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1.) Pulling a Paulnighter — Rand Paul put on quite a show Wednesday, TheDC’s Jim Antle reports:
“Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul launched a filibuster Wednesday against President Obama’s CIA nominee John Brennan as a way to highlight extrajudicial killings and the potential use of drones in the United States. ‘I won’t be able to speak forever, but I’m going to speak as long as I can,’ Paul said as he began an old-fashioned talking filibuster. The senator is delaying a vote on Brennan’s nomination. ‘When we ask the president ‘Can you kill Americans on American soil with drone strikes?’ it should be an easy answer,’ he continued.”
Paul ultimately lasted nearly 13 hours before ending his filibuster just after midnight. It was an impressive affair, which justifiably raised Paul’s national profile and probably boosted the ratings of CSPAN-2. In honor of Paul standing for nearly 13 hours, your TheDC Morning facilitator will sleep for 13 hours. Yes, it’s a sacrifice, but it’s for a good cause.
2.) Defend defense — The American people don’t mind the sequester cuts — that is, except those that touch the Defense Department. TheDC’s Caroline May reports:
“While about 60 percent of Americans support across-the-board government spending cuts, the opposite is true when it comes to cuts to military spending, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Wednesday. The national poll of 1,017 adults conducted from Feb. 27 – March 3 found that 61 percent supported a 5 percent overall reduction in spending, while just 33 percent opposed it. An 8 percent reduction in military spending, on the other hand, was met with 60 percent opposition, compared to 34 percent that supported it.”
As TheDC Morning has explained before, it doesn’t like the sequester one bit. Like most Americans, it is concerned about the disproportionate defense cuts. Furthermore, it fears that the cuts will give the false impression that something has actually been done to fix our long-term budget picture when the cuts are almost meaningless in the grand scheme of things since they barely touch Medicare. Medicare is far and away the biggest driver of our long-term debt problem. That is where our lawmakers’ attention ought to be focused — reforming Medicare to make it sustainable. Instead, they squabble over relative pittance.
3.) Hugo’s hysterics — Hugo Chavez may be gone, but his crazy and catty words live on. TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein has compiled a list of his greatest hits. The quotes include the disgusting, like when he favorably compared Hitler to to George W. Bush: “The imperialist, genocidal, fascist attitude of the US president has no limits. I think Hitler would be like a suckling baby next to George W Bush.” Others are just bizarre: “Contrary to reports, Charlie Sheen is not welcome in Venezuela. There are limits.” Hugo Chavez may have pretended to hate America, but he sure seemed to be paying attention to our pop-culture.
4.)Dean Diarrhea Mouth— Speaking of colorful language, a free-talking college dean no longer has a job as a free-talking college dean, reports TheDC’s Eric Owens:
“The world of academia is obviously too stuffy and square for Tom Keefe, interim dean of the law school at Saint Louis University. Keefe has resigned, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The highly successful trial lawyer with no prior experience managing in any academic environment had taken the temporary post in August. He said he wasn’t pressured to step down, but he readily admitted that certain statements he has uttered have made him appear ill-fitted for the job. …The inestimable law blogger Paul L. Caron, sole proprietor of TaxProf Blog, has helpfully collected Keefe’s most quotable quotes and nuggets of wisdom. ‘Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut,’ the interim dean apparently said. ‘I’ve been drunker than ten big Indians,’ is another priceless gem.”
6.) Today in North Korean News — “Kim Jong Un Congratulates Laos President on His Birthday”