From CNN’s Jake Tapper and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY):
From CNN’s Jake Tapper and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY):
For grandstanding hypocrisy its hard to beat the 300 newspapers that published editorials deploring President Trump’s attacks on the press. How many of those 300 have lifted an editorial finger to help Julian Assange or Edward Snowden? From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:
Two thirds of Americans want the Mueller investigation (inquisition, someone called it) over by the midterm elections. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said that if Mueller wants to interview Trump, he’ll have to do so before September 1, because the Trump camp doesn’t want to be the one to unduly influence the elections. Mueller himself appears to lean towards prolonging the case, and that may well be with an eye on doing exactly that.
And there’s something else as well: as soon as the investigation wraps up, Trump will demand a second special counsel, this time to scrutinize the role the ‘other side’ has played in the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath. He’s determined to get it, and he’ll fire both Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein if they try to stand in his way.
There have of course been tons of signs that it’s going to happen, but we got two significant ones just the past few days. The first is the termination of John Brennan’s security clearance. It looks impossible that no additional clearances will be revoked. There are more people who have them but would also be part of a second special counsel’s investigation. That doesn’t rhyme.
The second sign is Senator Rand Paul’s call for immunity for Julian Assange to come talk to the US senate about what he knows about Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Obviously, we know that he denies its very existence, and has offered to provide evidence to that end. But before he could do that, a potential deal with the DOJ to do so was torpedoed by then FBI chief James Comey and Senator Mark Warner.
Both will also be part of the second investigation. Rand Paul’s motivation is simple: Assange’s testimony could be a very significant part of the process of figuring out what actually happened. And that should be what everybody in Washington wants. Question is if they all really do. That’s -ostensibly- why there is the first, the Mueller Russian collusion, investigation. Truth finding.
To continue reading: Free The Press
Rand Paul is apparently tempering some of the foreign policy advice Trump gets from his more wild-eyed advisors. From Jack Hunter at theamericanconservative.com:
Not long ago, Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton was promising regime change in Iran by the end of this year. Uber-hawk Bolton has long wantedwar with Tehran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo isn’t much different, and has even advocated bombing Iran. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has previously recommend U.S. airstrikes against Iranian targets.
President Trump has been known to be hawkish on Iran. Politico observedWednesday: “Trump has drawn praise from the right-wing establishment for hammering the mullahs in Tehran, junking the Iran nuclear deal and responding to the regime’s saber rattling with aggressive rhetoric of his own….” There are also powerful factions in Congress and Washington with inroads to the president that have been itching for regime change for years. “The policy of the United States should be regime change in Iran,” says Senator Tom Cotton, once rumored to be Trump’s pick to head the CIA.
So what, or who, is stopping the hawks?
Politico revealed Wednesday some interesting aspects of the relationship between Senator Rand Paul and the president, particularly on foreign policy: “While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the [Trump] aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: ‘He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul…’.”
On Iran, Politico notes, “Trump has stopped short of calling for regime change even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Bolton support it, aligning with Paul instead, according to a GOP foreign policy expert in frequent contact with the White House.”
But this part of the story was the most revelatory: “’Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran,’ this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East.”
This is significant, not because Trump couldn’t have arrived at the same position without Paul’s counsel, but because it’s easy to imagine him embracing regime change, what with virtually every major foreign policy advisor in his cabinet supporting something close to war with Iran. “Personnel is policy” is more than a cliché.
To continue reading: Rand Paul Against the World
Rand Paul pisses a lot of the right people off. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:
Like his father Ron, Senator Rand Paul has earned the right kind of enemies.
Ironically, many of them happen to be Republicans – the ones who cannot abide Paul’s principled defense of liberty – because it often conflicts with the business (and power) of these inside-the-Beltway apparatchiks.
Just as they tried to marginalize the elder Paul – some will recall the despicable treatment meted out to this gentle and decent man during the 2012 presidential primary by his fellow Republicans – so also the long knives are now glinting in the moonlight for his son.
But why would Paul be attacked for supporting the president’s nominee?
Kavanaugh’s nomination apparently worries Swamp Thing Republicans because he may be in favor not merely of “replacing” Obamacare with some other government-run program but of repealing it outright – something establishment GOP’ers such as Mitt Romney as one for-instance very much oppose.
Romney and others of his bent support government-run (and government-mandated) “health care.” They just prefer your are forced to submit to their “plan” rather than a plan crafted by Democrats.
A difference without much distinction – like the establishment Republicans themselves and the reason for their repudiation by the voters.
Kavanaugh could also be the vote which returns to the states – and thus, one step closer to the people – the power to decide whether taxpayers should be forced to fund abortions (as distinct from the deceitful argument peddled by the “choice” crowd that Kavanaugh is champing at the bit to outlaw abortion).
Heaven forbid the people ever get to decide anything!
The Swamp Thing Republicans may prefer someone more like the agreeable Chief Justice John Roberts – who somehow found Obamacare – the Affordable Care Act – “constitutional” and even empowered the IRS to apply a tax as punishment for failing to purchase health insurance.
This breathtaking expansion of federal power has already been undermined by President Trump, who rescinded the so-called “individual mandate.” But the real threat is a Supreme Court reversal of the constitutionality of the ACA – and that could very well happen if Brett Kavanaugh becomes Justice Kavanaugh.
To continue reading: Know a Man by Knowing his Enemies
Rand Paul has emerged as someone who’s important to President Trump’s plans and a sometimes vocal supporter. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:
Rand Paul is becoming the most intriguing figure in U.S. politics behind Donald Trump. As the war waged by the media and Deep State against Trump escalates, Paul is deftly coming to the President’s aid.
And that makes him someone worth watching.
On two key issues this week Paul took the Deep State head on to diffuse the outcry over Trump’s performance at Helsinki. First, in an article published the day of the summit he announced he would be travelling to Russia as a diplomatic envoy to build on Trump’s meeting with Putin.
But, more importantly Paul sided with the President on another matter, NATO and, by extension, our entangling military alliances. On these issues he truly rises to take on the mantle of his father’s foreign policy, a foreign policy which nearly won him the Republican nomination in 2012.
Dialogue is especially important when hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, as is the case in relations between the United States and nuclear-armed Russia. So I applaud Trump for both chiding our NATO allies and greeting its expansion with skepticism, and I applaud him for sitting down with Putin. We should be doing more of such self-examination and dialogue.
Socrates famously said, “An unexamined life is one not worth living.” But, the lack of examination of the horrific consequences of U.S. foreign policy as proscribed by the neoconservatives in the GOP and DNC has led to a life on this planet that far more dangerous than it needs to be.
Life is always worth fighting for, and Paul’s stance here is both principled and correct. As is Trump’s.
Since Trump took office, Paul has been the President’s critic and ally. As a libertarian at his core, Paul’s principles lead him to put his own ego aside when insulted by Trump, stand his ground on the issue nut keep his options open to future opportunities for common ground.
In effect, Paul’s approach to Trump is to praise Trump when he’s on the right of an issue and criticize him when he isn’t.
And he always has a concrete policy option to offer, which is very important in any negotiation.
So, now, with Trump attempting to take control of foreign policy after ceding it to his staff and their neoconservative bias for most of 2017, Paul is supporting Trump directly in this turn away from them.
His questioning ex-CIA Director John Brennan’s use of his security clearance for personal gain led directly to a meeting with Trump and an announcement that not only is Brennan in trouble of it being revoked, but also that of James Clapper, James Comey, Susan Rice, Michael Hayden and Andrew McCabe.
To continue reading: The Emergence of Rand Paul is a Good Omen
“Shame, shame. A pox on both Houses – and parties. Here’s the 2,232 page, $1.3 trillion, budget-busting Omnibus spending bill.” – Rand Paul
Republican scum. The Deep State stays intact no matter what party is in control.