Open Thread for May 31st, 2015…The NSA/Rand Paul show….

Rand P

aul got a chance to say he got rid of the Nation’s Patriot Act…..

A post 9/11 effort by the American Governmenet that records EVERY phone, fax, internet transmission’s to/from connection and how long it’s made….The agancy had be doing this and other things after 9/11 under ‘Secret’ provsisons of the patriot act that became un-secret when a NSA contract guy named Edward Snowden spilled the beans on the governments actions….

The program has to be oked by Congress every few years, which has been routine…

But the outrage from the media and others has led to a effort to stop the govwernment program….

Rand Paul, a Republican and Libertarian has led a cahrge against the law….

But , he has also been joined by some in Congress on BOTH sides of the aisle…

Some becuase they want the program done in…

Some because they want to stick it to President Obama , who WANTS the program to continue….

The House has passed the US Freedom Act , which isn’t all that it’s advertised….

Essentaill it just stops the Government from vacuuming up everything and orders the communications carriers to HOLD their records of the stuff the NSA might want longer so they can go back and access the stuff…

Since most of thes programs are ‘secret’?

WTF KNOWS what the government is actually doing?

But Rand Paul got his tonight…

The Senate vioted by a wide margin to bring up US Freedom Act for a vote Monday or Tuesday…

The votes are there to pass the Freedom Act , which will rearrange some things , but will essentially leave the programs of the Patriot act still running….

And give Senator Paul a VERY HOLLOW victory….


Sen Paul has been in the same situation more than once before….

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105 thoughts on “Open Thread for May 31st, 2015…The NSA/Rand Paul show….”

  1. I’ve never seen much to this guy.

    I still don’t and believe that if he is the Republican nominee he will be defeated by about the same margin as Romney.

    Interestingly, and with the caveat that I have no ” inside” information” ,several SC Republicans, who have usually been right on these kind of things in the past ,have assured me that Rubio will implode fairly early in the process because of problems he has in Florida.

    Just an interesting sidelight.

  2. I see a quote on Political Wire this morning from John Kasich saying the only reason he has an opening to get in this race is because Jeb Bush has pretty much bombed thus far,

  3. Morning People….

    May had the highest number of hits/views in the history of this place….

  4. Is George W Bush “popular?”

    Corey thinks so on the basis of a single poll by CNN that gave him a 53% “favorable” rating.

    However,I have found two other polls,by the New Your Times and Bloomberg from the past month, that seemingly contradict such a finding.

    The NYT poll gives him a dismal 30% “favorable” rating,while Bloomberg has him at 46% favorable and46% Unfavorable.

    Averaging all three out you come up with a”favorable” rating of 43-44% or roughly the same as President Obama whom Corey has labelled unpopular.

    Of course we all know that the CNN poll is “fair and balanced” while the others are too “liberal.”(hahaha)

    Placing too much emphasis on a single poll is inherently a dangerous move IF one is interested in the truth of a matter.

    My personal feeling is that Americans,Particularly Republicans themselves, remain very ambivalent about GWB.For sure he is likely more “popular” than he was several years back.As I mentioned the other day,such is the natural flow as ones presidency fades somewhat in memory.Bush is a like able able fellow(I like him myself) but his policies to large extent are still with us and they are not so popular.

    Accordingly, all partisanship aside,it is not accurate I think to label him “now popular.”

  5. jack “likes” GWB?

    I may have never read anything more surprising in my life.

    Blown away… BLOWN AWAY!

  6. That’s because you are blind partisan and dislike Democrats just because they are Democrats.

    I like lots of Republicans personally.I wouldn’t vote for them though .

    Besides George W who seems like a thoroughly decent guy,I like John Kasich because he’s commonsensical..

    I like Pat Buchanan because he’s a good writer in my view but he
    Has a blind eye as to racial issues.

    I like former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman.

    I like Susan Collins because she is the last of a dying breed, the moderate Republicans.

    Previously I expressed my admiration for SC Sen Tim Scott with whom I vehemently disagree politically but find a compelling human being.

    You’re too hung up on politics,maybe you ought to get out more?

  7. I may be a partisan, but you have said in the past that every CEO in America should be locked up in prison. Maybe that was just an emotional moment.

    I had assumed you were somehow holding out a vigil for Dubya to be dragged before the Hague, like some of the other lefties on here are.

    But now, I know better. You “like” him! Me too. You should see all the GWB memorabilia in my living room.

  8. You just dislike all Democrats because you are consumed with politics.Im not.I told you awhile back that most if my friends were Republicans.You seemed taken aback.Why?

    I mean Tom Coburn one of the most Conservative Republicans in Congress was good friends with President Obama.

    Joe Biden gave the eulogy for Strom Thurmond at his funeral.Thurmond said he considered Biden his best friend in the Senate.

    You truly live a one dimensional life consumed with politics.

    If that’s your deal so be it,but you shouldn’t be surprised that others see life differently.

  9. I know many Democrats of course. I don’t dislike all Democrats.

    Just almost everyone from here.

  10. Mostly though, I was just surprised that you cited Dubya as someone you “liked.” For years, he has been described online by so many on the left as the personification of evil, etc. etc. I do not know if the others here would be willing to say they “like” Dubya.

    What’s next, Dick Cheney?

  11. Really?

    That’s odd.

    I don’t “dislike” anyone here.

    I think if I disliked almost everyone here I likely wouldn’t hang around.

    But that’s me.

    Some people thrive on personal animosities.

  12. That’s because they mostly all agree with you and do not fabricate stuff or call you a racist or Nazi sympathizer or immoral, etc.

    If they did, I’d call them out for it at least, even though nobody else…

  13. Oh that’s not true.

    I disagree with James more than you do(indeed you and him have similiar views on the big issues)and he has called, me names(I’ve called him some too)

    Zreebs and I disagreed the other day and do so occasionally .

    I think you’ve become overly sensitive of late.

    I mean if I was posting on a site where Republicans predominate,I’m sure I would be called some names.

    If it bothered me that much I guess I wouldn’t post there.

    Are you a masochist?

  14. Corey really ought to look within his own party for enemies.

    Those Tea Party types,now a major part of the Republican Party,hate Establishment GOPers like him as much as they do Democrats

    (For humor?Remember when those kooks claimed to be “nonpartisan” and the so called “librul media” bought into it?)

  15. Corey?

    Separate from politics…

    I like Jack, Keith and everyone here…
    YOU included…
    I do NOT take utterances here personally ….
    Oh, once and a while I get annoyed…
    But I have fun doing this…
    And it’s closing on SIX long years…

    Jack’s right…
    You get a bit tooooooo serious….
    Politics may be serious….
    But to TAKE it serious?
    Not me…

  16. Am I a masochist?

    Well, I’ve been a Cubs fan my whole life, so I must be.

    and nobody here would be in more disagreement with james than me.

  17. He, he, he….

    I try to keep everyone interested in the place….And on their toes!

  18. Ha ha on the Cubs Corey.

    But at least you guys have a hockey team that can make it to the Stanley Cup

  19. I dunno, Back to the Future 2 was just a movie. I don’t have a hoverboard and I don’t see the Cubs making the 2015 WS

  20. Cubs will be taking a big step up this season, Wild Card perhaps, but I forsee a World Series win in 2016.

    The last time they won a World Series, a really fat guy was about to get elected President. That may be enough to get me to switch to Chris Christie.

  21. I thought it would be interesting to see a Ducks/Lightning Stanley Cup as there is no record of snowfall in either City that I know of.

    Chicago’s win in Game one was impressive enough for me to say that they will take this possibly in a sweep.

    As to the Cubs, suffer on.

    As to the Red Sox, right now it’s a bad team in a bad division so we shall see.

  22. As I’ve repeated too many times already, George Will attributes his conservative, pessimistic view of the human character and condition to his Southern Illinois youth rooting for the Cubs, while his friends who turned into sunny, optimistic liberals had been rooting for the more-successful St Louis Cardinals.

    I think, however, that might be taken a little too far: Boston, Eastern New England and the rest of Red Sox Nation have never lacked for liberal optimists even under the generations-long Curse of the Bambino.

    Losing the pennant or the Series, often painfully, was considered something like New England weather or Republican presidents that was only to be expected and had to be endured with stoic Yankee determination.

  23. What George Will says makes sense to some extent, but I think among long-suffering Cubs fan, there has always been a Midwestern optimistic “wait til next year” tradition.

    The 2003 disappointment was so brutal, that people started getting far more dark about the situation, and that extended as the decade continued, but right now, looking at the team, and what we believe lies ahead, Die Hard Cubs fans are extremely optimistic, if not giddy.

    It’s also hard for me to associate New England with sunny optimism for some reason.

  24. Of course there was always (just as with Brooklyn Dodgers fans like Doris Kearns Goodwin) that “wait til next year !” in the New England (not NY!) Yankee determination, but shadowed with anticipatory resignation (“but sadly we won’t be that surprised if they lose again; kismet; His Will be done.”)

    I think New Englanders probably became a little more pessimistic after winning all four major crowns in the first decade of the millennium, but not about sports.

    There was 9/11, two Bush elections and several major military-political disasters, accompanied by a startling wave of local corruption revelations, both political and criminal (Whitey Bulger). And many pockets of post-industrial economic stagnation and hopelessness.

  25. Some quickies…..

    GOP senator seeks to block restrictions on Pentagon giving weapons to police

    Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) wants to block the Obama administration from restricting the Defense Department from transferring excess equipment to local law enforcement.

    The senator, who faces what could be a challenging reelection race next year, is offering an amendment to an annual defense policy bill that would prohibit any regulation or policy that restricts the federal government from selling or donating its excess material to a state or local agency.

    More @

    Economy adds 280K jobs; jobless rate rises

    The U.S. economy added a strong 280,000 jobs in May, as employers remained confident despite a contraction in growth earlier this year.

    The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 5.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, as 397,000 more workers jumped back into the market.
    More @

    Chinese Hacking of U.S. Data May Extend to Insurance Companies
    The same Chinese hackers who breached the records of at least four million government workers through the Office of Personnel Management appear to have been responsible for similar thefts of personal data at two major health care firms, Anthem and Premera, according to cybersecurity experts.

    The multiple attacks, which began last year and were all discovered this spring, appear to mark a new era in cyberespionage with the theft of huge quantities of data and no clear motive for the hackers.

    More @

  26. I couldn’t leave this out…

    G.O.P.-Led House Votes to Keep Curbs on American Travel to Cuba

    House Republicans voted Thursday to maintain restrictions on Americans seeking to travel to Cuba, a setback to efforts by the Obama administration to ease the five-decade standoff….

    More @

  27. House Roll Call 301 on failed Cartwright Amendment to strike Mario Díaz-Balart provision that restores previous restrictions on travel to Cuba.


    H R 2577 RECORDED VOTE 4-Jun-2015 12:03 PM
    AUTHOR(S): Cartwright of Pennsylvania Amendment
    QUESTION: On Agreeing to the Amendment

    Ayes Noes NV
    _10 229 5 – Republican
    166 _18 4 – Democratic

    176 247 9 – TOTALS

    18 Democrats voting against the amendment (arranged by state abbr. & surname)

    Kirkpatrick D AZ No
    Sinema D AZ No
    Costa D CA No
    McNerney D CA No
    Perlmutter D CO No
    Hastings D FL No
    Wilson (FL) D FL No
    Lewis D GA No
    Lipinski D IL No
    Lawrence D MI No
    Nolan D MN No
    Peterson D MN No
    Walz D MN No
    Ashford D NE No
    Clarke (NY) D NY No
    Fudge D OH No
    Schrader D OR No
    Cuellar D TX No

    [My question is why would John Lewis of Georgia be voting against more travel to Cuba? – Dave]

    4 Democrats not voting:

    Gutiérrez D IL Not Voting
    Adams D NC Not Voting
    Doyle, Michael F. D PA Not Voting
    Jackson Lee D TX Not Voting

    10 Republicans voting for the amendment:

    Carter (GA) R GA Aye
    Price, Tom R GA Aye
    Whitfield R KY Aye
    Smith (NE) R NE Aye
    LoBiondo R NJ Aye
    Smith (NJ) R NJ Aye
    Joyce R OH Aye
    Fitzpatrick R PA Aye
    Poe (TX) R TX Aye
    Griffith R VA Aye

    5 Republicans not voting:

    Nugent R FL Not Voting
    Rokita R IN Not Voting
    Noem R SD Not Voting
    Brady (TX) R TX Not Voting
    Stewart R UT Not Voting

  28. Dying gasps of an obsolete policy.

    You want to go to Cuba?


    Nothing’s going to happen to you.

  29. But Jack, what about the Cubans who can’t vote who are serving your drinks? Remember Corey shaming us for entertaining even going to Cuba in those sentiments he typed away..probably on a Chinese made device no less.

    Honestly the guy should redirect the $$ he sends to Republican politicians to a travel fund and get out of Chicagoland from time to time.

    Between the Kochs and Sheldon Adelson those pols are covered and won’t miss a dime!

  30. Few policies have “failed” written so clearly and unmistakeably upon them as the Cuban embargo. Usually there’s at least some room for rational or theoretical argument about something like tariffs, the utility of the Fed, the pro’s and con’s of labor unions or of private corporations, states’ rights, gun control, campaign finance or the structure of social insurance.

    But — echoing the classical definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again with the same effect, yet somehow expecting a different result — 55 years of the Cuban embargo have done nothing to weaken Castroism or Communist dictatorship in Cuba, just made life much more difficult for Cubans both in Cuba and abroad.

    In the long run (to consider the other rationalization given for the embargo) it hasn’t even deterred other Latin Americans from following or spreading some or all of the Castros’ policies.

  31. As we have discussed here
    The policy was NEVER gonna be changed
    By a GOPer President
    And a Dem President could only do so
    As Obama has done with no reelection to deal
    The issue has more to deal with Florida electoral votes than anything else….

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