back to article Rand Paul stages Senate filibuster against Patriot Act

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is currently four hours into a filibuster on the Senate floor over plans to renew sections of the Patriot Act that allow mass surveillance of American citizens. Exclusive video that answers the question: why a filibuster? https://t.co/4HxwQn0IEw — Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 20, 2015 "There comes …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Every time I hear that man's name...

    ...I think "Ru Paul" & wonder what she's up to next.

    I'll get my coat. *G*

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Every time I hear that man's name...

      Every time I hear about him, I think of Pat Paulsen for some reason.

  2. Shannon Jacobs
    Holmes

    My theory on supporters...

    This is such a gawdawful law that I only have one theory to explain why anyone would support it. They have already been contacted by the NSA and told about their personal dirt. No, I can't prove that they are being blackmailed, but I can say that NO one is perfect, and the NSA is certainly hoovering up plenty of data that has to contain some dirt.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My theory on supporters...

      "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." - Cardinal Richelieu

    2. Velv Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: My theory on supporters...

      "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king"

      Much as I can understand your cynicism, it's much simpler. The elected representatives will have very limited time to conduct their own research across every topic under discussion, and contact with a limited set of "advisors" on each subject. It's very easy for those advisors to spin the agenda in their favour, increasing the perception of threats and hence the perceived need for surveillance.

      It's a bit like religion. When people can't read they rely on the preacher to tell them what the book says. Once they can read, it's much easier to question the content and challenge the preachers interpretation. Power is everything, so keeping the proletariat uneducated is one way to retain power.

  3. PoliTecs

    Phony Bastard!

    He filibuster's today, tomorrow he will be for the NSA. He's just another party hack for a party of Jekyll and Hyde's.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Phony Bastard!

      That's as maybe, and IMHO he is a monumental tit, but in this instance he's doing the right thing for whatever reason and deserves support.

      A libertarian merkin who has been exposed to a dictionary, a rare thing indeed.

      1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: Phony Bastard!

        " ... in concluding his speech fifteen minutes before midnight ... "

        He wasn't really trying, was he?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do the Senators and Congressmen who support the Patriot Act not realise that as elected representatives, they are already more likely to be "persons of interest" to the TLA services than the average man in the street?

    I am quite sure the various agencies do all they can to find anything they can use in someone's past to exert political pressure in the future.

  5. Joseph Slabaugh

    "Business News

    Ron Paul stages Senate filibuster against Patriot Act"

    Funny, you think the son is the same as the father.

  6. Stuart Moore
    Stop

    Video autoplayed no my phone. Stop it! The rest of my train didn't need to hear that

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Trollface

      Not on mine. Time for a new phone?

      Does it auto download all attachments and run them for all any any dodgy emails too, just to be helpful?

  7. codejunky Silver badge

    Well

    I say good on him. Good luck Rand Paul. I will be interested to see how he conducts himself in the running for president. From what little I know of him he seems a good representative for the republicans. Hopefully there will be some good choices for democrat too.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Well

      his whitehouse bid was a train-wreck from day one. On several counts, I strongly suspect that the angry white men will pick someone else to get their ass handed to them by Hillary.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not exaclty Stackhouse

    but in a good cause ?

    Was going to ask why is it called a filibuster, but Wikipedia informs me that the word is linked to vrijbuiter, "pirate", so no doubt the RIAA will be trying to stop him

    1. Truffle

      Re: not exaclty Stackhouse

      Well if you're going to use one West Wing reference, you might as well get the full bag and remember to say that "what they meant was 'Buccaneer'.

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: not exaclty Stackhouse

        hehehe

        or 'the rules of plagiarism'

  9. STGM

    Did he actually filibuster it?

    I'm not knowledgeable enough about American politics to fully understand what he did if he didn't make it to midnight. Was it just to raise awareness of the Patriot Act?

    Am I grammararially correct with my title?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Did he actually filibuster it?

      It did seem rather odd that he stopped just 15minutes short after speaking for over 10hrs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Did he actually filibuster it?

        Perhaps he wants it to pass so he can lead the effort to repeal it. Repeals always look better.

      2. netminder

        Re: Did he actually filibuster it?

        It was all an act to fool the rubes. He did the most he could do without actually affecting the outcome so he looks good while not actually accomplishing anything useful. It makes people who do not understand the process believe he is fighting for them without him actually doing anything useful to alter the bill.

        I assume this comment will get down voted to oblivion by those same people.

      3. Peter Simpson 1
        Happy

        Re: Did he actually filibuster it?

        He's no Fidel Castro, that's for sure!

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Did he actually filibuster it?

          Well played but I fear that in this crowd of young'uns, that reference is lost.... Have an upvote.

          1. STGM

            Re: Did he actually filibuster it?

            Thanks for the replies folks!

    2. Morrie Wyatt
      Big Brother

      Re: Did he actually filibuster it?

      In the context of Rand Paul's usage, it is a way of running down the clock.

      Those that hold the majority within the senate are allegedly in favour of the bill going through, so the only way to prevent it is to stop it from reaching the vote.

      The bill can't be voted upon while senate discussion is ongoing.

      As I understand it, the rules explicitly permit a speaker to have their entire point of view heard, no matter how long it takes.

      So as the parliamentary session is of limited duration, if Rand Paul is able to tie up all of the remaining available time, the senate will not get to put the bill to the vote during this session.

      With provisions within the Patriot Act about to expire, if the vote is not taken, the expiry will drop them from the act, requiring another run through the parliament to get them re-instated.

      Lather, rinse, repeat for long enough, and the Patriot Act can be de-fanged to some degree, with no further additions for an indefinite period.

      (All usual disclaimers apply. IANAL, don't play one on TV, not a politician etc.)

  10. theOtherJT

    Opposition Theatre?

    So, he managed 10 hours, but couldn't see out the last 15 minutes? That's... a bit suspicious to my mind. Smacks a little bit of "Hey, look I tried, it's not my fault it didn't work" when there was actually no intention for it to change anything.

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Re: Opposition Theatre?

      I... dunno. Perhaps the assembly managed to keep him talking? Talking for more than 10 hrs is an athletic challenge, even for a well-trained pro. Ask teachers! If he had not enough support from fellow opponent to give him rest from time to time he may not be able to speak much for the next couple days!

      1. theOtherJT

        Re: Opposition Theatre?

        Yeah, I know it's going to be hard but... 15 minutes? It's not like he wouldn't have been keeping time. It's not like the people supporting him wouldn't have been keeping time. Surely once you're down to half an hour to go and look like you're flagging someone couldn't have stepped up with a 27 part question that took the next 29 and a half minutes to ask just to push it over the line.

  11. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Encouragement?

    Given that the Merkins are still happy to say that it's okay to spy on non-merkins, could we encourage them to mend their ways, at least in Europe, with some legislation that explicitly states that privacy rights etc do not apply to US citizens? So it would be perfectly legal to use a long lense to stream video from the US ambassador's bedroom, to bug the phones and hack the voicemail of visiting US actors and military etc.

    What's sauce for the goose...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Encouragement?

      Given that the Merkins are still happy to say that it's okay to spy on non-merkins, could we encourage them to mend their ways, at least in Europe, with some legislation that explicitly states that privacy rights etc do not apply to US citizens? So it would be perfectly legal to use a long lense to stream video from the US ambassador's bedroom, to bug the phones and hack the voicemail of visiting US actors and military etc.

      Certainly. And while we're at it, the rest of the world needs to see the passenger lists of anything that leaves the US. After all, them 9/11 terrorists were living inside the US so that only makes sense (and we now know how happy they are spying on anything that moves, so we need to keep an eye on them). This is why it is good that US embassies are usually quasi military compounds - easy to keep an eye on who goes in and out.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite impressive, though

    I actually had it playing for the first 2 hours, and I must say that he compiled enough material for a complete book "What's wrong with the USA PATRIOT Act and all the other state surveillance efforts" - even just the 2 hours were impressive, coherent and actually well worth listening to.

    The challenge is that this is a lone voice in the desert. Although all the things he mentions (including consequences) are actually true, I doubt it'll make one bit of difference in the face of a determined political attempt to push through the continuation of all those lovely bypasses of due diligence (et al).

    There is a simple reason behind this: money. Lots of money. If the many agencies are no longer allowed to intercept the crap out of every communication going, they won't need quite so much gear and people anymore, and that means less profit, not only for those who intercept, but also for those who use the "product" for gain. This means that even if the extension of that specific section fails, another way will be found. It ain't gonna stop.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So sad...

    ...that Paul like many others has not a clue about world security. Since he has not a snowball's chance in Hell of being elected POTUS, he is just grand standing for the gullible. The clueless will cling to his every word instead of educating themselves.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So sad...

      So sad that Paul like many others has not a clue about world security

      Ah, you mean, promoting the profoundly evil idea of actually following the law instead of breaking it and then either changing the law retrospectively or excusing the people who did it?

      I agree, demanding accountability will certainly affect world security. Just not in the way you seem to think.

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Quitters don't get to be president, Mr Paul.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Quitters don't get to be president, Mr Paul.

      Bush the Elder did, after leaving his second US Rep term early, left his UN ambassadorship after two years, his China position after a bit more than a year, his DCI job after a year. A year as chair of First International, a year as a professor, a couple years on the Council on Foreign Relations... Maybe he just had ADD.

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