He says he’ll do “everything humanly possible” to try and stop the Patriot Act from being expanded or passed as-is in the US Senate. He’s also stated he’s willing to take to the Senate floor and filibuster the vote in a similar manner to his 2013 filibuster over the nomination of CIA Director John O. Brennan.

Report from the Washington Times:

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says he plans to do “everything humanly possible” to try to stop the Patriot Act, key provisions of which are due to expire at the end of the month, including Section 215, which the Obama and Bush administrations have used to justify the NSA’s phone snooping and bulk data collection programs.

“Whether or not I’m allowed to filibuster is another question,” Mr. Paul, a 2016 presidential candidate, said in an interview that aired Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day.”

He said he could demand 60 votes and not give consent to proceed — “that I will do, so I will do a formal filibuster.”

“Whether or not that means I can go to the floor — some of that depends on what happens, because … you have to get to the floor when the floor allows you to come, so whether that happens or not, I will filibuster the Patriot Act, and I’ll do everything I can to try to adhere to the courts — the courts have now said the bulk collection of records is illegal,” he said. “They should stop immediately.”

A federal appeals panel did recently rule that the bulk data collection is not legal under the Patriot Act. The GOP-led House passed a bill last week with broad bipartisan support that rewrote Section 215 and cancelled bulk data collection, but Senate Republicans like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are pushing for a broad extension of the act.

The 2013 filibuster garnered Paul national attention and, at that time, he was only a rumored 2016 candidate. Today, he’s an officially announced 2016 presidential candidate so this will garner major media attention if it comes to a day-long (or night-long) filibuster speech on the Senate floor. As I type this, Senators Cruz and Rubio are deciding how they can capture some of camera time, I’m sure.


Paul has started the filibuster as of 1:18pm ET today, Wednesday May 20, 2015. Here is live video from the Senate Floor:


  1. Neither of them dare have a stand on the issue, so Cruz will wear a tutu to the senate to get attention. And Rubio will probably say it’s interesting that he’s the “junior senator” from Florida, as well as a “freshman senator,” since he still looks like he’s in middle school.

    Bravo Rand.

  2. To filibuster is intrinsically undemocratic. It eliminates the old tradition of reasoned debate. Filibuster’s delaying tactics seriously interfers with the Senate’s business. On a practical, business level, Senator Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster was for naught. John Brennan became head of the CIA.

    I agree with Rand Paul that the Patriotic Act is offensive in many, many ways but just talking randomly accomplishes only tired feet, hoarse vocal chords and a lot of tweets. I would like the Patriot Act to be modified in countless aspects so why doesn’t Rand Paul introduce a Senate bill to strip the Patriot Act of it’s many un-American amendments.

    • Tess: I totally disagree. The filibuster is a fine check-and-balance, to protect the minority from being steamrolled on every issue. The problem is that it is seldom done properly. It should be used ONLY in the most unusual circumstance–mainly when the public needs to be told to pressure their senator to stop a bill–as in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

      But today, “shucks, we’ll filibuster” is all it takes to kill a bill. That’s not right. A senator should HAVE to stand on the floor for 13 hours, or more, and the public should hear why. Then it would only happen when someone feels strongly about something–and the public wouldn’t stand for it very many times.

      I applaud Rand for doing it the right way, and for the right reason.

    • Tess Liehard — what an idiotic post. But, on par with your noxious liberal dead dogma with which you constantly pollute this forum.

    • Tess Liehard says: “To filibuster is intrinsically undemocratic”.

      Unlike in an unqualified Democracy — The Many DICTATING to the FEW what to do — we, the, USA, are a Republic.

      In a Republic: One individual can do the right thing to stop the wrongs of the Many! (Read Plato’s Republic (a basis for our Constitution) to learn why this is paramount to freedom).

      What an uneducated liberal shill you must be — to make such an idiotic statement.

      • Surfisher…just for you…

        Latin: Res publica translates to the word Republic
        meaning “public matters” or the “State.”

        Plus the reality is that no one gives a Rat’s A– about Socrates or Plato and his two brothers once they read the Republic and realize it is simply a Socratic dialogue about justice without mentioning the laws or courts of law… much ado about nothing. Stop trying to fool people with a non-existent intellect.

        • Technically, Tess is right. She says the filibuster is “undemocratic.”

          “Undemocratic” is the antonym of “democratic,” and “democratic” is the adjective referring to “democracy,” and “democracy” is defined as “majority rule,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary.

          So it is true that the filibuster is “undemocratic.” But Surfisher is right that we are a “qualified” democracy, so it is right to have processes that keep the majority from crushing the minority.

          But he’s not right about the meaning of a “republic,” which just means that the people elect representatives who rule, rather than have the people decide issues directly, as in an “unqualified” democracy.

          Regardless, Rand did the filibuster in the right way for the right reason. The people should demand that a filibuster may only occur if someone is actually speaking on the floor.

        • Tess Liehard says: “…no one gives a Rat’s A– about Socrates or Plato’s *Republic*….”

          Considering that Plato’s Republic is one of the cornerstones that gave birth to our type of governing (and thus the name): a Republic — Only an asinine, uneducated, brainwashed, politically motivated democrat shill that disregards facts in order to fit their liberal dead dogma, can state that “no-one gives a Rat’s Ass about it”.

          Tess Liehard: Your continuous lack of true knowledge, and constant display of Googeling only what fits your vile propaganda — shows to all that can reason here, that you are nothing but a pernicious uber-liberal shill… and nothing else.

          p.s. Goethe Kid: Stop deleting my posts when I reply in kind to the insults Tess Liehard levies at me (“[Surfisher] Stop trying to fool people with a non-existent intellect” by Tess) — since that is not the function of a “moderator”, but akin to a dictator/censor.

          If you do this again, I’ll email Nate, to see if your status as “moderator” is beyond your capacity of being IMPARTIAL…!

          • Since a few words of your comment were not insult, I allowed it–mainly because I thought Tess had erred in downplaying Socrates, and deserved a response, even as crude as yours.

            Nate is fully aware of what goes on here, and in this instance, he fully agrees that if your post is nothing but insult, it will be deleted from now on.

            • What Goethe said.

              Everyone is welcome to discuss here, but not to hurl mindless insults as a response to a perspective you disagree with.

            • Socrates NEVER wrote anything…not a note… not a letter—not a book. For what the world thinks it knows
              about Socrates we are obliged to rely on others.

              A few references of Aristotle give us knowledge of what he said Socrates might have taught. Plato’s portrayal of Socrates is idealistic, or one could reference Xenophon’s more practical view of Socrates’ teaching but it is all conjecture, second hand information.

              Plato writes in Phaedo that the Athenian Law court sentenced Socrates to death for godlessness and the seduction of youth. Plato wrote in dialog fashion so experts find it difficult to determine if it was actually quoting Socrates or just Plato’s exposition of his own philosophy. (Reference: Vatican who hold most of the
              original writings).

              After the Romans dominated the world, Hellenistic thought surfaced only occasionally in rabbinical writings. Basically forgotten until Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau started their writings.

              I was simply tired of reading Socrates wrote…Socrates
              said, etc. when it was erroneous.

            • Well, he probably wrote SOMETHING–like love notes to some young boy, but we don’t have copies. . . .

  3. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he favors a full reauthorization of the measures of the Patriot Act, so Rand Paul who sells a “NSA Spy Cam Blocker” in his campaign store, may not have the full support of his party. Even Senator Ron Wyden (D) said he
    would filibuster a short-term extension of the current provisions so Rand may have company on the floor. Another filibuster would give Rand Paul and Ron Wyden a lot of visibility in the public’s eye. The thing that is nothing short of ridiculous is that a Filibuster speaker does not have to discuss the pending bill. The senator can talk on any subject. They can read a book aloud, take irrevelant questions, or as Senators Paul and Cruz, implement the technique of yielding the floor to a trusted colleague, thus allowing bathroom or hamburger breaks. A game for little boys.

    There must be similar reasons why filibusters are not allowed in the House of Representatives.

    I would like to see Rand Paul stand tall and say loud and clear what is un-American about the Patriot Act, why there is a burning need to dismantle the bad parts. Less talk and concrete actions (like introducing bills that strip certain powers from the Act) would win the presidency for Rand Paul.

    • I was not aware that a senator could take potty breaks. I thought he would have to be recognized again by the Speaker, and if the Speaker chose not to recognize him, he’d be done. If he can pass off to others, he could, conceivably, be on the floor till the end of his term.

      The Unites States sometimes does bad things, such as the internment of Japanese during WWII (“The Big One”), But after time of reflection, we tend to settle down and realize we did wrong.

      The Patriot Act is a misnamed wholesale surrender of rights to the Feds. Paul wants it gone. Period. He’ll try to scuttle what he can in the meantime.

      • I don’t think you can leave the Senate floor. If I recall, Paul would yield some time to someone else to speak maybe 10 or 15 mins so he could rest his voice and his legs. But then whoever would just yield the time back to Paul.

        If you leave the Senate floor for a potty break, your filibuster is over because you relinquish the floor.

        Paul did 13 hours but stated he would consider a catheter next time to go longer, no joke.


            • Too bad Rand Paul and his cohorts did not review filibuster history and learn from the secret collaboration between Barry Goldwater and Strom Thurmond on how to work the bathroom/food system during a filibuster. Thurmond spoke in a 24-hour-and-18-minute
              filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. As planned, Goldwater asked that Thurmond temporarily yield the floor to him for an insertion in the Congressional Record.
              This meant a few minutes break which gave Strom Thurmond the needed human
              relief act and a bit of food. As Vanity Fair’s Juli Weiner so aptly phrased it: “In the end, Rand Paul did not hate U.S.-citizen-targeted drone strikes as much as Strom Thurmond hated the idea of black people voting.”)

    • Rand Paul is standing for ALL our Constitutional Freedoms that are currently LOST already, and the WHAT’S LEFT that are under CONSTANT attack by constitutionally illegal and blatantly criminal actions that the Scumbags in Office are all guilty of perpetrating!

      He is standing up even to Mitch McConnell — the scumbag Neocon — who can nix his presidential hopes.

      Now, that’s a TRUE PATRIOT !!!

  4. I’ll admit– before, I held a biased opinion about Rand Paul for a while. But now, I laud him and his efforts. I now see positive attributes about Rand Paul that are far more beneficial than his Republican counterparts, like Cruz and Rubio. I wish the best for Paul in the Primaries next year.

  5. Nate — suggest you do a better research than I have the time to do, titled:

    “Mitch McConnell — can a scurvy Neocon Old Dog learn New Tricks?”

    Old Guard McConnell was on the ropes against his Tea Party opponent — until Mitch McConnell hired the best Politico hatchets in the Biz to destroy with lies his honorable opponent.

    Once Mitch McConnell was against the Dem for the election — Rand Paul rallied for Mitch. And once Mitch won, he said to his constituents: “I hear you, you want me to be more conservative”.

    Mitch was previously against Rand Paul — but after he (Mitch) squeaked in with Rand’s help, he stated he’ll support Rand for the Presidency.

    Mitch several times categorized Tea Party Reps as “punks” that know nothing about politics, so must be ELIMINATED and the Tea Party destroyed.

    Now that Rand ran his successful Filibuster against the Patriot Act (for which Mitch was totally pro) — it seems that Mitch allowed it to happen.

    The question is has this Old Dog — Mitch McConnell — become so versatile in his manuevers to remain the #2 Top Dog in USA (as the Senate Leader) that he’ll learn new tricks to stay this way?

    Whether it enables a Tea Party candidate to win, or if the wind changes for another Neocon like him, or even kiss Hillary’s boots?

  6. Top ten Rand quotes from the filibuster:

    1) “I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go
    2) “The president began this program by executive order. He should immediately end it by executive order.”
    3) “We have to decide whether our fear is going to get the better of us.”
    4) “I think we’ve made the [collection] haystack so big, no one’s ever getting through the haystack to find the needle.”
    5) “Nobody ever was fired for 9/11.”
    6) “Who gets to decide who’s an enemy combatant and who’s an American citizen?”
    7) “If you are not concerned that democracy could produce bad people, I don’t think you’re really thinking this through too much.”
    8) “You don’t know who the next group is that’s unpopular. The Bill of Rights isn’t for the prom queen.”
    9) “But people voted [for the Patriot Act] because they were fearful and people said there could be another attack and Americans will blame me if I don’t vote on this.”
    10) “Any time someone tries to tell you that metadata is ‘meaningless — realize we kill people based on metadata.”

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