Rand Paul

New York Times Endorses Rand Paul's "Takedown of the Patriot Act"

Another sign of the end times or a renewal of constitutional governance?


Rand Paul

In today's New York Times, the newspaper's editorial board essentially endorses Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) efforts to halt domestic spying by preventing the renewal of the most egregious portions of the unconstitutional Patriot Act. From the Times:

He may have annoyed Senate colleagues by seizing the floor for a marathon monologue on Wednesday, but Senator Rand Paul did Americans a singular service by forcing attention to the fact that their civil liberties remain at stake as Congress drifts toward a renewal of the Patriot Act that is likely to do too little to rein in government surveillance programs.

"Are you really willing to give up your liberty for security?" Senator Paul asked in his unexpected, 10-and-a-half-hour quasi-filibuster.

The Kentucky lawmaker candidly linked his floor speech to his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, where he is determined to make more of a public issue of government intrusion into the private lives of Americans after the 9/11 attacks. This is to be welcomed, particularly since so many of his rivals prefer to slide off the issue by endorsing a compromised and faulty renewal of the Patriot Act as it expires on June 1.

"I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged," Mr. Paul declared. He conceded he might not have the votes to prevail, but said he would keep reminding the public of abuses like the government's secret phone-data sweeps of American households that were finally declared illegal this month in federal court.

The focus of the senator's alarm, and rightly so, was a pair of bipartisan renewal bills in both houses that fall short of remedying the problem. The bills would cut back, but not end, the domestic phone-data sweeps that eroded individual rights while accomplishing little in protecting the nation. They avoid the issue of bulk collection of overseas calls, which could include information about Americans. And they fail to create an advocate to represent the public's interest when the government seeks fresh approvals from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has proved far too passive in protecting Americans' civil liberties.


Back in November, I criticized Paul for letting the perfect (Patriot Act sunsetting) get in the way of the merely better (USA FREEDOM Act restrictions on domestic spying) when he voted against letting the latter proceed to a vote in the Senate. I worried that Paul and his fellow citizens would end up with no restrictions on domestic spying at all.

If Paul pulls off Patriot Act sunsetting, I will owe him a big apology and I offer to make amends by buying him a bottle of his favorite Kentucky bourbon (or other spirit). Let's all hope that I have to apologize.

NEXT: Hillary's Genius Amnesty Move

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Rand Paul is are best hope for 2016…please vote even if you don’t think it’s cool to do so.

    1. *our

    2. “Sorry but maintaining my 2-kool for skool poseur act is more important than the course of the nation. Here have some statistics-based arguments I don’t understand.” /non-voter

      1. statistics

        I thought your kind called them bioinformatics.

        1. Heh. Well, the difference is so far I have found statistics to be actually useful to me. Bioinformatics is one of the most over-rated ‘trendy’ fads of late. Every seminar or other presentation focused on BI that I’ve ever been to has been absolutely boring. I am tempted to raise my hand and ask the presenter ‘so what?’ during every question period.

          1. As far as I can tell, it’s just statistics applied to bio data, but with a big coating of buzzwords in an attempt to intimidate.

            1. Statistics are usually used for illumination rather than supporter, at least when done right. Every damn BI presentation I go to is ‘we sampled a bunch of indviduals and built a phylogenetic tree. Look at how awesome it is. We observed weak meaningless trends here and there.” Zzzzzzz

      2. “My back is spineless. My belly is yellow. I am the American non-voter.”

        1. Voting is my version of the lottery. I know I’m not going to win, I just can’t help myself.

  2. I don’t know which is better, that “America’s Paper of Record” have come to their senses on this issue, or the knowledge that they hate, hate, hate having to agree with RP.

    1. Oh, I am wrong to enjoy it, Tonio, but I am just rolling around in “the knowledge that they hate, hate, hate having to agree with RP” like a dog in something rank.

      1. Thanks, buddy.

    2. That shit rag is just pretending to be journalism. The damage has been done, most of us no longer believe all the bs.

    3. They’re closer, but as Rand pointed out – Obama could end a lot of this shit this afternoon via executive order. Call me when the Grey Lady calls out Chocolate Nixon.

  3. I’m #1! (goes on internet search for big #1 foam hand)

  4. My prediction: Rand picks Bulleit Rye

    1. I liked Bulleit when it first came out and was cheap, bought one recently and it was like they filled it with Evan Williams.

      1. Really? I have the bourbon now, but I’ve been putting it in mint juleps, so I might be missing the change.

        1. On the rocks sir or call me lily livered.

          1. And I mean ice!

      2. I discovered Bulleit c. 2005, and it’s currently about $10 per bottle cheaper than it was back then. Did it come out cheap, spike in price, and then get its price cut again? It’s been my go-to for years, haven’t noticed a difference in taste.

        Bulleit 10-Year is aces. Love that stuff.

    2. Being ‘Rye’ it would not be bourbon.

      Although it is delicious.

      On May 4, 1964, the United States Congress recognized Bourbon Whiskey as a “distinctive product of the United States.” The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 C.F.R. 5.22) state that bourbon must meet these requirements:

      * Bourbon must be made of a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn (maize).

      * Bourbon must be distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume).

      * Neither coloring nor flavoring may be added.

      * Bourbon must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.

      * Bourbon must be entered into the barrel at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume).

      * Bourbon, like other whiskeys, may be bottled at not less than 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume.)

      * Bourbon that meets the above requirements and has been aged for a minimum of two years may (but is not required to) be called Straight Bourbon.

      * Straight Bourbon aged for a period less than four years must be labeled with the duration of its aging.

      * If an age is stated on the label, it must be the age of the youngest whiskey in the bottle.

      * Only whiskey produced in the United States can be called bourbon.

      I’d also expect RP to pick a KY brand. The rye whiskey is produced in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

      1. “Only whiskey produced in the United States can be called bourbon”

        *shakes fist*

        /Angry French royalist

      2. You win, it’s whiskey, not bourbon.

        Speaking of getting sauced like a gentleman, The Man Who Would Be King was on over the weekend. Love that movie.

        1. +1 I didn’t knows you was a brother Mason

  5. Queue the obligatory single-issue abortion absolutists whining about Paul’s supposed religious fascism. Despite the fact he’s barely mentioned the issue. Literally every article here comes with one. Count on it.

    1. Uh…. Hello, new guy. I don’t recall a lot of that here at H&R. Now, there is a well-observed phenom of single-issue, anti-abortion absolutists whinging anytime Reason dares to suggest that maybe, just maybe a blastocyst isn’t the moral equivalent of a baby.

      Welcome onboard. Don’t forget to sign up for Libertarian Story Time with “Uncle” Sugar Free, and orientation with pledge-master Warty.





      2. Everybody loves fresh fish! Whoooo!

      3. Hihn will be around to corpse fuck the thread sometime tonight.

      4. And don’t worry, it won’t hurt – much.

      5. Ooh. Have we appointed Agile Cyborg as our DARE liaison yet?

        1. 2nded and possibly 4 wayed.

      6. Sorry, do I need to ask permission to post or something? Only verified forum all stars? Newbs need not apply? Not really that new honestly, but I’ll run my thoughts by you before sharing them next time.

        If someone at Reason writes something about abortion, that’d my vote for the appropriate place to have that discussion. Not every time Rand Paul is mentioned, as if he’s some sort of clinic bomber, when he hasn’t really made it an issue other than when harassed by the media about it.

        And I’ve seen it on multiple articles. Though maybe that’s my newbishness and “abortion” is some inside joke the cool kids of the forum use to mean “check out this newb”.

        1. I think the only person I’ve seen consistently bring up abortion in a Ron/Rand Paul article is Michael Hihn.

          Oh, and Eddie (Notorious GKC) but that’s kinda his schtick.

          Are we reading the same comments?

          1. Haven’t paid particular attention to the handles of each. Most recent one that set me off was by “American socialist” on Damon root’s post about Rand’s “Rights are many” comment during the filibuster. Though perhaps that was just a troll. If it was the first time though I wouldn’t have felt the need to pre empt it this go round

    2. Queue the obligatory single-issue abortion absolutists


      1. There’s an entire generation which believes one no longer needs to learn to spell, because there’s spellcheckers for that. Only those of us who learned know why they are wrong.

        1. Whale why don’t you splain it two us than.

          1. I’VE TRIED. I used to edit papers for grad students, and explaining homonyms to a would-be PhD is a conversation I never want to have again.

        2. My experience proofreading reports from 45-year-old middle managers indicates that it’s more than a single generation.

          1. Middle management = most useless job ever.

      2. Queue
        : to form or wait in a line

        I guess I could have used cue. I don’t think my usage of queue was incorrect though.

        1. “Form a line for the obligatory single issue abortion absolutists.”


  6. NYT Headline for later today:

    “Hillary Proposes A Moratorium On Patriot Act Renewal: Says Nation needs better privacy protections and if elected would strengthen 4th amendment rights”

    1. I have detected a disturbance in the Derp… Like 150 million progs crying out at once

  7. If Paul pulls off Patriot Act sunsetting, I will owe him a big apology…

    If not, an I-told-you-so.

    1. FoE: Goes without saying.

  8. I’ve recently discovered that I like Old Grand-Dad quite a bit, especially the 100 proof variety. Question for the bourbon snobs, since I don’t really know shit about bourbon: How much of a tasteless peasant am I?

    1. Personally, I’d say Old Grand-Dad is a perfectly respectable bourbon. Before the recent surge in haute bourbon it used to be considered a higher end bourbon.

    2. It doesn’t matter. If you like it, drink it. But I don’t think old grand dad is looked down upon.

    3. So goddamn much.

      1. Nothing to do with your bourbon choice, you just are.

    4. If you like it, who cares? If someone wants to make an issue of it, laugh at their overpaying for snob-rights. If that doesn’t work, crush them like an empty soup can.

      1. Oh, I don’t care. I’m just curious about the snob perspective.

        1. Ah. I am not enough of a bourbon aficionado to help there. I just love whisky (and whiskey) and if it is good, I don’t care if it is Ol’ Pete’s Bargain Basement Paint Thinner or Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Single Oak Project 8th Release, $699 a bottle.

          besides, I might want to see you crush a bourbon snob like a can…

    5. Whiskey opinions are like progtards – don’t believe any of their opinions, just your own.

    6. I personally don’t care for any brand’s ‘high octane’ variety, as I find the the added harshness counter-productive.

      I never mix with anything but water, though.

      OGD isn’t bad though. Good middle of the road bourbon.

      Recently, I’ve taken a real shine to Four Roses.

      1. I like four roses. Have you had Blanton’s?

        1. No, haven’t tried that… Not a huge fan of Buffalo Trace, so have stayed away from their other brands.

          Although would jump on some Pappy, if given the chance.

          As an aside, a guy I play cards with found a sealed bottle in his Dad’s stuff of 1974? NCAA Championship commemorative bottle of Pappy’s.

          We’re guessing the value to be more than $1K.

          1. I work with a guy that has a huge whisky collection. He got three different vintages of Pappy and did a blind taste test with some buddies with random other bourbans mixed in. Only 1 guy picked pappy as the best. I’m guessing there is a lot of psych factor with those hard to get bottles.

      2. Personally, I love Booker’s even though it’s always ‘high octane’. The last bottle I had was, IIRC, 114 proof. Still less harsh than many 80 proofs, and with just a splash of water, eminently drinkable.

    7. How much of a tasteless peasant am I?

      60-75% tasteless by my measure. It’s respectable for drinking but not for enjoying.

      1. Thank you.

        *crushes waffles like a can*

    8. It’s a fuck or fight bourbon. Harsh. Cheap. Understand that your taste buds burned out in the chalk mines of your youth.

      1. “Dude you don’t LIKE [Old Grand-Dad]. What you LIKE is that you’re holding something the police will wrestle you for”

  9. Bourbon is gross, just like whiskey and scotch.

    1. Thank you for that well reasoned and thoughtful opinion.

      1. Your welcome! Did I mention beer is also gross?

        1. So if you hate all the normal ethanol delivery systems, how exactly do you go about getting shitfaced?

          1. I could respect tequila. Any chance he likes that?

            1. Ew tequila’s also gross. Why do people like drinking gross shit.

              I don’t get drunk very often. I’m poor and it gives me heartburn.

              1. I always pictured Canadians as more manly. You know, like lumberjacks. Drinkin’, politely cussin’, killin’, you know, masters of the tundra.

          2. Like every other sorostitute, mix it with sugary stuff.

          3. Huffing freon?

          4. Ciders, Clamato, pink drinks galore.

    2. You really are the perfect anti-barometer for taste. Are you sure you weren’t bred for this purpose?

      Though I will say that I don’t like scotch.

      1. *high fives ProL*

        1. *Jumping in*

          Scotch is bourbon with all the pleasing elements removed.

          1. I hear the voices of 5 million Scots screaming in rage and they paint their faces blue and prepare for war.

            1. I’m half Scottish, so I can half-do whatever the fuck I want, ye heathen.

              1. Try Glenlivet. Or I will send William Wallace to your house you Tory.

          2. You want true mouth-terror, try taking a shot of baijiu

      2. Though I will say that I don’t like scotch.

        *Reconsiders generally positive opinion of Pro-L*

        1. Ditto. Of the three, I prefer Scotch.

          1. Three? Bourbon, Rye, Scotch, Irish, Candian, Tennessee, Japanese.

            1. Three?

              1 Bourbon, 1 Scotch and 1 Beer?

              “Now you funny, too!”

              1. By the way, do you have the back rent?

                1. “Stu! Yo’ rent’s due, motherfucker!”

      3. Why? What is with people’s love of EtOH-infused paint thinner?

        1. It’ll getcha drunk! You’ll be fuckin’ fat bitches in no time!

          1. How else can we absorb the essence of oak tree?

  10. Off I go for the next three days – Serious yard work, my 23rd Anniversary and Memorial Day..I am going to be drained in more than a few ways. Some of them good.

    1. Congratulations on the 23 years.

    2. Wear sunscreen. I bet your legs are pasty as hell, and carpet burn added to sunburn would ruin the festivities.

    3. Congrats to you and the missus, Switzy.

      1. Hey, he didn’t say 23rd anniversary of WHAT.

    4. Congratulations, dude. I’m going to send you an anniversary python cake.

      1. With live pythons, jumping out of the center?

        1. Tell me you didn’t order one, too. Of course, ours is unique in including trained jumping pythons.

          1. Dang it!

            Now I have to order the electric eels and giant punch bowl.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.