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Entries in Rand Paul (7)


US Feature: How the Obama Administration Killed 3 US Citizens in Yemen (New York Times)

See also EA Video Analysis: Drones, President Obama, and Rand Paul's Filibuster --- "More Macbeth Than Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

Abdulrahman al-AwlakiThe missile strike on Sept. 30, 2011, that killed Mr. Awlaki — a terrorist leader whose death lawyers in the Obama administration believed to be justifiable — also killed Mr. Khan, though officials had judged he was not a significant enough threat to warrant being specifically targeted. The next month, another drone strike mistakenly killed Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, who had set off into the Yemeni desert in search of his father. Within just two weeks, the American government had killed three of its own citizens in Yemen. Only one had been killed on purpose.

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EA Video Analysis: Drones, President Obama, and Rand Paul's Filibuster --- "More Macbeth Than Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

Six minutes taking apart Wednesday night's drama of Senator Rand Paul, nominally opposing the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director, speaking for 13 hours --- the ninth-longest filibuster in history --- about the Obama Administration's use of drone warfare....

Was it really significant?

"Here's what the media didn't recognise. Rand Paul's statements, his show, his declarations, his posturing didn't do a damn thing....This wasn't Mr Smith Goes to Washington. This was Mr Macbeth: a 13-hour speech full of sound and fury, but signifying nothng."


US Audio Feature: Drones and Senator Paul's "False Drama" Filibuster --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24

I spoke with Monocle 24's The Daily last night about the "false drama" of Senator Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster on Wednesday-Thursday, initially over the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director but featuring criticism of the Obama Administration's policy on drone warfare.

Listen to interview from 7:55 on The Briefing's homepage or in a pop-out window.

Why a "false drama"? For all the sudden media attention because of Paul's speech --- the ninth-longest in Senate history --- his criticism was, in the end, superficial.

The only substantive demand that Paul made was an assurance that Americans could not be killed on American soil by drones. The White House offered that "concession" on Thursday.

Brennan was subsequently confirmed as CIA Director by the Senate.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration retains the freedom to develop its new strategy of drone warfare --- including the target killing of American citizens, as well as the "collateral damage" of slain civilians --- in any country except the US.


US Politics: A Beginner's Guide to the Plans to Cut Government Spending

On Monday, the Tea Party Caucus held a meeting in Washington to discuss their potential approaches to a forthcoming vote, probably in June, on raising America's debt ceiling. No definite conclusion was reached by the Caucus, but here are the headline numbers, from the President's deficit reduction commission, that illustrate how the the debt burden in in the United States is forcing the political conversation in Washington....

In 2010, Federal Government spending was nearly 24% of the nation's GDP; a level not seen since the days of WWII. To cover this spending, the government raised tax revenues of 15% of GDP. In total, the difference between spending and revenue in 2010 –-- the deficit –-- stood at 9% of the value of all the goods and services produced in the economy, or GDP.

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A Beginner's Tour of the US Elections: The Tea Party, "Kooks", and the Senate Race in Kentucky

How can I not like Kentucky? Home of bourbon whisky, the Derby, and bluegrass music, three of the staples of civilised living all found in one state. A perfect day could well consist of sitting at Churchill Downs reviewing the horse-racing programme, sipping a Maker’s Mark while the locals enjoy their mint juleps, and listening to an old-style jug band.

Wrongly or rightly, Kentucky enjoys the reputation of a polite, well-mannered state where the Southern virtues of relaxed refinement and civility still persist.

It is a sign of the threat to the character of Kentucky that the Senate race in the state is turning increasingly bitter and bad-tempered. On Sunday night, the two candidates held a debate where Rand Paul, the tea party-backed Republican, asked his Democrat opponent Jack Conway: “Have you no decency? Have you no shame?"

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A Beginner's Tour of the US Elections: The "Progressive Idea" and the Senate Race in Wisconsin

Last year there seemed little likelihood there would even be a close contest in Wisconsin. The incumbent Russ Feingold is a Democrat who has been a Senator for eighteen years, in a state that has voted Democrat in the last six presidential elections (56% for Obama in 2008). Moreover, Feingold, co-sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Refrom Act, is a liberal politician known for sticking to his progressive values. He voted against the Patriot Act setting out internal security measures after 9-11, opposed the war in Iraq, and has been a consistent voice against the influence of money in elections. His campaign has not been damaged by any personal scandal, and the general reputation he enjoys is of an honest and independent politician in Washington.

And yet, the latest polls show him trailing his Republican opponent Ron Johnson by an average of 7% in the polls. The prominent FiveThirtyEight electoral website currently forecasts a 94% chance of a Republican win. This is all the more surprising because the Republican candidate has no record in politics, deciding to run for his first electoral office last year as a response to the health care reform that Feingold supported.

Johnson, a successful businessman, has managed to turn the electorate’s disillusionment with the progressive ideology of President Obama to his advantage. Though not as nationally well known as Sharron Angle in Nevada, Rand Paul in Kentucky, or Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, he is fighting on the same platform that government is out of control, run by politicians who regard the people as their servants instead of the other way around.

It is Wisconsin that best illustrates the nation’s discontent with the progressive view of government.

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US Elections: And Now Delaware Becomes Very, Very Important

EA Worldview's US Politics correspondent, Lee Haddigan, writes:

Hours after the polls closed across Delaware in the Republican primary for the US Senate, the campaign of the victorious Christine O’Donnell --- favourite of the Tea Party and "insurgent" Republicans --- announced they had reached their fundraising target of $750,000 and were aiming for $1 million. This was not a target for the campaign to November's general election, but only for the day after the primary.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, after a much criticized delay, announced they would be helping O’Donnell in her general election bid, despite the animosity in the primary with "establishment" candidate Mike Castle. And Wednesday evening the Tea Party Express sent out an email requesting donations to O’Donnell’s campaign.

So here is my last word on Delaware until late October when the new registration figures come out: if I am offered odds of 2-1 or higher on O’Donnell, I'm taking them.

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