Shorter Question Everything
Speaking of short!
I can’t help but hear a silent ‘fuck you’ at the end of this short letter. After 13 hours of Rand Paul rambling on and on about Jane Fonda, Hitler and what-all, this short and sweet ‘no’ is delicious.
The Attorney General
March 7, 2013
The Honorable Rand Paul
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Paul:
It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: “Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?” The answer to that question is no.
Eric H. Holder, Jr.
• McCain, Graham slam Rand Paul filibuster: McCain said Thursday that Paul’s claims about drone use were “totally unfounded,” and, quoting from a Wall Street Journal op-ed from earlier, added that “The country needs more senators who care about liberty, but if Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he’s talking about.” He added: “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 individual an enemy combatant is simply false.” Graham agreed: “To my Republican colleagues, I don’t remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone, do you? They had a drone program back then, all of a sudden this drone program has gotten every Republican so spun up. What are we up to here?” “People are astonished that President Obama is doing many of the things that President Bush did. I’m not astonished. I congratulate him for having the good judgement to understand we’re at war,” he said. “And to my party, I’m a bit disappointed that you no longer apparently think we’re at war.”
• Sen. Dianne Feinstein chides Rand Paul for ‘stupid’ Jane Fonda example during filibuster: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) knocked her colleague Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Thursday night for warning of hyperbolic scenarios during his 13-hour filibuster. “No drone is going to be used in the United States against an American citizen walking down a street or sitting in a cafe and, you know, and then there was a stupid example of a drone being used against Jane Fonda,” Feinstein remarked on MSNBC. “I mean, I don’t think this is befitting the Senate floor.”
• Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster that ended early Thursday morning didn’t quite top the Senate’s record books, but it was enough for MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell to call “rambling madness” and “nothing but a fundraising stunt.” hether Paul’s intentions were noble or politically ambitious, such an event does have lucrative potential; the National Republican Senatorial Committee immediately launched their “Stand with Rand” fundraising effort after his filibuster began to get attention.
• The Senate voted Thursday by a vote of 63 to 34 to confirm John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the CIA
• U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel met with Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak this week for Hagel’s first meeting with a foreign counterpart since taking office.
• Sequester: The President’s Plan. And the link is right on the front page, at the top. Imagine that, right out there where everyone can see it.
• The Violence Against Women Act: Today, President Obama signed a bill that both strengthened and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Thanks to the bipartisan agreement, thousands of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking will be able to access resources they need in their communities to help heal from their trauma.
• Voted against the Violence Against Women Act but don’t want anyone to know you’ve voted against it? Just lie and say you did.
• Men do not just need to stop being violent. The vast majority of men are not violent. But men do need to stop being silent. Calling violence against women, whether street harassment or sexual harassment or rape or murder, a “women’s issue” allows men to ignore it as if we have no responsibility for it or stake in ending it. We all have grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters and female friends and colleagues. Our lives are inextricably interwoven; women’s issues of safety and equality directly affect our lives as men. – Don McPherson is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, a feminist and social justice educator [link]
• Ta-Nehisi Coates – What if they did that to your son?: I am trying to imagine a white president forced to show his papers at a national news conference, and coming up blank. I am trying to a imagine a prominent white Harvard professor arrested for breaking into his own home, and coming up with nothing. I am trying to see Sean Penn or Nicolas Cage being frisked at an upscale deli, and I find myself laughing in the dark. It is worth considering the messaging here. It says to black kids: “Don’t leave home. They don’t want you around.” It is messaging propagated by moral people. The other day I walked past this particular deli. I believe its owners to be good people. I felt ashamed at withholding business for something far beyond the merchant’s reach. I mentioned this to my wife. My wife is not like me. When she was 6, a little white boy called her cousin a nigger, and it has been war ever since. “What if they did that to your son?” she asked. And right then I knew that I was tired of good people, that I had had all the good people I could take.
• No Guantanamo, terrorism treated as crime instead: Weeks after he was first arrested in Turkey, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden who once served as a spokesman for Al Qaeda will appear in a New York courtroom on Friday to face terrorism charges that could result in life imprisonment. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who is married to one of Bin Laden’s daughters, Fatima, is to be charged with conspiracy to kill Americans, according to an indictment released Thursday.
• Conservative provocateur James O’Keefe agreed on Thursday to shell out $100,000 to former ACORN employee Juan Carlos Vera to settle a longstanding lawsuit.
• Operation Condor: A historic trial underway in Argentina is set to reveal new details about how Latin American countries coordinated with each other in the 1970s and ’80s to eliminate political dissidents. The campaign known as “Operation Condor” involved military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. They worked together to track down, kidnap and kill people they labeled as terrorists: leftist activists, labor organizers, students, priests, journalists, guerrilla fighters and their families. The campaign was launched by the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, and evidence shows the CIA and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger were complicit from its outset.
In other news
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday warned state and local health officials about potential infections from a deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed 8. Most of the infections have occurred in the Middle East, but a new analysis of three confirmed infections in Britain suggests the virus can pass from person to person rather than from animal to humans, the CDC said in its Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report on Thursday. The virus is a coronavirus, part of the same family of viruses as the common cold and the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that first emerged in Asia in 2003. The new virus is not the same as SARS, but like the SARS virus, it is similar to those found in bats. So far, no cases have been reported in the United States.
• North Korea threatened to carry out a “pre-emptive” nuclear strike Thursday as the UN Security Council prepared to vote on new sanctions against the isolated state. “As long as the US seeks to ignite a nuclear war, our revolutionary armed forces will exercise the right to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in a dispatch carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
• Israeli forces have raided the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) firing tear gas to disperse Palestinian worshippers who were trying to perform Friday’s prayers at the site, Press TV reports.