This edition of Rand “Pauluses and Minuses,” wherein I grade Rand’s actions and words over the previous week, is taking place just hours after the biggest self-congratulatory celebration in all of American culture: the Oscars. However, we can all agree, the Rand P&M Awards are far, far more important, and also never run over time or include close-ups of Patricia Arquette. Now, on to the Awards!
Rand Gives Back $480K To U.S. Treasury
Following in his father’s footsteps, Rand Paul has delivered $480,000 back to the U.S. Treasury from his Senate office budget, and to some extent, to the people of this country. Naturally, we can’t presume all that money will benefit the taxpayers once it’s back in the federal trough, but it’s a great gesture that goes a long way towards legitimizing Rand’s position as a man who is governing for the people and not himself. From Sen. Paul’s website:
Since taking office in January 2011, from his Senate office budget, Sen. Paul has returned:
- $1.8 million to the U.S. Treasury in cumulative yearly operating budget savings
- $170,000 more through sequester cuts in 2013
- 17% of his total budget to taxpayers
Rand Speaks Out Against Size & Scope of Government, Meaning of Justice
Rand spoke to a group of Republicans in Alabama, with some very interesting statements that I found to resonate quite strongly. The majority of the speech can be found here, but a couple quick excerpts illustrate some of his points:
“Abraham Lincoln wrote that ‘I find that mercy bears richer fruit than strict justice,’” Paul said. “As a Christian, I think about that our religion talks about redemption and that maybe the law should give people second chances. I think about: ‘What is justice? Should justice mean just punishment? Is it rehabilitation?’ Ultimately I think that justice is about discernment and discretion.
Rand has really taken the criminal justice system up as one of his tent-pole issues, and rightly so. The U.S. still has the highest criminal population ratio by a wide margin, not only for drug offenses (which Paul is also speaking out against) but also for minor crimes. Paul is in favor of Judicial Activism, which basically gives judges leeway to alter laws – a slippery slope that I am not a fan of – but his overall concern and attention paid to the issue of criminal justice is fantastic.
“But this is the problem with your government. Your government has gotten so out of control that we’re not in charge,” he said. “The executive branch has become this enormous monster with tentacles into every aspect of your life and we can’t stop it. Even when we vote to stop it, the president continues in a lawless way.”
Damn well right, Rand. Executive power has taken so many leaps and bounds under the past few generations of Presidents that they basically view themselves as virtual kings with the power to legislate as they see fit. Obama’s recent military, immigration and 2nd Amendment actions have illustrated exactly why this issue must be addressed and discussed.
Overall the statements are excellent, the Judicial Activism aside.
Rand Paul Defends Obama, Decries Giuliani Statements
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani is, frankly, an idiot. It’s amazing he was even considered as a legitimate nominee for President in 2008 and were it not for 9/11, the man would have gone down as a nothing Mayor to be forgotten and buried in the annals of time.
His views on foreign policy were nothing short of John McCain style insane, and the derision with which he held his opponents and the American people was disgusting. I’ll never forget his dismissal of Ron Paul during a debate when the issue of blowback and America’s meddling in foreign affairs in the Middle East was breached, and it was nothing short of utter joy that raced through my veins when his campaign was thoroughly destroyed later on.
Rand Paul, I’m sure, also hasn’t forgotten the slights Rudy levied against his father, and it should be no surprise that he took the “high road” in defending Obama against Giuliani’s statement that “Obama doesn’t love America.” Firstly, because it’s a statement that may or may not be true, but is just so stupid to say that it can’t help but draw a negative reaction. Secondly, because it gives Paul a nice platform to show that he isn’t racially prejudiced – a ridiculous claim made by the head of the Black Caucus after Rand opposed the appointment of civil forfeiture diva Loretta Lynch as Attorney General – and that he’s not going to be petty for petty’s sake. Rand’s comment:
“I think it’s a mistake to question people’s motives. It’s one thing to disagree on policy.”
Paul said he’s not interested in questioning whether Obama’s a “good American or a bad American,” because while he may blame the president’s foreign policy for making the U.S. less safe, he’s not going to question whether Obama’s “well-intentioned.”
That’s a clean sweep for Rand this week.
The Current “Paulus-Minus” Tally:
17 Pauluses / 6 Minuses / 1 Push
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