Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stand With Rand On Quicksand, Con't

Another week, another audience, and Sen. Rand Paul has changed his position yet again on the use of drones in military and combat use, this time when cornered by FOX News. Dave Weigel:

"I do think that there is a valuable use for drones and as much as I’m seen as an opponent of drones, in military and warfare, they do have some value,” Paul said. “I think this is a difficult situation. You have hostages being held; some of them are American. You have people holding hostages; some of them are American. I’ve been an opponent of using drones about people not in combat. However if you are holding hostages, you kind of are involved in combat. So I look at it the way it is in the United States. If there's a kidnapping in New York, the police don't have to have a warrant to go in." 

Of course, as Weigel notes, this is the totally opposite position as to where Paul has been on the question of drones.

Had Paul never spoken out about drones before, this would have been a newsless answer, comparable to what other Republican candidates and politicians had been saying. But Paul has a long, dramatic record of pronouncements about drones. He's said that a drone that flew over his home would meet the business end of a shotgun. He's demanded stronger justifications from the Obama administration before it targets any American citizens. That talk has won him praise from the left and the libertarian right
Yet on Fox, Paul declined the chance to criticize the administration. "You really don't get due process or anything like that if you are in a war zone," said Paul. "I tend not to want to blame the president for the loss of life here. I think he was trying to do the right thing." 
Paul's comments perplexed Glenn Greenwald, the journalist and co-founder of The Intercept who has written extensively about drone warfare. "I don't get his strategy: he's never going to attract GOP hawks, so why dilute what makes him interesting/unique?" asked Greenwald on Twitter. "If his big maverick view is now reduced to 'no drone killings of Americans on US soil,' it's hardly interesting."

You tell me, Double G.  You're the one who's been backing the guy for the last year.  But hey, he's got all kinds of rubes to fool running for President, right?

Oh, and on his other big issue, criminal justice reform? You'd think Rand Paul would be eager to weigh in on Baltimore and continue his "outreach" to black and Hispanic voters. He did that too.

Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) weighed in on the turmoil in Baltimore on Tuesday, standing with police and blaming the violence on a lack of morals in America. 
"I came through the train on Baltimore (sic) last night, I'm glad the train didn't stop," he said, laughing, during an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. 
Railing against what he repeatedly called "thuggery and thievery" in the streets of Baltimore, Paul told Ingraham that talking about "root causes" was not appropriate in the middle of a riot. 
"The police have to do what they have to do, and I am very sympathetic to the plight of the police in this," he said.

Nice.  "Lack of morals".

Hoocuddanode, Climate Change Edition

Greg Sargent notes that now that Senate Democrats have all but agreed with the GOP that the Senate and not President Obama should have the final say over negotiations with Iran, Senate Republicans are insisting that the Senate have the same final veto power over any international climate change treaties as well.

Hoocuddanode, right?

Who says the new GOP Congress isn’t interested in getting anything done? The Wall Street Journal reports that Senate Republicans are hard at work hatching a new strategy to accomplish a key piece of their agenda: Undermining President Obama’s chances of reaching an international deal in which major countries agree to curb climate emissions, by sowing doubts about his ability to deliver on our end of the bargain. 
Republicans are already fighting in court to block Obama’s proposed new EPA rules curbing emissions from existing power plans, which is central to U.S. efforts to reach a global climate deal in talks later this year. They argue that the rules are unconstitutional and amount to more executive overreach. The Journal reports that the idea is to send a message that Obama cannot unilaterally negotiate a climate deal, and the model is Tom Cotton’s recent letter to Iran.

Gosh, it's almost like this was the point all along: to set a precedent for every international treaty going forward that the Senate should get the final say.

Whenever there's a Democrat in the White House, anyway.

Sen. James Inhofe said Mr. Obama’s unilateral pursuit of the climate accord exceeds the scope of president’s power. Mr. Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, plans to hold a hearing this summer focused on the Senate’s advice-and-consent process and its possible application in international climate negotiations. 
Additionally, Mr. Inhofe said the Iran letter, which was penned by Sen. Tom Cotton, could be a useful model to send a message about the climate agreement. 
“The Tom Cotton letter was an educational effort,” Mr. Inhofe said in an interview. Other countries think “if the president of the United States says something, it’s just automatic…His letter was over there saying, ‘the president says he can do this; he can’t do this.’

Some 43 other presidencies were allowed to.  Apparently, when the president is Barack Obama, then the President no longer speaks for the United States of America in international affairs.

Imagine that.  And once again, Senate Democrats have helped by backstabbing the president.


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