Saturday, March 30, 2013

When Turning Red is a Good Thing

Zuckerberg’s social networking website had an event this past week.
As the Supreme Court braced to hear two cases with regard to the marriage of same-sex couples, a movement sprang up that quickly spread throughout Zuckerberg’s domain: Going Red.
There was no encouragement. There was no central place where people were urged to change their profile picture to this.
Not to my knowledge anyway.
But the thing went viral and many many profile pictures were changed last week to the one over there at left, an icon for marriage equality.
It got so huge that Zuckerbergites had to launch an investigation to see how widespread this trend was, and lo and behold produced this map of the United States.
The red areas are areas where users changed their profile pictures to be in solidarity with gay marriage equality.
Not surprisingly, you can almost lay a straight edge at the Mason-Dixon Line and see red change to a pinkish-rose color. The Solid South is ever solid in their disdain for equality. It’s as if they invented the concept.
Oh…wait… . They did.

Friday, March 29, 2013

What’s OK and Not OK in Texas

So the Texas Senate voted on Background Checks yesterday, and lo and behold, the vote on SB 146 to expand Background Checks in this state passed by a voice vote of 30 to nothing.
Who would have thought?
But on further reading, I came to realize that these particular background checks aren’t the ones that are so much in the news these days. No the background checks that the Texas Senate voted to expand and improve were not ones to check and see if a firearm purchaser has a criminal record or not.
It’s so that college and university officials can check to see whether students who want to live in their dormitories have criminal records.
This is the state of things in red, red Texas. Anyone can wander into a gun show in Texas, and we have lots and lots of them, and purchase a semi-automatic weapon with high capacity magazine clips on the same day and walk out with it.
If you have the money, you get the weapon, no questions asked.
But should SB 146 pass, state university officials will be allowed to enter the DPS database and see whether a college applicant has a rap sheet.
For anything.
Like a student prank in high school.
Or a drug bust.
Because you never know who you will draw as a roommate in a college dorm. Your roommate could be some kid who has an arrest record. But if the same kid keeps an AR-15 in his closet, well that’s OK.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DOMA is Doomed

Well I have listened to the audio of the oral arguments before SCOTUS today and it is completely clear to me that, on a 5-4 decision – what a surprise – the Supreme Court will very probably kill the Defense of Marriage Act.
It all comes down to, naturally, one vote. Anthony Kennedy’s vote.
Truly, we could all save some big time dollars in salaries and furlough the other 8 Supreme Court Justices until such time as one of them retires or dies and we have a new justice in the mix. Getting Justice Kennedy’s swing vote is the key to any given majority decision these days.
So how do I know that Kennedy will vote to declare DOMA unconstitutional? He said this yesterday:
“But when it has 1,100 laws, which in our society means that the Federal Government is intertwined with the citizens' day-to-day life, you are at – at real risk of running in conflict with what has always been thought to be the essence of the State police power, which is to regulate marriage, divorce, custody.”

This is going to be all about states’ rights for Justice Kennedy. Not a bad thing.
Not a bad thing at all.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Marriage Equality Dividend

What with the issue of Marriage Equality front and center these days as Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act under judicial review by the Supremes I have come to realize that the issue of Marriage Equality is going to pay huge dividends to the Liberal Movement in (hopefully) the near future.
See, the rightwing Evangelical wing of the ultraconservative Republican base, the people who you can count on to show up at primaries and vote for batguano crazy Republican candidates are mightily concerned what with all the Republicans going on the record as being in favor of Marriage Equality (aka Gay Marriage). This is not to their liking and they are making large huffing and puffing sounds laced with spittle and bad breath calling these Republicans out.
And threatening them.
Threatening them with organizing a third party.
A third party, these days, would turn the Republican Party into what one of these actors labeled as “a permanent minority.” And not just the Republican Party, they themselves will be in a permanent minority.
The nice thing is that this will free up the Republicans who stay behind to negotiate with Democrats again because they will no longer fear being primaried by Evangelicals and other crazies. And Democrats will enjoy a comfortable majority status for the foreseeable future.
No, I’m serious. When you hear it from one Evangelical, well that’s just idle chatter. But when you hear it from another, and another, that’s a trend.
Even if the separate statements are found on the same website.
Here, Mike Huckabee threatens “that if they [Republicans] support same-sex marriage, evangelicals will form a third party.”
And here, “Tony Perkins is threatening a possible third party if the GOP abandons its evangelical base and supports same-sex marriage.” Perkins is President of the ultraconservative Family Research Council.
Huckabee was waxing poetic in his statements. Poetic because his opinion of what an “objective standard” is would make poets all over the world gag and vomit. Get this one:
“I have great sympathy and extraordinary admiration for Sen. Portman. I consider him a friend and I value his work in the Senate and think he’s a great person. The mistake is that we sometimes base our public policy decisions on how we feel, how we think, maybe even some personal experiences, and we don’t regard a lot of these issues from the standpoint of an objective standard”

Not that’s just fun. It’s obvious that Huckabee believes that an objective standard comes from several verses in Leviticus.
Leviticus is now an “objective standard.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Death of Proposition 8 Summarized

In the Q and A of the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, it is my belief that this exchange is the key exchange that gives the Justices no choice but to rule it unconstitutional.
Justice Kagan: “Mr. Cooper, could I just understand your argument. In reading the briefs, it seems as though your principal argument is that same-sex and opposite — opposite-sex couples are not similarly situated because opposite-sex couples can procreate, same-sex couples cannot, and the State's principal interest in marriage is in regulating procreation. Is that basically correct?”
Cooper: “I -- Your Honor, that's the essential thrust of our —our position, yes.”
That’s all they have?
The state needs to regulate procreation?
That is why same sex marriage is forbidden in California? Because gays can’t conceive?
Well then maybe we should add to the list of people who cannot be married in California:
  1. Heterosexual couples in their mid-fifties and later
  2. Heterosexual couples of any age who are infertile
  3. Disabled veterans who have had their private parts blown off.
  4. Women who have had a coat hanger abortion and cannot bear children now.
Either that, or Prop 8 is as wrong as a three dollar bill.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Prop 8 Gay Marriage Law at SCOTUS Tomorrow

Tomorrow the day of reckoning for California's infamous Proposition 8 will come before the Supreme Court for a much-anticipated hearing. Proposition 8 is infamous in that it takes away a fundamental right that a state granted to people, introducing a grossly unfair situation where 18,000 gay and lesbian partners became legally married, but no more would be allowed to.
And there are lots of people out there who are second guessing what the Court will do, or not do. Will they find Prop 8 completely unconstitutional and overturn every state initiative to prevent gays and lesbians from marrying? Will they simply limit their decision to California? Or will they uphold the California law passed by 52 percent of Californians in 2008, the year a majority of Californians voted for Obama.
Who knows. All I know is that Chief Justice Roberts is going to have one of his own family sitting in the audience tomorrow. His cousin.
His lesbian cousin.
Have a nice day, Justice Roberts.

Conservatives Lash Out for Change

Texas Republicans have a new goal this year. Their new goal is to all act like Rick Perry in his disregard for federal environmental standards so they can prove to Texas conservative voters that they, by God, are against the Yankees coming into the state and stirring things up.
They want to “Out Perry” Rick Perry.
Rick Perry is all over this issue. He is so much against the Feds that he has kissed off millions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid in Texas, denying healthcare coverage to Texans from the Red River to the Rio Grande.
And he hates the EPA, claiming the the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have got all the environmental issues covered.
And now, according to this article, Greg Abbott, who wants to be Governor Abbott, is all in a hissy fit about how the Endangered Species Act is interfering with Texas’ right to regulate and use its own water supply. You see, Texas has allocated zero gallons of water to flow to the San Antonio Bay, where whooping cranes maintain a foothold on existence. No fresh water input will doom the whooping crane to extinction.
But Abbott is not alone. This is apparently a new thing with Texas Republicans: fighting Richard Nixon’s Endangered Species Act whenever it pops up in Texas:

Last year, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who might run for lieutenant governor, attached himself to an endangered species issue in West Texas; state Comptroller Susan Combs, who might also run for lieutenant governor, described endangered species proposals as ‘incoming Scud missiles’ at a conservative legislative confab in January; and Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples, another potential lieutenant governor candidate, testified before a congressional committee in 2012 that the Endangered Species Act has ‘been used to accomplish the goals of radicals and those seeking to expand the reach of government.’

Apparently the more the merrier.
But I take issue with Todd Staples’ premise that this is just a machination of “radicals and those seeking to expand the reach of government.” Radical liberals, you see, are the true conservatives who want to maintain what we already have in the ecosphere. That’s right, with these matters we liberals find ourselves the conservatives on environmental issues, and conservatives are the flaming liberals who are lashing out for change.
How ironic.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

When Babies Die…

It has now been three months since 20 babies were cut to pieces by a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle being wielded by a lunatic who wanted to rack up a death toll like his Norwegian hero did – choosing an elementary school because of its target-rich environment.
A delay of three months is just what the NRA divined in its game plan to go back to status quo until the next massacre. And hopefully the next massacre won’t involve babies because that got people really riled up for a longer period of time than usual.
Here is President Obama’s weekend address where he concentrated on the initiatives being argued in the Senate. Initiatives that all deserve a vote. A vote so we can identify again the Senators who are in the back pocket of the NRA because the vast majority of Americans favor these new laws.

And yes, I believe that the 2nd Amendment is an anachronism written in the 18th century when only one-shot muskets and pistols were available to us. And militias were meaningful in a wartime setting.

Either we should all be allowed to own any kind of weapon of war as anyone in the military, or we should only own guns that were available at the time the 2nd Amendment was written.

 That’s my bottom line.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Is Canadian-Born Ted Cruz a “Natural Born Citizen?”

Tea baggers are all gushing over the possibility of their latest uber-crazy hero, Ted Cruz, will run for president in 2016. Then someone noticed that he wasn’t born in the United States, but in Canada, to a Cuban national father and an American mother.
It stopped them for a second as they struggled to think it over, then quickly concluded that he definitely was a US citizen because his mother was a US citizen. You know, like how Barack Obama’s mother is a native born Kansan. Like how Kansas has been a part of the United States since the Louisiana Purchase.
The utter hypocrisy actually rankles me. Ted Cruz’s father was a Cuban. Barack Obama’s father was a Kenyan. But both of their mothers were Americans. But Obama isn’t qualified to be US President but Ted Cruz is.
Ay caramba.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

All Politics Is Local. Especially in School Board Elections

Well it’s March again and time to see who is running for school boards in my area. In Fort Bend ISD we have two positions up for grabs, two running for Position 3 and a whopping 4 candidates for Position 7. I really don’t know if one or both of these will heat up or not, but I sincerely hope so.
In Position 3 we have a new fresh face Vanesia R. Johnson running against incumbent Jim Rice. Johnson is a social worker concentrating on health, developmental disabilities, and disease prevention. She is presently working on a PhD on Public Policy and Administration.
I don’t know about you, but this seems to be a good fit in a school board that is devoid of anyone with any experience in special education. And from what people tell me, there is a lot that can be improved in that district’s special education program. While Jim Rice has been an astute board member, I have never been very comfortable that he is in the construction business.
Over in Position 7 we have a repeat, you could say, of the last election in which Cynthia Lenton-Gary was ousted by Tea Partier Dave Rosenthal and Rodrigo Carreon got his usual 500 votes. They are joined this time around by Keciana Enaohwo. Enaohwo is also in the human services line of work, and has degrees in Counseling and Health Education. She is also completing her PhD in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy. Her specialty is working with persons who have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse, children with special needs, persons affected with HIV/AIDS, and patients with diabetes and other health complications.
Again, this seems like a good match. She is more than qualified to serve on a school board, and wouldn’t it be refreshing to have an actual urban planner on the school board. Dave Rosenthal has regressive ideas with regard to school finance. He appears to be clueless that you can save money by aggressively cutting wasteful spending. Schools have cut their spending to the bone but he still thinks he can squeeze more blood out of a turnip. Rosenthal needs to go, and I don’t think that board appointee Lenton-Gary is up to the task of taking him on. The problem is, the Tea Party can field 4000 voters on any given school board election come rain or shine so Rosenthal has an edge.
In Lamar CISD two of four positions are being challenged. Karen Mendoza, the Board’s vice president has drawn two opponents, Michelle Pineda and Kathryn Kaminski. Incumbent Frank Torres is being opposed by a relative newcomer Gennaro  D’Onofrio Jr. The other two positions are being vacated by their current seat holders so the board will have some fresh faces to deal with no matter what. These races are interesting in that only residents of the districts may vote for the candidates of these offices, which makes it far more personal and homey.
And local.
Sometimes I wish Fort Bend ISD would shift to the Lamar model. Local representation is far more democratic than the approach Fort Bend takes. And while I am sure there is the occasional loose cannon on the Lamar school board, as I hear there is these days, this system of politics would seem to keep the crazies to a minimum.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Could He Be...SATAN?

Glen Beck, the uber-conservative radio talk show host, as it turns out, is the origin of all the hype heaped on the History Channel over their depiction of Satan in their mini-series "The Bible." It seems the show's producers made a casting decision to cast Moroccan actor Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni as Satan in their series, one, they say, who has played other "satanic roles" in the past.
So apparently Ouazanni is qualified to play the prince of darkness because he has creds.
This despite the fact that he in no way resembles "traditional" images of Satan.
Like these.

But Glen Beck hit the nail on the head this time. This is the image of the actor that has been chosen to portray Satan in the History Channel's biblical mini-series.

And the hilarity comes from the producers' denials that they purposely picked this guy to portray Satan, calling comparisons of the image above to that of President Obama to be "utter nonsense." If an idiotic conservative radio commentator can see the resemblance, and I can also, they should have been able to see the resemblance and maybe picked another guy who perhaps didn't bear such a close resemblance to a sitting president.

Like this guy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Patrick School Testing Plan Will Dumb Down Public Education

State Senator Dan Patrick is trying to ram through thelegislature his master plan to improve public education by fast laning his bill to severely curtail the number of End of Course exams a high school student will have to take, remove all requirements that the test count 15% of their grade, and allow a college-bound student the option of graduating with a basic or Minimum diploma.

Thus addressing all of the parent concerns that their brilliant children are being sorely tried and tested with high stakes testing in Texas schools.

Not surprisingly, this flawed bill is being steamrolled through the legislature so that the TEA Commissioner can tell schools that they need not have to administer most of the 15 End of Course exams that they are now required to give this spring.

And as pointed out by one of Patrick’s colleagues, the bill says nothing about whether or not a student who graduates with the most basic diploma may apply for admission to a university, having avoided taking some of the more difficult high school courses that applicants must now take.

In other words, it lowers the bar of expectations right to the ground.

You know, as an educator I guess I should be glad that Patrick is making all of our lives easier. No testing, No expectations. Nothing really need be taught or learned.

Except that as an educator, I would not like to live in a world where everyone has the same knowledge and skillsets that Senator Dan Patrick seems to possess.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

She Just Doesn't Go Away, Does She? And Thank God For That

Sarah Palin is here to stay. And thank you Jesus for that.
Sarah Palin continues to lead the charge of the conservative right, and they love her for it. And want some Sarah love, not that it is anywhere near close to happening.
Sarah Palin sells sex. She sells sex whores down by the she sure won't.
Think about it. Has this woman been relevant since she quit her executive position in Alaska? Not even close. So why does this woman claim a key speaker position at Day 3 of CPAC? Sex. Pure sex.
Palin has nothing left to sell except for her sexuality. She has run out of ideas, run out of relevance, run out of anything close to a conservative agenda. She has nothing. Nothing but a wink.
But again, thank God for Sarah Palin. Without her we progressives have nothing to remind ourselves of the national effort to overthrow the things we have accomplished. Without Sarah Palin, we have no figurehead. Thank you, Sarah Palin for representing to Americans all that is wrong with the rightwing in this time when Americans forget. Midterms. Keep it up Sarah dear.

Let's Have Some Fun With the Teabaggers

Hey guys, wanna have some fun?

We Progressive Facebookers need to go here and post some anti-Barack and Michelle diatribe to feed the incredible racist frenzy that is being commented on this site. Barack and Michelle are pictured before attending a state function. The bile is predictably disgusting, as is the overtly racist commentary.

I have been leaving comments all night. Comments that are wildly inaccurate but it does not bat an eye on this site. They mainly agree with me.

What you do is up to you but I recommend making the wildest claims imaginable (or even unimaginable, the horizon seems limitless).

Suggested keywords include: Communist (mis-spelled is even better), Nazi, Whore, Kenyan, N-----, Uppity, Arugula, and Black.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday CPAC Picture Palooza

It's Friday and it is Day 2 of the CPAC meetup where the uber-right wing of the conservative movement is meeting to decide on the best way to end conservatism as we know it as a force to be reckoned with, and not one to laugh hysterically over.
Here are but a few of the images that I have been able to glean off of the internet tubes.

Not attending: the most popular conservative in America today.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Assault Weapons Ban Bill Clears Judiciary Committee 10 to 8

And guess what else? The vote was entirely along party lines. No, not one Republican senator voted to ban over two thousand assault style rifles that are more appropriate in a war zone than a school zone, and not one Republican senator voted to limit the size of a semi-automatic magazine clip to ten rounds.
Not. One. Republican. Senator.
It’s as if Sandy Hook never happened according to the Guns Only Party. It’s as if those 20 children whose gun-riddled bodies were laid to rest by a grieving New England town never existed.
This is Gun Worship Gone Wild. It is the Republican Party saying to Americans that people have the right to own weapons of modern warfare, but peace-loving people do not have a right to safe and secure schools.
The framers of the Constitution could never imagine how this anachronistic 2nd Amendment is being abused by a few wealthy people so they can feed the paranoia and gun lust of so many demented Americans.

Cruz Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’

California Senator Diane Feinstein, whom I once voted for when I lived in that wonderful state, just gave my present junior senator Ted Cruz, whom I have never voted for, and never would, a tongue lashing that exposed him as pedantic jerk with a tiny mind.
Where does Ted Cruz get off lecturing on the Constitution to a woman who was an eyewitness to gun violence and murder on her colleagues by a deranged homophobe?
And where does Ted Cruz sit on the question of where and when I can go and buy a suitcase nuke? Because if he is serious in not excluding any kind of weapon whatsoever from private ownership I want my 20 kiloton yield nuke, and perhaps a dirty bomb. Cobalt-60 will do nicely.
And can I put them on my AMEX?



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This Photo Needs a Caption

"Well, Alfredo, we got us another pope. Was it good for you, too?"

"I've been trying to quit, Giorgio, but this conclave was a bitch."

"Glad that's over Mario. Now let's see if this one will stick around and take some responsibility for his inaction."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Black Smoke White Smoke

They’re picking the last pope now. Have you heard?
And to no one’s surprise, on day one of the conclave no one won in the first ballot. That’s because everyone voted for themselves as this is the rumored tradition.
So they had a black smoke paper fire today.
But back to my original statement. Some say that the pope that is picked this time out is going to be the last in the long line of popes stretching back to the stuff of myths.
The story goes that Saint Malachy, a 12thcentury Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland had a vision wherein he saw who were going to be the next 112 popes starting with Celestine  II who rose to the papacy in 1143, serving for a whole year.
Here’s the rub. Malachy wrote that the next to last pope was going to be named Benedict, and that the last pope was known as” Peter the Roman.”
Now there are no Italian cardinals known as Peter, but then one takes his name after being named, not before. But one of the more interesting assertions is that the manuscript was “discovered” much later than they were said to have been written, in 1595, and more importantly, the popes named in the first 500 years of popedom were surprisingly accurate, and the predictions afterward were wildly inaccurate.
This is a common practice in Christendom. Prophecy is commonly the writing of history after history has already been made. Christ’s prediction of the destruction of Solomon’s Temple being one of them. It has been argued that that prediction was recorded 100+ years after it happened.
But mysticism is, has been, and always will be a part of the papal process. Picking the next bearer of the black secrets of the Catholic Church is serious business, one not to be taken lightly.
Even when the last one served in Hitler’s army by shooting down allied bombers.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oh I'm So Stealing This...

The following table is the brainchild of Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily KOS blog. It is a brilliant summarization of the various factions of the conservative movement in America. It is so close to the truth that the only thing I could say after perusing it on his website was "we are so screwed."

Then I stole it.
TeabaggerPaleoconCorporate ConNeoconTheoconLibertarian
ArchetypeSarah PalinPat BuchananMitt RomneyBill KristolPat RobertsonRon Paul
Purpose of GovernmentHands off my Medicare!Stop changeMake me money, bail me outBomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran...Impose my god on everyone elseNone
In one wordCrazyParanoidGreedyBloodthirstyZealotMe!
Biggest allyTheoconLibertarianNeoconTheoconNeoconTeabagger
Biggest rivalCorporate ConNeoconTeabaggerPaleoconCorporate ConCorporate Con
Pet concernTaxesCommunistsRegulatorsEmpireLegislating godNo laws
ImmigrationDeportDeportCheap labor!TerroristsEmbraceBring 'em
InternationalDon't careIsolationistIs there oil?Bomb already!Spark the rapture!Make trade, not war
GunsFight gov't tyranny!Red Dawn!Ick!Bigger!For shooting doctorsThe more, the merrier
AbortionBan it!Bomb the clinic!Who cares?I'll pretend to careShoot the doctor!Not my problem
CorporatismAnti. In theoryAnti. In theoryRaison d'êtreGotta build bombsWhateverÜber alles!
RaceWe've got Herman Cain!Whites OnlyMoochersTarget practiceObama is Atheist MuslimNo racial entitlements
TaxesNone!None!None!Free wars!Outsource to NorquistWorse than Hitler
GaysIckNo special rights!ixnay on the igotrybayWho?Sodom and GomorrahWho cares?

Catholic Parishioners to Pay for their Priest’s Sins

How apropos.
Catholics in America and worldwide are being asked to contribute to fundraisers that are meant to pay families whose only offense was to provide church clerics of objects of their desires. Their children’s’ bungholes.
Imagine that. A church whose net worth is in the trillions of dollars after gathering tithes from their parishioners for two thousand years is asking the very same to bail them out of the scandal that has beset them very recently: the buggery of male children.
How heinous is that? Men in skirts hitting on their parishioners for the privilege of retrieving money from the afflicted so that they may repay those that theirs have buggered.
They own more gold than Midas. More artwork than La Louvre. Yet they expect their parishioners to pay for their sins.
How very Catholic. How very Christian of them.

Friday, March 08, 2013

We're Number 1 !!!

For the second year in a row the state of Texas is number 1:  Number 1 in the percentage of its citizens who have no health insurance. In 2011 the US Census reported that Texas had the largest percentage of people uninsured at a rate of 24.4%. And a new Gallup Poll released today shows that we have improved on that number this year, and now have 28.8% with no health insurance. That’s right, Mississippi, suck eggs. You lose again.

People with no health insurance usually don’t see doctors for preventative care, and when they do see a doctor, it is in an emergency room – with a health matter that is severe.

I can well-imagine what would drive the Gallup people to conduct such a poll, what with Republican governor after Republican governor announcing that they are taking the feds up on an offer to throw billions of dollars at them in exchange for a modest increase in their payments to Medicaid.

Rick Perry is steadfastly refusing to participate in this Medicaid expansion program, part of Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. Perry and the Republican-led legislature are thumbing their collective noses at a $100 billion (yes, that’s billion with a ‘b’) handout in exchange for the state putting up an extra $15 billion.

Meanwhile, people are needlessly getting sick and people are dying. All because cold-hearted Rick Perry wants to make a political point or two with the TEApublicans who themselves have hearts colder than a well digger’s keester.

Remember when Rick Perry wanted to spend millions of taxpayer dollars buying Gardasil so he could vaccinate each and every 11 year old girl in Texas against one form of HPV? As it turns out it was to lend a helping hand to his former staffer who was a lobbyist for Merck, the maker of Gardasil. I wonder if Perry would change his tune if we can figure out some way for his cronies to make vast sums in profits in Medicaid is expanded in Texas.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Rand’s Rant Promotes Paranoia

Rand Paul, senator from Kentucky and namesake of Libertarian founder Ayn Rand, had a 6-hour hissy fit yesterday in the Senate. He decided to hold his own old fashioned filibuster of CIA director nominee Brenner’s confirmation hearing, and the subject was drones over America.
See, Rand Paul sent a letter of inquiry to Attorney General Holder asking him whether President Obama was empowered to launch a drone strike against an American citizen on American soil. A fairly open-ended question to say the least. Holder responded with a solid “yes.”
To which Paul took great umbrage and started sputtering over killing Jane Fonda or noncombatants in Houston.
But Holder’s point, given the latitude of Paul’s question, which was as big as Texas, is that the President, as Commander-in-Chief of all US military forces, does have the power to go after an enemy combatant anywhere in the world, including in America. Even if the enemy combatant is an American. Not to say so would be to give an enemy combatant bent on killing Americans a free pass just because they are on American soil. Given a situation where there is no scenario given at all, yes, the President has that power.
Now we still have Miranda, and we still have a right to a trial by a jury of peers, so this is obviously a very remote possibility. To think otherwise, that drones with hellfire missiles are the new thing in domestic law enforcement, is silliness. Paul knows better, he just likes to shoot off his mouth.