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Source: Rand Paul’s 13 Hour Filibuster – The Talking Kind – Against John Brennan – ABC News.

Rand Paul“I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA, Paul said at about 11:47 a.m. ET. “I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court, that Americans could be killed in a cafe in San Francisco or in a restaurant in Houston or at their home in Bowling Green, Ky., is an abomination. It is something that should not and cannot be tolerated in our country.”

Paul said he doesn’t necessarily think President Obama will abuse the power. But no president, said Paul, should have the power to kill Americans in the U.S. without a trial by jury.

Now that all the punsters have had their say I want to comment a little on Rand Paul’s recent old-time filibuster. Rand Paul’s views of government are a little too radical for me but sometimes he is the only one to come to defend some of our most basic rights. And this is one of those times. Our government was very wisely set up by the founding fathers with a pretty strict system of checks-and-balances.  No one person or one organization is supposed to have enough power onto themselves to do grievous harm to our country. Unauthorized and unchecked authority to kill others without due process is one of those things that does not pass muster of constitutional intent. Thank you Mr. Rand for stand up for thirteen hours to take that stand.

Probably the only major hit on this filibuster came to Mr. Rand’s bladder but the idea of actually doing it was noble. I don’t know how we let the Republicans filibuster so much in what they call a “silent filibuster”.  They have used the filibuster to change making laws require more than a simple majority as has been the case throughout our history. The filibuster was intended to be used for rare and exceptional circumstances. They have bastardized this very basic constitutional tool.

Mr Reid had an opportunity to change the filibuster but nobly took the word of the gOp that they would restrict from using it as they had. He was naive in that regard probably naively so :)  If we are going to continue to have filibusters I hope they are in the Rand Paul mode….

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DinasaursWhen any organization becomes totally dysfunctional it is time for a major shakeup. I am becoming more and more convinced that the only way we are ever going to reduce the gridlock we find in Washington is to remove the current leadership and hopefully replace them with some who are not as battle scarred and vindictive as the current ones. The current leaders are just too more consumed with battling their rivals than of governing for the good of the country. They have lost all perspective of life outside that contaminated city.

For my Republican friends who would never conceive of voting for a Democrat I plead you to find someone in your party who can challenge the leaders in your primaries. That way you don’t have to touch the dreaded “d” word at the polls.  Both Mr. Reid and McConnell are like long toothed dinosaurs. They seem to have nothing but contempt for each other and are willing to sacrifice the good of the country to get back at each other.  It used to be that seniority in the Senate was about wisdom but I personally see little wisdom in either of these two men right now.

It is not much better in the House of Representatives. Mr. Boenher just isn’t  able to control the radical right wing of his party.  He seems to be more afraid of them than he is of the Democrats. Mrs. Pelosi is a lightening rod for the conservatives in the desert west and the south in our country.  Being from San Francisco is probably a big part of that ingrained prejudice. I do think that both of these leaders are of noble spirit but they are just too toxic for our times.

Until we can resolve the underlying contempt of and for the current leaders it will be hard to accomplish much for our country. There are many current issues that can be resolved if only we did a little house cleaning in Washington.  Closing tax loopholes is one of them.  They all complain that the current tax code is 10,000 pages long but what they don’t say is that over 9,000 of those pages are exclusions/loop hole for one favored interest or another. Why can’t they at least agree to eliminate those give-aways?  I know that much of this toxicity is not confined to the beltway but that is a most appropriate place to start.

Voting long time politicians out of office is not an easy thing so I have my doubts that it can really be accomplished.  But something has to be done or our country may soon be in deeper jeopardy than it already is and something we just may not be able to recover from.

But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know……