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Why the Gulf States, the Kurds, the Turks, the Sunnis, and the Shia Won’t Fight America’s War

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Sunday night, Dec. 6, 2016. In a rare Oval Office address, Obama vowed the United States would overcome a terror threat that has entered a “new phase” as he sought to reassure Americans shaken by recent attacks in Paris and California. (Photo: Saul Loeb, AP)

In the many strategies proposed to defeat the Islamic State (IS) by presidential candidates, policymakers, and media pundits alike across the American political spectrum, one common element stands out: someone else should really do it. The United States will send in planes, advisers, and special ops guys, but it would be best — and this varies depending on which pseudo-strategist you cite — if the Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Sunnis, and/or Shias would please step in soon and get America off the hook.

The idea of seeing other-than-American boots on the ground, like Washington’s recently deep-sixed scheme to create some “moderate” Syrian rebels out of whole cloth, is attractive on paper. Let someone else fight America’s wars for American goals. Put an Arab face on the conflict, or if not that at least a Kurdish one (since, though they may not be Arabs, they’re close enough in an American calculus). Let the U.S. focus on its “bloodless” use of air power and covert ops. Somebody else, Washington’s top brains repeatedly suggest, should put their feet on the embattled, contested ground of Syria and Iraq. Why, the U.S. might even gift them with nice, new boots as a thank-you.

Is this, however, a realistic strategy for winning America’s war(s) in the Middle East?

The Great Champions of the Grand Strategy

Recently, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton openly called for the U.S. to round up some Arab allies, Kurds, and Iraqi Sunnis to drive the Islamic State’s fighters out of Iraq and Syria. On the same day that Clinton made her proposal, Bernie Sanders called for “destroying” the Islamic State, but suggested that it “must be done primarily by Muslim nations.” It’s doubtful he meant Indonesia or Malaysia.

Among the Republican contenders, Marco Rubio proposed that the U.S. “provide arms directly to Sunni tribal and Kurdish forces.” Ted Cruz threw his support behind arming the Kurds, while Donald Trump appeared to favor more violence in the region by whoever might be willing to jump in.

The Pentagon has long been in favor of arming both the Kurds and whatever Sunni tribal groups it could round up in Iraq or Syria. Variouspundits across the political spectrum say much the same.

They may all mean well, but their plans are guaranteed to fail. Here’s why, group by group.

The Gulf Arabs

 

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The Guardian home

Despite Chris Christie’s emphatic win in New Jersey governor’s race, it was a bad night for conservative factions in the GOP

Chris Christie

Chris Christie won decisively with a campaign that appealed to moderates but alienated the conservative wing of his party. Photograph: Eduardo Munoz /Reuters

Republicans were considering the implications of a night of mixed electoral fortunes on Wednesday, capped by the re-election of New Jersey governor Chris Christie who won decisively with a campaign that appealed to moderates but alienated the conservative wing of his party.

Christie’s emphatic win in New Jersey cemented his position as a contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and provided a boost to moderates in the GOP who have been battling with hardline conservatives.

The victory in New Jersey contrasted with defeat in Virginia, were the Tea Party-backed Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. The race was closer than expected, but nonetheless represented a blow to Republicans; the first time since 1973 the party in the White House has won the state’s gubernatorial race.

The New Jersey and Virginia races differed in significant ways, and analysts cautioned against drawing hard-and-fast conclusions about the wider political landscape for Republicans.

But it was symbolic moment: a centre-right, pragmatic Republican triumphed in New Jersey, a solidly Democratic state, while a staunchly conservative Republican lost in Virginia, a traditional swing-state he had been tipped to win just a few months ago.

Polls indicated that anger over the government shutdown, which was sharply felt in parts of northern Virginia, as well as discomfort with Cuccinelli’s deeply conservative views, handed the race to McAuliffe, a controversial Democratic fundraiser and close ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In New York, a Democrat won the race for city mayor for the first time in 20 years, with a landslide victory for Bill de Blasio. In Alabama, a closely-watched Republican primary was won by Bradley Byrne, in what was considered a victory for the party establishment against another Tea Party-inspired candidate, Dean Young.

Christie, who is due to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Republican Governor’s Association (RGA), was the most high-profile winner of the night. His election, which drew the support of African American, Latino and women voters who have elsewhere been deserting Republicans, catapults Christie to the ranks of front-runners in the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Other likely candidates include senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who have all adopted staunchly conservative positions that appeal to their base but alienate the moderates and independent voters generally seen as essential to take the White House.

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politics

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 11/06/2013 4:16 pm EST  |  Updated: 11/06/2013 4:54 pm EST

marco rubio chris christie

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s landslide reelection has led some observers to declare him all but certain to seize the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another likely Republican contender for president, on Wednesday cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the significance of Christie’s victory.

“I think we need to understand that some of these races don’t apply to future races. Every race is different — it has a different set of factors — but I congratulate [Christie] on his win,” Rubio told CNN’s Dana Bash.

“Clearly [Christie] was able to speak to the hopes and aspirations of people within New Jersey. That’s important,” he added. “We want to win everywhere and Governor Christie has certainly shown he has a way of winning in New Jersey, in states like New Jersey … so I congratulate him on that.”

But Rubio stressed that New Jersey, a decisively blue state, has its own distinctive traits and a race in the Garden State wouldn’t play out the same as it would elsewhere.

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The Atlantic

Obama’s Immigration Nuclear Option: Stopping Deportations Unilaterally

Barack and Michelle Obama at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute gala in 2011. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Updated, 3:50 p.m.

The biggest obstacle facing immigration reform may be not opposition but inertia. Leaders of the House of Representatives have said they plan to act, but with the coming months likely to be consumed by budget drama, immigration could fall by the wayside.

If that happens, advocates of immigration reform have another idea: They’ll push Obama to press the button on the immigration-reform nuclear option.

The option commonly referred to by immigration reformers as “Plan B” would see the president take executive action to prevent undocumented immigrants from being deported — along the lines of the deferred-action program the administration created for “Dreamers” last year. It wouldn’t be a panacea, and it wouldn’t give them citizenship. But such an action could at least spare some from the constant threat of deportation. And perhaps just as important, it could exact major political revenge on Republicans, galvanizing the Hispanic electorate against them and further hurting their image with the fastest-growing segment of voters.

The idea gained some prominence earlier this month, when Republican Senator Marco Rubio mentioned it in a talk-radio interview: “I believe that this president will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress, to issue an executive order as he did for the Dream Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen,” Rubio said.

Opponents of immigration reform howled that Rubio’s implied threat was a form of blackmail. But that’s exactly how reformers see the executive-order possibility — as the potential penalty if Congress does nothing. And as the legislation’s congressional prospects get ever dimmer, the buzz about Plan B gets louder. “Some people feel like we need to cut our losses, legalize as many people as we can,” Juanita Molina of Humane Borders recently told National Journal.

Richard Morales, director of deportation prevention for the PICO National Network, confirmed that activists are prepared to turn their sights on the White House. “Organizers think long term, so they know that legislation is one way, but that DACA” — the June 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — “has proven that the administration can provide another way,” he told me in an email. The faith-based network’s “targeted deportation actions” highlighting the plight of individuals have already gotten five undocumented immigrants released from detention or spared deportation.

The Washington Post’s Brad Plumer recently examined the potential mechanics of a broad executive action halting deportations. A large number of legal experts endorsed DACA, though some conservatives argue it was unconstitutional. Depending on the extent of a broader action, a similar rationale — assigning certain cases lower-priority status based on prosecutorial discretion — could apply, but it would only give the undocumented a temporary reprieve and the ability to work legally, not permanent residency or citizenship.

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 The Hill Newspaper

Immigration advocates claim ‘resounding win’ in quiet August

By Russell Berman 08/29/13 01:46 PM ET

Advocates for comprehensive immigration reform are claiming victory in the August recess. Their argument? They won because they didn’t lose.

With legislation stalled in the Republican-controlled House, the push to overhaul the immigration system has not dominated the national headlines or evening news during the four weeks that Congress has been taking its annual summer vacation.

Proponents of reform say they entered the recess worried that foes of the effort would flood town-hall meetings and stage large rallies, in a repeat of the Tea Party uprising that threw the push for healthcare reform off track in the summer of 2009.Despite efforts by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and others, that dynamic hasn’t materialized.

“What’s more important than what we have seen is what we haven’t seen,” said Jeremy Robbins, director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a group co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that is advocating for immigration reform. “August was a resounding win for us.”

The conservative activist Grover Norquist, who is pushing for immigration reform, also cited the lack of major opposition as the dog that didn’t bark in August. “There’s nothing like that,” he told The Hill on Tuesday. “The anti-immigrant stuff is an inch deep and a mile wide.”

At the same time, the modest rallies in favor of reform have fallen short of a groundswell of support.

Advocates say they did not plan their own large-scale rallies but targeted their efforts to individual congressional districts, and they cited endorsements of a path to citizenship by a number of House Republicans as evidence of their success.

“We never approached August with the idea were going to move 100 House Republicans into the yes column,” said Tom Snyder, who is managing the AFL-CIO’s campaign for legislation that includes a path to citizenship.

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US Senate passes sweeping immigration reform

In a vote hailed by US President Barack Obama, the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform on Thursday that would help 11 million people gain citizenship, but is expected to be blocked by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

By Halla Mohieddeen (video)
News Wires (text)

The U.S. Senate approved a landmark immigration bill on Thursday that would provide millions of undocumented immigrants a chance to become citizens, but the leader of the House of Representatives said the measure was dead on arrival in the House.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed the bill by a vote of 68-32, with 14 of the Senate’s 46 Republicans joining all 52 Democrats and two independents in support of the bill.

But any air of celebration was tempered by House Speaker John Boehner, who hours before the vote emphasized that Republicans would “do our own bill,” one that “reflects the will of our majority,” many of whom oppose citizenship for immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

Any bill in the Republican-controlled House is expected to focus heavily on border security and finding immigrants who have overstayed their visas.

“Immigration reform has to be grounded in real border security,” Boehner said.

Republican divisions over immigration were evident throughout the U.S. Capitol. While Boehner was putting the brakes on the Senate bill, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, delivered a passionate speech urging passage of the measure that he helped write.

After recounting his parents’ difficult lives in Cuba and their struggles after immigrating to the United States, Rubio said: “For over 200 years now, they (immigrants) have come; in search of liberty and freedom, for sure. But often simply looking for jobs to feed their kids and the chance of a better life.”

At the end of the Senate debate, a packed gallery of supporters, who have labored decades for such a moment, witnessed the vote that came after three weeks of sometimes heated discussion. More than 100 children of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents hugged each other when the bill passed.

President Barack Obama, praising the bill, said it contained tough border security requirements and “earned citizenship” for about 11 million undocumented residents.

“Today, the Senate did its job. It’s now up to the House to do the same,” Obama said in a statement.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Senate bill “has the potential to improve the lives of millions of Mexicans living in the United States today.”

The Senate vote came after several unsuccessful attempts in the past decade or so to overhaul a U.S. immigration law enacted in 1986. The goal has been to improve an outdated visa system and help U.S. firms get easier access to foreign labor ranging from farm and construction workers to high-skilled employees.

Business and labor groups reached a deal on the new visa system, which is part of the Senate bill. But controversy raged over how much new border security was needed and how long the 11 million should wait before becoming legal residents and then citizens.

 

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CBS PHILLY

Local Advocates Watch Cautiously As Immigration Reform Heads To The US House

June 28, 2013 6:52 AM
SEIU members rally for immigration reform at LOVE Park (Credit: Molly Daly)

SEIU members rally for immigration reform at LOVE Park (Credit: Molly Daly)

Reporting Cherri Gregg

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The immigration reform bill sailed through the United States Senate yesterday, offering hope of citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants across the country (see related story). Local advocates are a little nervous as the bill gears up to move into the House.

“It’s a little bit of a bitter sweet pill I think right now,” says Erika Almiron, executive director of Juntos. She says the community is happy the bill is moving forward, but afraid that if it ever passes the United States House it won’t resemble the Gang of 8 proposal originally lauded by immigration reform advocates.

“We see these concessions happening around this bill, so it just raises our concern as we move into the House,” she says.

Concessions like adding tens of billions of dollars for stepped up border security and adding more red tape to the path to citizenship. Natasha Kelemen of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition says the only recourse is to continue to push lawmakers.

 

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Amazing isn’t  it  that  Obama’s Lawyers openly  admitted his Birth Certificate was a fake. That  he  knows he is not a  natural born citizen and yet  here  we are . He was elected for a second term by  people  who obviously could care less  what the requirements for the  presidency are.  He is  protected  at  every  turn my main stream media who still have the  audacity  to  claim conspiracy  theories  as they  snidely   remark “Birthers”.

We  have  gone way   beyond holding government  accountable for the lies and corruption.  The  American people are  complicit. Some due to  their blind and ignorant views that  because this president  is African American anything  is acceptable.  And anyone who opposes him must  be racist, right  ???

Yet  those  who have placed him in the  very  position  he illegitimately  holds claim to be  progressive and tolerant   and  let’s not  forget  so much  more educated  than those who understood   he  was  not  eligible.  Spare  me the  limbic  brain,  dumb redneck  Bull Sh*t. Your need to  be right, your  need  to  have a   Black man  in the  White house  has changed  the course  of this country  forever.   And  contrary  to your hate mongering and  disaffecting   rhetoric the reasons he is and  always  has  been  ineligible has nothing to do with the color of his skin.  Although  your  hate filled  rhetoric has done more  to augment racial tension and  alienation  from discourse in this Nation than  either  the KKK or the Neo Nazis could have  dreamed of.

Those of you  too afraid to stand up and say   he   was ineligible for fear   of being  viewed  as a  racist are  just  as  guilty.  Morality without the   fortitude to  enforce it  or protect it is akin to being  devoid of the same!!

Still  we  hear the   cries of “Birthers”   and ” Racist”  from the media and even from members of the White house itself a week ago Carney   insinuating   that  Sebelius’  fund raising  scheme being questioned  at  the   IRS  scandal press  conference was as  illegitimate  as  the Birther claims  about  the  birth certificate!

Really  ?

And  then  we  have this………..

Bill Maher took to his blog to slam Republicans for their racist hypocrisy concerning Ted Cruz and President Obama’s birth certificates.

Bill Maher took to his blog to slam Republicans for their racist hypocrisy concerning Ted Cruz and President Obama’s birth certificates.

Bill Maher wrote on his blog that,

The Constitution says, “No Person except a natural born Citizen… shall be eligible to the Office of President.” Cruz says he’s eligible to run because his mom was a U.S. citizen, and therefore he’s a U.S. citizen who didn’t need to be naturalized. Great, but then what the hell was that whole Obama “birther” thing about?

Over half of Republican primary voters thought President Obama was illegitimate because they claimed he wasn’t born here. They didn’t give a damn that his mother was. If they don’t have a problem with Cruz running, it’s just an admission that they only care when it involves one of the black countries.

Can you imagine if it’d turned out President Obama wasn’t born in America and had lived the first four years of his life in Kenya? They’d be drawing up the articles of impeachment. Donald Trump would take a victory lap. Then again, he took a victory lap when it turned out he was wrong, which everyone already knew, so maybe he’s just a douche.

But here’s the thing: Ted Cruz is perfectly American enough to be president. His mom was an American citizen. His father became an American citizen. And every memory Ted probably has is from the years he spent in America. Except for when he was at Harvard, which he considers the Soviet Union.

Maher also pointed out that Republicans favor Ted Cruz over Marco Rubio, because Cruz is a openly hostile to other Latinos. The Republican base is in favor of Latino leaders, as long as they embrace the party’s hostility towards their own people.

I mean  Freakkin Really??

So  now since Obama has  been  a  usurper in  Chief it’s  ok  for  Cruz to be one as well if  he  gets   elected?  Is this how the  Constitution   will be  respected  and protected?

What   in the  hell is  wrong with people?  Have  they  lost  their ability  to think clearly?  Or  is critical thinking reserved for only those who went  to  school and learned it?

Is it  the fluoride in the  water ?

The  aspartame in the  soda?

The  chemtrails being sprayed with our  tax  dollars?

  I mean come   on people enlighten me here. Because  honestly there  are many   of you  out  there  moaning about the condition  of  this Nation  and   have  been  part  of the problem from day  one!!!

It  is not ok as long as your  Party  does it!

If  it  is wrong for the  Democrats  then it is wrong for the  Republicans!

Is  that  too hard to understand?

~Desert Rose~

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Obama’s Lawyers Officially Admit Birth Certificate is Fake

imagesCAZ3OYIFSusanne Posel
Occupy Corporatism
April 19, 2012

Lawyers for the Obama Administration announced that Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate was a forgery. Under penalty of perjury, the lawyers said they were forced to say that the birth certificate was valid.

A lawyer representing the Obama administration say the birth certificate was knowingly purveyed to fool the American public into believing he was legitimately able to be President.

However, they purport that Obama knows he is not a natural born citizen.

Obama stated at a White House briefing that the birth certificate subject is “irrelevant”. He must think that by dismissing it that he can make it go away.

This invalidates the Obama Presidency and makes him ineligible to be President in 2012.

Pen Johannson, Editor of the Daily Pen, stated in his editorial that this controversy should set off a firestorm of constitutional questions and a legislative controversy of epic proportions.

In New Jersey, a case about Obama’s eligibility has influenced activist to question the President’s legal right to be Commander and Chief.

Alexandra M. Hill, representative defense attorney for Obama made comments that brought the Tea Party members to question the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate.

Nick Purpura of Wall Township, NJ, and Ted Moran of Toms River, NJ, filed their objection with the New Jersey Board of Elections. Purpura and Moran objected to Obama appearing on the June 5 Democratic Primary ballot on two grounds:

• No one knows exactly who Barack H. Obama is, because he has had three different names in life. Furthermore, he has never furnished a true copy of his birth certificate to the Secretary of State. So no one can be sure that Obama was born in the United States.
• Obama’s father was a British colonial subject. He not only was not a naturalized citizen on the alleged date of Obama’s birth, but indeed never sought naturalization. Therefore Obama could never be a natural-born citizen no matter where he was born.

Attorney for the plaintiff, Mario Apuzzo asserts that the birth certificate is the proof of Obama’s citizenship that allows him to be on the ballot in New Jersey.

On April 10, 2012, these lawyers admitted the forgery.

Obama is asserting that the document is a fake and should not be allowed into evidence. And the judge in this case agrees.

By this admission, Barack Obama can be charged with High Crimes and Misdemeanors by lying to the American public about his legitimacy as President. Obama is guilty to criminal activity and blatantly ineligible for Presidency and the electoral process this year.

Without the birth certificate, Obama cannot prove he is a natural born citizen. Where before this development, the Obama administration adamantly asserted that the birth certificate was legitimate; they knowing lied and therefore should be arrested and charged with their illegal actions against the American people.

Permission = Freedom?

Eric Blair

Activist Post

“The secret in propaganda is that when you demonize, you dehumanize,” says James Forsher, a film historian. “When you dehumanize, it allows you to kill your enemy and no longer feel guilty about it.”

Apparently illegal immigrants have been sufficiently dehumanized to force them into biometric tracking. There’s no way the government would use biometrics to track the superior law-abiding natives, right?  More on this later.

Illegal immigration is a hot-button issue that genuinely affects many communities and the motivation to do something about it is understandable.  However, anti-immigration supporters may be playing right into Big Brother’s hands by being tricked into supporting the hi-tech enslavement of themselves.

Some have referred to the sweeping immigration reform bill in Congress as a “Trojan Horse for Biometrics.”  These systems are a clear indication that illegal immigration is being used to put the final touches on the full-spectrum surveillance grid in America.

And, shockingly, politicians are making the immigration reform bill more stringent instead of less, apparently fueled by anti-immigration zealots.

According to NBC News, the senate hopes to finalize a bill for a vote by the end of the week. The Senate Judiciary Committee has been debating many biometric identification mandates and have now approved a more stringent biometric “test system” for U.S. airports.
Carrie Dann of NBC News writes:

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a Republican considered to be a swing vote on the 18 member committee. That amendment, a less stringent version of a biometric proposal that failed last week, would require the Department of Homeland Security to establish a fingerprinting system at the 10 U.S. airports with the highest international traffic within two years. After six years, that system would have to be in place at the nation’s 30 biggest airports.

One of the key authors of the legislation, Marco Rubio (R-FL), said “The amendment adopted today is a good start and I will continue to fight to make the tracking of entries and exits include biometrics.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called it “a start” as well.

 

Read Full Article Here

Senate passes internet sales tax bill amid opposition from conservatives

Bill to overturn 1992 court decision has support of Obama, Amazon and Walmart – but its future in the House is uncertain

An Amazon employee grabs boxes off the conveyor belt

A 1992 supreme court ruling that said a state could not force a retailer to collect sales tax unless the retailer had a physical presence in the state. Photo: Scott Sady/AP

The US Senate on Monday passed a bill aimed at ending tax-free shopping on the internet but the move looks set to face fierce opposition before it becomes law.

The Marketplace Fairness Act, which has cross-party supporter and the backing of powerful retailers, would give states the power to require retailers with sales over $1m to collect state and local sales taxes for online purchases.

The bill has the support of president Barack Obama the majority of senators including Republican John McCain but Marco Rubio, seen a potential Republican presidential hopeful, and Rand Paul both voted against the bill.

The bill passed the Senate by 70 votes to 24 but faces a second test in the House of Representatives where internet retailers and conservatives are already lobbying against the tax. House leaders have yet to schedule hearings or votes on their version of the measure.

The legislation would overturn a 1992 supreme court ruling that said a state could not force a retailer to collect sales tax unless the retailer had a physical presence in the state.

Read Full Article Here

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Senate passes Internet sales tax bill; House fate uncertain

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted 69-27 Monday to approve legislation that would allow states to force larger online retailers to collect sales taxes.

But the bill faces an uncertain future in the House as lawmakers, particularly Republicans, wrestle with whether the Marketplace Fairness Act amounts to a tax increase.

The Market Place Fairness Act would give states the authority to force larger retailers to collect sales taxes that residents already are obligated to pay. But with most consumers dodging those taxes for years, the result will be that people will pay more in taxes.

For influential activist Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, which asks lawmakers to sign a no-new-tax pledge, the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act is, in effect, a tax increase.

And his group, along with some other conservative activists, is pushing House members to reject it.

Quiz: How much do you know about Internet sales taxes?

But some Republicans have pushed back, saying the bill raises no new taxes and just helps level the playing field between online and traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers.

Two of the leading Senate supporters were Repubilcans — Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Lamar Alexander of Tennesssee. And the bill passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support.

Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) is the main House sponsor and is hopeful the chamber will pass the bill.

But House leaders have not committed to taking up the legislation, saying it would first go to the House Judiciary Committee.

Read Full Article  Here

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Grace Wyler and Brett LoGiurato | Mar. 6, 2013, 11:46 PM

Senator Rand Paul took over the Senate floor for nearly 13 hours Wednesday with an old-fashioned talk-till-you-drop filibuster, railing against the Obama administration’s drone policy and holding up a vote on John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA director.

“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul began at 11:47 a.m. Wednesday.

He didn’t end until 12:39 a.m. Thursday, when he closed his marathon speech to thunderous applause.

“I would go for another 12 hours to try to break Strom Thurmond’s record, but I’ve discovered that there are some limits to filibustering and I’m going to have to go take care of one of those in a few minutes here,” Paul quipped.

Although Paul’s filibuster was technically against Brennan’s nomination, his remarks focused primarily on civil liberties issues, offering a scathing critique of the Obama’s administration’s use of unmanned drones, and refusal to rule out military strikes against American citizens on U.S. soil. 

“When I asked the president, can you kill an American on American soil, it should have been an easy answer. It’s an easy question. It should have been a resounding an unequivocal, ‘No,'” Paul said. “The president’s response? He hasn’t killed anyone yet. We’re supposed to be comforted by that.”

Later, Paul warned about the ambiguity over who could be targeted by drones, suggesting that they could have been used against Vietnam War protesters in the 1960s.

“Are you going to just drop a hellfire missile on Jane Fonda?” Paul asked. “Are you going to drop a missile on Kent State?”

Over the course of the day, Paul’s filibuster became a hotspot for up-and-coming Republicans, with a parade of conservative Senators — including Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) – taking the floor to support Paul and relieve him of the podium.

“You’re standing here like a modern-day ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,'” Cruz told Paul admiringly as he began his first question of the day. “You must surely be making Jimmy Stewart smile.”

Ted Cruz Filibuster

CSPAN

In subsequent appearances, Cruz honored the Alamo, recited Shakespeare, and twice cheered up the fading Kentucky Senator with supportive tweets from the outside world (electronic devices are not allowed on the floor).

“You da man. That would be ‘d-a-m-a-n,'” Cruz said, reading off one of the tweets.

Not to be out done, Rubio made two trips to the Senate floor, advising Paul to “drink water” and quoting liberally from  rappers Wiz Khalifa and Jay-Z and “The Godfather.”

……

Attorney General Sends Brief And Snarky Letter To Rand Paul

……Hearing the letter for the first time on Fox News Thursday, Paul said that the answer satisfies his question.

“HOO-ray!” Paul said, adding that Holder capitulated “under duress.”

During his 13-hour filibuster Wednesday, Paul claimed he would block Brennan’s nomination until the White House answered his question about whether the U.S. could authorize a military strike against U.S. targets…….

AGLetter

Twitter
And here’s the first letter:

 

eric holder letter

Sen. Rand Paul

With bipartisan aid, Paul filibusters CIA pick Brennan

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Foreign Relations member Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. questions Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, during Kerry’s confirmation hearing before the committee to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

 

By Carrie Dann and Kasie Hunt, NBC News

Pledging to speak “until I can no longer speak,” Kentucky Republican Rand Paul on Wednesday launched a filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be the next CIA director, getting assists from a half dozen other lawmakers over the course of hours standing on the Senate floor.

The filibuster continued into its eighth hour after Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois objected to Paul’s request that the Senate take up a non-binding sense of the Senate resolution stating that the U.S. government cannot target “noncombatants” with drones on American soil.

Paul objects to what he calls the Obama administration’s lack of clarity over whether a suspected terrorist who is an American citizen can be targeted with a drone strike within U.S. borders.

Arguing that such a resolution would be premature, Durbin instead invited Paul to testify at an upcoming hearing on the issue of drones.

But that offer was not enough for Paul to halt his protest.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., engages in a discussion with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., over the use of lethal force on American citizens on U.S. soil and the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director on the Senate floor on Wednesday.

Hours into his filibuster, Paul acknowledged that Brennan will ultimately be confirmed, saying the lengthy delay is merely a “blip” in his nomination. But he and other participants emphasized that the debate is intended to shine a spotlight on the government’s balance of civil liberties with national security.

Paul spoke solo for over three hours before being joined on the floor by other lawmakers who stepped in to continue the filibuster.

Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Marco Rubio of Florida – as well as Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon — participated.

Over six hours after beginning the filibuster, a visibly tired Paul could be seen eating what appeared to be several pieces of candy in between sentences. At one point, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., set a thermos and an apple on his desk.

 

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Rand Paul’s Filibuster Is Picking Up Major Steam With Both Parties

Brett LoGiurato | Mar. 6, 2013, 4:03 PM

Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA Director has started to gain significant momentum this afternoon, as other prominent Republican Senators and conservative minds have praised Paul’s three-plus-hour long effort.

Around 3 p.m. this afternoon, Republican Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined Paul on the Senate floor to join in his filibuster. Shortly after, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) also began taking part.

Finally, to make the filibuster bipartisan, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon came to the floor to speak.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the GOP’s rising stars, tweeted support for Paul’s filibuster:

is asking a legit question of Holder.Why so hard for them to just give straight answer?Almost like they feel it is beneath them.

773 Retweets 215 favorites

Erick Erickson, the editor-in-chief of the conservative website RedState, urged Rubio to join the filibuster, along with Lee and Cruz. Erickson said it would “cement” the legacy of recently retired Sen. Jim DeMint, who was historically one of the Senate’s most frequent employers of the filibuster technique.

If Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio go give Rand Paul a filibuster assist, Jim DeMint’s legacy will be cemented as a force for change.

209 Retweets 44 favorites

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Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden Joins Rand Paul For Historic Bipartisan Filibuster Over Drone Strikes

by Andrew Kirell | 4:29 pm, March 6th, 2013 video

Sen. Rand Paul‘s (R-KY) filibuster of John Brennan‘s CIA nomination just became a bipartisan affair: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced he will join the effort to protest the Obama pick’s appointment by railing against executive overreach on targeted killings.

Several hours into his filibuster effort, Paul’s Republican colleagues in Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) joined him on the Senate floor. But it took nearly four hours for a Democrat to surprise everyone and make the filibuster a bipartisan one.

Shortly before 4:00 p.m. ET, Sen. Wyden announced, via Twitter, that he was heading to the floor to speak out against the president’s executive overreach on targeted killings and the lack of congressional oversight thereof:

Several minutes later, Wyden appeared on the floor and Paul handed off the mic to the liberal Oregon senator.

 

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