Rand Paul Was Protesting Harry Reid, Not Benjamin Netanyahu

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An item by Politico's Scott Wong suggests that Sen. Rand Paul "skipped" an address by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today in protest of Israel

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a warm welcome from a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) skipped out on the speech, sitting quietly at his Senate desk shuffling through papers and newspapers.

Earlier this year, Paul proposed eliminating all U.S. aid to Israel, but his office and other Republican senators said Paul's decision to remain on the Senate floor during the address concerned a dispute with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over amendments Paul proposed to the Patriot Act extension. 

Paul is protesting Sen. Harry Reid, not Bibi. "The reason Senator Paul stayed on the floor is because the clock is ticking on the PATRIOT Act, and Harry Reid wanted to waste three hours of debate," one of his staffers told me. (It's also worth noting that Paul attended last night's AIPAC dinner, and that he wasn't the only GOP senator who didn't attend today's event with Netanyahu.) 

On the PATRIOT Act front, Paul is pushing hard for several amendments, despite the fact that both Democratic and Republican leadership in the House and the Senate want to renew the law as is for another four years. He's joined forces with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) to propose an amendment regarding warrantless wiretaps, and authored a few all his own (listed below). At the moment, Paul is trying to rally support for the "Firearm Records Amendment," which "clarifies that the authority to obtain info under the USA PATRIOT Act does not include authority to obtain certain firearm records." 

Full list of Paul's amendments, which his office released yesterday:

Burden-Shifting Suspicious Activity Report Amendment: Requires law enforcement to initiate requests for suspicious activity reports (SARs). Shifts the burden for generating suspicious activity reports to law enforcement, requiring FBI/other law enforcement to initiate requests for SARs, rather than requiring financial institutions to automatically generate these reports.

National Security Letters Issued by Judges: States that no officer or employee of the United States may issue a National Security Letter (NSL) unless a FISA court judge finds that probable cause exists to issue the NSL. Brings NSLs into compliance with plain text of Fourth Amendment.

Firearm Records Amendment: Clarifies that the authority to obtain info under the USA PATRIOT Act does not include authority to obtain certain firearm records. Supported by Gun Owners of America.

Roving Wiretaps Amendment: This amendment eliminates the possibility of "John Doe" roving wiretaps that identify neither the person nor the phone to be wiretapped. Also requires government agents to ascertain the presence of the target of a roving wiretap before beginning surveillance of a particular phone or email, using the same standard that is already required for criminal roving taps.

Leahy/Paul Amendment: This amendment consists of the substance of Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) PATRIOT Act reform bill (S. 193) as reported from the Judiciary Committee. The vote was 10-7 (those voting in favor included Sen. Mike Lee [R-Utah]).

Section 215/Access to Business Records: Restores the pre-PATRIOT Act standard for obtaining records. (Supported by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of Research Libraries.)

"Good Faith Standard" Suspicious Activity Report Amendment: This amendment would implement a reform that was previously proposed by the Financial Services Roundtable. This reform will help reduce the high number of "defensive filings" submitted by financial institutions due to their fear of being penalized for failure to file a suspicious activity report (SAR). It codifies a "good faith standard" to ensure that if a financial institution has established a SAR decision-making process, has followed existing policies, procedures, and processes, and determines not to file a SAR, the bank or credit union would not be penalized for its failure to file the SAR unless the failure was accompanied by evidence of bad faith.

Judicial Review of Suspicious Activity Reports: States that the Secretary of the Treasury may not require any financial institution to submit a suspicious activity report unless an appropriate district court of the United States issues an order finding that probable cause exists to obtain the information.

Minimization/Destruction of NSL and Section 215 Business Records Info: Directs the Attorney General to establish minimization and destruction procedures governing the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of private information by the FBI. The purpose is to ensure that private information obtained outside the scope of an NSL or Section 215 order is appropriately disposed of or destroyed.

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  1. Netan-yahoo is no doubt getting more applause than any Senator or President would from his servants on Capitol Hill.

    Good on Paul both for not going and for not letting this PATRIOT Act debate go quietly into the night.

    Is it wrong that I’ve started to actively hope for the death of politicians? If I found out tomorrow that Harry Reid had choked on a spoon, I would be giddy. No sympathy for his family, or anything like that.

    1. Considering how much they’re actively trying to destroy all of our freedoms, I’d say it’s right, not wrong.

    2. Dude, fuck them. Don’t let people guilt you into feeling bad next time some politician gets shot, either.

      1. Thanks comrades 🙂

        I just hate them so much. Some days I can look at it all with some detached amusement, laughing as the world burns. Others, like today, my blood starts to boil.

    3. “Started”? Fucking slacker.

    4. You are Not alone!!

  2. Part of what he’s protesting is that Reid promised a week of debate on amendments earlier in the year. However, now that the sunsetting provisions expire Friday, Leader Reid is saying that it’s an “emergency” and he’ll have to shut off debate before the provisions expire.

    1. However, Sen. Rand Paul has a can force some votes on the time for debate issue.

      In addition, he can raise Points of Order about the War Powers Resolution violation in Libya, until the Senate actually passed something addressing Libya.

  3. Shorter version: he doesn’t love teh liburtay, he hates teh joos.

    1. The Joos didn’t love teh Liberty either.

      1. Funny how you antisemites always insist hating Israel has nothing to do with hating Jews. And then immediately prove otherwise.

        1. Ya’ might wanna check your spoof meter.

  4. Then why is he saluting Nazi-style?

    1. He’s looking for Kyle. Kyle’s about that tall.

    2. Actually, it’s the Black Power salute.

      1. Bullshit! Rand Paul wants to strip blacks of their civil rights!

        1. Oh stop already with that nonsense! You do know what the Patriot Act is don’t you??

  5. Alt-text: “Duh. Winning!”

  6. It’s getting ridiculous when people are effectively expected to prove they’re not anti-semitic because they missed some speech.

    Just for the record, for the most part, I don’t care what any politicians say about anything at any point in time. That’s African-American politicians, Caucasian-American politicians, politicians from other countries or politicians from Mars.

    Well, okay, if a politician came from Mars, I might be interested in what he, she or it had to say, but as soon as I found out it was a politician from Mars making a speech?

    The novelty would wear off pretty quick.

    1. It’s getting ridiculous when people are effectively expected to prove they’re not anti-semitic because they missed some speech.

      Not people, just certain people, like Rand Paul. Mark Kirk is a squishy moderate, so it’s okay that he missed the speech.

    2. I’ll be a politician from Mars just as soon as I get the Republic of Mars organized. Now, does anyone know where they sell rockets?

      No one. Just have to build one myself.

      1. ahem, not unless we say you can.

        1. I nixed this argument years ago. I have a rocket to Mars. The government doesn’t. What are you going to do about it?

          1. Perhaps I should introduce you and your rocket to my friend SAM.

    3. Good that you corrected that. Somebody was about to meet the pope of the Fosterite Church of the New Revelation.

  7. “Black power!”

  8. The fact that renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act is entirely uncontroversial makes my head hurt.

    Rand Paul is a better man than I am; I can only imagine what his Advil bill must look like, being in the Senate these days.

  9. How dare you turn Paul’s antisemitism into a rant against the Patriot Act.

  10. Where was his dad during the speech?

    He’s the one who’s the real antisemite. Of course, no one’s perfect.

    1. One of you is a very lucky girl. There is an opening for a job away from all this back-breaking work, in my new villa. Umm, which of you has domestic experience? Ja, on second thought, I don’t really want someone else’s maid. All those annoying habits I’d have to undo.

    2. He’s the one who’s the real antisemite.

      As a Semite, that one left me scratching my head.

  11. One has to admire the courage of this guy, defying the victomology etiquette is not easy for anybody, but for a politician that really is brave.

  12. 9/11 was very good for Israel
    Binyamin Netanyahu
    Th??tre de l’Absurde
    Binyamin Netanyahu
    9/11 was very good for Israel

  13. Supremely irritating that the story starts with RP wanting to cut of aid to Israel, which is true but lacks the rather important context that RP wants to end all foreign aid.

    1. Ending all foreign aid wouldn’t make much of a difference in the budget deficit. However, it would make people realize that foreign aid wasn’t that much of a budget. So long as foreign aid exists, people can delude themselves as to how much of it there is.

    2. And lacks the even more important context that Israel has nothing to do with why he missed the speech

  14. How can Paul find the time hating jews when the left thinks he’s constantly beating off to the ideas of Ayn Rand?

    1. Envy… While Paul is beating off to Ayn Rand, Netanyahu has his cock in 500+ mouths simultaneously.

  15. The patriot act is needed to fight the war on terror. After 911 everything changed.

    1. They hate us for our freedoms, so we must bomb our freedoms to save them, or something.

      1. They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom – at least not if we can destroy it first.

  16. We’ll find away around whatever the Senate tries to do with the Patriot Act.

    1. Actually, Harry Reid already found a way to kill all amendments to the Patriot Act reauthorization. He killed the original Patriot Act reauthorization bill (and thus all amendments), then took up a House based small business bill (as a shell bill), then amended that small business bill with the entire text of the Patriot Act reauthorization bill.

      The House based small business bill, because of current procedures, cannot be filibustered and Reid can prevent any other ordinary Senator from amending it.

      Of course, this is also because enough of the Senate will let him get his way, but it’s also part of the enormous rules of the Majority Leader.

      1. See also here and here.

      2. When these kinds of shenanigans happen, someone like Rand Paul needs to step up to the mic and declare that sniveling, statist dipshits like Reid can eat a dick, and that the American people will have their freedom, even if they have to march to Washington DC and take it. Then he should launch his campaign for the presidency and watch his campaign earn $100M in the first week.

  17. So tired of these spineless Republicans that have ZERO conviction and claim to want government out of our lives but act in direct opposition to that. I love the Tea Party because they at least stand for something (in theory). Too bad even alot of those who won on Tea Party principle voted to keep this piece of trash. It give me a little hope though that Rand Paul actually stood up. Maybe he can inspire the cowardly, weak, jellyfish from both sides to do the same!

  18. Is it wrong that I masturbated while reading all these amendments?

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