Monday Morning Politics: A Spring Thaw?

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Rand Paul fillibuster continues to reverberate as Washington discusses the legal framework for targeted killings. Meanwhile, agencies have started to implement sequester cuts, and Obama continues to "reach out" to the GOP in advance of budget negotiations. Susan Page, USA Today's Washington bureau chief, gives an update on the latest happenings from Washington.


Susan Page

Comments [38]

JTWilliams from kalamazoo

Cant people see that what the US government does around the world is an evil, two-fold proposal? 1) It's the grandest make-work program ever devised, to get otherwise rudderless youth out of the country- you've never known troubled young men who dont know what else to do who join the military? 2) corporatism- its about global domination for a fascist economic system- not for the freedom of all trade, but for the freedom of select, managed trade.

This is to say nothing about the vast economic base for weapons of war. What Im saying is: it's not about peace, or liberal democracy. It doesnt benefit most of us, yet we are forced to pay for this social engineering. And the enemies are self-perpetuating! When your military dominates people on foreign land, ya think they might resent it? Study what your government has done since WWII- it's not a pretty picture

Mar. 15 2013 08:26 PM
scott from soho


Way to attack the people who actually feel they are being "Taxed Enough Already" during a segment that should have focused on the possibility of having our rights infringed upon. I am not a member of the TEA Party but I do agree that my hard earned, non-government funded, non-charitble gifted, revenues are being over taxed and poorly spent by our government.

This morning I noticed a number of mentally ill homeless people sleeping outside the subway on Spring St. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that the city managed to paint green bike lanes on Prince street and install a green space in te middle of Houston St. I wonder if the money used for this green bike lane and giant garden barrier could have been better spent?

As far as the Tea Party goes, why not try to invite a few self made business owners from NYC to your studio and have them discuss taxes and give your listeners a real sense of how the business world works. Better yet, why not try having NPR/WNYC skip the next begging for charitble donations segment and government support check and operate a real business entity? I think it would be an eye opening experience for you and your staff to see what it is really like for the rest of us to operate businesses here in NYC.

I don't always agree with your positions but it is getting harder and harder to respect your program when you continually ridicule segments of the population with differing opinions. Enjoy my CC donation.

Mar. 11 2013 05:40 PM
Roy from Queens

@Christine from Westchester Why don't you tell that to the people who were blacklisted in the 1950s because they had association with Communism? Grow up and think beyond the politicial manure, please?

Mar. 11 2013 12:17 PM

To Bob from Brooklyn--

Re polls, only 26% of Americans disagree with the use of drones on foreign soil. 56% support the policy (68% of men). 42% agree even if the target is an American citizen.

However, it's true that most Americans disagree with the idea of a drone strike on U.S. soil against an American. But Paul protests drone strikes even on foreign soil.

I disagree with Rand Paul about almost everything, but he's right about this and I wish more Americans agreed.

Mar. 11 2013 11:15 AM
Bill from New Rochelle

TWO considerations:

1) Why was the administration reluctrant to answer Sen Paul?

Paul was asking, basically, "When will you stop beating your wife?"
Implying, through his question, that this was the President's plan which Paul was 'heading off.'
Sen Paul might just as well asked, for twelve hours, "Will you crucify or break on the wheel any Americans for terrorist crimes?"

2) Paul was playing to his base, people like the white power, Aryan and other para-military MILITIA clubs. These people, who basically are enraptured with group hallucinations and paranoia, believe that the president will target them with drones.

Mar. 11 2013 11:10 AM

To Joe Correo -- and others.
I have a problem with targeted assassination on ANYBODY's soil. Why not have a segment about how and why the country has accepted the use of assassination within or completely independent of whatever convenient definition of war is in use at the moment?

I thought we were a country distinguished by the rule of law and a judicial system with due process and other rights for the accused. In most cases, we extradite foreign nationals to stand trial in the U.S. Why do we suspend all American principles because we feel uniquely threatened by people we loosely and often arbitrarily consider "combatants"?

Mar. 11 2013 11:01 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

@burtnor - I don't see how 'out of the mainstream' is any better. A majority of Americans agree with Paul on this issue. So its actually those who are in support of open ended drone warfare who are out of the mainstream.

Mar. 11 2013 10:50 AM
Burtnor from Manhattan

In response to the caller who accused Brian of unfairly characterizing Ron Paul as extreme (or fanatic, forgot what word he used), Brian defended himself by saying he only said Paul was "out of the mainstream," which is completely true. Brian agreed that Paul is sincere in his beliefs and possibly even right about the need for greater transparency re drone strikes, both of which can be true and still be views "out of the mainstream." So I thought Brian was unnecessarily apologetic.

I'm a little tired of people saying they love Brian's show presenting lots of different views but then accuse him of being unfair when he simply summarizes views they happen to disagree with or wish to describe in a more favorable way.

Mar. 11 2013 10:46 AM

@jgarbuz from Queens you obviously didn't listen to the content of the filibuster debate.

Mar. 11 2013 10:35 AM
jgarbuz from Queens


There is a due process for regular criminals, and another type of due process for saboteurs, spies, foreign agents, and terrorists.

Mar. 11 2013 10:33 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

JG, Defending [the constitution] against all enemies, including killing them is fine...

The problem - whether it's the use of drones, black helicopters, or evil clowns is, the lack of due process, used by this and the previous administration, to "eliminate" citizen "enemy combatants" that are outside the "clear and present danger" perimeters.

Mar. 11 2013 10:32 AM
Christine from Westchester

Roy: But running around WITH the enemy and posing for photos with them might. As did Jane Fonda. I frankly consider that traitorous. You can disagree. You can't join the other team.

Mar. 11 2013 10:32 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

What the difference between a paranoid and a pollyanna? A paranoid believes he has enemies everywhere. A pollyanna thinks he has friends everywhere. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Mar. 11 2013 10:31 AM


You are missing the point -- it is about due process, not weapon choice.

That said, because drones strikes will never result in the death of a US soldier, they do erode ethics. With no body count of our own, the population is free to delude themselves about who we are killing around the work. Our Nobel Prize Winner can quietly kill collateral schoolchildren in foreign countries with no accountability.

Mar. 11 2013 10:30 AM
Roy from Queens

@sheldon from brooklyn: That reference to Jane Fonda only made him look like an anachronism. Having an opinion that differs from the government shouldn't make you an enemy of the state, however.

Mar. 11 2013 10:30 AM
Christine from Westchester

But Martin, haven't you heard; Mr. Obama thinks he has a "mandate" because he won by the slim margin that he did. Very sad.

Mar. 11 2013 10:29 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Dear Americans. Please stop taking away our rights because you are scared of terrorists. Stop being p*ssies. The chances of dying in a terrorist attack is nearly nill. This whole intelligence/military apparatus is a scam. Americans have become cowards and slaves to their reptile brains.

Mar. 11 2013 10:25 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Only 1410 days and 2 hours until this lying serpent slithers out of the White House and back into the weeds ....

... bringing to a close (to quote Jennifer Rubin at the WashPost) “Barack Obama’s reign of narcissism.”

Mar. 11 2013 10:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Of course, if a saboteur or a terrorist is under surveillance, and is "caught" red handed trying to set off a bomb, what's the difference if you use a drone, or a sniper from a helicopter, a SWAT teams or a plane to take him or her out?

Mar. 11 2013 10:24 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Good for Rand Paul....and the "Jane Fonda" analogy is spot on.

Mar. 11 2013 10:23 AM
Christine from Westchester

Good job caller. Now we're hearing Brian back-peddle all over the place as if he wasn't fairly sarcastic introducing this topic. C'mon Brian: You got called on your tone. Own up.

Mar. 11 2013 10:22 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

We've had saboteurs and foreign agents in this country in WWI and WWII, and in the last decade they have been of the pro-jihad variety. Whatever methods are permitted under our constitution to use against traitors, spies and saboteurs should be considered with the use of drones. Drones are just another weapon. They are controlled by a pilot on the ground. They don't make their own decisions.

Mar. 11 2013 10:22 AM

Brian it wasn't foreign policy it was about the use of targeted assassination ON AMERICAN SOIL

Mar. 11 2013 10:21 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Brennan should be in prison for war crimes if this country was at all transparent and fair.

Mar. 11 2013 10:21 AM
Fred from NJ

Did Rand Paul refer to Anwar al-Awlaki? Yes he did .. albeit 6 hours into his filibuster. He deplored the subsequent killing ("collateral damage") of his son in the same moment. The transcript, FWIW, is here:,0,3632134,full.story

Mar. 11 2013 10:21 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Drones flying overhead with weapons needs to be part of the gun debate. Shouldn't we view drones like we do assault weapons?

Mar. 11 2013 10:20 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Rand Paul is ONE person. There are millions of us out here who do not want to take away anymore rights. The parties have done enough to make life really miserable for many many people. We say, ENOUGH.

Mar. 11 2013 10:18 AM

Now you talk about Ron Paul? A year and a half he ran for President and you said nothing Brian.

Mar. 11 2013 10:17 AM

Rand Paul does not need to run for President to effect change. Presidential elections today can only be won by partisan frauds. Rand represents a re-birth of congressional power, not the future of the executive branch.

Mar. 11 2013 10:16 AM

Do people NOT get that it was about due process....sheeesh

Mar. 11 2013 10:15 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

The drone filibuster showed me how feckless the Democrats are to stand up for civil rights against the Obama administration. Only one Dem stood with Paul on the floor. That is really pathetic. Looking at you Gillibrand...

The Rand Paul libertarians are young former military who witness first hand how awful this country has acted over the last ten years. They truly understand how deformed and anti-freedom our country has become, largely at the hands of defense contractors and politicians who use fear of the masses for their own ends.

Mar. 11 2013 10:14 AM

The point of Rand Paul's filibuster was protecting civil rights and due process. it was something good for EVERYONE who needs their rights protected. Enough of the talking points. Read Glen Greenwald's take on it.
Brian it was 1 case of an American being killed in Yemen by drones...Al Alaki's 16 son was also killed.

Mar. 11 2013 10:13 AM
Christine from Westchester

1.) Good for Rand Paul: these were good questions to ask and should be answered seriously. We SHOULD question the use of drones. This is the way the filibuster should be used in a positive way.

2.) Why so insulting to tea party participants. They've got some good points. They're not morons and backward hayseeds. You're very insulting Brian.

Mar. 11 2013 10:13 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I don't see where the use of drones is any different than the use of helicopters and airplanes? "Black helicopters" has been replaced by drones in the concerns of the overly paranoid, extreme anti-government Libertarians.

Mar. 11 2013 10:12 AM
Karen from NYC

I meant "NYC"

Mar. 11 2013 10:12 AM
Karen from NYHC

Hate to agree with Paul about any issue, but it was a good idea to have the gov't set out parameters for the home drone policy. Maybe ridiculous to think they'd drop a bomb, e.g. Fonda (boy, is McCain out of date), but the point was that the policy was fuzzy.

Do we have a legal definition of "enemy combatant," btw?

Mar. 11 2013 10:11 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Why is a filibuster such a big deal? So the vote was delayed by one day and Obama got his nominee. The filibuster hysteria is overblown. The real issue is whether we want to import drone warfare into our own country.

Mar. 11 2013 10:09 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Yay! Brian Lehrer is back!

Mar. 11 2013 10:00 AM

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