Tag Archives: Rand Paul

Now it’s the GOP’s fault, yes?

I don’t know how this latest federal budget showdown is going to play out.

Still, I am wondering about how the president is going to assess responsibility if the government shuts down for the second time in a month.

The culprit this time might be Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican who has put a hold on the Senate deal that sets a budget for two years. Paul, one of those staunch fiscal conservatives, hates the budget because it spends too much money. Never mind that it is a truly bipartisan effort.

So he’s delaying a Senate vote, delaying another vote in the House of Representatives, delaying a budget going to the president’s desk — and getting his signature.

Donald Trump was quite quick to blame Democrats for the earlier government shutdown. Will the president be as quick to blame a fellow Republican for this latest government cluster flip?

The president endorsed the Senate deal worked out by bipartisan leaders in the upper chamber, even though he had said the previous day he would “shut the government down” if Congress didn’t come up with a deal to stiffen border security.

Now he’s getting torpedoed by one of his own GOP allies — because i spends too much money.

This ain’t good government, folks.

Sen. Paul backs off on investigations … seriously?

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said the following on Fox News Radio. Pay attention, please.

“I think that might be excessive. I think it looks like the President has handled the situation and unless there’s some kind of other evidence of malfeasance, this sounds like something that was internal White House politics and it looks like the President’s handled it. … I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party. We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

The Kentucky Republican is talking about whether Congress needs to investigate allegations that former national security adviser Michael Flynn met with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. These meetings lie at the heart of the swirling controversy that threatens to engulf the Trump administration.

Republicans who run Congress do not need to investigate the Republican president, Sen. Paul said.

Investigations take up too much time he said, distracting lawmakers from more important matters.

Wow! I guess he forgot about all the Benghazi hearings involving former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that, um, turned up nothing. Zero!

Oh, wait! It’s OK for Congress to launch interminable investigations looking for dirt on someone from the other party.

Is that correct, Sen. Paul? Well … Senator?

That’s not the point, Sen. Paul

Sen. Rand Paul has missed the point — by a mile! — over the brewing controversy surrounding one of his congressional colleague’s criticism of the president-elect of the United States.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis said he doesn’t consider Donald Trump to be a “legitimate president.” Why? It’s the Russian hacking stuff, according to Lewis, who said allegations of hacking by the Russians to swing the election in Trump’s favor had “destroyed” Hillary Rodham Clinton’s own presidential candidacy.

It got even better. Then came Trump’s response, via Twitter, in which he said Lewis is “all talk, talk, talk. No action. Sad!”

Anyone with an inkling of knowledge of U.S. history would know that John Lewis is a legendary figure in the civil rights movement who was beating to a bloody pulp by police squads while he demonstrated for the cause of voting and civil rights for all Americans.

He is a man of profound action. Trump should know that and he should not have responded in that hideous manner.

Now we get Rand Paul, R-Ky., weighing in, saying that Lewis’s status as a civil rights icon doesn’t make him “immune from criticism.”

Good bleeping grief, senator!

No one said he is immune! I’ve criticized him in this forum for his “not legitimate” comment about Trump’s presidency.

Hold on, Rep. Lewis!

Rep. Lewis ought to be immune, however, from idiotic tweets that suggest that he’s “all talk and no action.”

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/314395-paul-lewis-status-doesnt-make-him-immune-to-criticism

What’s more, the timing of Trump’s tweet — on this weekend in which we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with whom Lewis stood during those bloody, violent days — is yet another point of contention.

Those issues, Sen. Paul, are at the crux of the criticism that has been fired back at the president-elect.

Anti-Iraq War president picks pro-war team

john-bolton-very-large

I am pretty sure I heard Donald J. Trump call the Iraq War a “disaster,” a “mistake,” a “terrible decision.”

It’s not clear to me, though, whether the president-elect actually opposed the war from its beginning, or during the period leading up to the first shots being fired in March 2003.

But during the 2016 presidential campaign Trump did criticize the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq.

Why, then, is he going to send a deputy secretary of state before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for confirmation?

John Bolton is a serious war hawk. He believes in regime change. He supported the Iraq War. He bought into the notion that the late Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. He has called for going to war with Iran. At least one key Republican committee member, Rand Paul of Kentucky, says he’ll vote automatically against Bolton’s confirmation.

Bolton is hoping to join a State Department team headed by a designated secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, whose confirmation itself isn’t a sure thing. He’ll have to answer many questions about his friendship with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, who Sen. John McCain has labeled a “butcher” and “murderer.”

But this Bolton character, a former U.N. ambassador, brings a serious dichotomy into play.

The president-elect opposed the Iraq War — he says — and yet he’s going to bring the hawkiest of hawks into his foreign-policy team?

I do not understand any of this.

My head is spinning.

Bipartisanship emerges … in opposition to Trump picks

aalr3ki

What do you know about that?

Donald J. Trump might be learning that he doesn’t have as many friends on Capitol Hill as he thought he did.

It appears that some of the president-elect’s Cabinet picks aren’t going down well … with some Republican lawmakers. Never mind the Democrats. You know they’ll detest almost any pick the GOP president-elect is going to make.

I was struck this morning when I heard Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky declare himself to be almost an automatic “no” vote against probable secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson. Why the intense opposition? That would be the selection of John Bolton to be Tillerson’s deputy secretary, according to Paul. Bolton believes in “regime change” and has all but advocated going to war with Iran, both views that Paul opposes strongly.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/gop-opposition-to-potential-trump-cabinet-nominees-grows/ar-AAlqKVs?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

Others among Trump’s Republican base of support are bristling at some of the picks. Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s pick to be treasury secretary, represents the “status quo,” according to Erick Erickson, the longtime TEA party activist. Labor Department nominee Andrew Puzder is said to be in favor of “open borders.”

Now we have Tillerson at State. U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said he has “concerns” about Tillerson’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tillerson is CEO of ExxonMobil, which is exploring for oil throughout Russia; Tillerson has brokered numerous business deals involving Russian government officials, including Putin.

Where do we go from here?

Trump will need a lot of friends on Capitol Hill to rally to his side as he sends his Cabinet picks to the Senate for confirmation.

Here’s the deal, though: He ran against many of them within his own Republican Party on his highly improbable victorious campaign for the presidency.

Good luck, Mr. President-elect.

Where were you on Sept. 10, 2001, Gov. Christie?

Chris-Christie

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie needs to come clean on a statement he made during Thursday night’s joint appearance with nine other Republican candidates for president.

He said something about being “appointed U.S. attorney” on Sept. 10, 2001, a day before “the world changed forever” during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Oops, governor.

Not so, sir.

President Bush appointed Christie to be U.S. attorney in New Jersey on Dec. 7, 2001. But to make some kind of argument against U.S. Sen. Rand Paul during the Thursday night “debate,” he said he’d been named to the job the day before those attacks and that on the day of the attacks he was “hugging” family members of victims.

Look, I happen to like Gov. Christie. I hope he does well during the upcoming GOP presidential primary campaign. I like his no-nonsense approach to problem-solving, his sometimes-blunt talk, his can-do attitude — and I even like the fact that he hugged Barack Obama when the president came to the Jersey Shore to inspect the damage done by Hurricane/Super Storm Sandy on the eve of the 2012 presidential election.

However, he need not inflate his resume by putting himself a tad too quickly into a federal office just to score political points.

It’s unbecoming.

 

Blue suits: uniform of the day

blue suits

My wife likely would be the first — and maybe the last — person to tell you I have no business being a fashion consultant.

She reminds me on occasion that I tend to dress like a stereotypical journalist — whatever that means. I’m often a bit rumpled and not quite “pulled together,” to use her description.

Still, am I the only Republican presidential “debate” viewer Thursday night who noticed that all 10 members of the GOP “A Team,” the guys at the top of the polls, were dressed essentially the same?

With the obvious exception of Ben Carson (third from left in the picture), all these guys even kinda/sorta looked the same. Most of them have dark-ish hair — although Sen. Rand Paul’s (second from right) style is sort of, um, one of a kind.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s ‘do stands alone.

It seems as though they all talked to the same media consultant who issued the memo: blue suit, plain shirt, red or blue tie; Old Glory lapel flag pins are optional.

But the sameness among all of them — yes, even The Donald — looks a bit creepy.

I’m betting the three Democratic male presidential candidates will consult with the same media guru prior to their debate.

 

This man needs an intervention

Bill Press is a Democratic Party operative. He’s as partisan as they come.

Thus, it is with keen interest that I share this Facebook post that Press put out there.

***

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have a man crush on Rand Paul.

Yes, it’s enough to drive me to confession: Every day I find myself agreeing more and more with the Libertarian from Kentucky. He may be running for president as a Republican, but he says some things that any liberal Democrat could support.

Who’s the leading champion to shut down NSA’s vast phone spying operation? Rand Paul!

Who blames Republican hawks, not Barack Obama, for the Iraq War and the eventual rise of ISIS? Rand Paul!

On the environment, Rand Paul says: “You’ll find I’m a tree hugger, literally…I compost.”

On Ferguson, Missouri, Rand Paul said: “The police department showed up in grear more fitting for Fallujah or Kandahar.”

And on the Republican Party, Rand Paul says: “Right now, the Republican brand sucks.”

No wonder I have such a man crush on Rand Paul. But I’d feel a lot less guilty – if he’d just run as a Democrat!

***

It’s rather weird, but I am feeling the same kind of “man crush” myself about Sen. Paul.

However, I’m not a paid partisan hack. I’m just a guy out here flapping my proverbial jaws about politics and other things.

Bill Press is finding himself being drawn into saying nice things about a Republican against his partisan loyalties, given that he works for Democrats, who pay him real American money to offer them political advice.

Therefore, I am thinking he needs an intervention.

Am I likely to vote for Paul should he obtain the GOP presidential nomination? Probably not.

Then again …

 

Texans will have a say in 2016 contest

It’s nice to be loved, isn’t it, Texas voters?

Bet on it. The large and likely cantankerous Republican presidential field is going to cozy up to Texans about a year from now when the state casts its primary vote for president of the United States.

http://www.texastribune.org/2015/04/20/analysis-what-happens-when-texans-votes-matter/

It’ll be just like the old day. Hey, even the not-so-old days. Harken back to 2008, when Democratic U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were slugging it out for their party’s presidential nomination.

By the time the Texas primary rolled around, the Democratic nomination was far from sewn up. So, what happened? Voters turned out in record numbers.

There’s more. Even in heavily Republican Texas Panhandle counties — such as Randall County — the Democratic Party polling places were far busier than the GOP stations. A lot of Republicans crossed over to vote in the Democratic primary and it likely enabled Sen. Clinton to win most of the state’s Democratic delegates.

As Ross Ramsey noted in a Texas Tribune analysis: “The mix of candidates could make a difference, too. Candidates with Texas ties, like Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and Rand Paul, could draw their own home crowds if their candidacies are still alive early next year. And candidates from different factions could attract different herds of support.

“This sort of turnout boom does not happen often in Texas. The parties tend to settle their presidential nomination battles in places like New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa. By the time they get to Texas, they’ve already all but chosen their nominees.

“Voters like a fight, and you can see the evidence of that in turnout. When there’s a big race, more people vote.”

They’re going to get one, more than likely, on the Republican side in 2016.

And what about the Democrats? Barring some huge surprise — which is entirely possible — the Dems’ nomination looks like it already belongs to Hillary Clinton.

The Republican field looks as though it’s going to be huge and it’s going to take some time to cull the losers from the field. Thus, when Texas gets its turn to vote, we’ll be in the mix.

Can you feel the love?

 

Rand Paul plays 'standard shtick'

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul had a prickly interview with an NBC News reporter the other day.

According to another NBC news celeb, the Kentucky Republican is treading on some tricky territory if he keeps it up.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/04/08/chuck_todd_rand_paul_played_standard_trick_with_savannah_guthrie_base_always_ginned_up_when_you_beat_up_the_press.html

Paul objected to a question posed by Savannah Guthrie and then proceeded to lecture her about talking over him while he tried to answer the question.

It’s not the first time Paul has done that, particularly with female reporters. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd noted that conservative politicians like baiting the media because it “gins up” their base. Paul, of course, recently announced his candidacy for the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2016.

This, of course, plays to the guts of the GOP’s criticism of the “liberal media,” which it contends treat progressive/liberal politicians with kid gloves while they don the brass knuckles when confronting conservative politicians.

Interesting, yes? I don’t believe Bill Clinton would agree with that. Nor would Jimmy Carter. Or former Congressman Anthony Weiner. And, yes, there have been other liberals who’ve taken their share of hits from their so-called “liberal brethren” in the media.

Sen. Paul has enough to offer Republican primary voters — and perhaps the general electorate — without getting in the face of reporters whose job is to probe and push for answers to difficult questions.