Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky may be the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
(Clip from 2012, when Rand Paul was stopped by the TSA.)
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky may be the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.
(Clip from 2012, when Rand Paul was stopped by the TSA.)
So what are we to make of the NSA data gathering? Is it okay for the government to snoop on us? Does it keep us safer? And what juicy secrets have they now found from a previous White House administration?
The government says, “Yes, the program is a necessary evil. It will help us catch terrorists.”
But then, this is the same government who denied they were snooping on us in the first place.
Senator Wyden, ” Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
CIA Director Clapper answered, “No, sir.”
If they lied about what they were doing, at the risk of perjury, why should we believe them now? When any answer could be very subjective?
And if spying on more than a hundred million phone calls and emails couldn’t help the NSA detect that one of its own employees was about to leak its secret snooping operation, how can we expect then to efficiently find terrorists?
As Ronald Reagan often said, “Remember, these are the same people who run the post office?”
What about the competence of a government that employs 4.2 million persons with security clearances while 43% of the American people believe we should be cutting back on programs that threaten privacy and only 20% think we should be doing more to fight terrorism, even at the expense of privacy? Isn’t that a disaster waiting to happen? If the leaker wasn’t Edward Snowden wouldn’t it have been someone else?
In an exchange between CNN’s Erin Burnett and former FBI counter-terrorism agent Tim Clemente, we are told that the content of all our phone calls is being recorded and stored, even if it is not audited.
Now we learn that “the National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.”
Then there is this from the chief technology officer at the CIA. “We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever.”
Only days after the NSA story broke we learned that there is tracking of emails in real time.
The terrorists are not idiots. If they hide behind civilians from drone attacks, why wouldn’t they hide behind civilians in the cyber war? Implicating innocent others by false flag emails and phone calls?
Then there is the question, what will the government do with all of this information? And what should it do? Hunt for terrorists? Find Edward Snowden? Purge its own “top secret clearance” list?
What about solving murders? Locating abducted teenagers caught up in the sex slave traffic?
Most agree that it shouldn’t be used to go after “Joe the plumber?” Remember him? The average citizen from the 2008 election? Surely not. We shouldn’t go after the parish priest for sex abuse without first clearing the Bishops and the Cardinals. What hypocrisy to prosecute or punish the little guy and ignore the sins of the powerful?
So let’s start at the top. Think of all the problems we can solve? We now have phone calls, letters and emails to show any link between the IRS offices in Cincinnati to the White House. Why not reconstruct what happened? We could exonerate or implicate the president and others?
First order of business? Have transcribers compose the massive conversations of the rulers of our country. The Supreme Court, the Senate, the Justice Department, starting with the Attorney General, the Cabinet and the President. Even past presidents. No one should be in a position to pass judgment if they, themselves, are guilty of crimes.
There is the new scandal in the State Department, where their own whistleblower, Aurelia Fedenisn. is being intimidated for reporting sex crimes with minors, even an Ambassador involved.
Are there big shots accessing child pornography sites? Why leave that task to Chris Hansen of NBC’s Dateline? First let’s clear the people at the top.
Let us suppose that a presidential aide calls a friend of the president about a donor who wants to give a million dollars in soft money to a campaign? And the aide tells him that the presidential candidate wants that million dollars in soft money to go to the NRA or some Catholic voter registration program. And let’s suppose that the presidential aide is getting indirect kickbacks from the Catholic voter registration program? And let’s suppose that the presidential candidate affirms his desire in later conversations. It’s illegal right?
And let us suppose that the presidential candidate, worried about his crime, makes calls to destroy the career of the witness, let’s say he talks to a major network president and gets him banned from TV appearances which dramatically impacts his income. Shouldn’t we know those kind of things first, before we go after Joe the plumber?
And after clearing the top government officials, shouldn’t we clear the media too? How hypocritical for them to hold the subjects of their reports to a higher standard. Let’s know their own habits and words and crimes and biases? We hear what they say in public, influencing millions, what do they say behind close doors?
How many stories are out there? Waiting to be told? And now we have the evidence to find them all. Now we can apply equal justice. If we persecuted Bill Clinton for his infidelity, now we can learn about the marital affairs of other more beloved presidents who weren’t so unlucky. They had no Linda Tripp recordings but perhaps the NSA can fill the gap.
Shouldn’t someone know what the NSA knows? Couldn’t the agency use its information to blackmail its superiors? What about the Freedom of Information Act? Doesn’t a US Senator, a Federal Judge, a President, have the right to know what conversations the NSA has and what is in them? Things taken out of context can be dangerous.
If the existence of this program can be leaked to the public by a concerned citizen, when can the demographics of the program be leaked to a political campaign? Has it already happened? When can the details or content be leaked to companies or employers? Wouldn’t you want to run a check before hiring? Would you want to hire a baby sitter who talks dirty on the phone? Or an accountant who does a Google search on how to embezzle money without being caught? Or a chauffeur who is an alcoholic?
Cardinal Richelieu supposedly once wrote, “Give me six lines written by any man and I can have hung as a criminal” Imagine what he could have done with the NSA? He could have killed France.
Can you see the nightmare? The injustice? The conflict? Can you see why the Founding Fathers wrote the Fourth Amendment?
Welcome to America, in its post constitutional drift. When you start to violate your own Constitution, step by step, you become a nation without laws, where the ends justify the means. It is survival of the fittest. The powerful rule and will take from you what they want.
You can be sure of one thing. The massive information collected by the NSA will not be used to hurt the rich or powerful. Don’t hold your breath to learn what really happens in the lives of the people at the top. They will continue their crimes and the flow of riches from the weak to the powerful will continue uninterrupted.
But Joe the plumber? You, my friend, are in big trouble.
(If you want to learn more about Rand Paul’s Fourth Amendment Restoration Act S.1121 click here.)
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has become the first public figure to openly declare what Christians have been bemoaning for the last generation, that there is a war against Christianity.
Speaking this afternoon before a gathering of the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Washington D.C., Senator Paul said, “There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.”
Said Paul, “It saddens me to see countries that are supposedly our allies persecute Christians.”
Catholics and born again Christians have talked about the danger for years. In the 1990’s, during my stint in the White House, as special assistant to the president, I was constantly called on to help Christians who were thrown into prisons or slated for execution all over the world.
Meanwhile, Christian ministries in the USA visited the White House complaining that they had been targeted by the IRS, a fact that the agency actually confirmed to us at the time, without shame. When we tried to find an Evangelical Christian who worked in a top position at the agency who could help us understand the nature of the complaints we learned that there was only one known, born again Christian in the top 300 positions at the IRS. At the time 38% of the nation claimed to be born again.
It turns out that the token “born again” Christian at the IRS was a regional director in the non-profit division and a Catholic Charismatic by personal faith. He tried to help the agency understand that it could not dictate doctrine or discriminate against groups based on their faith. We had two meetings with him at the White House and kept the president apprised. I think back to that moment as I now try to grasp the fact that top IRS officials visited the White House more than 300 times under Barack Obama and supposedly never discussed with the president their illegal bias against conservative groups including their questions of what applicants said in their prayers
In his speech Senator Paul offered a litany of abuses by American allies.
“In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian, sits on death row. Her crime, according to her, is that she dared to drink from a glass that belonged to a Muslim co-worker.
“Recently, in Pakistan, a 12-year-old with Down syndrome was imprisoned and charged with a death penalty crime for burning the Koran.
“After weeks she was released after a local Imam was accused of actually sprinkling pages from an Arabic book into a fire near the little girl.”
Senator Paul is the first public official to suggest a legislative solution. “My bill said that Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan would get no more foreign aid from the US taxpayer unless they turned over the assassins that killed our ambassador, pledged and verified that they CAN and WILL protect our embassies, and in the case of Pakistan they must release Dr. Afridi.”
Afridi is the man who helped us identify Osama Bin Laden. He was tortured and in chains for a year without being charged and is even now in prison in Pakistan.
As obvious as it may be to stand up for Christians (25% of the USA are Catholic, 48% claim to be born again Christians) Senator Paul is practically alone in his work. 90% of the Senate voted against his bill that would have placed restrictions on foreign aid to nations that execute Christians.
“It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death,” he said today. “And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it.”
Senator Rand Paul warned against a foreign policy that sometimes has good intentions that backfire.
“Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter.
“Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run—persecuted or under fire—and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them.
“The new leader of Egypt is Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently, he stood by when a radical cleric said a prayer for the destruction of Israel and her supporters in his presence.
“Actually, it is worse, he did not just stand by, he was seen to mouth the word ‘Amen’ as the cleric said these words of hatred.
“How does your government respond?
“The bipartisan consensus in Washington vows to increase Egypt’s funding. The President is currently requesting a billion dollar increase in aid to Egypt. This is an outrage!”
Senator Paul admitted that his bold stand had made him unpopular in Washington and while his famous filibuster and other stands on civil liberties have given him exposure that his father never had, his concern about the torture and execution of Christians in allied nations has been panned by the media.
Says Paul, “It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end.”
He won the CPAC straw poll, he is second in the latest national poll, he leads in New Hampshire, the first in the nation primary and now he is the favorite among likely voters in the first in the nation Iowa Caucus.
Senator Rand Paul must be doing something right.
There are still a few of the snubs his father used to get. Policymic ignored him as a GOP contender, insisting with a straight face that he does not break into the top five contenders. (Condoleezza Rice who polls 3% in Iowa apparently meets the stringent Policymic threshold.) But no matter how the power brokers want things to be, Rand Paul, is proving to be popular with the masses, representing the first real political movement since Ronald Reagan.
While the views of the son, Rand Paul and the father, Ron Paul are sometimes different, both represent a strong sentiment against corruption. The poll in Iowa may show Rand’s campaign picking up right where his father’s campaign ended.
By the way, don’t let anybody tell you that Dr. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign of 2012 was for naught. Dr. Paul showed great appeal to Independents, Youth and Hispanics. It was the very crowd that eventually went to Obama and sealed the fate of the doomed GOP ticket. And it is the group that the GOP now needs for any resurgence.
Astonishingly, in 2012, the smug power brokers in the Republican Party ridiculed and broke their own rules to marginalize and hurt Dr. Paul and his followers. While publicly proclaiming a “big tent” to Youth and Hispanics, the GOP security guards cut off microphones to Ron Paul Hispanics at State Conventions and escorted duly elected young Ron Paul delegates off the floor of the RNC in Tampa. During the campaign, Governor Mitt Romney openly laughed at him. No one’s laughing now.
A recent poll conducted by the McKeon & Associates for Freedom to Choose PAC, found Dr. Paul’s son, Senator Rand Paul, with a commanding lead over all other possible GOP, presidential contenders in the first in the nation contest in Iowa.
Here are the results of voters most likely to vote in the 2016 Iowa Caucus.
Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul 39%
Florida Senator, Marco Rubio 20%
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 11%
Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush 10%
La. Gov. Bobby Jindal 3%
Condoleezza Rice 3%
Support for Rand Paul among Independents likely to vote in the GOP Caucus was striking and bodes well for a general election contest. 67% favored the Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul. 30% favored Governor Chris Christie, all other candidates failed to muster any showing at all among these voters.
In 2012, the New York Times and all of the national network media declared Mitt Romney the winner of the Iowa Caucus. Only months later did they reverse themselves to say that Senator Rick Santorum had won. This blogger was told that it took threats from the Governor’s office and from fellow GOP leaders, before the Iowa State GOP Chairman would finally release the votes from selected counties that put Santorum over the top. The Chairman, a Mitt Romney supporter, resigned shortly after.
For the rest of the year, the New York Times, the Associated Press and all the major networks continued to show that Ron Paul had only 3 delegates from the Iowa Caucus. Meanwhile, national polls showed him doing better than all other GOP contenders – except for Romney – in a head to head face off with President Obama, and tied within the margin of error with Romney. These were ignored as the national media continued to marginalize Dr. Paul.
In fact, the Paul supporters openly declared that they, not Santorum, had won the Iowa delegation. They contended that if the news had been reported truthfully and the following contests had been allowed to take place according to GOP rules, Dr. Paul would have arrived as a force at a brokered RNC.
The final Iowa vote on the floor of the Republican National Convention was 22 for Dr. Ron Paul and 6 for former Governor Mitt Romney. In a final irony, Dr. Paul’s Iowa state co-chairman was voted in to replace the disgraced Romney operative who had been running the State GOP and had withheld votes to assure that his man would get media credit for a win he didn’t earn.
Most people want fairness and despise the expanding corruption that pervades American society from its food supply, to its national media, to its monetary system to its government relationship with Wall Street and K Street and yes, to the corruption of its two major political parties. What good is an election if the only two candidates to choose from are produced by a corrupt process? How is that really democratic or free?
This recent poll in Iowa is a good sign. It shows that the mood of the people is beginning to reach the flood stage. It shows that the corruption that has bankrupted this nation and made a very few, very rich at the expense of all the rest of us, has finally been exposed for what it is.
It shows that Rand Paul commands a following much bigger and much wider than his father ever had. But it also shows that his father’s campaign was more than Quixotic. Dr. Paul did not run in vain, and all of those thousands of people who were shut out or whose votes were thrown away, or whose bones were broken or whose election was nullified, did not give up a year of their lives in vain. Dr. Paul was the pace car. And now the real race for America’s future begins.
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It has only been a little more than a month since Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster on the floor of the U.S. Senate. But it is looking more and more like a defining moment in American politics. It may be a defining moment in American history.
For the past few years, we in the liberty movement have had the luxury of being able to stand on the outside and lob in grenades at America’s corrupt foreign policy. But now, with one of our own, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky as a potential president, we have to face the reality of how to govern. What would a Rand Paul presidency look like? We got the answer this morning when he delivered a speech before the Heritage Foundation.
Keep in mind, Rand Paul spent seventeen years as an Ophthalmologist. Nevertheless he preformed what can only be described as Rhinoplasty – or a nose job – at the Heritage Foundation, outlining before the stuffy G.K. Chesterton conservatives in the audience a new foreign policy for the Republican Party, one that offers a better fit for new realities. Some Rinos will like it, some, who are growing fat as lobbyists for government subsidies, won’t.
Rinos (Republicans in name only) is the acronym applied to liberal Democrats who became Republican during the Reagan years, at the height of the Cold War. They agreed with Reagan that communism was dangerous and America should not accept its inevitable ascendancy and should contest it. Although less enamored by Reagan’s supply side economics and totally rejecting of Reagan’s social agenda they became an important part of Reagan’s winning political coalition.
But when the Cold War ended the Rino wars kept going. They lobbied for a bigger budget for the CIA, a bigger budget for defense, with newer and better weapons and more interference around the world. And all of this was before 9-11. What had been a moral imperative, to stand down an aggressive, criminal communist gerontocracy, morphed into a role of America as moral guarantor for the world.
“We have the power,” the Rinos pointed out, “it is unconscionable for us not to use it against injustice.” Of course, Rinos and their corporate friends made money off of this new arrangement.
Today, with the added impetus of the war on terror, American accounts for 42% of the world’s military expenditures. We have 50,000 jets, while our nearest rival, China, has 5,000 jets. We borrow money from China to put boots on the ground in Australia to defend Australia from China. Feeling safe? And, ironically, the strategy we used to bring down communism is destroying us as well. Our arms race bankrupted the Soviet Union and now we are close to bankruptcy ourselves.
Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans are locked into a fiscal death embrace, Democrats spending programs to reward their political constituencies and Republican spending money to reward their pals in the military industrial complex. Both sides are eating at the pig trough of public money while the rest of us are taxed to death, handing over our hard earned money to government favorites.
The deadly solution? The insidious hidden tax? “Quantitative easing.” It has wiped out the wealth of a whole generation and made a tiny oligarchy of rich and powerful.
Most of us in the liberty movement have really offered no solutions to foreign threats. Our foreign policy has been to close down all of our military bases, end all of our wars, mind out own business, and curb the power of the presidency. This we hoped would help restore the economy and turn our enemies into friends. Eventually.
In the meantime, what would our policy be if one of us were president? Are these ideals only fodder for our blogs and books and newsletters? Would we really ignore a nuclear Iran and pretend it will go away? Would we ignore terrorist attacks on our allies and say it is none of our business? While we all abhor the loss of civil liberties, how far would we go to use government intelligence to pre-empt a terrorist strike against us? Where do we draw the line? And is there a safe path back to that liberty movement ideal, without us getting ambushed along the way?
The Senator began by defining the current foreign policy crisis. The enemy, he said, was not terrorism, which is after all a tactic, but rather radical Islam, something that many politicians have been reluctant to acknowledge. Rand pointed out that it is not the tiny percentage it is often alleged to be by politically correct, wishful thinking, American politicians. Rather it is a “robust minority.”
Part of Rand Paul’s new foreign policy was a list of liberty movement basics, although couched in language that Rinos, who now dominate the Heritage Foundation, can swallow. And more often than not they were posed as questions. He called for an end to war by executive order. He quoted Madison who warned that war is always more favored by the chief executive.
He complained about the irrelevancy of congress pointing out that the president sought permission to use force in Libya from NATO, the United Nations, from anyone but the US Congress where the power belonged.
“The debate over war is the single most important debate in this country and it should not be glossed over.”
Invoking his recent trip to Israel he pointed out that the debate about a nuclear Iran is underway in Jerusalem but not in Washington.
“Where are the calls for moderation, restraint?”
He alluded to the “unintended consequences” of war, a favorite subject of his father, Dr. Ron Paul. “Why are we so quick to supply weapons for Syrian rebels? Will they respect the rights of Christians in their new government?“
Rand Paul asked the room full of Rinos, many of them lobbyists for corporate arms manufacturers, “Should we keep sending weapons to countries that are hostile to Israel and the United States?”
But if the Senator called for fewer military bases, less soldiers overseas, a less trigger happy foreign policy with less power residing with the presidency, he also called for a more coordinated and ambitious strategy in the war against radical Islam. This will be a tough pill to swallow for some diehard Libertarians.
He compared this crisis to the challenge of the Cold War. And called for a modern version of Cold War containment, a policy that is not entirely military but not all diplomatic either. Countering radical Islam, the Senator declared, demands a worldwide strategy. When there is war, we should go into win it and we should not go in alone.
Rand Paul said, “What the United States needs is a policy that finds that middle path.” He called for a “foreign policy that recognizes the danger of bombing countries because of the fear of what they might do.” But also one that legitimately acts decisively when danger is known.
He pointed out that “A foreign policy that is everywhere all of the time is an extreme [policy] on the other hand a foreign policy that is nowhere, any of the time, is also an extreme [policy].”
How will liberty movement leaders accept this call for a foreign policy more engaged than our ideal? How will neo-conservatives and Rinos accept a future where American doesn’t bomb first and ask questions later?
Rand Paul ended his speech with these words, “I will be a voice to those who want a saner and sounder foreign policy.”
Nietzsche once said that “In individuals insanity is rare. But in nations it is the rule.” We can only hope that our nation will come out of its stupor and find the wisdom in Rand Paul’s clarion call.