Sunday show roundup: disaster aid, drone debates

Lindsey Graham wants less, not more restricted drone warfare and senators decry military sex assaults

By Natasha Lennard

Published May 26, 2013 7:48PM (EDT)

Following President Obama's Thursday speech, which promised in platitudes a new, more focused phase of the War on Terror, had talking heads yapping Sunday. The Sunday shows also touched upon disaster relief aid in the wake of this week's deadly tornado in Oklahoma.

Lethal drones:

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a typically unbearable politician, once again stepped admirably up to bat in critiquing U.S. lethal drone strike policy. (Although again, Paul's concerns extended only to Americans' rights and not foreign civilian casualties). He told ABC's "This Week" that while the president's comments could mark a step in the right direction, more needs to be clarified regarding due process, legal standards and justifications. "A lot of what's very important to myself and others is what the law says, and how you should approach this,” Paul said.

Meanwhile the ever-hawkish Sen. Lindsey Graham on Fox News Sunday condemned the president's suggestion that drone strikes should be restricted. "At a time we need resolve the most, we’re sounding retreat... Our enemies are emboldened all over the planet,” said Graham. "I think we’re diminishing our national security infrastructure I’ve never been more worried about our national security than I am right now. This speech did not help," he said.

Disaster aid:

Reiterating his comments this week following the deadly Oklahoma tornado, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” that he won't support additional disaster relief funding without spending cuts elsewhere. “We’ve transferred the responsibility for storms and damage to the federal government instead of to the state,” Coburn said.

Many had expected Coburn to reverse his post-Hurricane Sandy position regarding offsets when a natural disaster hit his own state.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, appearing on CNN's 'State of the Union, said she was worried about “red tape” slowing down the tornado recovery efforts. "We have, first of all, appreciated the president coming to Oklahoma to see the devastation... It is huge here and a lot of need here. But, basically, what I need is the ability to get through red tape, the ability to get the funds in here quickly, and to get the services that our citizens need to help them recover through this terrible disaster."

Military sexual assaults:

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., called the epidemic of sexual abuse in the armed services a "scourge on the military" while appearing on Fox News Sunday. On the same show, Sen. Graham vehemently agreed: "I want to salute the women who serve and are putting up with way too much crap. This needs to end,” Graham said

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email

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Cnn Drone Strikes Face The Nation Lindsey Graham Oklahoma Rand Paul Sunday Morning Shows This Week Tornado Video