Richard Burr

Dick Burr: Still lazy after all these years

A few things in life are entirely predictable. The sun will rise in the morning. Water is wet. And Senator Richard Burr is a lightweight slacker who never fails to disappoint. Today's New York Times has but the latest example of his toxic blend of laziness and incompetence. As the US faces one of its most complex national security issues ever, there could not be more unqualified individual leading the Senate's intelligence oversight:

Some Senate Republicans fumed privately as well. They said Mr. McConnell and Senator Richard Burr, the North Carolina Republican who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, should have written an alternative to the House bill to give Republicans something to rally around.

We pay our Senators a lot of money and, I at least, expect them to do their damn jobs. Except in the case of Richard Burr. The only thing I expect from him is more of nothing.

Burr must resign

Richard Burr called for a US citizen to be hunted down and killed.

Civil liberties groups raised concerns Monday about reports that U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, had called in 2013 for the CIA to hunt down and kill an American citizen who’d become a top al Qaida operative, rather than capturing him for trial.

Muhanad Mahmoud Al Farekh eventually was captured and the government now can make its case against him and appropriately punish him if he's convicted.

Richard Burr waves the nonsensical Iran-bashing banner

Playing to the ignorant crowds:

During the discussion with Bob Schieffer, Burr said he thinks the U.S. is rushing a nuclear deal with Iran. He also said Iranian-backed rebels can't be allowed to gain a foothold in Yemen, where a coalition of countries are mounting attacks to stop them. "Well, clearly, we're on the verge of a civil war," he said. "I had a long conversation with the ambassador last week. Ten countries have come together, primarily because they can't allow Iran to take a foothold in Yemen."

Here at BlueNC we generally focus on state issues, because there are so many important things happening in NC, trying to take a broader look at national and international issues is bound to eclipse problems we can't allow ourselves to ignore. But the misunderstanding and misinformation surrounding the Iranian talks has reached a deafening level, and we have a responsibility to make sure OUR representatives in Congress don't push us into another costly and counterproductive war by spoon-feeding us false information.

Not unlike what is transpiring in Iraq, the Iranian-backed Houthis are waging war against not only Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has engineered terrorist attacks all over the region, but also a new splinter of the Islamic State, which has materialized there in a totally predictable opportunistic fashion in order to take advantage of political confusion:

Burr leans on bent think-tank to support his ACA alternative bill

Partisan politics and pseudo-scientific bullshit:

I certainly believe that both the Obama campaign and administration have sought to construct a political narrative that dispenses with inconvenient facts. The campaign narrative was that the U.S. economy was crumbling, broken by Republicans, and in need of being “rebuilt.”

That narrative supported “investments” — progressive-speak for massive federal spending — government takeovers where desired (health care) or needed by unions (autos), and massive deficits.

You're right, I put this diary together backwards, just so you browsers would get a taste of the "expert" that Senator Richard Burr hopes will give his horribly bad legislation a whiff of legitimacy:

Daily Dose: Two chickens cross the road

Gonna be a long six years, folks. Tillis is coming out-of-the-blocks with torture advocate Richard Burr as his role model. Neither has served a split-second in the armed forces. Not a split second.

Tillis echoes Burr on torture report (Raleigh News & Observer) -- U.S. Sen.-elect Thom Tillis, who was in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, said the release of the report on CIA interrogation practices during the Bush administration could harm U.S. relations with other countries. His comments echoed those made by his soon-to-be Republican colleague, Sen. Richard Burr.

Abortion Debate Looms: Public Asked to Comment on DHHS Rules (Public News Service) -- The future of reproductive health in North Carolina is in the hands of the general public. This month, the North Carolina Department of Health (DHHS) and Human Services proposed new regulations for abortion clinics and now the public has an opportunity to comment.

Let's give Richard Burr the respect he deserves

When Richard Burr takes over as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee next year, a quintessential oxymoron will step into the spotlight, showcasing North Carolina once again as a state filled with idiots and assholes. Mr. Burr, who famously created his own run on banks at the height of the financial crisis, continues to embarrass us all with every utterance he makes. His comments yesterday about torture and the war crimes of George W. Bush leave no doubt about his loyalties.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr said the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on the CIA’s use of torture released Tuesday “only endangers our officers and allies in a blatant attempt to smear the Bush administration.” The Republican U.S. senator from Winston-Salem will become chairman of the Intelligence Committee in January. He said on Tuesday that he would not hold hearings on the report.

“I just don’t know what you would accomplish with hearings,” he said in an interview. Asked if he saw any kind of follow-up, Burr said, “No. Put this report down as a footnote in history.”

As a veteran and former special operations officer in the US Navy, I find Mr. Burr's cavalier observations about CIA torture practices mind-boggling. This is not about smearing anybody, this is about integrity, which is definitely not Mr. Burr's strong suit. If we can't count on the United States Senate to exercise is authority to hold the executive branch accountable for proven war crimes, we are well and truly screwed.

So yeah, let's show Mr. Burr the respect he deserves. Exactly none.

PS Rob Schofield has a slightly more gentle take on Burr's outrageous statements.

Richard Burr prefers KGB-style intel operations

But don't expect the "defenders of liberty" to speak out against him:

Republicans take over the Senate in just a few legislative days. And when they do, they will probably snuff out the last possibility of releasing a huge report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Bush-Cheney Administration.

Mr. Burr has said the report is full of unspecified inaccuracies. He not only opposes its release, but also all public hearings of the Intelligence Committee. He believes that “enhanced interrogation” (also known as torture) helped lead to the death of Osama Bin Laden, and is O.K. with widespread domestic spying by the National Security Agency. So don’t expect the slightest bit of openness or progress after he takes over.

Be careful what you say on your cell phones, comrades. I have a feeling becoming an "enemy of the state" is going to get a hell of a lot easier in the near future...

Mandatory voting?

Sometimes you know you know certain things . . . but they still don't hit home until you read them for the umpteenth time. In this case, I read a factoid in an N&O editorial.

Barely one Triangle resident in five cast votes in the Nov. 8 election.

Holy Diebold. One in five? No wonder the metaphor 'nation of sheep' comes so often to my mind!

The editorial went on to talk about programs designed to get young people involved in community affairs and electoral politics, which is a good idea, of course.

But still. One in five?

In Peru, voting is mandatory for everyone over 18 . . . up to the age of 65. I'm not advocating that by any means. In fact, the last thing we need is more people voting who have no idea what the hell they're doing.

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