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Rand Paul: Obama Should Explain to the Pope Why He's Attacking Religious Freedom - VIDEO

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Referring to the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) lectured Obama on what he should explain to Pope Francis in a meeting scheduled for Thursday.

“He ought to explain to the pope why he is telling businesses in America they can’t remain true to their faith and stay in business." He should also “tell the pope he’s not going to spy on him anymore.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Crooks and Liars notes:

...if it were Rand Paul visiting with the Pope, I'd tell him he should be ready to explain why it is that he opposes extending unemployment insurance while taking food out of the mouths of hungry children.

I think Rand Paul has more to explain than President Obama does.

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Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll with 31 Percent of Vote

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Rand Paul won the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll, the WaPo reports:

Paul won 31 percent of the vote (compared with the 25 percent he won last year), beating a crowded field of more than two dozen names, including a number of potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders. He crushed second-place finisher Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who came in with 11 percent.

Rounding out of the top finishers in the poll, which was voted on by 2,459 CPAC attendees, were former neurosurgen Ben Carson (9 percent) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (8 percent).

Paul's father Ron and Mitt Romney have been the top picks in the CPAC straw polls since 2007.


Rand Paul Calls Federal Judge's Kentucky Gay Marriage Ruling 'Illegitimate'

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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul released a statement following U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II’s ruling that Kentucky must recognize legal same-sex marriage from outside the state.

Said Paul:

"I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage. I also believe this power belongs to the states and the people, not the federal government. It is illegitimate for the federal courts to intrude here."

Governor Steve Beshear is hiring an outside counsel to defend the state's ban in the appeal of the ruling after Attorney General Jack Conway, in an emotional and tearful announcement, said he would not.


Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to Sue Obama Administration Over NSA Surveillance: VIDEO

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GlobalPost

US Sen. Rand Paul filed a lawsuit Wednesday against President Barack Obama and others over the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs, citing constitutional violations.

“The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants," the Republican from Kentucky said when he announced the litigation. "I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court and I predict the American people will win.”

Paul filed the lawsuit with Matt Kibbe, president of the tea party-aligned group FreedomWorks.

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will serve as lead counsel.

Besides Obama, the lawsuit also named National Intelligence Director James Clapper, outgoing NSA Director Keith Alexander and FBI Director James Comey.

Other lawsuits over the NSA's phone surveillance practices have been filed in recent months, but Paul's legal challenge is different because it's a class-action suit.

“A class action would be Rand Paul, not just suing on his own behalf, but on behalf all people, known and unknown, who are similarly situated,” Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University, told MSNBC. “Ostensibly, he could be suing on behalf of all Americans, or all Americans hypothetically affected by these court orders.” 

Earlier this month, Paul said he believed every American with a cellphone would be eligible to join the class-action suit.

The son of three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul, Rand Paul has long been an ardent critic of US surveillance programs, which he says infringe on the basic civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution.

In a YouTube video released this week, Paul compared the NSA phone surveillance to the warrantless searches practiced by the British military prior to America's independence.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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GOP Senators Attach Anti-Union Right-to-Work Amendment to ENDA

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul have attached a right-to-work amendment to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the HuffPost reports:

McconnellThe measure -- which, as Roll Call reported Monday, was tacked onto the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- would forbid contracts between companies and labor unions that require workers to pay the union for bargaining on their behalf. Prized by Republicans and business groups and loathed by unions, such laws have made it onto the books in 24 states, most recently in Michigan...

...Right-to-work laws diminish union membership and weaken the clout of organized labor. Unions like to refer to such legislation as "right-to-work-for-less" laws, pointing to studies finding the laws depress wages. Right-to-work's boosters, including McConnell, portray the laws as a matter of workplace choice and a necessary counterweight to "Big Labor," even though unionized workers now make up only 6.6 percent of the private sector.


Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell Discuss Shutdown Messaging Strategy on Hot Mic: VIDEO

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Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell work out their shutdown messaging strategy over a hot mic:

"I'm all wired up here," McConnell replies. Paul continues anyway.

"I just did CNN, and I just go over and over again, 'We're willing to compromise; we're willing to negotiate,'" he says in the video. "I don't think they poll-tested 'We won't negotiate.' I think it's awful for them to say that over and over again."

McConnell responds: "Yeah, I do too, and I just came back from the two-hour meeting with them, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly."

"I think if we keep saying, 'We wanted to defund it. We fought for that, but now we're willing to compromise on this,' I think they can't - we're going to win," Paul says. "I know we don't want to be here, but we're going to win this, I think."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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