I hope no one’s surprised that Rand Paul is now making a big push for one of the libertarian right’s cherished hopes: auditing the Federal Reserve.
And by “auditing,” they mean going on a fishing expedition to find something they can use to destroy it.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has threatened to block the nomination of Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve, CNBC reported Friday.
Citing a source close to Paul, CNBC wrote that the Kentucky Republican “is insisting on a vote on his Fed transparency bill, and has informed Senate leadership of his intentions.”
The bill in question, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011, would eliminate current audit restrictions placed on the Government Accountability Office and require the Fed to undergo a complete audit by a specific deadline. Similar legislation was championed in the House by Paul’s father, former GOP presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.
That’s right, it’s the Paul family obsession, back again in the Tea Party era. Libertarianism poisons everything.
The latest CNN poll on the government shutdown shows that the American public isn’t falling for the Republican Party’s attempt to reverse victim and offender: CNN Poll: Republicans Would Bear the Brunt of Shutdown Blame.
Washington (CNN) — If the federal government shuts down starting Tuesday because of a bitter partisan battle over the new health care law, more people say congressional Republicans rather than President Barack Obama would be responsible, according to a new national survey.
A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday morning, hours before funding for the government is scheduled to run out, also indicates that most Americans think Republicans in Congress are acting like spoiled children in this fiscal fight, with the public divided on whether the president is acting like a spoiled child or a responsible adult.
And six in 10 questioned in the survey say they want Congress to approve a budget agreement to avoid a government shutdown, and if it happens, most people say a shutdown would be a bad thing for the country.
So this happened today: GOP Leaders Warn Pro Sports Leagues Not to Promote Obamacare.
Senate Republican leaders have sent letters warning six professional sports leagues not to provide the Obama administration any assistance in promoting Obamacare.
The letters, dated June 27, warn the chiefs of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and NASCAR that partnering with the administration to publicize the benefits of the health care law would damage their reputations.
“Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of this bill, it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to its promotion,” wrote Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX).
The letters come days after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she’s spoken with the NFL about potentially partnering to let people know the benefits of the Affordable Care Act ahead of the implementation of its major components. (She said there was no deal yet.)
An update from TPM:
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told TPM the league has “no plans” to engage on Obamacare.
“We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about PPACA’s implementation,” McCarthy said in an email.
Asked about the suggestion that the administration may have been threatening or pressuring the NFL, McCarthy responded, “Not correct. [Q]uite simply, the NFL , NBA and others were contacted by the administration. We made no commitments nor discussed any substantive details with the administration.”
McConnell’s spokesman Michael Brumas told TPM that the senator “is not alleging the administration has threatened or pressured the sports leagues. See the next to the last graf of the letter which says ‘Should the administration,’ etc.”
Despite overwhelming popular support for the Toomey-Manchin background check compromise, the Republican Party voted en masse in the Senate today to kill the bill: Gun Control: Senate Rejects Background Checks Deal.
The Senate has rejected a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on gun sales, handing President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders a major defeat on one of the key pieces of the president’s second-term agenda.
The vote was 54-46, with only four Republicans crossing the aisle and voting with the Democrats in favor of the bipartisan proposal by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Sixty votes were needed.
The GOP Senators killed this already watered-down bill in full view of a group of Newtown family members.
In a fitting coda to this affair, a number of Newtown family members intend to sit in the gallery to watch today’s voting, a spokesperson for one of the family groups, Sandy Hook Promise, tells me. Among them are Mark and Jackie Barden, whose youngest son, Daniel, was killed in the shooting; Nicole Hockley, who lost her son Dylan; and Jimmy Greene, who lost his daughter Ana.
Family members decided that witnessing today’s events — even if painful — was too important to forego, a source familiar with their thinking tells me. However, there is still some hesitation about having their reaction appear on camera during what would be the first significant defeat of one of their most desired legislative goals, i.e., expanded background checks.
Attorney General Eric Holder has responded to Sen. Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster filled with paranoid conspiracy theories about drones killing American citizens on US soil, with a single word.
Dear Senator Paul:
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.
Eric H. Holder, Jr.
And now Sen. Paul is happy.
Paul said Thursday afternoon that he’s happy with the response and that he urges the Senate to proceed to a vote on Brennan’s nomination.
This is going to give the wingnuts who’ve been yelling that they “stand with Rand” a serious case of cognitive whiplash.