Rand Paul’s filibuster

Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul has been staging an old-fashioned filibuster, staging a marathon speech and holding the Senate floor in opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, which authorizes certain government surveillance of citizens.

The Senate has pretty much replaced the old “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” actual  filibuster with the mere threat of a filibuster, so that bills typically require a 60 vote super-majority that would be enough to shut off debate should a filibuster actually occur.  Sen. Paul, though, has too few allies on this subject, so he is going the “Mr. Smith” route.  He has only a few allies helping him hold the floor, and there is enough support for the Patriot Act to shut off debate, which will probably happen at 1:00 p.m. today.

So do you “stand with Rand”? [Read more...]

Rand Paul throws his hat into the ring

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) announced that he is running for president.  The pro-life Libertarian offers something different from the typical alternatives.  Like conservatives, he would have a smaller government and support free market economics.  Like liberals, he would have a non-interventionist foreign policy, be skeptical of big corporations, and promote civil liberties.  Do you think this could be a winning combination?  [Read more...]

Rand Paul’s foreign policy

The one “dove” among the current presidential contenders has been the libertarian, tea-party favorite Republican Senator Rand Paul.  A few weeks ago, he published  an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that criticized both the Democrats and his fellow Republicans for their “interventionist” foreign policies.  He said that those who wanted to intervene  against the Assad regime in Syria would have been helping ISIS, which was originally one of the rebel factions that they wanted to help.  He says that President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the “hawkish members of my own party” lack both foresight and hindsight.  And yet, Senator Paul is now saying that America must respond to the atrocities of ISIS by using force against them.  After the jump, read from both his op-ed piece on Syria and his latest pronouncements against ISIS.

You Randians, libertarians, and non-interventionists, does this change your view of him?  Or do you agree?

[Read more...]

Demilitarizing the Police

I just got back from St. Louis, staying just a few blocks from the riots in Ferguson over the police shooting an unarmed teenager.  I didn’t see anything and I don’t want to address the incident, as such.  But the Cato Institute’s Walter Olson raises some interesting questions:

Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors? Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo. so given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on walking on the street) and, per the reporting of Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards? (“‘This my property!’ he shouted, prompting police to fire a tear gas canister directly at his face.”) Why would someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone”?

Now Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky), citing what happened in Ferguson and quoting his fellow libertarian Olson, challenges the militarization of the police, which has happened thanks to the federal government. [Read more...]

Rand Paul’s standing ovation at CPAC and at Berkeley

Republican presidential contender Rand Paul wowed ‘em at Berkeley, for all of that university’s left-wing ethos.  Former labor secretary Robert Reich, now a professor there, observed that not many people can get a standing ovation at both CPAC and at Berkeley.  But such left wing/right wing dichotomies do not really account for Paul’s pro-life, pro-peace, pro-civil liberties libertarianism.  Do you think Rand Paul could forge a left/right coalition? [Read more...]

Rand Paul dominates conservative straw poll

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), a gathering of some 2500 activists, held a straw for president.  The winner?  Rand Paul, with 31%, nearly three times as many votes as second-place finisher Ted Cruz, with 11%.  After the jump, a complete list of how all of the candidates did.

Back in 2013, I said this:  “Someone who can attract the internet crowd and pro-lifers and free market business types and evangelicals and peaceniks and the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Streeters has the makings of a paradigm-breaking and very formidable candidate.” [Read more...]


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