@SenRandPaul receives “assurances” on domestic drones in letter from Eric Holder

I love it:

Sen. Rand Paul declared victory Thursday after Attorney General Eric Holder assured him that the president cannot use a drone to kill a noncombatant American on U.S. soil — an assurance Paul had sought during his 13-hour filibuster the day before.

“Hooray!” Paul responded when the letter was read to him for the first time during an interview with Fox News. “For 13 hours yesterday, we asked him that question, so there is a result and a victory. Under duress and under public humiliation, the White House will respond and do the right thing.”

During his dramatic filibuster, which delayed a vote on CIA director nominee John Brennan, Paul had demanded the administration clarify the government’s authority to kill on U.S. soil. The filibuster ended past midnight early Thursday morning. The Senate voted, 63-34, to confirm Brennan later Thursday afternoon.

Shortly before the vote, Holder sent a terse letter to Paul that read: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”

In response, Paul said Thursday that “we’re proud to announce that the president is not going to kill unarmed Americans on American soil.” He later took to the floor to promote the attorney general’s response, as the Senate moved to confirm Brennan.

Good for Paul for standing his ground on this.  The only reason  he stopped his near-13 hour filibuster shortly before 1 a.m. ET was because he had to go to the bathroom.

I should note that just because he has “assurances” from the administration, it’s not set in stone, but at least now if it happens this administration and perhaps future ones will have a have a little less wiggle room when it comes to legal proceedings and Congressional investigations in the aftermath.

Meanwhile, if you imagined you couldn’t get any madder at the Duncetastic Duo of John McCain and Lindsey Graham, think again.  The way they talked down to Paul on the floor of the Senate today, suggesting his very serious concerns about Presidential power were “ridiculous” and an “abuse of the filibuster”,  should go down in the books as some of the most shameful moments in the history of the United States Senate.  Of course they, along with NC GOP Senator Richard Burr and several other “key” Republican Senators, were wined and dined by Obama last night in grand fashion and didn’t lift one finger or say one word in support of Paul’s dramatic floor speech. Senator Paul, on the other hand, dined on a … candy bar …  during his filibuster.

I think I’ve finally figured out what “establishment Republican” means and Graham, McCain, and Burr pretty much fit the bill. Disgraceful.

Good news! First Lady, State Dept. to honor “woman of courage” who admires Hitler – Updated

**Posted by Phineas

My God, don’t these supposed geniuses know how to use Google?

Tomorrow, Friday, Secretary of State Kerry and Michelle Obama will pay tribute at the State Department to nine women, awarding them the “International Women of Courage Award” for standing up to repressive governments on behalf of women’s rights. Nice, right? On its own, it’s a good thing to do; the US should stand for political liberty worldwide. And we shouldn’t be surprised to find Arab Islamic women among the recipients, given the crappy treatment of women in societies based on Islam’s totalitarian, misogynistic sharia law.

But one of the recipients, Samira Ibrahim, is… er… “problematic.” Samuel Tadros at The Weekly Standard explains:

On Twitter, Ibrahim is quite blunt regarding her views. On July 18 of last year, after five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed a suicide bombing attack, Ibrahim jubilantly tweeted: “An explosion on a bus carrying Israelis in Burgas airport in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. Today is a very sweet day with a lot of very sweet news.”

Ibrahim frequently uses Twitter to air her anti-Semitic views. Last August 4, commenting on demonstrations in Saudi Arabia, she described the ruling Al Saud family as “dirtier than the Jews.” Seventeen days later she tweeted in reference to Adolf Hitler: “I have discovered with the passage of days, that no act contrary to morality, no crime against society, takes place, except with the Jews having a hand in it. Hitler.”

Ibrahim holds other repellent views as well. As a mob was attacking the United States embassy in Cairo on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, pulling down the American flag and raising the flag of Al Qaeda, Ibrahim wrote on twitter: “Today is the anniversary of 9/11. May every year come with America burning.” Possibly fearing the consequences of her tweet, she deleted it a couple of hours later, but not before a screen shot was saved by an Egyptian activist.

Because nothing says “America” like cheering on someone who hates Jews and approvingly quotes the guy who tried to wipe them out. Oh, and who hates our guts, too.

And, since anti-Semitism is rife in the Arab-Islamic world, this award is bound to be seen by many as our winking approval of Ms. Ibrahim’s views toward Jews.

Our administration’s “smart diplomacy” in action. smiley d'oh!

RELATED: More from Roger Kimball and Mark Steyn.

UPDATE: State, wiping a dozen eggs off its face, is “postponing” Ibrahim’s award. (h/t Patrick Poole)

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Federal Reserve: Fears over ObamaCare are causing employers to lay off workers

Duh:

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday released an edition of its so-called “beige book,” that said the 2010 healthcare law is being cited as a reason for layoffs and a slowdown in hiring.

“Employers in several Districts cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff,” said the March 6 beige book, which examines economic conditions across various Federal Reserve districts across the country.

That line was found in a section of the Fed’s report on employment, wages and prices. That same section also said the Atlanta district noted that healthcare regulations are so burdensome there is a shortage of compliance specialists.

“Atlanta noted a lack of compliance specialists due to heavier regulations in the healthcare industry,” it said.

In a later section focusing on the Philadelphia district, the beige book said that “Health insurance costs are mixed, ranging from very high increases to no change.” The Cleveland district reported that “rising health insurance premiums remain a challenge” in the manufacturing industry, and that many in the energy sector cited “rising health insurance premiums as a concern.”

They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, America would see more layoffs, an unemployment rate that would not improve, and a complete and total disregard for the concerns and plight of the working man by the administration in charge. And they were right.

Via Memeorandum