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Author Topic: Never waste a scandal  (Read 5112 times)

goatroper

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Never waste a scandal
« on: May 23, 2013, 11:05:39 am »
As some here (and elsewhere) have suggested, hay is to be made while the press and the people are focused on the current crop of scandals.  This is also part of the Alinsky plan.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-23/obama-probes-create-immigration-magic-as-bill-advances.html

Obama Probes Create Immigration Magic as Bill Advances

By Julie Hirschfeld Davis

The trio of investigations causing headaches for President Barack Obama’s administration has also provided a honeymoon period for the marquee element of his domestic agenda: revising immigration laws.

The congressional probes into various government agencies diverted attention at a critical time, allowing the Senate Judiciary Committee a respite from the spotlight as it reached critical compromises on the measure and approved it on a bipartisan 13-5 vote on May 21. The bill would allow the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. without authorization a chance at citizenship.

“It’s like magic -- you distract the audience while the real trick is being done -- and I think right now, while Americans focus on President Obama’s unending difficulties, it’s good news for the Gang of Eight working on immigration,” said Republican strategist Alex Castellanos, referring to the four Republicans and four Democrats who crafted the bill.

The dynamic is probably fleeting; the immigration measure’s path is likely to become more treacherous as the scandal investigations persist in grabbing headlines, the legislation moves toward a high-profile Senate vote next month, and skeptical House Republicans have their say.

That debate will take place while Congress is still raising questions about allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted anti-tax groups for scrutiny, the Justice Department seized Associated Press telephone records in a leak investigation, and the State Department initially glossed over the seriousness of last September’s attack on consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.

Interesting Timing

“The timing of all of this is kind of interesting in that it probably took a bit of heat off the markup in the committee - - that doesn’t mean the bill’s not going to face intense scrutiny on the Senate floor,” Democratic strategist Jim Manley said.

“Regardless of all the so-called scandals whirling around, the fact is the immigration bill is about the only thing that’s going to get done this year,” he said.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, a member of the group of eight that wrote the compromise bill as well as the Judiciary Committee that signed off on it, said the scandal fever that has broken out in Washington has “been good” for the legislation, lowering the emotional temperature that has surrounded past failed efforts to make immigration changes.

‘Open Process’

“To be able to go through this markup where nobody can claim that we’ve short-circuited the process -- it’s been an open process, we’ve adopted some substantive amendments -- to be able to do that without people calling press conferences outside and without groups calling members, it’s been a good process,” Flake said in an interview, referring to the Judiciary panel’s actions. “I’d have to say it probably helped.”

The final day of Judiciary’s markup of the bill was a case in point. While former IRS officials testified before the Senate Finance Committee, the panel convened in the building next door for its fifth day of deliberations. Senator Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, quietly reached agreement with Democrats on changes to a high-skilled visa program, clearing an impediment to his party’s support for the bill.

“While the discussion on TV continues, the immigration bill marches on, and that’s because of that independent, strong support for the bill -- labor, business, farm groups, it’s incredible,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a Democratic member of the committee. “It’s been actually a nice oasis to actually do some legislating during all of the somewhat radioactive news.”

2007 Defeat

The immigration bill stands at the same juncture a similar measure reached in June 2007, before heading for the Senate floor and collapsing after an at-times bitter floor fight, with a handful of Democrats joining Republicans to defeat it.

That could still be the current legislation’s fate. The potential damage from the scandal to Obama’s influence and the partisan fissures they could create may diminish momentum.

Also, some Democrats regard the bill’s provisions to bolster border security and enforcement as too punitive and object that it creates an arduous and costly process for undocumented immigrants to eventually gain citizenship.

And while most Republican leaders have embraced an immigration revision as a political imperative after the 2012 elections demonstrated their weakness with Hispanic voters, some parts of the party’s base remain opposed to what they regard as “amnesty.”

Some of the immigration bill’s top Republican supporters, who are risking their support from those party activists, have been the loudest voices criticizing Obama over the scandals.

Republican Criticism

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, another of the eight senators who teamed to write the bill, has used several television interviews, speeches on the Senate floor and his Twitter social media account to express outrage at the Obama administration over the Benghazi and IRS cases.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and Gang of Eight participant, also has been among the most outspoken critics of the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack.

“Walking and chewing gum at the same time is something that is a lost art in politics,” Graham said in an interview. “Investigating the administration about IRS and Benghazi is very important. Passing immigration reform is very important. We can do both.”

The measure’s critics are still pressing to prevent that from happening, and seeking to use the negative attention focused on Obama’s administration as a means of doing so.

Tea Party Opposition

A coalition of Republican-aligned commentators and small-government Tea Party groups released a letter on May 21 urging opposition to the bill, writing that it suffers from “fundamental design flaws that make it unsalvageable,” including that it “cedes excessive control over immigration law to an administration that has repeatedly proven itself to be untrustworthy, even duplicitous.”

Should the measure pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, its initial reception will be chilly in the House, where Republicans hold the majority.

The bill won’t accomplish the goal of ending “illegal immigration for once and for all,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican who will be a key player in determining its fate.

“The Senate bill is unlikely to secure the border,” Goodlatte said at a hearing he convened yesterday in Washington to examine the legislation.

In other criticisms, he said the measure takes too long -- as much as seven years -- to implement an electronic employment verification system, known as e-verify.

Credibility Issue

His comments underscore the congressional hurdles that loom for revising immigration laws -- obstacles that Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said will be harder for Obama to surmount if the scandals continue to undercut his credibility.

“It may help them now that people aren’t paying as much attention” to the debate on the immigration bill because of the investigations, “but long-term it’s a big problem,” Bonjean said. “The president’s political capital diminishes as these crises continue, and eventually he’s going to have to cash in that capital to get people to cast tough votes and push this thing through.”
VirginiaGoatroper

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    coelacanth

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 12:55:40 pm »
    Yup.  The current news surrounding the the scandal "hydra" is sucking up all the oxygen at the moment and people are sick to death of hearing about random terrorist attacks and natural disasters.   They want/need a break and they hope the summer vacation will provide it. 

    In that atmosphere the senate hopes to push through this latest fiasco on immigration but I think the sh*t will hit the fan just before Independence Day.   The more that is learned about this the worse it smells.    If the senate republicans had spent as much money on the border fence as they have beating the drum for this latest crock of excrement we might have actually had a secure border in the Tucson sector by now.
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    Feud

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 02:20:35 pm »
    In that atmosphere the senate hopes to push through this latest fiasco on immigration but I think the sh*t will hit the fan just before Independence Day.   The more that is learned about this the worse it smells.    If the senate republicans had spent as much money on the border fence as they have beating the drum for this latest crock of excrement we might have actually had a secure border in the Tucson sector by now.

    The Democrats have controlled one or both houses of congress for seven years now, nothing can get done without getting some from the other side to get on board.

    The bill at hand proposes an additional $6.5 billion, 1.5 of which is specifically for fencing in high risk areas.  If certain enforcement goals aren't met, one of which is a 90% enforcement effectiveness in high risk areas, then DHS gets $2 billion yanked and turned over to a commission to use to bring the enforcement up to where it should be.

    This isn't a perfect bill, no one claims such.  But it'll be real tough for a better one to get through he Senate.  Out of curiosity, what do you disagree with in the bill, and what would you like to see changed?
    « Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 03:02:09 pm by Feud »

    coelacanth

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 12:13:16 am »
    The entire exercise is the essence of futility.  Even if it passes in anything like its current form it will be handed over to the same bureaucrats now in charge of securing our border and deporting known criminals.  You know, the same ones who have been guilty of running guns to the Mexican drug cartels, ignoring the flood of illegals coming across the border through the Tucson sector, releasing hundreds if to thousands of convicted felons back into our towns and neighborhoods.   

    If you cannot or will not enforce current law, adding one more layer of legislative compost does nothing to change the situation except giving legislators another photo-op.   If there was the political will to secure our border it would already be done.   I have no faith that this current administration or congress will secure our borders and enforce existing immigration law, much less anything else that becomes law.
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    aikorob

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 11:30:47 am »
    GeorgiaFrom The Codex Kalachnikova: "He who would have you surrender your arms does so because he wishes to do something you could prevent by their usage."

    Feud

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 06:27:38 pm »
    What would you rather see done?

    xsquidgator

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 07:40:27 pm »
    What would you rather see done?

    In lieu of some effed-up .gov "solution" written by democrats, no solution or .gov action is preferable.  The "nothing" solution will cost the least amount and grow government by the least amount.  The .gov isn't going to fix the problem but it'd be nice if at least we could not make the tumor any bigger.  Think of how good the world could be if the .gov would quit trying to fix things and mucking them up.

    goatroper

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 12:39:26 am »
    What would you rather see done?

    How about enforcing existing laws before "fixing" what's been ignored for so many years?  And, echoing Coelecanth, SEAL THE BORDER first, before pretending to do something about immigration?
    VirginiaGoatroper

    aikorob

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #8 on: May 27, 2013, 06:42:11 am »
    How about enforcing existing laws before "fixing" what's been ignored for so many years? 

    + elebenty million  :thumbup1

    .....but if you think about it------isn't this a good first step for any "problem"?
    GeorgiaFrom The Codex Kalachnikova: "He who would have you surrender your arms does so because he wishes to do something you could prevent by their usage."

    Feud

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #9 on: May 27, 2013, 08:40:55 am »
    I agree, enforcing existing laws definitely should be done.  But enforcement is a role of the executive, not the legislature.

    So, what would you like to see congress do?  In the proposed bill they're trying to compel effective enforcement by tying some of the DHS's budget to enforcement goals.  I'm not trying to argue, I really have no desire to bicker over this policy or that.  Rather, I'm just trying to get an idea of what you'd like to congress to actually be doing, if anything at all (as seems to be the case with xsquidgator).

    coelacanth

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 12:37:59 pm »
    I'm currently on the road and Internet connectivity is a sporadic thing at best and slow even at that so I'll refrain for trying to craft a lengthy response for the moment.  That said, congress should have long ago addressed the selective enforcement of laws they have passed and past presidents have signed into law.  They have the power to fund or defund and that is the mechanism they should use to ensure compliance.   The fact that they have shown little in the way of political will is where our current difficulty lies.  What do I want them to do?  Probably unprintable and maybe physically impossible.  :bash
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    aikorob

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 07:45:40 pm »
    If current laws are ENFORCED---does Congress NEED to do anything?  Other than ensure that enforcement efforts are sufficiently funded
    GeorgiaFrom The Codex Kalachnikova: "He who would have you surrender your arms does so because he wishes to do something you could prevent by their usage."

    Feud

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #12 on: May 29, 2013, 03:04:48 pm »
    Well, as I said, if they aren't being enforced then congress should perhaps try and compell enforcement, something that this bill does. I'll just stop asking.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #13 on: May 30, 2013, 11:57:29 pm »
    How exactly does this bill enforce compliance on an unwilling executive branch? 
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    Feud

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 08:32:56 am »
    I'm still working my way through it, but as I said above, it attempts to compel compliance by setting specific enforcement standards and metric which, if not reached, yanks billions of dollars in funding from DHS. It also makes status changes dependant on implementation of things like everify and border enforcement strategies.

    Anyway, work calls...
    « Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 09:49:17 am by Feud »

    coelacanth

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #15 on: June 02, 2013, 11:40:09 pm »
    It seems to me the congress already has the power to defund or abolish any portion of the federal government which it finds is operating outside the law.  No further legislation is necessary to achieve this.
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    Feud

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 08:04:13 am »
    It seems to me the congress already has the power to defund or abolish any portion of the federal government which it finds is operating outside the law.  No further legislation is necessary to achieve this.

    They do have that power, but with 535 members of congress no one person wields it solely. To exercise it, bills using those powers are proposed and the body votes on it. Or, they simply refuse to do anything, but then nothing would get funded at all.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #17 on: June 07, 2013, 12:48:59 am »
    You say that like its a bad thing .   .    .     .   :hmm
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    Feud

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #18 on: June 07, 2013, 08:55:49 am »
    Well, I think most people want some federal things funded. National defense, etc.

    Anyway, I was just curious as to feed back on the particulars of the bill, and that's more of a broad policy discussion. Oh well.

    coelacanth

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #19 on: June 07, 2013, 10:59:12 pm »
    I can understand your wanting a discussion on the merits or lack thereof but the problem most of us have ( particularly those of us with grey hair ) is with a dysfunctional federal government vis a vis its original purpose.   We seem to have no lack of resources and motivation for all manner of foolishness that has nothing to do with the core purpose of any legitimate government and none for what that government is actually chartered to do in our founding documents.   That is why so many of us are disinclined to take the current congress and administration at their word regarding immigration policy or much of anything else.

    When government - any government - routinely operates outside the bounds of the laws that are its only legitimate reason for existence, a discussion of pending legislation is at best a waste of time and effort.   
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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    goatroper

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #20 on: June 08, 2013, 10:11:11 am »
    I'm a little too caught up in other things now to dig into the bill itself (remembering that the bill itself is never the final outcome -- there will be regulations on top of regulations to follow).  Here are some thoughts on the bill from someone who has read it:

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/06/handy-u-print-it-pocket-guide-why-s-744s-a-fraud/

    Downloadable .pdf of why-nots at the link.
    VirginiaGoatroper

    Feud

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #21 on: June 23, 2013, 05:56:13 pm »
    Info on the border security agreement that got ironed out this week, probably voted on this upcoming week sometime:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/immigration-border-security-deal-93155.html



    « Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 06:47:37 pm by Feud »

    coelacanth

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    Re: Never waste a scandal
    « Reply #22 on: June 23, 2013, 11:54:19 pm »
    Seems long on impressions and short on substance for an amendment that by itself is over a thousand pages.  I am not impressed by the media or the senate throwing around big numbers.   There is a bill from 2006 on the books and signed into law by the president that directs the construction of a 700 mile border fence.  We are still awaiting any significant progress on its completion. 
    How exactly does this bill enforce compliance on an unwilling executive branch? 
    This question remains unanswered and unless and until we actually build that fence which is already called for in existing law, any other legislative "triumphs" engineered by the senate amount to nothing more than another enormous turd deposited on the capitol lawn.  :scrutiny
    Arizona" A republic, if you can keep it."

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