“The President’s speech today will be viewed by terrorists as a victory,” said Chambliss, who recently golfed with the president, in a statement. > more ... (1 comments)
From the Department of Pretentious and Idle Noodling Department: In regards to the “all gates/no stile” situation the news macheen finds itself in currently, I got to thinking that what the GOP lacks is an appropriate sense of wu-wei.
Which is a lie; I never thought anything of the sort. I mean, come on; only a baby’s arse would say something like that.
What I did note was that the GOP keeps chasing one shiney maybe-scandal after another, which just ends up reminding everyone they’ve been doing the same shit for years: running around like hyperbolic ninnies, transparently bitching about shit like it was the end of the world, not because they actually cared about the shit they were bitching (about), or wanted to, say, leave the world a better place for certain values of “better,” but rather for who-knows-what. Clobbering the dink, winning the news cycle, black president — search me. As a result, it seems to me the public perception of their behavior that they themselves engineered isn’t “they’re doing this today, in response to [X]” but rather “this is what they do”.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party, tying the all-time record for negative views of the GOP. That’s a five-point increase since March, and raises the possibility that the public approves of the GOP’s actions on IRS and Benghazi but might be put off by the way the party has been making its point. Favorable ratings for the Democratic Party are up six points in that same time.
[...] Sen. Rand Paul claimed Sunday there was a “written policy” floating around the agency that said IRS officials were “targeting people who were opposed to the president.”
“And when that comes forward, we need to know who wrote the policy and who approved the policy,” the Republican senator from Kentucky said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Pressed for more precise details about the memo he was referring to, Paul said he hasn’t seen such a policy statement but has heard about it.
“Well, we keep hearing the reports and we have several specifically worded items saying who was being targeted. In fact, one of the bullet points says those who are critical of the president. So I don’t know if that comes from a policy, but that’s what’s being reported in the press and reported orally[.]“
the more “it’s just who they are.”
(“Reported orally,” he said. Ha!)
Anyway, wu-wei. Here’s a couple of quotes from The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu (trans. Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, New York, 1968) I read these the other day and it seemed appropriate.
Water that is still gives back a clear image of beard and eyebrows; reposing in the water level, it offers a measure to the great carpenter. And if the water in stillness possesses such clarity, how much more must pure spirit. The sage’s mind in stillness is the mirror of Heaven and earth, the glass of the ten thousand things.
When the monkey trainer was handing out acorns, he said, “You get three in the morning and four at night.” This made all the monkeys furious. “Well then,” he said, “you get four in the morning and three at night.” The monkeys were all delighted.
And we all know what monkeys do, right?
Rand Paul, doing things I approve of:
As the Pentagon leads the push to integrate military drones into domestic airspace by 2015, Senator Rand Paul, R-Ken., is promoting legislation to curb the use of drones in the United States.
At issue is the future of the U.S. military’s unmanned aviation training programs in the United States and the privacy rights of Americans. The Air Force plans to bring an estimated 500 large drones from overseas war zones to the United States by 2015, while the Army plans to buy up to 120 new drones in coming years, according to Steve Pennington, director of bases, ranges and airspace for the U.S. Air Force. In an interview at his Pentagon office, Pennington said the military needs to fly these massive unmanned aircraft at home to prepare U.S. troops for future combat missions overseas.
“We in the Air Force and DOD [Department of Defense] believe the vast majority of the unmanned aircraft can be integrated” into U.S. airspace,” he said. “They can fly just like a Cessna or a 737.”
The expected influx of drones in U.S. airspace by 2015 prompted Paul to introduce legislation this week called the Preserving Freedom From Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which would ”prohibit the use of drones by the government” in the United States unless authorized by a warrant. The only exceptions identified in the legislation, first proposed by Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., are the use of drones for patrolling of national borders and “when law enforcement possesses reasonable suspicion that under particular circumstances, swift drone action is necessary to prevent “imminent danger to life.” The Paul-Scott legislation does not make any provision for military unmanned aerial vehicles flying in domestic airspace, as envisioned by Pentagon officials.
Hmm…this seems like an awfully important issue. And I applaud Paul for doing something on it, the description of the bill actually sounds entirely reasonable, even in the exceptions. Unfortunately, I very highly doubt any law like this will pass. I don’t think the public sees crime as presenting the same threat as terrorism, but over the past decade police departments have been spending enormous amounts of money on military hardware, and I suspect before long, every department will want a drone. And while there’s the possibility that drones would cause some form of backlash, the public has not exactly had a civil liberties backlash in them for some time now.
Still, I wish Paul luck in this.
Another bucketfull of irony poured into the bottomless well of Republican hypocrisy:
Senator Rand Paul [...] was
detained[inconvenienced] at the airport in Nashville by the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, according to people close to the lawmaker, although the T.S.A. quickly disputed their account.
Instead, the agency said the senator had been denied entry to the secure part of the airport after refusing a pat-down,and was “escorted” from the screening area by local law enforcement, but had never been “detained.”
Mr. Paul was later rebooked on a different flight and was “re-screened without incident,” the agency said.
The T.S.A. said that Mr. Paul had been screened by a version of its millimeter-wave body imaging device that uses a generic image of a passenger and, if it detects any anomaly, puts a yellow box on the body area that requires greater scrutiny. An alarm was triggered when he was in the machine, which – under administration procedures – required a “targeted pat-down” to see what caused it. But Mr. Paul refused to submit to the pat-down, the agency said.
Get it? Wingnut firebrand Rand Paul gets his panties in a bunch because the TSA was trying to pat down his God-given right to privacy. Where does the irony come in?
A posting on the senator’s own Twitter account shortly before the incident announced that he was headed to Washington to speak at the “March for Life,” an anti-abortion rally.
Yep, Paul was off to join a bunch of anti-choice dead-enders in their quest to overturn Supreme Court decisions like Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade, which served to establish a constitutional right to privacy when it came to things like contraception and abortion.
But far be it from me to ever expect any kind of consistency or logic to invade the bubble in which wingnuts spend all of their waking hours…
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