Rand Paul and the 13-Hour Filibuster

I suggest those who are interested to join.
I did.


Rand Paul Filibusters Brennan for 13 Hours

by Sondra Clark
On Wednesday, Senator Rand Paul literally stood on his principles.
Paul led a 12 hour and 54 minute filibuster, delaying confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the CIA. Brennan is a marginally-qualified candidate with a history of promoting what The Heritage Foundation’s Steven Bucci calls “the overuse of drones.”
“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul began. “I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important.”
This was the ninth-longest speech in the Senate’s history. Paul filled the nearly 13 hours by speaking out against drone strikes and especially the administration’s recent claims that it could use drones domestically.

Bucci says Paul was right to critique the domestic use of drones:

As Heritage has stated before, use of armed drones inside the U.S. would be foolish and wrong. The Administration’s assertion is a dangerous overreach. In general, the overuse of drones as the counterterrorism method of choice has turned into Obama’s equivalent of Bill Clinton’s use of cruise missiles. Both appear to be cheap and easy. Unfortunately, when used at the exclusion of other military and intelligence means, all you get is press coverage, but not lasting results. The President must utilize a comprehensive counterterrorism policy that uses all the tools available.

Paul was not alone in his filibuster. He was joined by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and rising conservative stars Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Pat Toomney (R-PA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
When Paul was finished he received an unprecedented round of applause for his effort. The applause drowned out the Chair’s pronouncement that “No signs of approval or disapproval are permitted on the Senate floor.”
Paul’s efforts were not in vain. Attorney General Eric Holder sent him a letter today affirming that the president lacks the authority to use drones to attack noncombatant U.S. citizens on American soil.

Why States Should Resist Obamacare

Many state governments continue to resist setting up the health insurance “exchanges”—now rebranded as “marketplaces”—that form a core part of Obamacare.

“Right now, it’s more practical for states to hold off on the exchange mania,” Heritage Foundation health care scholar Ed Haislmaier writes in the Hill. For one thing, these exchanges impose huge new costs on states, and the alternative, letting the federal government run the exchanges, is far less costly. He continues:
Recognizing the inherent risk and faulty foundation of ObamaCare’s exchanges is the first important step for states. The next is rejecting the proposed Medicaid expansion. There will be many who argue a Medicaid expansion, like an ObamaCare exchange, is a good idea. But the promises of no cost, more control and helping low-income Americans fall flat. Like the exchange, the Medicaid expansion threatens to usher in long-term costs, zero flexibility for the existing program and greater dependence on government-run healthcare.
Heritage recently sent lawmakers a plan, America’s Opportunity for All, that explains how to get America back on track. It urges Congress to repeal Obamacare and create a patient-centered system based on free enterprise.

Do you think the states will be able to hold off Obamacare?

With Hugo Chávez Gone, What’s Next for Venezuela?

The death this week of Venezuelan despot Hugo Chávez death this week, while not a surprise given his health, is still a big deal.

“Chávez’s death has far-reaching—and potentially dangerous—implications for the U.S. and the world, “ The Heritage Foundation’s Jessica Zuckerman explains.
Recent actions by interim president Nicolás Maduro “threaten to take a dangerous situation from bad to worse,” Zuckerman says, and could “spark strong anti-American violence in Venezuela like that seen throughout the Middle East late last year.” Maduro went so far as to blame the United States for Chávez’s illness. While plainly ridiculous, in Venezuela these remarks may be taken seriously. 
This might be the first big problem Secretary of State John Kerry has to deal with, especially since Venezuela has ties to Iran and terrorist groups like Hezbollah.