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Drones, filibusters and the soda jerk

March 17, 2013
By WES BURNS - Copy Editor (wburns@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

I found myself in the unlikely position of supporting Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) last week.

Normally, I am no fan of Sen. Paul. He's often prone to spouting something about eliminating the Department of Education or saying that just because the Supreme Court says something is constitutional does not make it constitutional.

Sen. Paul, go ask a guy named William Marbury about the constitutionality of Supreme Court decisions. It might be a bit tricky, he's been dead for about 180 years, but I'm sure he still has a lot to say on the matter ... most of it swearing, I'd imagine.

So how did I find myself cheering on the right honorable gentleman from the Bluegrass State? Because last week Sen. Paul took the strange and bewildering stance that maybe, just maybe, the President of the United States shouldn't be allowed to kill American citizens, on American soil, without some kind of judicial review.

Weird, right?

Sen. Paul decided to filibuster the appointment of John Brennan, now director of the CIA, for his support of the flying robot death army. And not one of those passive aggressive "procedural filibusters" where some unseen Senator blocks a vote, but can't be bothered to show their face or talk for 13 hours straight without sitting down.

I respect Sen. Paul for what he did, I also happen to agree with his bewilderingly outsider view that private, secret flying kill bots operating in the United States are a bad thing.

Perhaps what I appreciate most of Sen. Paul's long running filibuster is that he actually showed his face to declare something he feels strongly about.

A politician putting his name on the line to talk about the important issues of the day is more refreshing than the cool side of the pillow. And actually talk, not just hid behind a screen of misleading ads, vitriolic rhetoric, and heavy handed imagery.

Obviously, I'm talking about Michael Bloomberg.

For those of you that don't know Michael Bloomberg is the current billionaire mayor/Czar of New York City, owns his own financial news organization, and is the only man/turtle hybrid not to receive martial arts training.

Bloomberg, apparently having solved all problems in New York City (Never mind the street crime, come see "Wicked!") has decided that the rest of the United States should be so lucky as to have our local elections graced by the same great political mind that thinks giant sodas are tantamount to an ebola outbreak.

Actually, that was Mr. Bloomberg's defense when a judge shot down his Nero-esque ban on sodas over 16 ounces this week. He said he had the right to impose a ban through the New York City Board of Health because they have broad powers to fight disease.

You know, the disease of refreshment.

Normally, this would not bother me. I have some beloved Iowa ex-patriots living in New York City but beyond that I don't really care about the scatter brained ramblings of whatever mini-despot is running the city.

But then Bloomberg went and got himself a Super PAC.

With its own creepy, nonspecific name (Independence USA) and unlimited cash Mr. Bloomberg has decided to share/spread his wisdom/egomania throughout the greater United States, and our neighbors in Illinois just got the first cash infusion/dump.

Mr. Bloomberg decided that he didn't like former Rep. Debbie Halverson because she thought her state's gun laws should be different from New York City's laws, on the off chance that rural/suburban Illinois had slightly different needs than New York.

Mr. Bloomberg decided to do the American thing and spend $400,000 a week in TV ads against a candidate that hadn't raised enough money to buy a single TV spot. Eventually Cook County Administrator Robin Kelly won, based mostly on the fact that Robin Kelly agreed with pretty much anything Bloomberg's money wanted her to do.

So why do I care if some blue blood from New York City thinks he can influence an election with his rote liberal interpretation of gun control laws and massive pile of cash?

Because this is Iowa and we have a big Senate election coming up. We've already been hit by the likes of Karl Rove and his Conservative Victory Project telling our state's Republicans who to vote for, and that's just in the primary.

I'm sure Mr. Bloomberg will see his meddling in our state's election as some sort of favor to those of us not lucky enough to live under the rule of a man that splits his time between telling kids to turn down their headphones (really) and having the CIA join up with the NYPD to illegally track where every Muslim person in New York lives, works, eats, drinks and prays (also really).

Mr. Bloomberg, you're more than welcome to try and spend your way into Iowa politics, but first ask Karl Rove how easy it is. If you want to sway people's opinions (I can't believe I'm going to say this) maybe you should listen to Sen. Rand Paul, and let people see the man that is making the argument. I'd rather see you than your money show up in Iowa if you get involved in the Senate race; don't worry, we'll come to your rally. Look for me in the front row, I'll be the one drinking the Big Gulp.

 
 

 

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