Wednesday, April 17, 2013

More Bits, More Pieces Than I Actually Intended: Rubio And The Know Nothing Caucus


Bob Perry ist tot

What do you say when the poisonous snake who financed swiftboating drops dead? It never seems good form to cheer that anyone dies. It's possible that right-wing Texas billionaire Bob Perry was kind to a grandchild or a pet, although, publicly he'll always be associated with the money-- a minimum of $65 million-- that went into financing a neo-fascist resurgence within the Republican Party. He gave tens of millions to right-wing causes and candidates and the one Democrat he seems to have liked enough to contribute to is extreme right-wing Blue Dog, Henry Cuellar. Perry was a longtime crony of Karl Rove's and financed his shady operations-- like his series of checks:

Who's Going To Unmask Marco Rubio?

If there was a Democratic version of Bob Perry, he'd be underwriting a good solid look into the sordid past of slimy Florida politician with national ambitions, Marco Rubio. To date the vetting of Rubio-- who was knee deep in Tallahassee filth including organized crime and cocaine-- has been handled with kid gloves by novices who come to idiotic conclusions like “I don't think there's been a knockout blow," without ever tying him to his roommate, David Rivera, one of the most corrupt men to have ever served-- albeit just one term-- in the U.S. Congress. The dossier on Rubio is all about his voting record and good-two-shoes ethics violations, stuff no one cares about. One biographer, Manuel Roig-Franzia, gets close... but no cigar.
Rubio's record contains plenty of fodder for his opponents to use, even if there isn't another major revelation lurking in his past. He pointed specifically to Rubio's friendship with Rep. David Rivera, a Florida Republican reportedly under investigation by the Justice Department, IRS, and state law enforcement for his lobbying practices and potential money laundering. Rivera and Rubio bought a house together in 2005, and Rubio has publicly expressed support for his friend throughout the investigation.

"You never know, there could be an indictment in that case, which could affect Rubio," he said. "Nobody knows the extent to which their business is entangled, but they certainly have had co-mingling of business interests since they own a rental property together. Of course, all of this is in the land of the hypothetical."
Haters Gotta Hate... The GOP Has Plans For Immigration Reform

Yesterday Rubio and the rest of the Senate's immigration Gang of Eight presented their outline for a way to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform. Before they had presented it another little gang, this one not bipartisan, in the House was already plotting to crap all over it. Led by notorious bigot Steve King (R-IA), the House's worst Know Nothings are trying to derail reform and ship 11-14 million immigrants back to their original homelands. The other 5 members are fringy crackpots Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Lou Barletta (R-PA), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). King: “The meetings of the Gang of Eight and the secret meetings in the House of Representatives-- the people who have been standing up for the Constitution and the rule of law haven’t been invited to those meetings." Paranoid and off-balance, former drug addict Dana Rohrabacher added, "We’ve got all the rich guys and the elitists talking to each other. Unfortunately us regular folks don’t have that kind of coordination.”
Sources close to House conservatives say that King is working behind the scenes to sour his right-wing colleagues on the Gang of Eight’s plan, and he made calls over the weekend to finalize his strategy with members and conservative activists. Insiders say King is confident that conservatives will come to reject the Gang’s plan once they actually read it and see how it will lead to legalization for people who entered the country illegally, even though it is expected to also include enforcement triggers.

...Gohmert says Boehner’s indecision about how the House will handle immigration reform gives conservatives an opening to press the speaker to follow “regular order,” by which lawmakers would put the bill through the full committee process, instead of rushing it through with minimal hearings. The House Judiciary Committee is likely to play an especially important role, and its chairman, Bob Goodlatte (Va.) told ABC News on Sunday that it’s “absolutely important” that the bill moves through his committee, and not get pushed from “the top down.”

Goodlatte’s emphasis on slowing down the process plays to King’s favor, since he has long been an influential player on Judiciary’s subcommittee on immigration and border security, and he knows how to snag up a bill with hearings and amendments. In the coming days, look for King’s group to keep making “regular order” their rallying cry. “[Boehner] has pledged, absolutely, we’re following regular order,” Gohmert says. “The speaker would make himself a liar if he didn’t follow regular order.”

Rohrabacher agrees with the Texan’s observation. “There would be a revolt among Republicans if [Boehner didn’t] follow regular order,” he says. For the moment, though, the sentiment is more wishful thinking than a warning. The challenge for King’s Gang of Six is to make their case beyond a hearing room in Rayburn and to get fellow conservatives in the House and among the public to share their agitation.

Like the other five, Rohrabacher knows they’re in a difficult spot-- a group of rabble-rousers with limited political capital inside the House trying to stop legislation that GOP grandees and many prominent conservatives have largely blessed. But he believes that the fight against comprehensive immigration reform is far from over. “What the leadership would like to shove down our throats, in terms of immigration reform, is bad policy and bad politics,” he says. “In the long run, the Republican party would be destroyed.”
Bad Couple Of Days For Mark Sanford

First a judge demanded he show up at court to explain why he was caught trespassing at his ex-wife's house. And then-- as part of the revulsion that this no-bounds egomaniac is their candidate-- Greg Walden, Cantor and Boehner decided the NRCC will no longer back his congressional run in SC-01. Colbert's sister was already ahead in polls asking about the May 7th election but with the DCCC pouring money into the district (about half a million into airing the ad below, for example), the withdrawal of the NRCC could really hurt Sanford's chances.

"At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged in this special election... This is an unfortunate situation but this is what happens when candidates aren’t honest and withhold information,” is how Republican Party operatives are phrasing it.

Wheel Spinning In The House

Monday Jason Chaffez's proposal that "persons having seriously delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible for Federal employment" needed a 2/3s majority and was defeated 250-159 even though 35 Democrats-- mostly Blue Dogs and New Dems-- joined all but 7 Republicans. Making common ground with the Republicans on GOP issues has become a hallmark of the New Dems and several of their leaders-- Chairman Ron Kind and vice-chairs Jim Himes and Allyson Schwartz-- were among the gaggle who broke with the Democrats on this. The worst of the freshman New Dems-- Patrick Murphy (FL), Suzan DelBene (WA), and Scott Peters (CA)-- went along on that ride as well.

Ro Khanna Is Wasting His Time And His Donors' Money

Another slimy Democrat who would like to get in on that kind of action is opportunist Ro Khanna, currently trying to unseat progressive champion, Mike Honda. Daily Kos came across some disturbing news for Khanna, whose claim to fame is that he's an effective bundler of cash from the Indo-American community. "This is pretty awesome. After rolling out endless endorsements from powerful elected officials throughout California and even nationally, here's Rep. Mike Honda's capper: an article in the newspaper India Abroad headlined 'Five desi stalwarts pitch for Honda'... five Indian-Americans who have run for Congress all over the country in recent years: Raj Goyle (KS-04), Upendra Chivukula (NJ-07), Ashwin Madia (MN-03), Ravi Sangisetty (LA-03), and Manan Trivedi (PA-06)... [T]his may be a case of politics (and ideology) winning out over ethnicity. Not only is Honda the more liberal of the two, but he's done a great deal during his many years of service to support the broader pan-Asian community. And in their letter jointly endorsing him, this quintet of former candidates praised him both for 'fighting for our communities' and for individually helping their campaigns. This all makes you wonder what Khanna's 'base' looks like, to the extent he even has one. Silicon Valley tech types eager to have one of their own in Congress? I think wealthy nerds and venture capitalists will only take you so far, though, particularly when your opponent has the network that Honda does-- and the ability to call in lots and lots of favors."

CISPA Vote In The House Today

Mike Rogers' and Hoyer puppet "Dutch Ruppersberger's "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act" (H.R. 624) has 25 Republican sponsors and 12 Democratic ones, mostly conservative corporate whores. If the bill were ever to be enacted-- which isn't likely-- it would override every existing computer privacy statute to allowing private corporations to share personal information with the government to help with vaguely defined "cybersecurity purposes," for which they would be immune from prosecution. The last time it passed the House, almost a year ago (248-168, most Democrats voting NO and most Republicans, being part of the Big Brother Authoritarian Party, voting YES) it was successfully filibustered in the Senate 4 months later and was never voted on.

The new bill has a few superficial protections that protect no one and satisfy no one. One of the leading Republicans fighting against CISPA is Michigan libertarian Justin Amash, who also voted against the bill in 2012. He still has overriding privacy concerns.

Critics have called the legislation, which seeks to streamline the sharing of data between private corporations targeted by cyberattacks and the federal government, a serious overreach of government power.

On his Facebook, Amash wrote he would oppose CISPA when it is brought to a vote.

"The bill grants corporations and other entities broad immunity to share your personal and confidential data (e.g., e-mails) with the government," Amash wrote. "CISPA overrides contracts and even federal and state privacy laws."

CISPA has been likened to two widely unpopular bills considered by Congress during the 2011-12 session: the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA.

Those bills, which sought to curtail Internet piracy and illicit trafficking of intellectual property, died in Congress after a groundswell of online activism from critics who said they threatened innovation and amounted to government censorship.
President Obama is strongly suggesting that he would veto the bill if it passes the way Rogers and Ruppersberger wrote it. Even the White House recognizes it is way too broad and allows too much personal information to be turned over to the government without warrants. The White House is "concerned that the bill does not require private entities to take reasonable steps to remove irrelevant personal information when sending cybersecurity data to the government or other private sector entities. Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable-– and not granted immunity-– for failing to safeguard personal information adequately.”

And About That 311 Platinum Award Contest?

Please don't forget the Blue America Save Social Security contest, in which you can win a 311 platinum award and your favorite congressional candidate can win $1,000 check from our PAC. It's pretty neck and neck between most of the candidates now... so your "vote" could make all the difference.

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At 1:19 AM, Blogger John said...

I read this, too: "President Obama is strongly suggesting that he would veto the bill if it passes the way Rogers and Ruppersberger wrote it."

However, thinking back to the NDAA/us citizen indefinite detention veto threat fiasco, I would assume after the threat, above, Obama, said under his breath: " ... unless. of course, it passes in a form measurably WORSE than the R&R version."

John Puma


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