Hot day here in the big city. Not so hot that I didn't manage to eke out a finish (just under a 12 minute mile) in the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K, my eighth finish of the year towards nine needed to qualify for the 2016 NYC-- which would then be my 15th consecutive if I make it to the finish line-- entitling me to guaranteed entry until I drop... since I'm registered for at least three more races here, including the 2015 NYC... I'm optimistic... And on the subject of things I'm optimistic (albeit cautiously) about...
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has vowed to thwart his fellow Kentucky Senator, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in plans to permit the USA Patriot Act to die by its own terms, according to a report from Politico's Manu Raju.
Coupled with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's ongoing assault on her own party's President (and my college classmate) Barack Obama over the damned near satanic Trans Pacific Partnership by her outspoken opposition to it (joined by such luminaries as my current favorite Presidential candidate until Warren herself gets in the race, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont), we are looking at senators who, perhaps in the spirit of Mr. Smith goes to Washington, willing to take a stand. Sure, Paul and Sanders are notionally running for President-- but I will eat the hat I don't wear if either of them is their respective party's national nominee come November 2016... they are nonetheless standing for first principles.
In Paul's case, the principle is that the national security state should be reined in, even if only rhetorically ("legal authority" has never been an issue in a country where the security establishment enjoys elite immunity in any case). In Warren's/Sanders', that a deal designed to bayonet the bodies of American workers amidst the debris field known as our economy so that a few multi-nationals who lavish immense sums upon political "leaders" like the President, House Speaker and Majority Leader get to pass a "trade deal" that supercedes worker safety, wages, environmental rules and anything else designed to protect human beings in the interest of profit maximization for the connected (and a deal so obviously bad that it has to be kept ultimate-top-secret-even-from-Congress, lest the public learn anything about it), is one that has to be stopped.
In both cases, they are standing up to the President, who, insofar as he has seamlessly continued whatever it was Bush/Cheney were up to, can not be distinguished from them in almost every meaningful area, and in a few areas, has out-done Bush/Cheney in awfulness,
But at least there's some opposition-- somewhere. Even if only for a brief shining moment.
Update: 21:45 EDT on 31 May, 2015: The Senate adjourned without either extending the USA Patriot Act or passing the USA Freedom Act... in other words, advantage Sen. Rand Paul, friend to freedom and enemy to, well, the bipartisan Establishment (who just want you to know that paranoia is patriotic.)