tossing a few softball questions. When the interviewee is a Republican politician, the implicit assumption is that the interviewer is wiser and more knowledgeable »

Rand Paul proves Marco Rubio’s point

Featured image During an impassioned appearance on Fox News to denounce President Obama’s new Cuba policy, Marco Rubio stated, in response to a question that cited Rand Paul’s pro-Obama view on the subject, that Paul “has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to Cuba.” Having been called out, Paul had little alternative but to respond, and it would have been easy for him to so intelligently. There are, after »

Big GOP donors keeping their 2016 powder dry

Featured image The Washington Post reports that, on the whole, wealthy Republican donors are unwilling so far to commit to a candidate for president. According to reporters Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger, the donor class is “wary of fueling the kind of costly and politically damaging battle that dominated the 2012 primaries.” More to the point, it’s unclear at this early juncture which potential candidate it makes the most sense to support. »

Ted Cruz votes to hamper U.S. anti-terrorism intelligence gathering

Featured image The Senate has failed to pass the “USA Freedom Act,” which would have hobbled our government’s efforts to conduct electronic surveillance of terrorists. Good. As Mitch McConnell argued, with ISIS and other blood thirsty terrorist groups on the rise, this is “the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our back.” Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden have described the “USA »

Rand Paul and the Foreign Policy Delusions of Libertarianism

Featured image Rand Paul spoke today on the Senate floor, opposing the administration’s proposal to arm and train moderate Syrian elements. In recent months, Paul has tried to position himself in the mainstream on foreign policy, and has objected bitterly to being called an isolationist. Yet the very first words of his speech encapsulated the Libertarian delusion: that problems in the world are the result of American actions, and that by remaining »