Speed Reads


Rand Paul lasts 10.5 hours in Patriot Act quasi-filibuster

At 1:18 p.m. on Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) vowed to talk from his Senate desk "so long as my legs can stand," in a symbolic filibuster of reauthorizing the USA Patriot Act and its NSA eavesdropping provisions. His legs made it until 11:48 p.m., giving Paul's speech a total time of 10.5 hours, including breaks provided by other senators. The Senate is currently debating fast-track trade authority, not the Patriot Act bill.

Paul "appears to have determined that the political rewards of holding true to his civil libertarian sensibilities overpower any risks he faces as a presidential candidate trying to appeal to a wider swath of Republicans and other voters who may not support his actions," says Lisa Mascaro at the Los Angeles Times. At the same time, "perhaps in an effort to avoid antagonizing his Senate colleagues, Paul carefully timed his protest for Wednesday, when it would fill a lull in proceedings and not delay important votes on the NSA program or the trade bill."