Daily Archives: March 7, 2013
What was it about Rand Paul’s filibuster that has captivated conservatives all over the country and reinvigorated their desire to fight for our Constitutional Republic? The irony is that the drone issue was not even one of the most popular issues among many conservatives until last night. I suspect that many conservatives don’t necessarily agree with some of Paul’s assertions about targeting terrorists like Al-Awlaki overseas, although we are all (everyone except for McCain and Graham) concerned about targeting Americans on American soil. Yet he has become an overnight sensation, not just among his core libertarian base, but among the broad conservative movement.
Conservatives have been starving for a fighter; longing for someone who will do something drastic, engage in a media savvy fight against an imperialistic president who has no respect for checks and balances and an invidious disregard for the separation of powers.
We have witnessed this president shred the Constitution and implement his radical agenda by administrative fiat. We the People stand by flummoxed and frustrated at the lack of courage among Republicans to counter the president with anything more magnanimous than a press release. We have seen him abrogate our immigration laws, grant administrative amnesty, and let criminal aliens out of jail. Yet nobody has used their position and identified a point of leverage at which to take a stand and draw extended scrutiny to the issue or any other breach of authority.
Finally, when administration officials began asserting that the president might even have the power to launch drone strikes on American soil, Senator Paul decided he would hold up a major nomination to command the attention of the entire country. Many of us sat back and watched the impassioned speeches from Paul and the stirring words of Ted Cruz. We wondered why we had not witnessed this sort of spirited opposition during Obamacare.
Yet that is exactly the point. Most of these senators are new to Washington. They have charted a new path forward, one that is not paved with backroom deals but with forthright demonstrations of courage and commitment to the principles that buoyed them into office. Instead of cutting a deal to invoke cloture and having Brennan’s nomination sail to confirmation, Paul has united a fractious Republican Party against this – that is everyone except for Obama’s dinner companion Lindsey Graham.
Republicans have repeatedly entreated us to the tired bromide that they only control one-third of one-half….. What these banal bulls of Washington dealmaking don’t understand is that with complete control of the House and a filibuster strength minority in the Senate there is a lot they can do. With the ubiquitous nature of C-Span and social media, Republicans can use critical leverage points to seize on winning issues and put Obama in the defensive position.
That’s why yesterday’s act of cowardice on the CR in the House was so incomprehensible to many conservatives. Even if they planned to ultimately cave on Obamacare to avoid a shutdown three weeks from now, why not initially bring it to the floor under an open rule and debate Obamacare for a few days? Let’s at least draw attention to the injustice of Obamacare at a time when many people are feeling the pain of higher insurance premiums.
We are also told that the juggernaut of a biased media is too powerful to overcome were we to force some sort of a dramatic battle over critical issues, such as Obamacare or illegal immigration. It’s true in fact that the media is incorrigibly in the tank for the left, and there’s nothing we can do about that. But one thing about the media is that they are impressed by a show of force and stimulated by something new and exciting. Rand Paul proved that last night, as even some mainstream media reporters gave him positive coverage.
When the CR comes before the Senate, conservatives should hold it up at least for a day or two to educate the American people on the ramifications of funding Obamacare. When the nomination of the new radical nominee for EPA director comes before the Senate, they should take turns launching filibusters into the night, educating the public on how that agency has cost jobs and raised the cost of living on the working class. They should draw attention to onerous policies like ethanol mandates.
We didn’t send Republicans like Mitch McConnell to Washington to cut backroom deals and to passively and blithely ignore the injustices that are perpetrated by the statist class on a daily basis. Nor did we send Republicans to Washington to echo those injustices, like John McCain and Lindsey Graham do on a daily basis. It’s no coincidence that this effort was initiated by the disciples of Jim DeMint. And with the 2014 election cycle beginning now, it’s incumbent upon all of us to help send reinforcements to the ranks of our fighters.
by Larry O’Connor 7 Mar 2013, 4:41 AM PDT
It’s time to name names.
Yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) embarked upon a historic filibuster in an attempt to coax the White House to answer a basic and fundamental constitutional question that affects every American’s 5th Amendment rights. He was joined by thirteen other Republican Senators as well as one Democrat.
While the stand for liberty and government accountability was taking place on Capitol Hill, a handful of Republican Senators were having an off-the-record dinner with President Barack Obama. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) notebaly attended the dinner wiht the President and then made their way to the Senate Chambers and participated in the filibuster.
Republican members of the House of Representatives walked down the hall to support Sen. Paul. Rep. Louie Gohmert even brought the weary senator some chocolate bars and cough drops.
But what about the Republican senators who had something better to do Wednesday night?
The following Republicans were at the Washington Wizards game or were attending to some other pressing issue that was more important than supporting a member of their party who had the audacity to expect the White House to answer a basic, fundamental constitutional question.
Alexander, Lamar – (R – TN) Class II
455 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Ayotte, Kelly – (R – NH) Class III
144 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Blunt, Roy – (R – MO) Class III
260 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Boozman, John – (R – AR) Class III
320 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Burr, Richard – (R – NC) Class III
217 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Coats, Daneil – (R – IN) Class III
493 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Coburn, Tom – (R – OK) Class III
172 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Cochran, Thad – (R – MS) Class II
113 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME) Class II
413 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Corker, Bob – (R – TN) Class I
425 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Crapo, Mike – (R – ID) Class III
239 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Enzi, Michael B. – (R – WY) Class II
379A RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Fischer, Deb – (R – NE) Class I
825 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Graham, Lindsey – (R – SC) Class II
290 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Grassley, Chuck – (R – IA) Class III
135 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Hatch, Orrin G. – (R – UT) Class I
104 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Heller, Dean – (R – NV) Class I
361A RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Hoeven, John – (R – ND) Class III
120 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Inhofe, James M. – (R – OK) Class II
205 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Isakson, Johnny – (R – GA) Class III
131 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Johanns, Mike – (R – NE) Class II
404 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
McCain, John – (R – AZ) Class III
241 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Murkowski, Lisa – (R – AK) Class III
709 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Portman, Rob – (R – OH) Class III
338 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Risch, James E. – (R – ID) Class II
483 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Roberts, Pat – (R – KS) Class II
109 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Sessions, Jeff – (R – AL) Class II
326 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Shelby, Richard C. – (R – AL) Class III
304 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Vitter, David – (R – LA) Class III
516 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Wicker, Roger F. – (R – MS) Class I
555 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Neftegaz America Shelf LP (Neftegaz), an indirect independent subsidiary of Russia’s state-run oil company Rosneft, has acquired 30 percent interest in 20 deepwater exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico held by ExxonMobil, under an agreement signed by the two companies.
The 20 blocks have a total area of approximately 111,600 acres (450 square kilometers) in water depths ranging between 2,100 and 6,800 feet (640 and 2,070 meters). Seventeen are located in the Western Gulf of Mexico and three are in the Central Gulf of Mexico.
ExxonMobil retains 70 percent interest in the blocks and remains operator. Analysis of seismic data is under way. There is currently no production on the blocks.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil continue to implement the Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2011, under which the companies and their subsidiaries plan to undertake joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in Russia and other countries and to share technology and expertise. Under subsequent agreements between Neftegaz and ExxonMobil, Rosneft’s subsidiary gained the option to acquire interest in 20 blocks of its choosing from among ExxonMobil’s Gulf of Mexico exploration portfolio. The latest agreement represents the exercise of that option.
The agreement was signed by Igor I. Sechin, president of Rosneft, and Stephen M. Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.
“ExxonMobil has a long history of safe oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico using state-of-the-art safety and environmental protection systems,” said Greenlee. “We look forward to working with Rosneft and its affiliates to explore these blocks using our leading-edge exploration and development technology and deepwater execution expertise.”
Sechin said, “This agreement provides Rosneft and its affiliates with access to one of the world’s most prolific basins. We believe joint efforts of our companies will ensure the most efficient development of these blocks, with application of the latest technologies and adhering to high environmental standards. Moreover, experience and knowledge acquired in the process may potentially be used when developing deepwater blocks in Russia, including in the Tuapse Trough in the Black Sea as envisaged under the Strategic Cooperation Agreement.”
ExxonMobil and Rosneft continue to implement a program of staff exchanges for technical and management employees to help strengthen the working relationships between the companies and provide valuable career development opportunities for employees of both companies.
The 20 blocks are:
Western Gulf of Mexico – Alaminos Canyon 569, 612, 613, 655, 656, 657, 698, 699, 700 and 701; East Breaks 429, 471, 472, 473 and 515; Keathley Canyon 529 and 573.
Central Gulf of Mexico – Walker Ridge 629, 673 and 717.