March 20, 2014

COLLEGE SUPPORT: Rand Paul, Republican presidential hopeful, finds support in Berkeley, of all places.

“He’s a serious contender,” said Bruce Cain, a political expert who directs Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West. “He can come to the Bay Area and plausibly look for money, which is not the case with Sarah Palin or some of the other people on the right.”

The younger Paul has found that money at a series of local fundraisers Tuesday and Wednesday, and will tap into his young activist base with a speech Wednesday afternoon at UC-Berkeley’s International House.

In a speech peppered with references to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” Paul told a crowd of about 400 that he will call for creation of a bipartisan select committee to probe and reform the intelligence community, much like the Church Committee of the 1970s: “It should watch the watchers.”

“Your rights, especially your right to privacy, are under assault,” he said, noting the National Security Agency has said its surveillance programs treat lawmakers like any other Americans. “Digest exactly what that means. If Congress is spied upon without their permission, who exactly is in charge of the government?”

Rand, you magnificent bastard, you read my book column!

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