In the USA...Warren: Drug possession warrants jail time but laundering cartel money doesn’t?
By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, March 7, 2013 15:59
Appearing at a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) grilled officials from the Treasury Department over why criminal charges were not filed against officials at HSBC who helped launder hundreds of millions of dollars for drug cartels.
The HSBC scandal resulted in the Department of Justice and Treasury announcing a record $1.92 billion fine after finding that the international bank repeatedly helped the world’s most violent drug gangs move at least $881 million in ill-gotten gains through numerous countries the U.S. has economic sanctions against.
“HSBC paid a fine, but no one individual went to trial, no individual was banned from banking, and there was no hearing to consider shutting down HSBC’s activities here in the United States,” Warren said. “So, what I’d like is, you’re the experts on money laundering. I’d like an opinion: What does it take — how many billions do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate — before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?”
Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen, though admitting HSBC’s actions were “egregious,” did not answer Warren’s question. “For our part, we imposed on HSBC the largest penalties that we’ve ever imposed on any financial institution ever. We looked at the facts and determined that the most appropriate response there was a very, very significant penalty against the institution.”
Warren reiterated her question and still got nowhere. “We at the Treasury Department… don’t have the authority to shut down a financial institution,” Cohen said.
“I understand that,” Warren said, visibly annoyed. “I’m asking, in your opinion — you’re the ones who are supposed to be the experts on money laundering, you work with everyone else including the Department of Justice — in your opinion, how many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords before somebody says, ‘We’re shutting you down,’?”
Cohen continued to rebuff her question, saying that Treasury vigorously prosecutes and fines offending banks but still insisting: “I’m not going to get into some hypothetical line-drawing exercise.”
Frustrated, Warren turned to Federal Reserve board member Jerome H. Powell, who said that such a proceeding would take place after a criminal conviction. ‘That’s not something — we don’t do criminal investigation,” he added. “We don’t do trials or anything like that. We do civil enforcement, and in the case of HSBC we gave essentially the statutory maximum.”
Warren seemed stunned: “You have no advice to the Justice Department on whether or not this was an appropriate case for a criminal action?” But Powell deflected, saying that’s the Justice Department’s realm and that the Fed will “collaborate with them” mainly by answering questions, not by recommending prosecutions.
“You know, if you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to go to jail,” Warren said. “If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night, every single individual associated with this. I think that’s fundamentally wrong.”
This video is from Elizabeth Warren’s YouTube channel, published March 7, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cKTBy7_S_I&feature=player_embedded
*********It’s a BFD: Obama Renews Biden’s Violence Against Women Act After GOP Obstruction
By: Sarah Jones
Mar. 7th, 2013
Keeping to his promise that “1is2Many”, President Obama said today while signing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, “(W)e’ve made incredible progress since 1994. But we cannot let up — not when domestic violence still kills three women a day. Not when one in five women will be a victim of rape in their lifetime. Not when one in three women is abused by a partner.
So I promise you — not just as your President, but as a son, and a husband, and a father — I’m going to keep at this. I know Vice President Biden is going to keep at it. My administration is going to keep at it for as long as it takes.”
After an audience member shouted in celebration, “We love you, Mr. President!” and the President responded happily, “I love you back” he got down to the important business of the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The President said, “We’ve made incredible progress since 1994. But we can’t let up. Not now.” He poignantly referred to the survivors on the stage with him, “Today is about all the survivors and advocates standing on this stage… No woman has to choose between a violent home and no home at all.” He included all Americans who have faced discrimination, “Today is about all the Americans who’ve faced discrimination based on sexual orientation & gender identity when they seek help.”
The President has always seen women as equal people deserving of liberty and equal protection under the law. The President affirmed, “All women deserve the right to live free from fear. That’s what today is about.” His administration has the best record on women’s rights of any administration and indeed, Vice President Joe Biden co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act in 1994.
Obama praised his Vice President for forging the original VAWA, “So on behalf of everybody here and all the lives that you’ve had a positive impact and touched through the Violence Against Women Act — the survivors who are alive today because of this law, the women who are no longer hiding in fear because of this law, the girls who are growing up aware of their right to be free from abuse because of this law — on behalf of them and all their families, I want to thank Joe Biden for making this one of the causes of his career. ”
The Vice President also spoke today, acknowledging the origins of the VAWA, “Those of you who have been around a while with me know that I quote my father all the time who literally would say, the greatest sin that could be committed, the cardinal sin of all sins was the abuse of power, and the ultimate abuse of power is for someone physically stronger and bigger to raise their hand and strike and beat someone else. In most cases that tends to be a man striking a woman, or a man or woman striking a child. That’s the fundamental premise and the overarching reason why John Conyers and I and others started so many years ago to draft the legislation called the Violence Against Women Act.”
Biden pointed out that 40% of mass shootings targeted an intimate partner, “We’ve all focused on the tragic gun violence that has been in the news lately, but I want to point something out to you. From 2009 to 2012, 40 percent of the mass shootings in America, other than the celebrated ones you’ve seen — 40 percent where there’s four or more people who have been shot, the target has been a former intimate partner or a close family member.”
Biden explained that the law has been strengthened in its renewal, “First, we’ve given jurisdiction to tribal courts over those who abuse women on reservations regardless of whether or not they — (applause.) We’re providing more resources to the states so they can be trained as to how to collect evidence, acquire convictions, particularly in prosecutions for rape. We’re going to increase the use of proven models to reduce domestic violence homicides.”
The White House broke down the key provisions in the Violence Against Women Act signed today by President Obama, noting the importance of the passage, “While tremendous progress has been made since the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first enacted, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are still significant problems facing women, families, and communities.The new VAWA bill signed into law by President Obama March 7, 2013 will continue effective programs, make targeted expansions to address the needs of especially vulnerable populations, and help prevent violence in future generations.”
It only took a year and a half to get Republicans to reauthorize the VAWA! Woo hoo, way to go Republicans. They held on as long as they could, objecting to liberty and freedom for all but in the end, legitimate rape negatively colored their obstructionism (bad PR) and so women can breathe a short sigh of relief. Sure, you might not be worthy of protection let alone rights in some people’s “minds”, but at least Todd Akin is unwittingly serving the cause now.
Vice President Joe Biden deserves a hearty round of applause for never giving up on justice for women. Yes, Joe, we concur: Women’s lives are a BFD.
************The Bill to Fund the Government Is the Latest Bit of Stand-up Comedy From House Republicans
By: Dennis S
Mar. 8th, 2013
By now you’ve surely heard of the much-ballyhooed passage of HR 933. It’s the legislation that, with the cooperation of the Senate, will supposedly prevent a government shutdown of federal agencies come March 27th delaying that possibility until the end of the fiscal year on September 30th. The bill also somewhat lessens the pain of immediate cuts of $85 billion.
I read the bill, 269 pages of skillful deception. Make no mistake, the primary purpose of this bill is to perpetuate the bloat of the defense budget and decimate domestic programs. It doesn’t get to the non-defense sections until page 224 with the exception of a few lines forbidding federal ACORN funding.
Here are some of the multi-billion dollar defense particulars that caught my eye. HR 933 provides over $50 billion in R & D. A total of $33 billion is set aside for Department of Defense Health Care. There’s also about $300,000,000 for Israel, mostly for missile defense and $120 million for a purpose that I’ll explain in subsequent submissions. It’s an ongoing potentially explosive psychological confrontation you’ve not heard much about.
Funding for active and retired Army personnel hits the $42 billion mark. For the Navy, $27 billion; the Marines get $12 ½ billion; The Air Force, $28 billion. Gadzooks! We’re already at $192 billion. There are the respective reserve memberships and National Guard funding adding enough to get us to $200 billion. Then there’s something called “Operation and Maintenance” for all the branches. I guess none of the 200 bill in original appropriations could possibly address such contingencies. Ca-Ching! Your abacus should have spit out another $40 billion.
I followed these calculations to what were undoubtedly the most interesting and mind-boggling lines of the entire legislation. There’s some huge hidden money squirreled away in the defense budget. It’s stuffed deep into the ledger crevices that go by the nom de guerre of Confidential Military Purposes (whatever those are). For the Army Secretary, there’s a generous $35,409,260,000 of taxpayer money in that clandestine pot.
I know what you’re thinking, but there are distinctly separate intelligence, global terrorism and “pay off the snitches in Afghanistan and buy off the Taliban leaders” line items. Just what are “Confidential Military Purposes” (CMP) that carry that kind of a price tag? Are we in a Bond movie here?
The Navy’s CMP line is home to $41,614,453,000 of your dollars. And it ain’t over yet. The Air Force Secretary has $34,780,406,000 at his disposal. That’s a total of almost $112 billion most taxpayers haven’t heard about. I doubt even most House members have a clue. The question is, are these yearly additions to the CMP totals or just replacement amounts for a total that remains within narrow parameters? A scrambling of CMP money alone could easily make up for the estimated 47 billion sequester loss in FY 2013.
But on with the Jody calls. Here’s another interesting cache that begs for abuse. There’s money for expenses not “otherwise provided for, but necessary for the operation and maintenance” of the different branches of the Armed Forces. Bear in mind that the operations and maintenance payouts covered what wasn’t included in the basic funding for each branch. So we’re stacking one funding source on top of the other. There’s a name for that; P…O…N…For example, the Marines pick up an extra $6 billion for God knows what up to the end of the fiscal year, September 30th. The Navy plumped up their bottom line by $3.5 billion; the Air Force, $3.2 billion. Some funding extends beyond the current fiscal year, but is still included in the bill.
The procurement budget is a Chinese water torture drip of a billion here, 17 billion there, adding up to a hefty $63 billion. Frankly in studying 933 in its totality, there doesn’t seem to be a smidgeon of sacrifice on the defense side and that $112 billion still has my head spinning.
Let’s just say domestically, the Obama administration is forced to operate at 2012 levels while Defense luxuriates at 2013 levels. In twisting real events, 933 suggests that if sequestration is “ordered” by the president, the departments and agencies to which this section applies are the following: 933 then goes on to lists 31 departments and agencies. In other words, just about all that exist in Washington DC. That’s deep cuts in consumer access and services while the Defense/Corporate crowd escapes virtually unscathed.
Apparently seeking bi-partisan counsel, the President dined with a dozen Senate Republicans Wednesday night at the pricey Plume restaurant in the Jefferson Hotel (the menu matches the reported dinner orders). South Carolina’s Lindsay Graham, trying to read his state’s Tea Party leaves might think it’s a good play to attract Independents. New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte was there. Palin and Santorum helped the former state Attorney General’s Senate campaign. She’s has nothing politically in common with the president.
Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey was in the chow line. He was once President of the notoriously right-wing extremist Club for Growth. Seat-filler, John the bomb McCain was there. He’s everywhere these days. Who cares? Saxby Chambliss stuffed his face on the taxpayer dime as well. Chambliss. In 2002. Chambliss repeatedly questioned the patriotism of opponent Max Cleland who left three of four limbs in Nam. Mike Johanns attended. He was a big supporter of a fundamentalist “March for Jesus” day while Nebraska Governor. Fortunately both he and Chambliss have announced they’re not running again.
Tom Coburn, Oklahoma’s homophobic, anti-RU 486, war on women, guns in national parks, climate change denier, Baptist Deacon esthetic is balanced by occasional shots at Fox News and an unlikely friendship with the President. He’s also the only Senate doctor, which may have accounted for the invite. North Dakota’s Hoeven is an NRA puppet, Indiana’s Dan Coats was a lobbyist between terms. Nuff said. North Carolina’s Richard Burr is another homophobic gun and pollution whore who voted no to expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Ron Johnson is a Wisconsin Tea Party radical. Probably wore ear plugs to the fete.
Bob Corker is a Tennessee right-winger and one of the sponsors of “The Commitment to American Prosperity Act” (CAP) that calls for a ten-year binding cap on all federal spending to such a radical degree that on close read would pretty much financially bomb the fed services back to the financial stone age. Interestingly, 7 or 12 Obama guests were co-sponsors of CAP. The only other place you’d see these 12 together would be the upcoming CPAC.
Cooperation from this bunch? ROTFLMAO! Get the veto pen ready my friend.
***********The Mind Boggling Idiocy of Defunding Family Planning Will Cost Texas Taxpayers $273 Million
By: Sarah Jones
Mar. 7th, 2013
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “Initiatives to Protect Life” (aka; wars on abortion) aren’t going so well. Perry’s alleged ideals aren’t necessarily firmly rooted in reality, and so he announced, “The ideal world is a world without abortion. Until then, however, we will continue to pass laws to ensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law.”
The only problem is that Perry and his Republican legislature don’t seem to understand what actually prevents abortions, and thus they set about killing the very services that actually reduce abortions. That fail was then projected to cost the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars via what Republicans call big government dependency.
Texas Republicans were shocked to learn that their 2011 legislative efforts to defund family planning clinics by 2/3 will result in more unplanned pregnancies and are projected to cost the taxpayers $273 million for low-income births. Who would have guessed that taking away access to birth control would increase unplanned pregnancies? HUH. This is hard.
The New York Times reported:
Now, amid estimates that the cuts could lead to 24,000 additional 2014-15 births at a cost to taxpayers of $273 million, lawmakers are seeking a way to restore financing without ruffling feathers.
According to the New York Times, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that more than 50 family planning clinics closed as a result of the GOP attacks. So now Republicans have to find a way to re-fund family planning without looking like they’re funding family planning, because family planning is abortion — or, so they told their base.
Their solution? Instead of funding family planning, they’ll put $100 million in a state-run primary care program but not clarify that the money should go to contraception. This will solve the problem of reducing unplanned pregnancies almost as well as their plan to defund family planning clinics reduces abortions (in reality, it doesn’t; abortions are reduced through family planning, birth control, and sex education – all things Republicans oppose, ironically).
The New York Times quoted Senator Robert Deuell (R-Greenville), a physician, as saying, “It’s a much better way to treat the women because they don’t just have family-planning issues.”
Who’s going to tell Deuell that family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood also often offer preventive care like breast cancer screening, anemia testing, cholesterol screening, diabetes screening and so much more? Also, in point of fact, only 3% of their services are abortions?
ABC quoted Regina Rogoff, the Executive Director of the People’s Community Clinic, an independent family planning provider in Austin (Texas), on the “mind boggling” ignorance, “The ignorance, I think, that is so rampant among the legislative community is mind boggling.”
By the time Republicans are done chasing their ideology to its logical, predictable conclusion, they’ll finally arrive where we have been patiently awaiting them.
We are but halfway there. So far, their hatred of abortion has led them to defund the one thing that actually reduces abortion, while increasing the cost to taxpayers for unplanned pregnancies; thereby actually managing to increase federal dependency on big government programs Republicans claim to hate. So far, this is a big fail as far as ideology goes.
Let’s do the math. Texas Republicans touted savings of $73 million by defunding what they hysterically and inaccurately describe as the “abortion industry” (aka: family planning clinics that provide the actual services that in reality, decrease the number of abortions). Now they’re throwing $100 million at the problem but not really addressing it, in order to avoid the unintended consequence of the $273 million crater they just carved into the debt in order to satisfy their ideological fantasy.
How much money will be wasted while Republicans figure out that throwing money at general care isn’t going to solve the unplanned pregnancy problem, and that indeed, this is why so many Americans support programs like Planned Parenthood. You see, they actually work. Yes, it’s true, no one LOVES abortions. That is why most of the country supports the Democratic platform regarding family planning clinics — because they work. SHHHHH! It’s a big secret also known as evidence via scientific data and if that doesn’t get it, it’s also just plain logic. The purpose of contraception, after all, is to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
This here is not only a failure to communicate, but it’s also a great example of why we don’t always let states run wild with their “rights”. Sometimes the federal government actually gets it right, if only because the chances of the federal government being taken over by fantasy-impaired hysterics are slimmer than they are of a state (like, say, Texas) being overtaken by irrational, “mind boggling” ignorance.
March 7, 2013A Senator’s Stand on Drones Scrambles Partisan Lines
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON and ASHLEY PARKER
WASHINGTON — Senator Rand Paul’s intention was to highlight his misgivings about how drones are used. He ended up enmeshing his fellow Republicans in a broader debate over national security that scrambled the politics of left and right.
After invoking and being embraced by civil-liberties-minded liberals during a 13-hour filibuster starting Wednesday on the Senate floor, Mr. Paul, of Kentucky, was showered with praise on Thursday by both the Tea Party movement and the provocateurs of the peace group Code Pink. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader, praised Mr. Paul’s conviction.
Mr. Paul, a libertarian in the mold of his father, former Representative Ron Paul, pointedly questioned whether the government had the authority to kill an American citizen in the United States with a drone strike — an effort that generated a tremendous following on social media.
But he was assailed by two of his party’s most prominent national security hawks, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. They took to the floor on Thursday to defend President Obama’s aggressive use of drones against Al Qaeda and its affiliates and to suggest that Mr. Paul and his backers had engaged in scaremongering.
“We’ve done, I think, a disservice to a lot of Americans by making them think that somehow they’re in danger from their government,” Mr. McCain said. “They’re not. But we are in danger from a dedicated, longstanding, easily replaceable-leadership enemy that is hellbent on our destruction.”
Mr. Paul won particular support from two other Tea Party-backed Republicans, Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. The three spelled one another during the filibuster on Wednesday afternoon and evening, drawing in part from a huge positive response on Twitter to their efforts.
But with Tea Party supporters having demonstrated the ability to mount primary challenges to incumbents they consider insufficiently conservative, an array of other Republican senators showed up on the Senate floor late Wednesday night to support Mr. Paul’s filibuster.
They included Mr. McConnell, who has been moving vigorously to shut down chatter about a potential primary challenge to his re-election campaign next year, and Senator Marco Rubio, who has drawn some Tea Party criticism for his openness to an immigration overhaul that would give illegal immigrants a chance at gaining citizenship.
As Republicans went at one another and White House officials watched in amusement, the administration directly answered the question at the heart of Mr. Paul’s filibuster. No, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a letter Thursday to Mr. Paul, the president does not have the authority to use a drone to kill a United States citizen on American soil who is not engaged in combat.
Mr. Holder did not say how the president would determine who is an enemy combatant. And he did not back off his statement on Wednesday that the president has the authority to pursue military action inside the United States in extraordinary circumstances, an assertion that helped set off Mr. Paul’s filibuster.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Senate went on to address what Mr. Paul had been seeking to delay with his filibuster, the confirmation of John O. Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. After Democrats threatened to keep in the Senate in session through the weekend to deal with the confirmation, Republicans allowed a quick vote and Mr. Brennan was approved, 63 to 34.
Among those voting in favor of Mr. Brennan was Mr. Graham, who had earlier indicated that he might vote no but said Thursday that he would support the nomination to send a signal that he backs the drone program.
By the time the Senate adjourned for the weekend, a Republican Party that had long assailed Mr. Obama as a leader who would turn a war on terrorism into a police action with Miranda rights for suspects had shown itself to be sharply divided over whether the president had instead grabbed too much power and was risking violating the Constitution in his efforts to keep the nation safe.
“The question of whether the United States government can kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil when that individual does not pose an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm is a fundamental issue of liberty,” Mr. Cruz said. “It is an issue of enforcing the explicit language of our Constitution.”
While the events of the day brought into sharp relief the strains within the various components of the conservative movement, they also highlighted bipartisan unease in Congress over Mr. Obama’s policy of keeping information about the drone program tightly held.
In particular, the events suggested that both ends of the ideological spectrum were intent on drawing the administration into a more public discussion of its legal rationale for its use of drones — including in one case to kill an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical cleric and Qaeda planner, in Yemen — and questions about due process for terrorism suspects targeted by the United States.
Among the no votes on the Brennan nomination was Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont and chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He has been pressing the White House to release memos to the committee setting out the administration’s legal rationale for drone strikes against American citizens, but so far the White House has provided the memos only to the Intelligence Committee.
“There is a prospect for a libertarian-right, progressive-left coalition on transparency issues,” said Robert M. Chesney, a law professor at the University of Texas.
Best known in foreign policy circles until now for being on the losing end of 90-to-1 Senate vote last year on Iran policy, Mr. Paul emerged as a voice of populists on the right who are concerned about what they see as an unchecked national security state that too often becomes overinvolved in the rest of the world.
While he has sought to distance himself somewhat from the explicitly isolationist and antiwar stances of his father, Mr. Paul still reflects deep suspicion among libertarians and Tea Party supporters about global entanglements. He has expressed skepticism about foreign aid and the need for overseas military bases, opposes American involvement in Syria and has sought more restrictions on the powers of presidents to wage war.
“There’s a healthy debate in the Republican caucus,” Mr. Paul said when asked about divisions in the party and criticism by Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham. “People are starting to understand that that just by calling someone an enemy combatant doesn’t make them an enemy combatant. Someone has to assess their guilt or innocence, and it’s a pretty important question.”
*********All Hell Is Breaking Loose on the Right After McCain Slams Rand Paul’s Filibuster
By: Jason Easley
Mar. 7th, 2013
John McCain’s criticism of Rand Paul’s filibuster has set off a chain reaction of chaos within the Republican Party and the conservative movement.
Here is Rand Paul saying that the government would drop a Hellfire missile on Jane Fonda and Kent State:
Here is the video of McCain on the Senate floor:
McCain said, “Well, Mr. President, I watched some of that ‘debate’ yesterday. I saw colleagues of mine who know better, come to the floor and voice the same concern, which is totally unfounded. I must say that the use of Jane Fonda’s name does evoke certain memories with me, and I must say she is not my favorite American, but I also believe that as odious as it was, Ms. Fonda acted within her constitutional rights. And to somehow say that someone who disagrees with American policy and even may demonstrate against it, is somehow a member of an organization which makes that member an enemy combatant is simply false. It’s simply false.”
Later McCain said, “But to somehow allege or infer that the President of the United States is going to kill somebody like Jane Fonda, or someone who disagrees with policies is stretch of imagination which is frankly ridiculous, ridiculous. So, I don’t disagree that we need more debate, more discussion, and frankly more legislation to make sure that America does protect the rights of all of our citizens. To make sure at the same time that if someone is an enemy combatant, that enemy combatant has nowhere to hide, not in a cafe, not anywhere. But to say that we would hit them in a cafe with a Hellfire missile. First of all, there are no drones with Hellfire missiles anywhere near. They’re over in places like Yemen, Afghanistan, and other places in the world. So, we’ve done a, I think, disservice to a lot of Americans by making them think they’re in danger from their government. They’re not.”
The reaction to McCain’s comments has been all hell breaking loose on the right.
Rush Limbaugh said, “Senator McCain just went to the floor of the Senate and blasted Senator Paul saying the filibuster was not helpful. Senator McCain, and I tell you, this illustrates the contrast between the new stars of the Republican Party and yesterday’s mashed potatoes. McCain said that Paul’s filibuster (imitating McCain), “Let me tell you what’s wrong with it, Limbaugh. It’s gonna give ammo to those who think the rules of the Senate have been abused.” Senator McCain, there’s not a person in the world who cares about the rules of the Senate right now. And if the rules of the Senate were abused last night for the American people to hear the truth, then so be it.”
Fox News has taken Rand Paul’s side. Drudge is appearing to play it down the middle, but look at how their headlines were structured:
(There are literally thousands of comments from rank and file Republicans criticizing McCain, but the vast majority of them can’t be reprinted here.)
Since the right wing media isn’t concerned with little things like facts, truth, or reality, they are happy to take Rand Paul’s side on this, but there is something bigger in play here.
The impulse that led the right to rah-rah behind Rand is the same one that is causing them to lose elections. Facts may not matter inside the Republican bubble, but to the rest of the country they certainly do.
The same right wing that lost winnable Senate elections in 2010 and 2012 is at it again. They are angry at the dozen Senate Republicans who had dinner with Obama. They are blaming people like McCain for the party’s worsening performance in presidential elections, but what they don’t understand is that standing at the fringes with the Rand Pauls of the world only makes them less electable.
Rand Paul’s filibuster was a verbal drone attack on reality, and the Republican Party is worse off today because of it.
Republicans continue to self destruct, and we all have a front row seat as conservative movement devolves into chaos.