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Rand Paul droned on for almost 13 hours yesterday, creating great political theater and making heads explode – on both the left and the right! By criticizing the Obama administration’s drone policy under the guise of a filibuster of the Brennan confirmation to head the CIA, Paul angered the Republicans who love the drones as well as the liberals who think the Democrats should have been the ones to protest the policies.
I’ll admit that I didn’t watch much of it, as Rand Paul has a unique way of making me sick. So, this morning, I was joined on the show my Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel.net) who live tweeted most of the action.
In hour two, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee‘s Adam Green stopped by to talk about the conference call they held yesterday with Congressmen Alan Grayson and Mark Takano, economist Dean Baker, and NOW President Terry O’Neill regarding the Grayson/Takano letter to President Obama:
We join millions of Americans in applauding your Inaugural Address declaration that “we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.”
Democrats have built the most popular government programs in American history – including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — by working with Republicans whenever possible and by defeating Republican opposition whenever necessary. The torch has been passed to today’s elected officials, and we must carry it forward boldly.
Voters across the political spectrum oppose cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits, and we must do whatever it takes to protect these vital benefits from cuts.
That’s why we write to let you know that we will vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits — including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.
We firmly believe that the best way to reduce our deficit and make our economy grow is to create jobs, and we look forward to a returned focus on this core issue.
We also know that there are common-sense reforms that would reduce health-care costs and save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars without cutting benefits. If Republicans oppose these reforms, and insist on benefits cuts, that proves they are not concerned about the deficit – but instead are trying to tear the social safety net and cause pain for our constituents who can least absorb it.
Finally, Americans agree that there is more that must be done to require the rich and giant corporations to pay their fair share. Indeed, it is their patriotic duty to do so.
As you negotiate with Republicans, you deserve to know that millions of Americans and the below signed Members of Congress stand ready to fight for the principles listed above.
And finally, Maysoon Zayid, who has been my regular Thursday morning sparring partner for the past few months, this morning announced it would be her last regular appearance. She’ll still stop by from time to time, but will focus on writing and other pursuits moving forward. Be sure to check her newly redesigned website – Maysoon.com – when it launches tomorrow to find out when she’ll take her show near you.